June 5, 2011

Sunday's Shining Star

I would like to explain how this came to fruition. Hubby and I were having a discussion about the old days, (for the young'ens reading this..a little history lesson) but before the dark age. When Sundays were special and had traditions and rituals. Sunday mornings Church, come home to a big gravy (sauce) cooking on the stove, a big Sunday dinner, then either off to visit relatives/friends or wait for relatives/friends to drop by. We would spend the afternoon sitting around the table, talking, catching up, having coffee, pizza, calzones, etc etc, dessert. And now, how sad, all those traditions are gone. And then I got to thinking, why not have something similar here on my blog. This past year, I have met so many amazing and wonderful people (some I now call friends) through blogging, and how I am in awe of what they do and accomplish. How much respect I have for them, for their honesty, integrity, credibility and so enjoy when a bit of their personality shines through. So every Sunday, here at my place, the coffee will be on, the dessert is on the table and friends will be stopping by. And I will be rolling out the red carpet for my Sunday Shining Star Blogger guest.
I was told when I first found this community of book blogging that "book bloggers were the nicest bloggers there are" and I have never forgotten those words. And over the past year, I have truly met the nicest people. I also believe, even though we live behind a screen, a bit of our personality shines through. That is one of the reasons I am having so much fun with this weekly event, and hoping you are too, because we are getting to know those "nicest bloggers" around and about bloggyland a little bit better.

Before we meet and greet today's guest, I have a question.  Is it only me or has everyone else noticed that the boys. ( and  Steve...Lori and my hubby) seem to be behaving lately now that the weather is getting nicer and they are golfing while we get together on Sundays?  Thought 

Now back today's guest.  I participate in a weekly meme on Saturdays called A Bit Of Me, where each week Danielle asks a question to get to know bloggers a little bit better.  Well today, we are going to get to know Danielle.  Today our Shining Star is DANIELLE from THERE'S A BOOK.

When and why did you start blogging?
My first book review was posted in November of 2009, with my son also reviewing the book (I've Seen Santa! by David Bedford). When I initially started my primary focus was to help readers, and parents especially, find books they would love. I found that trying to pick up books for my son when he was very little to be incredibly challenging and quite expensive. We lived in a small town at the time and our library definitely left something to be desired. Because I knew I couldn't be alone in this struggle I decided to start sharing the books my children loved and the reasons why they did in the hope that I could help other readers (young & old) find just the right book for them.

How and what made you decide on the name of your blog?
My byline for my blog is "Because sometimes there's a book that can transform a child's world." When I started looking into blog names I came up with this with the help of my mom and "There's A Book" popped out!

What would you say is the main content of your blog?
Primarily book reviews, author interviews and giveaways. I also provide book news pieces and other random bits I hear through the grape vine.

Of books, what genres do you mostly read?
My primary focus is Children's books including Picture Books, Early Readers, Middle Grade and Young Adult books. I do also read a large amount of Women's Fiction/Chick Lit for the other site I review for, Chick Lit Reviews (

How often do you post?
It varies, but at least once a day sometimes as many as three times daily depending on what's going on in the book world.

What are some of the things that you love about blogging?
Absolutely, without any doubt, the community of book bloggers. I've never met a more generous group of people. Not only with the books they have, but there time, energy and general love & concern for others. It's fantastic and I'm happy to be a part of it.

Outside of the community factor, I'd have to say books in general. Before I was a book blogger I had no idea about the number of books there really were out there and the variety I could expose my children to. Not just because of review copies, but from getting to know publishers by looking through catalogs and reading other blogs I've discovered new books that I've fallen in love with because of being a book blogger. It's wonderful!

What are some of the negatives?
Being overwhelmed. I have a hard time saying no. Also feeling as though I need to get through every single book that comes through my door and post a review for it. I'll be the first to admit, I stay up way too late reading and answering emails, because I love it. But sometimes I need to remember to take a step back and enjoy what I really love about blogging and reading.

Name 1-3 favorite items/postings that you have/do on your blog?
- My new Author Interview feature "20 Questions with Turkeybird" we recently interviewed Jon Scieszka and this was quite literally a dream come true. "20 Questions with Jon Scieszka"

- The post where I share a little bit about my son's struggles and why he was already a voracious reader by 18 months old. A Sticky Situation – Using Activity and Sticker Books

- Lastly, the new "Read-to-Me Picture Book Reading Challenge" I started this year. I couldn't find much out there for picture book reading challenges and I wanted to encourage reading in the home with little ones. So, I started one up this year and it's been a huge success!

Any advice you would give to new bloggers?
Breathe. Relax. Enjoy. Stop worrying about getting ARC's, they'll come and then you may change your tune. Get to know more book bloggers. Be involved and enjoy the activities that are put together. There's a lot of fun to be had and it will not only take you to new friends you never knew you could have, but it will also bring people back to you.

What draws you to follow someone's blog?
Someone who interacts with me on a fairly regular basis and a pretty regular stream of content. I'm absolutely not going to fault someone for taking a few days off, it's a blog not a career for goodness sakes, but at the same time I want something to look forward to when I return to their site. I also quite often need nudging to get out and about by way of a comment here and there on my own site. Leave a comment on my site and you're almost guaranteed a visit from me plus more in the future. :)

Do you have any "pet peeves" that other bloggers do?
I cannot stand auto-play music, period. This will have me close a tab in a browser quicker than anything else. Outside of that, not really. I guess I'm not a huge fan of people who are overly negative or use foul language in their posts, but I don't really see that a whole lot.

Would you please share 5-7 things about the person behind the screen so that we get to know the "real" you!!
I'm the mom to two fun and incredibly energetic reading kiddos which I've nicknamed the Turkeybird and Littlebug.

My hubby and I, before getting married, spent two years apart and wrote only snail mail letters to each other while serving missions for our church.

I'm a classically trained professional flutist.

Currently I have 3 books I'm completing that will be published soon, one Middle Grade and two Young Adult.

And I absolutely love to travel! Which is obvious since I've now lived in nearly a dozen states and have never spent time in any military service nor has my family.

Any other info you would like to share.
I also review at Chick Lit Reviews and am one of the Co-Founders of Armchair BEA!

Thank you so much Cheryl! I'm honored to be featured and so grateful you asked me (even if it took me some time to get it to you)!

Danielle, thank you for being my guest today and sharing "A Bit Of You" with us.  I found that this was truly a treat.  I can't even find the words to express the respect, awe and amazement I have for Danielle after learning so much about her.  Her devotion, talent and energy definitely makes her a SHINING STAR!!! 


Carol said...

Great to find out more about you, Danielle.

I am already a follower of your blog and chicklit reviews. I believe we have very similiar tastes in books.
I also love to share books with my toddler. When my eldest two became independent readers I did miss the snuggle with a book sessions. I have them again for a 3rd time now :)

Cheryl, thanks for another Shining Star.


Anonymous said...

This was very nice and I enjoyed learning more about Danielle. I admire her aim to share books with her own children and others as well. Well done! :-)

The1stdaughter said...

Thank you so much Cheryl, again, for having me and also for such kind words! This was a wonderful opportunity to share more about myself and I really had a blast answering these fun questions! Thank you thank you!

Dizzy: Thank you! Glad to get to know my followers a little bit better. I hope to keep sharing books you love. :o)

Kay: Thank you so much! I definitely do my best and at the least it's wonderful to know my kiddos love it but also nice to know it helps others. Love it!

Unknown said...

This is really cool, usually you only see author interviews! Great idea!:D
And audio music does get annoying, especially if your trying to comment on something and it starts over and over again, because the page is refreshing xD

Make sure to check out my 50 Follower Giveaway!:D

dollycas aka Lori said...

I love Danielle's blog!!! I go there often to get ideas for books for my grandson. I am one of those that doesn't always leave a comment and I am working on getting better at that!!!

Waiting for Jeff to get his butt home, he is off with Steve again and his golf clubs are missing. We have a wedding reception to go to this afternoon and it a little ways away. Yes Cheryl, they seem to be enjoying their Sundays together and except for the plans today I am enjoying their enjoyment because I can watch the Nascar race, read my book and don't have to flip the channels back and forth to see how the Brewers are doing :)

Nise' said...

It is so nice to get to know Danielle. I will be checking out her blog for book ideas for my grandnephews!

Bingo said...

Thank you for introducing me to another delightful blogger in Danielle. I love children's books having been a reading teacher all those years and shall visit her blog right away!

The1stdaughter said...

Lisa, Nise' and Bingo: Thank you so much! I hope you find some fantastic new children's books to love! :o)

Dollycas: Ahhh...thanks hun! You are so sweet! Even your occasional comment lets me know you still love what I do and that means the world. So don't worry about it! We all have crazy busy schedules. ;o)

Unknown said...

this is such a great idea! Thank you so much for finding me and inviting me to come over and look!
Danielle you sound just like me eighteen years ago... I cannot tell you how many books we went through - have you been through all the Little Bear books? they are great!

Gigi Ann said...

Thanks Cheryl, for featuring another Shining Star for me to meet. I will go right over and visit her blogs. I may get some ideas for books for my Granddaughter, who I try to send a book each month. I will also be checking out her Chick/lit blog for myself, I like a chick/lit book now and again.

Danielle, it was nice getting to know you.

Tales of Whimsy said...

That was awesome and that was seriously good advice for new bloggers :D

The1stdaughter said...

Thank you everyone! And thank you so much Cheryl for featuring me! This was fantastic! :o)