New Blog site for Blog tours

Hey happy peeps:

Just wanted to give you an update on some stuff I’m doing.

In light of WordPress taking down some author/reviewer blogs because of links to 3rd party sites, I’ve decided to move all of my “Blog Tour” posts to Blogger. The new site is called Into the Mystic Realms and you can find it here.

The rest of my WordPress blog will remain here where I’ll post my normal stuff, but I didn’t want to risk WP taking down my blog because they thought something might be violating their Terms of Service.

I hope you guys stop by there and follow my Blog Tour and Cover Reveal site.  It’s still a work in progress but I like the way it’s looking so far.  Would love for you to stop by and visit.

Beware: targeting authors and reviewers

So, has targeted one of my favorite bloggers and book reviewers.  I tried to access her blog two days ago to read about a book she reviewed and I got the following message:

[name of blog] is no longer available.

This blog has been archived or suspended for a violation of our Terms of Service.
For more information and to contact us please read this support document.

Upon looking at’s Terms of Service, I noted they had highlighted one clause:

the Content is not spam, is not machine- or randomly-generated, and does not contain unethical or unwanted commercial content designed to drive traffic to third party sites or boost the search engine rankings of third party sites, or to further unlawful acts (such as phishing) or mislead recipients as to the source of the material (such as spoofing);

Why is this clause potentially problematic to authors, publishers and reviewers?

1.  Authors are a huge family. We stick together. We promote each other because we want to see each other succeed.  When one of our author friends has a new book or short-story published, we chat it up. We talk about it. We tell everyone  we know about it and where they can find more info.  Many times there are youtube videos, vlogs, book trailers, in which case, there is invariably a link to a third-party site. even allows for linking to youtube videos; however, it is still a third-party site, and if those with the power at WordPress want, they can stop allowing users from posting these videos that authors rely on.

2.  Authors, especially debuting authors, and many of their publishers (often small, indie houses) rely on blog tours to promote their authors. These tours usually consist of one or more the following:  book reviews, cover reveals, giveaways, etc.  I’d like to focus on the giveaways here, as most of them point to Rafflecopters.  Since doesn’t allow ‘flash’ files on their free blog hosting site, the giveaway appears as a Rafflecopter link in the blog post. The reader clicks the link and is taken to a third-party site.

3.  Most authors have Goodreads and an AuthorCentral page. Most blog posts supporting authors and their works have links to both Goodreads and Author Central pages, thus taking the readers to a third-party website.

4.  Most bloggers promoting an author and/or a book provide links where the reader can connect with the author.  These links usually include social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, etc.), the author’s blog site, the author’s website, and other sites where the reader can find out more about the book and the author.  These are all third-party sites.

5. Authors rely on reviewers to help get the word out about a book. Many readers rely on these reviews and they want quick, easy links to the authors and the books.  If views all of these links to third-party sites as being in violation of their Terms of Service, book reviewers like the one I mentioned above, will soon be targeted and their blogs suspended.  I can only imagine that authors will find themselves in the same position.

6.  SEO-driven blogs will falter without links to third-party websites. Good blogs loaded with information will almost always have links to third-party websites because that is where the blogger got his/her information to begin with.  They need to link to that site so it is not claimed as their own information., if you’re listening and reading, please take note: your blog hosting site is a HUGE hub for authors, reviewers, publishers, etc.  These blogs not only give personal insight into what the person liked or didn’t like, but they also turn the entire populace in the world onto some works they may have never heard of.  That is the purpose of a blog. To enlighten. To share. To be a part of a global community. Artists need these blogs, they need these websites to let the world know about them. The links provided to the reader enlighten, and connect individuals in a way that is personable and fun. Yes, it drives traffic to other sites, but that’s inevitable. Artists need traffic. They need word of mouth. They need to connect on a personal level with their readers/followers. If you decide that all authors/reviewers/publishers who promote the artists are guilty of violating your Terms of Service clause because there are links to third-party websites, then I’m afraid you might lose a huge number of bloggers. I know I would be one of the first to go.

I will definitely keep my eye on my fellow blogger/reviewer’s site to see what happens.  She has sent several e-mails to contesting the suspension of her book review blog.  I will keep you posted on what happens. If, indeed, they suspended her book review blog because of this ridiculous 3rd-party clause, then I will slowly move my blog to another site (maybe my own website or Blogger), and say good-bye to WordPress. I hope that doesn’t happen.

Then again, I might switch anyway. Blogger has some really cool templates. 🙂

Where, oh where have my Zemanta posts gone, oh, where, oh where can they be?

I lost my Zemanta pet, you know the one that lets you attach ‘Recent Articles’ at the bottom of your WordPress blog?

Yes, in January, WordPress did away with Zemanta and now have their own “Recent Articles” feature which only lists past posts from your own blog that might be similar to the one you’re currently writing.  I think this was a big mistake.

For those of you who don’t know, Zemanta is a third-party ultimate blogging assistant and it provided WordPress bloggers fantastic tools to automatically discover related articles to their blogs, in-text links and pictures.  I can’t begin to express how much more efficient blogging became for me and how much easier my life was to find related content.  It also sent my visitors to other blog sites around the globe, increasing other bloggers’ ‘hits’.  What a fantastic idea, right?  I mean, isn’t that what blogging is all about?

I don’t know what happened between WordPress and Zemanta, and honestly, I don’t really care.  All I know is I wanted Zemanta back because I liked the idea of linking other blogs that my readers might be interested in reading.

After scouring the WordPress forums and asking a few questions of my own, I discovered WordPress bloggers can actually bring Zemanta back to their blogs.  All they have to do is go to the Zemanta website and download their browser extension.  It’s compatible with Firefox, Internet Explorer, Google Chrome and Safari.

So, if you’re like me and want your Zemanta “Recent Articles” feature back, just go here, click on your download and voila!

Don’t you love it when you find your lost pets and bring them home?

Enhanced by Zemanta

What a beautiful way to start the week

This week, I’ve been nominated for four blog awards by Naphtali.   I am so honored.  She is one of several Christian bloggers I follow and I’m so glad I found her.

The four awards she nominated me for are:

blog of 2012 award


one lovely blog award

shine on blog award

I’m supposed to answer a bunch of questions about me, but I’m going to change it up a bit and ask you to respond to the following questions because I’d much rather learn about you.  I won’t make it too difficult.  Please feel free to answer any and/or all questions and elaborate as much as you want.

1.  Have you ever eaten a bug?

2.  Have you ever been bitten by a horse?

3.  Have you ever ridden an elephant/camel?

4.  Have you ever made a wish upon a star and it came true?

5.  Shoes or barefeet?

6.  How old were you when you got/gave your first kiss?

7.  Your favorite sound in the world?

8.  Your favorite smell?

9.  paper books or e-books?

10.  Happiest moment of your life?

I am passing on the awards to the following people:

WordPress Family Award:

Be Not Afeard


Blog of 2012 Award:



One Lovely Blog Award:

Dianne Gray

Dibbler Dabbler

Jamie Ayres

Shine on Blog Award:

C.B. Wentworth

Fabulous Realms

Kourtney Heinz