Friday, January 20, 2017


Welcome to our latest blog series, Book Bloggers & Reviewers. Author, Ellie Holmes will be chatting each month to the wonderful industry bloggers who love to read books and do so much to promote our work. Welcome also to Rosie Amber the first in the series. Over to you Ellie.

I am delighted to welcome Rosie Amber to the RNA Blog. Nearly five years ago, Rosie decided to
use her love of reading to help promote authors and their books through her blog.  She is now in the top 1% of Goodreads reviewers and has been a runner up in Sacha Blacks’ Bloggers Bash awards for the last two years. Rosie says one of the best things about her blog is that it has allowed her to meet some lovely people.
Inspired by “A Year of Doing Good” by Judith O’Reilly. Rosie decided to undertake her own challenge of doing one good deed a day for a year. She enjoyed the challenge so much she decided to carry on and wrote about it on her blog. You can check it out by following the link at the bottom of this article.

Welcome Rosie. What made you start to review/blog?
I began blogging nearly five years ago, both my children had reached their teens and it was a way of legitimately entering the huge social media scene to keep up with them and more importantly an eye out without stalking them. I’ve always loved reading so writing reviews for the books I read was an easy step.

How has your blog developed over time?
Rosie Amber
At first my reviews were only one or two sentences. Clearly this wasn’t enough, I studied other book bloggers and soon took a pencil and paper with me when I read and made notes as the book progressed. I was rather shocked when I was first approached to review a book from a “real“person.
My first review copies were read on my computer screen, I didn’t even own a kindle. Next came the kindle, I found out how to upload mobi files. I made a point of learning my craft from the bottom up, researching and teaching myself. I had a friend show me the basics of Facebook and Twitter, I’d have a lesson from her and then she’d send me off to experiment. My first blog was on Tumbler but the platform didn’t work for me and I made the switch to Wordpress.
To develop the blog I offered a book review and then an author promotional piece on the next day. I ran my own themed book tours – “Romancing September” was popular, I co-hosted with a blogger in the States giving a double opportunity for promotion each day of the tour. I also took part in the April A-Z challenge, it opened my blog to lots of bloggers from different walks of life.
Soon I had too many books to review of genres I wasn’t always keen on, I created a book reviewing challenge to reach out to get more people writing reviews and I made lots of new friends. On the back of that I created a book review team. We can now offer the possibility of multiple reviews of an author’s book all from one place.

What are your review guidelines?
I read books across a range of genres, both fiction and non-fiction.
I enjoy romance, paranormal, humour, murder mystery, mild thrillers, spiritual, a bit of fantasy, reading about other cultures and places all over the world and YA/NA books.
I don’t read blatant erotica, political or strong religious themed books, nor do I enjoy a book with a lot of violence. I’m afraid poetry isn’t my thing and I can only take a little sci-fi, please no short stories.
I prefer to accept books in paperback, I love their feel, but I’m also happy to work with Mobi files which I download to my Kindle.
Before I accept a book a few lines about it should be sent along with your details, plus a link to where I can find the book. The final decision to review the book, is mine. Upon acceptance I will provide a mailing/e-mail address.

Book review team guidelines:
The book review team gives you access to a wide range of reviews. I have reviewers from around the world who read and review books, posting reviews on several platforms.
Authors should decide how many copies of their book they could donate for a review. Accepted formats are e-formats;  Mobi , e-pub, vouchers for Smashwords or Amazon, Gifted books from Amazon. I then post the book details on my team book list. They will request a book and I will then get you to send them the book direct in their chosen format.
Reviewers have been asked to post a review on a minimum of 2 sites such as their blog, Amazon or Goodreads, etc. Plus they are asked to send me a copy of the review which I will post on this blog.
If a reviewer has taken the time to read and review a book I shall post a copy of the review on my blog. We write as we see a book in our own personal reading experience. If you put a book out in the public domain, expecting only positive 5* reviews from all readers it is unrealistic, the top authors all get a range of star ratings.
Full details here

What do you expect from a writer when they appear on your blog?
The best type of author is one who supports my blog, I do this as a hobby and don’t earn anything from it, an author has the potential to earn money, so repaying mine and my team’s time in kindness is important, social media shares are my “bread and butter”. So this means following the blog posts and sharing them on their own social media, not necessarily every day but as a regular supporter would be lovely.

How important is social media to you and your blogging team?
Social media is huge for us. If we are posting a review of a book we’ll never post under a 3*. An author can get a lot of publicity if they act on the day, posts go out on my blog, Facebook, Google+ and Twitter. As a group the review team are very supportive and most share these on their own social media. One of our favourite hangouts is Twitter and if authors pick up and share all the tweets they’ll get about their book then the message really gets out there. On Tuesdays we use #TuesdayBookBlog for book related blog post tweets and we get it trending nearly every week. Anyone can use it, here are our guidelines.

What are your interests when not blogging?
I live in Hampshire and I’m a farm secretary, I run bookwork and accounts for three farmers. I’m also keen to keep fit and try to walk most days for at least an hour, often longer.

Do you ever read a book purely for enjoyment and not with an intention to review?
I try, but most times, I’ll end up reviewing it too. One of my favourite authors is Louise L Hay, she writes non-fiction self-help books. I’m very interested in alternative health, past lives and the spirit world.

We often ask agents and publishers what they consider to be the next 'big thing' - what do you hope to see in 2017?
A million dollar question! I work with a lot of indies and self-published authors, rather than a next “big thing” guess I’d like to see Amazon iron out the removal of precious real reviews for good small time authors.
Thank you so much for inviting me today.


Ellie Holmes:
Ellie Holmes
Ellie Holmes writes commercial women’s fiction with her heart in the town and her soul in thecountry. Ellie’s debut release was The Flower Seller. A member of the RNA and the Alliance of Independent Authors, Ellie’s latest book The Tregelian Hoard, set in Cornwall, is the first novella in her Jonquil Jones Mystery Series.


Thank you, Rosie and Ellie, for such an interesting blog.

If you would like to write for the RNA blog please contact us on


Unknown said...

I would just like to thank Rosie Amber for being such a lovely guest and giving us such an interesting insight into her world. If you get the chance, do please check out her Good Deeds blog as it is a wonderful read. Ellie x

Rosie Amber said...

Hi Ellie, thank you so much for inviting me to the RNA blog, having book bloggers behind your books really is important in the book marketing place today, so I encourage all your readers to make friends with book bloggers.

June Kearns said...

Rosie's reviews are always varied and interesting. I've discovered so many good reads from her blog. She's a great supporter of new writers, too - indie and traditional. (Thank you, Rosie!)

Rosie Amber said...

Thanks for the support June.

Karen said...

An interesting post, Rosie and Ellie. Thank you for sharing this with us. I've just started interviewing bloggers on my blog too, you all do a fantastic job and we authors appreciate your time and support. I've just followed your blog, Rosie. Look forward to reading your posts. x

Rosie Amber said...

Many Thanks Karen.

Natalie Kleinman said...

Lovely to see a new series on the blog and what an interesting one it promises to be. Thank you, Rosie and Ellie, for a great first post

Rosie Amber said...

Thanks for reading Natalie.

Lizzie Lamb said...

I was lucky enough to meet Rosie Amber through Jean Fullerton about three years ago and she has since become my reviewer of choice. Through Rosie and her team I've reached a wider audience than I would otherwise have. Rosie and her team visited the Belmont Belles back in December and it was great to meet them in real life. Rosie was just as I'd imagined her, only better! She totally gets how hard it is to get word of your books out there and understand better than most the vagaries of the Amazon review system. Good work Rosie and Ellie, keep it up.

juliehoustonauthor said...

This was a great interview. Rosie and her team took on my Christmas novella "Qn Off-Piste Christmas" and their reviews were all exceptionally professional and well executed. Rosie herself is a really lovely person to work with and keeps you up to date with what's happening. When she says she'll do something she does it
and within a time scale. The whole industry could do with a lot more Rosies. Well done both to Ellie and Rosie. x

Rosie Amber said...

Thank you so much Lizzie and Julie, such kind words, lovely to work with both of you and of course to meet Lizzie and so many of the Belmont Belles in December. Writing and producing the very best product you can is key today, and then marketing that book and reaching potential readers is a whole new ball game. There's no one answer to either, but as we enjoy reading on the team it is a pleasure to help where we can.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Great new series - thanks, Ellie, and a lovely first guest! Really interesting to read about your background and obvious pleasure in reading, Rosie.

Rosie Amber said...

Thank you so much Rosemary - I do love my books!

Unknown said...

Just wanted to thank everyone for their kind comments about the new blog series. We couldn't have got off to a better start. Thanks again to Rosie for launching the new series in such style.

Anonymous said...

Hi Rosie, do you review male male romance?

Liam Livings

Rosie Amber said...

Hello Liam, thank you for commenting, this isn't the best place to request a review, please refer to any of the links to my blog in the above article, take a look around my blog and see if any of your books are likely to fit with our reading audience.

Linn B Halton and Lucy Coleman said...

It was so lovely to read this interview and find out more about Rosie and her team. What comes across is that passion we all share, whether we read, or write - and that's something very special!

Rosie Amber said...

Thank you Linn.

Elaine Everest said...

Thank you for agreeing to be the first in our new series, Rosie. It is a pleasure to meet you online. Thank you also to Ellie for a fab interview ss

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