This month’s featured book blogger is Rel from Relz Reviewz, the best blog out there for info about upcoming Christian fiction releases! Rel is especially well known for her Character Spotlight series (which I read religiously). I asked Rel a few questions about her blog and reading recommendations.
First of all, tell us a little bit about yourself. What are some of your interests outside of blogging?
Born and bred in Australia, I live in the sporting and shopping capital of Oz, Melbourne and am wife to Mr. Tall Dark & Handsome, mum to 3 beautiful daughters and a lawyer. I love photography and the beach. Having recently moved to a new church and taking some time to adjust, I’m yet to become involved but anticipate getting back into women’s ministry and running a book club again as I did in my last church.
I also write for FamilyFiction’s digital magazines, responsible for the Romance and Historical departments and other feature articles. I enjoy it immensely.
How old is your blog and what made you decide to start it?
I started my blog in late 2006 as a place to store the occasional review I was doing for one of our major Christian bookstores. It was purely for my own purposes and I imagined that my family might read it from time to time! I joined the CFBA (Christian Fiction Blog Alliance), made a few author and publishing contacts and things took off from there.
How does your faith impact how you blog and what you blog about?
My faith certainly impacts what I blog about and hopefully the way I blog. I only review Christian Fiction as I have a heart to share quality fiction that is available from authors who write from a background of faith. I love that we now have so many options in Christian Fiction and am passionate that readers understand there is an amazing depth now and not to dismiss all Christian Fiction as sub par prairie romances, which is such a misconception!
No kidding! What specific qualities do you look for in a novel that would prompt you to give it a positive review?
Bottom line is that I connected in some meaningful way to the story–it made me laugh, cry, smile or it challenged, thrilled or inspired me!
What are some of the best books you’ve reviewed within the last year?
- Ronie Kendig’s Discarded Heroes series – Nightshade, Digitalis, Wolfsbane & Firethorn
- Dale Cramer’s Paradise Valley and The Captive Heart
- Laura Frantz’s The Colonel’s Lady
- Lisa Tawn Bergren’s River of Time series – Waterfall, Cascade & Torrent
- Jenny B Jones’s There You’ll Find Me
- T L Higley’s Pompeii
I could go on!
Pompeii was one of my favorites too! What blogs/bloggers inspire you?
Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of time to read other blogs. That is one of the down sides to having a busy blog of my own. That said, two writers’ blogs that I just adore are Jenny B Jones’s and Laura Frantz’s.
I’d also have to say my fellow INSPY Advisory Board members–they have so much passion for the written word–for the way it can make a difference, challenges how we think, encourages and entertains. Here’s to Amy, Deborah, Hannah, Lydia and Michael.
What are your goals for your blog in the future?
Mmmmm…..continue what I am doing, I think. Showcasing great authors, reviewing books, sharing the book love with my readers and giving them opportunities to learn about new fiction and authors that might appeal to them.
If you were a superhero, what would your power be?
Speed, I think. Whipping through housework, shopping and laundry in under 5 minutes certainly appeals.
Name two famous people, living or dead, you would most like to meet and why.
This question is difficult for me to answer. I really don’t get the appeal of fame in the sense it is often used today although I appreciate there are some amazing people who are famous because of their contribution to society. Even so I’d much rather meet a couple of women who have made a real difference in my life over the past few years but I’m yet to meet in person–Ronie Kendig and Kelli Standish. They may not be famous in the way we usually understand but I’d choose them in a heartbeat over……oh, did someone say Richard Armitage?! Well, then………
If you had to choose three books you think everyone should read, what would they be and why?
- The Bible – can’t do better than the word of God!
- My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok – I read this book in high school and it had a great impact on me and made me think beyond myself.
- Firethorn by Ronie Kendig – because she my friend, I adore her stories, I’d love her books to sell in the millions and you just might recognise a character that has something significantly in common with me
Ack! Too hard to pick an ultimate favourite so I’m picking one of my favs of each thing
Song: Adele’s album 21–can’t choose just one, can I?
It’s literally impossible! I am crazy about her voice!
TV Show: The West Wing
Movie: North & South (BBC miniseries so technically not a movie!)
Comfort Food: Mangoes
Reading Spot: Wherever I am with a book and a spare moment!
Thanks for stopping by, Rel!