Meet the Reviewers: Amber Perry

I’m honored to feature Amber Perry. I recently discovered her blog, the Historical Christian Romance Review, and am impressed by her reviews, her support of historical romance authors, and her appreciation of the faith element in the books she reads.

Amber earned a BA in Liberal Arts from Portland State University. She’s a performer and voice teacher. She and her busy family live in Washington State.

Amber describes herself as a “happy-go-lucky homemaker with a passion for historical Christian romance.” If she’s not feeding her baby or coloring with her three-year-old, she’s reading. Her biggest concern each day is making sure everything she does is for the glory of God. She loves the Lord and is grateful to be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The thing she loves most about the inspirational historical romances she reads is that they help her draw closer to the Lord.

I asked Amber three questions about her reading and review process. After that, you’re in for a treat, because you get to learn three fun things about the woman behind the reviews.

Reading and Reviewing

What led you to start reviewing books on your blog? When did you post your first review? What can your visitors expect in the future?

As you will notice from my site, I just started blogging a few months ago! I discovered this genre of books last year, and from then on I could not get enough! I kept talking about the books I was reading to my friends and family—how I felt about the stories, the author’s styles of writing, etc. They enthusiastically encouraged me to blog. I’m not sure if their motivation in suggesting it was so I would stop bugging them, (teehee!) but either way I am glad I started!

I know I have only a small number of titles reviewed right now, (considering that there are MANY historical Christian romances out there!) but believe me I will be reviewing books as long as the authors keep writing! I like to do at least one or two reviews a week, which is about all I can manage with my other “mommy chores,” as I like to call them. It’s a personal goal of mine to read every HCR (historical Christian romance) out there, so I hope that my blog will grow over time and that people really enjoy it!

I will be starting an “author of the month” section on my blog next month, which will include a book give-away. Those who “follow” my blog will be instantly entered to win!  Yay! Keli will be the featured author in October, so be sure to check back then!  It’s gonna be fun!

If there’s an aspect of a story you don’t care for, you address it head-on but with thoughtfulness. How do you balance a reader’s desire for an honest review with your heart for the author of the work?

I have so much respect for authors!  It takes a great deal of hard work, sweat and tears to get something published, so I have a hard time being too critical of someone’s work. Also, I think that a lot of what I feel as a reviewer/reader is personal preference.

I try to focus on what I enjoyed and just touch briefly on the things that didn’t appeal to me, etc. I feel like it’s also important that my readers get a clear idea of when they can expect from the book, but I always want to be respectful of the authors.

When and where do you do most of your reading?

I do most of my reading when my kids are sleeping!  It’s really the only quiet time I have, so I make the most of it. When my kids take their naps, I like to pop onto my stationary bike and workout while I read…it helps to make the workout less tedious! Teehee Or, after I have done all my “mommy chores” and everyone is sleeping soundly, I like to get “snuggly” in my reading corner and read until I can’t keep my eyes open any more!

Three Fun Facts About Amber

Since you love historical romance, I have a hunch you’re interested in history. What three historical sites have you most enjoyed visiting?

Ooooo! Fun question!!! I do LOVE history, that’s for sure. Many years ago I visited Gettysburg and it was life-changing for me. It’s so humbling to think of what those people suffered and ultimately sacrificed for our country! I hope to go back some day.

Another one of my favorite historical places is Williamsburg, VA! Man, oh man, oh man! I felt like I had died and gone to Colonial heaven! It was like I had stepped back in time—I would go there again every year if I could!

I can never read too many cowboy stories! While I lived in Oklahoma City, I enjoyed the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum (not really a historic site, I know, but I had to mention it! Hope that’s OK!) It was SO much fun for me, and I think that’s where I really started to work-up a “hankerin’” for all things Western!

Since you say on your blog that you dreamed of being a homemaker, I’m guessing you love to cook. Am I right? If so, what are your signature dishes? If not, which take out food could your husband bring home that would make you the happiest?

Heeheehee! Well, yes, I have always wanted to be a homemaker and I love my job like none other! But, one of the areas I have less natural ability, (eh-hem) is in the kitchen. I am getting better though, and my hubby is a very good cook, so I like to learn from him. But if he were going to pick something up for us it would be Thai food! Yum!

Since you’re a young mom, I’m sure you’ve watched your fair share of children’s movies. Which Disney princess is your favorite, and which Disney villain do you most like disliking?

Wow, it’s like you have visited our house or something! With two little girls you know we watch our share of Disney! I think my favorite is Rapunzel. I love her sweetness, her tenacity, and her strength. My favorite villain? Oh boy, I think I would have to say Lady Tremaine from Cinderella. She is pure evil!

Amber’s Question for You

So readers, I am curious what it is that you look for in a review? Also, do you think that it’s important for my “site” to be on FB and Twitter too, because currently it’s not? Let me know your feelings!

• • •

To get in touch with Amber, email her at historicalchristianreview (at) gmail.com.

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About Keli Gwyn

I'm an award-winning author of inspirational historical romance smitten with the Victorian Era. I'm currently writing for Harlequin's Love Inspired Historical line of wholesome, faith-filled romances. My debut novel, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California, was released July 1, 2012. I'm represented by Rachelle Gardner of Book & Such Literary. I live in a Gold Rush-era town at the foot of the majestic Sierras. My favorite places to visit are my fictional worlds, other Gold Country towns and historical museums. When I'm not writing I enjoy taking walks, working out at Curves™ and reading.
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14 Responses to Meet the Reviewers: Amber Perry

  1. Thank you Keli for introducing us to Amber who is obviously a determined and very serious young woman. Amber, to answer your question, I look for a bit of honesty, salted with a pinch of kindness in a book review. Each writer puts their hearts and souls into their work, no matter the genre and each of them are also in a delicate state when putting their “children” out there for scrutiny. Of course, there will be “bad” reviews … but we all hope they will be done with respect.

    While many writers and bloggers have facebook pages, whether to collect “friends” or “likes” … it is not a mandatory social network for many. For instance, I love that Keli has a Facebook page that brings me news of her pending book launch and allows so many of us to celebrate with her in a different venue.

    Twitter seems to be held as the social networking giant … say is in as few words as possible to gain the greatest impact, find likened readers and get a different slant on industry news. The trio for most of us is: the blog, Facebook and Twitter. How to find the time to have them work effectively is the trick. Good luck with that :)

    • Amber Perry says:

      Hi! I really appreciate your suggestions and words of encouragement! I will be getting on FB sometime this week…guess it’s the thing to do! :) Thank you again and have a great night!

  2. It’s so nice to learn more about you, Amber! I too just discovered your blog and it’s charming. I’m a stay at home mom with a little brood, so I can relate to your answers in so many ways! In thinking about facebook and twitter, I think its a good idea. I noticed for my blog, that a lot of my family and friends don’t feel as comfortable leaving a comment, or having a blogger account to follow, but they are always eager to hear about the latest posts and book news on facebook and even share it with their friends and family. I’m looking forward to reading more of your reviews and I’m so glad you love Christian historical romance :) I do too! Take care!

    • Amber Perry says:

      Joanne! Thank you for your comments! I think from what I’m gathering in other comments like yours that I better get on FB. LOL I appreciate your suggestions! I’m very happy you like my blog–visit again when you can!

  3. Hello, Amber! I’m also new to blogging and having so much fun getting my feet wet in this great big ocean of blogs. I stay at home full time (I have four little ones – the youngest are twin boys who just turned two) and it was my dream since I was three years old to be a mommy and a homemaker. My mom said that from early on I ran around the house with a ball under my shirt because I was pretending to be “pregnant”. :) I also love history and was blessed to work at a historic site for ten years – next to being home with my kiddos, working there was my favorite job in the world! I went to Gettysburg five years ago and it was mind boggling. I’m excited to check out your blog!

    In a review I love a quick synopsis of the story and then the author’s honest take on it. I usually look to see other books they’ve reviewed (that I’ve read) to get a feel for their perspective and taste. If it’s similar to mine, I will take their review as a pretty good indication on how I’ll feel about a book.

    • Amber Perry says:

      Gabrielle! Congrats on your little ones! Being a mommy is the best! I hope you like my blog, and will continue to check it out when you can. I appreciate knowing what you want in a review, its very helpful! Have a great night!

  4. Beth K. Vogt says:

    Hello, Amber! Welcome to the world of reviewers.
    As an author, I respect reviewers — although I don’t go around reading reviews of my book.
    And yes, I think you need to be on Twitter (at least). That’s how I found out there was a USAToday review of my debut novel — and then others linked to it. You’ll increase your readership that when as others RT your blog post! Plus, if you’re doing a giveaway of any sort, it’s a great way to publicize it.

    • Amber Perry says:

      Wow, those are great suggestions, thank you so much!! Guess I better get on that bandwagon for sure!

  5. jeanniecampbell says:

    nice to meet you amber. lovely photo!

    i suppose that you should jump on the FB and twitter bandwagon…it’s the way things work. best of luck to you as you adventure forward with online marketing!

    • Amber Perry says:

      Thank you so much for the suggestion! I think I better get going with FB! Thanks again!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Hi! Keli, thank you so much for featuring my blog!! It has been wonderful getting to know you! If we lived near each other I would love to have lunch with you! :) Thank you again so much! I can’t wait for your book!!! God bless you and have a great evening! :)

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Amber, I’m honored to have you as my guest and have enjoyed getting to know more about you and your blog. Once you get on FB, you’ll have to share the link so we can find you there.

  7. Anne Payne says:

    Hi Amber, Nice to meet a new reviewer and book enthusiast! I went to your blog and love the background :) So peaceful and easy on the eyes. Also enjoyed your review of Tamera’s book The Inheritance because you personalized it, and for me that makes a difference.

    You’ll probably want a separate FB page for your blog if you don’t want to incorporate into your personal page. I did that and wish I had started a separate FB for my book review blog.

    • Amber Perry says:

      Hi Anne! I am very happy that you liked my blog template. :) I had fun picking it out. teehee :) I will definitely be doing a separate FB page. Everyone seems to think that’s the thing to do. What is your book review site? Thanks again for the words of encouragement!

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