Welcome to my BOOKSTAGRAMMER SPOTLIGHT, where I show some love to our fellow Bloggers, Bookstagrammers and common Romance Readers. I started this because while there might be a lot of us out there, each of us is different and unique in not just reading, photography, books…everything! A fun way to show some love & learn a little more about the romance community members!! Today’s feature is an dual account that does everything PERFECT! The posts, pictures and so forth, really enjoy their posts along with the fact that Sam is the sweetest person! ENJOY!
Name: Mindy & Sam
About yourself: Hi, my name is Melinda (some people call me Mindy) and I’m the introvert of this duo. I like people most of the time, I swear! I’m just awkward so dealing with tons of people, especially if they’re new to me, isn’t always my idea of a good time. I met Sam after our daughters become close friends a few years ago. My daughter kept asking me to set up a playdate with this other girl and I kept putting it off (because I don’t people well) but I finally gave in. It didn’t take long for me to figure out that I LOVE Sam! She’s my extroverted other half, she gets me to do all the people-y things that I’d NEVER do on my own. Go to my very first book convention by myself? NO THANK YOU. She was my nurse mom while I muddled through nursing school and I couldn’t have graduated this May without all of her pep talks. Of course we both love Mean Girls and quote it on the regular. I also love going to the movies, so my husband and I take the kids to the theater as often as we can. I am soooo not an interesting person. I am basically a house cat. I don’t want to go outside, I’ve never been good at sports, BUT I can curl up on the couch with a blanket and a book with the best of them.
About yourself: Sam- As above I am in the extrovert of this ying yang twins team. How dang sweet is what she wrote about me. So yes she shoved this 44 chapters book at me and I lugged it around on the beach in Waikiki before I discovered she had given me a SIGNED copy SIGNED TO HER!! Oh lord. SO I read it finally and fell off my couch laughing and then we went to our first signing. We were clueless we didn’t bring a tote or talk about how much money we should spend but it was the best day ever! It was AWESOME! We met BB and saw KEN! Met Teagan Hunter who is the most precious thing ever! Jessica Florence who I love! It was def a these are our people moment. I stated talking about bookstagramming I think on the way home. I’ve been a nurse for 16 years. Ive been married to my black rain cloud who balances my overly optimistic sunshine sam stuff for 13 years. We have an almost 18 year old son, and a daughter Bella who is 10. They are both spitting images of me and it is weird. I also mom anyone I can all the time. I can’t help it I try not to but it doesn’t work. Just let me love you and take care of you, it’ll be so much easier on you.
Logo name? Cool Moms Who Read
How/Why did you come up with it? We are fluent in Mean Girls quotes and throw them around like they’re confetti. We went through a options for our name but Cool Moms is really the one that stuck. I think I prob say the words you know not a regular mom like a cool mom at least 10 times a week, trying to convince myself I am still relevant!
When did you start Bookstagramming? What was the first thing you did? I have been a huge fan of the romance community for a few years now. I found BB Easton through Colleen Hoover’s Instagram and three pages into 44 Chapters About 4 Men I thought, “Oh, I really like this girl.” This was just before she released Skin, the first book in her spinoff series. I joined her Facebook group immediately and fell in love with the romance community. I needed so badly to share my book love with someone and after months of telling Sam to read BB’s books, she FINALLY read 44 Chapters and had the same reaction. Then we both needed a way to talk about our book obsessions with people and Sam said, “Hey, we should do this! We can totally do this!” I’m pretty sure our first post was even about 44 Chapters and how it made us book besties. The first thing I did was spend 3 months talking her into this HAHAHAHAHH! Our first post is about BB and how that’s what led us to branch out to this ahhhmazing bookstagram community.
Why did you start what you started? Influence? We had this thing that we both loved so much and it was a huge part of our lives and I think we just needed a place to talk about it. I remember reading one book that will always be in my top five and thinking, “Why isn’t this book everywhere? How have people never heard of this?” It’s so cool to live in a time where it’s so easy to spread the word about the things you’re into. I think that I have known since I was a kid that other people didn’t read like me. It didn’t mean the same thing to them. So I never really had people to nerd club with until my hubs found reading and then Mindy. Like whoa we’re part of the cool crowd here. They get it! These folks are nice and understand what books mean to me!
Did you have any help at the beginning or winged it? I Googled a lot, honestly. We totally winged it. I mean, who starts something like this in their last semester of college when they have no free time? This is why Sam has described me as, “Part-time here, full-time awesome.” It’s good that there are two of us because Sam is great at some of the things I just can’t do. We pinterested A LOT. Theres so much info out there about themes and different photo techniques. I think we are too eclectic to them our page out. I want to be spontaneous with it I want you to know us and be able to say silly inappropriate stuff. I need to get Mindy posting more reviews bc she is soooo good at that. She writes just great stuff. I on the other hand am pieceing together pictures of things I liked from the books to make teasers and trying to work on flat lays. I’m the crafter of pair for sure.
What is your favorite part you would say and why? I have found books that changed my life. They’ll stay with me forever and I met them through other people in the Bookstagram community. I love meeting new people who love books the way we do! I love that authors are so accessible and want to chat with you too! I love being able to message Nicole Rodrigues and tell her how awesome the sex scene she wrote is and have a chat about it! Gabrielle G and I talk on IG, text, fb, and the snap of chat.
What platforms do you use (for things like posts on any of the social media’s? Or at least your favorite ones? I just do what Sam tells me to do *shrugs shoulders* She’s crazy!
What social media’s are you on? And do you have a favorite? We are currently just on Instagram. I just graduated and started a new job, so we both work full time now and have families. I’m not sure I’d be able to be manage more than one platform right now. And that’s even with Sam doing way more than I have been since nursing school was all consuming. I don’t know that I want to be bigger than IG I’m not sure you can stay genuine in your nonsense if you are on 8 diff platforms. It’s too much like work. But who knows what the future holds.
Do you have any tips and tricks about blogging? Don’t overthink it. I’m soooo good at this and if I were doing this by myself, I’d still be planning my first post. Do what you like. If you love flat lays do it! Do it the way you like not the way Emily reads or naardsbooks does it.
Have you had any bad/negative experiences on Bookstagram? The dudes we get in our DMs. I don’t even read the messages, I just block them all. Mindy has turned into the DM police! She doesn’t put up with that trash!
Do you have any goals that you haven’t yet been able to get to, concerning your account? Not really a specific goal, but I will find a gorgeous teaser someone made and think, “How do they do this?” I’d love to get better at the aesthetic aspect. I hadn’t really thought about it in specific goals because it’s been a whirl wind like —what? People actually like what we post? WHAT Staci Hart shared my red lipstick selfie(almost died) Meghan Oquinn watches my crazy stories what in the world is happening!!
What are some highlights or special moments that have happened, concerning your book blogging career? Before we ever started Cool Moms, I sent BB Easton a song that I felt fit one of her characters perfectly. It’s like I could close my eyes and SEE the book playing out every time the song played. BB actually added the song to her Spotify playlist for the book. That will always be a highlight for me. **The book was Skin and the song was “You’re Mine” by Phantogram, if you guys would like to add that however you’d like** We recently had an author we both adore send us an image and ask what we thought of it. That was crazy to me that this woman we both love so much actually thought of us and wanted our input on something. That was an awesome moment the other night! Im still fangirling over it! It always really tickles me when I make a teaser of a picture and the author flips out over it! Charity Ferrell, Nicole Rodrigues, and Gabrielle G are always so sweet when I make them something,.
Do you think Bookstagram is an effective platform to express your opinion on books? I think it’s a great platform. There are a few changes I’d love to see. The way links work (or don’t work) drives me nuts. I would LOVE to be able to use my computer more.
What do you use camera vise when taking book photography? Whatever model iPhone I have. But I hardly ever make images. Sam is really good at them and I’ve learned some authors provide some images and teasers for the people promoting the book. I really like the paid for version of word swag. And pic seed. I use those 2 the most of anything to edit and mix pics.
Do you use your own props? Is there a fun or MAGICAL way you set it all up? (loc, props…) Sam I have alittle basket full of picture props and things I like to use when taking photos=. Def something I want to develop more in the next few months.
Do you have advice for new bookstagrammers on how to start, be, and do? Getting started is the hardest part. Make sure you give credit to anyone involved. Have fun with it!
Do you have any favorite Instagram accounts that you follow for books, inspiration, ideas…? @Tiffany.the.Bibliophile makes the absolute best graphics and any time I’m having a hard time finding a new book to read I find something she’s mentioned, and she’s never let me down. Omg there are so many awesome accounts out there. Its nuts!
LET’S TALK ABOUT BOOKS!
Tell us, do you know the exact amount of paperback you own? How about ebooks? (I suggest not to count because I did & I regretted it) I don’t have many paperbacks right now. Our house is old and small and we have limited space. So my paperbacks are usually my top favorites with a few others thrown in. Probably between 15 and 20. **She is such a liar! She has more than that! She bought prob 8 at the book signing! I have lots of books and my hubs had to build bookshelves into the wall in our living room.
Do you prefer paper or kindle? Loooove paper books but college and all the textbooks I carried around forced me to start using a kindle app on my phone. Now I’m so glad I did that because Kindle Unlimited saves me so much money and has led me to some pretty awesome authors.
I was against KU and fought Mindy on it. I know im stubborn toddler evidently. But now I tear it up on KU and the Romance Package.
Do you know your first paperback/ebook? My first special paperbacks were 44 Chapters About 4 Men and Skin by BB Easton. They were my first signed books and they’re my babies.
From my early days Shel Silverstein books, and then my mom bought me my first Daniele Steel The Gift. I think I was a freshman. Then in 2001 I was pregnant with my son and discovered Harry Potter . The n me and hubby having late night book club in bed over Game of thrones books with maps all over our bed.
Do you remember your very first read? First ever? Oh, I have no idea. Reading was always the thing I was best at growing up and I remember getting in trouble for reading during class instead of listening to my teacher.
What is it that draws you to a book? (picture, blurb, author..or all?) It can be any of these. Sometimes it is just the cover that pulls me in. There are definitely some authors that I will read no matter what. Sometimes a blurb will pop up in my Instagram feed and I find it that way.
Do you have a favorite genre you read? And which one? This is so hard to answer! I’ll read anything as long as the story is good. Sometimes I go on a historical nonfiction binge or I’ll read lots of fantasy for months and months. I just like good stories, no matter which genre. BUT I do love romance. I just love reading about love. Same for me
What is your ideal bookboyfriend like? (looks, actions…) I hate the assholes usually. Staci Hart writes the most incredible good men. They’re some of my favorites.
I love the broody broken ones. Staci Hart does writes some really good ones. I love Tricky. We also say because Tricky all the time. I also really love Teagan Hunters text series guys they are just so cute and Shep I wanted to hate and fell in deep. And I think Melanie Harlow writes great boyfriend too. Miles is probably my favorite and my current boy toy is Patrick Odoul of the Brooklyn Bruisers Series. I love him so much!
Do you have a real life bookboyfriend? And if so, care to share a pic of two of him? I have a real life book husband and he’s sexy as hell, but he’d never let me share his picture for all the world to see. We met in December twelve years ago, started dating in February, and got married in July.
He is also one of my favorite real life dads EVER. Mindy’s hub made me 3 different kind sof homemade cookies when I had to have unexpected surgery in March. And my daughter just adores him and that means so much to me that she loves them like her family.
**My real life guy is my total opposite and we met in high school. I remember the first time I met him and I did that whole touch the forearm too long thing! Might have been a glitter cannon fire or time stood still. Or something! But it wasn’t the right time. Few years later with a cute little boy on my hip I marched into where he worked and said what do I need to do to make you break up with your gf. He turned called her and broke it off. I’ve never done anything that ballsy ever!
What is your favorite part about a story? (the beginning get to know each other, the sexy scenes, the middle right before the peak…) It doesn’t have to be a sex scene (although those are preeeetty great) but I love the point where you can feel that little something click between the characters. Who doesn’t love some steamy stuff. I love the moment the broken broody guy realizes hes in love. Swoon!
What book are you currently reading? I’m reading Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor. I started it during school last semester and realized it was something I wanted to put all my focus on because I loved the first book in the series and wanted to savor it. So I stopped reading it at the time and just started over this week so I can soak it all in.
**Im working my way through a couple arcs and enjoying the Brooklyn Bruisers on Romance Package.
Do You have a favorite book quotes from any recent or previously read books you’d like to share? Staci Hart’s Red Lipstick Coalition series will always be a favorite of mine. In it, a group of close friends go together to buy their perfect red lipstick to wear whenever they needed a little extra push to do something that scares them. They have something like an oath that I just freaking adore:
“We do so solemnly swear to use this shiny little tube of power to inspire braveness, boldness, and courage. We promise to jump when it’s scary, to stand tall when we want to hide, to scream our truth instead of whisper our fears. May we be mistresses of our destinies, and to hell with anyone who tries to tell us otherwise.”
I agree with the RLC quote abover. It means a lot to me too. And its totally true red lipstick cn change your life. Makes you brave and sexy.
How long does it take you to read an average book? Usually if it takes me more than three days, I feel like I’m off my game. I can read really quickly and still absorb the story. Last year, I read over 300 books but this past semester was so busy I don’t think I’ll be close to that for this year.
How many reads per week do you think you read on an average? I’m supposed to be studying for my licensing exam, plus studying about my new job. I’m not reading very much right now, but I hope that’ll get better soon. I am currently on my second book this week.
Usually I ready maybe 4-5 a week. Depends on if its cold and yucky out too then def more!
Have you ever considered writing a book? If so, why, how, when and who?! Hehe Nooooooooo. I wouldn’t know where to start, I’d get overwhelmed, and it would never get finished.
I don’t think I am nearly that brave to put my soul out there like that!
Who is your favorite author and why? (you’re welcome for this one *smirk*) Can I list three? BB Easton, Staci Hart, and Mary Elizabeth. I just love their characters. The women are such badasses, even the ones that are a little broken. They each have a writing style that just pulls me in.
JK- Harry’s story hit my heart like nothing in the world ever had. Maybe because I was pregnant and falling in love with someone I had never met and it made my heart hurt for him to not have that.
Staci Hart- if she writes I I want it ASAP! I want to be part of the circle of friends she writes, I want to be wild like Penny. And she is the cutest thing EVER!
Danielle Steel- my very first bad thoughts about book boyfriends.
Now, the real important question -> What is your favorite book & why! Aaahh I can’t do this! Mudvein by Tarryn Fisher and 44 Chapters About 4 Men by BB Easton both changed my life. Depression is something that’s followed me my entire life and Tarryn gave me words that woke me up in a way that’s hard to put into words. 44 Chapters is the most honest, self-deprecating, hilarious look at life as not just a mother but also a teenager. Anyone who ever spent their days as a misguided youth, who felt like they’d lost their Mom of the Year award, or needed to shake up their relationship can identify with this book.
GAHHHHHHH I don’t know how to even answer this! I really think The Song of Ice ad fire series GRRM. I have no idea how many night my hubs laid watching me read and begging me to hurry up. Late night book club was some of the best times ever and the story can go a million ways and so many different conspiracies. Was the first al grown up fantasy I had read and the first time I had really dealt with ohhhh I hate you villainous piece of garbage ohhh now im in love with you and you’re dead.
Do you have any magical words for everyone out there?! Don’t be a dick
We can sooo do this!
STALK THE BOOKSTAGRAMMER