Saturday, August 8, 2009

Saturday Spotlight: Bookjourney

I'm trying to keep things interesting, so here's some different colors. Woot! I love the huge differences between each blogger I've interviewed so far! I'm having tons of fun and I'm hoping all of my followers/readers are finding some amazing blogs to follow.

And here we go!

Name: Sheila DeChantal
Nickname and/or blog name: "Bookjourney" One Persons Journey Through a World of Books
Blog URL:

Tell me a bit about yourself.
I am an adventure-loving 42-year-old. I am mom to two great boys ages 19 and 21 and married to the Super hero (non fiction!) of my life, Al. I am the founder of the Bookies Book Club in Brainerd Minnesota that started in August of 2001 and now, on our 8th year has grown to 18 women! This October we are having a "Come as your favorite fiction Character party"... this idea comes out of the book The Wednesday Sisters by Meg Waite Clayton, which our book club is currently reading. We have done our Queen Event the past three years now and that idea came from the book Same Sweet Girls by Cassandra King.

I love trying new things and enjoy long distance biking (this fall I will do a 175 mile, 2 day bike ride with my cousin and his wife), rollerblading, dancing, mission work in Honduras, and planning fun events. I am leading a work team this November 2009 to Honduras (my 6th time going), where we will work with kids who live in the Dump in the main city of Tegucigalpa).

When and why did you start your blog?
I originally started blogging on a different blog called Straight on Through. I have always had a passion to write and blogging seemed to fill that need. After around a year of blogging about everything and nothing, I decided to start a second blog to journal about what I was reading. I had kept paper journals for years on everything I read and found blogging to be a cleaner way to keep records.

It wasn't until this last June of 2009 that I received a random comment on my blog (which was rare as I did nothing to promote it) and they happened to be a member of Book Blogs. I had no idea what book blogs was so I clicked on it and well.... the rest is really history! Once I discovered there were others like me (seriously, I was so sheltered I thought I was the only one that recorded what they read in blog format!), I went full steam ahead.

Since June I have spent many hours learning what I can from other book bloggers. My blog looks nothing like what it did 7 weeks ago. The book blogging community had been wonderfully helpful in answering my questions and welcoming me. I feel like I have friends out there who have the same love for books as I do!

What is your blog all about? Any cool features you want to share?
My blog includes book reviews, author interviews, book related topics and a few memes. I have one meme that I created, Morning Meanderings and that is when I promote a great review on someone else's blog. It is fun to recognize them, I get to read about a great book, and hopefully drive a little traffic their way.
I am also still working on one that will be Bookies recommended and that will be book club reads that my book club has highly approved of.

Do you have a review system? If you do, would you like to explain it for us?
You know, I think I am still in the planning stages for that one. I don't rate books like a number. I have, however, started rating them with a rating like G, PG, PG13, or R.... I just like to make sure people know what they are getting into before they invest in a book that may or may not be a fit for them.

I am trying to work out a system where each book I review will start with a personal comment from me (hopefully something witty!). You will see my attempts on this in my more recent reviews. I try to tell what the book is about according to the back of the book, and then my thoughts on the book.
If I can jazz it up with some author comments, pictures and links - all the better!

Any tips or advice for those starting or thinking about starting a blog?
If you have a passion to write - just get started! There are so many free and easy formats to work with. I am no computer genius and I am amazed sometimes at what I have learned! I have had people ask me before how to review a book and my advice is to look at other bloggers and see what you like about how they review - and I think most importantly be honest and give your review some heart. Anyone can read a publisher's take on a book, but I think us book bloggers have something that readers want - they want to know how a book makes you feel. Keep it real.

What are some of your favorite genres and/or books currently?
I like most genres and hate to rule any genre out because, when I am about to, I find a really decent one that I like. I like a good mystery, Christian fiction, and lately I have really had a love for Historical Fiction. I love books with strong female characters, yet I hesitate to say chick lit, because I dont think that is the correct category. I am referring to books like Wednesday Sisters (Meg Waite Clayton), Summerhouse (Jude Deveroux), and Same Sweet Girls (Cassandra King).

Some cultural awareness books I've enjoyed lately include Jantsen's Gift, Dradon House (John Shor), Three Cups of Tea, The Book Thief, and Sarah's Key. Really, as I stare at my book cases here, I am all over the board. My favorite reads year to date are Dragon House by Jon Shor, Wednesday Sisters by Meg Waite Clayton, and Pope Joan by Donna Woolfolk Cross.

Contest Alert!
Sheila runs a fun feature on Fridays called Freebie Friday. Currently she is giving away a copy of The Constant Princess. Check it out here.

Thanks to Sheila for volunteering to be featured on my blog! Take a gander at her blog please!

Are you a new blogger too? Or just getting back into the swing of blogging? Do you want to be featured on my blog? Shoot me an email at

The Neverending Shelf is doing a similar type of spiel over at her website. So check it out to find out about a different blogger!

Also, The Story Siren had her first Fresh Face Friday this week, in which she briefly introduced a few new bloggers as well.

Tune in tomorrow for another Spotlight! :)


  1. I'm so glad you spotlighted Sheila's blog (I follow on my reader). I knew we had the same taste in books but I didn't realize how much more we had in common (we're even the same age) :D

  2. I've been to her blog once or twice before...

  3. But now she's got herself a regular reader:P

  4. She just got herself another reader. We seem to have the same taste and I like the pics she uses in her posts! They are so funny.

  5. So glad that you interviewed Sheila! I love her blog, and she's one of the nicest bloggers I've met. Her blog is set up so professionally that I was surprised when I found out she hasn't been doing it all that long. Go Sheila! :)

  6. That's one very nice blog! Keep it up!

  7. Just visited her site and it's a nice blog. I like how everything is easy to find.

  8. I'm enjoying these features becuase I like finding new blogs to follow. Keep it up!

  9. Sheila has a very cool blog! This is a really awesome feature.

  10. Great feature!!

    Book bloggers are so welcoming! ;)

  11. This is so great - thank you! It turned out wonderful! :)

    Now I am going to visit each of these sweet people who commented here.

  12. I have a message for you on my blog. :)

  13. Sheila, you have some pretty amazing hobbies! And a whole lot of energy! Very cool interview!

  14. You rock for getting the word out about new bloggers!
    I'm on my way to check ot BookJourney!

  15. oh book blogs(at ning) you just bring so many people together! Happy to meet you Sheila!!

  16. I like the idea of giving books a rating similar to movie ratings. I'm only a few weeks into blogging and think I get new ideas everyday!

  17. I love the idea behind Sheila's blog, a journey through books, because books really do take you on a journey. Definately gotta like a blogger whose into historical fiction!

  18. I hadn't heard of the blog before, but I'll definitely check it out! Thanks for spotlighting it

  19. I haven't heard of this blog before but I'm following it now. Thanks for picking it for your spotlight.

  20. Cool interview. Your spotlights are made of awesome.

  21. That blog is very nice! I really liked the interview!

  22. April I totally agree!
    Even though I'm not really into that kind of book I can surely appreciat e=)

  23. The blog is awesome and so is the idea of spotlighting them. Thanks for introducing me to such great blogs Kristen. =]


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