Review Policy

9/17/2020: I am closed to review requests at this time, but will reopen for ARC requests only soon. Check out my Submit page if you’re interested in submitting a guest post or excerpt. Thank you. – Kat

I enjoy reading and writing book reviews, but with so many reviewers out there, I am under no illusions that you’d like me to read and review your book. However, anything is possible. With that in mind, here are my guidelines for what I will and won’t read and how I rate books.

I do my best to offer balanced reviews that are as objective as possible as I don’t believe in discouraging readers from picking up any book. That said, I will be clear about what I enjoyed and what I didn’t like.

I actively read and review self-published books.

Genres Accepted: Fantasy, soft science fiction, cozy mystery, thriller, chick lit, women’s fiction, general fiction

Genres Not Accepted: Nonfiction, YA, horror, hard science fiction, romance, erotica, children’s books, middle grade books

Preference: I prefer character driven books, but will on occasion enjoy a more plot driven story

Will Not Review Books That Contain: explicit and gratuitous sex/excessive sex scenes; excessive violence and blood (warfare based books, battles followed by more battles, graphic wars/battles, graphic gore, excessive blood, etc. I appreciate it may be necessary to the story, but, in that case, I am not the right reviewer for you); horror elements (for reference, the Goosebumps books scare me); vampires; excessive cursing; rape; abuse; torture; short stories or short story collections; anthologies

Areas of Focus: Characters, setting, and plot

Time Frame: With the pandemic ongoing and distance learning with a First Grader, I can no longer guarantee a set time frame, but, as I will sadly have to be more selective about which books I accept, I am filling up my review schedule through the end of the year. At the moment, I am full through November and am now scheduling for December.

File Types Accepted: MOBI, PDF

Reviews Posted To: The Lily Cafe blog, Amazon, Goodreads, Instagram, LibraryThing, The Storygraph, BookBub

Please note I will not respond to requests where it is apparent to me that this policy has not been perused. I’m sorry, but I’m a very busy mother who does this in what little spare time she has!

To get an idea of the type of reviews I write, please feel free to explore my Reviews page. For a better idea of what I do and don’t enjoy, you’re welcome to take a look at my Life Between the Pages.

Rating System

Every book I read automatically starts at 3 cups of tea. I believe every book is perfectly average before I even open it up. My rating will move up to a 4 if one of two elements (plot, character, setting) impress me or to a 5 if I’m blown away in every element. If I’m not particularly impressed, my rating remains at a 3. It will move down to a 2 if I struggle to read the entire book, and to a 1 if I abandon it (which doesn’t usually happen).

That said, the following system remains in place.

5 cups of tea: The book was as close to perfection as humanly possible and I couldn’t put it down. The story, characters, and writing were excellent and I had no complaints.

4 cups of tea: This was a really good book, but not perfect. The story was engaging, but I was still able to disengage and take time away from it. There were one or two things I wasn’t a fan of, which should be clear from the review.

3 cups of tea: This book was good, but more of a run of the mill kind of story, meaning it was interesting, but not really unique. The characters or story were interesting and the writing was adequate. A 3 cups of tea book has a few things I liked and about an equal number of things I didn’t like.

2 cups of tea: This book was okay, but the story failed to hold my attention. Despite that, I managed to finish the book. The characters/story were not engaging. The writing was poor, and the book as a whole lacked proper editing. There was more I disliked than I liked.

1 cup of tea: Unfortunately, I did not like the book. It was not engaging and/or enjoyable to read. It read like a first draft with poor writing and editing, inconsistencies, poorly drawn characters, and a poor or hard to follow plot and I could not finish it.

I cannot guarantee that I will not rate any book less than a 3. I usually know within the first quarter of the book whether it is something I will enjoy, so, if you prefer only favorable reviews, I will notify you if I am not enjoying the book approximately 25% of the way through and will cease to read it.

Would you like me to review your book? Let me know!

Have a book that doesn’t meet my criteria for a review? Please take a look at my Submit page to see what I can still offer you. I love stories and want to do what I can to support them and you.

Thank you so much for reading!

Most Sincerely, Kat

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