Books are food for my soul! Pull up a beach chair and stick your toes in the sand as the Jersey surf rolls in and out, now open your book and let your imagination take you away.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Sifting Through Mud by Demetria Foster Gray (Author Guest Post / Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Pump Up Your Book Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for Sifting Through Mud by Author Demetria Foster Gray!

Author Guest Post

Why It’s Hard for Authors to Ask Readers for Reviews 
By Demetria Foster Gray 

Before becoming a published author, I never saw the significance of leaving book reviews. I always figured that’s something other people do, not me. I’ve been an avid reader for pretty much all my life, but I’ve never once considered how I could help my favorite authors. Never have I supported their work other than buying their books. Being a supportive reader never even entered my mind. 

There are many ways to support your favorite authors. Writing a book review of their work is one of them. However, most readers tend to buy the book, hopefully read the book, and possibly tell a friend or two about it. It never occurs to them to leave a review on retailer sites like Amazon or Barnes and Noble, or even make mention of it through their social media networks. 

Most readers are unaware they’re missing crucial opportunities to spread the word and affect author awareness on a broader scale. Unaware it’s an opportunity to share their unique perspective, knowledge, and insight of a book, which in turn can affect the buying decisions of so many others. 

But here’s the thing; it’s not the reader’s job to promote our books. Nor do we pay them to be our spokesperson. 

We create books for their reading pleasure, not to hustle them to the masses. This, among other reasons, is why it’s hard for authors to ask for reviews—because we know it’s not your job. Plus, we don’t want to put people on the spot, or create in readers a false sense of obligation to the author. The bottom line is we really only want you to enjoy the read, and we also want everyone else to enjoy the read. Unfortunately, the only way to reach everyone else, is through everyone else. This means advertising, promotion, and word of mouth. This means asking for reviews. 

Now, as an author, I walk the author shoes. I understand the importance of a review and the impact that it serves. It’s not until you walk the shoes that you understand the shoes, and I now understand how difficult it can be to ask for reviews. Yet, in order to promote and create awareness for our work, we have to accept “the asking” as part of the territory. 

Therefore, to all you wonderful readers out there, if you’ve read a book and enjoyed the book, consider supporting your favorite author(s) with a kind and honest book review (and any other form of support). You won’t even begin to imagine how much that author will appreciate your gesture.

About The Author

Demetria Foster Gray is a novelist, freelance writer, and communications consultant. She earned a degree in Marketing Communications and spent the bulk of her career writing for the corporate world. Creating fictional characters and building stories has always been her first love. A native of the Chicago, IL area, Demetria now lives in North Carolina with her husband and two children. Sifting Through Mud is her debut novel. Visit Demetria at


Book Review

Sifting Through Mud by Demetria Foster Gray
Publisher: Independent Self Publishing
Publication Date: August 8, 2014
Format: Paperback - 284 pages
              Kindle - 642 KB
ISBN: 978-1500669331
Genre: Contemporary Women's Fiction

BUY THE BOOK: Sifting Through Mud

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Pump Up Your Book Tours.

Book Description:

The death of Nyla's husband comes as a shock to everyone except Nyla. What’s shocking to Nyla is her inability to grieve his death like a typical loving wife should grieve. But Nyla isn't a typical loving wife. She's a woman in desperate need to breathe. The oxygen in her life has long gone, and the astonishing thing she feels from her husband's death is relief, not grief.

Even more astonishing is the rare and unexpected friendship which develops between Nyla and her dead husband's mistress. However, Nyla isn’t aware her new best friend is a former mistress. And as their friendship deepens into an unshakable bond, Nyla is forced to face secrets her husband took with him to his grave. This means she has to sift through mud to unravel the truth. A truth that’s better off dead.

Yet through it all, the one thing which makes Nyla violently breathless, is the exact same thing that causes her to finally breathe.

My Book Review:

In her debut novel, Sifting Through Mud, author Demetria Foster Gray weaves an emotional story of buried secrets, betrayal, forgiveness, an unexpected friendship, and redemption that will tug at the reader's heartstrings.

When Nyla's husband Nathan dies, she is unable to grieve his loss, instead his death has brought her relief from their troubled marriage. Nyla unknowingly befriends Nathan's pregnant mistress Vivian, and as their connection develops into a friendship, they embark on an emotional journey that will uncover buried secrets that will test their will and strengthen their unexpected bond, and help them move forward with their lives.

Sifting Through Mud is a wonderful story that is told in the alternating first person perspectives of Nyla and Vivian. The author easily draws the reader into Nyla and Vivian's story, you can't help but feel compassion for these women, and the unexpected situation that brought them together through Nathan's deception. As their story unfolds, they weather a storm of trials and tribulations as they work through the betrayal, anger, and grief that is brought upon them from Nathan's death, which ultimately turns into an unlikely bond of friendship that grows out of forgiveness and redemption.

If you are a fan of inspirational contemporary women's fiction, then Sifting Through Mud is a must read!


Contest Giveaway

Win A $25 Amazon Gift Card


1 eBook Copy of Sifting Through Mud

Demetria is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card and 1 Free Ebook copy of Sifting Through Mud!

Terms & Conditions:
• By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
• Two winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Amazon Gift Certificate and 1 ecopy of her book.
• This giveaway begins October 6 and ends on November 1.
• Winners will be contacted via email on Monday, November 3
• Winner has 48 hours to reply. Good luck everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Virtual Book Tour

Tour Schedule:

October 7
Interviewed at Review From Here
Book Featured at Queen of All She Reads

October 9
Book Featured at PUYB Virtual Book Club

October 13
Book Reviewed at Hanging Off the Wire

October 15
Book Featured at Celticlady’s Reviews

October 17
Guest Blogging at I’m Shelf-ish

October 20
Book Reviewed and Guest Blogging at Jersey Girl Book Reviews

October 22
Book Featured at My Life. One Story at a Time

October 23
Interviewed at Read Your Writes

October 24
Book Featured at Confessions of a Reader
Book Featured at Storeybook Reviews

October 27
Guest Blogging at Melina’s Book Blog

October 28
Book Reviewed at All Things Romance

October 29
Book Reviewed at The Phantom Paragrapher

October 30
Interviewed at Literal Exposure


  1. Thank you immensely, Kathleen, for featuring my novel, allowing me to guest post, and for the wonderful book review. I'm honored and appreciative of the time and effort you put into this post.

    1. Hi Demetria! Thank you for the opportunity to host your virtual book tour event. Sifting Through Mud is a wonderful story, I look forward to reading more of your books in the future. :)

  2. This sounds like a book you loved reading, and I am glad to see you enjoy it a lot. As for the guest post - I understand how it can be hard. But approaching book bloggers should be easier, because they are willing to read and help promote books! I will try leaving more reviews ;)

    1. Thanks, Olivia, for your comments. I'm sure your favorite authors will love that you'll try to leave more reviews. :)