13 November 2018

Bite Sized Books // Let’s Get Festive

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I am not a person who gets excited about the festive season early (I’m grouchy about the fact I have to do my Christmas shopping in November to avoid the crowds) and I most definitely frown and grumble at those folks putting their Christmas decorations up in November! Like, it’s ridiculous, just stop. Right now. It’s excessive and you will be fed up of them before Christmas hits.

That being said… I have read two festive reads so far and I am judging myself here. But Christmas in book land starts early, ok? The festive releases come out well before Christmas so folks have time to review and you can learn what to arm yourself with for the festive season. We’re starting early so you don’t have to.

Published: 1st October 2018

Source: Netgalley

Genre: Contemporary, Romance

My Rating:
A Christmas story that packs a punch...

It's Shelby Yule's job to make sure the office Christmas party was a success. That means no dodgy Kris Kringle presents, no one gets too sloshed, and there are definitely no dance floor injuries. Never did she think she'd have to worry about the shy new guy, her inappropriate crush, starting a fight.

Adam Tide can't help it if his job as the lead coder means he has a better relationship with his project management software than his human colleagues, but that doesn't mean he's unaware of Felix, head of HR, and the way he treats Shelby. Adam has suffered a whole twelve months of Felix being a dick and after one over–warm beer he just can't take it anymore.

Decking Felix lands Adam in the Emergency Room, and likely the unemployment line, but since Shelby's New Year's resolution is to go after what she wants most, there's still a chance this season will be jolly.





This was an adorable novella. How was it so short yet felt like it will packed so much in there? I knew I would adore this simply because it was Ainslie Paton writing it and everything she writes seems to tick my reading boxes. But normally a novella can feel lacking in some way. I normally find there isn’t enough story or the characters feel a bit flat because they’ve not had a chance to fully develop sure to the word limit. It was not so with this one. In fact, if anything my biggest complaint was it was too short!

Shelby works in HR at a tech company and Adam is a more recent hire (he’s only been there like a year) and she’d hoped for a chill calm Christmas party with the usual antics of someone getting too drunk and a few folks regretting their dance moves the next day. Instead, she ends up sitting in the emergency room with Adam who got into a fist fight and she wants to figure out what on earth happened considering he punched her boss.

Let me tell you, I was impressed we not only gradually got the story of what happened with the party but also the past several months between this pair and from two perspectives! I was impressed and wow, did I want to hug the pair of them for being so damn cute. I mean, Adam was adorable (if a little reckless) and Shelby was the sweetest. I could relate to a woman wanting to do her job but having an asshat of a boss she had to manage and allow to think was more important and better at his job than he was. I was so there for her boss being punched in the face as he most definitely deserved it. Dude was a menace.

I don’t want to spoil things but seriously, if you’re feeling lacking on Christmas cheer read this and then you’ll want to give it a big old hug when you finish. It’s that kind of book.

Published: 16th October 2018
Source: Netgalley
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
My Rating:
From USA Today bestselling author Nancy Naigle, Dear Santa is a heartwarming Christmas story about finding your passion for life and love.

Angela Carson wants nothing more than to be the third-generation to run her family’s holiday store, Heart of Christmas, successfully. They’ve weathered over sixty tourist seasons, major hurricanes, and urban sprawl, in their old decommissioned lighthouse. But the national chain that set up shop in their small North Carolina town of Pleasant Sands may be more than Heart of Christmas can survive.

Encouraged by her niece to ask Santa for help through the Dear Santa app, Angela gives in and lets the words fly in a way that, if Santa were real, would no doubt land her on the naughty list. What’s the harm when it’s just a computer-generated response?

Geoff Paisley has been at his mother’s side running the mega-chain Christmas Galore for the last ten years. When his mother falls ill, Geoff promises to answer the Dear Santa letters in her stead. Soon he realizes the woman he’s been corresponding with on Dear Santa is Angela. How could the woman that grates his every last nerve in person have intrigued him so deeply through those letters?

When Geoff reveals that he’s her Dear Santa, will Angela be able to set aside their very public feud to embrace the magic of the holiday and possibly find true love?







This was essentially a Christmas retelling of You've Got Mail. From the rival businesses (and the bigger one putting the smaller more friendly and people-oriented one out of business) to the guy arriving at the girl's house when she's sick. Whilst I did enjoy such a Christmas themed retelling... I'm not totally certain it improved upon the original tale seen in that film. I suppose the only major difference is there were far fewer exchanges between the pair in the book. They end up interacting on an app, Dear Santa, and then exchange a couple of emails and so that part of it was not as significant, instead they have far more face to face time. It was a cute read and I did enjoy it, though, but yeah, all it really did was make me want to rewatch the film.

The book wasn't terrible. In fact, despite reading it in early November (when it most definitely is not Christmas yet and far too early for folks to be getting excited!) I did still find myself enjoying this bit of festive fun. I felt all excited for the Christmas baked treats and decorating the tree and even the dreaded prospect of Christmas shopping (which I most definitely need to start). The book definitely had the festive season captured within its pages, something which not all festive reads easily achieve.

I think it was just all the similarities between it and You've Got Mail which bothered me. I recently saw a blogger explain how they categorise retellings and for me this is one which was easy to spot due to the similarities and, for me, was a little too close to the original so when familiar events occurred it jarred me out of the story as my brain went back and compared it to a scene in the film. I adore You've Got Mail, a Christmas themed version set in a small town in South Carolina is not a bad thing and I did enjoy Angela and Geoff's tale of going from enemies (on Angela's side) to friends to something more. The gradual shift from the antagonistic to the friendly was lovely. And I was just as heartbroken as Angela as she slowly had to accept the end of her Christmas store because she loved that place but it was lovely seeing her move on to the next part of her life. It did bother me one major part in her new direction though but it’s a spoiler, but let’s say she didn’t have total control over her future choices, instead they almost got decided for her and it frustrated the hell out of me. I would have preferred it if she had been approached and made her own choices without external influences.

There were parts which bothered me outside of the retelling similarities too, like the fact that I felt like some side characters never got to have their chance to shine, and that I definitely felt like there were story elements were not explored enough (both of them had family stuff I would have liked to explore more) but I will not grumble because a book which can give me a festive buzz in November is nothing to be sniffed at. I am a notorious grump about Christmas, I love it, but I do wish people would stick to December being it, I hate those folks counting down in July.

And these are my Christmas reads. I loved the novella far more and maybe I’m just a person who doesn’t want a full-fledged Christmas book, who knows? What are your favourite festive reads?

06 November 2018

Bite Sized Books // A Mish Mash of ARCs I’ve Read During My Blogging Slump

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I figured a return to blogging should include a little catch up (and an attempt to get my Netgalley shelf back under control). As such, we have a few actual bite sized reviews (because I acknowledge I have a habit of rambling in even my shorter reviews). There is no theme, literally a mish-mash of books I should have reviewed for the past 2 months. I have a couple more to come and then I might talk about my bookish highlights from the past couple of months because I’ve read some awesome books lately (although these ARC reviews might make it seem like I haven’t).
From Duke Till Dawn
From Duke Till Dawn (The London Underground #1) – Eva Leigh
Published: 26th July 2018

Source: Netgalley

Genre: Historical Romance

My Rating: DNF 20%
Eva Leigh launches a seductive new series that sizzles with the dark secrets of London’s underworld…
‘It’s not my habit to seduce impoverished widows…’
The Duke of Greyland lost his heart – and a princely sum – to a charming, beautiful and destitute widow who, after one passionate night, vanished without a trace. Cassandra Blair grew up on the city streets, picking pockets to survive. Greyland was a rich mark – to be fleeced and forgotten – only she’d never forgotten him.
Years later, chance brings them together again, in a London gaming hell. Grayland is desperate to have her… never suspecting everything about his lover was a lie. But finding herself in dire financial straits, at risk of losing everything, Cassandra has no choice but to beg the man she betrayed for help.
The proud Duke will assist her under one condition: she doesn’t leave his sight until her debts are paid! But can the real Cassandra – the smart, streetwise survivor – steal his heart all over again?
Book one in the Scandalous Ladies of London series




Let’s begin with a DNF (or two). I thought this would be a fun read of a Duke meeting with the woman who scammed him and forcing her to stay with him until her debts are paid. I obviously should have read the summary much more closely as it does say he never suspects his lover of a single night scammed him. Well, his naivete and how utterly gullible he was pissed me right off. He was annoying and a wet blanket to be honest. I didn’t like him one jot. He was boring. So I began reading this book of a woman who scammed a man over one night and then left him with no intention of seeing him again and whilst I probably would have grown to like her (have to respect a woman who is making it on her own scamming the rich) I didn’t ever get to know her because boring mc-boringpants The Duke of Greyland was the one whose perspective you had at the start and he just gradually pissed me off by being an utter idiot so I DNF-ed before the book actually made me angry.

Does it count that I liked the idea at least?

The Proposal
Published: 30th October 2018
Source: Netgalley
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
My Rating: DNF 20%
When Nik Paterson went to the Dodgers game with her C-list actor boyfriend, Ford, for his birthday, she expected nothing more than a few boring hours with him and his bros. She certainly didn't expect a Jumbotron proposal. Or her name to be misspelled. Or to go viral in minutes...
Carlos Ibarra wants to hang out with his sister, catch a Dodgers game, and relax for once. But when a camera crew descends on Nik after the disastrous proposal, he has to rescue her. After they flee the stadium, he delivers her into the arms of her supportive girlfriends, and they both think they'll never see each other again.
Fate has other plans. Nik and Carlos keep crossing paths, accidentally and on purpose. When they finally give in to their attraction to each other, they are on the same page: sex and nothing more. But the proposed friends-with-benefits relationship is turning into something more, and the pair have to decide if they have room in their lives for love.


DNF number 2 was an upsetting one for me. I’d seen other bloggers review and although I hadn’t seen any 5-star reviews I had seen positive ones. Sure, people’s small criticisms did raise a few red flags for me, but just to go in wary. Sadly, I think my opinions may have been coloured by those other bloggers… or I am just less willing to put up with books I’m not behind 100%. Whatever happened I ended up not clicking with this book.

Carlos, we met in The Wedding Date and I was interested to see his story and so when we’re introduced to Nik I was excited. Nik seemed like she would be sassy and fun… but I just didn’t feel a spark between the two when I was reading. The chemistry wasn’t there for me so I didn’t feel invested in the path of them getting together. I mean, this is a term normally reserved for several YA books I've read, but it felt a little insta-lovey. I in no way believed the spark that apparently existed. I know in romance characters go on about how good looking the other is and about how they've kept thinking about them but although Carlos's rescue was kind I could not see Nik pursuing more from that alone. Both of them were apparently interested but I didn’t get why when reading. And when you were in Carlos’s head and he was thinking things like ‘is that a hint’ or ‘is she giving me signals’ and all that crap just made me like him. Yeah, folks probably do have those thoughts but it was so jarring to read them!
There were characters I was interested to learn more about (I loved Nik’s friends) but that was not enough to keep me reading.

Published: 30th October 2018

Source: Netgalley

Genre: Historical Romance

My Rating:
An heiress with a daring proposal. An earl who’s determined to resist her. And a love that just might be written in the stars…


Recently jilted by his fiancĂ©e, David Gray, Earl of Ravenport is not in the market for a wife. Even if Gray didn’t have his hands full renovating his crumbling country house, it would take more than a bold marriage proposal from a headstrong young beauty to thaw his frozen heart. Gray is confident that spending a week at his ramshackle estate will change her mind about marriage, but every passionate moment he spends with her tempts him to change his…

A talented artist, Miss Fiona Hartley desperately needs her dowry money to pay off a blackmailer set on ruining her sister. The handsome earl seems a sensible choice for a husband…if only she can convince him that romance will play no part. But marrying in name only may prove difficult for Fiona. Gray can’t help but be dazzled by her genuine warmth. Yet as their feelings deepen, Fiona’s deadline looms. Will her secrets destroy them, or is true love their final destiny?
This one I finished (yay) and it was a more middling read for me. I certainly enjoyed myself from time to time but it’s been a month and looking back on this one I have to flick back to my comments I wrote whilst reading because it’s not stood the books amnesia test well. That’s not to say that’s a point against this book, I forget many a book, but if I hadn’t have reread the summary and had a couple of notes to hand I definitely wouldn’t have remembered anything of this book.

There was something which stopped me fully invested in reading this. I did enjoy it and both the characters appealed to me, the Earl was interesting and I liked him, and Fiona’s quest to receive her dowry to pay a blackmailer was pretty exciting (although a touch farfetched). I liked how Fiona was not daunted by anything, she made the most of things and went with it and who can’t respect that in a woman. I did like the interaction between our romantic couple but I just didn’t fully wholeheartedly invested. I did roll my eyes a little as the mystery of the blackmailer was revealed too, because really? I don’t know. It was enjoyable enough and I’d read more from Anna Bennett because hopefully, it would click next time.

Published: 1st March 2018
Source: Netgalley
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
My Rating:
Welcome to Gold Valley, Oregon, where a rough-and-tumble rancher and the girl next door are about to learn that opposites attract


Olivia Logan has a plan: win back her ex by making him see what he’s missing. But first she needs to find a man who’s willing to play along. With his laid-back cowboy charm and knack for getting under her skin, Luke Hollister is an unlikely hero—but he wants her help convincing her father to sell him land, which means he needs her as much as she needs him.

Luke likes his life—and his women—uncomplicated. So why does good girl Olivia heat his blood like no one else? She’s always been off-limits, but the more time they spend as Gold Valley’s hottest new “couple,” the more real it’s starting to feel. Luke was supposed to help her win back another man…not keep her in his arms. But now that he has her there, he’s not sure he’ll ever let go.
This one I honestly don’t remember why I requested this on Netgalley because apart from the fake relationship aspect (which is my bread and butter) there is nothing about this which would usually appeal. Cowboys are not my jam in romance (and why are they so popular, there a whole heap of cowboy romances out there in the world!). That being said I did enjoy this but it was another middling read as a whole and that was mostly because the fake relationship didn’t last all that long. The very beginning had Olivia and Luke faking their relationship but it very swiftly turned to a genuine one and this pare who were convinced they weren’t going to be together realised that they had a serious case of denial because there were sparks flying and they definitely were meant to be. I mean, I think that aspect would have worked for me but the part that really annoyed me was Olivia had broken up with her ex to try and push him to ‘put a ring on it’. That kind of game playing rubs me the wrong way so that and her uppity attitude you get from her at the start put me off. You do get to see another side of her but I think as a whole she was never destined to be a heroine I loved because I prefer them a bit more stubborn and with a bit more attitude. In the end, it was ok and I enjoyed it… but I wouldn’t go back for more.

Published: 9th October 2018

Source: Netgalley

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

My Rating:
In the city of Eldra, people are ruled by ancient prophecies. For centuries, the high council has stayed in power by virtue of the prophecies of the elder seers. After the last infallible prophecy came to pass, growing unrest led to murders and an eventual rebellion that raged for more than a decade.

 
In the present day, Cassa, the orphaned daughter of rebels, is determined to fight back against the high council, which governs Eldra from behind the walls of the citadel. Her only allies are no-nonsense Alys, easygoing Evander, and perpetually underestimated Newt, and Cassa struggles to come to terms with the legacy of rebellion her dead parents have left her — and the fear that she may be inadequate to shoulder the burden. But by the time Cassa and her friends uncover the mystery of the final infallible prophecy, it may be too late to save the city — or themselves.
This is one I had been excited for, I loved Destiny Soria’s debut, Iron Cast, and so when I saw she had a new fantasy novel coming out I most definitely wanted to read. think my expectations had been a touch high because although I enjoyed it, it didn’t compare to that debut for me. That being said, I don’t really think a novel set in alternate history Boston in 1919 can really be compared to a full fantasy novel set in its own world where there is a city controlled by a government who uses prophecies to stay in power. They're not really comparable so if you loved Iron Cast then be prepared for a different kind of book in this one (which I thought I was but I still something didn’t work for me).

I will say, though, I wasn’t in a fantasy mood when I started this so even I knew it would be a struggle for it to click into place and work for me so the poor book started on the backfoot. It also had multiple POV, not loads, but more than I like in my books and that put me off it a little too. The characters were all interesting and I loved seeing the dynamics between each of them, from Cassa and her back and forth with Evander, to Evander interacting with his sister, Alys. Each character has a distinct personality so even if it hadn’t said at the start of a chapter, you knew whose POV you were reading from. Sadly, I think the multiple POV meant I didn’t connect quick enough with the characters. For the first quarter of the book at least I couldn’t figure why I should care about these characters and even them investigating the corruption of the government did nothing for me.

Maybe if I’d begin this book at another time I’d be raving about. I will say no one can complain about a book which has so much diversity within its pages, from racial diversity to sexual with gay and bi characters. I do appreciate when fantasy novels make the effort because there has been too little diversity in them for too long. I just wish I’d been in a fantasy reading mood for this one as my rating is very much influenced by that.

And this is my first mish-mash of reviews for a little while. I had another one or two I could have included but 5 should be enough for now. Have you read any of these, what did you think?

31 October 2018

Halloween Creatures Book Tag

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So I was tagged by Greg over at Book Haven and since I’m stuck in a slump I figured what better time to do a tag then now? Also, I can totally post in time for Halloween! So two birds, one stone and all that.
Rules:
  • Answer all prompts.
  • Answer honestly.
  • Tag 1-13 people.
  • Link back to this post.
  • Remember to credit the creator. (Anthony @ Keep Reading Forward)
  • Have fun!

Witch


A Magical Character or Book.

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Erm… so I read a lot of books with magic in but my mind is blank. I was going to say Harry Potter but seems obvious. Let’s do something that some interpret as Harry Potter related and go Carry On. There’s a sequel coming out after all and we all love a good sequel… and Rainbow Rowell.



Werewolf


The Perfect Book to Read at Night.


Bayou Born
So… for me a book for reading at night is a cosy nice read, is that weird? But since I know you guys will prefer a bit of a different read I figure a book which had some hints of romance but also had a bit of mystery to it, too. Bayou Born was an awesome urban fantasy which I can see me reading during these darker nights (and urban fantasy is a good genre for Halloween, right?).



Frankenstein


A Book that Truly Shocked You.

The Arrangement

One book I was completely shocked by, and didn’t even expect to like when I first started, was The Arrangement. I know some folks won’t enjoy it but hot damn I love when a book goes nowhere that you expected and is still good.



The Devil

A Dark, Evil Character.

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I honestly don’t know which character to choose. There have been a few where I have full on hated a person. I do distinctly remember hating the Duke of Selburn in The Dark Days Pact and since the third book is due out in November what better time to bring up the series? He was the absolute worst.



Grim Reaper


A Character that Should Never Have Died.


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Can we all address the totally unnecessary killing of all the people who died in Harry Potter, especially the last book? I know there would be death in a war (kind of comes with the territory) but it was brutal. From Dobby to Tonks, all of it made me cry and I was not happy.


Zombie


A Book that Made You “Hungry” for More


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Can we just go with a book which made me hungry instead? But I do remember making grabby hands when I finished The Winner’s Curse because that book was soo good. That series is amazing in fact. Read it.

Gargoyle


A Character that You Would Protect at All Cost.


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Most characters, tbh. I do think I would protect Lazlo Strange because he was just too lovely. Too sweet and too pure.

Vampire


A Book that Sucked the Life Out of You.

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I could never get into the Grisha series. I wanted to. I tried valiantly. I read the first two books and may even have the third but I absolutely loathe them.

Ghost


A Book that Still Haunts You.

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I don’t think any book haunts me. It still bothers me that I had to DNF Labyrinth Lost even though there were amazing reviews. I think I may return to that one and give it another shot. I don’t like being the black sheep!


Demon


A Book that Really Scared You.

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So I read Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt a couple of years back and I honestly had the creepiest dream about a witch after that. The Black Rock Witch has her eyes and mouth sewn and shut and randomly appears all over the place and honestly the slow pacing and weirdness of it all seeped into my dreams obviously. It was amazing, few horrors are as atmospheric as a horror film can be… this one was and I strongly recommend it.


Skeleton

A Character You Have a Bone to Pick With.


Every character in a romance novel? Like why do they not use their damn words?



Mummy


A Book You Would Preserve Throughout Time.

Summer Skin

So many books! I think currently it would be Summer Skin because that book had such sex positive vibes it was totally amazing and I want everyone to red it and hopefully more and more people will read.


Creepy Doll

A Cover too Scary to Look At

Cuckoo Song
I own know books with a creepy cover so I turned to Google for this one and this is a pretty damn creepy cover.

And if you want to do this I tag you! (Does that count as tagging someone?).

And there is my Halloween post. Do you agree with any of my choices and what would you choose?

29 October 2018

My Blogging Problems // How I’m Trying To Get Out Of My Blogging Slump

My Blogging Problems


What are words?

Sometimes I find myself asking this question both when I'm talking too fast and I essentially just start making noises instead of forming actual sentences. But also when it comes to staring at a blank screen all ready to write a blog post and then find I have nothing to say.

2018 has very much been the year of the slump. From blog slumps to reading slumps and everything in between. I don’t think there’s a single blogger who hasn’t been saying they’re in a slump at one time or another and that is a whole other  conversation but this recurring slump problem has reminded me of one very important thing: blogging is hard. Don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. It’s not just thinking up ideas but it’s finding words which are original and accurately get your thoughts across. You have to create, format, design, code, the list goes on and on. It’s hard and exhausting and bloggers burn themselves out.

You’d think being a book blogger would be easy. I mean, you read a book you talk about it. It’s not rocket science! Except, I don’t want to talk about the books I’ve been reading (even though they’ve been totally awesome) because it’s a known fact reviews are the least popular post you’ll write. Why do we bother when no one will read them? Not the foggiest but I still like writing them… except when I’m in the blogging slump to end all blogging slumps. It seems to have come as a direct result of my reading slump which I’m sort of past (I hope). But blogging slumps are so much more difficult to shift than a reading slump. I have a tried and true method of trying to give myself a boost out of a reading slump. Rereading and reading those books which have been gathering dust on my shelves for too long always works, but is there a tried and true method for shifting a blogging slump? There are things you can do to try and kickstart the reading mojo but how on earth do you kickstart your urge to blog? It’s not like you can reread or whatever, you have to do all the work yourself.


Just start writing anything… anything at all

Sometimes I think the biggest hurdle in a blogging slump is actually getting words onto a page. Once you start writing words, no matter how rubbish they are, you start to get back into the rhythm of things and you can clean it all up later. Hell, sometimes that’s just you sorting the word blockage and you end up writing a whole new post later on which is the exact post you’ve been looking for. But regardless, one method I’ve had work for me is the word vomit approach because a post with words is far less daunting than a blank page. That’s where the idea for this post came from in fact, thus there is proof it works (for one post at least).

Review, review, review

What about finally getting around to reviewing those books you’ve been reading? I mean, I know I said reviews are one of the least popular posts of any blog but people do still read them. Everyone appreciates a good review and it’s another case of getting words onto a page which may hopefully help you get back into the rhythm of things. I know this is one method I’ve had work before… but sadly I have to reviewing motivation despite all of the amazing books I’ve read lately. Hopefully, I can try that next.

Tags and memes for the win

What about doing a tag or participating in a meme then? There’s a set format there for you and some posts, like Top Ten Tuesday, come with themes to help target your writing. It gives you direction on where tog o with your blogging but still gives you enough freedom to be original. Surely that would be fun and they’re great posts to help generate traffic because you get to link up to others. This is where I go when I’m literally drawing a blank on what to write.

Eye up the competition

Another great thing to do is go out and get reading those posts from the other blogs you’ve been avoiding (I’m sorry guys, I had no intention of avoiding you but the blogging envy was real, why could you all write words and I couldn't?) because sometimes seeing other people’s creative genius can help inspire you. It does also inspire blogging envy to the extreme but hell, anything is better than nothing.  Seeing other people being bosses and rocking their blogging can help motivate me to get back typing words. It’s not a perfect method but sometimes it works.

Look at your own damn blog and stop avoiding the comments

And there’s also the whole reading comments on your own blog method. Look, when I’m slumping I feel a little bad about it and kind of avoid my own blog at all costs so my comments backslide into having no responses for a month (I know!, Trust me, I know). It’s a terrible idea and a habit I need to get out of because for shame! I need to stop but when I get my arse in gear and actually start replying I often feel more motivation to write another post because seeing everyone’s lovely words on other posts gets me back wanting to write more words to get the lovely comments. It’s a thing.

Makeover montage commence

And finally… if all else fails… I think redesigning/revamping/touching up your blog design can be great for getting you excited to write words. Sometimes it can be as simple as a little makeover to get you feeling happier about blogging. Don’t ask me why, it’s like when you buy a new outfit, you feel better for having something new to wear so you get excited and want to make plans to go out so you can show it off to people. You get a new bounce in your step and feel that little bit more confident because you know you’re rocking that outfit and you can get the same kind of feeling from revamping your blog. I actually did all my blog myself (can you tell.. I’m guessing you can) but sometimes trying out something new can be really fun.

Anyone else got a tried and true method for shifting a slump? Better yet, are there ideas I’ve not thought of because I have this horrible vision of being stuck in a slump for about two months at the rate I’m going.

02 October 2018

Monthly Wrap Up // August & September

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Once more I miss a month of wrap up but I was getting to go away so you get two months worth of books and posts for your reading enjoyment.

The theme of August and September was very much New York. I’m pretty sure that five night trip took over my life a little and I will not apologise for that but it did impact on basically everything. For anyone who cares to see my travel highlights hop on over here. I won’t repeat myself because I’m sure that would be boring to all of you but it’s safe to say New York was the main focus of the past two months and I can think of no other relevant stuff to mention here.

Can’t Stop Listening

Go Your Own Way – Fleetwood Mac
Like Everybody Else – Lennon Stella
Georgia – Lydia
You & Jennifer – bulow
Cornflake Girl – Florence + The Machine
Here Comes The Change – Kesha
Glorious – Macklemore ft. Skylar Grey

August/September Reads


5 stars
The ArrangementThe Governess GameKultiThe Wall of Winnipeg and Me
4.5 Stars
Fool Me Forever
4 Stars
74. A Duke By Default75. The Duke I TemptedJane DoeTen Tiny Breaths41YJ875TSXLBayou BornTo Sir With Phillip With LoveCaptive Prince8 Prince's Gambit
3.5 Stars
73. Borrowed SoulsNaked in DeathPestilenceGlory in Death
3 Stars
Smooth Talking CowboyFirst Earl I See Tonight
DNF
23621681The PassageThe Raven PrinceFrom Duke Till Dawn

August/September Posts



And those are the past two months, I can’t believe we’re in October already? Am I the only one who feels like the time has flown by?

30 September 2018

Sunday Summary // 30.09.2018

Sunday Summary
Welcome to another Sunday!

Sorry I skipped out on posting last Sunday, I got so busy playing blog catch up and trying to get posts in order that I never got around to actually writing my Sunday post last week so we’ll have to weeks to catch up on this week.

I can’t claim I did a lot of exciting things since getting back from NYC. I returned to work which is obviously the joy it sounds like. We actually had a fun day at work last Friday. It was a celebration of the company and they have a day where they do prizes from the directors and we’re meant to try and raise money for charity. The theme for this fun day was pirates so all of us folks in finance dressed like pirates and we had a raffle on. It was silly and fun and we had a laugh. One of my friends won free tickets to go see some rugby which was pretty cool (although he doesn’t like rugby) and it was a laugh. I have kept no photos of us dressed like pirates because I was too busy getting into a sword fight with some inflatable balloons (obviously).

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I also did my inflatable obstacle course thing last weekend. It was called The Monster and let me tell you I thought it would be way easier than it actually was. I mean, most of it was easy and fun and only a little challenging but there were slopes that did not have foot holds and it was all about bouncing and pulling yourself up… I was not good at those. I finished and me and my friend had a laugh doing it. We got our glitter face paint on and had a laugh and I learnt I was not the most unfit person there but that honestly, some people are ninjas in disguise. I then curled up and felt a couple of aches in my arms the next day because I do not lift anything heavier than my cat.

And since then? Well I’ve been to the pub, to work and have plans to go to the cinema Saturday which should be fun. It’s been a chilled week since then. I had a bit of online retail therapy and relaxed really because I’ve slept funny or something and my necks been stiff for the past couple of days. Maybe my time on an inflatable obstacle course did more damage than I thought? All I know is that anything n my right side is off limits, who wants to turn their head that way anyway?

What I’ve Been Reading

Glory in DeathFool Me ForeverSmooth Talking CowboyFirst Earl I See TonightFrom Duke Till Dawn
I fell into a bit of a lull again. Not a slump but I’m just forever struggling to pinpoint what I want to read. And sometimes I think I know what I want to read and end up being completely wrong. These are the times which folks turn to Netflix I think. I had to read Glory in Death as it was due back at the library (and I still returned it a day late). I think I’ll enjoy my slow read through this series, I might be 80 by the time I catch up, though. I then began all the ARCs and I think my brain doesn’t like me forcing it to read ARCs as I definitely need a break from them now. Fool me Forever was an excellent read from Ainslie Paton (no surprise there, though). I impulsively requesting Smooth Talking Cowboy for the fake relationship and there was not enough fake relationship for my liking. And then First Earl I See Tonight was ok but there was something which didn’t click into place for me and I’m thinking it was me not it but I’ll figure out how to review it somehow. And then there’s From Duke Till Dawn which I had to DNF because I wasn't liking any character and the Duke seemed like a gullible idiot.

New To Me

Lethal WhiteMake Me FallVengefulPhoenix Unbound
I haven’t bought that many books… but I did get a preorder or two in. In fact, these are all books from my Looking Forward post, now I just need to start on reading them all!

And that is my past couple of weeks . What have you been doing? Do you ever find you’re not sure what to read next? Any shows I should binge watch on Netflix until I do know what I want to read?