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?