New Year’s Resolutions and 2019 recap #Goals #Blogger

Hello lovelies! I know I’m a little late with these resolutions but better late than never as they always say. So I’m just going to give you a quick recap of 2019’s resolutions and how I did before I set myself some for 2020:

2019

2019’s resolutions were:

Write a little every day. 

Hmm, I sort of failed at this. I did write a lot more last year, and I also took part in NaNoWriMo for the first time since 2018 but I can’t say it paid off that much. The only thing I can say is, finally, at the very end of the year, I wrote something that I’m excited about. I’ve even started working on a sequel.

Try more genre that I don’t usually read like:

Historical Fiction,

Non Fiction,

Romance,

Fantasy,

Fairytales,

Classics

Paranormal romance.

I did pretty well with this one. I discovered my new favourite rom-com writer Rich Amooi. I also read a few books like Bonnie & Stan, The Fathers, The Sons and The Anxious Ghost and The Ten Thousand Doors of January, all of which were out of my comfort zone.

Cut down on blog tours.

Ha ha. I have no idea why I put this one down. I think I’ve taken part in more blog tours than the previous year.

Set my Goodreads goal for 100 books. The reason I only picked 100 is because I got to a certain point last year where I stopped enjoying reading, I want to take my time a little more this year.

Okay, so the final count was 135 books. I didn’t slow down but what can I say? I’m addicted to reading!

Get my NetGalley feedback ratio up to 80%.

A fail on this but last time I checked I was up to 73%, not too shabby I’d say.

Attempt my first read along.

Do you know I forgot I even did this one! I participated in a read along over on Instagram to read Pet Semetary by Stephen King.

So here are my 2020 resolutions:

2020 new year wide

Get a handle on my FOMO.

So FOMO, or fear of missing out, is the bane of my existence. There were a couple of books this year I probably would never have picked up if I hadn’t been so caught up with not missing out. I have to remind myself, I can always buy them later.

Read more books from my shelves.

I own over two hundred physical books, of which I’ve read less than half. I’m not even going to count how many unread ones I have on my kindle.

Start editing my first cosy mystery.

I’m awful at editing (if you’ve read my reviews you may have seen the amount of typos that slip through the net). It’s something I’m really dreading but if I ever want to be published, I know I need to try harder.

Set my Goodreads target at 120 and carry on reading out of my comfort zone.

Finally get my feedback ratio up to 80% on NetGalley.

Sounds simple but I need to curb the urge to request books, they all look so good!

Give my blog a much needed makeover.

Yep, it’s something I’ve been meaning to do for months. Maybe even a change of blog name, so people stop confusing me for other bloggers.

Take better care of myself.

My health, including my mental health, took a nosedive at the second half of the year but as usual I just pushed through it and tried to ignore it, eating my feelings and gaining almost a stone in weight along the way. I can’t do this to myself any more, especially with the risk of diabetes having over me and I need to get a handle on it.

Thank you for reading! 

Have you got any resolutions for this year? If you’ve got any blog posts about your resolutions for 2020 please feel free to link them in the comments, I’d love to read them.

Happy New Year! #NewYearsResolutions #BookBlogger #Blogger #Resolutions2019 #amreading #amwriting #Goals

Happy New Year lovelies! As is tradition I’ll be making some new year’s resolutions today but first a quick recap of 2018’s resolutions and how I did:

Reading:

Do my first Goodreads challenge, I’m thinking of setting my goal at 60 books. (manageable I think). I actually set it at 75 but I surpassed that by reading 163 books! I’m stunned I read so many.

Read outside my comfort zone. Again I was successful with this one too! I read paranormal romance (a genre I hadn’t even heard of before). I also rediscovered my love of horror and ghost stories. I even read a book all about death and grief!

Read books that have been on my tbr list for more than a year. This one wasn’t quite so successful, I think I managed one or two.

Writing:

Take part in both Camp NaNoWriMo (the one in April not July) and NaNoWriMo again. I actually did Camp NaNoWriMo in April but I didn’t do the proper NaNo just because I was going through a lot with my dad being ill and lots of other stress. One out of two ain’t bad!

See if I can edit The Taken into something readable. Oh god I blocked my monstrosity of a manuscript from my 2017 NaNoWriMo out. It’s currently gathering dust on my hard drive! Fail on that one.

Post a short story/flash fiction on my blog once a month. Another fail. I started out with such good intentions but only to do four short stories throughout the year.

Carry on blogging! I definitely did that lol!

So I didn’t do too badly but I thought long and hard about this years resolutions. I decided to keep it simple.

2019

So my 2019 resolutions are:

Write a little every day.

Try more genre that I don’t usually read like:

Historical Fiction,

Non Fiction,

Romance,

Fantasy,

Fairytales,

Classics

Paranormal romance

(any suggestions within these genres are welcome especially fantasy or romance)

Cut down on blog tours.

Set my Goodreads goal for 100 books. The reason I only picked 100 is because I got to a certain point last year where I stopped enjoying reading, I want to take my time a little more this year.

Get my NetGalley feedback ratio up to 80%.

Attempt my first read along.

And that’s it! Wishing you all the best for the year to come!

Do you have any resolutions this year, let me know in the comments section!

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#FlashFicitonFriday Waiting by LJ Cassidy #amwriting #writerslife

Olivia settled back into a comfy chair in the living room, opening up a book. With every noise outside, her eyes travelled from the page to the window overlooking the street. After ten minutes of reading the same sentence over and over, she threw the book down.

She hated waiting for things.

Getting up, she checked herself in the mirror over the fireplace. The blonde bob framed her heart shape face nicely, glad she’d decided on a quick haircut the day before. She smoothed the lines of her flowered dress, not her outfit of choice but she had to look good today.

There was a huge slam that reverberated through the house.

Rushing to the window, she saw the familiar sight of a grey van. It looked a little like a delivery truck, except this one had steel reinforced sides and bullet proof windows.

There was a heavy knock on the door, she almost thought it was going to come off its hinges.

Walking out into the hall, she took a deep calming breath before opening the door.

Olivia was faced with someone distinctly male looking, dressed head to toe in bulletproof armour topped off with a helmet.

The helmet’s black tinted visor was down so Olivia couldn’t make out a face.

He was carrying a long cardboard box under one arm.

Excitement coursed through her, she reached for the parcel but a gloved hand clamped around hers’ squeezing tightly. It felt like every bone in her fingers were going to snap.

Malcolm, let her go,” said a woman sternly, who appeared from nowhere carrying what looked like a clipboard. “Sorry about that, can’t get the robots these days. Are you Mrs Olivia Dawson?”

The robot obeyed the woman and let Olivia go.

Yes,” she replied, rubbing the feeling back into her hand.

I’m Agent Buckley.”

She turned to look at the woman, dressed in a sensible navy blue suit and white shirt. Olivia spied a black holster sitting snugly under her arm, the butt of a gun just visible.

Can we come in?”

She swallowed, her throat suddenly dry. Not trusting herself to speak, she nodded at Agent Buckley, moving out the way for them, trailing in their wake into the living room. The agent’s eyes travelled around the cosy room with large squashy sofas and bookcases lining the walls. It looked more like a library.

Where’s your wife?”

Oh, she got called into work suddenly,” Olivia said nervously. “She’s a doctor after all.”

Would they not give her the package? They wouldn’t take it away, would they? She was so close.

She frowned. “Most irregular. Anyway we just need a DNA sample to confirm your identity.”

Olivia placed a sweaty hand on the clipboard, which turned out a tablet, to give a sample.

The robot set the package on the floor.

You can leave us now,” said Buckley waving it away. The door closed after it with a mighty crash.

Can I see?” she asked excitedly.

It’s against protocol but I don’t see why not.”

Buckley pulled open the cardboard to reveal a sturdy plastic box that looked a bit like it was holding music equipment or something. She flicked open two catches and heaved up the lid.

Inside, lay the most beautiful baby Olivia had even seen.

She’s just to your specifications,” said Buckley reading from her tablet. “Blonde hair, blue eyes, rosy complexion.”

She picked up the sleeping baby gently. She was seven when natural reproduction was outlawed by the world’s governments, to curbed the swelling population.

She still remembered being wheeled into the sterile theatre and the pain in her stomach that lasted for weeks after they ripped out her womb.

Five years ago, the government told her that she wasn’t ‘stable’ enough to have a child whatever that meant. She had so much love to give, they didn’t understand.

Olivia was going to prove them wrong, she would be good for this child.

Hold on,” said Buckley frowning. “There seems to be a problem…”

Buckley went for her gun but Olivia was too quick. She pulled out the gun she’d been hiding behind the cushion on the couch. She shot the other woman in the head before she finished her sentence.

It was the same weapon she’d used to kill real Olivia and her wife earlier.

Somewhere in her brain it registered she was doing something wrong but she ignored it.

She was a mother now.

Thank you for reading!© LJ Cassidy

#BlogTour My Sweet Friend by Helene Leuschel #Excerpt @shanannigans81 @HALeuschel

Title: My Sweet Friend by Helene Leuschel

Publication Date:December 6, 2017

Genre:Contemporary Fiction/ Women’s Fiction

A Note from the Author:

Lying is a symptom shared by the most convincing, cunning and ruthless individuals such as psychopaths and narcissistic manipulators. They have an invincible sense of self-importance and an addictive urge to project an image of power and perfection at all cost which are fuelled by the rewarding tools of charm, diversion and … clever deception.

Like anything in life, whether the skill is morally laudable or not, skills require training, effort and hard work. The danger lies in the brain progressively adapting to the dishonest behaviour and the longer the lies, the harder it would seem to be able to change the conditioning of one’s sensitivity to telling the truth. The truth and nothing but the truth or at the very least the intention to do so most of the time therefore appears to be a basic requirement for any interpersonal trust.

In my new stand-alone novella, I explore the idea that when crossing the line between truth or lie too often, it becomes a curse the person is eventually unable to shed …

Synopsis:

A stand-alone novella from the author of Manipulated Lives

A perfect friend … or a perfect impostor?

Alexa is an energetic and charismatic professional and the new member of a Parisian PR company where she quickly befriends her colleagues Rosie and Jack. She brings a much-needed breath of fresh air into the office and ambitiously throws herself into her new job and friendships.

But is Alexa all she claims to be?

As her life intertwines with Rosie and Jack’s, they must all decide what separates truth from fiction. Will the stories that unfold unite or divide them? Can first impressions ever be trusted?

In this original novella, H.A. Leuschel evokes the powerful hold of appearances and what a person is prepared to do to keep up the facade. If you like thought-provoking and compelling reads with intriguing characters, My Sweet Friend is for you.

MSF High Res Cover
Excerpt:

I was brushing my teeth the next morning when Alexa called, crying over another nasty phone call from her ex. I was running late as it was but was unable to stop her barrage of insults against a man I didn’t even know the name of.

He’s driving me absolutely insane. I’ve really had enough,’ I heard her shout, the heels of her shoes clicking on the pavement. She was clearly on her way to work while I was only slipping my feet into my shoes. It had been her second frantic call that morning.

Listen. Alexa, calm down. I understand you’re upset but I’ll be late if you don’t stop.’

I’m there for you when you need me but when I’m the one in need for once, you fob me off. Great, really nice, thanks.’ She hung up, leaving me in an angry sweat. I was her polar opposite – organized and calm – but lately I felt out of kilter myself. I’d missed out on seeing my mum because, for one reason or another, Alexa managed to ambush my attention.

When I eventually rushed through the office door, Alexa was looking up at me indifferently, in deep conversation with Jack, who tapped his watch with pursed lips and raised eyebrows. I lowered my eyes, my stomach heaving with repressed fury. Alexa had crawled under my skin yet I couldn’t pinpoint exactly why and how it had all come about.

I hid in the ladies’ toilets, panic rising to my throat, and utterly lost for words. I realised that if it had been Alexa running off, I’d have made sure I was giving her moral support, coaxing her back to work. Where was she now that I needed her? Was I getting hysterical, losing the plot?

Goodreads Link:https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36678713-my-sweet-friend?ac=1&from_search=true

Purchase My Sweet Friend Here:https://books2read.com/u/4AwM6d

Giveaway:

Enter for your chance to win a digital copy (Format of Choice) of My Sweet Friend

Link:http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/0e7c6a8f28/?



About the Author:

Helene Andrea Leuschel grew up in Belgium where she gained a Licentiate in Journalism & Photo - Helene editedCommunication, which led to a career in radio and television in Brussels, London and Edinburgh. She now lives with her husband and two children in Portugal and recently acquired a Master of Philosophy with the OU, deepening her passion for the study of the mind. When she is not writing, Helene works as a freelance journalist and teaches yoga.

Author Links:

https://www.facebook.com/HALeuschel

https://twitter.com/HALeuschel

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15337013.H_A_Leuschel

http://www.heleneleuschel.com

Tour Organized By:
R&RButto200x200

http://www.rrbooktours.com

New Year’s Resolutions #writing and #reading #goals #newyearsresolutions

I thought I’d share my New Year’s reading and writing Resolutions with you all (a day early but I don’t think it matters!)

First I want to go back to resolutions I made at the beginning of 2017:

1. Edit my entry for last year’s NaNoWriMo Anya.

I did it! It took me about eight or nine months and I still feel it needs work but I’m quite proud I actually did it as this was the first novel I’ve finished and edited.

2. Start a blog.

Another success but again it took me a while to get started, in fact it was the end of May before I posted for the first time.  But now I have over a hundred followers (I have no idea how that happened!) and I post regularly on a Tuesday, Friday and sometimes a Sunday too!

3. Write another novel.

Another sort of success.  I completed NaNoWriMo for the second year running but I absolutely hate the story I wrote called The Taken but at least it’s out of my head so I can get on with new ideas.

4. Have a novel published.

This was an out there one even if I say so myself.  I was very naive when it came to the world of agents and publishers (not any more).  I currently have two rejections under my belt and several no replies.

5. Lose seven pounds.

Another out there one but surprisingly I almost did it.  I started last year at 11 stone 9 pounds and I’ve ended at 11 stone and 3 pounds.  Little bit proud to be honest.

january-first-new-years-resolution

Okay so my resolutions for 2018 are:

Reading:

  1. Do my first Goodreads challenge, I’m thinking of setting my goal at 60 books. (manageable I think)
  2. Read outside my comfort zone.  I have several books on my tbr list that fit the bill (pics are below).
  3. Read books that have been on my tbr list for more than a year.

thebeginningTheRitual_1sht_Art5wotw

 

Writing:

  1. Take part in both Camp NaNoWriMo (the one in April not July) and NaNoWriMo again.
  2. See if I can edit The Taken into something readable.
  3. Post a short story/flash fiction on my blog once a month.
  4. Carry on blogging!

 

So they are my resolutions 2018, I will post again the end of next year to see how many I actually stuck to!  What are your resolutions for the coming year?

new year

Liebster Awards! #blogger #newblogger #BloggersTribe

So I was nominated for the Liebster award I want to thank Nada at over at Early Bookish Birds for putting forward me!

thank-you-2

Rules:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and link to their post
  • Answer the 11 questions they asked you
  • Nominate 11 other bloggers, with your own set of questions
  • Tag your chosen 11 bloggers, and don’t forget to tell them as well!

My Answers:

1. Favourite quote?

It is often said that before you die your life passes before your eyes. It is in fact true. It’s called living –Terry Pratchett.

2. Are you a student? do you work? WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR LIFE?

I’m playing at being a writer when I’m not being a mum.

3. Last good book you read?

I’ve just finished I Found You by Lisa Jewell (review coming soon) which I absolutely loved. If love a good mystery then I’d recommend it!

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4. When did you start blogging?

I set this blog up last year but didn’t actually post on it until about six months ago.

5. What’s the song you have on repeat these days?

Okay, I’m going to admit this on the internet but, erm, Taylor Swift – Are You Ready For It?

6. Last movie you watched?

I’m really racking my brain on this one, it’s been a while but I think it was Zodiac, from 2007 with Jake Gyllenhaal and Robert Downey Jr an old one I know!

7. Are you in love?

Well I’ve been with my partner for fourteen years, I must be in love mustn’t I?

8. What’s your best friend’s name?

Well, cliché as it is but my partner but he wouldn’t like me publishing his name here!

9. Favourite Genre?

Mystery/Thriller, of course!

10. Is there a goal that you want to achieve out of blogging?

I don’t have any specific goals, it would be nice to lead to something bigger like reviewing for a paper or a magazine but for now I’m happy with this just being a hobby.

11. Can we be friends? *Puppy eyes*

Of course we can be friend Nada!!! 😀 ❤

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My Nominees:

Vicky – https://vickywhoreads.wordpress.com/

Jade – https://jadelmwrites.wordpress.com/

Author Tia Lee – https://authortialee.wordpress.com/

Jill – https://jilljemmett.com

Julie – https://juliedavide.wordpress.com/

Kerrie – https://ilovedreadingthis.wordpress.com/

Lauren – https://booksbeyondthestory.wordpress.com/

K.M. Allen – https://kmallanblog.wordpress.com/

Kiara – https://thenerdybibliophile.wordpress.com/

Oviya- https://ovicandid.wordpress.com/

Samantha – https://thebookendsofanintrovert.wordpress.com/

My Questions:

1. What are you reading at the moment?

2. Who is your favourite movie/book/tv character of all time?

3. What do you do in your spare time?

4. If you could visit anywhere in the universe, where would it be?

5. Favourite food?

6. Favourite book you’ve read this year?

7. What writer would you like to meet living or dead?

8. Favourite childhood movie?

9. What was the last TV show you binged watched?

10. Favourite Genre to read or (if you are a writer) to write?

11. Favourite author?

If I’ve nominated you and you don’t fancy doing this as a post you can always put your answers in the comments section below…