Friday, 26 April 2019

Book Blogger Hop: At the end of a hard day, how do you get yourself psyched about writing a book review?

About The Meme
The Book Blogger Hop was originally created by Jennifer from Crazy-For-Books in March 2010 and ended on December 31, 2012. With Jennifer's permission, it was relaunched by The Coffee Addicted Writer on February 15, 2013.

Each week the hop will start on a Friday and end on Thursday. 
There will be a weekly prompt featuring a book related question. The hop's purpose is to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers to your own blog. 

At the end of a hard day, how do you get yourself psyched about writing a book review?

Simple answer this one: I don't.

At the end of a hard day, I can't psyche myself up to do anything blog related. Somedays, I can't even bring myself to read so I turn to something mindless on Netflix to lose myself in.

This is why I have so many issues now with blog tours, book blitzes and cover reveals and why the quantity featured on my blog has significantly dropped.

I've had it with promo materials being sent in the day before (which for me in the UK usually means the night before) and having to try and muster the energy to prep a post and get it scheduled to go live on time.
I used to bust my ass to meet the commitments before I came to the conclusion that the PR people I'd signed up with weren't always meeting what I felt was their commitment to their hosts (like sending stuff through in a timely fashion!) so I just started saying no.
If I'd signed up for something and the material wasn't sent through in a timely manner (aka at least a full day in advance) then I wasn't busting a gut to meet their deadlines.
After all, we're not paid to do this.
We do this because we want to share our love of books and to help support authors/stories we care about in a 'crowded' market.
We receive nothing for our participation except for personal satisfaction and the occasional thank you.

I'm the same for review books.
I've had them sent through the day before a review was due. On multiple occasions and I'm not joking.
This is just completely taking the mick out of those giving up their time to review so I drew the line there too.
I only sign up for reviews in moderation and if someone thinks they can give me any less than a week to review, it ain't happening.
Honestly, even a week can be a problem as I'm a mood reader and if the book doesn't fit the current mood, I have to force myself to read it... Which never ends well.

It's taken me a long time to realize that running my blog should be fun.
It should not be another source of stress.
If something makes running my blog a repeated stress then that thing needs to be eliminated from my blog.
I no longer care about doing what the 'cool kids' are doing.
I, maybe surprisingly, no longer feel bad about not signing up for more release blitzes, tours and arcs from both authors I love and authors just starting out, because I just don't have the time and sometimes you just have to prioritise yourself and your own well-being over the bookish juggernaut. 


To view the linky list of this weeks Hop participants, please visit The Coffee Addicted Writer.

Sunday, 21 April 2019

Weekly Update #57

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer
It’s a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.

Now that's explained, it's on to my weekly recap!

Happy Easter folks!
We're having a lazy one at home and cooking up a big meal. My father-in-law is joining us and we plan on going for a walk in the forest after eating for the weather has been so gorgeous these past few days! I really hope it continues.

This week, I got my Career Level promotion at work!
We're a strange organisation in that you can step up into a role (like I did back in November) but not actually be given the commensurate rank (and pay increase!) until you pass an interview panel for the level (which sits twice a year). If you fail your interview, you can stay in your job, with all the responsibility as long as you're not messing it up, and re-take the level review in a year... Weird, right? Well, the past few weeks, I've been stressed out my face undertaking that process. It all began back in Feb so March was a mess of Level-Review applications and end of FY stress, and then the end of FY stress went away making me feel great until the interview date was set and then everything kicked into high gear again.
I kept it quiet though as I hate to fail, lol. Now I have passed, I'm sharing. 😆
I'm so glad it's over and I was successful!

In other news, my husband got a new car this week.
His car was on its last legs - so to speak - so we urgently needed another new one. We only bought my new one in December so could have really done without paying for two cars at the same time but we both work so far apart, public transport doesn't really work for our places of work and when you throw in juggling school/childcare with full-time employment, we took the plunge.
The universe gave us a high five on the decision by having his old car break down on the motorway with the kid in the back on the last day before we picked up the new one. The engine had seized so it was straight to the car recycling/breakage centre for it and just after I went and picked them up we got a call saying the new car was ready to collect a day early!
Karma people...

The final bit of news - there's a lot this week, isn't there? - we welcomed two new beasties to our family this weekend!
Two adorable little Roborovski dwarf hamsters!
The little dude has been desperate for a hamster for years but we put him off until he was old enough to care for one (or two!) properly. This weekend, he asked to buy himself a hamster with his Easter money. So, I went to the pet store to buy cat litter and came away with cat litter and two hamsters plus all their associated stuff.
The kid might have bought the hamsters with his Easter money but we bought the cage, food, toys and all the other bits. I think we got taken for a ride, lol. They're adorable though. I'll get pictures later today once they settle. (We only bought them yesterday.)

Ok, not true. I finished nothing this week.
I've read little bits of several different books but just can't settle on anything long enough to power through.

I'm in a slump. It's 100% official.
The second one this year and it's only April!
Hopefully, it was stress related once more and I'll kick back into gear now it's over!

Amazon Kindle

I forgot to include this last week but I got the Wicked King on sale for only £1.99.
I was very excited.
Maybe, I'll finally get around to reading both this and The Cruel Prince soon...


This one was from the Romance Reader Club.
I've never read anything by Jennifer Probst so it's a win. So far, I've had no books that I already own from this so it's definitely been worth signing up.

What's going on with Blog Lovin'??
In the past week, my follower count has dropped from 725 to whatever it currently is... 699?
Flux is to be expected but 26 people in a week seems extreme.
Maybe a cull of inactive/spam accounts?
It's giving me a complex! 😂

GoT! It's back!
I had to sign up for three months of a streaming service I don't use in order to watch the bloody thing but it was worth it!

Beyond GoT, I've been re-watching Lego Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitsu with the little dude and movie-wise we re-watched Aquaman and The Lorax.
It's been good watchings this week.

The entire freaking soundtrack for this show is stuck in my head. Don't ask me how many times I've caught myself humming I Think We're Alone Now by Tiffany... However, this intro was amazing. You gotta love the Phantom of the Opera.

Book Blogger Hop: Do you check your post views?
Book Blitz: Demon Magic and a Martini by Annette Marie
Top Ten Tuesday: Rainy Day Reads
Reading Challenge: Read A Series In A Month

Book Blogger Hop: At the end of a hard day, how do you get yourself psyched about writing a book review?
Review: The Little Vintage Carousel By The Sea by Jaimie Admans
Tell Me Something Tuesday: Do you like getting unsolicited books in the mail?
Review: Pestilence by Laura Thalassa

Have a great week all!

Friday, 19 April 2019

Book Blogger Hop: Do you check how many views your posts have received?

About The Meme
The Book Blogger Hop was originally created by Jennifer from Crazy-For-Books in March 2010 and ended on December 31, 2012. With Jennifer's permission, it was relaunched by The Coffee Addicted Writer on February 15, 2013.

Each week the hop will start on a Friday and end on Thursday. 
There will be a weekly prompt featuring a book related question. The hop's purpose is to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers to your own blog. 

Do you check how many views your posts have received? 

I load blogger onto my 'posts' page and never bother clicking onto the 'stats' page.
For one, I have no idea how accurate blogger is at tracking this. I've heard conflicting information and just don't know what to believe.
For another, I have no idea how many views would be considered 'good' and what would be considered 'bad'.
Is there a good or bad?
Surely good and bad is all relative?
What if I viewed my stats and was horribly disappointed in the numbers? That would make all the effort expended in writing, formatting and publishing posts completely wasted, wouldn't it?
What if there were no views?
Or the only views I had for a day were from the couple of times I visited my own blog to grab some post links for social media?
No one likes shouting aimlessly into a void and I'm my own worst critic. My stats could be awesome but with nothing to compare them to, I'd feel like they weren't good enough. Trust me, I'd never review them and think they were good enough... But that's just me.
I guess it all comes down to why you blog.
Do you blog to share your love of books, connect with other readers and to feel like you're part of a little bookish community, or do you blog to feel like the biggest cheese at the market?
I personally blog for the community, the connection and the love of it but I'd be lying if I said I didn't hope that people actually read my blog on the regular and therefore made the effort expended worth it. Plus, it's also nice to think that, even in the smallest little way, I'm having an impact and convincing other readers to try new authors or to read a story I absolutely loved.
I know I've certainly been influenced and bought books because other bloggers have recommended them.

What about you? Do you check your stats? Do you find it motivating?


To view the linky list of this weeks Hop participants, please visit The Coffee Addicted Writer.

Thursday, 18 April 2019

Blitz: Demon Magic and a Martini by Annette Marie

I really need to read this series! It sounds like so much fun!
Sigh... Maybe sometime soon.
Demon Magic and a Martini is book 4 in the Guild Codex (NA, UF) series and is out now! 

When I first landed a bartending job at the local guild, I didn’t know a thing about magic. These days, I’m practically an expert on the different magical classes, but there’s one nobody ever talks about: Demonica.

Turns out they have a good reason for that. My guild is strictly hellion-free, because who wants to risk life and limb to control the biggest bullies on the mythic playground?

Well, some people do, and now a demon has been loosed in the city. My three best friends are determined to slay it, but even badass combat mages are critically out-magicked. And that’s not all. The monster they’re tracking—it’s not hiding. It’s not fleeing. It’s not leaving a trail of corpses everywhere it goes.

The demon is hunting too. And in a city full of mythics, it’s searching for deadlier prey.

If we can’t unravel the demon’s sinister motivations, more innocent people will die, but finding the answers means digging into dark secrets … and learning truths I never wanted to know.

The three mages are definitely sexy, but this series isn’t a reverse harem. It’s 100% fun, sassy, fast-paced urban fantasy.

“Speaking of worry ...” Sin’s eyes narrowed. “I heard all about how you went demon hunting with Aaron, Kai, and Ezra. I have to ask ... what the hell were any of you thinking?” 
“Um, well—” 
“You aren’t combat trained, and demons are the fiercest, deadliest opponents out there! Why would Darius even approve it? You’re all idiots.” 
I managed a bleak smile. “Thanks, Sin. Appreciate the vote of confidence.” 
She sniffed angrily. “You know you aren’t ready for that, and I’d really prefer my friend not get herself killed.” 
Couldn’t argue with her there. I’d also prefer not to get killed. 
Lifting the tattered book off her lap, she smacked it down on the bar. “We need to look at options.” 
“Uh ... options for what?” 
“Defensive alchemy.” She cast me a flinty stare. “Since you’re all for the dangerous jobs now, you need to be armed with more than a couple of artifacts. I heard you used a smoke screen. What else did you take?” 
Bemusedly, I watched her flip the book open. “Just flash-bang potions. What is that thing?” 
“My grimoire. All Arcana mythics have one—where we record all the spells or transmutations we’ve learned or invented.” She turned several spotted, liquid-stained pages covered in handwriting and diagrams. “I can make smoke bombs and flash-bangs easily enough, but you need something to stop an opponent. Personally, I don’t like sleep potions. It’s easy to get it on your own skin and then you’re asleep instead of them.” 
“Yeah, that’d be bad.” 
She skimmed a few more pages. “Enhanced strength is useful, but it doesn’t last long, and unless you’re in excessively good shape, you’ll crash hard afterward. Let’s see ... amnesia, no. Fasting potion, no. Enhanced speed, no.” 
“What’s wrong with speed? I’d like to be faster.” 
“It’s hopelessly impractical. Your body gets faster, but your reflexes don’t, so it’s difficult to control without training and practice. You’ll spend the potion’s duration tripping over your own feet and running into things.” 
“Oh.” Too bad. “What’s a fasting potion?” 
“Drink it and you won’t need food, water, or a bathroom for about forty-eight hours. Good for certain situations, but you pay for it afterward.” She perused more recipes. “Enhanced perception, air buffer, true sight, anti-emotionalizer, allure-fume—none of these are useful.” 
“Allure-fume?” I repeated. “What’s that?” 
She winced. “Uh, it’s a ... um ... perfume.” 
I stared at her pointedly, waiting for an explanation, and her cheeks turned pink. 
“A few drops on the skin will make the wearer especially alluring to the opposite sex. Like pheromones.” 
“Why do you know a potion like that?” 
“I tried it out when I was younger, okay?” she muttered defensively. “Lesson learned. You don’t have to lecture me.” 
“What happened?”
“I wore it on a first date with this guy I really liked.” “Did it work?” 
“It worked on him, plus every male who got within twenty feet of me. I spent our entire dinner date pushing random men out of our booth. I’ve never been hit on so many times in one evening. Most of the men were twice my age and married.” 
Fighting back a snicker, I asked, “Did you go on a second date with your crush?”
“No.” She hung her head over the grimoire. “An early sign that my love life was doomed.” 


Three Mages and a Margarita (#1)
Dark Arts and a Daiquiri (#2)
Two Witches and a Whiskey (#3)
Demon Magic and a Martini (#4)

Annette Marie is the author of Amazon best-selling YA urban fantasy series Steel & Stone, its prequel trilogy Spell Weaver, and romantic fantasy trilogy Red Winter. Her first love is fantasy, but fast-paced adventures and tantalizing forbidden romances are her guilty pleasures. She lives in the frozen winter wasteland of Alberta, Canada (okay, it's not quite that bad) with her husband and their furry minion of darkness—sorry, cat—Caesar. When not writing, she can be found elbow-deep in one art project or another while blissfully ignoring all adult responsibilities.

Tuesday, 16 April 2019

TTT: Rainy Day Reads

What is Top Ten Tuesday?

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Rainy Day Reads

On rainy days, I love to snuggle up with books that grip me from start to finish. It doesn't matter what genre it is as long as I couldn't put it down and it brings a feeling of warmth and joy.

Here's some I recommend!
(Covers linked to Goodreads.)

(This one makes me feel giddy, swept up in a whirlwind and in love.)

(I've re-read this one into the double digits...)

(Everything by Ilona Andrews)

(Anything written by Mariana Zapata.)

(Chaos... Kristen Ashley... Perfect Rainy Day Reads.)