2020 – The Year to Come

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Happy New Year! By the time this goes live I’ll be in sunny Perth!

I’m a big believer in celebrating your successes (even if you’re your own cheer squad), looking forward and giving yourself the best opportunity possible to succeed. I did my reflection on Wednesday, so now it’s time to look towards the future.

What are my bookish goals for 2020?

This is my little reading nook with my snuggle that rotates 360 degrees.
  • Finish reviewing Tamora Pierce’s books
  • Complete series reviews for 3 other series I began in 2019
  • Kick start my book vs TV show comparisons
  • Not overwhelm myself because I apparently have no self control when it come’s to Rachel’s tours!
  • Finish my book database (this will help the next two goals)
  • Read more sci-fi
  • Read more books I already own and haven’t read yet Finish creating the new, simpler, cleaner look (all URLs for reviews will change)
  • Read a book a week (or more)

I’m a massive planner and with Rachel releasing quite a few good tours over January and February I inevitably found myself signed up for more than I intended.

Luckily a friend helped me figure out how I could create a whiteboard style yearly calendar that I can reuse every year. So I can now keep track of when I have reviews and posts planned so I don’t get overwhelmed.

My normal schedule is a review for a new read on Monday, I’ve now added in the book to film comparisons on Wednesday’s and I’m doing my series review on Friday’s still. That leaves a few days for Wrap Up posts, tags and other random little things.

Not sure if you can see how limited my review places are until April

What book challenges am I doing in 2020?

Goodreads Reading Challenge

I’ve decided to set myself a goal of 80 books for the Goodreads 2020 Reading Challenge. Since I read 102 in 2019 I thought this would be a good challenge.

I didn’t want to put it any higher since I’ll be working from home now with my business.

To try and support more Aussie author’s and to connect with more local Aussie readers and bloggers I joined the Aussie Readers group on Goodreads. They do several challenges throughout the yr so I’ve signed up for two of them. If anyone would like to join any of these, you don’t need to be an Aussie to join so feel free to follow the links and join!

Aussie Author Bingo

The Rules:
#1. Aussie Authors ONLY
#2
. Read a minimum of two (2) rows – either across or down but not diagonal
#3. Where the squares overlap (if they do) you must read that square twice.
#4. Choose your rows and your LEVEL; then list (and link) your books in this challenge thread.

Make sure you check out the challenge guidelines here

There are four (4) levels of achievement:

Shelf (10 books – 2 rows)
Bookcase (15 books – 3 rows)
Library (20 books – 4 rows)
To Infinity and beyond (25 books – 5 rows)

The books I’ve chosen for this are:

Down:
a) Published 2020: The Lawson Sisters (requested on NetGalley)
b) Bright vibrant cover: The Boundary Fence (requested on NetGalley)
c) Rated 4+ by a friend: The Alchemist’s Key by Traci Harding
d) One work title: Lovestruck (requested on NetGalley)
e) Young adult: Stray

Across:
a) Rated 4+ by a friend: Thief’s Magic by Trudi Canavan
b) New author to you: Ballarat Charter, Volume 1
c) On TBR 2 years+: Thirty-Eight Reasons
d) Crime/Mystery: The Daughter of Victory Lights (requested on NetGalley)
e) Male author: The Landing

A-Z Characters

This one sounded like fun and a great way to expand my reading. I haven’t found characters for all the letters yet, I’m hoping as the yr goes by I’ll find some for the last couple of letters so I can finish the challenge.

So far I’ve selected 7 Aussie authors for my characters.

Rules:

For something different, we will have an A-Z CHARACTER challenge for 2020. To complete this challenge, read a book in which a main character‘s first or last name begins with the corresponding letter. For the hard letters Q, X, Y and Z, you may use a name in which the letter appears somewhere in the main character’s first or last name – it does not have to be the first letter. One book per letter – 26 books in total

There’s to be a minimum of 6 Aussie Authors for this challenge 🙂
And don’t forget our challenge guidelines here

A – AJ in Fateful Coincidence by Lasairiona E. McMaster
B – Evelyn Bell in The Daughter of Victory Lights by Kerri Turner AA (requested on NetGalley)
C – Coco Lauren in Getting Dirty by Rachael Stewart
D – Cassandra Devlin in Stray by Andrea K. Höst AA
E – Eskil in The Landing by Colin Taber AA
F – Lillian Fairclough in Lilian and the Irresistible Duke by Virginia Heath
G – Gavin Thompson in Dance of the Heart by Lisa Kessler
H – Henry in The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
I – Isobel in A Crown of Time by Jennifer Macaire
J – Carter Jackson in Crazy for Your Love by Lexi Ryan
K – Winter Knowles in From Thailand with Love: A Fun, Adventurous Romantic Comedy by Camilla Isley
L – Amy Lowery in Lovestruck by Bronwyn Sell AA (requested from NetGalley)
M – Mikolas Leandros in Song of the Soul by Lisa Kessler
N – Nolan Parker in Thirty-Eight Reasons by Len Webster AA
O – Olly in When Polly Met Olly by Zoe May
P – Sir Pelleas in A Shape on the Air by Julia Ibbotson
Q – Ella Quinliven in The Boundary Fence by Alissa Callen AA (requested from NetGalley)
R – Rune Jenkins in Magic Unleashed by Devri Walls
S – Shayleigh Jackson in If It’s Only Love by Lexi Ryan
T – Terran in Rise of Gaia by Kristin Ward
U – TBC
V – Valentine Pierce in Of Night and Dark Obscurity by Nicola Italia
W – Beth Williams in New Beginnings At Glendale Hall: A gorgeously uplifting, romantic read – guaranteed to bring you sunshine! by Victoria Walters
X – TBC
Y – Gwyn Drake in The Bachelor by Sabrina Jeffries
Z – Zara Edginway in Ballarat Charter, Volume 1 by Lila Rose AA

Stats tracking

I’m wanting to get a bit nerdier when it comes to my reading now that I’m in the swing of blogging, the various challenges and things that I can do. Since I wanted to track a few different things, I’ve decided to merge Kal from Reader Voracious’ template with someone that I stupidly didn’t save the link for.

The graphs that have stuff filled in isn’t actually accurate since I’ve yet to fill anything in but you can get an idea of the types of stats I’m going to be tracking. Over the yr I may add more graphs and stuff if I feel like I want to know more about my reading habits. The main thing is I’ve entered as much info into the data collection tabs as I think is relevant so I can then draw that data to see more info.

That’s me done for my bookish stuff. If you’re interested in knowing about some of my personal goals keep reading!

What are my personal goals for 2020?

Maybe not quite as exciting for you, but I might as well tell someone so I have a chance of doing them. There are studies that show by telling someone, or writing them down you’re much more (can’t remember the specific number) likely to achieve those goals. I’ve also decided weight isn’t a good measurement of fitness so I’ve made a change to that one.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
  • Fit comfortably into a size 6 (US size 2) which is my body’s natural size
  • Bench press 30kg for minimum 10 times in one minute
  • Run 5km in 30 mins
  • Get my first client for my business
  • Go to the Maldives for a week for my 30th (been keeping my eye out for a good deal!)
  • Give a rescue dog a new home with me (this has been 20 years in the making!)
  • Make Vlogs using Premier Pro

In anticipation of people being all like “a size 6 is too small!” I’d like to point out that I’m not even 5 foot 2. So a size 8 on me, although not huge, does mean I’m carrying around some extra fat all over my body. If I can get rid of the excess fat then I’ll easily fit into a size 6, on a skinny day I’d even fit into a size 4.

So please, no mean comments about eating disorders. I love my food and alcohol so need to work to not blow out to a size 12!

I hope you’re looking forward to what’s coming up this year! I’m super excited to keep myself organised with my new calendar. Since I’ll be working from home this yr I won’t have an excuse to know what’s going on!

In my January wrap up I’ll hopefully be able to show picks of my Perth trip and *fingers crossed I find the right dog* a new addition to my family!

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2019 – A Year in Review

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Wow! We’re finally at the end of 2019! It’s been a mammoth yr for me to tell you the least! Over the year I’ve:

  • Migrated my blog to self-hosted (gives me way more control)
  • Learnt how to use Elementor (that’s a website building tool) and made some changes along the way
  • Put maybe half my books into my book database
  • Upgraded my Certificate IV in Training and Assessment (the government raised the minimum requirements)
  • Started and completed the Diploma of Training Design and Development (more specialist area of training with higher standards)
  • Set up a minimum viable site for my business (and partially set up a better version, still need to finish that!)
  • Been to a few conferences since I’ve never been to any before
  • Got through 12 months of owning a rental property (this is still super exciting for me)
  • Ended my contract in preparation for launching my business in the new yr! (so excited yet so terrified!)

Now into some more bookish related things! I’ll start off with a run down of what’s happened on my blog before going into what Goodreads has to say about my reading this yr.

I just want to quickly wrap up the Reindeer Readathon before moving on!

I managed to get 3 books read in the final week and a half of December, one of which I read in the hours leading up to having to go out to ring in the new yr.

This is the one that held me up in Week 3. I really struggled to read this one but I managed to get there in the end!

I’ll have a full review coming out in January.

I really enjoyed this one. It was good fun and had such great themes in it.

I’ll have a full review coming out in January.

I smashed this one out on December 31st and kept telling my partners family (we were all staying down at Phillip Island at the time) that I needed to finish this so at least I’d only miss out on one prompt for the Readathon.

Luckily they left me to it so you’ll see a review in the coming months.

Total points I achieved for Team Nutcracker: 140

in 2019 I published:

  • 90 reviews of which only 6 were from books I’ve owned since 2018 or earlier…
  • 33 discussions including wrap ups, tags, promos and author interviews

I honestly can’t believe how many books I’ve been able to read and review this yr! So many people that I talk to when they ask how many books I read a week, or how many reviews I release a week are shocked when I say read almost 2 books a week.

How many books did I actually read this yr?

So I started my first book of the yr early on the morning of New Years Day (I luckily finished the previous book in the afternoon of New Years Eve) so it’s actually gonna be an accurate number!

To remind you, I wanted to read 65 books. Now I’d smashed that by the time I went to Vietnam in August so I figured I should increase it. But for the purposes of this review I’m leaving that goal at 65.

DRUM ROLL!!!

I have now read 102! I’ve almost doubled my original goal!

Ok… maybe not quite doubled. But it sounds cool to say doubled.

Onto the cute stats Goodreads gave me!

I told you you need to go and read this book now!

Time for some other bookish things I want to share with you!

I wanted to share some of my favourite books with you from the year based on a few key themes. I’ve also linked in my reviews so you can check those out while you’re here.

A novel I couldn’t stop thinking about

At the end of Summer was a novel brought to me by Rach Random Resources and I have regularly thought of this story since reading it. So much so that I’m probably going to give it a re-read this yr.

I gave it 4 stars at the time yet the story has really stuck with me.

I’ve thought about An Impossible thing called Love a few times since I read it. The miscommunication, the way a third party can ruin things. It’s amazing to read about how that all happens and how the lovebirds find their way through that mess.

I gave it 4 stars yet it just feels so sweet and gives you a glimmer of hope that this kind of love can survive.

Debut author’s I’ve discovered I really like

I’ve read quite a few books by Zoe Ashwood (also writes under Zoe Ann Wood) since I heard she was looking for bloggers to review her novels. And by quite a few I mean like…9 books, one was a short story while one was a novella.

When she writes under Zoe Ashwood it’s paranormal and sci-fi romance. However, she’s also writing sweet romances under Zoe Ann Wood. So depending on what genre’s you like that should give you some idea’s!

Kristin Ward totally surprised me with After the Green Withered and then Burden of Truth. I’m not really a fan of YA anymore but Dave from Write Reads sold it so well I had to read it. Which meant I was pleasantly surprised!

I even got the opportunity to do an interview with Kristin to find out how she came up with the story and researched it.

I enjoyed her writing so much that I’m signed up to do a review of her newest book Rise of Gaia in February.

I read Michael K Hill’s novel A Different Time in one sitting. That’s how enraptured I was with it. I suffered from lack of sleep the next day at work but OMG it was amazing!

This is the one book where I’ve been tempted to do some fan fiction for it. He left it perfectly open to speculate, interpret and envision that it feels perfect for some fan fiction if he chooses not to do a sequel.

Last I checked there’s not going to be a sequel so I’m totally open to some fan fiction on this one!

Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset

Harper McDavid totally surprised me. The blurb for Zapata had me on the fence as to whether I’d like it but I figured I’d give it a go when she reached out to me.

Let’s just say I’m glad I took that chance!

I felt like I was on the edge of my seat the whole time I was reading it. It’s right up my partner’s alley (he’s not much of a reader but does love action stories) so I got it for him for Christmas.

I’m now struggling not to ruin anything for him! Fingers crossed I don’t spoil anything for him.

A novel that made me feel more connected to my partner

This is probably a bit of a weird topic for most people. But one of the books Rach Random Resources brought on tour this yr was based on something my partner loves (beer) and informative enough that I’ve been able to have more informed conversations with him about beer.

Although Probably the Best Kiss in the World sounds like a big ol romance (I mean it is…), it also has a big focus on beer brewing. Something my partner has wanted to get into for a while. So this gave me a little bit of an insight to help him get started.

Series that I’ve discovered

If you’ve been following my blog this yr you’ll have noticed that I’ve reviewed half of the Time for Alexander series thanks to Rach Random Resources bringing them on tour. Since I couldn’t wait for the rest to slowly come out I went ahead and bought the rest.

So you’ll see reviews for the remaining books going live across the first 3 months of 2020.

I’m a big fan of all mythology, but I’m most familiar with Greek mythology. So when Rach Random Resources brought the first book, Lure of Obsession, of a completed series focusing on Greek mythology I jumped on it.

Let’s just say I became slightly obsessed and have since bought the rest of the series and only have already read half the series. I’ll be reviewing one book from the series each month in 2020 until the whole series is reviewed.

A book that surprised me

Yeap. That’s right. I’m mentioning Against All Odds again! I’m sorry but it was just so unexpectedly good!

I mean. I’ve never read a biographical style book before so this really blew me away with how amazing the writing is. Especially given it was written by 2 guys who are doctors, not authors!

I hope you’ve enjoyed coming along for the ride with me this year. Next yr will hopefully be a bit a more structured so come back on Friday to see what I have planned so far for the new year!

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Wrap Up – December

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December involved a lot of wrapping things up, getting ready for 2019 and generally trying not to lose focus. I finished my contract and packed up my desk etc and ended my 15 months with them with a Christmas party!

I can honestly say I haven’t done much reading this month with everything that’s going on. But let’s see what I released this month!

I don’t think 7 reviews, 2 discussions and weekly wrap up posts for the Reindeer Readathon is too bad!

My Fav

I can’t believe I’m saying this but I need to make this one my fav. It captured me in a way I wasn’t expecting, was funny, serious, really showed me how dangerous this was. And just generally opened my eyes to cave diving.

Seriously, if you haven’t grabbed a copy of this you really need to! If you’re not sure why you should read a biographical style book, go and read my review and you’ll see why you just have to read this.

My Least Fav

I don’t think it’s Elaine’s fault, or the books fault, that this one is here. If the blurb had had sold this to me as a friendship book with lots of characters to follow I would’ve been prepared for the style it’s written in.

Single all the Way felt like it had too many characters points of view, it wasn’t a rom com like the blurb suggested and I think coming into this series part way through didn’t help matters for me.

I’d suggest starting at the start of the series if you’re interested in giving this one a go.

I’m going to leave this wrap up here since I’m going to be doing a full yr in review on Wednesday, and then the plan for 2020 and what you can expect on Friday.

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Reindeer Readathon – Week 3 Update

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Today’s update is really short because I haven’t finished a single book this week!

This is abnormal for me since I’ve been finishing close to 2 books a week all year. But it was also my last week at the job I’ve had all year so I was driving in rather than getting the bus so lost 2 hours a day of reading time just from driving instead. And because it was my last week everyone wanted to do farewell lunches and things which meant I lost that 30 mins too!

I tried to pump out as much of the book I’ve been reading yesterday but I had too much energy to sit and read all day. Plus my partner wanted to watch I, Tonya and another episode of The Witcher so I spent some time in front of the TV.

Although I DID finish a puzzle I started like 18 months ago! With my study I had no time to work on it like all yr but I was able to get back into it about a month ago and I’ve now finished it!

Let’s just say I thought I was missing a few pieces for ages coz I couldn’t find the pesky little things. Slowly but surely I managed to work my way through the gaps. And then horrified my partner by packing it all away once I took this pic. Apparently he doesn’t understand that once you finish a puzzle you take it apart so you can do a different one. Or redo this one in the future.

POINTS ACHIEVED FOR TEAM NUTCRACKER: 0

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5 things I’ve learnt from 12 months in the Book Blogging community

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Hi everyone,

I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the past 12 months since discovering some little sub-groups within the book blogging community.

I had no idea exactly how many book bloggers there were, or that blogging was such a big thing (I feel so old and out of touch saying this!) but I was pleasantly surprised at how many of us there are world-wide. There are two groups in particular that I’ve been a part of quite actively over the past year (although not as active as other members), both of which have Discord chats where we can chat, share posts/reviews, ask each other for help etc and just generally interact.

My first feeling when I discovered these groups was “O wow! I’m finally going to make some friends that really get my love of books and I’ll we’ll end up lifelong friends!” Naïve of me, yes, I know.

Not only do I suck at social interactions normally, but when I’m not faced with talking to people face to face, I often forget to reach out and chat. Meeting people in these online groups obviously was never going to be easy for me.

In that time, I’ve learnt a few things and I wanted to share 5 of these with you, in no particular order of importance, just what came to my head first.

  1. I’m against bullying, discrimination etc like I think the vast majority of the world is. However, I’ve noticed some differences between my laid back Aussie view and those of some people in other countries. In some cases I even felt attacked for asking for the other sides point of view or suggesting that maybe someone was taking something a little bit too seriously. I mean, what has the world come to if you can’t even crack a joke?
  2. There’s a vast range of experience with blogging from those who are yet to start and those who have been doing it for years. Naturally everyone is going to have different levels of knowledge, experience etc and we all have different paces of learning. I’ve found that although some people are incredibly patient, others aren’t so much.
  3. There are so many tour organisers out there that work with authors to find bloggers, distribute books and create artwork etc. I’ve been working with Rach Random Resources the longest, then Dave at The Write Reads and I recently tried out Goddess Fish. They each do things a little bit differently so depending on how you like to work will depend on which organiser is best for you as a blogger.
  4. It’s possible to ask authors and publishers for ARCs (advanced reading copies) of books. This can be done in a lot of ways, from approaching authors or publishers directly, and from other sources like NetGalley. At this stage I’ve only used NetGalley as I’m kept pretty busy with my TBR pile, Rach Random Resources tours and the requests I get from authors. At the moment I haven’t really had time or the desire to approach authors or publishers directly with everything else I’ve had going on in my life this yr.
  5. Like every part of society, there’s nice bloggers and some not so nice bloggers. I get that we’re never going to like everyone we come across. I’m adult and mature enough to understand this and not expect to like everyone I come across. Yet some of the bloggers that I’ve come across are older than me, and act like teenagers that haven’t learnt how to be polite yet. In those situations, I try and do the mature thing by calmly and logically explaining my point of view and then walk away. Or I just don’t engage and stay out of it. I don’t have the time or mental capacity to deal with that kind of behaviour. I avoid it in my real life, so there’s no way I’d want to be a part of it in my digital life.

I’d love to hear what others have found from being involved in various book blogging communities, so please comment and tell me what you think!

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The Bookish Naughty or Nice Tag

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This tag originates with Jenn over at A Page of Jenniely’s and I was tagged by Laurie over at Laurie’s Bookshelf. So let’s find out if I’ve been naughty or nice! Hehehehe

Rules

  1. Tag and link the person who tagged you (done!)
  2. Tag and link Jenn in this post so she can read it (done!)
  3. Tick/cross the ones you have done
  4. Tag another 10 people!

1. Received an ARC and not reviewed it

Nope. I feel bad when I get an ARC and don’t review it!

2. Have less than 60% feedback rating on NetGalley

Nope. I worked hard and got it up to 90% 🙂

3. Rated a book on Goodreads and promised a full review was to come on your blog (and never did)

Don’t think so? Like with the ARCs I feel bad if I promise a review and don’t deliver.

4. Folded down the page of a book

Not this yr, but only because I’ve read hardly any physical books. I did last yr 😐

5. Accidentally spilled on a book

On my Kindle yes, not on a physical book.

6. DNF a book this yr

Not this yr!

7. Bought a book purely because it was pretty with no intention of reading it

Nope. That’s a waste of money to me, I’ll always read them. Might take me a while to get to it. But I will read it!

8. Read whilst you were meant to be doing something else (like homework)

HAHAHAHAHA! Yeas! So many times in my winter!

9. Skim read a book

Not unless I was skimming it for info to add to my review

10. Completely missed your Goodreads goal

Nope. Nailed it! Even increased it 🙂

11. Borrowed a book and not returned it to the library

Nope. I haven’t borrowed a library book in forever!

12. Broke a book buying ban

Ahhhh….I didn’t have an official buying ban but kinda….

13. Started a review, left it for ages then forgot what the book was about

Once. I had to skim that book to remind myself what I wanted to say about it.

14. Wrote in a book you were reading

No. I hate people that do this (in anything other than textbooks, I write in them all the time).

15. Finished a book and not added it to your Goodreads

Nope. I only started using Goodreads like this last yr but since then no.

16. Borrowed a book and not returned it to a friend

No. But I have had a friend not return my signed book! I want it back!

17. Dodged someone asking if they can borrow a book

No. People have learnt I don’t lend my books out and this friend is in for big trouble if she can’t find this book!

18. Broke the spine of someone else’s book

Nope.

19. Took the jacket off a book to protect it and ended up making it more damaged

Nope. I hardly ever take physical books out of the house so they don’t get the opportunity.

20. Sat on a book accidentally

HAHAHAHAHA yea….. This happens all the time.

So that’s 4 out of 20 meaning….I’m 20% naughty and 80% nice! Go me! Hahaha

Tag time!

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Reindeer Readathon – Week 2 Update

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We’re now halfway through the Reindeer Readathon!

I’ve finished two more books this week. It’s one less than last week but assuming I keep reading two a week then I’ll finish 9 books before the end of the month. But I’m driving to work this week rather than getting the bus so I’m not sure how I’ll go…

Faced with terrible options both Ianthe and Robert do what the must. Their journey from a “convenient” marriage to one of love is long and arduous. And to be honest, I got a little bit over Ianthe’s theatrics and lack of self esteem by about 3/4 of the way through.

I understand how debilitating this can be, but Robert needed to step up and help her and he didn’t which just really frustrated me.

As a debut novel I was pleasantly surprised by this read. I was right in thinking it’d have a big impact on me.

The concept of fear, living for the future etc were thoroughly explored and I loved how Kelly was able to touch on so many topics in one book without it being huge, overwhelming, confusing or not quite right.

I have a full review coming in early Jan for this one.

POINTS ACHIEVED FOR TEAM NUTCRACKER: 45 POINTS

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Reindeer Readathon – Week 1 Update

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We’re one week into the Reindeer Readathon. YAY!!!

In the past week I’ve been able to finish 3 of the prompts which I thought was pretty good. But if I compare that with some of the other’s in my team it’s nothing! I thought I’d share some initial thoughts of each book as I finish them even though full reviews will be coming in the new year for most of them.

I’ve read the full books before and even though I was surprised at how much the images of the graphic novel was able to convey. I felt like it was missing something compared to the full novel. So I didn’t really enjoy it.

Maybe graphic novels are best if they’ve been designed specifically to be a graphic novel?

I actually ended up changing my book for this coz it turned out book 3 of the series was about the Muse of Lyrics. Which is music.

Erica’s career is as a song writer and there was a fair bit about their theatre in this one so it felt like it ticked the Dancer prompt quite nicely!

One of the things I liked about this book was that it wasn’t a carbon copy of the style of the previous two. When you’re following a series it’s great to have that variety.

I’ve liked every Jenni Fletcher book I’ve read and this was no exception. It touched on mental health, self worth and a few other issues. Yet did it in a way that felt accurate for the times.

POINTS ACHIEVED FOR TEAM NUTCRACKER: 40 POINTS

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The Ultimate Blog Tag!

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I saw this tag over on Hina’s blog and it sounded so cool I wanted to do it! She initially found it over at Book Craic, so please check out both of them!


1. Do you get sick while reading in the car?

Definitely not! So glad about this coz I think I’d have died of boredom growing up if I got car sick.

2. Which author’s writing style is completely unique to you and why?

I think I’m going to go with Nelson DeMille, I know I’ve read a few other authors that have elements of his style. But none in the same combination as Nelson.

3. Harry Potter or the Twilight Series Saga? Give three points to defend your answers

Ah, Harry Potter of course. Is this even a question? I started this with the first movie when it first came out when I was 11 years old. That Christmas my mum bought the first four books for me on Christmas eve and for the next couple of days we both read all four books. Since then I’ve read every book as it’s been released, seen every movie and we were lucky enough to see the Cursed Child play earlier this year. Does that count as 3 points?

4. Do you carry a book bag? If so, what’s in it (besides books)?

Nope. I just always make sure I have my Kindle or a book or two on me.

5. Do you smell your books?

Hahahah yea… Somehow, I don’t think many book readers will say no to this!

6. Books with or without little illustrations?

Without, unless they are maps. Like Matthew Reilly’s books with all the little maps of where they are brilliant. I love mas with my books.

7. What book did you love while reading but discovered later it wasn’t quality writing?

I feel like the Wind on Fire trilogy meets this criterion… I mean. I loved reading it at the time. But every time I think back on it, I can’t help but wonder what the author was smoking when they wrote it. I also can’t believe how many discrepancies I let slide while I read it.

8. Do you have any funny stories involving books from your childhood?

I have a couple of stories. The main one I remember is more like a book lovers’ nightmare and total horror story, so I’ll share a different one!

Every family trip growing up we took 3 suitcases. Mum’s had her stuff and my clothes; dads had his stuff and my toiletries and beach stuff and mine was filled with books. Specifically, I remember celebrating my 12th birthday and all my friends and family got me books.

As soon as I’d opened them my parents took them all away and I wasn’t allowed to touch them until we got to the airport to fly to Fiji. The suitcase full of books that was meant to last me 2 weeks lasted me like 4-6 days!

9. What is the thinnest book on your bookshelf?

The Black Stallion by Walter Farley. I’ve had this for years and actually picked it up at a country fair. A great 20c investment!

10. What is the thickest book on your shelf?

The last Game of Thrones book, A Dance with Dragons, or maybe Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is thicker? One of those two.

11. Do you write as well as read? Do you see yourself in the future as being an author?

Hahahahaha no I don’t write! I do enough writing for my job (I’m an Instructional Designer so writing learning courses takes all my creative juices) that I’d rather focus on just reading and enjoying myself outside of my job.

12. When did you get into reading?

Apparently, I’ve always been a reader. I always asked my dad to read to me as a little kid coz he did all the voices and it was great. I think when I could read by myself I broke into the freedom of being able to read when I wanted to rather than having to rely on when my parents had free time to read to me.

13. What is your favourite classic book?

I’m going to say the Black Stallion coz that’s really the only one I’ve actually read. I’ve started a few, but the style of writing is quite difficult compared to todays writing style.

14. In school what was your best subject?

History. I had a knack for remembering the stories my teachers and textbooks told me, including the dates. Being able to remember where on a page the info I needed was written down and quote it back as if the book was in front of me really helped. I also have a knack for understanding how all the little pieces fit together into the bigger picture. How one action resulted in numerous reactions etc.

15. If you were given a book as a present that you had read before and hated, what would you do?

This has happened to me in the past. I asked for the receipt and exchanged it for another book. Not sure if I’d do the same these days… I tend to get people to give me gift certificates instead so this doesn’t happen.

16. What is a lesser known series that you know of that is similar to Harry Potter or the Hunger Games?

I haven’t got an answer for this…

17. What is a bad habit you always do (besides rambling) while filming?

Not a vlogger. So can’t say I have one.

18. What is your favourite word?

I don’t have a favourite word from my books. But my default one when talking is “alrighty” and “ok then”. I apparently got up to like 100+ of those in 1 hour of training when a colleague counted.

19. Are you a nerd, dork, or dweeb? Or all of the above?

I’m not gonna lie, I had to Google what each of these meant. Based on their definitions I’m going to go with dweeb. I do lead a pretty boring life, I study a lot (both formal and informal training) and I’m pretty sure most people who know me would agree that I’m pretty socially inept.

20. Vampires or fairies? Why?

Vampires. No hesitation there! Fairies are all well and good, but vampires are sexy, morally grey and so relatable. Some of my favourite characters from a range of novels are vampires.

21. Shapeshifters or angels? Why?

Shapeshifters. Again, easy! Like vampires, shapeshifters are morally grey characters. Yet this time, they are often fighting a force within them that they can’t control and are doing everything they can to be good people.

22. Spirits or werewolves? Why?

See above. Spirits just don’t have that morally grey area. They are what they are.

23. Zombies or vampires? Why?

Vampires. Zombies are gross! I mean, the living dead that’s rotting? At least vampires are eternally young and sexy!

24. Love triangle or forbidden love?

Hmmmm… I really like both of these!

Love triangles are interesting because someone has to make a choice. A choice about what’s best for them and seeing them struggle with that choice of what’s best for them now vs in the future is a difficult choice.

Forbidden love on the other hand comes in a few different forms. You have sisters falling in love with their brother’s best friends. Rival families having young people fall in love etc. It has it’s moments, but sometimes I feel like this can wear a little thin, even though I still love it!

25. Full on romance books or action-packed with a few love scenes mixed in?

I actually enjoy both. I love a good romance because I get to really relax and just enjoy a nice read. While having an action-packed book with the romance dotted throughout it gives me a different style with that emotional relief you need from that same drama.


This really didn’t take me as long to write as I thought it might. If you enjoyed this, feel free to give it a go and share your thoughts!

I hope you enjoyed this post!

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