Looking for a good read?

At All About Romance, they’re looking ahead and here are their predictions for great reads in September.

https://allaboutromance.com/coming-soon-september-2018/

The Best of 2016

My top 5 posts for 2016 according to you aren’t all from this year. There are some that are from previous years but refuse to fade away.

5. If we were having coffee… Where I ramble about my hubby and his friend making a dog house for our pooches.

4. Sneak Review: The Girl on The Train. Readers couldn’t get enough of this book review.

3. The Lipstick Fiasco. An oldie and a true story that seems to hit the right notes with readers.

2. 5 Worst Things you can do if your Wi-fi is running slow. This was a true story again and one that readers can’t get enough of.

1. The Importance of Tags: for Bloggers. This one has been in the top 5 for several years running and is still there for good reason.

 

But those are only my little top posts, what about others?

(credit: SL Blogger Support)

(credit: SL Blogger Support)

This is the best bloggers blogging in 2016 according to Island Editions.

Even more for those bloggers out there, ProBlogger has their top 2016 posts on how to find readers and on writing awesome content in their excellent blog.

These are the top books to read from 2016 according to Crystin Goodwind, author and blogger extraordinaire.

These are the top 10 books of 2016 according to Luther M. Siler, another author and blogger extraordinaire.

Finally, one of my favourite sites, All About Romance, chose their top books for 2016 in this post.

Here’s hoping 2016 was an awesome year for you! 😀

Review: Only a promise

How I love Mary Balogh, let me count the ways. One, Mary Balogh has incredibly authentic historical narrative and dialogue. When I read her books, I truly feel like I’m hearing true, British dialogue from that time period. Two, her premises always catch my interest and promise a great read. And finally, the books always, always deliver.

She’s just awesome. I hadn’t read a book of hers in a while and this one was so good, I want to start re-reading all her books again. Only a promise is the latest book by this author and it’s definitely one not to miss.

This is the story of Chloe Muirhead, a spinster at the tender age of 27 (back then, anything over 25 was ancient). She’s staying with her mother’s godmother trying to figure out what to do with her life since marriage is already passed her by. Back in the time period, a woman who didn’t marry had few if any choices available to her. In spite of that, Chloe is courageous, determined and level-headed. I liked her immensely.

Ralph, our hero, arrives at the same location to visit his grandparents and try to reassure his grandmother that he’s looking for a wife. He’s the only living heir to his grandfather’s dukedom and marriage is a ducal responsibility he’s been avoiding. Ralph is a survivor from war with scars on his face to prove it but there are others, not any less painful, in his soul and those are the ones that stop him from risking marriage.

I don’t think I’m disclosing any secrets because it’s written on the jacket but I’ll say the warning nonetheless. If you hate reveals, skip the next paragraph.

Chloe proposes to Ralph, something quite outrageous for a woman of that time. So much so, that she loses her nerve half way through the speech and tells him to forget it. He doesn’t though and pursues her until they do marry. This takes place at the early part of the book but, instead of losing steam, this is when things become interesting.

The book is really the story of how they adjusted to their marriage, to each other and to their new position in society. Along the way, they have to face old fears, enemies and accept themselves. Only Mary Balogh could make their struggles both realistic and challenging without going over the top. I loved that this story had plenty of villains but none with guns or weapons. I loved that Chloe and Ralph had to grow and challenge their darkest fears but those weren’t necessarily outside themselves. I adored most of all, their love story because it grew gradually and seemed so natural that I never once doubted they were meant for each other.

This book captivated me from the very start and didn’t let go. The proof is that we had a storm while I was reading and lost power. Desperate, I got an old camping lantern to read by because I couldn’t put this one down. My husband had trouble getting home because of the storm but, truth be told, I barely noticed. I was in the book, hanging on to every turn in the story. And it was such a beautiful love story, I know I’ll go back and re-read it again and again.

I want to add a little quote to this review. It’s the first paragraph, so it won’t disclose any secrets. My hope is that you get a taste of the great writing I found in this book.

“There could surely be nothing worse than having been born a woman, Chloe Moorhead thought with unabashed self-pity as she sucked a globule of blood off her left forefinger and looked to see if any more was about to bubble up and threaten to ruin the strip of delicate lace she was sewing back onto one of the Duchess of Worthingham’s best afternoon caps. Unless, perhaps, one had the good fortune to be a duchess. Or else a single lady in possession of forty thousand pounds a year and the freedom to set up one’s own independent establishment.” Pg. 1

One more thought. If you’re interested in the book but would like a different review, check out this one by the All About Romance site. They are impartial and loved the book like I did.

(credit:goodreads.com)

(credit:goodreads.com)

Note: Click on the cover to go to site.

Posts I loved this week

This week the posts are filled with helpful tips and how-to’s. An absolute feast for the reader, this selection made me grin through a very cold, February week. A huge thanks to everyone for these amazing posts!

Looking to do a little blog promo? Suzi81 Speaks has an opportunity for you. Check it out here.

If your manuscript is finally done, check this list on how to self-publish with 12 handy steps. Don’t do what I did which was to do it wrong over and over until I stumbled on the correct way by sheer luck! A big thanks to The Sprint Shack for that very helpful post!

What would a Saturday be without me getting my WeekendCoffeeShare fix? I love these posts and this one in particular had everything from a good update to Mardi Grass, to Compassion. A big thanks to Part Time Monster for that gem!

Filled with his great sense of humour, Bill Ferris has this great post on how to Nurture Your Fan Base and it’s filled with great ideas. A huge thank you to Writer Unboxed for that wonderful post!

Another hilarious version of the Weekend Coffee Share, this one is by Write On Sisters and I laughed out loud because I’m from Canada too and I get those comments on the weather!

If you have a couple of minutes and are into this, check out this survey on reading and methods of reading. When you vote it’ll show you the results but here they are all tallied up. Pretty interesting stuff! A big thanks to Chris McMullen for setting that up.

Not only does April mean the start of Spring, it’s also the A to Z Challenge. This blog challenge comes with a Theme this year and it’s growing into an epic movement. Check out the sign up site and you can add your blog or find an awesome site to follow! Where did I hear about this? From the one and only Just Gene’O. Check out this post with all kinds of awesome announcements.

If you’re into Twitter, here’s a great post with links and tips just for you from Writer Christoph Fischer. If you’re into Facebook, here’s a great post with tips for for you from Ellen Meister at Writers in the Storm.

Thinking about joining WordPress.org and hosting your own domain and website? Check out this post from Jemima Pett, someone who did. They cover all the do’s and don’ts. A huge thanks to Chris The Story Reading Ape for finding this awesome post!

On that topic, if you’re not ready for your own domain and website, check out this step-by-step post on how to set up a blog of your own from On Blast Blog. It’s simple, easy and has not only links but buttons. What an awesome post from a fantastic blog filled with resources! And if you do set up your own blog, let me know so I can snoop around and give you a shout out! 🙂

Help me congratulate Winter Bayne on her debut release! Secret Identities is out and looks absolutely amazing! Typical of Winter, she humbly posts about her success while sharing the secrets that got her a publishing contract. A huge congrats to her on this great accomplishment!

The Annual Reader Poll for 2014 releases is in at All About Romance. Find out what book made it to the top of the Best Romance according to readers just like you, or the best Historical or Paranormal. It’s a great chance to find a new book!

Tiny Buddha had this great post, 10 Choices that Lead to a Happy, Fulfilling Life and I loved it. Maybe it was the coffee but I’d bet it was the wisdom in those 10 suggestions. If you’re looking for something to make you feel better, I couldn’t recommend a better post.

Jen Owenby has this great post with Stephen King’s Top 20 Rules for Writers. They both surprised me and made me laugh. A big thank you to her for this great post!

Finally, a little something to make you smile.

(credit: genius.com)

(credit: genius.com)

 

Posts I loved this week

The weather around here might be freezing but the posts are smoking. This week was another one of those where I didn’t know where to start reading. There were so many outstanding posts out there. Absolutely delicious! A huge thanks to everyone for these gems!

Looking for that next great read, I love reading book reviews. This post by Winter Bayne is awesome because it has several reviews, with the covers and her thoughts on them. They sound outstanding. Yum!

A great post from the Huffington Post, 6 Survival Tips for Women Writers by  made me wonder how seriously I take my writing. It’s not only thought-provoking, it really has great ideas. While I perused the site, I came along this very interesting post on Fifty Shades of Grey by  titled Fifty Shades of Grey and the Anti-Feminist Critique. A great site, the Huffington Post has tons of interesting articles but also resources. Check out this page for Writing Tips.

I never knew how the #1000Speak for Compassion had started. Check out the video right here. This great cause is going around the world and it’s gathering a huge amount of support. Isn’t that wonderful? Want to know more? Here’s the site.

I loved this post from Open Hearted Musings because it gave me the idea of continuing the theme of Compassion past the February 20 day and continuing it all year. What a great idea!

Chris McMullen has hit the 100 000 views mark and in this post he shares his tricks on how to do just that with your blog. They’re easy to follow, with step-by-step guides on where to go and what to click on. Even better, he also has links to other sources with even more help. If you find the post helpful, thank Chris. He’s sharing those tricks out of the goodness of his heart. What a wonderful post!

This post hit me like a brick wall. I do everyone of these and make writing so much harder than it has to be. True and insightful, this post is for every writer who’s ever had trouble writing. A huge thanks to the Crimson League for this very compassionate post!

Sick of some of the cheesy things that happen in romance? Then this post is for you. Funny and so well written, it’s a top ten list of annoying things in Romance Books. A huge thank you to Part Time Monster for that awesome post!

Hilarious and with great pictures to boot, I loved this post by Suzie81 Speaks. Check it out and see what the fuss is about with this awesome blog!…Yeey! She’s got blogging tips!

Writerology had this awesome post on how to design solid characters. I like nothing more than a character that has depth and is not one-dimensional so this post was a hit with me because it’s a great checklist for my characters. What a fantastic post from an awesome site!

Have you ever been writing and realize you need to go back and change everything? That has happened to me and it’s gut-wrenching. This post on the Snowflake Method of writing promises quicker results and less changes. I read it up and thought it’s absolutely awesome. A big thank you to Advanced Fiction Writing, a site full of resources!

Wondering how to publish your book? Check out these two insightful posts by Wise Ink. The first one, 5 Myths About Self-Publishing then compare that to 5 Myths About Traditional Publishing. Absolutely eye-opening.

If you’re looking for a guaranteed good read, here are Dabney’s Best from 2014. She’s a regular reviewer on the site All About Romance and always knows what books are good and which are better left on the shelf. I’m adding some of her books to my list and heading to the bookstore as soon as I can!

A huge congratulations to Callum McLaughlin for the release of Seeking Solace. Callum is incredibly talented and his poetry is pure beauty.

Finally, a little love for you on Valentine’s Day!

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Posts I loved this week

10 Amazing Pictures of Libraries was a post that I adored. Not only was it a countdown (something I love) but it had great pictures and they were of books! The only thing better would be to be there in person. A huge thanks to Interesting Literature for that wonderful post!

All About Romance, one of my favourite book sites, picked the top books of 2014 and they’re not to be missed. Here is the post if you’re looking for the best of last year in romance. And if you’re looking forward, here’s their post on Eagerly Awaited January books.

The annual report from WordPress for this humble blog. I loved all the stats and numbers.

Another countdown of romance books comes from Book Chick With Kick and it counts down the best 20 from 2014. If you’re like me and can’t get enough great books, check it out. She’s also included the cover, links and summaries to help you find another great read!

Margarita Morris shared what she read in 2014 and I loved it. One because I love hearing what someone likes to read and also because it gives me ideas for books. Yeey!

Need to waste some time? Check out this site with free Jigsaw puzzles that you can do on your computer. For free!

I love annual reports and none is more thorough than Sourcerer’s. It describes how the year went, then analyzes it with graphs and goals for the upcoming year. And while you’re there, check out this new announcement and this one and this one from Sourcerer! My favourite authors and bloggers are all in Sourcerer! This is going to be sooo good!

A fantastic take on those tough reviews, this post by D. Emery Bunn made me admire him even more. What an absolutely awesome point of view!

If you, like me, love coffee, reading and meeting new bloggers don’t miss this great share link-up from Part Time Monster. Good times coming our way!

Check out this book review by Infinitefreetime and see exactly why reading this blog is an obsession for me. When I write a review, I think about the book and that’s it. Infinitefreetime manages to bring his quirky humour into it and turn the review into a story I can’t stop reading.

And finally, here’s hoping 2015 makes your dreams writing or reading or blogging come true!

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Posts I loved this week

What a wonderful week in posts. While we were buried in snow, bloggers out there were busy. A big thank you to everyone who wrote these inspirational posts!

Why Social Media is important to your writing career by Laura Kaye from Writers in the Storm.

9 Habits of Successful Writers on Twitter was a great informative post from Savvy Writers and e-Books online. A huge thanks for those tips.

I’m with Steve Vernon on this one. Plotting works. Check out the post for reasons why.

The Sprint Shack had a wonderful idea for those writers who are stuck with Writers Block. Check it out here.

I always appreciate good humour and this post has just that…plus extra tips from Gene’O and a great music video. A huge thanks to Just Gene’O for that great post!

A very informative post on how to deal with reviews, good or bad from Musings and Marvels but found through Steve Vernon so a big thanks to him for the tip!

This post is a thought-provoking analysis of Jamie Fraser from Outlander and poses the question, Is he a dreamboat or a Douchebag? I loved how unbiased it was and that it made me think. A huge thank you to All About Romance for this excellent post!

I loved this one because it was so wise, insightful and beautifully written. I read it and sighed with delight. What a wonderful post from Open Hearted Musings!

Part Time Monster wrote an incredibly beautiful, moving post about a life-changing decision. The writing not only touched me but it moved me so that I had to include it here. Check it out. It’s so powerful.

A very cute post, 10 Reasons why being a Writer is Like Being Santa Claus made me grin, then laugh out loud. A big thank you to Tara Sparling for that gem.

Heather B. Costa has this lovely post about a commute in London. I’ve lived in London and not only is it just like Heather describes, it can be very lonely and scary. Her post was absolutely beautiful. What a delight to read!

Finally, a little picture to make you smile,

(credit: the-funny-pictures.com)

(credit: the-funny-pictures.com)

Posts I loved this week

The weather might be terrible this week but the posts were awesome! Look at the beauties I found!

A fantastic look ahead to upcoming books in November, this post from All About Romance is a great place to find your next awesome read!

I needed this post. I really did. Callum McLaughlin wrote this fabulous, inspirational post and it was just what I needed. I’m including it here hoping you might get the encouragement I felt when I read it.

A cheerful, funny post, 18 Freaky Reasons Your Book Could get you Fired made me laugh. A great post from Wise Ink.

The weather might be terrible *cough, cough* snow *cough, cough*, but the posts are amazing. Check out these beauties!

Congratulations to Part Time Monster for her blogiversary! May you have many more!

If you’d like a little help promoting your book, Ch’kara Silverwolf is doing a promotion on her blog for any authors interested. What an awesome opportunity!

This post from the Write Practice has three tricks to write faster. No. Not better, faster. Still, I thought it was worth mentioning for all those out there doing NaNoWriMo.

A great post for those of us who haven’t got enough time in the day to check our email and that dreaded burn out. Thank you to Orly Konig-Lopez for it from Writers in the Storm.

Hilarious post that rambles about choices. I laughed out loud because it’s so true and funny at the same time. This one is pretty much for the ladies, though. A huge thanks to Pecked to Death by Chickens for the link to In the Powder Room!

If you’ve ever wondered about the wonders of American-English versus British-English, check out this great post Lost in Translation from Odyssey of a Novice Writer. With a British hubby, this post made me laugh out loud.

Finally, a little cuteness!

(credit: buzzfeed.com)

(credit: buzzfeed.com)

 

The romance fairy tale

Call it Cinderella complex or not, but I’m a huge fan of the ordinary-girl-meets-dashing-prince love story. If you’re like me and love to dream through a book, check out these sites full of just those books.

Amy Alesso has this list of romances whose heroes are all princes.

http://romanceuniversity.org/2014/09/20/someday-my-prince-will-come-reader-roundup-by-amy-alessio/

All About Romance has this list of romances whose characters are royalty. Even better, they’re classified into time periods from ancient history to contemporary to alternate reality.

http://likesbooks.com/royalty.html

Go on, find a lovely romance and curl up with a book. And, if you find a great one, tell me about it so I can read it too! 🙂

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