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! 😀

Posts I loved this week

These are those posts that I adored this week. They moved me and I chose them because they were absolutely wonderful. Posts like this make me glad I’m online and I have a blog to write. They are such a gift!

So true, this post reminded me of what’s important, 7 Things that Shouldn’t Impress us Anymore. A huge thanks to Becoming Minimalist for that awesome post!

Know a new author? Want to help them out? Wise Ink has this great post with 5 ways to do just that.

Help me give Crystin Goodwin a hearty congrats for the snazzy new look!  Like the banner? That’s Winter Bayne’s work. That blog is smoking!

If you’re plotting and need some help, Heather Jackson from Write On Sisters, explains just what a good hook is and the 4 components it needs here.

Just in time for International Women’s Day on March 8th, last year’s Feminist Friday posts have been collected, with easy-to-access links, in an e-book and is available on Amazon for 0.99 cents. For more details, check out this post by Comparative Geeks for all the information or check out this post by Natacha Guyot, who edited the book!

Wanna earn a few good Karma points? If you’d like to help out a talented author and all around good guy, why not leave a review or two at Amazon for Luther M. Siler’s two books? If you haven’t tried them, I couldn’t recommend them more highly. Just check out his blog to understand how funny and talented his writing is.

In an incredibly courageous post, Suzie81 shared that she just quit her DayJob. I read the entry in awe. If you’d like to give her some support, her blog is Suzie81 Speaks.

If you’re looking for editing tools, check out this post from Interesting Literature with the best tools out there just for you. A huge thanks to The Story Reading Ape for finding the post in the first place!

Are you into historical romance? Here are the Royal Residencies of the Georgian Kings then and now. An awesome post from Regency History.

Absolutely uplifting, this post by Natacha Guyot got me smiling and helped make my Wednesday brighter. I loved the positive message and the quotes. A huge thanks to her for that wonderful post…and the adorable kitten!

Another uplifting post, Comparative Geeks lists the positive things we get from having the internet. While I would hate not having it around, I never stopped and thought how many positive things come out of the World Wide Web. What an insightful and positive post!

Looking to do some book marketing? Check out this great post from Darla G. Denton on how to do just that with a timeline and great pictures. A huge thanks to her for that great post!

I always love posts that announce what’s coming up next in a blog. I get to check out their new schedule and see new ideas that I’d love to read about. If you’re like me, read about what’s coming up in Natacha Guyot here. Exciting and fresh ideas along with old favourites!

If you’re wondering why it’s so hard to handle the roughness of a first draft, take a look at this insightful post by Steven Pressfield and hang in there!

Finally, a cute little picture of two readers.

(credit: pinterest.com)

(credit: pinterest.com)

Posts I loved this week

This was a phenomenal week online. Everywhere I looked there was another outstanding post. As a result, this post is a little on the long side. Don’t look at me. You guys are the ones who produced these amazing gems! 🙂

A Writer’s Path has a great post on what to do if you’re stuck (like me) and have trouble writing (or editing). I found this post (and blog) via Steve Vernon who reblogged it, so he deserves the credit because the post is awesome. Check out this Writer’s Toolbox and see why.

A wonderfully uplifting post, Think Positive reminded me of just how difficult writing is for everyone, including the Greats. A huge thank you to Callum Mclaughlin for that wonderful post!

Much is said about trolls online. Here’s a wonderful post with confessions from a former troll with tips on how to deal with them and maintain your serenity. Learn from one who has been there on the fantastic blog 99u.

A huge congrats to Natacha Guyot for the release of her book ‘A Galaxy of Possibilities – Representation and Storytelling in Star Wars’. Long awaited, it looks awesome!

A wonderful blog with great writing and beautiful initiatives, Part Time Monster is one of my favourite blogs for good reason. Check out this post and see why.

A very exciting blog, Sourcerer now has new contributors and features. I, for one, never miss a post on this blog. And while you’re there, check out this book review by  . Its the first of a series. Isn’t it awesome?

Sick of hearing bad news? Try this incredible true story by Suzie81 Speaks. And while you’re there, check out these hilarious posts: How to know when you’re a teacher and 21 ways to annoy your teacher or these blogging tips. This blog is awesome!!

Writeonsisters has a great post with tips for Authors on their site. And while you’re there, check out another amazing post this time on editing. Another incredible site!!

This one is reading at its best. I found Compassion in Action from The Qwiet Muse via Sourcerer in Twitter and I can’t thank him enough. What a lovely post and a wonderful blog! I love this quote: “sometimes we choose what to write, sometimes we write what chooses us.” I will definitely follow this one!

If you’re wondering about joining #1000Speak, check out this incredible post on the subject by Drifting through My Open Mind. Beautifully written, it’s inspirational. A huge thank you to Drifting Through for that wonderful post! And that’s not all on this wonderful project, Melissa Barker-Simpson has started these Monday Posts that are an amazing way to lead up to Feb 20th. And EVEN more great news, check out the blog that was born out of this idea, #1000Speak for Compassion. What an amazing demonstration of the goodness in humanity!

A huge congratulations to Crystin Goodwin for that awesome cover for her second book, Fire Blessed. I’m so pumped for this book!

For a laugh and sheer enjoyment, try this post by Inside The Life Of Moi. I laugh so hard at the posts on this blog!

Finally, a little quote from someone you might recognize.

(credit: viacharacterblog.org)

(credit: viacharacterblog.org)

Pay It Forward Friday: Crystal Goodwin

Pay It Forward Fridays came from this post by Emily Guido. The idea is to feature a blogger or author on Fridays and give them a little shoutout. Anyone goes as long as they’re interested.

I’ve received an incredible amount of support from bloggers, authors and people I’ve met on line who didn’t know me and were just very kind, supportive souls. And, when I read that post by Emily Guido, I thought: time to give back.

I loved this quote from Emily’s mother:

“I cast a couple of pieces of bread on the water and the waves bring me back a ham sandwich.”

Karma is a beautiful thing.

Today I’m focusing on Crystin Goodwin.


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Crystin says of herself: “First and foremost, I’m an author. *blushes* I’ve always wanted to say that. But seriously, my first book was released March 2, 2014. UnBlessed can be found in a number of places, mostly online. Amazon and Barnes and Noble both have links, or you could visit my personal estore if you want to be super supportive!  https://www.createspace.com/4695914

I have a lot of favorite authors, books, and series – which I’ll include below – but I wanted to mention my inspiration, idol, and hero first: Anne McCaffrey. Her diversity blew me away when I was in high school. After reading her Pern series and then diving into the totally different yet just as wonderful Tower and the Hive series, I remember thinking, “Wow. One person thought up these two rich, complex worlds. I want to be able to do that with just one.” Many years later, Myrillia was born.

As for some of my other favorites, they include: the Hollows series by Kim Harrison, the October Daye series by Seanan McGuire, the Anita Blake series by Laurel K. Hamilton, R.A. Salvatore’s Drizzt series, the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher, and Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance series. Yes, I’m a Harry Potter fan, and I’m not ashamed to say I like Twilight. Well. Maybe a little ashamed.

Another fun fact? I’m a HUGE World of Warcraft fan, and an avid player. Note I said avid, not accomplished. No, I’m not a raider. No, I don’t PvP. I don’t top DPS charts (well, I do occasionally – I’m not a bad player). I tend to lean towards collecting … everything. I have one of each class over level 20 (and that’s without refer-a-friend bonuses), and over five max level characters (pre-Warlords of Draenor). If your a WoW player, too, feel free to look me up: you can usually find me on Kieve – Lightbringer, Jahline – Lightbringer, or Teruaki – Earthen Ring.

Oh, my final note? I’m amateur artist, mostly with animation style drawings. Especially anime style. (Yes, I like anime, too. You couldn’t guess that from the reading and gaming clues?)”

These are her favourite books:

The entire works of Anne McCaffrey
The October Daye series by Seanan McGuire
The Hollows series by Kim Harrison
The Legend of Drizzt by R.A. Salvatore
The Anita Blake series by Laurel K. Hamilton
Twilight by Stephanie Meyers
The Harry Potter Series by J. K. Rowling

She’s written UnBlessed, the first book of the series Blessings of Myrillia. The second book, Fire Blessed is due out in late 2014.

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I reviewed UnBlessed and found it outstanding. Click on the cover above to buy it from Amazon.com

She has her own blog at crystinlgoodwin.wordpress.com where she does everything from share reading list to reviewing books.

So, want to know an author before they become famous? Check out Crystin Goodwin, an up and coming author with a very promising future and tons of talent.

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Balance

I just read this wonderfully honest post by Crystin Goodwin and it really hit me, I spend more time working on my blog than I do on my WIP. Hm…

There’s a good possibility that the reason I’m not working on my book is not that my blog takes up my time. I could find more time for my WIP but I’m procrastinating because it’s editing and to quote a friend, my first draft is ‘eye searing’ bad. Reading it is actually painful.

But Crystin’s post brings up a great question, how do you balance writing on your book vs. writing on your blog? Should we post every day? Should we only post when we have high-quality posts? Should we write first and then blog?

I’d love to hear what works for you.

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A fantastic review for Olivia’s Choice!

What an awesome review! I’m over the moon.

Here are some of my favourite parts of the review:

“A fresh new fantasy with a brilliantly developed new world that exists along our own, Olivia’s Choice is a delicious paranormal romance with some steamy scenes you can literally sink your teeth into.”

“The characters are well developed and identifiable – my heart literally broke for Olivia, Klias both terrified and captivated me, and Baphrem … Well, he almost deserved he received.”

Want to read the entire thing? Here it is, so well written by Crystin Goodwin.

Wow! I’m so grateful for this awesome review! Just so grateful.

 

Blogger Award

Sourcerer nominated me for this award, and since it’s Sourcerer, that’s high praise.

I never thought much about blogging before I started but I find I’m liking it. It’s fun to create these little posts and shout out my two cents out into the vast internet. It’s even better to meet nice, supportive and interesting new people. It turns out, bloggers are all those and more. I’ve been lucky. Not one troll (fingers crossed!).

Here are the only two rules of this award:

1) The nominee shall display the Very Inspiring Blogger Award logo on her/his blog, and link to the blog they got nominated from.

2) The nominee shall nominate fifteen (15) bloggers she/he admires, by linking to their blogs and informing them about it.

Voila, la award:

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Please note, accepting this award is entirely optional. Don’t feel any pressure because I’ve named you. I just like your blog and your posts. To put your name on the list, I sat and actually thought of blogs that inspire me with either the quality of their writing, the humour they add, facts they pass on, great ideas they come up with or because the mind behind the blog is just simply awesome.

The Mighty Trebuchet – because the idea of this blog is outstanding.

Crystin Goodwin – because of the amazingly supportive things you do.

Winter Bayne – One of the kindest people I know, who also happens to work incredibly hard.

J.W. Manus – because of his amazingly helpful and kind posts.

Writers Life For Me – One of the kindest, most supportive people I know.

Nancy H. Doyle – Funny posts that somehow still show just how kind Nancy is.

Amos M. Carpenter – Helpful and talented…plus, he has a soft spot for animals. Lovely new kitten!

Sonia Lathem – Hilarious writer…with class.

Inky Tavern – Honest, gutsy writer who tells it like it is and has a fantastic sense of humour.

Elsie Elmore – So, so very kind and incredibly talented.

Katie Writes – She’s a blogger, mom and an awesome writer. Plus she’s a literacy advocate for kids.

DBCII – Awesome posts, great photography and an outstanding sense of humour. Plus, he’s a little bit geeky and I LOVE that.

Just Gene’O – I won’t mention how kind the mind behind the blog is. Quality alone makes this an outstanding blog. I never miss a post.

Outmanned – because she makes me laugh out loud.

Book Chick With Kick – Just those posts with upcoming releases would do it, but this blog has constantly outstanding material.

Rachel Mankowitz – A blogger who loves doggies and has a sense of humour to boot.

Kristen Luciani – Super-kind romance writer who has such an appealing way of writing, I feel like she’s talking to me alone.

Oops. I’ve gone over 15. It’s easy to find awesome blogs online. Really easy.

A big thank you to everyone on this list for the great blogs they’ve created full of those amazing posts.

Please note: Infinitefreetime, Part Time Monster, you were already nominated by Sourcerer or your name would also be on this list. 😀

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Posts I loved this week

This was a particularly festive week with Canada Day and the Fourth of July and there were a ton of great posts out there as well. A ton! Check out these beauties!

I loved this post because of the picture of Bella mid-twirl. I can just see how happy she is and there’s something magical about a child smiling and being happy. If that wasn’t enough, I also read the background into this very special picture in this other post and that doubles the reason for this comment.

A great post by Sourcerer on Search Engines and how to get your posts at the top of a search. Sourcerer keeps putting out amazing how-to posts for bloggers. It’s a site I’d highly recommend following. Here‘s another example, this time on tags.

I love the theme posts “If we were having coffee.” I look forward to them each week. Here’s one that’s particularly beautiful. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

This post is a taste of the newest book by Jill Shalvis. Since I’m a big fan, this post was right up my alley.

I loved this post by . He claims that, if you know too much, you can lose touch with the newcomer and your audience as a consequence. I loved not just how well he wrote it (it was light and funny) but also his ‘fix’. “If your grandma doesn’t understand it, you need to revise.” Ha! What a hoot.

Congrats to Infinitefreetime for this. Awesome accomplishment!

I’m in awe of those Camp Nanowrimo participants. I have no idea how they manage to juggle that with life and work. Big congrats to Crystin Goodwin, Chris Musgrave, Inky Tavern and Winter Bayne for taking it on. (If I missed you, feel free to give me a shout and complain! 🙂 )

This one is very beautiful and full of Zen. I do the exact opposite of what it suggests. I resist life with every molecule. I gain acceptance in spite of my resistance through tears, shouts, and sometimes, even kicks.

Part Time Monster had this great list of the Top Ten Monster Books. I love lists and I love book lists even better, so this post was an instant hit with me. A big thank you for the list to Part Time Monster!–A side note: check out this little guy painting! Awwww! So cute!

This one moved me almost to tears. I have a lot of trouble reading about animals who are in pain or neglected. Careful if read this post and you’re sensitive about the topic because it’s very well written and will definitely make an impact. A big thank you to Living With Izzy for the beautifully written post.

This post is a great how-to if you’re considering getting beta readers. It explains what to ask and how to work with the feedback you get. An excellent post to keep as a reference or just to read by someone who really knows the craft.

Sending out query letters and work to editors is one of the hardest things I’ve done. If you’re in the middle of that process, check out this post by Winter Bayne. She changes a very stressful situation into a funny one and made me laugh out loud.

This post united writing and soccer and had me at the title. They’re definitely two of my passions and love anything that puts them together. On a personal note: I can’t wait for those final games! Soooo exciting! I know Birgitte Rasine gets where I’m coming from. 🙂

These Wordless posts are absolutely amazing. No words, just a beautiful picture. They certainly have me smiling every time I see one. Check out this one and help me cheer on the newly re-named blog Just Gene’O!

I loved this post because it’s eloquent, beautifully written and so logical. It’s one of those I could just sit and savour. At the same time, it’s on a subject close to my heart: self-publishing. Definitely one worth reading. A big thanks to D. Emery Bunn for the fantastic post!

And finally a new blog was born, The Mighty Trebuchet. It’s a blog with a very interesting mission. Check it out here.

Wow! That’s a lot of awesome posts in one week!

Sleep-deprived

 

Review: unBlessed

UnBlessed is the story of a teen trying to find out where she belongs. It’s a fantasy story in a different world but, for all its differences, it was familiar. The Melior city is familiar, the people react the way we do and the theme of belonging is one of my favourites. I had only read a couple of paragraphs and I had to find out what was going to happen.

Kisara is a Melior and their entire youth is focused on one event, the Blessing Ceremony. Like her peers, she’s been looking forward to it for years. She has her special dress ready, her friends at her side and her mother to support her. Things work out well for her friend, Lucien but they go very differently for Kisara. I won’t divulge what happens but I will say it’s unexpected and very important.

I loved the speed of the book. I honestly picked it up and didn’t put it down until I read the entire thing. It’s fast, unpolluted with long-winded speeches or stories, and it caught my attention from the start.

I loved Kisara. She was gutsy, likeable and kept her chin up in spite of being in some very difficult situations. I liked Lucien as well. His heart is always in the right place and it’s actually painful to see him try to do what’s right but end up messing up.

Sebastian and the Transeaturs had me at the start. They’re some of my favourite parts of the book. They’re mysterious, powerful, thrilling and kind all in one race. Amazing. Loved them.

Kisara’s journey makes a wonderful story, fun, light and with fantastic ideas. It’s an easy world to get into and one I would highly recommend.

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Note: click on cover to go to site.

Tuesday Teaser

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

“When he squeezed in sympathy, she looked up and smiled weakly. “I’m okay. There’s always next year, right?” ”

Pg. 18 from unBlessed by Crystin Goodwin.

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Note: Click on image to go to site.