5 Top Tips for Busy Bloggers

I’ve been asked a few times now how I juggle blogging, reading and working full-time. The truth is, with great difficulty! I’m yet to suss out a fool-proof way of being amazing and keeping on top of all three, but here are some top-tips you might want to try if you’re struggling to fit everything in too:


Draft Blog Posts Whenever You Can… Plan Ahead!

This is the main one. I very rarely have time to sit down at my laptop and write out full posts, especially if I’m wanting to blog regularly. I have the WordPress app on my phone, so if I ever have a quiet moment when I’m out and about, I’ll quickly type up some bullet points or draft a post to come back to later.

The key to this is to plan in advance what you want to blog about. Set up some draft headers that you can just keep dipping in and out of.

Scheduling Blog Posts

If I have a day or a weekend off, I’ll type up some posts and the schedule them to be posted automatically throughout the week. This way, I know that even if I can’t physically blog, I’ve got some posts going live and keeping my blog active.

I’ve made the mistake in the past of writing a few posts and then posting them one after the other, only to the not have anything going up for several weeks after that. If you only get chance to write a couple, schedule them for one per week. Blogging is still blogging; no matter how infrequently you post people are still going to enjoy reading your content.

Type Up Reviews ASAP, or Make Notes

I’m the worst for this one… The amount of times I have read a book and then left it weeks, or even months before writing my review, and then realising that I’ve totally forgotten everything about it. I remember I enjoyed it… but why?

Top-tip for this one is to do it as soon as you can, or if you know you won’t be able to write the whole thing then at least make a few notes to remind yourself of specifics.

Find Out What Works For You

Everyone’s schedule is different. Don’t think that you won’t be a successful blogger if you don’t post everyday. Remember: quality, not quantity! What works for me might not work for you, so just figure out what time you have available and then work around that.

Don’t Panic!

This is key. Don’t stress yourself out about not posting enough. Blogging should be fun! Most of us do it as a hobby, so the worst thing we can do is add even more stress to our already hectic lives – that takes the fun out of it and goes against why we started in the first place, so just do what you can and do it for you, because you love it, not for anyone else.


Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

Do you have any tips that might help me and other busy bees make the most of our limited blogging time? Let me know in the comments below!

 

Advertisements

Book Review: Empire of Storms (ToG #6) – Sarah J. Maas

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis:

The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius as war looms on the horizon. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those who don’t.

With her heart sworn to the warrior-prince by her side, and her fealty pledged to the people she is determined to save, Aelin will delve into the depths of her power to protect those she loves. But as monsters emerge from the horrors of the past, and dark forces become poised to claim her world, the only chance for salvation will lie in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.

In this breathtaking fifth installment of the New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series, Aelin will have to choose what—and who—to sacrifice if she’s to keep the world of Erilea from breaking apart.


I know I say this every time I write a review of a Sarah J. Maas book, but seriously, WHY DID SHE LEAVE IT LIKE THAT?!

I need more, and I need it NOW.

I know there are issues with this. I hate Rowan and his possessive control over Aelin, and don’t understand why every single character needs to have a romantic pairing, but Maas has a way of writing plot lines that suck you in and are just seriously addictive. I’m total trash for it, I don’t even care.

Once again the drama has been kicked up yet another notch and once again we’re left with a gaping hole where this book once was, a massive book hangover, and A YEAR LONG WAIT until we find out what the hell happens next.

I don’t know if I’ll survive.

Send help.

This next paragraph contains romantic interest spoilers, be warned…

I adore Lorcan and Elide and I will ship them to the end of the earth. The pairing between Manon and Dorian I feel is a bit unnecessary, I always felt like Manon was a fierce independent woman who doesn’t need a man, but there we go. And can we just please spare a thought to that tragic, uncomfortable beach scene which I feel like everyone could have done without having to endure… ahem.

Anyway.

Crown of Midnight and Queen of Shadows are still my favourites in the series so far, but I really did love this one too overall.

Next stop, Tower of Dawn!


 

Book Review: The Lie Tree – Frances Hardinge

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

23592175Synopsis: Faith Sunderly leads a double life. To most people, she is reliable, dull, trustworthy – a proper young lady who knows her place as inferior to men. But inside, Faith is full of questions and curiosity, and she cannot resist mysteries: an unattended envelope, an unlocked door. She knows secrets no one suspects her of knowing. She knows that her family moved to the close-knit island of Vane because her famous scientist father was fleeing a reputation-destroying scandal. And she knows, when her father is discovered dead shortly thereafter, that he was murdered.In pursuit of justice and revenge, Faith hunts through her father’s possessions and discovers a strange tree. The tree bears fruit only when she whispers a lie to it. The fruit of the tree, when eaten, delivers a hidden truth. The tree might hold the key to her father’s murder – or it may lure the murderer directly to Faith herself.


I have heard so many good things about this book and Hardinge as an author.

I don’t know if I was just reading this at the wrong time, but I just wasn’t all there for this book. Firstly, it took me AGES to get through. Like, 2 weeks… it’s barely 300 pages long…

Like I said, I don’t know if it was just because being on a boat for 6 weeks had completely mentally drained me, but I found the first half of the book painfully slow. It wasn’t until half way through (coincidentally, when I was settled back at home) that I became more engaged with the story and the characters.

I found the concept really intriguing, and actually loved the descriptions of Faith’s visions when under the influence of the Tree’s “truth fruit”; it was whimsical and magical whilst remaining dark and haunting. I also loved Faith’s bravery and determination to overthrow the societal views towards females – The increase of strong female characters in children’s literature over the past few years has been inspiring and long overdue!

Unfortunately, I really hated all of the other characters. I found Faith’s mother intolerable, and Faith’s father was so distant and uninvolved that for the first two thirds of the book, I really didn’t understand Faith’s devotion towards him and his memory.

I don’t feel like my review of this book can ever be 100% true to my feelings, just because I really don’t know where I sit with it, and whether my enjoyment of the book was in fact influenced by my severe need to be back on dry land! But overall, I still don’t like I would have fully enjoyed the book as I feel like the characters would have grated on me regardless of my location.

Ultimately, although it took me a while to get into it, I genuinely enjoyed it. A dark, mysterious tale with a strong female protagonist.


View The Lie Tree on Goodreads

Book Review: Salt to The Sea – Ruta Sepetys

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

28103790Synopsis: 

It’s early 1945 and a group of people trek across East Prussia, bound together by their desperation to reach the ship that can take them away from the war-ravaged land. Four young people, each haunted by their own dark secret, narrate their unforgettable stories. Fans of The Book Thief or Helen Dunmore’s The Siege will be totally absorbed.

This inspirational novel is based on a true story from the Second World War. When the German ship the Wilhelm Gustloff was sunk in port in early 1945 it had over 9000 civilian refugees, including children, on board. Nearly all were drowned. Ruta Sepetys, acclaimed author of Between Shades of Grey, brilliantly imagines their story.


I read this book about a sinking ship, whilst on a ship… whose wise idea was that?!

So anyone who knows me, knows that I love anything set during the second world war. I don’t know why, but there is just something about that time period that just grabs my attention.

I was sure that I was going to love this. Only, I didn’t love it. Don’t get me wrong, I liked it, I just didn’t love it as much as I had expected. I have really high expectations for books set in this time period, after my favourite book, The Book Thief blew me away, and then All The Light We Cannot see followed suit.

I don’t particularly know why, but perhaps it was due to the fact that I didn’t feel connected to any of these characters for about half of the book. The story follows four main perspectives, all of which are keeping a dark secret. When I found out these secrets, I felt like for the most part, they weren’t big enough to have much significance, and so where I spent a lot of time focusing on these secrets, I lost a lot of the parts which would have made me grow fond of these characters.

The actual writing and telling of the story was beautiful. I felt like I could picture every moment, and still now, after a month since reading it, I can recall specific images in my mind. The turmoil and destruction, and sheer desperation of these people seeking to flee was depicted devastatingly well.

The ending was a bit cryptic in my opinion. I’m still not 100% sure on some of the details of how events following the disaster played out, or even who the letter at the end is written by. I feel like I would have to re-read it to grasp it.

Would I recommend this book? Yes. I think it’s a beautifully told account of events well worthy of it’s Carnegie nomination.


View Salt To The Sea on Goodreads

Review: Who Runs The World? – Virginia Bergin 

Rating: ⭐️

33891082Synopsis: 

Welcome to the Matriarchy. 

Sixty years after a virus has wiped out almost all the men on the planet, things are pretty much just as you would imagine a world run by women might be: war has ended; greed is not tolerated; the ecological needs of the planet are always put first. In two generations, the female population has grieved, pulled together and moved on, and life really is pretty good – if you’re a girl. It’s not so great if you’re a boy, but fourteen-year-old River wouldn’t know that. Until she met Mason, she thought they were extinct.


Where to begin with this book…

I’ll start by saying that when this was released, it was a book that I was VERY excited to read. It has an gorgeous cover and I bought it as soon as it arrived in the delivery at work. Seriously, it didn’t even make it onto the shelf…

The principal of the book sounded fantastic – a world where women rule? YES. Seeing the trials and tribulations that men are put through as the oppressed gender? YES. Did I find this when reading? NO.

Unfortunately, the contents of this novel did not live up to my expectations.

I found that instead of this being a refreshing, powerful piece of feminist writing, it just came across as man hating.

The male characters were consistently referred to by the female main character as “it” even after she had spent time with the male and had her mother and grandmother explain it to her, which really just infuriated me.

I’ve heard it said before and I’ll say it again… man hate is not feminism.

I had to leave this book less than 100 pages in, so it has been marked as DNF.


View Who Runs The World? on Goodreads

Review: Our Dark Duet (Monsters of Verity #2) – V.E. Schwab

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

34397653Synopsis: Kate Harker is a girl who isn’t afraid of the dark. She’s a girl who hunts monsters. And she’s good at it. August Flynn is a monster who can never be human, no matter how much he once yearned for it. He’s a monster with a part to play. And he will play it, no matter the cost.Nearly six months after Kate and August were first thrown together, the war between the monsters and the humans is terrifying reality. In Verity, August has become the leader he never wished to be, and in Prosperity, Kate has become the ruthless hunter she knew she could be. When a new monster emerges from the shadows—one who feeds on chaos and brings out its victim’s inner demons—it lures Kate home, where she finds more than she bargained for. She’ll face a monster she thought she killed, a boy she thought she knew, and a demon all her own.


Disclaimer: This review probably isn’t going to be very coherent…

Schwab, you did it again. You took my soul and crushed it in your palms with your incredible words…

This was SO good. Like, SOOOO GOOD.

I devoured This Savage Song (see my review here), and the same went for the sequel.

When I went to see what I wrote on Goodreads about this, this is what I found…

“I’m a mess. It hurts. Review will come tomorrow when I’m emotionally stable.”

Needless to say the review didn’t come “tomorrow”, nor the day after, or the day after that… I guess I’ll never be emotionally stable enough to process the trauma that this book put me through!

And I can’t really say much else about it because of my serious no spoiler policy. You just have to take my word for it when I say that you NEED to read this.

If you love Schwab already from A Darker Shade of Magic, great, but read this.

If you haven’t read any of her stuff before, READ THIS.

Schwab’s writing just goes from strength to strength, and everything of hers that I read just seems to get better and better! Is there any stopping this woman?

I’m sad that there will be no more to read of August and Kate. That ending just ripped my heart out and let’s just say, thank god I was at home when I read it.

The Monsters of Verity has officially become my favourite duology.

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset For those of you who have read it, feel free to message me on twitter or otherwise, and I will happily waffle about this book with you, spoilers and all!


View Our Dark Duet on Goodreads

June 2017 Book Haul

I can’t believe we’re halfway through the year already! I swear it was a Christmas just last month…

From telling myself not to buy any more books, I still managed to buy 9. I didn’t quite hit 10! Seriously though, no more buying books for me now because I have to move house at the end of this month and I’m just making it even more difficult for myself! 😂

I did get some really great books this month though…


Books I Bought in June:

Good Bones by Margaret Atwood (Read My Review Here)

Our Dark Duet by V.E. Schwab

Maresi by Maria Turtschaninoff

The Sleeping Prince (TSED #2) by Melinda Salisbury

The Scarecrow Queen (TSED #3) by Melinda Salisbury

A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard

Wing Jones by Katherine Webber

Salt to The Sea by Ruta Sepetys

The Name of The Wind by Patrick Rothfuss


Publisher Bookmail:

A Shiver of Snow and Sky by Lisa Lueddeke

Wonderling by Mira Bartok

Spellbook of The Lost and Found by Moira Fowley-Doyle

Harry Potter & The Philosophers Stone (Hardback Gryffindor Edition) by J.K Rowling

The Griffin’s Feather (Dragon Rider #2) by Cornelia Funke

They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera