Blogtober Wrap Up and BlogMas Prep

10:21:00 Jo Linsdell 1 Comments

#Blogtober Wrap Up and #BlogMas Prep

Blogtober Wrap Up

As you may know, I took part in the Blogtober challenge in October. The goal was to post a blog post everyday of the month. 31 posts in 31 days. 

I failed, and I'm OK with that.

I posted a total of 28 blog posts in October, and had my second highest traffic  month ever to my website since I created it. 

Why I failed

This basically comes done to the fact that I didn't plan ahead, and life got in the way. 

Sports season is now fully underway and that means that my kids are training everyday, and have competitions most weekends. 

As I mentioned in my BYOBthon update for week 3, my youngest won gold in the Italian Jiu Jitsu Championships (GI) on 21st October. He also won all his matches at the Italian Jiu Jitsu Championships (NO GI) on 4th November, and brought home yet another gold medal. Yes I am very proud of him 😍

My eldest made his debut with the Italian Swimming Federation (FIN) last weekend competing in the 100m breaststroke race for Trofeo Lanzi. He didn't qualify for the finals but he did an amazing job and is looking forward to the next opportunity to put himself to the test. 

My sporty kids

When I decided to do the challenge I didn't plan ahead. This was largely due to the fact that I decided to take part just a few days before it started. 

Lesson learnt 1: Consistent posting needs an organised schedule. Things come up and you might not be able to get on your computer. This is why it's a good idea to set up at least some of your blog posts in advance. 

Whilst I did get a nice increase in traffic to my website during the challenge, I know I could have done better. 

I didn't fully leverage the opportunity to connect with others during the challenge, and I didn't make good use of the hashtag #Blogtober. 

Lesson Learnt 2: Be more active with the community. A huge part of what makes events like Blogtober such a powerful way to grow your website/blog is the opportunity it provides to reach out to others. This is why you should connect using the hashtag during these challenges. It also lets others know you're participating so they can reach out to you too.

So what now?

BlogMas that's what! 

BlogMas is a challenge, much like Blogtober, where the goal is to post a blog post everyday in December. 

Given that November has been a slow month for me content wise here, and taking into account my results from doing Blogtober, BlogMas sounds like a great idea.

I want to finish this year on a high, and prove to myself that I can do better by taking into consideration the things I learnt from "failing" Blogtober. 

Time to Prep

I'll be taking a more organised approach to BlogMas and scheduling as many posts in advance as possible (see lesson 1 above). 

I'll also be setting up some social media posts in advance using the challenge hashtag #BlogMas (see lesson 2) to make sure I do a better job of promoting my participation.

Did you do Blogtober? Did you succeed or fail in your goal? 
Planning on taking part in BlogMas this year? 

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2019 Releases I Can't Wait To Read

07:00:00 Jo Linsdell 0 Comments

2019 Releases I Can't Wait To Read

2019 Releases I Can't Wait To Read 

2018 was a good year for books. I read some truly awesome books this year. I discovered new authors, officially joined the Percy Jackson fandom, and got back in touch with some of my favourite authors works. 

2019 is now just around the corner though, and with it more fantastic books to dive into.

Here's a few of the books I can't wait to read in 2019:

2019 Releases I Can't Wait To Read I Owe You One A Novel by Sophie Kinsella

Pub Date 



Recommended Reads by Book Bloggers

07:00:00 Jo Linsdell 0 Comments

Recommended Reads by Book Bloggers

I love to find out what other book bloggers are reading, and what they thought of books. I've discovered some awesome reads by checking out book blogs and reading reviews. This is why I like to do these round up posts to showcase the books that other book bloggers rated highly.

It also gives me the chance to spread the love to the book blogging community. I love how supportive everyone is and this is just a little way I can give back.

So here we go, prepare yourself to add more books to your TBR...

Recommended Reads by Book Bloggers

Recommended Reads Selected by Book Bloggers
About the book:

My little boy’s room was empty, his bed neatly made. Alarm bells should have rung immediately. Then the knock on the door came. All I remember is a thick fog wrapping itself tightly around me. This couldn’t be happening to us.

Three years ago, nurse Zoe's son Ethan was found drowned in a muddy river by their home, along with his best friend Josh. With no witnesses, their deaths were ruled a tragic accident.

Heartbroken, Zoe and her family, move away from her home. They’re just beginning to get back to some kind of normality, when, out of the blue, Zoe receives an anonymous email: 

You need to find out the truth about what happened to your son. Don’t let this rest. Don’t believe the lie.

Shaken, Zoe starts an obsessive hunt for the truth. But why is her husband so reluctant to help?
And why is Josh’s mother so determined not to believe her?

An absolutely unputdownable psychological thriller about a mother’s desperate search for the truth. Fans of The Girl on the Train, and Gone Girl will be hooked from the very first page.

Recommended Reads Selected by Book Bloggers
About the book:

Ever since Riley Thomas, reluctant medium extraordinaire, accidentally released a malevolent spirit from a Ouija board when she was thirteen, she’s taken a hard pass on scary movies, haunted houses, and cemeteries. So when her best friend pressures her into spending a paranormal investigation weekend at the infamous Jordanville Ranch—former home of deceased serial killer Orin Jacobs—Riley is one-hundred-percent not ready.

Shortly after their arrival at the ranch, the spirit of a little boy contacts Riley; a child who went missing—and was never found—in 1973.

In order to put the young boy’s spirit to rest, she has to come to grips with her ability. But how can she solve a mystery that happened a decade before she was born? Especially when someone who knows Orin’s secrets wants to keep the truth buried—no matter the cost.

About the book:

Recommended Reads Selected by Book Bloggers
'If The Book Thief was a novel that allowed Death to steal the show... [its] brilliantly illuminated follow-up is affirmatively full of life.' Guardian

'This is a tale of love, art and redemption; rowdy and joyous.' Times
'Bridge of Clay is one of those monumental books that can draw you across space and time' Washington Post
Here is a story told inside out and back to front
Five Dunbar brothers are living – fighting, loving, grieving – in the perfect chaos of a house without grown-ups. Today, the father who left them has just walked right back in.
He has a surprising request: Who will build a bridge with him?
It is Clay, a boy tormented by a long-buried secret, who accepts. But why is Clay so broken? And why must he fulfil this extraordinary challenge?
Bridge of Clay is about a boy caught in a current, a boy intent on destroying everything he has in order to become everything he needs to be. Ahead of him lies the bridge, the vision that will save both his family and himself.
It will be a miracle and nothing less.
At once an existential riddle and a search for redemption, this tale of five brothers coming of age in a house with no rules brims with energy, joy and pathos. Written in Markus Zusak's distinctive style, it is a tour de force from a master storyteller of the heart.

Recommended Reads Selected by Book Bloggers
About the book:

'This thrilling space odyssey will keep you turning pages late into the night' C. J. Daugherty, author of NIGHT SCHOOL

Six girls, six boys. Each in the two separate bays of a single spaceship. They have six minutes each week to seduce and to make their choices, under the unblinking eye of the on-board cameras. They are the contenders in the Genesis programme, the world's craziest speed-dating show ever, aimed at creating the first human colony on Mars.

Leonor, an 18 year old orphan, is one of the chosen ones. 
She has signed up for glory.
She has signed up for love.
She has signed up for a one-way ticket.
Even if the dream turns to a nightmare, it is too late for regrets.

Recommended Reads Selected by Book Bloggers
About the book:

A companion tale to Sarah J. Maas's #1 New York Times bestselling A Court of Thorns and Rosesseries that takes place several months after the explosive events of A Court of Wings and Ruin

Told from the perspectives of Feyre, Rhys and other key characters, this story bridges the events in A Court of Wings and Ruin and the upcoming novels in the series. 
Feyre, Rhys and their companions are still busy rebuilding the Night Court and the vastly changed world beyond. But Winter Solstice is finally near, and with it a hard-earned reprieve. Yet even the festive atmosphere can't keep the shadows of the past from looming. As Feyre navigates her first Winter Solstice as High Lady, she finds that those dearest to her have more wounds than she anticipated – scars that will have a far-reaching impact on the future of their court.

Have you read any of these? Which ones will you be adding to your TBR?

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On My Shelf: The Prophet by Ethan Cross

07:00:00 Jo Linsdell 0 Comments

On My Shelf: The Prophet by Ethan Cross

On My Shelf

On My Shelf is a series to showcase some of the books that are sat on my shelves. Each Sunday I randomly pick a book from my shelves to show you. Some will be books that are on my TBR, others will be books I've read in the past but that deserve a little love.

This week's pick

This week I picked The Prophet by Ethan Cross


Francis Ackerman is America’s most terrifying serial killer. Brutal and cunning, he is ready to take his evil games to a new level.


Special Agent Marcus Williams cannot shake Ackerman from his mind. Yet now he must focus on catching the Anarchist, a new killer who abducts women before burning them alive.


The Anarchist will strike again soon. And Ackerman is still free. But even worse than this is a mysterious figure, unknown to the authorities - and his plans are more terrible than anyone imagines.

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How To Add a Logo To Your YouTube videos

15:29:00 Jo Linsdell 20 Comments

How To Add a Logo To Your YouTube videos

I love learning new things and sharing them with you so, for today's post I'm going to show you a little trick I picked up this week that will improve your video branding and make your YouTube videos look more professional. 

How To Add a Logo To  Your YouTube videos

This week I added my own logo so it now shows on all my videos uploaded to my YouTube channel. I learnt this little gem by doing a quick search on Google and visiting their help page.

You can use a branding watermark to embed your channel logo across all videos on your channel. When you add a watermark, viewers can directly subscribe to your channel if they hover over the watermark when using YouTube on a computer. It won't show to users who are already subscribed to your channel.

How to add your branding watermark
- Sign in to YouTube.
- Go to Creator Studio by clicking your account icon > Creator Studio.
In the left menu, select > Settings

How To Add a Logo To Your YouTube videos

- In the menu, select  Channel Branding.

How To Add a Logo To Your YouTube videos

- Click Add a watermark.

- Follow the on-screen instructions to add a channel branding element that will appear in all your uploaded videos across devices.

How To Add a Logo To Your YouTube videos

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20% off Literary Book Gifts

16:06:00 Jo Linsdell 15 Comments

20% off Literary Book Gifts

I missed yesterday's post for Blogtober due to an evil stomach bug. Luckily it was a quick recovery and we're all now doing much better.

This means I owe you a post. It's a good post though so hopefully you'll be OK with my late posting ;)

I got contacted a while back by the lovely people at Literary Book Gifts and have organised a special offer just for you!

N.B. I'm not an affiliate and so don't get anything for sharing this with you other than a warm fuzzy feeling of spreading the love of all things book related, and helping a new small business get a bit of extra exposure.

Literary Book Gifts

Literary Book Gifts is a brand new company that specializes in bringing books off the page and onto bags and shirts. There are a wide range of authors and titles ranging from Shakespeare to The Velveteen Rabbit.

Use the code JOLINSDELL20 for 20% off anything in the store, no minimum, and can be used unlimited times!

See, I told you it was a good post ;)

Website Link:

Being a fan of Sherlock Holmes I personally love this T-shirt:

This Alice in Wonderland vest is cute too:

So if you fancy doing some early Christmas shopping for your book loving friends go check out the Literary Book Gifts website.


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