Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Book Review: Breakup Boot Camp by Beth Merlin

#BookReview: Breakup Boot Camp by Beth Merlin

My thoughts about Breakup Boot Camp by Beth Merlin

#BookReview: Breakup Boot Camp by Beth Merlin
“Merlin gives off Sophie Kinsella and Emily Giffin vibes only with an execution of plots that is all her own….Beth Merlin is totally going to grow in popularity. I'm calling it." - Book and Broadway

After weeks of training to whip Joanna Kitt into shape for her big day, her picture-perfect engagement to her high school sweetheart is torn in two, and Joanna is left out on her perfectly toned rear end. To put the past and her heartache behind her, she sets off for two weeks at the renowned Retreat House Breakup Boot Camp in Topsail Island off the coast of North Carolina.

Despite her sadness, Joanna throws herself into the experience hoping surfing, yoga, spa treatments, meditation, and talk therapy will be enough to help her get over the one man she’s ever loved. But she soon learns the Boot Camp is only the first step to healing her broken heart. Joanna will have to come to terms with the career she abandoned, the loss in her life she never fully accepted, and the role she played in the ending of her relationship.

When she meets Todd Aldrich, the handsome and mysterious hotel chef, she has the chance to take her renewed heart out for a test drive and see if she is ready for new beginnings and new love.

Will 12 steps be enough to get her life back on track? Or will her getaway to get over him prove healing the heart takes a whole lot more?

Monday, 25 May 2020

Book Spotlight: Catalyst by Tracy Richardson

Book Spotlight: Catalyst by Tracy Richardson @The_WriteReads

Today I'm part of a virtual book tour organised by The Write Reads for Catalyst by Tracy Richardson.

About the book

Marcie Horton has a sixth sense. Not in the “I see dead people” way, but . . . well, maybe a little. She feels a sort of knowing about certain things that can’t be explained—an intuition that goes beyond the normal. Then there was that one summer four years ago, when she connected with a long-departed spirit . . . But nothing that incredible has happened to Marcie since.

Book Spotlight: Catalyst by Tracy Richardson @The_WriteReadsThis summer, Marcie is spending time working at Angel Mounds, the archeological dig her mother heads, along with her brother, Eric, and his girlfriend, Renee. The dig is the site of an ancient indigenous civilization, and things immediately shift into the paranormal when Marcie and her teammates meet Lorraine and Zeke.

The two mysterious dig assistants reveal their abilities to access the Universal Energy Field with their minds— something Marcie knows only vaguely that her brother has also had experience with. Marcie learns how our planet will disintegrate if action is not taken, and she and her team must decide if they are brave enough to help Lorraine and Zeke in their plan to save Mother Earth, her resources, and her history.

It looks like the summer just got a lot more interesting. 

Praise for the series

 “Readers will appreciate the fast-paced, compelling drama. A good choice for people who hope there’s more to space than space.”
—Kirkus Reviews

“Tracy Richardson is a worthy heir to Madeleine L’Engle. Richardson’s characters intellectually travel beyond ordinary consciousness to delve into concepts of dark energy, collective [un]consciousness and universal energy fields.”
—Rita Kohn, NUVO Newsweekly

“...true-to-life characters, contemporary environmental issues, and engaging metaphysical principles skirt the edges of science fiction and magical realism in this modern coming-of-age novel.”
—LAURIE GRAY, Award-winning author of Maybe I Will and Summer Sanctuary

About the Author

Book Spotlight: Catalyst by Tracy Richardson @The_WriteReads
Tracy Richardson wasn’t always a writer, but she was always a reader. Her favorite book growing up was A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle. In a weird way that book has even shaped her life through odd synchronicities. She has a degree in biology like Mrs. Murry, and, without realizing it, she named her children Alex and Katie after Meg’s parents.

Tracy uses her science background in her writing through her emphasis on environmental issues, metaphysics, and science fiction. When she’s not writing, you’ll find her doing any number of creative activities — painting furniture, knitting sweaters, or cooking something. She lives in Indianapolis, and, in case you’re wondering, yes, she’s been to the Indianapolis 500.

Amazon purchasing link:

Book Spotlight: Catalyst by Tracy Richardson @The_WriteReads

Book Spotlight: Catalyst by Tracy Richardson @The_WriteReads

Monday, 4 May 2020

2020 Challenges: April Update

2020 Challenges: April Update

2020 Challenges: April Update

I hope you're all safe and healthy in these strange times.

April was another tough month. The lockdown continues here in Italy and the weight of not leaving our apartment since the start of March is starting to get to us. 

The kids distance learning continues to be a big source of stress for both the kids and myself, and a lot of our day is taken up with school work, video lessons, and downloading/uploading homework. 

We're doing OK though. We have our ups and downs but on the whole it's not too bad. We just have to keep taking it one day at a time. 

Free time we do get is mainly spent playing board games (Risk is the household favourite, or as we call it Risiko!), or binge watching Netflix. 

My main priority at the moment is making sure my kids are doing OK so progress with my various challenges has been slow. 

You might also like: 2020 Challenges: March Update

The Blog Audit Challenge 2020

This is a challenge I created aimed at improving our blogs. You can find full details here in case you missed the introduction post. The goals for April were all related to design. 

1. Images

I've been going through my older blog posts and updating the blog header graphics on the posts to match my current design. I've also been adding Pinterest graphics to each post as some of my older posts didn't have them. 

2. Optimize your images

I've also been checking to make sure every image has alt tags that include keywords for the post.

3. Readability

I already use dark text on a white background, and tend to break up my posts with plenty of white space. I have been going back through some of my older posts though to improve the format of the posts. 

The Audiobook Challenge

This challenge is was created by Eline from Lovely Audiobooks. I'm doing it as a year long challenge. 

April was a total flop. I didn't listen to any audiobooks this month. 

2020 Challenges: March Progress Report #AudiobookChallenge2020

Audiobooks listened to this month:
  • 0

The A to Z Reading Challenge

Next up is the A to Z Reading Challenge. Slightly better going this month, although I'm still finding it hard to concentrate on reading at the moment. 

2020 Challenges: April Update -The A to Z Reading Challenge #AtoZReadingChallenge #2020AtoZChallenge

Books read this month:

B- Breakup Boot Camp by Beth Merlin (in progress which is why it doesn't have a tick next to it yet)

D- Down in the Belly of the Whale by Kelley Kay Bowles
P- Poison Orchids by Sarah A. Denzil

Armed with a Bingo

Unfortunately no new reads for the Armed with a Bingo challenge this month.

2020 Challenges: March Update Armed With A Bingo

Books read this month:
  • 0

2020 Challenges: April Update

Saturday, 2 May 2020

Blog Audit Challenge 2020: April Link Up

Blog Audit Challenge 2020: April Link Up #BlogAuditChallenge2020

Blog Audit Challenge 2020

As I mentioned in the sign up post for this challenge, I'll be hosting monthly link ups in order to keep us all on track, and give us a way to see each others progress. On the first Saturday of every month participants can share their links and discuss their progress. 


April Link Up

How did you do with the April challenges? What was the hardest part of the challenge? What program do you use to create your blog images? What are your thoughts about the Blog Audit Challenge so far? Create a blog post sharing your progress and link it up below so we can all visit and support each other in our mission for blog awesomeness. 

Save the date!

Check out the May Challenges here.  The May link up will be on 6th June. 

Blog Audit Challenge 2020: April Link Up #BlogAuditChallenge2020

You might also like: 60 Blog Post Ideas For Book Bloggers

Friday, 1 May 2020

Blog Audit Challenge 2020: May Challenges

Blog Audit Challenge 2020: May Challenges #BlogAuditChallenge2020

Blog Audit Challenge 2020

Welcome back for another month of challenges for the Blog Audit Challenge 2020!

I hope you did well with the April challenges. Remember to link up your progress reports tomorrow in the April Link Up. 

Each month we'll concentrate on a different area of our blogs.

Life is strange for most of us at the moment with Coronavirus, Lock-downs, etc... If you fall behind with the monthly tasks don't worry. Just catch up when you can. This challenge lasts the whole year. 

The Challenges:

January- Plan of action
FebruaryInformation pages
March- The trimmings
April- Design
May- SEO
June- Links
July- Quality content
August- Content gaps
September- Developing readership
October- Get social
November- Press and collaborations
December- Know your stats

Monthly link ups

In order to keep us all on track, and give us a way to see each others progress, I'll be hosting link ups on the first Saturday of every month where participants can share their links and discuss their progress. 


May Challenges

Our focus for May is on Search Engine Optimization or SEO. 

The May challenges will help improve the general SEO of our blogs. 

The May challenges:

1. Keywords In Headlines

Keywords are what help your content show up when someone does a content search on Google, or other search engines. The headline or blog post title is the first thing you need to consider. 

One way to strengthen your headline power is to use sub-headings. This allows you to include more keywords. 

Remember, don't just word stuff your content to include keywords. Your writing should always be natural.

Make sure every blog post has a strong title that includes your keywords. Make use of sub-headings when needed. 

2. Labels, Tags, and Descriptions

Make sure every blog post has labels and tags that include your keywords. 

Every blog post should also have the blog post description section filled out. This is the text that appears with your headline and link in the search engine results. It's the perfect place to make sure you're leveraging your keywords. Make sure every blog post has an optimized description. 

3. The Blog Post

As I mentioned before, your writing should always be natural. Good content writing will also include your keywords in the text of the blog post. If you're new to blogging and don't have experience with writing in this style, one way to include some good SEO to your post is by including section headings in the article. It breaks up the text adding to readability, and gives you the perfect place to drop in your keywords. 

Try to improve the general SEO of your blog posts.

4. The Comments Section 

Your comments section is additional content for your blog post. It can also be a super powerful way to add to the SEO of your blog. 

If people are leaving comments on your blog posts that's great! Make sure you reply to every comment left. When you reply make sure you include your keywords. If you're lucky your readers will include them in their comments too.

Free downloads: You can grab copies of all the extra materials for the Blog Audit Challenge 2020 for free here

Save the Date!

The June challenges will be posted on 1st June. The monthly link up post for sharing your May progress will be on 6th June. 

Blog Audit Challenge 2020: May Challenges #BlogAuditChallenge2020

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