Author Interview – With D.H Nevins

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Hey guys!

Welcome to my first ever author interview – AHHH! You should all know by now how much I adore Danielle and her brilliant Wormwood series. She isn’t only one talented writer but also an incredible person and friend. She holds a special place in my heart and this is why I really wanted my first interview to be all about her and to shine a light on her brilliance!

Danielle was more than happy to oblige (because she’s awesome) and answered my questions with as much depth and heart as I was hoping for.

Enjoy!

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It's here... Angel of Shadow, January 13, 2018

First of all, thank you so much for this terrific honour, Sarah! I’m truly touched that you invited me to do this author interview. Your first one!!! Okay, here goes…

✾ Your Wormwood series is about angels sent down to eradicate humans. What made you choose angels?

My original idea was aliens, but my husband talked me out of going that route because it was too common. He was right! So I tried to think about other ways the world could end and started researching old stories and folklore about the apocalypse. I ended up being intrigued by religious mythologies about the end of the world and loosely based Wormwood on a melding of these stories. The three main influences are Christian, Hindu and Babylonian. Angels are drawn from the Christian stories. Kali is from Hindu scripture, while Tiamat and Merodach are Babylonian.

✾ How do you come to the decision of axing off a character?

Not easily. I spend a lot of time developing my characters, and it’s painful to pull the plug on them. Sometimes I do it for realism (in a harsh world like the one I’ve created, death is necessary for the story to be believable), and sometimes a certain death is an essential puzzle piece within a grander picture.

✾ Tiamat is an unusual name, where did it come from?

Tiamat is the name of the monster of chaos from ancient Babylonian mythology.

✾ Who is your favourite out of all the Nephilim?

Tiamat. Absolutely Tiamat!

✾ How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

None. If I don’t love the idea enough to finish it, then I won’t start it.

✾ What kind of research do you do and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

I do most of my research online, but I also contact experts, and I do “field” research. I spent about 6 months collecting information and writing notes before I wrote a single word of Wormwood. I also continued research after I began writing. I’ll look up anything—from background stories about names to the stages of decay after a person dies (yeah, it’s nasty, but necessary). I also do hands-on research, which is my favourite. The absolute best was when I spent a day learning about crossbows. Shooting bolts into targets was so much fun!

✾ How did publishing your first book change your writing process?

I don’t think my writing process really changed after completing book 1. Because I don’t have much time to write, it took me about 5 years to finish Wormwood. I had most of my routines figured out by the time I finished.

✾ What did you edit ‘out’ of Wormwood or Angel of Shadow?

I’ve made quite a few cuts, but the most notable ones are a prologue from Wormwood (Tiamat’s birth and later, his mother’s death), and an entire chapter about Bram from Angel of Shadow. It wasn’t easy to cut them, but Tiamat’s prologue gave too much away about him when I wanted readers to be unsure about trusting his character, and Bram’s chapter never quite fit into the story properly. I loved both of these, however, so I’ll be putting them to good use. I’ll be offering Bram’s chapter to readers on my newsletter list. As for Tiamat’s prologue, I’m considering using that in Wormwood’s prequel, Monster.

✾ Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with good or bad reviews?

I read every word of every review and take it all to heart. So a good review can be inspirational and motivating to me. But a bad one…? Well, what human being would be unmoved by someone publicly trashing their work? It’s soul crushing. I’m very fortunate that I haven’t had many bad reviews, but like any author, it’s happened. After being devastated by a particularly nasty one, a friend gave me some great advice. She had me look up bad reviews on some of my favourite authors—writers who I thought were brilliant. That gave me perspective. A bad review still hurts, but now I remind myself that not every book is for every person. So that helps. As for good reviews, well, they’re like oxygen. They fuel my writing and drive me to deliver the best possible story to my readers. In fact, it was due to the enthusiasm from readers and reviewers (like Sarah here!) that gave me the inspiration I needed to dig in and finish Angel of Shadow.

✾ What is your writing Kryptonite?

Anything! I will wander off and do house work, rewire the electricity and learn to speak Spanish when I should be sitting down to write. Seriously! I’m so bad. Distractions and a need for perseverance both prove to be my biggest writing hurdles.

✾ If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Focus!!!

✾ What advice do you have for new writers?

If you’re going to do anything, do it well. Polish your work. Send it off to some beta readers for feedback and then revise. Polish it again. Send it to be edited and then fix what you need to. Don’t ever self-publish or query a sub-par manuscript. An agent or publishing house won’t give you a second chance. Join some author groups (Facebook is a great place) to make connections and hear advice. And finally, enjoy the process. Writing can be hard work, but remind yourself to love what you’re doing. Love your characters. Love your story. That will make all the difference in the world.

✾ Will Tiamat and Kali get a happily ever after ..? (this one is just for me ☺)

Ah, Sarah!!! You know I can’t say!  But… maybe I can hint that you’ll be happy with the outcome of the trilogy. Very happy. I promise I won’t let my readers down. I hope that will do for now! ☺

Congratulations on conducting your first author interview, Sarah! It was an absolute pleasure and an honour to be a part of it. Thank you so much for asking me!!!

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Thank you so much Danielle for answering my questions with sincerity and passion! You know I love you! ❤

Don’t forget to check out Angel Of Shadow and the first in the series Wormwood is still FREE!

I hope you enjoyed my very first author interview guys!

Until next time ❣

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The Confession – Jo Spain – Review

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Synopsis Logo

Late one night a man walks into the luxurious home of disgraced banker Harry McNamara and his wife Julie. The man launches an unspeakably brutal attack on Harry as a horror-struck Julie watches, frozen by fear.

Just an hour later the attacker, JP Carney, has handed himself in to the police. He confesses to beating Harry to death, but JP claims that the assault was not premeditated and that he didn’t know the identity of his victim. With a man as notorious as Harry McNamara, the detectives cannot help wondering, was this really a random act of violence or is it linked to one of Harry’s many sins: corruption, greed, betrayal?

This gripping psychological thriller will have you questioning, who – of Harry, Julie and JP – is really the guilty one? And is Carney’s surrender driven by a guilty conscience or is his confession a calculated move in a deadly game?

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Intense psychological thriller. Jaw dropping secrets. One huge confession.

My Thoughts

I literally just put the book down and I’m writing this! I cannot stress enough how f#cking epic this book is!! I am utterly shocked to the core and have literal goosebumps! Ok. Breathe. Let me try to express myself more coherently.

I first went into this book thinking it would be a simple murder mystery. The blurb – ‘you find out who did it on the very first page, on the last page you’ll find out why’ – had me all kinds of intrigued and instantly made me rethink. This isn’t your every day murder mystery, this is truly something else!

From the first line I was hooked. ‘It’s the first drop of my husband’s blood hitting the television screen that will haunt me in the weeks to come – a perfect diagonal splash, each droplet descending like a vivid red tear’ – If that’s the opening line then what would I find lurking in this book?! A whole load of twisted sh#t let me tell you! This isn’t just a murder, this is people’s lives falling apart before your very eyes. Dysfunctional families that aren’t what they seem, unless you look closer and find the truth behind the lies.

As I got deeper and deeper into the book, I learned all manner of dirty little secrets and corrupt goings on. You wouldn’t find this much dirt in a graveyard. The more you dug, the more you found, it just kept coming and I was insatiable, I honestly couldn’t get enough. I was falling deeper into the rabbit hole and couldn’t find my way out! I craved that finale so much, but I didn’t want it to end.

Each time I thought I had it, I knew the secret, I knew the reason why, but I didn’t, it hurtled away from me every time and turned into something else. The amount of twists and turns that I was assaulted by – you honestly would have mistaken me for being in a maze. By the end I was completely gone, THAT ENDING!! God it was so freaking good!!

The characters were incredible. You thought you knew them and had sympathy for their situation and then found out something new and it all changed. The author literally dissected them in front of me! It was all very devious and calculated.

The story was so intense. I was on the edge of my seat most of the time and left with my mouth hanging open at the end of a chapter. The amount of gasps and oooh’s that left my lips was insane. I cried at one point and then felt so much rage the next.

It was utterly gripping and superbly written. If you love a good thriller and are prepared to be shook then I implore you to pick it up!

Just a footnote, there are mentions of alcoholism, self harm and abuse in this book, so just be aware. 

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*I want to thank Jo Spain and Quercus publishing for sending this book my way in return for an honest review*

I hope you enjoyed my review! If you pick up The Confession, please do let me know what you think! I’d honestly love to know.

Find out more about the author and book HERE.

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New Voices 2018 Event

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Hello my lovelies!

Yesterday was a very exciting day for me. I was invited to the New Voices book event in Manchester by HeadlineBooks and their lovely publishing team! The event was absolutely superb and I want to thank Georgina especially for looking after us.

You could say I was an events virgin up until this point (although I popped the cherry last night) and I wasn’t 100% sure what to expect. I knew there would be book talk, authors, food and booze. If those aren’t all GREAT reason’s to hop on the train then I don’t know what is!

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*Pornstar Martini*

Me being the anxiety ridden mess that I am, I had to drag my husband along with me, who let’s face it, went for the food and was my book carrying camel for the night (he’s a star)!

I also had to make sure Megs from BetweenThePages would be coming so I could cling to her all night, politely screaming DO NOT LEAVE ME in her ear! It was so good to see her again and we honestly had a blast. We were also joined by Lauren from NorthernPlunder, who I have met briefly and I’m so glad she came along, she is literally so much fun and who can resist her vibrant blue hair! It turned out to be an awesome night, one of the best times I’ve had in a long while and it was these two girls who made all the difference! Thank you for letting me be myself girls ❣

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*photo taken by Lauren, she took the best photo*

The purpose of the event was to highlight the five new wonderful authors and their upcoming debut books. We had a chat with all but one of the authors (the last one was a bit awol) about their book and they were all lovely and genuinely interested in us bloggers. It’s honestly so refreshing to meet people who have the same interests as you and to have a discussion about our passion for books.

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We were presented with a table full of advanced copies of the books and slowly edged our way towards it, eyeing them up. I made the first grab and thus started the domino effect! I managed to bag a copy of all the books and I can’t tell you how happy that makes me!!Line Breaker

 

Take a closer look at the books and find out a bit more about them:

The Tall Man

The Tall Man by Phoebe Locke 

Release: 14th June 2018

A stunning new voice, introducing her dark and chilling crime-thriller. Appealing to fans of Ruth Ware and Stephen King, it is an unforgettable blend of spine tingling chills and paranormal suspense which will leave you checking the corners of your room at night.

Phoebe is the pseudonym of full-time writer Nicci Cloke. She previously worked at the Faber Academy and hosted London literary salon Speakeasy. She lives and writes in London.

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The Tall Man immediately caught my eye with its stunning cover. I’ve always been interested in the Slender Man mythology, so The Tall Man really interests me and I’m so excited to read it. Phoebe was really lovely to talk to and showed so much love for her book.

The Feed

The Feed by Nick Clark Windo

Release: 25th January 2018

A dystopian page turner. A thought-provoking and utterly addictive read, this is a tense thriller wrapped up in a scarily plausible nightmare. What would you sacrifice to save the world?

Nick was a student on the Faber Academy Writing A Novel course. He studied English Literature at Cambridge and acting at RADA and he now works as a film producer and communications coach. He lives in London with his wife and daughter.

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The Feed really intrigues me, Nick had a chat with us and explained the book in more detail. Everything you are is on the feed, memories, knowledge, dreams, so if it collapses then what do you become? It’s a tiny bit comparable to what would you do without technologically, but on a much larger and more explosive scale. I really look forward to reading it! Nick was also a very entertaining and charismatic man, it was a pleasure to chat with him.

The Perfect GirlfriendThe Perfect Girlfriend by Karen Hamilton

Release: 8th March 2018

The story of one woman’s terrifying mission to take back what’s hers, no matter the cost. As Juliette so frighteningly shows, there is a very thin line between true love and perfect hatred. The tension is high in this one.

Karen spent her childhood in Angola, Zimbabwe, Belgium and Italy and worked as a flight attendant for many years. She is a recent graduate of the Faber Academy and having now put down roots in Hampshire to raise her young family with her husband, she satisfies her wanderlust by exploring the world through writing.

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I love a good thriller and this sounds frighteningly good. Karen talked us through her book and how her inspiration came from being a flight attendant herself. She wanted to write something she was familiar with, thus The Perfect Girlfriend was born. Karen was really enthusiastic about her book and lovely to talk to. I can’t wait to dig into the book!

The Wolf

The Wolf by Leo Carew

Release: 5th April 2018 

If you’re looking for something to fill the Game Of Thrones gap in your life then look no further. Leo is sure to rival David Gemmell and George RR Martin with this masterpiece of epic fantasy. The first in his Under The Northern Sky series.

Leo is a 26-year old Cambridge graduate of Biology Anthropology, currently studying medicine. Apart from writing, his real passion is exploration, which lead him to spend a year living in a tent in High Arctic, where he trained and worked as an Arctic guide.

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Leo was introduced to us as the next George RR Martin, a bold claim, one which I will be happy to test out on reading The Wolf. Leo had a brief chat with us and came off as a very intelligent individual and gentleman. I look forward to seeing what The Wolf truly brings to the book community!

In Our Mad And Furious City

In Our Mad And Furious City by Guy Gunaratne

Release: 3rd May 2018 

A raw and provocative new urban voice in fiction. A vivid and deeply affecting account of city life, the novel follows three young men on a London council estate over 48 hours, when suddenly everything is at stake.

Guy grew up in North West London and has worked as a designer, documentary filmmaker and video journalist covering post-conflict areas around the world, as well as co-founding two technology companies. He was shortlisted for the 4th Estate/Guardian Books B4ME Short Story Prize.

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Unfortunately we didn’t have the chance to chat with Guy, we did see his mustard jumper flitting about the place, so he must have been very sought after. I’ll be honest and say his book interests me the least, just because it’s not my type of thing, but it does sound very compelling to those who are a fan. It’s one of those books that will be very stimulating to the brain.

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I just want to thank Headline Books once again for inviting me to such an incredible and refreshing event. It was unbelievable to have been invited and more so to experience it. I will never forget it and look forward to many more events like it in the future!

Head over to HeadlineBooks website to find out more!

Hope you enjoyed, until next time ❣

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This Boy Is A Rainbow – Sam Payne – Review

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Sam Payne’s debut poetry collection, this boy is a rainbow, tells a raw and touching story of gay love, heartbreak, healing, and empowerment. It is the story of boy who lost love and thought he would never be whole again. Divided into three chapters, it follows his journey as he endures the storm, finds the sun, and becomes the rainbow.

For fans of Rupi Kaur, Amanda Lovelace and Savannah Brown, comes an original collection about love, sexuality, grief, doubt, depression, survival, healing, self-love and empowerment.

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Heart wrenching, raw and truly empowering. Trigger warning for self-harm.

My Thoughts

If you know me, you will be aware that I’m not a huge fan of poetry. But after hearing so many amazing things about this book, I had to take Sam up on his offer and read it for myself.

I am utterly stunned by this collection. I don’t often read poetry, but this is unlike anything I’ve ever laid eyes on. The words cut so deep and were so raw, I didn’t expect to respond to it so intensely. I could feel every word and every drop of anguish and pain as I was reading. The storm was heart breaking and harrowing to read, but in all the right ways. Sam captured those moments of heartbreak perfectly. Then the light shone and he began to see the splendour of life again in all its beauty. Then through the rainbow he realised that all of his suffering hadn’t been for nought, he was a better person for it and overcame it.

This collection was incredibly empowering and if you’ve ever been through heartbreak then I highly suggest you read this! I think everyone would discover something about themselves and become better because of it.

I also want to highlight the incredible sketches included in the collection, they added so much depth to the collection.

Thank you to Sam Payne for reaching out to me. I’m so glad I read this for myself. You are so brave and I respect you enormously.

*I received a copy of the book in return for an honest review*

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About The Author

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Sam Payne is a poet, writer and creative based in Cambridge, UK. He started posting poetry on Instagram in October 2017 and his debut poetry collection was published in 2018. By sharing his words with the world, he offers a positive message of survival and growth for the wounded heart or bruised soul. When he is not writing, he can be found in a good coffee shop, eating a slice of red velvet cake. You can find out more about the author at bysampayne.com he is also very active on Instragram @bysampayne.

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Here are some excerpts from the collection along with some of the beautiful sketches:

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Angel Of Shadow – D.H Nevins – Arc Review & Giveaway!

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D.H. Nevins hurtles you into a world of half-angels, demons and tormented love in this driving, dystopian sequel to Wormwood.

Half-angels, known as Nephilim, have all but destroyed the surface of the Earth. Yet for Kali Michaels, her life is now much more complicated than simply surviving. Grappling with her own powerful identity, she worries her connection to the world of Shadows could destroy those around her.

And what if she hurts Tiamat Wormwood, the Nephilim outcast who has given everything to save her? Tiamat and Kali know they have no future—not when outside forces and Kali’s own power push both the humans and the Nephilim to the brink of extinction.

As she fights to stop the inevitable, she is led to question who her real enemies are, and whether the ultimate threat may actually be herself.

My Rating Logo
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Utterly stunning, will tear you up inside, have you weeping, dystopian sensation.

My Thoughts

You may remember me spamming you with my week long cover reveal for Angel Of Shadow last month. I’m so excited to share this review with you guys! You should all know by now that I loved Wormwood and D.H herself, so I was ecstatic to review the sequel Angel Of Shadow for her.

I want to start by saying (once again) how so in love I am with the cover! I adored it the minute I saw it and congratulate D.H on how well it turned out.

Wormwood was definitely a roller coaster of a read, Angel Of Shadow is on another level! The moment you were settled and thought all was well, another crisis would occur and throw everyone into battle mode. It was truly exhausting all of my emotions, in all the best possible ways I may add.  D.H really knows how to stick the knife in and have you sobbing into the book!

The general atmosphere was really heightened compared to Wormwood. I felt like danger was around every corner and prayed for my poor Kali and Tiamat!

Kali grew from strength to strength throughout the book, daring to challenge her enemies and giving as good as she got, she really is bad ass! I love her determination and her unwillingness to give up the fight. Her moments of intense fury were by far my favourite thing about her and were fuelled by her need and love for Tiamat.

Tiamat will forever be one of my favourite male characters. He loves deeply and is incredibly loyal. He feels more than most of the Nephilim and risks his life for others. He puts himself through so much guilt and grief for actions that he can’t control. Even those who have become his enemies, he still cares for and regards them as his brothers. He is a true angel and will forever protect Kali, no matter what the cost.

I enjoyed the small bursts of humour through the book. The Nephilim’s jokes with each other and Kali, it relieved some of the tension from previous scenes and nursed some of the wounds in my heart.

I loved the scenes between Kali and Tiamat. It was slightly different to Wormwood, where Tiamat stayed away to keep Kali safe, the roles were kind of reversed this time. But it was nice to have them together after everything and it was really lovely to see, thank you for catering to my gushy love scene needs Danielle! ☺

I was utterly shocked to find my name in the acknowledgements of this book! I cried many tears when I saw it and cannot thank D.H enough for her words. I’m so happy to have had such an influence and will continue to support her in whatever she does. You truly are amazing Danielle! ❤

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Giveaway Time!

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Being the wonderful person that D.H is, she’s hosting a giveaway for TWO paperback copies of Angel Of Shadow! This will run from 13th – 31st of January. You can enter HERE.

Angel of Shadow releases this Saturday the 13th! And remember you can still grab the first book Wormwood for FREE HERE.

Find out more about D.H and her Wormwood series HERE.

D.H also has a newsletter that you can now sign up for to keep up to date with the series and also new subscribers will be entered to win one of FIVE copies of Angel Of Shadow. Sign up HERE.

Line Breaker*Thank you to D.H Nevins for sending the book my way in return for an honest review*

I hope you enjoyed my review of Angel Of Shadow, I know I loved reading it!

Until next time ❣

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New Year – Q&A

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Hey guys!

Happy new year bookworms! I can’t believe we’ve jumped into 2018 already, where did the time go?!

As 2018 marks my first year of blogging (June) I wanted to do a little Q&A to bring in the new year. I won’t be making any resolutions, they’re just not my bag, but I will be shooting for some goals, which I shall add at the end of this post.

Once again, I wish you all the best for the new year!

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 Where is your favourite place to read? 

I do most of my reading on the sofa once the kids are in bed. I love reading in bed, but unfortunately that’s not an option right now.

 What’s your least favourite book that you’ve ever read?

Given To The Sea by Mindy McGinnis. Don’t get me started on that book!

 Physical or E-book? 

I love holding a book, there’s just something delightful about it! But I have read a lot more E-books recently than I used to.

 Who is your favourite author?

THAT is a tough question. For a long time is has been J.K Rowling and it still probably is, but I really enjoy Anna Banks and I’ve recently discovered D.H Nevins, she’s incredibly talented and just an awesome person!

✴ Favourite book quote?

‘Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times if one only remembers to turn on the light’ – Dumbledore – J.K Rowling.

 Favourite Harry Potter book?

I always thought this was The Order Of The Phoenix, but I’ve recently changed my mind and it’s actually The Half-blood Prince.

 If you could transport yourself into any book for a day, what would it be and why?

Definitely Harry Potter! I’ve always wanted to be a witch and explore Hogwarts, drink some butter beer and pet a Hippogriff. My letter is WAY late!

 What advice do you have for new bloggers? 

Be yourself, do what YOU want to do, don’t feel pressured to conform to other bloggers. Be social and make friends, that’s the best advice I could give!

 What is it like being a book blogger?

If you love books, then it’s honestly the best! Sharing your love of books and communicating with other people like yourself is awesome. It can get stressful if you have reviews to post and such, but what isn’t? I enjoy putting my heart and soul into something I truly love and I made tons of friends!

 What made you get into blogging?

Honestly, I was sick of not doing anything. I’m a fulltime mum and that takes up 90% of my life. But I wanted to do something for me, to have an outlet when I’m stressed or anxious. Writing has always been my peace since I was young and I adore books, so what better choice was there?

 What’s your favourite type of book to review?

A good one? Haha! My favourite genre’s are YA, NA, Horror and Fantasy. I also prefer reviewing a standalone book as to a series.

 Most anticipated read of 2018?

Gosh there’s too many! I will say Shadowsong by S.Jae-Jones is my number one! But I’m also pumped for Legendary by Stephanie Garber and Ace Of Shades by Amanda Foody.

 How many books do you want to read in 2018?

My Goodreads goal this year is 50. I went over my goal of 40 last year by reading 45, so I think 50 is a good challenge. Feel free to add me on Goodreads, my page is in the sidebar ☺.

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Now as I said, I don’t like to make resolutions. The majority of people only set them because it’s ‘new year’ and it’s a fad. I don’t go for that. I like to set small goals throughout the year to keep me motivated.

This year I’d like to lose some more baby weight, so my goal is a stone by May.

I’d also like to be more organised, so I plan to get a journal and try to set myself mini goals every month.

I’d like to try and push myself a bit more. My anxiety is the worst it’s been in years and I want to fight it! I have a few events planned this month that I’m terrified of, but I’m going to push through!

That’s all I have for now, I’ll update you later on in the year.

Do you have any goals or resolutions for 2018? I’d love to know!

Thank you to everyone who submitted questions for this post, I appreciate you all!

Until next time ❣

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