I’m BACK!!!

I cannot believe it has been an entire month since I last posted. I’ve been busy with a Project Management module and now I can add Marketing Management and Digital Copywriting to my list of ever-growing certifications.

So while I didn’t really enjoy the studying this time (Covid=increased working hours+ less breaks+ less available study time), I was pretty sad when it ended. In fact it’s been two weeks and all I did was spring clean my room and watch two episodes of “Friends”. I’m pretty disappointed in myself but I figured after the year I had, I deserved a break.

I have scheduled a few book reviews and while I look for my next project, I’m going to focus on tackling that large bookshelf that somehow keeps growing. I swear I’m not buying books. I don’t know how they keep multiplying.

Fiction Friday: Book Review- The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong (Darkest Powers #1)

The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


So I bought this book for R10 at Readers Warehouse Black Friday sale like three years ago. I didn’t pick it up as I was still missing the remaining books.
I got the remaining books last March and still didn’t start the series because I am a bad reader.
In honor of how much things have changed (and also because my brain keeps thinking we are still in March, thanks Corona) I finally started reading and all I can say is WOW!
Chloe’s first period comes with the startling side effects of her seeing dead people. When she has a very public mental breakdown, screaming at ghosts in her high school, she is moved to a group home with other “ill” students.
However the more time that Chloe spends with her housemates, the more she starts to suspect that something sinister is going on.
It certainly doesn’t help matters that even with her medication, ghosts are STILL trying to talk to her.
I loved the idea of a group home with magically gifted teenagers. It isn’t something that I ever read before so I definitely enjoyed this book immensely.
Kinda sad that it was just sitting there on my shelf for so long and I missed finding this series sooner but that’s the story of my life.
If you like paranormal fantasy, definitely give this a try.



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10 Reasons Why I Prefer Paperbacks to eBooks

  1. They feel comforting- Books bring me joy. Just holding one is comforting to me.
  2. You don’t need to worry about battery life- This is especially important in South Africa with load shedding back. Books can never lose battery life. And if there isn’t enough light, just read by candlelight.
  3. They look great on a shelf- No matter how gorgeous a display of ebook virtual covers, they just cannot compare to a physical bookshelf.
  4. Light enough to hold and read for hours but strong enough to use as a weapon- You never know when someone is going to irritate you and you’re going to want to use you copy of “Kingdom of Ashes” to bash them over the head. No this has never happened to me.
  5. Old paperbacks show signs of being well-read and well-loved- I love when I pick up a secondhand paperback and you can see that whoever owned it before me either kept in pristine condition or read it until it fell apart. My first copy of “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” was a tattered R19 copy but I still keep it because I like that someone read it so often, the book eventually lost a few pages.
  6. The smell…allegedly.- I personally cannot vouch for this as I have a very weak sense of smell but apparently books smell good.
  7. Books come in different editions with extras such as maps and fan art- Some of my favorites are “City of Bones” and “A Court of Thorns and Roses”
  8. You can add notes and highlights- You can highlight quotes or make notes in the margins. Yes some ebooks have that function but again, it’s not the same.
  9. Print books go great with cute bookmarks- Magnetic bookmarks, regular bookmarks, character-shaped bookmarks, book art bookmarks…the list goes on.
  10. Print books can be used for research- You know, in case you want to locate a quote or a specific scene. I find it easier if you’re flipping through a print book rather than an ebook, to locate something.

I think both print and ebooks have their own advantages and disadvantages but I definitely don’t think print is dead as yet. Which format do you prefer? I’d love to know below.

Release Blitz: Playing with Fire by L. J. Shen

“Clear off a top spot on your Best of 2020 list. 

Playing with Fire is coming in HOT!”

–Harloe Rae, USA Today bestselling author

Playing With Fire, an all-new intense and all consuming small town standalone romance from USA Today bestselling author L.J. Shen is available now!

A broken boy on the path to destruction.

A scarred girl without direction.

A love story carved in secrets, inked with pain and sealed with a lie.

Grace Shaw and West St. Claire are arctic opposites.

She is the strange girl from the food truck.

He is the mysterious underground fighter who stormed into her sleepy Texan college town on his motorcycle one day, and has been wreaking havoc since.

She is invisible to the world.

He is the town’s beloved bad boy.

She is a reject.

He is trouble.

When West thrusts himself into Grace’s quiet life, she scrambles to figure out if he is her happily-ever-after or tragic ending.

But the harder she pushes him away, the more he pulls her out of her shell.

Grace doesn’t know much about anything beyond her town’s limits, but she does know this:

She is falling in love with the hottest guy in Sheridan U.

And when you play with fire—you ought to get burned.

Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/35scdah

Amazon Universal: http://mybook.to/PWFLJShen

Amazon Paperback: https://amzn.to/3bDlzRh

Add to PLAYING WITH FIRE to Goodreads – https://bit.ly/MDVljgr

About L.J. Shen

L.J. Shen is a USA Today, Washington Post and Amazon #1 best-selling author of contemporary, New Adult and YA romance. Her books have been sold to twenty different countries. 

She lives in California with her husband, son, cat and eccentric fashion choices, and enjoys good wine, bad reality TV shows and catching sun rays with her lazy cat.

Connect with L.J. Shen

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Website: http://www.authorljshen.com/

Fiction Friday: Book Review- 10 Things I Hate About Pinky (Dimple and Rishi #3) by Sandhya Menon

10 Things I Hate About Pinky by Sandhya Menon

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


When rebel Pinky Kumar is accused of burning down the family barn at a holiday (by her mother no less), she decides that she has had enough of her mother looking down at her and her eccentric protest ways.
She comes up with a plan to show everyone that even Pinky Kumar can find a “good boy”. Except Pinky Kumar doesn’t really know any good boys. So she calls in Samir Jha, a friend of a friend who is dull as can possibly be.
Samir has planned every second of his life. When his law internship falls through, he agrees to Pinky’s plan in exchange for the opportunity to work for her lawyer mother.
The two of them hate each other so pretending to be in a relationship might take a bit work. But they both get something out of it so it shouldn’t be that tough, right?
But as Pinky and Samir start to spend more time together to make their fake relationship look authentic, they both start opening up to each other and sparks begin to fly.
This reminded me alot of “When Dimple Met Rishi” but I enjoyed it nonetheless.
The two characters are polar opposites but surprisingly they work.
I strongly recommend this novel if you are looking for a light read.



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Fiction Friday: Book Review- Love at First Fight (Dimple and Rishi #2. 5) by Sandhya Menon

Love at First Fight (Dimple and Rishi, #2.5)

Love at First Fight by Sandhya Menon

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


“Love at First Fight” sets the scene for a romance between Pinky Kumar and Samir Jha. However I was just in it to see my favorites, Rishi, Dimple, Ashish and Sweetie. It is so cute how Ashish is STILL so smitten with Sweetie.
“Love at First Fight” follows the group as they tackle an escape room for Valentine’s Day. Of course the couples are together, leaving Pinky and Samir on their own team.
I actually cannot stand Samir. He seems like a totally dweeb. However I also hated Rishi at first read and he grew on me eventually so I am willing to give the other weird boy a chance.
I thought the whole set-up of the couples were kinda predictable but I really liked seeing these characters again.
Sweetie is sweet. Ashish is madly in love, Dimple is still raging against her mother’s anti feminist ways and Rishi is still superstitious and believing in Fate (Seriously, HOW are these two together?)
This was a quick read that I devored. Personally I don’t think you need to read this before reading “10 Things I Hate About Pinky” but it’s a great chance to see the characters from the previous books.



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Fiction Friday: Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer (Twilight #5)

Midnight Sun (Twilight, #5)

Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I was a major Twihard back in the day so purchasing this book was a must for me.
When I saw the size of the paperback (700 plus pages), I was a bit daunted by the size but convinced myself it was fine. It was Edward. I loved Edward. He was my first book boyfriend.
The synopsis was a bit over the top but again, it’s my book bae, Edward.
I opened the book and realized two things.
One- This was a really heavy book. Two- Edward has ALOT of thoughts. Like I used to think I was an overthinker but Edward put me to shame.
Incidentally reading this book calmed my anxiety (mostly), because with Edward doing so much overthinking, I didn’t have to.
I have mixed feelings about this book.
On one hand, WHY is it so big and WHY does Edward have so many thoughts?
However it was pretty interesting to see inside his head and hear his side of the story. Several moments from the book series and movie series make much more sense after reading “Midnight Sun.”
I definitely suggest you read this if you’re a “Twilight” fan. Just maybe a few pages at a time and maybe purchase the ebook instead?
There were several times I had to stop reading simply because the act of holding the book up was too much for me.
I’m not a fan of Edward’s thoughts or the size of this book. But by the last page, I was pretty disappointed that this was the last we would hear from him (although can you imagine how depressing “New Moon” would be from his perspective?)
Against my better judgement, this book had me hooked.



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Fiction Friday: Book Review- Again the Magic by Lisa Kleypas

Again the Magic by Lisa Kleypas

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Lady Aline has been in love with John McKenna since they were both kids.
However she is a lady while he works in the stables. When their budding romance is discovered, Aline is forced to make McKenna leave by lying to him that she never loved him.
Many years later, McKenna returns to the estate after having made his fortune in America. He is determined to extract revenge on Aline however it is clear that every after so much time, both their feelings have not dimmed at all.
I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve read this book over and over again.
I love starting the Wallflowers series from the very beginning and seeing Westcliff’s background. This time was no exception. I finished this book and instantly started on the next one in the series.
I loved the pairing of Aline and McKenna especially seeing how they grow and evolve over time. This is a beautiful love story with a happily ever after that I enjoyed immensely.



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Handbag Essentials for the Coronavirus Pandemic

I used to hate leaving home. In fact I still do but the fact that I can barely go out to the mall without fear of bringing home the virus, makes me equal parts excited and exhausted. Excited because YAY I AM LEAVING THE HOUSE. Exhausted because leaving the house means packing a million different things in order for me to feel safe.

Here are my handbag essentials for the Coronavirus pandemic:

  1. Hand sanitizer: This one is obvious. I like to take my own sanitizer because sometimes malls and stores have the icky one that goes on all thick and goopy. No, just no. This also came in handy for the one time I went in to a store and there was no one there to sanitize me because the guard was too busy flirting with the cosmetics lady. Three days later, another branch of the store had to close because one of their staff tested positive for the Covid virus. You can never be too safe.
  2. Disinfectant wipes: I like to use these to wipe down my handbag and anything else like the car door handle. These wipes are a lifesaver if you came across the type of store that takes down peoples details and has everyone using the same pen.
  3. Backup mask: I rarely use my mask until I am in the car. Sometimes I find out that the mask I picked is too big or just doesn’t fit right. I carry a back-up mask just in case.
  4. Wallet with driver’s license, bank cards and enough cash if needed to tip guards: I prefer using cards so I don’t have to touch cash. However I remember way back before we had so many positive cases in South Africa (I think it was March), there was a female car guard who helped me with my trolley but refused to touch the packets. She explained that she had heard what was going on and would not touch my groceries. I packed the car, thanked her but made sure to tip her. I don’t know exactly how much a car guard takes home but it made me sad that she was probably losing her livelihood already due to the beginning of the virus.

What are your handbag must-haves? Is there something that I am missing? I’d love to know below.

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