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Fiction Friday: June TBR

So I have slowly started reading again after the pandemic and boy has it been amazing!

The kind folk over at St Martin’s press sent me a few review copies which I enjoyed immensely and once I was done, I went straight to my bookshelf and picked out my next reads. Here are the books that are currently on my TBR list.

  1. Sparks Fly by Helena Hunting: This is the last book that I read and I loved so very much. This is a sweet best-friends-to-lovers book and while usually I detest this trope, this book does it beautifully.
  2. A Reckless Match by Kate Bateman: Anything by Kate Bateman is a winner in my books. I’m currently reading this and it is such a thrill.
  3. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi- I’m listening to the audiobook of this and honestly it really isn’t doing much for me. I think I might switch to ebook or paperback since I knew I loved the book when I picked it up on a whim. It was supposed to be a read just to pass time but it really sucked me in.

What are you currently reading? Do you have any recommendations for books that helped you out of a pandemic slump? I’d love to know below.

Life Update: May 2021 Edition

Hello again! It’s me, the inconsistent blogger (anyone else think that’s a great name of a blog? Just me? Okay then).

I know it has been a while since I posted but work has been consuming and I have been processing everything in the world. As you can see, I’m a slow processor.

Working in Marketing has been great. I ‘ve learnt so much. I’ve also learnt how much I DON’T KNOW and honestly that scares me. When not learning about Marketing from online courses during the week, my afternoons and weekends are spent reading online articles on Marketing.

It’s kinda like I’m in that lovey, dovey, don’t want to do anything but be with Marketing phase (when you consider how long I have waited for a Marketing job, it makes sense that I’m kinda obsessed with it).

That being said, however. I am aware that this is an incredibly unhealthy way to live and thus, I will be making changes to my life. I have been really lucky in that my team really values work-life balance and kinda stresses on it sometime.

So I have slowly but surely started getting back into the grove of my old habits such as Netflix and reading. I think it’s been three weeks since I started reading again and while I want things to go back to the way they were, I know it’s gonna take time to fall into a rhythm.

So moving forward I will no longer be posting weekly. I will try to have new blog posts up every two weeks but you can find me on Twitter and Insta, stalking pictures of puppies, planners and lots of books.

I’m also going to try and include more content that isn’t just book-related. I feel like book blogging seems a bit trival during a pandemic. But also. books= escape.

Life Update: 2020 Won

Chalkboard with text "UPDATE"

So it has been a while since I posted.

Long story short, my dad caught the Coronavirus and it was a whole big thing. He caught it in December and is still recovering. I am hopeful that things are back to normal now that he is finally out of hospital and life seems to be going back to normal.

On that note guys, please please PLEASE STAY at home as much as possible and stay safe!

Tips for A Stress-Free Black Friday

It’s the second most wonderful time of the year (or atleast it is, to me). Black Friday is approaching and with all the deals popping up on my social media feeds, I’m pretty excited. Lots of retailers have extended their specials to week-long or even month-long. But with great promotions come great responsibility and it’s easy to get carried away. Here are a few tips to make your Black Friday shopping a bit easier.

Shopping bags
  1. Make a List- Take note of what you actually DO need/want for Black Friday to avoid accidental splurges on items you do not need. Yes, that big screen TV from Game is a necessity.
  2. Check your budget- Can you actually afford the items on your list? While sales are great, it defeats the purpose if you’re going to be paying off your credit card for months after Black Friday. Even if you did manage to get the new cellphone you were eyeing for months.
  3. Plan your method of attack- Will you be shopping in-store or online? Almost everyone is having online specials as well which means you don’t have to worry about queues or Covid. As someone who hates crowds, this is absolutely perfect. (Also if you ARE going in-store, make sure to wear comfortable shoes and carry a snack just in case you get hungry).
  4. Create accounts for online stores in advance- If you plan on shopping online, make sure that you already signed up for an account on those shopping platforms. Nothing is more annoying than signing up for an account ON Black Friday only to realise afterwards that the items you picked out are now sold. This sounds like a basic tip but sometimes people get excited and forget. It’s me. I am people. And while we are discussing accounts, make sure you are logged in before you start shopping.
  5. Start early- If you know that there is limited stock of the item you’re after or that the offer is for a certain amount of people, be sure to set an alarm so that you’re ready as soon as the sale starts. ‘Ready’ in this case means that you are logged in and ready to start shopping before midnight.

What items are you looking forward to purchasing for Black Friday? Do you have any other tips to make shopping easier? I’d love to know below.

Happy NaNoWriMo

So normally I get really excited for NaNoWriMo. A month dedicated to writing? No pressure? Yes please.

And I was excited way back when I was planning out my study schedule and pushing to finish before November began.

But now that it’s here I have a half-assed story concept, no plot outline and definitely no plan.

I’m still taking part because I feel like I should and at this stage it’s a tradition. If you can’t write a novel after the craziness of 2020 WHEN can you?

Are you taking part in NaNoWriMo? Let me know below.

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.

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

Facebook: http://bit.ly/2OhSvp1

Twitter: http://bit.ly/36ELHZc

Pinterest: http://bit.ly/2oMbFsu

Instagram: http://bit.ly/2AIOiTo

Stay up to date with L.J. Shen by signing up for her mailing list:

http://bit.ly/36MnmAQ

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

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.

Fiction Friday: Bookworm Buys

I have not spent as much time reading as I should. However the one bookish thing I do whenever I am not reading is scouring the internet and bookstores for great deals (both bookish and not bookish).

So I thought why not create a section here where I can share some of the deals I’ve found. Maybe someone would find something that interests them.

  1. Reader’s Warehouse has a special where you can buy two boxsets and get 25% off
  2. “Midnight Sun” by Stephanie Meyer is out! Bargain Books Umhlanga has it for R295. I went in-store to check it out and the book is HUGE! It actually looks bigger than “Breaking Dawn.”
  3. If you’re fine with venturing out in public, CNA is having a R20 sale. On some stores this applies to their cute stationary as well so definitely stock up if this applies to your nearest store.
  4. Not technically a sale but a bookish deal that you should not miss. “Awkward in Print” by Rachel Rhodes is $3.44 on Amazon.com
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