Waiting on Wednesday: It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

Colleen’s books rip me up inside and make me sob like a baby. But it’s this devastation that makes her happy endings so beautiful. It also makes me doubt that there’s going to be a happy ending but so far she’s never let me down. I’m really looking forward to reading It Ends With Us because I’ve seen snippets on her social media and it seems like such an emotional read. I feel like this might be her best work yet.

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Release Date: 2 August 2016

Official Synopsis from Goodreads.com:
Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up. She graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true. 

Ryle is assertive, stubborn, and maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant and has a total soft spot for Lily; and the way he looks in scrubs certainly doesn’t hurt. Lily can’t get him out of her head, but Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing. Even as Lily finds herself becoming the exception to his no dating rule, she can’t help but wonder what made him that way in the first place. 

As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan, her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened. 

With this bold and deeply personal novel Colleen Hoover delivers a heart-wrenching story that breaks exciting new ground for her as a writer. Combining a captivating romance with a cast of all too human characters, “It Ends with Us” is an unforgettable tale of love that comes at the ultimate price

10 Tips for The Instagram Newbie

When I first got an android device, Instagram was the first app I installed. This was about two years ago. I’ve only just started figuring out how to use Instagram and use it well. If you’re a newbie to Instagram, here are my tips:

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1) Always add hashtags: Hashtags increase the visibility of your posts. Don’t know what hashtags to use? I always use “Instaworthy” (if a pic isn’t Instaworthy why would it be on Instagram) and other variations with “Insta” such as “Instatravel” or “Instapets”.

2) Interact with others: Like all social networks, Instagram is a place to be social. I’ve met so many great people through Instagram.

3) Return likes and comments: if someone likes or comments on your pictures, it’s always a good idea to return the favour.

4) Try to take as many shots as possible in the daylight: I don’t know if I’m the only one who didn’t know this but natural light is the best for pictures. Take out as many pics as you can during the day.

5) Photo-editing apps are made for Instagram: okay no they’re not but they make your photos look so much better. My favourite apps are Photo Editor and YouCam.

6) People are less likely to follow you if your profile is on private: With private profiles there’s always the risk you might be rejected and who wants that?

7) If your profile isn’t on private, ensure that there’s nothing that would give a future employer a bad image of you: you don’t want or need your employer seeing your Friday night out on the town.

8) Don’t overload people’s feed: Don’t post so often that your photos are the only ones that appear on your followers’ feed. That’s like Instaspam (which, if it’s not a thing, should totally be one).

9) Post regularly- Don’t post once a month either. Post on a regular basis so your followers know that you’re still around. If your last photo is from ages ago, chances are people are going to unfollow you thinking that you’ve abandoned ship.

10) Find your community- I think this is the most important thing. There is someone out there Instagramming the same shots that you are. This may be someone who Instagrams their German Shepherd (if you’re this person, kindly leave your Instagram link in the comments thanks) or pictures of beautiful sunsets. Find the people who Instagram the same things you do and connect with them. I love seeing pictures of German Shepherd puppies and pretty bookstagrams when I log in to Instagram.

What are your tips for Instagram? What do you post on your account? Feel free to leave a comment below.

How to Balance Your Blog with College

College is hard. Being a college student with a blog is infinitely harder. However with some handy tricks you can learn to balance your blog with college.

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1) Schedule everything- You might have noticed by now that I’m a huge fan of planners and to-do lists. Scheduling your commitments ensures you don’t forget them and are aware of them long before they occur. Write down both your college deadlines and important blog post dates. For me every Friday I write a Fiction Friday post so I write this in my diary.

2) Work in advance- Do things before they’re due. Write a few posts before they’re due to be published and queue them up. I usually write an entire week of post on the first day of the month and then work from there.

3) Delegate work- Ask for guest bloggers to post on your blog or ask a friend to help you study when college gets overwhelming.

4) Combine the two- Blog about your college experience. I especially like this option because anyone who is/has been in college can relate to the stress of it.

What are your tips for balancing college and a blog?

Four Lessons I’ve Learnt Since Having My Novel Rejected (Thrice!!!)

I promised myself as a kid that I would publish a book before I turned 21. I’m now just over a month away from 21 but I don’t even have a synopsis or outline written. This reminded me that I’ve been rejected thrice by publishers. The first two times were by a local publisher who didn’t publish teen fantasy. The third time was a digital publisher who didn’t really like the story. However those three rejections taught me ALOT:

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1) Not everyone is going to like you or your work- This was such an important lesson for me. The story I submitted the third time was a story incredibly close to my heart. It was described as not being “compelling enough”. Now while that may be true, I liked that story. That story was my baby and nothing would change that.

2) Always give in your best work- Admittedly, I never did much editing on those stories. I’ve never gotten the importance of editing until three rejections in because now I know that yes I can make my characters and story more compelling. (Just not while college is still on). Whatever it is that you do make sure that you know that you’re giving your 101%.

3) All you need is one yes so keep trying- Whether it’s a job or your driving license, lots of things in life simply require a yes from one person. You may get rejected once or a hundred times but it is the one yes that will change your life.

4) Never let failure get you down- I was fourteen when I got my first rejection letter. Looking back I wonder why I was so stupid to send in my manuscript but I’m also pretty impressed at how brave I was. Yes, I know now it was not my best work but maybe it was my best work at the time? After being rejected for my first novel, I went on to intern at my favourite magazine just over two months later before having an article published in that magazine. Yay me! Never ever let rejection get you down because you have no idea what life may hold in store for you.

What lessons did you learn from being rejected? I’d love to know below.

Release Day Review: Summer at Rose Island (White Cliff Bay #3) by Holly Martin

Summer at Rose Island (White Cliff Bay #3)Summer at Rose Island by Holly Martin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I adore Holly Martin’s books. They’re fun, romantic and light-hearted. The White Cliff Bay novels are an especially treasured read of mine because of the colourful characters in town. Darcy moves to White Cliff Bay to pursue a new job and escape her toxic parents. She is instantly attracted to the hot American, Riley. Riley’s feelings for her though are much harder to read. The first time they meet, he chases her away- literally. This is a cute, fun read not unlike the rest of the White Cliff Bay series. New readers are guaranteed to fall in love with this small town and it’s crazy inhabitants.

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Random Book-ish Firsts

I’m feeling kinda book-stalgic (see what I did there?) so I thought I’d share some of my first bookish moments.

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1) First trip to the library: My first library trip was when my family and I lived in the city (which- I’m sure I don’t need to say- was pretty dangerous). My mother and I would make regular trips and since I was only three years old, she would read books to me. I don’t think I remember ever borrowing the books to bring them home though I may be wrong.

2) First book without pictures: I don’t remember the title but it was a Mary-Kate and Ashley book. I was obsessed with them.

3) First adult novel: I was about eight years old. In my defense it was a romance book about adults and there was nothing that happened. (It was a really old novel so I’m assuming that’s the reason why. The characters never even kissed- and they were married).

4) First book I bought with my own money: Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer. I saved for this book for ages. I literally handed coins to my father and asked him to buy me the book (it was R135). This purchase led to me buying the entire series- which I snuck home since my parents didn’t want me to buy the books in the first place- and it also led to my habit of buying books and sneaking them into my room without telling my parents. Thankfully my parents accepted my book addiction soon after that.

5) First eBook: The Vampire Diaries by L.J.Smith. Okay so when eBooks first came out, a very nice reader of my fanfiction emailed me pdf copies of The Vampire Diaries books. Of course NOW I know you’re not supposed to email ebooks but I had no idea at that time. I really enjoyed the series though and ended up buying all the books (up till Midnight which I paid well over R100 but still haven’t read because it physically pains me now to read that series).

6) First book ordered online: A few years after I first discovered Readers Warehouse, I found out that they delivered! This made me so happy because their only stores were in Joburg and Cape Town. I immediately ordered Crystal Cove by Lisa Kleypas and the first three Demon Trappers books by Jana Oliver.

7) First book I cried over: The Divine One by Danielle R.Mani had me sobbing like a baby. What are your bookish firsts? Feel free to share them below.

(This blog post contains an affiliate link which means I earn a small commission each time you purchase something from the link).

Waiting on Wednesday: Marrying Winterborne (The Ravenels #2) by Lisa Kleypas

I love Lisa Kleypas’ work especially her historical romance. The Ravenels series reminds me of the Hathaways so I can’t wait to read the next book. I just know it’s going to be a gem. Her writing is flawless and her characters are always so real.

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Release Date: 31 May 2016

Official Synopsis from Goodreads.com:
A ruthless tycoon
Savage ambition has brought common-born Rhys Winterborne vast wealth and success. In business and beyond, Rhys gets exactly what he wants. And from the moment he meets the shy, aristocratic Lady Helen Ravenel, he is determined to possess her. If he must take her virtue to ensure she marries him, so much the better…

A sheltered beauty
Helen has had little contact with the glittering, cynical world of London society. Yet Rhys’s determined seduction awakens an intense mutual passion. Helen’s gentle upbringing belies a stubborn conviction that only she can tame her unruly husband. As Rhys’s enemies conspire against them, Helen must trust him with her darkest secret. The risks are unthinkable…the reward, a lifetime of incomparable bliss. And it all begins with…

Marrying Mr. Winterborne 

10 Signs You’re Meant to Be an English Major

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1) You enjoy reading
2) You enjoy writing
3) You’re good at both reading and writing
4) Your literary collection consists of more than just the latest bestsellers. You have the classics too.
5) You can write an essay in your sleep

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6)  You’ve written something that wasn’t for school (poems, short stories, fanfiction)
7) The idea of having to read and be rewarded for writing about what you read, excites you. Hello easy A
8) You’ve read a classic novel without it being compulsory for class.
9) You don’t mind putting in work for a module that most believe will only lead to you working at McDonalds or Starbucks.
10) Well you’re reading this so you obviously believe you’re meant to be an English major.

Tips on Preparing for Finals

It’s that time of the year again. Finals are upon us even though it feels like we JUST finished writing our last paper. Here are my tips to help you prepare for finals:

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1) Tailor your studying for the type of exam- I used to study for all my papers in the same way. Read the notes, read the textbook and hope for the best for exams. Don’t do that. It’s far more effective if you study depending on what the exam question is. Draft out essays or outlines of essays for an essay question. Test yourself for multiple-choice questions and practice answering “long questions” to the best of your ability.

2) Use Past Papers- Speak to your lecturer or tutor about papers that have been used previously. I overheard a conversation about our university papers being in the library- something I hadn’t known before.

3) Keep Calm- okay I’m not the best student out there but I’m pretty proud of my marks. I’m also pretty proud that I never crack under pressure. No matter how stressful exams are, be certain to always remain calm. Freaking out will only stress you out and cause you to forget what you’ve learnt.

4) Use more than one medium of learning- Learning the same thing over and over again is boring. Switch it up by changing the way you study. I usually write notes down but when I get bored I move on to typing them in my own words on my phone. I’ve also been known to sing but only when numbers are involved.

5) Ask for help when you need it- Whether you need extra revision with a tutor or you need to step away from some of your responsibilities, ask for help if you’re feeling overwhelmed.

What are your tips for finals?

Fiction Friday: Unravelling Isobel by Eileen Cook

Unraveling IsobelUnraveling Isobel by Eileen Cook
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Isobel moves to a small town in the middle of nowhere with her mother and her new stepfamily. Isobel isn’t happy with the move but puts on a happy face for her mother. But her new stepfather seems to be hiding something and Isobel seems to be hearing voices. Is Isobel about to lose her mind like her father did?This book was so much fun to read. I loved the character of Isobel and really sympathised with her. I also was not sure if she was going crazy or not and that mystery carries on well throughout the novel. This is a sweet, funny, entertaining read.

View all my reviews

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