Fiction Friday: Seven Lies by Elizabeth Kay

Seven Lies by Elizabeth Kay

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’ve been having trouble paying attention to books (thank you, TikTok. Again).
Jane and Marnie have been best friends since high school. They tell each other everything. But when Marnie falls in love with a douchebag, Jane doesn’t admit that she hates him.
But this small lie eventually snowballs until Marnie moves in with and then marries the pretentious ass.
Jane wants to see her best friend happy but why him? (I asked myself this several times over the course of this novel. Marnie’s husband is a slimy pig. Never have I ever hated a fictional character so quickly).
Eventually, Marnie’s husband (sorry, he is not worth remembering. Not even for this review) dies and Jane feels guilty. Maybe if she had spoken up sooner things would be different.
Like I said before, I absolutely loathed this man. So hats off to Elizabeth Kay for making him so hateable.
This was a really well-written book that I read in one go. This was such a rollercoaster of a novel but I loved every second!

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Fiction Friday: Book Review- The No-Show by Beth O’ Leary

The No-Show by Beth O’Leary

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from Jonathan Ball publishers in exchange for an honest review.
So despite the cheery cover I assumed that this book was some sort of murder mystery.
It’s not. This is very much a fun little rom-com.
Siobhan, Miranda and Jane are three very different woman who are all involved with the same man.
Think “Tinder Swindler” but without the cash.
I found it interesting that whereas Siobhan and Miranda had actual romantic relationships with Joe. Jane’s relationship seemed to be more of a friendship.
Joe is an expert at becoming whatever the women in his life needs which leaves the reader questioning his motives.
How can a guy who seems so sweet be such a twisted liar? Or is he?
I read through this book desperate to hate Joe but I couldn’t. His actions just left me confused.
However things start to make sense in the end.
Simply put, this book BLEW MY MIND! It was well-written, the characters were fleshed out beautifully and the romance…amazing.
Never have I ever rooted for a guy dating three woman (and I really hope that this was the first and last time)
Definitely give this book a try. Beth O Leary does NOT disappoint!

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Fiction Friday: Book Review- A Sweet Mess by Jayci Lee

A Sweet Mess by Jayci Lee

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I needed to track down “A Sweet Mess” after I finished reading “The Dating Dare”. I needed something light and fun and this did not disappoint.
Aubrey runs the bakery, Comfort Zone which she plans on expanding eventually. She has no time for relationships. But when she runs into Landon she decides there is no harm in a one-night-stand.
But Landon accidentally samples an experimental treat from her bakery that he hates and then writes a brutal review for.
When Landon realises that Aubrey is the owner of the bakery, he offers to make it up to her by giving her a spot on a celebrity cooking show.
Desperate to restore her business, she agrees.
But trying to remain professional after their one-night stand proves to be harder than either of them thought. (That’s what she said! I am sorry. The opportunity was there and I had to take it).
This was a read that I finished in one sitting and it was SO GOOD! If you are a fan of contemporary romance give this a try.

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5 Lead Magnet Ideas to Build Your Email List

I absolutely LOVE lead magnets. However I am yet to figure out if I like them because they are valuable or because they are free.

So what is a lead magnet? It is a piece of content designed to help expand your email list. You provide something of value to your audience in exchange for their email address.

This is an excellent way for you to expand your email database. However remember that whatever you are offering needs to be valuable and needs to be something that people will be interested in.

It is also a good tip to keep the sign-up process as simple as possible. You do not want people starting to sign up for your lead magnet only to leave halfway because you are requesting too much information.

Here are 5 ideas for lead magnets:

  1. A Guide: Search through all your blog posts for a theme or posts that relate to each other. You can use this to create a guide. For example, I could use my blog posts to create a guide on blogging (or a very outdated guide to uni).
  2. Printables: Printables are also another favorite of mine. These are just items that are helpful that you can print such as a checklist, to-do list, motivational quotes or even a planner.
  3. Free stock images: If your audience is the type to appreciate free stock images then go for it! Personally I am always on the look-out for free stock images.
  4. Workbooks: Have I ever used a workbook? No. Have I ever given my email address away in exchange for a free workbook? Every single time. Put in the effort to create a valuable workbook tailored to your audience and you are sure to get a great response when this lead magnet goes live.
  5. A resource library: Once you have a few lead magnet options, you can compile them all in an exclusive “Members Only” library that can only be accessed by those who have given your their email address. Resource libraries are full of valuable information and so this is an excellent bargain for your audience.

Have you ever tried using a lead magnet before? Let me know below.

Fiction Friday: Book Review- A Daring Pursuit by Kate Bateman (Ruthless Rivals #2)

A Daring Pursuit by Kate Bateman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The next book in the “Ruthless Rivals” series follows enemies Carys Davies and Tristan Montgomery.
The two delight on picking on each other and from the very first few pages it is clear that there is a strong chemistry here.
Carys has a secret that she is hiding. When Tristan comes dangerously close to finding out the truth about Carys’ scandal, she tries to distract him.
The end result is a bargain between the two of them. They would spend a week together. Tristan would show Carys a good time (and get her out of his system) and once the week is over, they resume their lives.
This was a disastrous idea considering that they had family married and would probably see each other again. However I was fully in support of it in order for the main characters to get together.
I am a bit disappointed that this wasn’t as action-packed as the first book but I did feel like there was much more romance.
This was a delightful read that I recommend to anyone looking for a historical romance.

Fiction Friday: Book Review- Starry-Eyed Love by Helena Hunting

Starry-Eyed Love by Helena Hunting

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received a review copy of this book via Netgalley.
London Sparks is one of the three owners of Spark House, a family-run events company. When she goes out to a bar to celebrate being newly single, her sisters are delighted to see the return of “fun London”. London tends to get too serious when she is in a relationship and her sisters are glad to have her let off some steam.
However while celebrating, London makes intense eye contact with a gorgeous guy who pays for their drinks and then gives London his number. London politely turns him down. Like all newly single people, London has decided to focus on her career.
A few months later, London is stressing about their business, which is rapidly growing, when she receives a call from a multi-million-dollar company who wants to discuss working with her.
London presents to the team but is interrupted by the CEO of the company, Jackson Holt. Who is also the guy from the bar.
London and Jackson eventually start to develop feelings after working together for a while. However Jackson has something in his past that might pose a threat to them being together.
This was a wonderful read that I enjoyed immensely. (Though to be fair, I have not seen a Helena Hunting novel that I did not love). If you are looking for a fun, contemporary romance, give this a go.

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How to Take a Mental Health Day when You Aren’t Allowed One

About three or four weeks ago, I started feeling really burnt out and like I desperately needed time off from work. Mental health days were not something that we officially had at work and if I wanted time off, I would have needed to book time off from my PTO. (Fun fact- it wasn’t burn-out. I was experiencing the early stages of the Coronavirus). This got me thinking about how exactly one would go about taking a mental health day if that wasn’t something provided by your company.

Here are my tips on how to take a mental heath day:

1. Monitor Yourself for Signs of Exhaustion or Burn-Out: The idea here is for you to catch it before it becomes a problem. The second you realize you need a time-out, book your leave. Do not wait for it to worsen. Remember, you cannot pour from an empty cup. You need YOU to be performing at your best in life whether this is for family, friends or your place of work. Keep an eye on how you’re feeling so that you can refill your cup as soon as you need to.

2. Schedule Your Time Off in Advance: Note that I used the word “schedule”. That is because this is important. Request your PTO far enough in advance that you can ensure that 1) anything that is going to cause you stress can be taken care off BEFORE you take your mental health day and 2) you are able to plan a proper mental health day.

3. It’s a Mental Health Day…Act Like It: So no work emails (if it’s an emergency, they can call 911), no feeling guilt and no negativity. Do something for you and something that you would enjoy whether it’s watching a movie or shark-diving.

4. Maybe You Might Need More than A Day: You might need a mental health week as opposed to a day. That is perfectly okay. You do what is best for you.

A mental health day might not be something offered by every company but you can still (and should) take time off to destress and relax.

SEO Tips for Beginners

Guys, I have tried repeatedly to write an article on SEO basics. But I am old and forgetful and I do not know anymore what SEO techniques I use because I learnt it VS what SEO techniques I use out of habit (the latter which is probably old and outdated and might not work anymore).

As a Digital Marketer, I obviously do not want to give you irrelevant and outdated information so instead I am compiling a few links that could help you learn SEO as a beginner.

1) Moz has a beginner guide to On-Page SEO which looks at all aspects of optimizing your webpages.

2) Wordstream has a beginner guide to SEO basics however be warned, this post is incredibly long. This is an article that would probably be best to bookmark and come back to later.

3) Semrush looks specifically at SEO tips for bloggers

4) Finally, Hubspot has their own guide which I am recommending simply because they’re Hubspot.

Fiction Friday: Book Review- Ghosted by Emily Barr

Ghosted by Emily Barr

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received a review copy of this book on Netgalley. This book hurt me and I was so not ready.
When Ariel’s toxic, hot-tempered father turns his back on their family, Ariel retreats to an abandoned store-room in a corner of the mall. But then she encounters Joe and the two of them exchange numbers.
Joe is on his way to France and he knows he should be excited but he just feels dread.
Ariel tries to text Joe but it turns out that his number is disconnected. Hurt, Ariel goes back to where she met him. There he is, with no memory of her or their meeting. And he still claims that he is leaving to France that afternoon.
Soon Ariel and Joe realize that Joe is reliving the same day over and over. Ariel promises to solve the mystery of Joe but eventually starts to turn her back on her reality in order to fix Joe’s.
I actually have no words to adequately describe this book. It was engaging, it was gripping, it was emotional. IT WAS EVERYTHING!
This book was alot but in the best way possible.
Ariel and Joe are adorable and by the end of the book, I was ugly-crying. If you want a book that is thrilling and will not let you go, I recommend this one.

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“This addictive enemies-to-lovers romance…captures both characters’ intense emotions and undeniable chemistry. It’s sure to have readers hooked.” —Publishers Weekly

Ruthless Rival, an all-new addictive and emotional romance from Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author L.J. Shen is now live!

From Wall Street Journal bestselling author L.J. Shen comes an enemies-to-lovers romance about the fine line between seeking revenge and finding love.

When she was young, Arya Roth became best friends with her housekeeper’s son. Soon, friendship turned to young love, and when Arya dared him to kiss her, a chain reaction of disastrous events led to the boy being sent away and out of Arya’s life.

Now, two decades later, Arya is an on-the-rise publicist with her beloved father as one of her biggest clients. So when her father is sued by a former employee, Arya sets out to prove that her father is not the monster he is accused of being. The only problem is the attorney who is determined to destroy her father’s good name. Christian Miller is charming, ambitious, and devilishly good looking, and Arya has no idea he is that same boy who kissed her all those years ago.

Past and present collide as Arya falls hard for Christian. But when she finds out who he really is and about his obsession with getting revenge on her father, can she choose love over family?

Fall in love today!
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About LJ 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 nineteen 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.

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