My Top 4 Favourite Books of 2021

It’s already that time of the year: The time where I reflect on the books I read and choose my favourite books.

My goal was to read 25 books this year but that didn’t work out…Instead, I read 16 books. I’m fine with this because it was a busy year! I did full-time school and part-time work, and I also had a really difficult year mentally. So, 16 books it is!

While I didn’t read a lot, what I did read was really good. For me, it was the year of thrillers as I discovered my love for them, so prepare yourself for many of those to make my list. Like I said, I didn’t read a lot, but I thoroughly enjoyed every single book I read.

That’s a successful reading year to me!

So, let’s dive into my top 4 favourite books of 2021.


1. A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson

A Good Girl's Guide to Murder : Jackson, Holly: Amazon.ca: Books

This book took me one day to read, and it’s hard nowadays for me to read that quickly.

I bought it on my Kindle after hearing a BookTuber rave about it, and just absolutely devoured it. It was sooo good!

This is a thriller book following a teenage girl who is obsessed with true crime and solving a murder that happened a few years ago in her hometown. It’s technically solved but Pip is determined the alleged murderer is not the real murderer, and she has taken it upon herself to discover the true killer.

A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder is a fast-paced and addicting read that you will NOT be able to put down. If you are into true crime, you will love this book!

5/5 stars

2. Chain of Iron by Cassandra Clare

Chain of Iron (The Last Hours, #2) by Cassandra Clare

Who is surprised to see Chain of Iron on this list? Not me, that’s for sure.

I knew I would love this book, and I did. Even though like Clare’s last few books, it took a bit to get the plot moving, I enjoyed every second in this world surrounded by the characters.

That’s what really makes this series: The fantastic cast of characters that I just adore.

I cannot wait for the next book, and I am already itching to do a re-read of this book!

5/5 stars

3. Good Girl, Bad Blood by Holly Jackson

Good Girl, Bad Blood by Holly Jackson

Most thrillers don’t have a sequel because how many true crime-related events can happen to one person? Well, Holly Jackson can make a lot of bad things happen to Pip and have it be believable.

I was a little skeptical about this sequel, but it did not disappoint. The storyline in Good Girl, Bad Blood builds off of the first book and is so interesting. It had been on the edge of my seat and I had no idea who the culprit was or honestly, anything that was going to happen.

It felt like with every flip of the page I was being surprised.

If you read A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder and not the sequel, get on it now!

4.5/ stars

4. Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid: 9781524798659 |  PenguinRandomHouse.com: Books

I am a HUGE Taylor Jenkins Reid fan, so I had high expectations for this book. While it wasn’t my favourite of Reid’s books, I did really enjoy it. (Duh, it made it on my favourites list.)

Like many of her other books, I flew through this story. It gripped me from beginning to end, however, the end definitely wasn’t as strong as the first half of the book, which is why this book only gets a 4/5 from me. I noticed a lot of other readers mention this too. It just felt like Reid wanted to wrap up the story quickly, but other than that, I highly recommend this book.

4/5 stars


Those are my top 4 favourite books of 2021. I’m really happy with this list and cannot wait to get back into reading more this new year!

What books did you read this year, and which were your favourites? Let me know in the comments below!

Check out my last blog post: My Proofreading Services

NaNoWriMo 2021 Week 4 Update

Hello! Sorry, this NaNoWriMo update is coming a few days later than I said, but I was busy working on a whole other post for Monday so wink, wink. Stay tuned for that because I’m really excited about it.

Unfortunately, I did not hit my goal of 20k this past week, but I’m okay with that. I got sick on Thursday, November 25 and luckily, I got over it pretty quickly but I chose to take it easy so I didn’t write again until Monday, November 29.

However, I still got some words down, of course, so let’s just dive into this final NaNoWriMo update and then discuss my writing plans for December!

NaNoWriMo Week 4 Update

Monday, November 22: 579 words

Tuesday, November 23: Apparently I didn’t write this day

Wednesday, November 24: Or this day

Thursday, November 25: 1,045 words

Friday, November 26: No words

Monday, November 29: 1,183 words

Tuesday, November 30: 1,045 words

Words Written in Week 4: 3,852 words

Total Words Written: 17,640 words

Like I said, I wanted to hit 20k by the end of NaNoWriMo and clearly, I didn’t. Things came up and that just didn’t happen! Whether I hit 20k or not though, I still need to keep writing to finish my draft, so either way, it truly doesn’t matter.

That’s a perfect segue into my writing plans for December!

December Writing Plans

  • Write 4 days per week
  • Finish Act II

Aaand that’s it. I just want to keep up this consistent pace of writing every week and constantly add words to my manuscript. Since winter break is coming up, I will have more time since school will be over to write, but I don’t want to put pressure on myself to write more if I feel like I need to relax. (I am planning on taking a week of freelance work so I am looking forward to binging ALL the shows.)

This isn’t exactly a writing plan, but I did want to unofficially announce this before I officially announce/launch this in January…but I will be offering proofreading services again starting in 2022!

If you didn’t know, I used to offer freelance editing services. I love editing and have taken courses on it, as well as practiced with beta clients. However, during school, it just wasn’t feasible. That’s why for 2022, instead of offering all the types of editing, I will just be open to proofreading.

So, if you have a book reaching the final stages, keep me in mind! ๐Ÿ˜‰

That is all for my FINAL NaNoWriMo 2021 update and I hope you enjoyed it ๐Ÿ™‚ Let me know how your NaNoWriMo went, and what are your plans are for December in the comments below.

Talk soon!

Check out my NaNoWriMo 2021 Week 3 Update.

NaNoWriMo 2021 Week 3

Happy Monday!

How did week 2 of NaNoWriMo go for you? Did you hit all your goals? Did you miss all your goals?

The important thing is that you’re still trekking along, whether you’re ahead, on track or behind.

Before diving into this update, make sure to check out my week 2 update to hear about how week 2 went and what my goals for this week were.

NaNoWriMo Week 3 Update

Week 3 has probably been my best week this entire NaNoWriMo. I hit two out of three goals, which is good enough for me!

  • I wrote everyday Monday-Friday
  • I wrote at least 800 words per day

However, I didn’t hit 15k. But that’s okay! This week was absolutely crazy. Not just for me, but for everyone who lives in my city. This isn’t writing-related, but this week has been out of a sci-fi movie or book, so I feel like it’s applicable to share.

On Sunday night (November 14), B.C. got hit by a horrible, horrible rainstorm. It was so bad that it wiped out major highways and basically, flooded everything. I live in Victoria on Vancouver Island, and I wasn’t able to go to school on Monday because the road I take was completely underwater…literally.

Some massive semi-trucks were driving through it but they were struggling, and several other vehicles were on the side of the road flooded and broken down after trying to get through the road. My tiny little Volkswagen Beetle would have no chance.

Anyways, thankfully, things dried up by Wednesday, but that’s when the next “disaster” struck. Due to the heavy rainfalls, the Malahat (our main highway connecting us to the rest of Vancouver Island) was shut down for repairs. However, this is how we get certain items, such as gas.

Do you see where this going?

On Wednesday, I had planned to fill up my car around 11 am on my way to school because I was almost empty. My drive to school is a 10 km drive each way, so I definitely needed gas to make it home.

Around 10 am that day, I get a text from my boyfriend: “You might want to fill up your car now. There’s a gas shortage.”

What?

I didn’t really understand or believe him, but I was like okay, I have a lot to do (I had just gotten home from the gym and showered, but now it was time to get started on blog writing for my clients) but I really need gas. So, I went to the gas station, which is about a one-minute drive away from my house and tried to fill up my car. I spent $0.70 before it ran out!

I am fortunate enough to have never experienced this before and it was weird because this is something that I didn’t see coming this soon.

Lots of people had started to arrive at the gas station and I felt a little panicked. I really needed to make it to school that day and realized I was going to need to fight for gas (LOL).

Anyways, I drove a few km up the road to the next gas station…it was completely out of gas. I drove to the one across the street where a small line-up had formed, however, they had gas! I re-filled my car and lived happily ever after.

There are gas trucks filling up gas stations around Victoria, however, people chose to panic and hoard gas so even today when I am writing this (Saturday), there are still people who aren’t able to get gas to drive to work or school on Monday. Thankfully, the gas stations have limited everyone’s gas intake to only 30 litres, but this still causes some complications for people who need extra for work, like my dad does for his landscaping business.

Isn’t that crazy? This is a reminder to never hoard items, whether it’s food, gas, or toilet paper. Only take what you need!

Okay, now let’s get back into the writing stuff.

Here’s how much I wrote each day and my total word count for the week.

Monday, November 15: 1,047 words

Tuesday, November 16: 1,138 words

Wednesday, November 17: 886 words

Thursday, November 18: 1,058 words

Friday, November 19: 907 words

Total Week 3 Word Count: 5,036 words

Total Overall Word Count: 13,628 words

I’m pretty impressed with this and think that this pace of 5k words a week is manageable for me.

Week 4 Writing Goals

  • Write 1,000 words per day
  • Write Monday-Friday
  • Hit 20k

I am going to count week 4 as November 22 to the end of NaNoWriMo, so my next update will be going up on Wednesday, December 1. Therefore, I think these goals are very realistic for me. Especially since the end of November is the busiest month for students like me.

Let me know how your NaNoWriMo is going in the comments below, and I will talk to you in my next update ๐Ÿ™‚

Check out my Instagram for live NaNoWriMo updates!

NaNoWriMo 2021 Week 2 Update

Surprise, surprise, I am back with an update of week 2 for NaNoWriMo 2021!

Make sure you check out my week 1 update before reading this one ๐Ÿ˜‰

Let’s just dive into this update because spoiler alert…I did not hit my goal of 10k by the end of week 2 OR my goal of having a 2k writing day.

And that’s okay!

It would have been awesome to hit 10k yesterday, but things just got too busy and it didn’t happen. Once again, that’s okay. I have to keep my head up and keep moving forwards.

Tip #1: Acknowledge “failure” and then move on

At first, I was a little bummed but I asked myself these questions: Does not hitting my goal of 10k impact my story at all? Nope. Does it ruin my story? Nope!

Then let’s just keep going. So, that’s what I’m doing.

Despite not hitting my goals, I’ve decided to still reward myself because I had a great writing week regardless. (I’ll get into the exact numbers in a minute.) I deserve a jade roller and sheet face mask whether for working on my story or because I powered through all my school work.

So, after dinner tonight, that’s exactly what I am going to buy at the store. Treat yo’self!

Now, let’s get into how much I wrote.

NaNoWriMo Week 2 Update

Monday, November 8: 1,184 words

Tuesday, November 9: 1,061 words

Wednesday, November 10: 1,051 words

Thursday, November 11: 801 words

Friday, November 12: No words

Saturday, November 13: No words

Sunday, November 14: No words

Total Week 2 Word Count: 4,097 words

Total Word Count: 8,592 words

Once again, no words were written Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, so that kind of segues into my goals for week 3 of NaNoWriMo. (Oh my gosh this is going by so fast.)

Week 3 Goals

  • Write on Friday
  • Write at least 800 words every day
  • Hit 15k

Let’s see if I can hit these goals, but if I can’t, that’s okay! Repeat after me, “That’s okay.”

Okay, good. Now, that’s it from me, but how did you do this past week? How many words did you write? What is your reward for getting through the week? Let me know in the comments below ๐Ÿ™‚

Follow me on Instagram!

Check out my freelance website for social media content, social media management, and copywriting services!

NaNoWriMo Week 1 Update

Here’s how my NaNoWriMo week 1 went!

Hello! Happy November.

This year, despite my insane schedule as I wrap up my first semester back at school, I decided to participate in NaNoWriMo 2021. I honestly can’t help myself!

For the last couple of years, ever since I start college probably, I have not been as active as a writer as I used to be. If you’ve been here since the beginning, I used to write a lot. Like every single day and thousands of words at a time. Of course, over the years I haven’t had as much time to write, but every time I think about the years I did have the time and energy, it fills me with a warm feeling because I just love writing so much.

And I want to experience that again!

The first tip that I think is essential when it comes to NaNoWriMo, is picking a word count goal that works for you and your schedule. Rather than making this a month that you have to hit 50k, make it a month where you just encourage yourself to write more often than usual. That way, you’re still pushing yourself towards a goal for the month but you aren’t expecting something of yourself that you might not be able to do.

Tip #1: Pick a word count that works for you

So, while I know I will not hit the 50k goal you usually strive for (and you will see why once I get into my update), my goal for this November is to write at least 500 words 6 days a week.

NaNoWriMo Update

I am a morning person, so for NaNoWriMo, I am carving some time in my morning routine to spend writing. This time started out as 7:30-8:30ish am but is now more like 7-7:45 am.

I love to write when it is dark outside so I can pop on some word sprints, turn on my mystical lo-fi music, and have a candle burning, as well as my gold fairy lights on behind me…just picture how perfect that atmosphere is for writing. It inspires me and helps me really harness my creativity.

This is my second tip for NaNoWriMo: Creating a specific atmosphere when writing. This is super helpful because it programs your brain to know that when you set up those lights or turn on that music, it is writing time.

TIP #2: Create a specific writing atmosphere

Just remember, creating your writing atmosphere can be as simple as lighting a candle or having a cup of tea at hand. Don’t overcomplicate it. If setting up your writing atmosphere isn’t something feasible you can do every day, you might want to simplify it.

But this is just something that has really helped me out.

Another thing that has contributed to my first week’s success is Campfire. Campfire is this awesome tool for writers that allows us to map out our plot, create world maps, and build out our characters in a visual way. I use the free version of Campfire to plan out my plot. It’s nice because I can just log on, glance at my plot timeline, and then know exactly where I’m at in my story.

TIP #3: Use Campfire

If you didn’t know, I have been writing this story for…maybe 4 years now. The story has changed so much since then, however, one reason I have only finished a full draft once or twice is that I don’t plot it out. For this NaNoWriMo, I really tried to prioritize plotting Act I, II, and III, but only have Act I and II completely done. So …I need to get on that! But Campfire makes it much easier.

Ok, enough rambling. Let’s dive into my first week of NaNoWriMo at a glance!

Week 1 At-a-Glance

Monday, November 1 – 1,753 words

Tuesday, November 2 – 732 words

Wednesday, November 3 – 532 words

Thursday, November 4 – 444 words

Friday, November 5 – 615 words

Saturday, November 6 – No words written

Sunday, November 7 – No words written

TOTAL WORD COUNT: 4,495

I am impressed with the amount I ended up writing last week. As you can see, I didn’t write at all on the weekend, and that’s because I felt a little tired and uninspired. I had a busy week and knew my body needed to rest, so I let it because that’s the best thing you can do for yourself. (And because of that, I had a really good writing day today!)

I would have liked to hit 5k during the first week, but oh well. I didn’t really have any expectations for week 1 (other than to write 500 words per day), but for the second week, I’ve decided to create some loose goals to help me get a bit more writing done.

WEEK 2 GOALS:

  • Have a 2k word day
  • Hit 10k
  • Participate in a live writing sprint

Anyways, that is all for my quick NaNoWriMo Week 1 update! I hope you enjoyed it, and make sure to keep an eye out for my week 2 update next week ๐Ÿ™‚

Q: Are you participating in NaNoWriMo?

Did you know I have a travel blog?

Did you know I’m a freelance social media manager, social media content creator & copywriter?

Reading Update + November TBR

Hello! Long-time no blog, but as always, I’m back to share a reading update and my November TBR.

I am back full-time in school and working part-time, but finally, I am figuring out how to manage my time in order to get back into the swing of blogging.

Before I get into the reading update, I have been fairly active on my NEW blog where I chat about travel tips, share travel guides, etc. If that’s something you’re interested in, make sure you check it out: Travel and Tea Blog. (Right now, with everything going on, I’m focused on West Coast local travel.)

Reading Update

August was a great reading month for me. I did the bulk of my reading for the year that month (I’ve only read 12 books this year…) thanks to my amazing Kindle and the amazing thrillers I was picking up, such as One of Us Is Lying, Ace of Spades, and The Box in the Woods.

On the other hand, September was a super hectic month, but I did get one book read at least! That is, my millionth re-read of Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. I was in the mood for an easy and light read, and hadn’t visited this book and characters in a while. As expected, I flew through it in a matter of days.

Now it’s already October, which is crazy! But so far, it’s been pretty good reading-wise. I’m currently making my way through two books right now: The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune and As Good as Dead by Holly Jackson. Since it’s spooky season, I’m focusing on As Good as Dead, since it is the third book in a thriller/murder-mystery series, but I am already over halfway through The House in the Cerulean Sea. (And loving it!)

The House in the Cerulean Sea: Klune, TJ: 9781250217288: Books - Amazon.ca

I was skeptical about As Good as Dead, but I am enjoying it just as much as the first two in the series. The plotline is vastly different and completely took me by surprise, which I can’t say happens too often. So, I have been flying through it, to say the least, which is why I am already 85% through… I’ll definitely be able to finish before the end of the month.

As Good as Dead: The Finale to A Good Girl's Guide to Murder eBook :  Jackson, Holly: Amazon.ca: Books

Looking forward into November though, I don’t have a rigid TBR, but there are a couple books I would like to get to. November will be insanely busy with school, but hopefully, by reading on my Kindle, I’ll be able to get through at least one or two. (Who else reads insanely fast on their Kindle?)

November TBR

Harry Potter by JK Rowling

I don’t know which Harry Potter book I will read, but come November, I would like to read some atmospheric books since winter is approaching. I’ll see which one I am feeling closer to the time, but I have a feeling it will be one of the first three since they are the shortest…

The Wicked King by Holly Black

Before diving into this sequel, I will need to watch or read a recap of the first book since it has been a hot minute since I read it. I’ve been meaning to read this book for a long time now and what better time than during chilly November? Fairy books always give me winter vibes and I have heard nothing but good things about this sequel.

There it is! My reading update and November TBR after rising from the dead.

What are you reading? Let me know down below in the comments โฌ‡๏ธ

Talk soon!

My Post-NaNoWriMo Plans

I cannot believe December is almost halfway over and I am only now just thinking about my post-NaNoWriMo plans.

Well, at least we’re here now!

For the last NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month: an international, online writing event that takes place every year during November and encourages writers to write 50k words in 30 days), I wrote around 25,000 words for my Aztec fantasy novel. However, clearly, I did not finish in the 30 days which means I need to keep working on it.

I hope that many of you, like me, took a little bit of a break from writing after NaNoWriMo ended. Even if you did not hit that 50k word goal, you deserve a break! While I only wrote 25k, I did write a little bit (almost) every day and that is a lot of energy. I didn’t anticipate taking a break from writing, but I have only sat down to work on my project a few times since November 30 and then decided that nope, I need to take a few days off. And that’s okay! My body and mind needed a break, but now, I feel the creativity seeping back in.

It’s time to talk about my post-NaNoWriMo plans.

Since the holidays are approaching and surprise, surprise, I’m not really doing much for my 11 days off both work and school, I do want to write a decent amount by the end of December. It would be really nice to hit 40k before 2021 and because I am at 30k, I think that is manageable.

When I think about the new year, CHAOS flashes across my mind. For the first few weeks of January, I will be in five classes until I figure out which one I want to drop. One of the classes is a one-month continuing education editing class (structural editing) that has a “work at your own pace” structure, so that won’t be too stressful at least. I am also working part-time at my current job (I’m a Communications Development Lead for Focal) and focusing a lot of time on building up my freelance business. My freelance business is actually doing pretty good right now, so I anticipate having projects at the beginning of the new year as well. If you didn’t know, I am a freelance editor, digital marketing blogger, and social media manager. Click HERE to check out my freelance website!

Anyways, back to the beginning of 2021: it’s going to be busy! But, I am determined to finish my first draft of this novel idea because I have been working on it for four years! That is crazy to me because in those four years, I haven’t even finished a first draft; I am constantly changing the story around and while I do think it was all for the best, I just want to right the damn thing. You know? So, I have been thinking about a word count goal for January and I think I want to do another 40k. This is a fantasy book which means it won’t be some short book –I’m anticipating around 100k. for a final word count.

That means, I want to finish the first draft completely by the end of February. Preferably, before the end of February, but I don’t think I will officially bring down the hammer until then. I do believe in being lenient with yourself, but sometimes, it’s time to just get it done. And this is that time. I am super passionate and excited about this project, even after four years, and it deserves to be finished!

I am a big believer in letting your story sit for a bit too, so I don’t plan on jumping into the second draft until April. Just in time for Camp NaNoWriMo! Fingers crossed I can stick to these deadlines without getting overwhelmed, but I am hopeful.

Sorry for the rambly post, but I really wanted to share my post-NaNoWriMo plans in the hope of inspiring any of you who are unsure what to do next. Especially if you didn’t hit 50k, like me!

Make sure you check out recent blog post and follow me on social media; the links are all down below. Also, donโ€™t forget to let me know what your post-NaNoWriMo plans are! Thanks for reading ๐Ÿ™‚

Last Blog Post:ย My FINAL TBR of 2020

Creative Entrepreneur Blog

Instagram on the App Store
Twitter icon
Pinterest - Apps on Google Play
Patreon changes have creators concerned they'll lose income ...

My Anticipated Releases

My anticipated releases before the end of the year!

Happy Monday!

Sorry for the little hiatus again!

ANNOUCEMENT: In celebration of NaNoWriMo being (almost) over, I am once again offering 10% off any one editing service when you book for or during December. Take advantage of the discount HERE as well as my free 10-page sample edit if you are interested.

In a quick update, I am behind on NaNoWriMo but I am 23k into my first draft so it is not a complete fail at least. On the reading side of things, I have been chugging along with Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare and am just over 500 pages into it. Since the end is in sight, I thought it would be fitting to talk about my anticipated releases for the rest of this year (which is almost over?!) because these are likely to be some of the next few books I will pick up.

Here are my anticipated releases for the rest of 2020.

Inanna’s Bargain by Claire Sulos

I am a sucker for any mythology, ancient civilization-inspired fantasy which is why this book grabbed my attention. Also, the cover is absolutely GORGEOUS. Inanna’s Bargain is a historical fantasy novel set in Mesopotamia during 2,284 BCE. I have not read any Mesopotamia-inspired fiction, so I am super excited to get my hands on this book. It actually came out this past Saturday, so if you are interested in it as well, you can check it out HERE. Here is a short synopsis of the book:

Inanna, the goddess of love and war, sends our main characters who are half-siblings, Samri (a priestess of Inanna) and Kianu (a gala priest) to act as aid when a dire threat from the north appears. However, it is not a smooth journey to reach their king, and along the way, they encounter thieves, kidnappers, hybrids beasts, and much more. While their journey is dangerous, the two siblings grow closer along the way and this adventure-filled story highlights their love and familial bond for one another.

I cannot wait to read this book and it is not very long (298 pages), so I can already see myself flying through this story!

A Sky Beyond the Storm by Sabaa Tahir

A Sky Beyond the Storm by Sabaa Tahir

I did not register that this book is coming out in less than 10 days…and I haven’t re-read the second or third book in forever. I am not prepared! The past few days I have been juggling back and forth with the ideas of just reading/watching summaries on the series and then diving into it when it releases, OR re-reading the entire series first. The last few days of November will be crazy though, and part of December as well with school wrapping up so I don’t know what to do! Regardless, this is one of my most anticipated releases of 2020 hands down.

The first book, An Ember in the Ashes, follows Laia, a slave, and Elias, a soldier in this Roman-inspired militaristic empire. When Laia’s grandparents are killed and her brother kidnapped by the empire, Laia sets out to save him, disguising herself as a slave at the martial school in order to spy for the resistance that promises her brother’s freedom in exchange. There, she meets Elias, one of the best soldiers at the school but deep down, he dreams of being free of its chains. Eventually, their destinies intertwine and together, they threaten the entire age of tyranny they live in.

I love this series and I have since the first book came out four years ago. I cannot believe it is coming to an end but I am eager to see what happens! I follow Sabaa Tahir on Instagram and I already know she will not be easy on her readers.

These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong

These Violent Delights (These Violent Delights, #1)

This is another book that is already out; it came out earlier this week on Tuesday, I think, and also has such a stunning cover. I hadn’t heard much about it until recently, but once I did, I was really intrigued. When the Goodreads description said that it was “perfect for fans of the The Last Magician” I was like “that’s me!”…even though I haven’t read the sequel yet. This book has gangs and fueds and bloodshed and just sounds so good! I also believe it is inspired by Romeo and Juliet? I remember hearing the author doesn’t like the play so I am curious to see how that is transferred into the book.

For whatever reason, I had hard time putting this book into my own words so here is the Goodreads description:

A blood feud between two gangs runs the streets red, leaving the city helpless in the grip of chaos. At the heart of it all is eighteen-year-old Juliette Cai, a former flapper who has returned to assume her role as the proud heir of the Scarlet Gangโ€”a network of criminals far above the law. Their only rivals in power are the White Flowers, who have fought the Scarlets for generations. And behind every move is their heir, Roma Montagov, Julietteโ€™s first loveโ€ฆand first betrayal.

But when gangsters on both sides show signs of instability culminating in clawing their own throats out, the people start to whisper. Of a contagion, a madness. Of a monster in the shadows. As the deaths stack up, Juliette and Roma must set their gunsโ€”and grudgesโ€”aside and work together, for if they canโ€™t stop this mayhem, then there will be no city left for either to rule.


Those are three books that have recently come out, or are about to come out, that I cannot wait to get my hands on! Hopefully, you are also excited for them and if you have any other anticipated releases, please share them in the comments below!

Donโ€™t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts which are all linked down below. Thanks for reading ๐Ÿ™‚

Last Blog Post: NaNoWriMo 2020 Strategy

Instagram on the App Store
Twitter icon
Pinterest - Apps on Google Play
Patreon changes have creators concerned they'll lose income ...

Let’s Talk About Motivation

My journey while lacking motivation for the last 6 months and how I found my way back to reading and writing.

Hello! Long time no see, I know. Life got busy but I am back today to have a talk with you all about motivation.

From May to early October, I struggled to find motivation to do the things I used to do so easily: read, creatively write, and eventually, blog. At first, I was like, “Okay, I just need a little break because I’ve burnt myself out.” This happens; burnout happens. However, little did I know, I needed 6 months to gain back my motivation!

That’s okay though. Even if it doesn’t feel okay in the moment (because it really didn’t), we all need breaks and sometimes, those breaks are longer than others.

My main anxiety during these 6 months of barely reading or writing for myself was that I was never going to read or write for fun again. That terrified me! The idea that these two activities I had spent the last 6-8 years doing religiously, and that had become a HUGE part of my identity, possibly losing interest to me made me panic. What would I do if I didn’t read or write? I still don’t have an answer to this question because I didn’t need to answer it (thankfully).

It’s not like I didn’t try to read over the last several months. It’s not like I didn’t try to write. I started about 3 or 4 books between May and October, and only finished one (Daisy Jones & the Six –which is one of my ALL-TIME favourite books so this barely counts! I can read this book in a day regardless of how busy or tired I am). One book in particular, I was 400 pages into and only had 50 or so before the end, but I just never had that initial interest in it. By page 400, I had NO idea what the plot was or who the characters were –and this wasn’t the author’s fault, it was mine. My attention and interest wasn’t there. I looked at these books I was trying to read and felt no desire to open them.

The same goes for writing. I attempted Camp NaNoWriMo in July and got around 5,000 words down that month. To put it lightly, shit hit the fan that month and even if I was in the mood to write, I wouldn’t have gotten anymore done than I did. I can’t even tell you what I wrote that month because I was so disconnected from my passion to write.

However, this month, something flipped inside of me. Suddenly, I am reading 3 books and enjoying all of them (Fifth Sun by Camilla Townsend, Beloved by Toni Morrison, and Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare)! I think I spend more time reading than I have in the last 2 years. Suddenly, I am furiously outlining a new version of my Aztec mythology-inspired story for NaNoWriMo (mostly thanks to the Surrey International Writers Conference that happened this past weekend that turned my small spark to return to writing into a forest fire!). Also, now I am writing this blog post.

Basically, my point for this post is to reassure you that just because you are not reading or writing right now, and haven’t for the last month or two months or more, doesn’t mean you will never return to them again. Even if you don’t, that’s okay.

Reading and writing are such monumental aspects of my life that it made me sad and anxious thinking about never returning to them again because for me, they bring comfort and clarity to me. They always have and without them, I felt blind. Over quarantine, my anxiety definitely skyrocketed and it still isn’t great, however, ever since I found my way back to reading and writing, it has been so much more manageable.

I didn’t rush myself back into reading and writing. I only got 5 or so pages in each session, but I never pushed past that. And sure, I was disheartened that I didn’t want to continue, but that’s because I didn’t realize how badly my body and mind needed a break! So, here is your reminder to embrace that break. Work on other hobbies, discover other hobbies, spend more time with friends and family, or whatever else interests you. Reading and writing will wait for you; they will still be there when you’re ready to come back.

Now, I wanted to talk about something very, very new in my life that has helped me stay motivated and productive. This sounds sponsery, but I swear it isn’t! In one of the webinars from the Surrey International Writers Conference, the host talked about tools that help her stay productive and she mentioned Habitica. I swear everyone has heard about this but me. If you haven’t though, I highly encourage you to check it out! It allows you to keep a list of habits you want to keep, daily reminders you want to achieve, and a to-do list for that day, all laid out on one page in front of you. When you check each task off, you get coins and items. Basically, it is a game, but this game inspires me to check off all my tasks because I want that new pet or potion!

(Sorry for that random tangent but seriously, check it out if you haven’t!)

I hope this post was as enlightening and helpful for you as it was for me experiencing it and then writing about it. I also wanted to say a MASSIVE thank you for continuing to read and spread love on my blog posts even though I haven’t posted in over a month. It makes me smile to see comments and likes still coming in –it truly makes my day!

Donโ€™t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts which are all linked down below. Thanks for readingย ๐Ÿ™‚

Last Blog Post:ย My Favourite books of 2020…So Far

Instagram on the App Store
Twitter icon
Pinterest - Apps on Google Play
Patreon changes have creators concerned they'll lose income ...

May Wrap-Up + June TBR

Everything I read in May and all the books I plan to read in June!

Happy Wednesday!

I cannot believe it is already that time of the month; the time where I share everything I managed to read (which…was not a lot this time around) and want to read in the next month.

I read only ONE book in May and have been halfway through another for at least three weeks now. I got so caught up with hustling and if you saw the writing update that I posted last Friday (click HERE to read it), you will know I had a very productive May project-wise. Just not reading-wise, which happens! April was such an amazing reading month that a slump was kind of expected. My goal for June is to get back into reading because whenever I don’t read every day, I always feel off and not going to lie, a little guilty!

Anyways, let’s get onto what I read this month and what I want to read in June!

May Wrap-Up

House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

39679076

This is the one and the only book I finished during May and it wasn’t the best read, but it was a fast one. I have a whole non-spoiler review on it which you can read if you click HERE, so I won’t say too much about it. However, I will say that I was very excited to read it but it didn’t really meet my expectations. 3.5/5 stars

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Princess: Clare, Cassandra: 9781481456036: Books - Amazon.ca

I haven’t finished this book, but I decided to include it because I am 330 pages in but for whatever reason, even though I was liking it, I just stopped putting in the time to sit down with it. I tried to pick it up multiple times, but I just have not been in the reading mood! There will be no DNFing though because I know that if I don’t finish it, I will feel guilty because it is the last book in the Infernal Devices trilogy.

June TBR

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Princess: Clare, Cassandra: 9781481456036: Books - Amazon.ca

Hopefully, I will finish the last 200 pages or so of this book!

A Touch of Death by Rebecca Crunden

A Touch of Death (The Outlands Pentalogy #1) by Rebecca Crunden

This is a book I received for review purposes, but I am very excited to dive into it because I need some fresh, new reads to propel me back into reading. This is the first book in a dystopian series that takes place a thousand years in the future where humanity lives behind the walls of a totalitarian Kingdom. Stay tuned for my synopsis and review that will come later this month!

The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger by Stephen King

The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger eBook: King, Stephen: Amazon.ca ...

Lately, I am in the mood to read the books I have never picked up on my shelf, and this is one of those books! I have never read a Stephen King book STILL, except for his book on writing, and I want to finally pick one up. I watched the movie years ago and liked it, so fingers crossed that I enjoy the book too. I know Stephen King has an amazing writing style and I am curious to see if I like it or not.

Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman

Legacy of Kings (Blood of Gods and Royals, #1) by Eleanor Herman

I read this book years ago and remember nothing except that it takes place in Greece and follows multiple POVs, including a young Alexander the Great. I do remember one important plot point, but other than that, my memory of this story is very faint. I own the sequel and have never picked it up so that is the prime motivator for me to re-read Legacy and continue on with the series. I am not sure if there is a third book, but hopefully, if there is, I like the first two enough to continue on!


Those are all the books I read in May and want to read in June, and I hope you enjoyed it! Let me know how productive May was for you and what your upcoming reading plans are because I’d love to know.

Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts linked down below.

Thanks for reading ๐Ÿ™‚

Last Blog Post:ย 4 Tips for Getting Things Done

See the source imageย ย Buy Me A Coffee

 

 

@zoermathers

 

 

Image result for instagramย ย @zoeiswriting