Book Review: When We Found Home (Susan Mallery)

When We Found Home

When We Found Home by Susan Mallery

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

When We Found Home tells the tale of a family who was split apart before they ever knew one another existed. The story begins with Malcolm meeting Delaney where she works, having carefree fun flirting and is suddenly thrust into her world when something happens to Keira, his half sister. To understand the book better, here are the main characters:

Malcolm, a good-looking executive with a past that would wipe you off your feet. A calm, caring man with a big heart and an empty brain when it comes to raising 12-year-old Keira, his half sister. You’ll be in love with him from start to finish.

Keira, a sassy little lass. Way too street-smart and far too scarred from the loneliness and heartache she’s had to endure. She’s a tough one and she helps round out her half-brother’s very distrusting opinions of the newest half-sister, Callie.

As Malcolm put it, “you’re all attitude and no backbone.” Callie is a fiery one, she is. She’s strong and witty but don’t be fooled by her very thin armor. She’s terrified. A convicted felon made heiress to an empire overnight.

Then we have Delaney. Oh my dear smart, beautiful, ambitious, frustrating girl.

Continue reading Book Review: When We Found Home (Susan Mallery)

Book Review: Good Me, Bad Me (Ali Land)

Good Me, Bad MeGood Me, Bad Me by Ali Land

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

 

 

Up eight. Up another four. The door on the right.
➖➖➖➖➖➖
The playground.
That’s what she called it.
Where the games were evil, and there was only ever one winner.
When it wasn’t my turn, she made me watch.
A peephole in the wall.
Asked me afterwards. What did you see, Annie?
What did you see?
••••••••••••••••••••• Continue reading Book Review: Good Me, Bad Me (Ali Land)

Book Review: Beartown (Fredrik Backman)

Beartown (Beartown, #1)Beartown by Fredrik Backman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
.

A twist you don’t expect.
A heartbreak you cannot fathom.
A child who inspires the inspirational.
.

Maya, the daughter of a hockey club that finds out the world is not what she thought it was. Ana, best friend to Maya, living in a world, always knowing it’s truths. A broken father, a run-off mother and a bunch of hunting dogs that let her be Ana when no one else will.

Amat, a boy who never will be and then is. Benji, a heart of fire and passion but only sees turmoil and destruction. And there’s Kevin. A boy with it all but nothing at all. Continue reading Book Review: Beartown (Fredrik Backman)

Book Review: Girl Made of Stars (Ashley Herring Blake)

Girl Made of StarsGirl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake (author is a Nashvillian!)

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4.5 Beautiful Stars (I waver between 4.5 and 5)

ONCE UPON A TIME…

There was Sister Twin and Brother Twin who loved each other to the stars and back. One day, Sister Twin heard that Brother Twin did something horrible. Had it not been a special someone that told this dark truth, Sister Twin would never have believed it. Continue reading Book Review: Girl Made of Stars (Ashley Herring Blake)

I never needed words then…

You are sound asleep.

You should be. You earned it. You worked hard today even though you didn’t feel well.

You followed instructions. You stacked blocks. You retrieved toys you’d thrown. You ran wild, kicking a ball and giggling along. You hugged for the joy of hugging and you cried when you bumped your head. (You were brave though. You thought hard if it actually hurt.) 

You listened when timeout became a real threat. You pushed boundaries and respected them. You asked for snacks and asked for toys. You let yourself be you and that was enough, always enough. You concentrated when she hid something under a cup and moved them around, always picking the right cup. This is not average for your age. You have no idea how smart you are.

You had no idea we were testing you for speech issues and never cared that you seemed to be behind. Why does it matter? I imagine you’d say. Look at how good I am at everything else. Isn’t that enough?
Continue reading I never needed words then…

Meal Planning Like a Boss

Welcome Back!

Well you got through the budgeting blog! I hope it helped! If you read it, please let me know your thoughts… is there anything I can clear up a bit? Any questions needing answered?

Next up is the Meal Planning portion! This one is much easier and a little more fun 😉

Let’s start with the beginning and work our way down! Continue reading Meal Planning Like a Boss

8 Points a Blogger Might Keep in Mind

An article that really rallied me and got me going was “19 (More) Strategies for Finding Readers” at ProBlogger.com. I feel it is extremely important to read this whole article top to bottom. There are a ton of links to other pages that you really should check out. I, personally, have not made it to all of them yet – there is THAT much good content. However, I’m also impatient so I read a lot of it and jumped on the blogging train. That is fine to do of course, but you have to make it a priority to go back and really work hard. Read the whole thing, go step by step and do what is necessary. 

Here’s what I’m going to talk about today (and most of them come from the article):

– Time

– Canva (don’t miss this one!)

– Twitter, Instagram & Facebook

– E-mail signatures

– Content + being unique and useful

– Linking to others + Blogger Projects

– Participation (don’t be a hermit blogger)

 


Untitled Design 2

The first point this article makes is about time. It takes time. What an understatement.

A lot of people want to rush in and write day after day and are shocked when 2 months later, they still have 20 or less followers /subscribers. It takes time

But something that goes untouched is talk about ENJOYING the time building your blog. Learning and growing. Climbing the ladder is so important, so vital. It will provide the means to make you the blogger you want to be in the end. So please… 

Do not rush this process. Enjoy it. Find ways to enjoy it. 


Artistic Expression

 

The Nashville Wife Artistic Expression

One thing I did in order to enjoy it was to allow my artistic expression to come out not only through writing but in every detail of each post. The fonts, the formatting, and best of all, the pictures. I have so much fun finding just the right pictures that portray what my words cannot. With this, I have started using an app called Canva.

 

fb_cover.png

I have recently been creating my own blog graphics with this and have also used it to create promotions for Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. A free tool that will be your best friend – but also your achilles if you’re not careful. You can spend a very long time tweaking and editing your graphics so be careful. Do this part of your blog post LAST. Write your content, paint your canvas and then create your graphic(s). You’ll feel accomplished in the end, guaranteed. 

TIP: always label your graphics with your title (i.e @tnashvillewife or The Nashville Wife… however you like)

Speaking of Twitter, Insta and FB…

The Nashville Wife

I want to briefly touch on a few things that I did because of the article I shared with you. He never actually comes out and says to promote specifically on these 3 sites but it goes without saying. With Instagram, I have my own account for The Nashville Wife and it’s an all-in-one deal. I can post to my Twitter account and to my Facebook account as well as my pictures showing up on my actual blog, too. Great promotions!

(PS: you can do this on Pinterest, though I haven’t tackled that too much yet).

With Twitter, search for bloggers. Something I found was a HUGE community of bloggers but not just that. Twitter accounts where their whole purpose is reading blogs and retweeting them to help build a huge community. My absolute favorite RT blogger is @bloglove2018 and their blog is Family By Choice. This person is the sweetest, one of those people you’d love to meet someday. Please check out their account and let them feel some blogger love!

E-Mail Signatures

The Nashville Wife

I’ll keep this one plenty short of words. Just create and save an e-mail signature. Every e-mail from every account you send out (that you’re allowed to edit) should have your link on it. Easy.

(…this was another article tip.)

Content + Being Unique and Useful

images-16

2. Content Content Content – start by thinking about it in terms of usefulness and uniqueness and I think you’ll be on the right track.”

You’re likely to think “Well this is my own blog so of course it will be unique.” That is not necessarily true. Depending on the type of blog, it could be mildly unique (as maybe something seen from your perspective or something of your own taste) but overall, it is the same content as another blog. I love what he said above ^^^ “usefulness”. That is exactly why I started my blog. I mean sure, it’s a great outlet (haha – making a joke here! If you’ve read When Hearts Bloom you’ll understand..)

… but I want to help people. 

I want my blog to be USEFUL. 

(if you want examples as to what I mean by “useful” or “unique”, please shoot me a message because I have MANY and I don’t want to make this a 2000 word blog! lol)

Link to Others + Blogger Projects

typewriter-background-11

“Participate in the linking to other blogs and you’ll find that many benefits come. For a start you’ll be participating in the conversation, you’ll be getting the attention of others and your readers will appreciate that you’re interested in helping them find the best content out there.” (ProBlogger)

(#12 is also similar to this) I recently collaborated in a very fun poem-writing adventure with the bloggers The Floating Thoughts. You can find the blog HERE. It was totally different from what I normally do but extremely fun writing alongside of a huge group of people and seeing someone make something beautiful out of it. I highly encourage you to not only check it out, but also participate! Say hi to Roy & Dee Kay for me! These are some wonderful people.

 

“#5 Participate in other people’s conversations”

images-17

What he says is exactly how I feel, too. It has to be genuine. I’d rather have no likes on a blog than likes “just because” or to get my attention. I won’t do the same to others. If someone comments on my blog, I will always respond but I’ll also make it a point to check out their blog and find a post that I find interesting to me. I will then also comment on it – but seriously, only if it interests me. I’m not a jerk – I just want to be genuine. I won’t leave their blog page till I find an article that I can honestly like and comment on.

Side Note

My own musings on this one…

I think you’ll be surprised and even offended (or maybe you won’t) at what gets hits and what does not, especially if the content is close to the heart. But you can’t go there – especially when you have a low count in followers. You’ll get there but it’s hard. Give it time. Your followers aren’t cold and they’re not uninterested. There could be many reasons why you aren’t getting likes or comments so don’t let it unnerve you. Keep going! Keep bearing your soul!

I would consider evaluating your tags. As you get going, about a month or two in, start reviewing what blogs get more hits.

– Is there a pattern?

– Are there more hits when a certain tag is inserted?

– Did you see more hits when you started using more pictures?

– Oh! And bullet points (haha) are much more enticing for a reader than gobs of paragraphs. Break up your content! [did it help here?]

Anyways, again… Please read the article (Strategies) + all the articles within. As always, comment or send me a message if you want to talk, brainstorm or just tell me I have no clue what I’m talking about. [Please don’t. I already know this. Ha.]

Thanks, lovelies and PLEASE let me know if there’s any tips you can add!!!