New Year New Ideas

This year is a going to be a big year for us in my house as we will be welcoming our first baby in just a few short weeks (or whenever she decides to grace us with her presence which could be tomorrow for all I know!)
This has given me some time to start putting alot more effort into my blog before baby girl arrives. So I dug out my blog planning notebook that I got when I first starting blogging last year, but failed to start using it. Now I have been jotting down some notes on what I plan to write about in it. There is something so great about using a pencil and paper to jot and brainstorm ideas. I could never get used to using note apps on my phone or even writing ideas down on a spreadsheet.

             
             

While I was catching up with some reading on one of my favourite blogs thereadingresidence I found out that they are doing a #BringBackPaper pledge. Which I think is a fantastic idea as these days everything is very much electronic. With Ipads, smart phones, ereading devices and even smart watches!  Don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with electrical devices I have a few of them myself, but I love going back to just a paper and pencil, or holding a paperback in my hand.


So my #BringBackPaper pledge is to carry on using my paper blog planner for the rest of the year and recording my blog development progress and ideas as she hopefully grows throughout the year. Oh and to keep up with my reading of course! 

The Reading Residence

Book Review: Dead Ringers by Christopher Golden

Every so often I love to browse through all the books on bookbridgr to see what new books are out and what I like the look of. Sometimes its very hard not to request to read more than I can handle! It’s always so tempting!
What caught my eye about Dead Ringers by Christopher Golden was not only the cover which contains a weird creepy house (my favourite type of horror books) but also the authors name Christopher Golden, as I have read one of his other novels Snowblind. I was so pleased when Dead Ringers arrived in the post from bookbridgr knowing that I had been approved to read and review it.
                     

Book Description

When Tess Devlin bumps into her ex-husband, she’s furious that he seems not to know her.

And then Frank Lindbergh is attacked by an intruder in his home … an intruder who wears Frank’s face.

In the heart of the city, a mansion stands on a hill and behind its wrought-iron fence an evil force is at work, leaving everyone who comes near it hysterical with fear.

But the real terror lies inside the house. Tess and Frank have no choice but to confront a mistake made years ago. A mistake that summoned an ancient evil … and means even their own reflections could kill them. 



My Review

The book starts off with a really strange prologue with someone breaking into Frank Lindbergh’s house who looks like a mirror image of him. By the end of the creepy prologue I was hooked. Chapter one introduces you to the main character of the book – Tess Devlin and her encounter on the street with a man who happens to look exactly like her ex-husband Nick. From here on Tess’s best friend Lili also sees someone who could be her twin, and Tess herself comes face to face with her doppelganger. At this point I had more questions than answers and this is what I love about a great book!
My first thoughts were, is this book about long lost identical twins being brought together by some mystical force somehow?
I was eager to carry on with the story and find out what was going on and why everyone seemed afraid of the massive house in the middle of the city. How were Tess and Frank connected to it? and how/if they were able to put everything right.
One of the scary things about this book is identity theft, and how is easy it seemed for others to actually think they were talking to ‘Frank or Tess’ and how hard it was to tell them apart from the real people. To me this rings easily with today’s world in how easily innocent people’s identity can be stolen by identity fraud.
Overall Dead Ringers is one creepy, mystical scary story and I really enjoyed the ride. My only negative about the book is that some of the characters were not necessarily needed and we didn’t get to hear all of their background stories. The book is well written and the locations described perfectly. 
I have given Dead Ringers by Christopher Golden 4 out of 5 stars.
Paperback Edition 320 pages
Published 3rd November by Headline
MamaMummyMum


Disclaimer: All the views and opinons expressed are my own. Book supplied by Bookbridgr for purpose of this review only. Book description taken from bookbridgr for purpose of this review only.

Goals For 2016

My blog will be 1 year old in March so I haven’t had the opportunity yet to do a yearly goal post. So I have thought long and hard about my list for this year and what I want to achieve for my blog. 
I have also added a little list at the bottom of this post of my own personal competition win goals for 2016, which is something I have never done before, but with a new baby on the way really soon and the up keep of my blog I want to be more focused in what competitions I enter to save time.

  • Content:

Posting: I need to be more regular at posting material to keep my readers loyal. I have got a blog planner up and running now so hopefully it will keep me on track! 

Book reviews: I would love to read, review and post a book review each week. 
7 Hints and Tips: I had great success with my series of 7 Hints and Tips posts last year so this is something I would love to get back into again and come up with some great fresh ideas.
Monthly Competition Wins List: When I first started blogging I used to post at the beginning of each month a list of competition wins from the previous month. This used to be my motivation for keeping up the comping. This is something I need to get back into. 
  • Promoting
My goal this year is to be more proactive in promoting my blog and posts, using tools like Buffer and Hootsuite to schedule tweets throughout the day. Post regularly on instagram and use pinterest more. I would also like to discover more blog linkups and link to these at different times throughout the week. 

  • Statistics
  1. Increase Twitter followers to 2k
  2. Increase Instagram followers to 300
  3. Increase Pinterest followers to 300
  4. Increase Bloglovin followers to 400
I would also love to increase my blog visitors to 2k per month.
Competition Goal Win List 2016

  • Ipad
  • Kindle Fire
  • Love2Shop/Amazon Vouchers
  • Baby bits and bobs
  • Food Hampers
  • Books
I would love to hear about your goals for 2016. What is on your competition win list? Or if you are a blogger what are your blogging goals for 2016?

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A Cornish Mum

#MySundayPhoto 03/01/2016

A few weeks back I won a lovely sweetie competition which brought me back to lots of childhood memories where you could go into Woolworths and they only used to be 10p. Black Jacks were always my favourites of course! 
I hope you all have a lovely Sunday.
Rachel xx
OneDad3Girls

Book Review: The Other Boy by Ian and Rosi Taylor

I was browsing through the Goodreads giveaways and came across this chilling supernatural novella so I entered and was lucky to have won a copy. Here is my honest review.
I am a huge fan of novellas and short stories. I think it takes a very special writer to get their story across in a limited number of words. Novellas are too long to be a short story but too short to be a novel. So perfect for reading in a day when you have a few spare hours. Unlike short stories novellas have more room to develop the characters and plot slightly more. 
What fascinated me about The Other Boy by Ian and Rosi Taylor was at first the mysterious yet also chilling and scary cover, then I read the blurb and thought, wow this looks like a great little read! So when I was lucky enough to win a copy I was over the moon!
                     

Book Description

Desperate to save their crumbling marriage, Will and Alice Harding retreat to an isolated cottage in the English countryside.

A landscape of standing stones and holy wells provides perfect fodder for the fertile imagination of their seven-year-old son, Toby. Toby vanishes before his father’s astonished eyes only to reappear, with an impossible explanation for his disappearance. 
Soon, Alice notices that her son is different, changing into a monstrous stranger. Her fears are compounded when a hooded figure is seen skulking around their troubled new home. Over the days that follow, Alice fears for her own sanity, as local tales of dark magic and sacrifice appear to be true. 
Will suspects that his wife is mentally collapsing as a result of his past infidelity. With their marriage stretched to breaking point, the Hardings stand to lose more than just each other, as Toby deteriorates further with every passing hour, feeding the vengeful spirit of… The Other Boy 
My Review

Husband and wife Alice and Will have moved with their 7 year old son Toby to a remote part of the countryside to have a new start and hopefully save their marriage. Creepy things start to happen when Toby goes missing in front of his fathers eyes in an empty field while they are out exploring. This is when the novella really starts kicking up a gear and gets more frightening by the minute. Folklore, magic, paganism and local tales all play a part in this novella. 
For the limited amount of words available I believe that the plot doesn’t suffer at all, although the character of Simon who is the families neighbour could have been developed more. I would have loved to have found out his background and how he came to live at Boggarts Hall by himself.
The Other Boy is a well written novella and one myself I couldn’t put down until the end. Highly recommended for that quick fix of horror, magic and the supernatural.

I have given The Other Boy by Ian and Rosi Taylor 5 out of 5 stars.
Paperback Edition 126 pages
Published 10th November 2015 by Dark Chapter Press
Rachel xx

Disclaimer:  All the views and opinion’s expressed are my own. Book Description taken from Goodreads for the purpose of this review only.

MamaMummyMum

Looking Back Over 2015

2015 has been a very up and down year for me but there are a few things that have turned the year around. It was back in March that I started my little blog up. I had a very trying January and February so decided to take my mind off things by starting blogging. I wasn’t quite sure where my niche would be in the world of blogging, so I decided to blog about what I love to do and that is entering competitions, reading any type of book and gardening. So Book Lover, Competition Addict and Gardening Enthusiast was born. I am still not 100% happy with the name so that is something I’m going to work on this year.

I have won lots of competitions throughout this year as feel so lucky to have done so, although around the summer I took a bit of a comping break due to the severe morning sickness I had and the tiredness that crept upon me. 
Which leads me on to the best part of 2015 and that was finding out I was pregnant with our first baby – a girl! 
She could arrive any day now that I’m 37 weeks so the word excitement is very understated at the moment! 
As soon as I hit my second trimester I began to feel so much better and had that enthusiasm to enter as many baby competitions as I could and I won quite a few great things. The biggest baby win was winning the toddler bed, it is so adorable with a bears face as the headboard. I went on to win lots of nappies, baby clothes, a couple of changing bag sets and various nappy rash creams and ointments. Not forgetting for me, a mum to be pregnancy pamper set, nursing bra, bump band and a maternity nightdress. 

         

Before I started my maternity leave ( which officially started yesterday!) I took my 4 weeks annual holiday due to me from work which started at the beginning of December. This was perfect for me as I had lots of time to rest up and enter all the advent competitions I could find. But unfortunately I had very little luck this year and only won a set of sauces and chutneys on a Twitter advent competition. I did better winning on the ordinary competitions throughout December. These included a set of childrens books, chocolates, a case of 9BAR energy bars, a necklace and a DVD. 

                           
            
I wish you all lots of luck and a Happy New Year.
Rachel xx

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