Sunday Post #201

October 23, 2016 Sunday Post 45

sunday post

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer.
It’s a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.

What happened this week?

This week felt a bit off, I felt like my days were filled with I did things but I feel like didn’t achieve a lot. Not sure why. I also spent some time worrying, although I am doing slightly better again. I didn’t feel sick anymore this week luckily, but I did suffer from a headache and was a bit tired due to too little sleep. I hope next week is better in that regard.

I did do pretty well on the reading front, more about that later. And I made a pasta sauce with pumpkin this weekend which turned out pretty good. I am trying out a few recipes I already know and add pumpkin to them, which is a nice twist. I’ve been in a pumpkin mood lately, so its fun to experiment with that. I hope to make some pumpkin cookies soon too.

I had two cover reveals I organized taking place this week, I sent out another newsletters for authors about which entries to use for giveaways, finished up a beta read and typed out my feedback and an author booked a new cover reveal booked which I worked on and the sign-up post is now live on my site. I even got a reply from one of the authors on my newsletter and we swapped some ideas concerning giveaway entries, it was fun. I am happy I decided to set these newsletters up as I think they are a fun way to stay in contact with authors, now I only have to promote it a bit more. And I am still amazed at how few people reply to newsletters, makes me wonder if authors experience that too and it makes me want to reply to their newsletters more often.

I won a giveaway this summer during the Coyer challenge and my prize arrived this week. It was a paperback copy of Sunborn Rising, which I already read on my ipad, but it’s awesome to have the paperback as well and see all the artwork that way. It was such a fun surprise to have it arrive this week.

Blog Ahead
Yay it’s time for blog ahead again! I always love this challenge. I started Blog Ahead with 23 posts scheduled. I am hoping to end with that many at least and hopefully add a few more. We’ll see.

Posts I’ve written this week that count for Blog Ahead: 2
– Lola’s Advice: How to get more Newsletter Subscribers – 5 December 2016
– Review: Secret Keeping Sakura by SJ Pajonas – 9 November 2016

Yeah not really doing too well with this challenge, but hey every posts counts 🙂

Picture of the Week

Speculaas-Muffin
Speculaas everything is super popular here in the Netherlands at this time of the year. Speculaas is a spices mixture with mainly cinnamon and a few other spices. I love the smell and taste of speculaas and I love how shops get creative and add speculaas to everything. This week I noticed my local grocery store had speculaas muffins! So I had to give them a try and they even were discounted. This picture is taken from the top of the muffin, so you can see the color of the muffin well and the pieces of almond on top. They tasted really good!
I have a Speculaas Muffins recipe that I sometimes make, which are great too, but it was nice to try this storebought variety as well. These didn’t have almond paste inside them, but it did taste as if small pieces of almond or almond paste were mixed through the batter, not 100% sure, but it totally worked. Might have to try that once too.

What did I read this week?

Pets in SpaceSecret Keeping SakuraOctober

It was a good reading week. I finished my beta read this week, it was a great week and I can’t wait to tell you about it once it releases. And I finally finished reading Pets in Space, I hadn’t expected it to be so long, but I really enjoyed this anthology. There were some authors I already knew in the set and some new to me authors that I discovered and would like to read more books from.
Then I read a short story, Secret Keeping Sakura which was a great read! It’s a bit sad, but also hopeful. I really enjoyed this series. If you sign-up to the author her newsletter you get the box set with all 5 stories for free!
October was a good one, took the series in a bit of a different direction which was nice. I hope I can read the last two books soon as I am curious to see how everything gets wrapped up. And my current reads are good so far!

What did I cook for dinner this week?

  • Sunday: Sweet Curry with Tofu and pumpkin
  • Kruidnootjes
  • Monday: Cajun Pasta
  • Tuesday: leftover Cajun Pasta
  • Wednesday: Casserole with leek, vegetarian meat and potatoes
  • Thursday: leftover Casserole with leek, vegetarian meat and potatoes
  • Friday: tomato soup with french bread
  • Saturday: Tomato Pasta sauce with pumpkin and gnocchi

This week I blogged about:

Review: Muffins and Mourning Tea by HY Hanna
Review: Damned if I don’t by Erin Hayes
Lola’s Ramblings: Foreign Language in Books
Lola’s Kitchen: 5 Recipes to make this Fall

What to expect next week on the blog:

– Review: Pets in Space
– Review: October by Audrey Carlan
– Lola’s Ramblings: Do you subscribe to author newsletters?
– Review: It’s Your Party Die if you want to by Vickie Fee

Tours open for sign-up on Lola’s Blog Tours:

Review Opportunities:
Across Borders by Lee Ducote
Don’t Call Me Kit Kat by K.J. Farnham
Name of Ra by Kelsey Ketch
Single Chicas by Sandra C Lopez
Here Comes the Witch by Ani Gonzalez
Newborn by Edward Hoorneart
Check the full list of open review opportunities here.

Cover Reveals:
Out of Beat by Cassandra Giovanni – 11 November – New!

Tours:
Book Blitz: Audiobook Amanda Lester and the Pink Sugar Conspiracy by Paula Berinstein – 24 till 30 October
Book Blitz: Playboy Assistant by Roe Valentine – 1 till 7 November

Book Haul:

Inherit the StarsOctoberPaper Princess

Inherit the Stars I bought after reading the story by this author in the Pets in Space anthology. I really enjoyed the short story and then looked up her other books and noticed this one was only 0.99$, so I got it. October I lend from Berls from Fantasy is More Fun. Paper Princess was discounted to 0.99$ and for a change I got the good end of the deal as for me in the Netherlands it was only 0.54$ (normally 0.99$ means 1.09$ for me), I heard good things about this one and decided to pick it up.

Freebies I grabbed:

I got the following freebies this week (they were free when I got them): The Watcher’s Daughter by CJ Flynn (Paranormal Romance) Amazon|Goodreads, Cheat By Gillian Zane (Fantasy) Amazon|Goodreads and Cranberry Oatmeal Murder By Susan Gillard/ Karen Sullivan (cozy Mystery) Amazon|Goodreads
After asking last week what you preferred goodreads or amazon links, it seemed about half of the people preferred goodreads and half of them amazon, so I am giving this a try, listing both links ;). We’ll see how this goes.

45 Responses to “Sunday Post #201”

  1. Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight

    I feel like we’re always so oddly in sync when it comes to our reading weeks and review copies. I also mentioned that I had a good reading week lol.

    Sorry you still felt off this week, but that’s wonderful that the newsletter is going well! I didn’t know replying to newsletters was really a thing though? I never reply to newsletters because I would feel awkward. I feel like authors don’t actually want to be bothered, that the newsletters are really just for sending out news and that’s it. Maybe it depends on the person and the content of the newsletter? I see you’re doing a discussion this week about author newsletters, you should include the whole replying back thing in the discussion or do a separate one for that or something. I’m curious now what other readers and authors think.

    Congrats on winning the giveaway, that’s awesome that it arrived 🙂 That’s the one that had the world-building and artwork throughout, right? I remember you reviewing that one. That would be nice to own in physical form. There are two books in a series that have a few drawings in them that my ARC copies didn’t have, and now I can’t decide whether it’d be better to buy the ebooks or the physical copies in order to have the artwork.

    Oh please, you’re always so far ahead that you don’t even nee the Blog Ahead challenge lol.

    Mmmm that muffin looks delicious! And your new books look good 🙂
    Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight recently posted…The Weekly Update: 10/23/16My Profile

    • Lola

      We seem to have that quite often that our reading weeks seem to match.

      I am having a lot of fun with the newsletters and I like that it’s a way to stay in contact with authors and hopefully provide them with some valuable information and tips as well.

      I sometimes feel about replying to newsletters, that they are just for sending and I don’t want to bother the authors. But I have replied to a few and the authors were always very nice. In my newsletters I always offer help to the authors or ask them to tell me about their experience with a certain topic. In this case giveaways and giveaway entry options, but few reply. So I wonder if they are just too busy or don’t want to bother me and if the second one is the case how I can let them know it’s not a bother and I like it when they reply.

      Yes this book is the one with the artwork and good world building, it was one of my favorite reads of this year and I am really glad to have it in paperback as well now. And it’s even signed!

      I have read an ARC from netgalley once that didn’t have artwork yet while the finished copy would have them, it was a bit of a shame, but the book fell a bit flat for me so I never bothered to buy a finished copy. Else I might have done that just to see the artwork. It’s always fun when books have some artwork and it can add something to the book.

      I only have 19 posts scheduled at the moment, so I am not that far ahead ;).

      I actually bought two muffins and ate them both by now, they were really good!

  2. Sophia Rose

    I had an interesting ‘off’ week, too. I wasn’t sick, but I did struggle to sleep. I’m working on a writing project that keeps my brain busy during the night. Guess that’s a good problem since it’s the opposite of writer’s block. LOL

    Hey, glad your author newsletter idea is working out. I receive many author newsletters and enjoy reading through them and sometimes responding.

    Your muffin buy looks tasty. I love almonds and spices blended like that.

    Hey, glad to see you finished Pets in Space along with a couple of others. Oh yes, that was longer than I anticipated, too. Like you, no complaints since I had a good time reading it. And look at that, your series has made it to the October book. Glad that it was interesting.

    Look forward to your week of posts! 🙂
    Sophia Rose recently posted…To Be or Not to Be…Read TBR Pile Vote OctoberMy Profile

    • Lola

      That does sound like a good problem to have that you’re so busy with your writing project, but at the same time it’s a shame it kept you out of your sleep.

      I am really enjoying writing the newsletters for authors. I like reading newsletters myself and I feel like I got a better understanding of the whole process by having my own newsletter now. And coincidentally I have a post planned about my love for author newsletters next week.

      The muffin was really good, glad I gave them a try. I might have to buy them a few more times before they go out of stock again.

      I agree no complaints on the length of Pets in Space as I had a good time reading it, but I had expected it to be a shorter read. Then again I usually get a bit hesitant about starting long reads, so I am glad I didn’t know the length before I started. Now I was so excited about the book I just jumped right in. I had a fun time with the anthology and have my review scheduled for next week. October was a good one and I’ll have to make time for the next books soon!

  3. Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

    I hope you’re feeling much better today, Lola! And that you’ll feel like you achieve more in the coming week.
    I love cinnamon, so I’m pretty sure I’d love speculaa as well… I just may have to go with Mr. Lex the next time he goes to Holland to skate… He’ll continue on to Haarlem, and I can stay in Amsterdam 😉
    It’s a great idea to add pumpkin to recipes you already enjoy, I may just have to steal that idea.
    Have a wonderful week ahead and happy reading!
    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews recently posted…Bought Bagged and Wrapping it Up #156My Profile

    • Lola

      Thanks Lexxie, I hope so too!

      If you like cinnamon, you will most likely like Speculaas as well. Maybe you can try some next time you visit Holland! That’s fun your husband goes here to skate sometimes.

      I was trying to find some new recipes with pumpkin and then suddenly thought why no add it to some recipes I already know. It adds a different twist to already familiar recipes :).

  4. Shandy Jo

    Hope your feeling better, I’ve been getting migraines a lot lately so I know that headaches can make you feel icky too. Thanks for the freebies going to check them out. Have a great week!

  5. Trish @ Between My Lines

    Well you are doing better on Blog Ahead than I am…I never even got the sign up post done never mind actually scheduling any posts! Oh well there is a week left and I am determined to get a little ahead before November comes around.
    I love pumpkin flavour and adding it to pasta sauce seems like a tasty idea. My favourite thing to do with it is to make soup though.
    Trish @ Between My Lines recently posted…The Sunday Post : Get your Bookish News 23.10.2016 stressedMy Profile

    • Lola

      I didn’t do a sign-up post and just post my progress in my Sunday posts, I am glad I got some posts done, even though it’s not as many as I hoped for. And indeed there’s still a little more than a week left :). I hope we both can get a few more posts written.

      I thought the pumpkin worked quite well in pasta sauce, it was very good! I don’t make soups as often and don’t have as much experience cooking soups, which is why I am less likely to make them. Maybe I’ll try a pumpkin soup once.

    • Lola

      I think some newsletters really encourage replies, it does feel a bit awkward, but I am sure the authors are happy with replies.
      It’s so frustrating to be doing things and don’t feel productive at the same time.

  6. Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard

    The muffins look wonderful; I’m going to check out your recipe even though I know the photo is the ones you bought. And pumpkin cookies sound good, too. Mr. Bookwyrm made me pumpkin bread last night because I was too busy working to bake. He’s so good to me!

    I’m sorry you had a rough week and I hope this one goes better. Enjoy reading and good luck with Blog Ahead!
    Lark @ The Bookwyrm’s Hoard recently posted…News & Notes – 10/22/16My Profile

    • Lola

      I thought I would post the recipe link as it’s similar and that way people who like the sound of it can give it a try. The ones from the store do look prettier though ;).

      I made pumpkin cookies today, they turned out really good! I added more cinnamon to roll them in this time, they turned out a bit like pumpkin snickerdoodles. Pumpkin bread is on my list of recipes to try!

      Thanks! I also hope next week is a bit better.
      Lola recently posted…Sunday Post #201My Profile

  7. sjhigbee

    It’s interesting – I think the transition in the weather patterns often seems to influence folks. Since I’ve changed my diet and exercise habits, I don’t get anything like the number of migraine-type headaches that have afflicted me throughout my adulthood, but during this week I had to fend off one, which was a pain. Hope you feel better soon and I’m glad the newsletter is going well. I really like the look of Inherit the Stars and I’m looking forward to seeing what you make of it. Hope you have a better week, Lola:)

    • Lola

      I probably should get it checked out once, not sure where my headaches come from. I have them quite regularly, about once every two weeks. I do get them less often than in my teenage years, but they last longer now. So that’s both a blessing and a curse.

      I am having fun with the newsletter and it has good open rates, which is encouraging and makes me think the authors appreciate them.

      I hope I can fit Inherit the Star in soon, as after the short story I read that’s set in this world I am really curious about this one.

  8. Mary Kirkland

    That muffin looks great and the cinnamon spice mixture sounds really good. I’m not a big newsletter subscriber. I think I’ve been turned off from newsletters because I’ve been added to so many of them this past year without my permission and I’ve had to unsubscribe from them when I see them in my mail.
    Mary Kirkland recently posted…Review: Degustabox Subscription BoxMy Profile

    • Lola

      Its a great spice mixture! I really liked the muffin, I might have to buy it again soon.

      I don’t like it when they add you to newsletter sneakily, without permission or it only says so in the small letters. I’ve gotten more careful when entering giveaways and clearly read everything first.
      I do feel like most authors are using good practices when it comes to their newsletters and don’t just add you to them without you signing-up.
      Lola recently posted…Sunday Post #201My Profile

  9. Maureen Beatrice

    I hope you feel better soon Lola.
    I haven’t been doing as good as I hoped on the Blog Ahead challenge myself.. But I’m still hopeful to get some posts done this week.
    Those Speculaas muffins look amazing.. I really need to try one of those.
    Have a great week 😉
    Maureen Beatrice recently posted…The Sunday Post #31My Profile

    • Lola

      I figure every post i get done is good, even though I had hoped to get more done.

      I hope you get to try out a Speculaas muffin, they were really good!

  10. Greg

    I’ve never subscribed to an author newsletter, oddly enough. I think it’s my aversion to spam, I kinda avoid everything that way lol. And Speculaas sounds good- I like cinnamon. Pumpkin’s not bad either, depending on what it is- I sometimes like pumpkin flavored stuff. I don’t drink a lot of coffee but when pumpkin spice lattes come out this time of year- yes please.

    That muffin looks really good. Hope you feel better this week. Have a great one!
    Greg recently posted…Sunday Post #165My Profile

    • Lola

      I also dislike spam, but I do like keeping up to date about authors their new books and most authors only send out newsletters when they have something new or important to mention.

      I don’t drink coffee, but I do like the idea of a pumpkin spice latte. I am trying pumpkin soup next week, last week I made pumpkin cookies.

  11. S. J. Pajonas

    Speculaas muffins!! I would totally eat those. Yum! And I wonder have you ever charted your headaches? It was a full moon last week and my cousin always gets headaches around the full moon. I’d be interested to see if you’re the same.

    I did write you back about your newsletter and it was fun to see what you suggested! As a note, I do get people that write me back. Not often but sometimes. I have gotten quite a few nice ones and I think I’ll put them into images as quotes and post them to my page (with identifying information removed). It’s nice to hear back from people now and then!
    S. J. Pajonas recently posted…Sunday Update – October 23, 2016My Profile

    • Lola

      The Speculaas muffins were so good! Might buy them again this week.

      I used to chart my headaches as they sued to be quite frequent when I was a teenager, but there didn’t seem to be reason or pattern to them that I could figure out. It mostly seems connected to too little sleep/ working too hard and not taking enough care of myself. Nowadays they seem to be once every two weeks.

      Yes our e-mail exchange was what I referred to :). It was fun to hear back from you and I am definitely going to use the amazon sample idea in a future giveaway. It sure is nice to hear back from your subscribers sometimes.

    • Lola

      I decided I would just go for including both links as that way I can give the right link for everyone and it’s not too much extra effort :).

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