First I would like to say a BIG THANK YOU to our readers and followers (whatever social media account you use to follow us on) for being so patient with my ad hoc posting lately during my Covid period – as I’ve come to call it – I caught it back in February and got over it pretty quick, but the after-effects dragged on, and on…
I’d also like to thank our brilliant Elise Cooper for her insightful reviews and fun interviews. I’m sure you love them as much as I do, and more are planned this year!
Well, what a year 2020 has been! No doubt you’ve already heard how the whole of the UK is now on the highest tier 5 (total lockdown) to help prevent the spread of Covid-19, plus to cap it all, we have that new strain everyone is happily sharing around. Or maybe, not so happy. *Just trying to lighten the mood during these horrible, dreadful times* But with the new vaccine on the horizon for everyone, and despite currently being in lockdown, 2021 does look like it is set to improve, even though I doubt it is ever going to be the same. There’s a new norm in town and it’s not going to go away very quickly!
So what have I been up to in 2020… well, long story short I have to admit, I’m in the high-risk category, so I’ve been pretty much hiding at home for the best part of it. We did, however, decide to adopt a dog last year, amidst the first lockdown – to at least help us get out and about and not sit at home and fester. (Mentally as well as physically).
We got him from Last Chance Animal Rescue who regularly save dogs that are in a Welsh kill pound and look after them until they die of old age – unless someone like me comes along and adopts them. It’s hard to believe we’ve now had our big boy (and he is so much bigger than we remember when we first met him lol) for 6 months! He even has his own Instagram account. (Insert sheepish grin here… and because of Covid, we (and it’s family-run) — I mean — “he” hasn’t updated it as much as he’d like to have lately as everything is all so… blah? Worrying? Frustrating? (Insert however you’re feeling with this pandemic going on). So I am now getting much more exercise and since one of my New Year’s Resolutions is to lose weight, something good has to come out of all this, right? And who knows, maybe this year he might update his account more often… and yes, he DOES talk in the first person.
Then in December, we went all out and adopted another dog. Empty nest syndrome anybody? This one is much smaller and doesn’t have her own Instagram account – although she shares the big boy’s when he can be bothered to update it. Maybe can’t be bothered is not quite the right term… he is very appreciative of his fans, but has a lot going on with his new, big sister. Even though she is tiny compared to him.
Our new little girl travellled all the way from Serbia to be with us, and she was saved by a wonderful lady called Ana Milošević, who works so hard to save street dogs from a terrible life, especially during their harsh winters. My little girl’s brother is still out there, and I can’t tell you enough how many times I’ve thought, “Can we handle another dog?”…
The Book World
So what’s new in the book world, I hear you ask? After all, you’re not here because I’m a dog mummy again. RIP Holly and Tia.
Well, I totally had a reading slump for which I am blaming the Pandemic. Can I say long story short again, when I feel like I’m writing an essay? (Don’t worry I am coming to the end…) Then towards the end of November and December, I hit the ground running and started to beat up my backlist, good and proper. Seriously, I don’t think I’ve read so much in my life! And I think it helped pick me up a bit because not only do I enjoy reading, and hated not being able to sit still long enough to do it, (book boyfriends, here I come) but I also felt that backlog guilt was really working its voodoo on me. That and the pandemic of course. So I am springing back this month and have lots of reviews to share. New and old, some are almost too old – but when they’re sitting on your shelf crying out to be read – a reborn bookworm’s got to do what she knows is best and read every last one of them. With the exception of a few I DNF (did not finish) but more about those when the reviews are posted. I am still counting up my read book list… and because Goodreads kicked me out last year (Don’t get me started!) I’m taking a lot longer to tot them all up because I am doing them MANUALLY. GR I don’t miss you at all! (Though at the time I was in shock and floods of tears… but don’t tell them that).
So good riddance 2020, and all that bad stuff. Did I already say, I don’t miss you at all!?
Now, short story long, I have some news. Alternative-Read is getting a makeover, and there are also going to be several exciting new changes afoot. In addition, my long-time best friend, fellow promoter, and author, Amy Romine, is joining me along with these new changes. Here’s a word from Amy herself. I hope you will join me in welcoming her.
2021 The Year of Resilience
Endless possibilities. Looking into the future with grateful eyes, I am over the moon for all the amazing people I am going to meet, the astounding projects and minds I will get to glimpse into. My focus is on expanding my mind, opening my heart, and listening to my body.
I have already started the journey. In the new year, my media tastes have centered around curiosity. Everything from Quantum Entanglement to Neuro Plasticity, to intimate relationship advice and beyond.
My goals are simple. Just be a better me.
A huge part of being a better me is continuing to hone my writing skills and learn all there is to know about the process. This is a journey I have always and will continue to share with all of you. I am a firm believer in paying it forward.
2021 is all about fresh new content, new ways of engagement, and alternative ways of thinking in the hope we can build a stronger more robust community for everyone.
Projects in works for 2021 and beyond
- New Programs (Online, In Person and via phone)
- New Resources (Review sites, Marketing, Covers, Editing, Coaching)
- Customizable Mini Sessions to focus on the help you truly need
- Author events and roundtables
- Wanting More Podcast
- Romine’s Reviews (YouTube & Rumble)
- Vlogs, Blogs, and Interviews
It is all progressive and we need you to succeed.
I look forward to seeing all the amazing things you will accomplish this year.
A toast to the new year!