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Sunday Post 3-26-17: week in review

Welcome to the Sunday Post 3-26-17!

Sunday Post

I know I said I would do a better job of participating in the Sunday Post regularly. Last week, I missed posting because I was working on a lot of different projects around the house. But, I’m doing it this week; that counts for something, right? 🙂 On to the Sunday Post 3-26-17…

I spent most of this past week working on my book lists and going through boxes of books. My reading progress was shameful. I need to wrap up all the organizational stuff and get back to focusing on knocking books off my TBR.

Home & Work Update

On the home front, I had a difficult week. My teenagers are not making life easy for me. I won’t go into all my personal drama. I’ll just say that they will go to great lengths, including elaborate lies, to get what they want.

At work, I felt discouraged. No matter how hard I work, I can’t meet the expectations of my supervisor. That’s disappointing for me because I really thought I would be a lot better at the job than the person I replaced. When I first took the job, I received praise. The honeymoon period is over. Now, it’s all about what I do wrong or not good enough. If it weren’t for the health insurance, I would probably start looking for another job.

The biggest news is that I signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo, which starts in April.

I didn’t do very well the last time I tried to participate in a writing challenge, but I want to at least try again. I’m going to be forty-three this summer. It’s well past time that I get a book finished.

The project I picked to work on this time is When Monsters Come.

Here’s the blurb:

“When monsters come, you’ll need three things: good running shoes, a shotgun loaded with silver bullets, and a bag of salt.” So said Nora Babcock’s crazy Aunt Frida, who spoke of creatures so horrifying that Nora, at age seven, developed a debilitating fear of the dark. Now, twenty-one years later, Nora still sleeps with the lights on, waiting for monsters to come.

When an experiment in portal amplification fails, damaging the veil between Earth and Thera, Nora’s worst fear becomes reality. Inhabitants of both realms are displaced. Buildings vanish in one world and appear in the other. Nora doesn’t understand what is happening to her world, until she meets a druid, sent to Earth by the fae queen of Thera.

Amidst preternatural invasions and unpredictable geological and meteorological changes, the druid must locate and destroy the device causing the damage. But, when Nora’s best friend, Darcy, is taken hostage by vampires, he feels compelled to help her. He quickly learns that as much as Nora needs him, he needs her.

Can Nora and the druid rescue Darcy and shut down the device before the worlds are destroyed?


I’m not a big fan of the last sentence or the one that starts “So said,” but I haven’t figured out a better way to write this yet. Any suggestions? (Aside: I’m pretty sure there are some comma problems in that blurb. It’s just a rough draft at this point.)

My goal is to write the whole novel in April, at least 70,000 words. I know I probably won’t meet that goal because of time I need to spend after work on blogging and reading, but I’m going to try.

Last Two Weeks on the Blog (because I missed posting last week)

The rest of this week…

I really hope to get more reading done this week and post more reviews. At the very least, I know I will have a review of The Black Lily by Juliette Cross up sometime today or tomorrow. I’m almost done reading it.

We have several tour stops and blitzes coming up, which will have giveaways. I’ll probably be spending my evenings setting those up,  reading, and (hopefully) writing reviews. I have a feeling I won’t get much work done on blog post updates this week. (What I was planning on doing was editing and reformatting a lot of the old blog posts to go with the new theme of the blog better.)

I will continue to post the daily featured releases until the end of the month. Then, I’ll decide whether to continue them. I’m worried that some people might get tired of seeing those posts every single day. What do you think? Would it be better to post once a week about book releases like I used to do? If people would like it better, I have no problem switching back to the Saturday Selection post we used to have for new releases.

About Blog Features & Dealing with Self-Doubt as a Blogger

I’ve been thinking a lot about how I start up a feature and don’t continue with it. When I was going through old posts, I was amazed at how many different types of posts I have made since I started blogging.

What happens is…

When I look at the stats of other blogs, I wonder what it is I’m doing wrong that I still get so little traffic after almost three years of blogging. It makes me doubt what I’m doing, and I try something new.

I wonder if that is the problem itself. Maybe because I keep changing things, I’m scaring people away. That’s why I came up with the schedule I talked about in the last Sunday Post. However, my mind keeps going back to some of the things I’ve tried in the past. A little voice in my head says, “Maybe you should bring that feature back.” Then, another voice says, “But which ones would people like?” And another voice chimes in, “What’s the point? No one is going to read them anyway.”

No, I’m not schizophrenic. Although I probably am obsessive compulsive when it comes to this blog. It’s probably time for me to take a big chill pill and stop worrying about stats, search engine optimization, and all the other things I tend to get hung up on.

I know for a fact I want to keep posting reviews, book releases (in some form), the Writer’s Corner guest posts by authors, the Tuesday discussion, Stacking the Shelves (which I also changed this week…see what I’m saying?), and the Sunday Post. Maybe all the other stuff can be as I feel like doing it, instead of trying to make them regular features that I do every week.

Here’s a list of the things I did on the blog that I quit doing:
  • Daily Vocabulary Words
  • Writing Tips, Writing Inspiration, Blogging Tips, etc.
  • Share the Love: Ten Posts from Around the Blogosphere (I linked to other people’s posts)
  • Bookish News (a miscellany of book-related information)
  • Topic Tweet Tuesday (a failed attempt at a meme to get people to talk about a certain topic on blogs and Twitter)
  • 5 Best Book Covers (my picks of best covers for that week’s book releases)
  • Five First Lines (comparison of the opening lines of five different books in the same genre)
  • Take a Chance Reviews (I picked a book from an author I didn’t know. Problem is I didn’t read the book in the time I was supposed to, so that won’t work.)
  • Sample Reviews (I read only part of the book to see if it “hooked” me. I deleted all these a long time ago.)
  • Waiting on Wednesday (a meme for sharing books you can’t wait to read. I don’t know if people still do this one. It’s not one I started myself)
  • Feature and Follow (a meme hosted by Parajunkee. I quit doing this one because I would spend hours visiting, following blogs, and commenting on other people’s posts, but a lot of them wouldn’t reciprocate like the rules said they should.)
  • Free E-Book Finds, Kindle Deals (I deleted all these because they aren’t relevant anymore.)
  • Book Wish Lists (based on releases for that month)
  • Gonna, Gotta, Oughta Read Book Series (featuring a whole series)
  • It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? (another meme I tried to participate in. I can’t remember why I stopped doing it.)
  • Teaser Tuesday (same thing as above; I don’t know why I stopped)
  • Thursday Thoughts (my thoughts on a topic related to reading or writing)
  • My Favorite Monday (I listed my favorites in a particular category)
  • Flashback (looked at book releases in the same month in the prior year)

Is there anything in that huge list that caught your attention? Anything that you’d like me to bring back?


Thanks for visiting our Sunday Post 3-26-17! Sorry it was so long this time.


Jen Schaper
I am a mom of three kids, a wife, and a wannabe author. For Books That Hook, I review books, create features and discussions, design the website, and do all the administrative stuff.

9 Replies to “Sunday Post 3-26-17: week in review”

  1. I do find myself wondering how other blogs manage to get so darn popular… but then, I’m sure there are people wondering that about mine. I think we’re unrealistic to ourselves, sometimes. I know my problem is that I won’t stick to one genre, so my reviews are all sorts, but I think I have a pretty good core of followers and commenters, too.
    Nikki @ The Bibliophibian recently posted…Top Ten TuesdayMy Profile

  2. Good luck with Camp NaNo! I like the sound of your project and especially that first sentence. Nice way to open. And portal stuff always interests me, the idea of moving between worlds. I’d say it sounds promising!

    Work stuff can be tough, sorry to hear that. I know a friend who has an awful time with her supervisor, who runs hot and cold (open and fair sometimes and absolutely petty and vindictive other days). Hope that gets better for you.

    Looks like you’ve had some neat ideas for posts in the past. One thing I did was combine Sunday Post and Monday. what Are You Reading? I just make them one post now and that helped me a lot.
    Greg recently posted…Sunday Post #187My Profile

    1. I think combining the memes is a great idea. Thanks for your comments about my project and work problems. I’ve had jobs way worse than this one–at least I don’t get yelled at–but it’s frustrating knowing that no matter what I do I can’t make them happy.

  3. I am sorry things are not going well for you as of late. I dread when my daughter becomes a teenager. It’ll be coming all too soon. Work troubles. Ugh. I feel for you. A bad supervisor can really make the work environment miserable. I’ve worked under supervisors and managers that only focus on the negative before. The last time, I ended up switching to a position with terrible hours just to get out of that environment. It was so worth it. I hope things change for you for the better soon or you find something better.

    Good luck with your writing project. Your story sounds very promising!

    I am on a Juliette Cross binge right now. I was looking for something quick to read and read her three Nightwing novellas. I pre-ordered her new one. It sounds like it will be good! I look forward to reading your thoughts on it.

    I probably could come up with a long list of features or memes I have started and stopped. I think the biggest reason I stop is the time commitment involved or lack of interest of my readers. I try out new features now and then. Some stick, and some don’t. I admit I don’t really pay much attention to stats anymore. I used to obsess over them. Now I try not to think about them. I know what you mean about participating in memes and not getting the reciprocal visits you put it. That’s another reason I stop participating in some. I do at least try to respond to those who comment on my blog. There are occasions when I am just too busy and can’t get to everyone like I want to. Then I feel guilty.

    I am a strong advocate for blogging your own way. Do what works best for you–what you enjoy doing. It will come across in your blogging. 🙂

    I hope you have a better week!
    Literary Feline (Wendy) recently posted…Sunday Post: Too Many New Books & A Tea PartyMy Profile

    1. I loved The Black Lily. I haven’t read any of her other books. Thanks for your kind words and encouragement. Work wasn’t much better today. But, I’ll hold out hope that it’ll improve. You’re right about the features and memes. I need to stop worrying about stats. Thanks for visiting!

  4. So sorry about your supervisor. That is terrible and makes going to work such a downer. Hopefully things turn around or you are able to find a new job!
    I struggle with how to grow my blog as well. It will be 2 years for me in April and I’m still not sure what that ‘magic’ formula is. So, I think its important to do the things YOU like.
    Hope you have a good week!
    Samantha recently posted…Sunday Post: Ugh!My Profile

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