Dear March, you have been magical and exhausting, a challenge and a blessing, with your ups and your downs. You stole my hours of sleep but gave me my best blogging time since I started Chocolate’n’Waffles. I am sad to see you leave, but I’m happy we worked well together, even if you tried to freeze me to death and make me choke with the heat. You really couldn’t decide on your own weather, could you?
I am officially under a complete medical treatment for anxiety and depression. Yes, the girl who said she hated meds has agreed to try anything to get better. Only the fools don’t change their minds! There has been some improvement, with a few downsides (why can we send stuff above the Earth but avoid side effects from meds??) and some work on my side. I keep in mind the pills are just a help, not a cure, and that it’s only up to me to take that helping hand and walk the walk.
On a different side, I now know risks in blogging are fun. Once the panic from having taken an engagement wears off, of course. Because yes, I panic, literally, the whole panic attack package, whenever I take on something new. First time I got auto-approved on NetGalley and was asked to take part in blog tours? PANIC. When I realized the Orenda Month was actually happening and I had no idea what to do? Panic! But as soon as my brain calms down, I truly enjoy being mentally and creatively challenged. As long as the pressure stays low, the excitement wins and the feeling of accomplishment that comes with watching one’s project grows in amazing. Now I need to find a way to prevent the panic and just enjoy!
So apart from a busy blogging month, I went out, I drove on my own, I decided to dye my hair myself (results later today!!), I ran under the pouring rain with the dogs. All good stuff.
The Orenda Month
In case you missed all the fun, this month was all about the publisher Orenda Books on the blog! So many of you have followed every step therefore I’m not gonna write a novel about it, but I wanted to say that this was an important step for me, personally and professionally, and I learned a lot from it. But my favorite part has been to chat and interact with everyone and see the enthusiasm around the project. So Thank You!
To the email I received asking me how much I was paid for this marketing campaign, you must not be familiar with me and my blog, otherwise you would know that honesty is high on my list of priorities and that I do not like my motivations to be questioned. Yes, I received books to review, as so many other bloggers do, but I never received any money or other compensation. The Orenda Month was driven by my passion for publishing, my thirst for knowledge, and my love for books. Why an independent publisher such as Orenda Books? Because Karen Sullivan, who is the face and brain of this company, is a lovely person who has agreed to go on a journey with an absolute newbie to have fun with stories, authors and everyone involved in the process of bringing books to life. Your email had no effect on me, the project, or its success. You lose.
Thank you to everyone who participated in the Orenda Month and made it what it is. A huge success! And a real kick in the ass! In terms of blogging, I posted 24 times out of 31 days, which is an all time record for me. I have no idea how bloggers who post daily do it, I am completely knackered! We also reached a giant peak in numbers, with over 4,500 views this month. The number is so high I can’t really understand how much it represents, haha! My point is I am amazed at the support I received and I am prouder than ever to be a part of this community. Thank you to everyone who liked, commented, tweeted, sent hugs and kisses. A special thank you to Karen for her patience with me, her generosity, and her support. A second special thank you to everyone at Orenda Books who took the time to take part in this!
Now let’s take a closer look at the month the usual way!
Books I read
Lesson number one from the Orenda Month: blogging daily takes away all of your reading time! It wasn’t a disaster, I managed to read seven books, six of them being for the challenge, and all but one reviewed. Not bad! Especially when there isn’t one book in this list that did not get at least four stars. That’s what I call a brilliant reading month!
Books I reviewed
For the Orenda Month:
#OrendaMonth Book 1: The Mountain in my Shoe by Louise Beech @OrendaBooks @LouiseWriter
Rating: 4 and a half stars
#OrendaMonth Book 3: Six Stories by Matt Wesolowski @OrendaBooks @ConcreteKraken
Rating: 4 and a half stars
Now there is something you need to know about how I rated those books. My expectations were extremely high, this is why there is no 5-star review. To be honest, without A Suitable Lie and the fact I had to read them all in a row, some would have won half a star, and one would have gotten all the stars. So I was very hard on them and those 4 stars mean you can go absolutely blind about those stories and be blown away by their power, writing, and plots.
Two Voices One Story by Elaine Rizzo and Amy Masters #BlogTour
Rating: 3 stars
Every Move You Make,Every Step You Take,I’ll be watching you: The Devil You Know @TerryTyler4
Rating: 3 and a half stars
I think I had never written so many reviews in a month before! It doesn’t seem like much, but I am proud of it.
New Books (purchased, won, received for review, gifts)
The Book of the Month Award
Okay, this is the hardest month ever. It will probably will be the hardest of the year. I had to make a list, pros and cons, and then rely on my memory and the feelings the story triggered. So… The Book of the Month Award goes to…
The Abrupt Physics of Dying, for keeping me engrossed in a cruel search for the truth filled with action, fear, and untrustworthy characters and for opening me up to a genre I never really gave a fair try.
March was filled with posts! I had never blogged as much and I am thankful to everyone who answered the call for a piece to share here 🙂
- Launching the #OrendaMonth on chocolatenwaffles!! #PublisherSpotlight @OrendaBooks
- Where It All Began #OrendaMonth
- Publish Me Not! Or How I Did Not Know a Thing about Publishers until I Started Blogging #OrendaMonth #Suntag?
- No, It’s Not YOU! A Guest Post by Thomas Enger #OrendaMonth @OrendaBooks @EngerThomas
- #OrendaMonth Top 10 Twins in Fiction, Guest Post by Lucy V. Hay @OrendaBooks @LucyVHayAuthor
The Orenda Books Family Tree
- #OrendaMonth The Team’s Tree: The Trunk + Giveaway Winner @OrendaBooks
- #OrendaMonth The Team’s Tree: The Branches (part 1) @OrendaBooks
- #OrendaMonth The Team’s Tree: The Branches (part 2) @OrendaBooks
- #OrendaMonth The Team’s Tree: The Branches (part 3) @OrendaBooks
- #OrendaMonth The Team’s Tree: The Branches (part 4) @OrendaBooks
- #OrendaMonth The Team’s Tree: The Branches (final part) @OrendaBooks
- #OrendaMonth The Team’s Tree:The Roots aka the amazingly talented Karen Sullivan @OrendaBooks
Time to discover who is the lucky winner of a signed copy of the Orenda Books book of their choice!! If I haven’t done anything wrong, it should be ….
Congratulations to Kate Noble @The Quiet Knitter!
Can you email me @ firstname.lastname@example.org within 72 hours with the title of your choice and your address? 🙂
Thanks to everyone who participated! Giveaways are fun and less complicated than I thought so we might have others soon!