Indie Romance Writers – Your Chance to Have a Free Honest Review of Your Novel! / #readinggoals2019

  • Calling all indie romance writersINDIE Romance Writers this is your chance to have your book read and reviewed for an free honest review on goodreads and here on my blog page! Keep reading for more details or email me directly at

Do ever remember in primary school when your teacher would make you set goals for reading?

They would give you this worksheet to fill out and every day you would have to put in your reading time. The teacher would look at your progress and give you a gold star if you met or exceeded your goal. Filling a sensation of self-pride you run home to your parents and they would look down on you proudly seeing that their daughter/ son was so proficient taking an early interest in their academic endeavors.

Yeah. Not my childhood.

I was not diagnosed with dyslexia until the 9th grade so any book I read before the age of 13 was absolute mental torture. However, even though today I love reading and would happily choose a good book over any movie, I still wonder what it would be like to set a daily goal and reach it.

Then I had a thought. A dangerous thought. Maybe it isn’t too late for me to set a goal that seems otherwise impossible. Granted I am currently working at an unpaid internship for 50 hrs a week and a part-time job 20, why can’t I do the impossible?

So everyone reading bare witness to this historical statement:

I am dedicating myself to read 30 minutes a day.

I have gone too long abandoning my bookshelf for this to happen. No matter what, I will read an indie romance writer for no less than 30 minutes a day.

*** So if you have any recommendations, or you yourself are an indie romance writer and would like a free review of your novel to be posted on my blog leave a note in the comments or message me directly. ***

A reflection worth sharing.


Photo Source: Teacher Trap

Hello writers, dreamers, bloggers, and friends,

I haven’t shared anything in a while and I thought a good way to describe what I have been up to would be to share with you my last reflection I submitted after working with my 7th graders. Next week it is on to high school with a new batch of kids and new challenges to face. My God and Dr. Pepper help me through.


Week Eight


Originally I was going to talk about all of the classroom management styles that I have learned during my eight weeks at B*****t. I was going to regale you with another copied and pasted version of all the attributes and accomplishments that I have achieved as a student teacher. You know, the normal pat on the back that you normally hear from your other student teachers.


Stop me if this sounds familiar.


“I helped a kid after school improve their reading score.” , “I found a kid with their head down in the hallways and made them smile.” , “I was able to go my whole placement with only writing one referral.”, “I stopped bullying from happening in my classroom.” , “I helped a student that was undiagnosed be diagnosed with dyslexia.” , “I improved the reading score overall of all my SPED students using techniques that helped me as a kid.” , “I improved my communication skills.” , “The content of my lesson plans superseded the ones I built last semester.” , “I learned to stand my ground and be the support the kids in my class need by exhibiting classroom structure.” , “I learned how to grade papers.” ,


Although those are all important things to talk about, and they are things I am almost sure you will see being expanded upon in the future, that’s not what I want to talk about today. Today I want to talk about how sad I am to leave these kids at Barnett.


All my life I’ve never been an overly emotional or “sappy” person. I don’t cry at sad commercials, I don’t tear up at songs that hit me so deep I think that the Earth is shaking, and I don’t get attached to people I know I will never see again. However bold that might be to say, let me just tell you how much this experience has turned all of this upside down. I love the kids in my class as if they were my own. I think about things that they said in class, I look for things that they will appreciate in my lessons, and I brag about them all the time even when they make me want to pull my hair out. Even though I have had my fair share of tough moments and run-ins with my students that make poor choices, I know that I would take a bullet for each and every one of them.


When they succeed, I succeed. When they hurt, I hurt. When their life is falling apart, I’m there to catch them. The hardest thing I could have thought of doing this week is what at first I thought would be the easiest. I am going to miss them, all of them. I appreciate and love them for the kids they are, just as they are.


Recently, I watched a documentary on Fred Rogers (Mr. Rogers) and it struck a major chord in my philosophy as a teacher. He said, “Love them as they are. Let them know that they are enough.”  I hope that if they remember one thing about my time with them is that I love and accept them just the way they are because they are enough.


engagmentI’m sorry for the late post, for those of you that follow along. The winds of change are blowing me down like a weather vane in a hurricane. On January 19th the love of my life proposed to me on our three year dating anniversary.

*WARNING! If you aren’t one to read mushy proposal stories feel free to like my post and move on.*

After work that chilly Saturday night he picked me up and we went to a hotel in Los Colinas. It’s a beautiful city just outside of Irving with modern restaurants and a small river walk that goes through the middle of downtown. The tears started early for me because he made me a mix tape as one of my gifts that he put in the CD drive on the way into town. The first song on the album was, “Wish You Were Here” by Pink Floyd. It was the first song that he ever played for me on his guitar and I was deeply affected that he remembered such a small memory from so long ago.

I knew that we were celebrating our anniversary but this hotel was on a whole other level; it had marble floors, a coat check, and valet (it was a far cry away from the Hampton Inn or Best Westerns your girl is used to). We went to a Mexican Restaurant that we had been meaning to try, El Famoso, with a reputation for good queso. I had been waiting to give him his gift all night but I already knew the gift card I had for him would be nothing compared to the ramblings of what I heard he had for me.

You see, Kanyon is really bad at keeping a secret from me when he is excited. It’s kind of cute because he will tell me that I won’t get any hints from him in a way that is worded more to convince himself. It’s as if he has to remind himself, “don’t tell her” repeatedly as I sit back and wait for him to tell me more.

At dinner, he pulled out a box and opened up a pair of gorgeous diamond earrings. I wish I could say that it was a complete surprise but as before mentioned, he is not good at holding back things from me. I put them on, immediately feeling shame for the gift I gave him. This was the first time I have given him a gift card because I wanted him to buy a suit he could wear to the scholarship banquets and job interviews that were sure to come. Not the most romantic of gifts but I knew it would be one that would serve him the most seeing as though he can play out the logistics of buying a $400 guitar but won’t pay $300 for a suit. I can’t judge, I do the same things with clothes and books.

After we arrived back at the hotel the cold winter air was blowing in from the North. He asked me if I wanted to walk down the city’s river walk and I wasn’t convinced it was a good idea. It was dark, after all, and I had on my shiny new earrings. I caved as he pleaded his case and walked the two blocks down to the entrance of the walkway. We held hands and took a couple of shivering selfies before a blistering wind blew through the cracks of the buildings and picked up the chill of the river’s water.

I oh, so eloquently said, “Okay, I’m done.” and turned to exit back up the stairs.

He called behind me, “Wait, I have to tie my shoe.”

I didn’t even look back as I continued to wattle my nice shoes on the cobblestone ground, “I’ll meet you at the stairs. You can catch up.”

He called out for me to turn around but I continued to keep walking. It wasn’t until he called out, “Lauren, for the love of God, turn around!”

Time stopped. To my surprise, there he was on one knee with a diamond ring shining just as brightly as the lights sparkled off the water. I couldn’t move. He was actually proposing and I had no idea it was coming.

I wish I could tell you all the wonderful things he said verbatim but I can’t seem to remember the phrasing just right. However, I can tell you about the look in his eye of fear and love. I can tell you about how our time dating together flashed before my eyes as if it was all leading up to this moment. A moment I would never forget. I no longer felt cold, or tired, or any other emotion other than joy in its purest form.

We laughed about how I ran away from him and I buried my head in the crook of his neck. I said yes about a thousand times as I wrapped him in my arms and showered him with kisses.

In my heart, I know this is just the beginning for us, and I can’t wait to share more with you all. So expect wedding planning posts along with book reviews in the months to come.

Review: Buried Lies by Kaylea Cross

Buried Lies (Crimson Point, #2)Buried Lies by Kaylea Cross

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Buried Lies by Kaylea Cross

This book takes entertainment and goes one step above. You don’t just get one plot in this tortured love story, you get three. Being the second in a squeal, and my first time reading anything from the series, I don’t think it is absolutely necessary to read the first book to enjoy this one.

Poppy is a girl with a tangled past, looking to start a new life and a new business, Whale’s Tale, just off the coastline. Noah is the small town’s “sexy” sheriff, and the most sought after bachelor for miles. Everyone wants a piece of him except for his new hardworking neighbor Poppy. If running from a dark past wasn’t enough to stifle a new flame from igniting, then a suspected serial killer on the loose makes the plot boil over.

Women keep disappearing off the coastline and the FBI is finally closing in on their lists of suspects. He’s local, friendly, and has his eye on the newest flower for his garden. Now that the beautiful Poppy has moved into town, maybe she will be the last kill the monster inside of him needs to complete his own wicked garden.

Molly has been married to Carter for years but after he came home with a Purple Heart from combat, he hasn’t been the same. After moving closer to their friends in Crimson Point Carter’s behavior started to become increasingly more violent. He wasn’t the same man she fell in love with anymore. Soon they became separated and she was grateful to have her friends surrounding her, including Jace, Carter’s best friend. What Molly wasn’t aware of was that Jace has been in love with her since the moment they met. Now that his best friend was hurting her emotionally Jace would do anything he could to protect her, even if that meant ruining his relationship with the man he considered as one of his brothers.


This book is cram-packed with action, romance, and suspense. The structure of the novel can be confusing to adjust to but I appreciated getting the point of view from all of the characters (I just wish they would have been more clearly defined when switching pov). If the element of the serial killer wasn’t in this book my review would probably be a lot different because I feel that at times the thoughts and feelings of the characters are spoon feed to the reader multiple times. We get it. They like each other, she is damaged, he doesn’t want to push her. Thank you. However, that being stated, the serial killer’s thoughts were on point and a nice contrast to all the relationship term oil in the book (I also appreciated the addition of the red herring. Nice touch.).

Overall, I would read this author again and hope they focus on more murder mysteries in the future. The drama and intensity is there in the writing and I would recommend this book to anyone that craves a mix of horror and romance to spice things up.

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Review: How to Make a Living with Your Writing: Books, Blogging and More by Joanna Penn

How to Make a Living with Your Writing: Books, Blogging and MoreHow to Make a Living with Your Writing: Books, Blogging and More by Joanna Penn

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

How to Make a Living with Your Writing: Books, Blogging and More by Joanna Penn

This book was a wonderful look into the difference between being an indie writer and a traditional author. I love the way how this is laid out breaking down the entrepreneur side of writing in today’s market. If you are looking for an easy to read guide to kick start your independent writing career then this would be on my short list of recommendations.

What really established her ethos in this self-help book was that Penn discourages readers to continue reading that want to traditionally publish, however, she still offers options for writers that is seeking help. This made me feel like she was truly interested in the success of her readers instead of making a profit with offering false promises or leaving the audience high and dry without resources. That being said, she does self promote her blog throughout the book, pointing towards specific posts that feature guidelines or interviews with other indie writers and cover artists.

It’s important to remember when reading this book that it is written for the purpose to make a sizeable living out of writing. I have to say that she along with many other top bloggers, self-help resources, and authors out there believe in quantity over quality. Please take this with a grain of salt if you are planning on controlling the quality of your work. If you are interested in writing books quickly (the correct way) then I would like to take this opportunity to suggest reading Stephen King’s On Writing. It is not only a good read but it will help to have advice given by a master writer that mass produces quality work (look for my review to come!).

How has the book helped me?

As you know if you follow my blog that I have been having trouble with traditional publishing. I have had a lot of interest in publishers however the hope of getting a traditional contract is running thin. Must of publishers today are considered “vanity publishers” which offer to publish certain titles if money is put upfront by the author to cover the initial publishing costs. For more information check out my post last week, Self Promoting AKA Publishing 2019.

This book has helped me see the benefits that can be had by becoming an indie author. Penn walks the reader through the steps it takes to become an indie author from writing and editing to cover design and creating a marketing plan. I have been creating a marketing plan of my own for my first ever full-length novel, Tempting Indiscretions, to be placed on the market in the Summer of 2019!

I highly recommend this book to other writers looking for some much-needed direction.

Also a good blogging friend of mine has started a 2019 campaign to unit all bloggers together! I highly recommend checking out this post and meeting other bloggers at The Captain’s Speech.

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