Category Archives: Wednesday Weekly Blog Challenge

Wednesday Blogging Challenge: New Hobby I’m Trying (or would like to try)

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It’s week three of the Long and Short Reviews Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge and today’s topic is an interesting one indeed.

New Hobby I’m Trying (or would like to try)

This has given me great pause for thought. I haven’t taken on a new hobby in ages. My favourite pastimes are cooking, reading, morning walks, restauranting and golf, and there never seems to be enough time for anything else.

I did get very enthusiastic about cross-stitch several years ago. Sewing was another hobby for a while. I even went through a phase of making my own shirts and dresses, but it didn’t last. Mostly because I wasn’t very good at it.

One thing I do want to do this year is learn about distilling and have a go at blending my own gin. Local distillery Earp Distilling Co. has recently opened a classroom and are taking bookings for their “Spirit School” and I’m keen to have a go. I’m not much of a spirits drinker but I do enjoy gin and what fun to blend my own. I could label it Cathryn’s Curlies or something, or Hein’s Howler if my writing isn’t going well.

The Farmers Wife ginIn the meantime, I’ll just continue slurping this. The Farmer’s Wife Gin comes from another local distillery, about 45 minutes north of Newcastle on the Buckett’s Way, and is very, very tasty.

Just doing my bit to support local rural businesses, you understand.

I also want to get back into making my own limoncello and orange liqueurs. I started doing this when we lived overseas and continued when we moved back to Newcastle. I stopped when we relocated to Melbourne in 2012 and have yet to take it up again. Now’s the time. Making liqueurs is fairly easy, fun and they make lovely gifts, and it’ll give me a great excuse to make my favourite limoncello plum tart recipe. It’s scrumptious. I’ll have to remember to share it when I do.

Other than that, I think 2020 will see more of the usual – cooking, golf and checking out local eateries. Travel too, I hope. And books. There’ll be plenty of those for sure!

What about you? Are you going to be hobbying this year? What hobby are you keen to try?


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Wednesday Blogging Challenge: Books I Can’t Wait to Read in 2020

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Happy birthday to meeeee. Happy birthday to meeeeeeeeeee!

Eh hem.

Moving on to why we’re here

It’s week two of the Long and Short Reviews Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge. If you missed the first week, or are interested in how the challenge works, check out last week’s post here.

We have another fab topic this week.

Books I Can’t Wait to Read in 2020

I should just list all the books in my to-be-read pile. There’s enough there to keep me busy until July at least. But let’s ignore that. Shiny new unbought books are so much prettier.

Hmm. That won’t work, because there are two on that TBR pile that I’m excited about and intend to read very soon.

The Work of Art by Mimi MatthewsThe first is The Work of Art by Mimi Matthews. I really enjoyed her Christmas story A Holiday by Gaslight (my thoughts here) and this one has me intrigued.

Second is The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides. I want to see what all the fuss is about.

The other books I have in my sights are

Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. I’ve adored their previous books and read quite a few of Kaufman’s other titles too. I know this will be brilliant. I’ll probably buy Aurora Burning when it comes out too.

King of Scars by Leigh BardugoKing of Scars by Leigh Bardugo because Grishaverse. Luuurve.

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo. What can I say? She’s awesome.

The Year of the Locust by Terry Hayes. His first book, I Am Pilgrim, was 700+ pages of un-put-downable thrill-ride goodness. I couldn’t rave enough about it and even sent my dad a copy before I’d finished. It’s been a long wait for the sequel (since 2013) and in September it’ll finally be here. Ooh, I can’t wait!

A Skinful of Shadows by Frances Hardinge. The Lie Tree and Cuckoo Song were amazing (I talk about them here and here in My Favourite Reads), and this sounds just as good.

Hmm. There’s a bit of a young adult trend going on here. That wasn’t deliberate. These are just the books that sprung first to mind.

Marry in Haste by Anne GracieBut I’ll also be auto-buying whatever Stephen King puts out and there’ll be books by author buddies Anna Campbell, Annie West and Michelle Douglas, and series that I’m into like CJ Archer’s After the Rift books, and probably a stack of crime and horror novels. I really want to read all of Anne Gracie’s Convenient Marriage historical romance series too. And if Iona Grey has another book out, I’ll be snapping that up with lightning speed as well.

What I do want to do is read more romance. I was quite shocked to see how few I’d read when I went through last year’s reading list. This is not good. Reading romance not only makes me feel good – all hail the happy-ever-after! – it’s inspirational, motivational and helps me with my own craft. Pretty important stuff and not something I should be slack about.

Okay, my lovelies, what are you looking forward to reading in 2020? Or maybe you have the admirable goal of getting through your to-be-read pile?

Let’s share and then we can come back at the end of the year and see how we did.


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Wednesday Blogging Challenge: My Goals for 2020

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“Ooh,” I hear you ask, “what is this?”

It’s a blogging challenge!

Let me explain

I was tooling around the internet the other day, as you do, and came across this page on popular romance reviewing website Long and Short Reviews. The page outlined a blog hop that would run for the entire year and had a graphic showing the weekly topics.

How serendipitous, I thought. I’d been wondering what else I could blog about in addition to my regular Teaser Tuesday (returning toward the end of the month) and My Favourite Reads series and these topics not only looked a lot of fun, they’d be easy to do and I could schedule them well ahead of time.

Wednesday Blogging Challenge - topics

Even better, I’d get to share the posts on the Long and Short Reviews site and join in its vibrant community.

Too many wins!

This challenge isn’t only for authors. It’s for anyone bookish. The idea is to share something each Wednesday, gain new friends, and encourage visitors to the Long and Short Reviews blog. And if once a week feels too much, that’s not a problem. You can post as much or as little as you want.

Cool, yes?

If you’d like to play along, you’ll find more information and the blogging challenge schedule here at Long and Short Reviews.

Right. Today is day one and we have a lovely topic to start the year with. It’s brief and pertinent, and something I can revisit at the end of the year to see how I went. All good.

Here we go with week one of the blogging challenge. Enjoy!

My Goals for 2020

1/. Edit and publish Scarlett and the Model Man.

Oh, you are going to adore this book! Scarlett and Sam are so sighworthy. These two are a complete delight and, as with many in the Levenham Love Story series, Audrey Wallace (aka Granny B) gets to poke in her aristocratic nose. Not that I blame her. Surfing dairy farmer Sam is well worth an ogle or ten.

If you want to be among the first to hear about its release, join my newsletter lovelies. Doing so will also give you access to a chain of short stories to savour over a cuppa and other exclusives (the gang absolutely ADORED my free Christmas story Belle and the Perfect Present last month), and it means you’ll never miss a new release. Like this blog challenge, too many wins!

2/. Write Serenity’s Song, the sequel to my Outback Brides book, Elsa’s Stand.

Many of you have asked for Serenity’s story and I’m finally going to deliver. Elsa's Stand memeFor those of you familiar with Elsa’s Stand, the hero of Serenity’s Song (working title) will be Jesse Hargreaves, naughty younger brother of Elsa’s utterly delectable man-of-few-words hero Jack.

Serenity’s Song is going to be my first ‘forced proximity’ story. I bet your mind is boggling over that one. Forced proximity in Wirralong? It can be done, trust me. I make up stuff for a living.

3/. Write a full-length novel.

Something that was on last year’s agenda, too but about which Madame Universe had other thoughts. She can be mean like that.

I have a few ideas I’m mulling over, so I can’t share anything yet. One premise is in the lead but one of the characters needs more nutting out and I’m not sure he’ll/she’ll be ready by the time it comes to write the story. Over the years I’ve learned that it’s better to wait until I have everything properly lined up rather than jumping in.

What I do promise is to share my progress and the occasional snippet on my Teaser Tuesday series. Keen to stay in the loop? Keep your eyes on this blog.

4/. Be healthy and happy!

2018 and 2019 were not the best of years. A couple of annus horribilis, as the Queen would say. But they’re behind us and from where I’m sitting right now, 2020 is looking very bright and shiny. I just KNOW it’s going to be a cracker. My positive vibes are so charged they’re bouncing around like spring bunnies.

So no horribilis-ing here. I’m firm on that. We’re going to have an annus mirabilis instead, loaded with love and laughter.

Which, you must agree, is the most important goal of all.


Okay, my lovelies, what are your goals for 2020?


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