Ramblings from my pages…. #1

When I first started my blog, I wanted to create a space to share my reviews and ramblings; as the years have passed, there’ve been plenty of reviews, but little ramblings. So, welcome to the first instalment of Ramblings from my pages… – a new weekly feature here on Keeper of Pages. This post was inspired by It’s Book Talk’s “5 on Friday: Things I’m Loving Lately” – it differs slightly, similar in that it will feature bookish and non-bookish topics, but different in that I will ramble about things I’m loving, hating, wishing for, links I’ve enjoyed, life updates – you name it, I may just ramble about it. The only staple feature of this post will be concluding it with a cool link I found around the web.

In this week’s ramblings, I’m talking Ameriie, Shots Fired, a potential book swap, and a life update with a blog tour focus. Whether you read the entire post or jump to the section(s) you’re interested in, I hope you enjoy my ramblings. Note: if it’s green, it’s a link, click it!


This news blew my mind! One night, I fell into that rabbit hole that is YouTube, and I found this really great channel called Empressive, she has this great feature on her channel called ‘Unsung Music Story’– mini documentaries that let you know what happened to your favourite artists. I now know what happened to R’n’B singers, Ashanti and Keri Hilson, but most excitingly, I know what happened to music artist, Ameriie, her sound was so funky fresh – I loved it! If you haven’t heard of her, listen to One Thing, it’s my jam! Anyway, I watched Ameriie’s unsung story, which (fingers-crossed) should be embedded below, and I found out she has a booktube now!

Because You Love to Hate Me - edited by AmeriieFrom artist to booktuber, she’s even edited a book Because You Love to Hate Me’ which features a short story she wrote, and if that wasn’t amazing enough, she’s finished her SFF full length novel, so I’ll be hunting around for more information on that. I was speaking to Marija @ Inside My Library Mind, she knew Ameriie as a booktuber and was surprised to find out she was a music artist first, so I wanted to let you all know, if you didn’t already, Ameriie is an incredibly talented artist, who, in my opinion, should have been a much bigger star. She is the real Queen B – because Beyonce stole her sound – don’t @ me, watch the video – 7mins, 30secs into the video and you’ll see how Beyonce was inspired! Don’t get me wrong, I like Beyonce, but in a contest, I’m buying Ameriie’s album every time! In case the embedded video doesn’t work, here’s the URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fc4PDce0zFw


Shots FiredI binge watched this entire series, it’s so good!! I have so many programs recorded on Sky, and thought it was time to start watching some of them as I’m almost maxed out on memory, I watched one episode of Shots Fired, first aired in 2017, and my night was claimed, I was up til 5am because I had to watch the entire season, episode after episode, it was that good! To use the description from imdb.com, it “examines the dangerous aftermath of two racially charged shooting in a small Southern Town, providing an explosive autopsy of our criminal justice system.” (“our” being the American justice system). It stars Sanna Lathan (who I first saw in Love and Basketball– I swear this woman hasn’t aged a day in 17 years!) and Stephan James. I highly recommend this TV series, especially if you enjoy crime dramas.


I have a Goldsboro Books signed & numbered, limited edition hardcover, UK first edition, first printing, of Baxter’s Requiem by Matthew Crow, that I don’t want – I didn’t skip my BOTM membership in time, so I’m offering it up for a book swap if anyone is interested. This edition is valued at £24.99 on Goldsboro Books website. UK only, unless you want to cover international shipping. Let me know if you’re interest, in the comments, you can also DM me on Instagram or Twitter, let me know what you have available to swap, or if you want to buy it at a reduced price, that’s cool too, I’m happy to send more photos of the actual book via DM – it’s brand new and unread with the plastic protective cover still on.


Let me tell you a story, about a man I knew, and a man I know…

Mr Baxter is ninety-four years old when he falls down his staircase and grudgily finds himself resident at Melrose Gardens Retirement Home.

Baxter is many things – raconteur, retired music teacher, rabble-rouser, bon viveur – but ‘good patient’ he is not. He had every intention of living his twilight years with wine, music and revelry; not tea, telly and Tramadol. Indeed, Melrose Gardens is his worst nightmare – until he meets Gregory.

At only nineteen years of age, Greg has suffered a loss so heavy that he is in danger of giving up on life before he even gets going.

Determined to save the boy, Baxter decides to enlist his help on a mission to pay tribute to his long-lost love, Thomas: the man with whom he found true happiness; the man he waved off to fight in a senseless war; the man who never returned. The best man he ever knew.

 With Gregory in tow Baxter sets out on a spirited escape from Melrose, bound for the war graves of Northern France. As Baxter shares his memories, the boy starts to see that life need not be a matter of mere endurance; that the world is huge and beautiful; that kindness is strength; and that the only way to honour the dead, is to live.

Baxter’s Requiem is a glorious celebration of life, love and seizing every last second we have while we’re here.


After enjoying six weeks off, I’m back to uni tomorrow, it’s the last year of my degree, so this time next year, if all goes to plan, I’ll be a qualified Mental Health Nurse! But it also means I have to buckle down and get my shit together to make sure I pass the course. So you’ve been forewarned – there may be periods of silence, or limited blog interaction, when things get busy!


I’m also thinking of no longer participating in blog tours in 2019, I’ve had a few issues this year with the organisation behind a few I’ve participated in, and quite frankly, I’m starting to think they’re not worth the hassle, I mean, they shouldn’t even be hassle in the first place! Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had the pleasure of working with some amazing hosts and publishers, and I appreciated the hardwork that goes into planning them, and I think they’re great exposure for a book, but when they stop being fun to participate it, it’s time to rethink. I also have a habit of over-commiting and then feeling the pressure, again – not fun. I’m participating in quite a few in the remainder of the year and I’m still deciding if I’m going to blanket ban myself next year, or just limit myself to a few.

With the coming intensity of my course, I’m leaning towards a ban, especially as I have plenty of review copies I’m working my way through. What’s your take on blog tours, do you participate in them?


Dystopian or Post-apocalyptic

When I was writing my review for The Stand by Stephen King, I first referred to it as a dystopian novel, I then deleted that and referred to it as post-apocalyptic novel instead. And that got me thinking, about the difference between the two, I found this fantastic (and useful) article on dystopic.co.ukThe Difference Between Dystopia and Post-Apocalyptic.

I hope you enjoyed reading this post as much as I enjoyed writing it, and you’ll join me next Sunday for some more ramblings.

43 thoughts on “Ramblings from my pages…. #1

  1. That’s so exciting that you’ll be a mental health nurse, what a rewarding career path! Wishing you lots of luck in the next year’s home stretch! When the bulk of it’s already behind you it’s not so bad to power through the final year. You’ve got this!

    That’s really interesting to hear your thoughts about blog tours. I’m not crazy about the idea and have turned down a few because I want to be able to decide whether or not I’m even going to finish a book and sometimes a less than glowing review happens, haha. I don’t want that to end up on a blog tour, it just seems awkward…and I wondered what the benefit was for you as the blogger too. Woth what sounds like even additional difficulties and organizational problems I think you confirmed for me that it’s not for me! 😆

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, this is my second degree now and I’m looking forward to being finished! Although, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t thinking about doing a masters, something in forensic mental health maybe 🤔

      I’m so over blog tours! I used to get so excited to be part of them or feel upset if I wasn’t invited to one that a lot of bloggers I follow are on, but now, I’m really struggling to read to a deadline. I’ve been caught out, on a blog tour and not liked the book, so I’ve had to ask for content to post instead (book extract, Q&A or guest post). I don’t think there is any additional benefit, especially if you already get arc’s 🤷🏾‍♀️ I’ve got quite a few coming up, my own fault for over-committing, but it’s too much, so I’m definitely stepping back in the new year. Some tour hosts are amazing, but some bad experiences ruin it for everyone, so I’m done, maybe the odd one every now and again 😂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I didn’t even consider that for blog tours, that you could share additional content instead of your own review as part of the tour especially if you didn’t love it. I completely get you, it just seems like a lot of work and organization for someone else’s publicity and sometimes just keeping up with arc reviewing is hectic enough!

        And forensic mental health sounds fascinating, I’m not even sure I’ve ever considered the existence of a field like that! I think when you have the drive and the opportunity to do a degree, go for it. Wishing you lots of luck for a successful and as stress-free as possible last year of study for now! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It is a lot of work, and I’ve had enough. I think I’m scheduled for tours up until the end of November, and then I’m out! It’s that fear of missing out that kept me doing them for so long, but I’d rather buy the book and enjoy it at my own leisure from now on.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. THIS IS A GREAT FEATURE I LOVE IT. Also, I fell into Ameriie’s music sink hole and now I am with you on the hype train. And that TV show sounds brilliant so I will definitely check it out. Ah we share the same pain – I am preparing for my entrance exam for my Master’s degree, so it’s back to studying 😭

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Somehow I knew you’d like this feature! Ameriie is the best, I have a feeling she’s going to self-publish her book, she took her music independent so will probably do the same with the book!

      I haven’t binge-watched a show in ages, but Shots Fired was so good, and it was an added bonus that to to main characters are so damn pretty 😂

      Are you doing your Masters in psychology too? I can’t wait to finish this course but I’m open to a Masters if the nursing trust will pay for it – I quite like the idea of specialising in forensics.


      1. I think if you combine my degree in Criminology and Mental Health, Forensics is the next logical step, haha! One step closer to understanding those psychopaths/serial killers – because that is clearly my life goal!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post Janel.

    I need to sort out my Goldsboro membership as I haven’t received August & September books (due to my bank card changing) but I’m thinking it could be a timely break! That said I would’ve liked this book and I need to ring Goldsboro and check if I’m still a member!

    I’m reading for a blog tour at the moment and then have none booked which feels incredibly liberating. I’m definitely going to be much more selective as at times I have over committed and also found myself reading books I wouldn’t necessarily have picked up at that time!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Kerrie ❤️ Off the top of my head, I cannot remember what August’s book was but I know it was one I wanted, I just completely forgot that you need to give 30 days notice so I couldn’t skip Sept (although I did send an email to try, lol). Find out what’s happing with your membership, and let me know, you can have my copy otherwise!

      My next blog tour is Tuesday, and then one of the 1st Oct, another on 2nd – I think I’m on 4 or 5 in total in Oct, and for me it’s just too much 😅 I know it’s my own fault for over-committing, but they’ve stopped being fun, Im struggling to read to a deadline. I’m definitely going to take a step back from them next year, maybe only one a month, if at all.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I love your rambling! Great post! I hope all goes well for you at Uni! I am sending you my best for a smooth year. It’s makes me smile to see your field with be in mental health.

    As for blog tours. We don’t do them often but do have one tomorrow. I am not a big fan of them. I struggle with the real reason we do blog tours. Are we doing it for readers, to give exposure to the book, author or publisher or just for the exposure for ourselves? Or maybe all. I am not sure, so I tend to avoid. lol .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, I go back on clinical placement in November so I think this year is going to go quickly but be very full on one!

      Blog Tours are definitely tricky, I’d say I do them for the same reason I accept arc’s – to promote the book. It, however, becomes awkward if you don’t like the book – that’s happened to me a few times and I’ve has to request content instead. I approach other people’s blog tour reviews like I would any other review of theirs, but sometimes the deadline pressure takes the fun away from reading and reviewing. I don’t like the “behind the scenes stuff” so I will defo be taking a step back from them next year – I’m on like 5 next month, and it’s just too much (my own fault for agreeing, but its definitely time to step back) 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I don’t participate in blog tours and I actually dislike what they’ve done to the book blogosphere – nineteen reviews/extracts/interviews about the same book in three days! And so few people ever do anything other than gush about how wonderful every book is – it all feels like advertising rather than blogging. I’ve never been persuaded to read a book by this kind of superhype – in fact, it actively puts me off. Just my opinion, of course! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And a very valid opinion, in fact, I’ve heard similar opinions! The three day example is the blog blitz – doing what it says on the tin, I guess, blitzing you 😂 whereas tours tend to be one or two people blogging a day over the course of anywhere from a week to a month, which I think is more effective because that’s what normally happens around a new release anyway because people would have had advanced copies. But I agree 100%, a blog blitz/tour is advertising, a marketing strategy, it’s a business, people who organise tours are paid for it. I wasn’t even thinking about their effectiveness, more my struggle to read to deadlines 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Blog tours are new to me. I first started registering for them in around June this year and August and September have been mad! For the most part I am still enjoying them but I’m not having time to read books on my shelf so I think there needs to be a review of how I do things.
    I enjoyed your ramblings – it’s always nice to get to know the person behind the blog x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They are super exciting when you first start doing them, and I hope they remain that way for you. I remember the excitement at seeing my blog name on an ‘official’ banner! Finding the balance between review copies and your own copies is key, but so hard, it’s been two years and I’m still struggling, haha, although I’m getting better!


  7. Thanks for the shout out Janel, I love your take on my 5 on Friday, especially your life ramblings. When I went on my blogging hiatus this spring I decided I don’t enjoy blog tours so I’m no longer participating in them. In the end, I don’t enjoy reading on a strict deadline and it just became too much work. Good luck on your last year of school!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, that’s exactly it, reading to a deadline is the worst, especially if life gets in the way and you end up with only a few days to read and review the book, it’s unnecessary pressure. I’m on a blog tour tomorrow and I have a few coming up and it’s stressing me out, so I think a blanket ban next year is the way to go!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Good luck in your final year Janel ( until the next course – you’re a glutton for punishment). I’ve never been a Blog Tourer and they seem to be everywhere these days. Even more so than when I rambled on the subject myself. Do what makes you happy is all I’ll say x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jill 😊
      I guess you could say the novelty has warn off for me personally, I still support them and believe in them as a marketing strategy/celebration of a books release, but you’re right, if I’m finding them more stressful than fun, it’s time to do something about it! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Great feature! I’ve seen some bloggers do similar and have wondered if I should get more up, close and personal too 🙂 It’s always fun to share some non-bookish stuff!
    I wish you all the best with the final year! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you 😊 I actually really enjoyed putting the post together, makes a change from the usual book review format. I got a bit carried away so I’ve got ramblings for the next 3 weeks lined up! 😂

      I really enjoy when people do posts similar to this one because I get to know them better, and this may sound weird, but it also helps me understand their reviews better, why they liked certain things, why a book was, or wasn’t, for them, etc.

      I say go for it, share some personal stuff, as much as you’re comfortable with, anyway 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Oooh, good luck with the studies! ❤ 🙂

    Blog tours… well, i haven't participated in a lot, but the last one was a bit stressful cuz i only got the book 5 days before my review was due and i wasn't sure i can even read it that fast :/

    Shots Fired looks interesting 🙂 Gonna check it out once i finished my current series. (I got like 3 episodes left… gonna need a back up)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! ❤️

      5 days before your review, that’s unacceptable – minimum a month is standard!! It’s horrid to feel that pressure isn’t it!?

      I hope you enjoy Shots Fired! Ooo, what are you watching at the moment?


      1. Just finished Death in Paradise and Castle Rock is in progress. I watch that with the BF, but i always have something just to watch alone and this looked perfect.☺

        Liked by 1 person

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