Lockdown Running Challenge Printable

Posted in Downloads, Personal, Printables
on November 5, 2020

I can’t tell you why, I can only assume I wasn’t of sound mind, but when my friend asked me if I fancied joining in lockdown running challenge over the next month-ish, I said ‘OK!’.

I think I got a little bit overexcited. And hysterical about lockdown.

My running is dreadful. I’d only just managed to get back to the gym when they shut again. But, for some reason, I am going to attempt to run 100km over lockdown.

My other half is going to try it too. You’ll be able to spot us a mile off, we’ll be the two hobbling around with lots of blisters. (Well, I will be. He’ll probably be the one that looks all sporty and athletic dragging me behind him).

The only thing that could make this bearable, I thought, was if I had some sort of printable to fill in. So, I’ve made one. It’s not perfect but it’ll do – and if I get through this, I’ll make a blooming beautiful certificate for myself to celebrate!

On the off-chance that any of you are attempting the same challenge, I thought I’d share it here. This is what it looks like.

Download here!

If you’re doing this lockdown running challenge, or similar PLEASE get in contact and let me know how it’s going. I’d love to hear from others.

Also, if anyone has any tips on how to beat running boredom, I am all ears.

Normal service will be resumed soon. I am not at all in my comfort zone here, and I wish I’d signed up to a book challenge instead. Books. They’re so nice, and indoorsy, and comforting and not at all horrible and cold and blister inducing. Thank goodness for my audible subscription, which is about the only thing going to get me through this all.

Library Ready Reads Review

Posted in Reviews, Round Ups
on October 21, 2020

As we stare into the abyss of another sort-of-kinda-pretty-much-a-lockdown, I’m reminded of a blog post I meant to write about my local library’s solution to the last one.  I thought the time had passed for this blog, but as our esteemed government has given me a second chance, I thought I’d get it up quicker this time around.

To encourage people to still use the library, but also reduce the risk of contamination with people picking up books, like many others, my library started offering ‘Ready Reads’. You pick the genres you’re interested in, how many books you want and add any notes that you like, and they’ll select the books for you. They were waiting for me by the entrance of the library and had already been checked out, so I didn’t have to use the checking out machine or anything like that. (Or at least I wouldn’t have had to, had I not been a greedy goblin where books are required and checked out another 4 or 5 at the same time. I have a problem, I know this. But right now I’m not prepared to do anything about it!).

I asked for three books (I didn’t want them to know how much of a book hoarder I am). I told them that I was after funny romance books or crime – and that I was particularly fond of cosy crime a la Agatha Christie.

When I went to pick up my books, I was told that they’d had fun choosing them for me – I think there are quite a few romance fans among the staff!

I received A Country Escape – Katie Fforde, Almost a Bride – Jo Watson and The Uncommon Appeal of Clouds – Alexander McCall Smith.

I read them all while on holiday, because that’s the sort of social being I am. My long suffering fiancé knows better than to try and jam any itinerary too full because I’ll stubbornly sit on any available chair with my book until he gets the hint. 

A Country Escape – Katie Fforde

You know where you are with Katie Fforde and this was exactly the sort of book you want to read on holiday. I’ve read pretty much all of her books over the years, some are better than others, some are very silly (but not silly enough to stop me reading them because hey, a girl wants a nice romance story sometimes). 

This one follows Fran who has always dreamed of being a farmer. When an elderly, distant relative aunt conveniently appears and offers her the chance to inherit the family farm – she jumps at it.

It’s country-ish and comforting. There’s a couple of bumps along the way but ultimately you know how it shouldend – you’ve just got to see how it unravels to that point. I read it in a day, I enjoyed it. I learnt quite a lot about the cheese making process. I’d probably only read it again if I was having a lazy day and wanted a quick read.

Almost A Bride – Jo Watson

I struggled with this one, I really did. At first, I thought one of the librarians might have heard of my plight (never coincide your wedding plans with a global pandemic, folks), and included this as a bit of a joke. But then, how would they know?

Oh goodness me. This was awful. It wasn’t even funny to make up for the ridiculous plot.

Annie believes her boyfriend is about to propose. Alas, that same day she finds him in bed with another woman (and nipple clamps no less..). She also manages to get fired and arrested in a particularly bizarre turn of events.

Anyway, thanks to some rich friends, she finds herself in Mauritius having a lovely time until the ex-boyfriend arrives. She finds another chap who agrees to pretend to be her boyfriend.

I found it incredibly irritating. Daft beyond belief. And there was none of the comedy I was promised. I’m all for a bit of escapism, but some of the characters have to be at least likable. Unfortunately, I wouldn’t recommend this one with a barge pole.  

The Uncommon Appeal of Clouds – Alexander McCall Smith

I’ve never read anything by Alexander McCall Smith before, much to my chagrin. I’ve always intended to, and I’ve had his novels recommended lots of times before, so I don’t really have an excuse. Mind, I was about 25 before I read my first Agatha Christie novel, so I am often a little bit behind.

I really enjoyed The Uncommon Appeal of Clouds. It wasn’t what I was expecting – actually as the book went on, it kept being not quite what I expected, but in a good way.

Part of the Isabel Dalhousie series, Isabel is asked to investigate the theft of a valuable painting from a wealthy Scottish collector. 

The crime mystery is set against a background of Isabel’s musings on ethics and the human condition, parenting and a few other smaller stories. This was the bit which surprised me, and I found I did really enjoy.

I’ve seen from some other reviews that a lot of people haven’t enjoyed this Dalhousie novel as much as some of the others. If I ever get to the bottom of my TBR list I’ll enjoy giving some others a try. 

In conclusion…

So those were my Ready Reads – enjoying two out of three isn’t bad going, especially given how snobby I can be about books. (I know you wouldn’t necessarily think it from reading my blog. I generally just don’t write blogs about books I don’t like, unless I feel really compelled).

Given the brief of funny romance or cosy crime, are there any books you’d recommend for me to read?

Review: Wrong Bed, Right Brother by Rebecca Brooks

Posted in Books, Reviews, Two and a Half Star
on July 6, 2020
Wrong Bed Right Brother Review

Thanks to Entangled Publishing and Netgalley for the ARC copy in exchange for a fair review. This post contains affiliate links, meaning if you purchase something through one of these links, I’ll earn a small commission at no cost to you.

Honestly, when you pick up a book entitled Wrong Bed, Right Brother, you kind of deserve anything it throws at you. And throw it, it does. If you’re under the misapprehension that it’ll be a serious romance book then let me disillusion you quickly….

The premise is thus:

Amanda has had a crush on her co-worker, Luke, for as long as she can remember. She sort of thinks he’s interested but she’s not sure. And he’s about to move to the other side of the country…

Seizing her opportunity on a weekend away, she sneaks into his bedroom to make a move. It all seems to be going so well, until she realises – it’s not Luke! It’s his twin brother, Noah. 

Of course it was a mistake, but why is their chemistry so hard to ignore?

I think that tells you all you need to know about what you’re letting yourself in for. I’d love to say it gets less ridiculous from that point in but… I’d be lying. 

Still, I didn’t hate it. I went along for the ride. It was silly. The characters were underdeveloped, there wasn’t a great deal of what we might call realistic plot. But, it kept my mind off the way the world is falling apart for a couple of hours so, there is that. 

I didn’t really warm to the characters very much. They annoyed me a bit (but not enough to stop reading the book), towards the end I didn’t really care whether they got together or not. Probably because I knew they would (not really a spoiler alert – you only read these books for the happy ever after, right?).

I would have liked the romance story to be a bit more developed. The drama seemed a bit strained – the whole concept of Noah moving to LA simply to be with his brother was seemed a little forced, but I’m not going to pull it apart completely because it did the job it needed to do well enough. 

When I read it, I didn’t realise that it was part of a series. I don’t think that matters particularly to the enjoyment of the book, but does help you understand why some things are just never explained. It’s tricky to get the balance right when you write something that you want to work as a standalone piece and as part of series because you don’t want to repeat yourself too much. That being said, Wrong Bed, Right Brother errs a bit too far the other way and I think the reader does need a bit more backstory before your two protagonists end up against a barn wall. (That is just my opinion and perhaps I didn’t have an exciting enough youth). It’s never really explained why Amanda and Noah don’t like each other, but you’re expected to understand it’s a long standing feud. In that respect it gallops along too quickly to build up the necessary tension for the pay off to really be effective.

Overall, it was okay – a bit of fun, a quick read and nothing too serious. It did lack a depth in storytelling and characterisation, but honestly that’s not what you’d read this sort of book for anyway. You can predict the end from the first page (I mean, quite frankly from the title!), but there’s no harm to it. It’s not written in the most sophisticated way, but also not in a way which irritated me too much either.

On balance, I won’t re-read it, and I probably won’t seek out anything else by this author, however it kept me amused for a few hours and honestly, that’s all it was designed to do.

2.5 stars

Buy from Amazon

ARC Tracker Printable (FREE)

Posted in Downloads, Printables
on May 20, 2020
ARC Tracker Free Printable

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I find that ARCs can be a bit like buses – You don’t get any for ages and then suddenly you get three all at once. Or sometimes considerably more than three.

ARCs are one of my favourite things about being a book blogger. I mean, what booknerd wouldn’t like getting their hands on something before it is published? I am thrilled when I get accepted and try my absolute utmost to be a good little book blogger and review them in a timely manner.

Sometimes that is easier said than done!

In my bid to get more organised in 2020 ( and – let’s face it, what else do any of us have to do other than getting organised at the moment? Thanks Covid-19), I have decided to start jotting down more, and keeping on better track of the publish dates of my ARCs. I am also just generally getting myself into a better and more structured place for updating this blog and working on some of my other projects.

Since I am on an organisational streak at the moment and really enjoying creating planner printables, I’ve been at it again. This time, an ARC Tracker Printable, wahoo.

This is what it looks like:

ARC Tracker Printable

I’m quite a visual person, so I have created something where I could quickly note down any ARCs I receive per month, and have the book publishing date VERY visible. I work best to a deadline, so highlighting that was important for me.  I like to colour in the boxes once I’ve completed a review, but that’s because I love colour. (Who doesn’t?!). I also own more coloured pens and pencils than is healthy. Anyone else?

I’ve made this ARC Tracker A4 so there’s plenty of space to fill them in. They also work in A5 as well, just adapt your printer settings accordingly. (I haven’t tested it yet, but since US letter size isn’t far off A4, that should work fine too). If you have any problems with any of them, just contact me and I’ll play around with the files. Also happy to customise them if you’d like, so get in touch. I don’t bite.

Let me know if you like it and if you use it! You can tag me on Instagram (@copyandtea) or on Twitter (@copy_tea). I’d love to see how you use it and if you get creative with how you fill it in.

You may have noticed I’ve been messing about creating printables rather than actually just… reading my ARCs and reviewing them. Well observed. I have no defence and I will get back to my TBR list presently.

I’m going to build up a library of free printables, so if there is anything that you’d like to request please contact me. The more details you can include, the better chance I have of providing useful things for you.

Pssst – I have recently started a small shop here for some of my multi-page planner printables. Currently they’re all book themed and available for instant download. Check it out if you like. I am going to add general planner inserts soon, but for the time being books are my jam.

Happy ARC tracking! Now there is no excuse not to get on top of that list.

Download ARC Tracker Printable.

ARC Tracker Filled In

EDIT – Extra printables!

I had a request to make the bookshelf printable into an ARC friendly version – so I have done exactly that. See below for details – there is space for Title/Publisher/Publish Date and Star Rating, with a check box for when you’ve completed reviews. There are any number of options with these printables, so if there’s a variation on what you’d like to be included I am more than happy to accomodate (within reason). Just let me know!

Download them here: