Sunshine Blogger Award #2

Hello word smiths, welcome to my second round of the Sunshine Blogger Award.

If you want to read my first round, you can find it here.

I was tagged by the always wonderful Kat over at Kbookreviews. She is a fantastic blogger, person, and friend, so I really recommend going to her blog and giving her some love.

What is the Sunshine Blogger Award?

The Sunshine Blogger Award is given to those who are creative, positive and inspiring while spreading sunshine to the blogging community.

How does it work?

  • Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions sent by the person who nominated you.
  • Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.

Kat’s Questions:

What is your favourite bookish trope?

I don’t know if this exactly a trope, and if it is I don’t know the proper naming of it, but I really like an underdog rebel story. Something about them fighting against all odds always brings me a rush when I read it.

What is your favourite song / album / playlist right now?

Honestly I don’t really have any favourite songs at the moment. I am not a big music listener, but I would say Zach Brown Band is my favourite band right now. They have a lot of good country songs.


What has been your favourite read of 2020 so far?

I think my favorite read so far this year would be Priory of the Orange Tree. It didn’t start off in my best books, but it ended up being a really fun read and still one of my favourite reads of all time.

If you could live for a day in the world of any book what book would you choose?

I think I would pick the world of Tower of God. It’s technically a manhwa, but it has such an interesting world and the idea is that you advance in the tower to pursue a dream you have.


What are your feelings on loaning books to friends and family?

I don’t have a real problem with it. I’ve done it a few times and had them returned no issue. Most of my friends don’t read or ask me for books, so I Dom’t really have to worry about it happening to me.

How do you feel about writing in books, or purposefully breaking book spines, or dog-earring pages?

Dog earring pages is taboo. If people do it, then I don’t want to be friends with them. I’m kidding but I will never do it myself. Writing in text books is fine, for academic purposes, but I would never do it for my books. I don’t disagree with breaking book spines, because I do it quite often, but mine isn’t often on purpose. This is the only one of the three I would allow though.


Which do you find easier to write, a book review for a five star rated book or one for a one star rated book?

A lot of people would say writing a review for books they like is a lot harder, but I find. low ratings to be harder. When I don’t like a book, all I can usually say is that I didn’t like this, I didn’t like that. When I like a book, there are plenty of things I can talk about.

What is the post you are most proud of on your blog? Share a link to it.

With my new content coming out, I don’t really know what I am most proud of right now.


If someone was starring in the film of your life, who would you cast as you?

It would probably be some random no-name actor that has only been in off-hollywoods movies. I don ‘t think I look anything like a lot of mainstream actors, and if they are trying to capture my essence, it would make a lot more sense to cast someone more unknown.

Novelty socks or novelty t-shirts?

Shirts. Easy to answer. I don’t really have a fascination for fancy socks. All of my socks are all white or all black.


I am going to be very very lazy and reuse Kat’s questions for those I tag,

I Tag: No obligation to answer the questions, but I look forward to your answers if you do!

One Piece Arc Review: Amazon Lily

Amazon Lily is one of the last One Piece arcs before the time skip takes place, and it is one of the smallest cannon arcs in the story.

It stands as a unique role in the story, because it isn’t an island that is used for a main story. Instead it is used as a jumping off point for upcoming arcs.

If you like this content, and like discussing One Piece, make sure to follow me on social media!

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Was humor the intent?

Amazon Lily is an island entirely of women. Men are not allowed, and often killed whenever they step foot on the island.

Luffy lands on the island when is sent there by Kuma, and the women have no idea what he is (a man).

Their naivety leads to a lot of child-like humor, mainly focused on Luffy and his rubber penis.

It’s innocent and there are a few jokes that are a bit funny, but after an entire island population being entirely captivated by Luffy, I was a bit bored of it by the end. It was no longer funny, and it hasn’t aged too well.


An Island of Women

Being an island of women, Amazon Lily introduced another Warlord: Boa Hancock. She is an interesting character that adds more depth to the world.

If you can ignore her creepy level of love for Luffy, her slavery background makes the One Piece world that much more interesting.

Her and her sisters were kidnapped and sold into slavery to the Celestial Dragons. This makes Boa more interesting than her lovestruck story that is forced down our throats. The slavery adds a continuation to the Sabaody Archipelago story with the Celestial Dragons, and makes us hate them even more than we already did the more we fall in love with Boa.


Slingshot into the future

Amazon Lily is used as a home base for Luffy for the next arc, so the introduction makes a lot of sense in this part of the story.

If it had been introduced any later than this, we wouldn’t have been able to get as rich of a story, and Luffy’s story would feel a lot more like he was getting plot armor benefits and not actually telling a story.

There isn’t a lot that happens on this island, but we do get to explore the idea of Haki more, building up on the past few arcs.


Final Thoughts

There isn’t a lot that happens in Amazon Lily. It does what it was designed to do, and keeps the story going. It does slow the intensity of the last arc a bit, but it sets up the next arc nicely.

I wouldn’t consider this one of my favourite arcs in the One Piece story, but I don’t really have any negative comments about it.


If you are a One Piece fan, or are interested in discovering a new manga, make sure to follow me on social media so we can discuss it!

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Quotes from: Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

Here is a small collection of quotes from Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. If you want to read my review of it, you can find it here.

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“Do you remember me telling you we are practicing non-verbal spells, Potter?”
“Yes,” said Harry stiffly.
“Yes, sir.”
“There’s no need to call me “sir” Professor.”
The words had escaped him before he knew what he was saying.” 
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

“It is the unknown we fear when we look upon death and darkness, nothing more.” 
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

“Let us step into the night and pursue that flighty temptress, adventure.” 
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince


“He accused me of being Dumbledore’s man through and through.”
“How very rude of him.”
“I told him I was.”
Dumbledore opened his mouth to speak and then closed it again. Fawkes the phoenix let out a low, soft, musical cry. To Harry’s intense embarrassment, he suddenly realized that Dumbledore’s bright blue eyes looked rather watery, and stared hastily at his own knee. When Dumbledore spoke, however, his voice was quite steady. 
“I am very touched, Harry.” 
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

“Why are you worrying about YOU-KNOW-WHO, when you should be worrying about YOU-NO-POO? The constipation sensation that’s gripping the nation!” 
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

“You could say sorry,” suggested Harry bluntly. 
“What, and get attacked by another flock of canaries?” muttered Ron.
“What did you have to imitate her for?”
“She laughed at my mustache!”
“So did I, it was the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen.” 
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

“Harry was left to ponder in silence the depths to which girls would sink to get revenge.” 
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince


“When you have seen as much of life as I have, you will not underestimate the power of obsessive love.” 
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

“I make mistakes like the next man. In fact, being–forgive me–rather cleverer than most men, my mistakes tend to be correspondingly huger.” 
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

“Killing is not so easy as the innocent believe.” 
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

“Once again, you show all the sensitivity of a blunt axe.” 
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince


Why Social Media is Essential For Marketing Your Brand

Whether you like it or not, social media is here to stay. It has become so ingrained in our every day lives, that it would take a big downfall for a lot of platforms to disappear completely.

Social media is not just for personal use. Social media has become an essential for any business in today’s market if they want to succeed.

But why? What does social media give you the ability to do that other traditional methods don’t?

Before we explore why social media is essential to market your company and your brand, make sure to follow me on my social media so you can stay up to date.

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Improved Brand Awareness

Social media is one of the cheapest and most stress-free digital marketing opportunities that can be used to get your brand in front of people. With just a few hours spent on social media each week, you’ll be able to increase user experience and brand visibility.

Cost Effective

All social media channels are free to use. They have no cost at sign up and you could launch a successful platform without ever spending a dime. When you do want to put a little money into paid advertising on social media, you can set the amount of money you want to spend, so you can find out the most cost effective amount of money based on returns.


Engage with Customers

Customers love to give their feedback, and social media gives them another platform to do that. It also gives you a chance to tell your story, and interact with customers how you want to. The more you talk to them, the more chance you have to convert them to your brand and your products.

Healthier Customer Satisfaction

Customers appreciate receiving feedback about their grievances. We all feel appreciated and looked after when a brand or business’ social media accounts respond to one of our comments or reviews. A brand that values its customers, takes the time to compose a personal message, which is perceived naturally in a positive light. A customer’s satisfaction goes hand in hand with your brand identity. It is essential to introducing your organization and your products.


Improved Brand Loyalty

A customer’s satisfaction goes hand in hand with your brand identity. It is essential to introducing your organization and your products in a positive light and keeping it there in the eye’s of your customers.

One of the main goals of social media platforms is to develop a loyal customer base. It is essential to engage with your customers, but it also allows you to run promotional campaigns.

Increase Traffic

Simply put, social media can help increase your website traffic. Sharing content on social media opens the door for people to click through your website. The more you share on social media, the more inbound traffic you will generate while making customers convert to your brand or products.


Increase SEO

By regularly posting on your social media pages, and updating that marketing strategy, you can increase traffic and SEO, as well as improving brand loyalty. The quicker you get started, the faster you will see growth over your competitors.

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

As I finish up the Harry Potter series of reviews, we come to the second last book in the series: Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.

If you want to read my other reviews on the series, you can find them here:

If you like my reviews, make sure to follow me on social media.

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Title: Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
Author: J.K. Rowling
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Page Count: 652

The war against Voldemort is not going well; even Muggle governments are noticing. Ron scans the obituary pages of the Daily Prophet, looking for familiar names. Dumbledore is absent from Hogwarts for long stretches of time, and the Order of the Phoenix has already suffered losses.

And yet . . .

As in all wars, life goes on. The Weasley twins expand their business. Sixth-year students learn to Apparate – and lose a few eyebrows in the process. Teenagers flirt and fight and fall in love. Classes are never straightforward, through Harry receives some extraordinary help from the mysterious Half-Blood Prince.

So it’s the home front that takes center stage in the multilayered sixth installment of the story of Harry Potter. Here at Hogwarts, Harry will search for the full and complete story of the boy who became Lord Voldemort – and thereby find what may be his only vulnerability.


Another Story-less book

This is the second book in the Harry Potter series that really doesn’t have a lot to do with the main story. The other is the Prisoner of Azkaban.

Half Blood Prince has more to do with the overall Harry Potter story, with Horcruxes being introduced and Dumbledore dying.

I feel like without most of this book, the story wouldn’t change too much. The same plot points could have been introduced in other books, and at least 75 per cent could have been removed.


Harry is Still Useless

I will always argue that Harry isn’t a good wizard. He doesn’t really excel at much other than flying on a broom.

He isn’t particularly gifted and he needs a lot of help with pretty much everything he does. Without his friends and mentors, Harry would have been dead half way through book one if it wasn’t for his friends helping him.

He has some interesting moments in the series, but more often that not, he defeats his enemies because of some magical abilities or a plot device.


This World Makes no Sense

There is this job in the Harry Potter world called an Auror correct? They are tasked with being the magic police basically, right? Am I wrong in remembering that?

How is it that an entire world’s worth of Aurors and wizards can’t root out Voldemort’s whereabouts and stop him and his allies?

I get they are infiltrated and you can’t really trust a lot of people, but Death Eaters seem to be fairly well-known. Couldn’t they be arrested?

It seems like there is a lot of plot holes in the world that don’t make a lot of sense.

It doesn’t necessarily make the book bad, but when you think about the rest of the world, it doesn’t add up.


Final Thoughts

This is a mediocre book in the series. The only interesting part of the book is the last 10-20 per cent, where Harry and Dumbledore hunt for the locket.

The series reaches its ultimate finale after this book, and though this one is a bit on the boring side, it’s title is even worse. The “Half Blood Prince” ultimately leads to a pointless conclusion that has zero effect on the story.


What were your thoughts on the Half Blood Prince? Let’s talk about it in the comments or on social media!
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Quotes from Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson

Here is a collection of quotes from Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson. If you are interested in my review you can find it here.

Oathbringer Review

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“Sometimes a hypocrite is nothing more than a man in the process of changing.” 
― Brandon Sanderson, Oathbringer

“To love the journey is to accept no such end. I have found, through painful experience, that the most important step a person can take is always the next one.” 
― Brandon Sanderson, Oathbringer

The most important step a man can take. It’s not the first one, is it? 
It’s the next one. Always the next step, Dalinar.
” 
― Brandon Sanderson, Oathbringer

“I will take responsibility for what I have done,” Dalinar whispered. “If I must fall, I will rise each time a better man.” 
― Brandon Sanderson, Oathbringer


Yes, I began my journey alone, and I ended it alone. 
But that does not mean that I walked alone.
” 
― Brandon Sanderson, Oathbringer

“The most important words a man can say are, “I will do better.” These are not the most important words any man can say. I am a man, and they are what I needed to say.

The ancient code of the Knights Radiant says “journey before destination.” Some may call it a simple platitude, but it is far more. A journey will have pain and failure. It is not only the steps forward that we must accept. It is the stumbles. The trials. The knowledge that we will fail. That we will hurt those around us.

But if we stop, if we accept the person we are when we fall, the journey ends. That failure becomes our destination. To love the journey is to accept no such end. I have found, through painful experience, that the most important step a person can take is always the next one.

I’m certain some will feel threatened by this record. Some few may feel liberated. Most will simply feel that it should not exist. I needed to write it anyway.” 
― Brandon Sanderson, Oathbringer

“The trick to happiness wasn’t in freezing every momentary pleasure and clinging to each one, but in ensuring one’s life would produce many future moments to anticipate.” 
― Brandon Sanderson, Oathbringer

“A journey will have pain and failure. It is not only the steps forward that we must accept. It is the stumbles. The trials. The knowledge that we will fail. That we will hurt those around us. 
But if we stop, if we accept the person we are when we fail, the journey ends. That failure becomes our destination.” 
― Brandon Sanderson, Oathbringer


“But merely being tradition does not make something worthy, Kadash. We can’t just assume that because something is old it is right.” 
― Brandon Sanderson, Oathbringer

“Some men, as they age, grow kinder. I am not one of those, for I have seen how the cosmere can mistreat the innocent – and that leaves me disinclined toward kindness. Some men, as they age, grow wiser. I am not one of those, for wisdom and I have always been at cross-purposes, and I have yet to learn the tongue in which she speaks. Some men, as they age, grow more cynical. I, fortunately, am not one of those. If I were, the very air would warp around me, sucking in all emotion, leaving only scorn.
Other men…other men, as they age, merely grow stranger. I fear that I am one of those. I am the bones of a foreign species left drying on the plain that was once, long ago, a sea. A curiosity, perhaps a reminder, that all has not always been as it is now.” 
― Brandon Sanderson, Oathbringer

“Life was about momentum. Pick a direction and don’t let anything—man or storm— turn you aside.” 
― Brandon Sanderson, Oathbringer

“As long as you keep trying, there’s a chance. When you give up? That’s when the dream dies.” 
― Brandon Sanderson, Oathbringer


“Love wasn’t about being right or wrong, but about standing up and helping when your partner’s back was bowed.” 
― Brandon Sanderson, Oathbringer

“Plan every battle as if you will inevitably retreat, but fight every battle like there is no backing down.” 
― Brandon Sanderson, Oathbringer

Tips on How to Host a Giveaway

Giveaways are a great way to grow your audience, and are relatively simple to host. They don’t require a lot of work and planning, but it is important to know what is needed before starting one.

If you want some additional information on giveaways, check out a few of my other posts.

Are Promotional Giveaways Getting “Boring”???
Pros and Cons of Hosting a Giveaway

If you enjoy this type of content, make sure to follow me on social media for more.

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Follow these simple steps if you are planning on hosting a giveaway for your platform.

WHAT PRIZES TO GIVE AWAY

The first thing you need to figure out is what prize people will be competing for. You wan’t to make sure it is worth the effort people will put in to the giveaway.

Consider:

  • Value of the prize
  • Benefits of using your own product versus an external product
  • Prize description in the contest form: make sure users know exactly what they are entering to win

WHERE TO PROMOTE THE GIVEAWAY

You could have the absolute best giveaway planned, but if you don’t promote it, nobody will enter. You need to plan what platforms you will promote the giveaway on.

BUT, don’t over extend yourself. It might be smart to limit the giveaway to a few platforms instead of all of them.

Without the proper promotions, all your well laid plans can go to waste.


WHAT WORDING TO USE

You want to use short but effective wording. Be as simple as possible, but give plenty of detail so that everyone understands what the giveaway is and will involve.

Avoid using slang or casual terms if your company language usually doesn’t. This can be distracting and take away from the point of the giveaway: to raise positive brand awareness about your company.

Giveaway social media posts should include the following information:

  • What the prize is
  • How to enter
  • When the giveaway ends
  • How the winner is contacted
  • Giveaway hashtags, if they are a component of entering the giveaway
  • Link to legalese, if applicable

HOW TO REACH OR CHOOSE THE WINNER

One of the benefits of having entrants follow your social media account is you can DM them to let them know they are the winner.

If you’re using Woobox or a similar software to run the giveaway, it’s easy to randomly pick a winner, then use their entered email address to tell them how to claim their prize.

Before sending a gift card or other prize in the mail or via email, make sure to contact the winner first so they know to expect the prize. That way, they can let you know if they didn’t receive it. If you have their permission, you can also tag them as the winner to refresh interest and let everyone know that the giveaway is over.


Each giveaway is different than any other before it, but for the most part, they follow the same simple steps.

Make sure you understand your audience and your content before hosting a giveaway.