10 spreadsheet hacks to step up your blogging game (ft. free spreadsheet templates!)

As of last week, I have decided to occasionally participate in a weekly meme called Top Ten Tuesday, which was originally created by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s prompt is “back to school/learning freebie” – which got me thinking: What wisdom can other bloggers learn from me? And more importantly, what nugget of wisdom do I even have to offer in the first place?

Answer: spreadsheets. More specifically, spreadsheet hacks that you can use to become a more organized and more efficient blogger with, you know, nicer-looking spreadsheets.

If you’re the sort to follow me on Twitter (which I personally recommend you to do), then you’d know that I sort of, kind of, really like spreadsheets (both the Excel and Google kind) and talking about, ahem, spreadsheets.

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10 reasons to pick up Reign of Mist by Helen Scheuerer (& giveaway!)

Today marks the second #MistPH blog tour for Helen Scheuerer’s YA fantasy series, The Oremere Chronicles. Yep, you read that right: second. Around a year ago, the first #MistPH blog tour centered on Heart of Mist, the first book of the chronicles and Helen’s spectacular debut – can you believe it? 😱 (Honestly, I still haven’t! I am extremely grateful to Helen for working with me again!)

This time around, from today up until the 10th of September, we’ll be talking about the highly anticipated sequel, Reign of Mist, which is set to be released on September 13th (oh my god!!!). With 35 incredible blog tour participants, there is a lot of fun in store for the next two weeks!

Last year, I wrote 10 reasons to pick up Heart of Mist, which served as the starting point of the blog tour. This time, let’s kick off the second ever #MistPH blog tour with 10 things to look forward to in the thrilling, beautifully written second installment of The Oremere Chronicles, Reign of Mist. (Note: There are no significant spoilers in this post. Just a lot of me sCREAMING AT ALL OF YOU TO PICK UP THIS SERIES. Okay? Okay.)

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Mirage, by Somaiya Daud || This could be the sci-fi enemies-turned-lovers Sapphic romance we deserve (& a giveaway)


Title: Mirage
Author: Somaiya Daud
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy
Copy: Digital ARC
Rating:

* More about the book.
* More about the author.
* More about the blog tour.
* Purchase via Amazon or Book Depository.

Synopsis:

In a star system dominated by the brutal Vathek empire, eighteen-year-old Amani is a dreamer. She dreams of what life was like before the occupation; she dreams of writing poetry like the old-world poems she adores; she dreams of receiving a sign from Dihya that one day, she, too, will have adventure, and travel beyond her isolated moon.

But when adventure comes for Amani, it is not what she expects: she is kidnapped by the regime and taken in secret to the royal palace, where she discovers that she is nearly identical to the cruel half-Vathek Princess Maram. The princess is so hated by her conquered people that she requires a body double, someone to appear in public as Maram, ready to die in her place.

As Amani is forced into her new role, she can’t help but enjoy the palace’s beauty–and her time with the princess’ fiancé, Idris. But the glitter of the royal court belies a world of violence and fear. If Amani ever wishes to see her family again, she must play the princess to perfection…because one wrong move could lead to her death.

Review:

If I’m being totally honest, a lot of my expectations weren’t met – and I mean that in the best possible way. Somaiya Daud’s #OwnVoices, Moroccan-inspired dystopian debut novel delivered in a myriad of ways I never could have foreseen. Although I was expecting a thrillingly paced, adventure-filled narrative with incredibly high stakes and hard-hitting action, I found myself easily entranced by Daud’s wonderfully lush prose and charming cast of diverse characters.

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Book Bloggers I Love Just As Much As I Adore Chris Hemsworth (Um, sort of)

Even in my first few months as a blogger (which is, astonishingly, quite a long while ago), I habitually encountered popular memes like Top Ten Tuesday (TTT). However, out of laziness, I never sat down and worked on a prompt – but that all changes today!

In the past, I’ve tried one other weekly meme (i.e. The Friday 56 + Book Beginnings hosted by Freda and Gilon, respectively) only to eventually realize that it was not really working for me. With that said, I am hoping that TTT will be a more suitable fit.

Okay, that’s enough babbling on my part – Top Ten Tuesday was originally created by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. The prompt for this Tuesday is actually “books to pull you out of a reading slump” but I’ve decided to do the TTT prompt from a week prior, which was “favorite bookish blogs/websites”. Since my 22nd birthday was last Tuesday, I didn’t have the time to whip up a blog post.

Quick disclaimer: I’ll be (sort of) breaking the rules of the meme by expanding the list from ten to twenty. I will be enumerating 10 Filipino book bloggers and 10 US/international book bloggers in this post because, well, it’s really tough for me, okay! While there are a lot of book bloggers whom I am genuinely, totally heart-eyes emoji (😍) for, my fellow PH book bloggers occupy a special place in my heart that I cannot just ignore (I swear I’m not trying to be biased, but ya girl has to love her own!).

Honestly, I’m just trying to spread as much love and warm virtual hugs as I can! Without further ado, here are the twenty book bloggers who I love almost as much as I adore my god of thunder, Chris Hemsworth (in case you didn’t know, that’s like shit tons of love!!!).

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Wildcard, by Marie Lu || Wildly unpredictable in a ‘what is this hot mess’ kind of way.


Title: Wildcard
Author: Marie Lu
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Copy: ARC
Rating:

* More about the book.
* More about the author.
* Pre-order via Amazon or Book Depository.

Synopsis:

Emika Chen barely made it out of the Warcross Championships alive. Now that she knows the truth behind Hideo’s new NeuroLink algorithm, she can no longer trust the one person she’s always looked up to, who she once thought was on her side.

Determined to put a stop to Hideo’s grim plans, Emika and the Phoenix Riders band together, only to find a new threat lurking on the neon-lit streets of Tokyo. Someone’s put a bounty on Emika’s head, and her sole chance for survival lies with Zero and the Blackcoats, his ruthless crew. But Emika soon learns that Zero isn’t all that he seems–and his protection comes at a price.

Caught in a web of betrayal, with the future of free will at risk, just how far will Emika go to take down the man she loves?

Review:

It’s no secret that Wildcard, which is the second and final installment of Marie Lu’s Warcross, is one of the most highly anticipated sequels of 2018. I’m not even exaggerating when I say that I cannot scroll through the ‘#arcsfortrade’ and ‘#bookishwish’ hashtags without seeing this title at least 15 times. I’ve also read nothing but fervent praises and glowing reviews about Wildcard, so it basically sucks that I’m here to burst some people’s bubble with a strongly contradictory take: Wildcard is, in my opinion, so many kinds of awful that I don’t even know where to begin.

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#Augvocacy2018: Ask the Augvocates (Day 8) + book giveaway!

In case this is the first time you’ve heard of the (admittedly made-up) term ‘Augvocacy’, let me provide some quick context before we continue with the rest of this post.

If it isn’t obvious enough, ‘Augvocacy’ is a silly play on the words ‘August’ and ‘advocacy’, which can already give you a somewhat clear idea of what this event aspires to do: to bring together like-minded individuals in actively forwarding a particular advocacy throughout the month of August, which will hopefully carry over in small, indirect ways for the rest of the year. Participants of said event are referred to as Augvocates (💖). You can learn more about the origin of Augvocacy 2018 (or #Augvocacy2018) by reading my event launch post.

For 2018, twenty-four* (24) Filipino readers, bloggers (like me!), and authors are dedicating this month towards emphasizing a single message, that is, the importance of fostering a culture of reading in the Philippines.

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Are We All Lemmings & Snowflakes, by Holly Bourne || Mental health, important messages, & mixed feelings + GIVEAWAY


Title: Are We All Lemmings & Snowflakes
Author: Holly Bourne
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Copy: ARC
Rating:

* More about the book.
* More about the author.
* More about the blog tour.
* Purchase via Amazon or Book Depository.

Synopsis:

Welcome to Camp Reset, a summer camp with a difference. A place offering a shot at “normality” for Olive, a girl on the edge, and for the new friends she never expected to make – who each have their own reasons for being there. Luckily Olive has a plan to solve all their problems. But how do you fix the world when you can’t fix yourself?

Review:

I have only read two of Holly Bourne’s novels so far (the first one being It Only Happens in the Movies), and I love how she seamlessly incorporates her advocacies for social change into her works in a manner that doesn’t sideline them; rather, these ideas and messages are carefully placed front, center, and with just the right amount of in-your-face. Are We Lemmings & Snowflakes is not any different in that regard; at its heart, this contemporary novel thoughtfully and sensitively explores mental health.

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