Throwback to my best posts of 2019

I have grouped together the top 5 posts from the 120 articles posted on my blog in 2019 for you to enjoy.

The Top 5 Best Blog Posts of 2019


What Banned Books Week is all about

Posted:  10 June 2019 (123 views)

I love sharing posts on my blog written by other authors.  This one was by Fantasy author Andrew McDowell and is the most viewed post of the year!  Follow the link to the post to discover more about him and his books.

Please let me know if you would like to write a post for my blog. 


Literary Dates Calendar

Posted:  8 January 2019 (57 views)

I am pleased this post was so popular as it took a long time to create and a lot of research.  I basically wanted to help other writers by creating a calendar with useful literary dates.  For example it has Twitter pitch events and book festivals.

This now has its own dedicated calendar page.  Click here.


Handwrite to Boost Creativity

Posted:  25 February 2019 (45 views)

I used to always write my stories by hand but since going digital I don’t have as much need for a notebook. I still get an excited feeling when I see one and after an Instagram challenge to write somewhere different I  rediscovered my love of notebooks.

This post reflects on how writing by hand can boost your creativity and my own personal experience with this.

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Writers Hashtags Collection

This series started in October through to November.  The fact it was posted towards the end of the year and still made the list shows how popular it has been.

The most popular in the collection was Part 6 (Insta Hashtags for Writers For Each Month) with 38 views.  I felt it would be more meaningful to give you the full collection rather than list all the parts below that made the top 5.

Writers Beware

Writers beware! Know who you are querying…

This post is a cautionary tale.  I always research who I am querying and spend a lot of time on it.  I know how exciting it can be to hear an agent or publisher are interested in your novel.  But check out who else they have signed and how their experience was.

There have been a few occasions I have felt the interested party may not be who they say they are and it feels like pop-up publishers are becoming more common.  I have spent years on my novel and refuse to sign with someone I don’t feel confident can deliver on their promises.  This is one of the reasons I have now chosen to self publish.

My About Me Page

During 2019, I wrote a blog post (About Me – Spring Clear). It was about making sure your About Me page is up-to-date on your website.  It is one of the first pages you crate and easy to forget about.

I was shocked how out of date mine was and wrote a post to help prompt other to update theirs too.  I’m glad I did.  My About My Page has had 79 views!

Guess what? I checked it when writing this post and it needs updating again!  If you haven’t checked your About Me page in a while, go check it out.  In the meantime, here is mine:  About Me (page)

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Book Review: The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa

I took my son to the library to exchange his books (or renewal and get more books).  Whilst he was struggling with the dilemma of  choosing his new books and returning books he loves, my husband pointed this book out to me.  I have always wanted to write a novel about faeries so this was to be a fun read and research into how someone else has done it.

The MC is a boy called Ethan Chase.  I don’t read many books with a male protagonist so this was a refreshing change and it was done well.   Skip to my final thoughts it you don’t want any spoilers.


 Ethan is aware fae exist and has a troubled past with them.   In the opening chapters he shares how they are dangerous and the result of their interference in his life has lead to him being expelled from schools and blamed for a fire he didn’t cause. 

Ethan is starting another new school. On his first day, he stands up for a boy being bullied, Todd. Nobody else can see that Todd has long furry ears but it is because he is a half-fae.  Ethan doesn’t want to be friends with Todd as he distances himself from all fae.  He also doesn’t like Todd’s wee fairy companion.

Ethan also attracts the attention of Mackenzie, who wants to interview him for the school paper.  He tries to push Mackenzie away as anybody that gets close to him always gets hurt but she is persistent.  


A  deadly new type of fairy are consuming fae and half-fae.  Todd asks for Ethan’s help.  At first Ethan doesn’t want to get involved but he takes pity and agrees.  Unfortunately, Todd is taken and now the creatures are coming after Ethan.  Ethan is at a martial arts tournament where Mackenzie is trying to get his story but during the tournament the deadly fae come for him.  Nobody else can see them.  Ethan runs.  Mackenzie follows.  

Ethan needs to keep Mackenzie safe. He makes a choice to use a special object his sister gave him to transport into the fae world.  They are greeted by a cat, Grimalkin, who knows the way to the Iron Kingdom where his sister, Meghan, is queen.   The journey is dangerous but when they arrive his sister wants to keep him safe.  They are sent to a room to ‘rest’ but feels more like prison.  When Ethan and Mackenzie get the opportunity to escape with the help of Keirran. 

On their mission to rescue Todd, there are a lot of truths uncovered which I won’t go into.  Their are fights.  There were some very interesting characters along the way.  I liked Kierran’s love interest and the exiled queen and the cheeky little gremlin.  

They travel to the earth and are attacked again. They manage to escape to the in-between and learn how serious the problem is.  They visit Hyde Park to follow a lead but things get worse for the gang when the nephew is taken prisoner.

Something I really enjoyed was the slow burning romance between the Ethan and Mackenzie. There is plenty of conflict between them and good reasons why they hold back. I couldn’t wait for them to get together.  

The Ending

The build up to a battle where Ethan has to save his friends (and nephew) was worth it.  There were also some reveals that I hadn’t seen coming and I liked that the supporting characters were well developed too. 

Finally Thoughts…

There were a few times Ethan annoyed me.  He blames himself for Todd being kidnapped but I didn’t really see why it was his fault, after all, Todd was a fairy and hung around with the fae.  Ethan made it clear that doing that meant trouble was inevitable.  I got that he felt responsible for what happened to Mackenzie but she wouldn’t leave him alone.  She did bring it on herself too.  

What I loved was how all the characters were well developed.  You could easily tell who was speaking and they all had rich backstories.  There were plenty of magical creatures and I loved the world building especially the ‘in-between’ world.  

I hadn’t realised the book was part of a series (it’s book 5 in the Iron Fey series).  I was really pleased when I discovered that as I wanted to read more.  I wonder if some of the things that didn’t click with me is because I need to read the other books.  For example, I want to know more about Meghan and why she is the Iron Queen and why Ethan holds so much resentment for the Iron Fey.  

If you like this post, you will enjoy:

Why I love YALC

Book Review: Deepest Blue by Sarah Beth Durst

Book Review: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Book Review:  Blind Tiger by Rachel Vincent

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Thank you for helping me reach 200+ Followers

This is a really quick post as I can’t believe my blog now has over 200+ followers!  Wow!

Thank you.  I couldn’t have done it without all you amazing people who click ‘follow’.  It means so much to me.  That’s why I follow back most people who follow me.

When I first started blogging, I was scared to click post.  I had this fear people would judge my writing and laugh at my amature content.  I was intimidated by the thought of coming up with subjects to write and thought I would run out of ideas or be boring.

At the time, I had no idea how much I would enjoy blogging.  I have suprised myself with how I always have a generous stream of ideas for blog posts.  The most challenging this has been finding the time to write and take pictures for posts.  I’ve learnt to schedule my posts to space them out and this also keeps me organised.

This year is the first year I have been consistent throughout.  I used to post immediatley and I’d end up with a batch together.  Learning to schedule is one of the most useful tools I have discovered. 

Blogging has been a big commitment and I once my daughter was born I had to reduce my schedule a little.  But, I couldn’t stop bloggin now.  I love it! 

There will defiitley be more blogging next year.  I am seriously considering paying for my blog as I use it every week and love interacting with others that share my interests.  

To some people 200 might not seem a lot but for me it is.  I am really proud of myself and I’m daring to set myself a goal to double my followers by the end of next year.  Can you imagine that!

I hope you are loving your blogging journey too. 

Please comment and let me know how long you have been blogging and what you blog about.  Do you pay for your blog – do you recommend it? 

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Blogging learnt the hard way

Happy Birthday to my blog

I can’t believe that today is my blogs first birthday.  I feel that I’ve learnt so much and yet, I still have so much to learn.

Here are the three lessons I have learned – the hard way:

1.  When three become one

I started with three blogs on Word Press. Three blogs!  I did it to split up the content:

Plus, I was still posting to Blogger as a back up plan… just in case I didn’t take to Word Press.

I now can see what a mistake that was. It was a lot of work to keep all of them running and current.  This year, I am planning to just post straight to ‘Alison Aldridge’.

2.  Be personal

I was trying to keep my blog professional and leave my personal life out of it. I didn’t think people would be interested in hearing about me.

But, when my life is busy, it’s hard to write about the other stuff and it would be easier just to share with my readers what I’m up to.  I can already see I’ve got an eventful year ahead so moving forward, you can expect to see a few more personal posts.

3.  Be brave

I’ve found that if I want to review something I should contact the company because sometimes they will support you with it.  Saal Digital posted on Instagram asking for bloggers and I applied.  I thought I had no chance but was happily mistaken and now I am the proud owner of a beautiful photo book of my son.

Bouncing of my previous success, I’ve bravely approached a company whose service I’d like to use and asked if I could review them on my blog.  They kindly awarded me ‘Gold Membership’.  Stay tuned to see my review of this – I will reveal soon…  (this is one for the writers).

The future

There is loads more I’ve learnt but the above are the three lessons that stand out the most.  I’ve also still a lot more to learn too.

I’d really like to get into vlogging too – I just cringe at the sound of my voice (and sight of my face – lol).  Plus, I’ve no clue about editing a video. Please comment with links if you can help me or to your vlog so I can see what you do and learn.