I’m Leaving this Site…

This Duckie is moving to a new pond!

No worries my friends, I’m transitioning over from a “wordpress.com” site to a self-hosted WordPress “.com” site. I love my book blog and I want to do more with it! I’ll be posting further updates about the move and a final date this site will be an archives site and redirect folks to my new one.

For now, I’ll still be posting book review posts and whatnot while I’ll continue to construct my new site before it goes live.

Have a great day filled with books!

Comment below if you have any questions.

(Gifs: Giphy)

Manga Monday #22: “Maid-Sama!” by Hiro Fujiwara

 

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Maid-Sama! by Hiro Fujiwara is a shojo manga about a high school girl who secretly works at a maid café and falls for the most popular boy in her school. This story appears to be like any other ol’ typical shojo story but this one has a tiny twist: the female protagonist doesn’t care about the boy (until later).

Seika High class president Misaki Ayuzawa only cares about maintaining stability in her wild, mostly-male dominated school. It only has become co-ed until recently. Misaki’s distaste in men originates from her father abandoning the family while she was very young. To take care of her sick mom, Misaki serves customers in cute maid outfits after school to keep up with the bills.

Soon-to-be love interest Takumi Usui is the first person from Seika High to discover Misaki at her job.

The shojo manga I’ve read in the past always tend to be about a girl who falls in love with a guy, goes through a serious of obstacles, and finally lands a happy ending after an enduring test of love. Maid-Sama! takes on these familiar scenarios and flips it around a bit.

Throughout the series, Misaki and Takumi slowly form a deep relationship despite the craziness happening all around them. From time to time, Takumi saves Misaki’s maid identity from being uncovered while Misaki tries to figure out her true feelings for Takumi and keep their relationship alive. Takumi may be popular and rich, but he has some dark secrets of his own.

If you’re a big fan of shojo manga, I’d recommend this series. It’s a good one I haven’t read for a while.  I’m not finished with this story yet and I pray it has a fulfilling ending.

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The last kind of shojo manga I want to read is the love interest dying and the main character moves on with a sad smile on their face. Seriously, I read a series like that and I cried out of anger and sadness for the rest of the day.

(Source pics: Tumblr: Maid, Fireworks)

Comment below if you’ve read this manga or you have some shojo  series you’d like to share! 😉

Booksellers for Hungry New Age Readers

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For those who don’t know right now, I love reading books on occult/esoteric studies, ancient aliens, and lost civilizations. Besides purchasing from Amazon and searching through libraries, it’s hard to find exclusive New Age booksellers especially if you don’t live in a major city.

That tiny New Age section at Barnes & Noble rarely helps.

For those interested, I’ve listed a few New Age related booksellers like Lllewellyn Publications and Inner Traditions/Bear Company that may satisfy your cravings. The books listed along with each bookseller I’ve either reviewed, read in the past, or added to my “to-reads” list.

1. Adventures Unlimited Press

2.  A.R.E Press 

3. Hay House

4. Inner Traditions/Bear & Company

5. Llewellyn Publications

6. New Page Books

7. Summit Lighthouse

8.  Weiser Books

I hope all of the new age readers out there find the books you want!

(Pic Source: Tumblr)

If you know any booksellers or cool New Age books, feel free to comment below!

13 Helpful Freelance Writing Tips from the Renegade Writers

Full-time freelance writers Linda Formichelli and Diana Burrell created The Renegade Writer filled with useful tips for beginners and the experienced. These tips break the old-fashioned freelance writers’ traditions involved with SASEs (Self Addressed, Stamped Envelopes), query letters, and more.

I’ve read this book out of curiosity and found myself interested in a bit of freelance writing. This could be a new writing venture worth exploring.

Here are the thirteen helpful tips from reading The Renegade Writer:

(Note: this refers directly to writing articles)

1. Ideas are Everywhere!

Articles consist of a specific topic, keying in on the audience’s needs and/or curiosities. You can find inspiration online, magazines, books, and anywhere else where content is created. If you’re a frequent blogger, check out your most popular posts. These post topics may become articles for major publications.

2. Start With 300-500 Word Shorts

Start small.

Start writing 300-500 word content and see what it takes you from there. The more consistent you are writing them, the easier it’ll be when you start writing bigger articles your audience and publishers crave.

3. Don’t Isolate Yourself Only Writing What You Know

It’s okay to write on a subject outside your normal boundaries. What you may discover may end up in your list of favorite topics for writing. Plus, an editor may assign you to a subject you know little about.

Be prepared to do some research!

4. The More Research, the More Assignments

Part of freelance writing success is having an infinite supply of assignments benefiting your writing experience. Increasing your willingness to research expands your writing opportunities.

For example: If you’re known specifically to write about hiking in the Appalachians, you can expand your writing researching flora and fauna of the region, hiking hotels, best Appalachian summits for stargazing, and outdoor cooking recipes. Start hiking around the world and write about your discoveries in the foreign mountain regions.

Go beyond writing the usual articles like “How To Survive the Appalachian Trail Avoiding Psycho Bears and Wacky Mountain Hermits”.

5. Connect With Other Writers

Meet with other freelance writers, learning and sharing writing tips. You can find them on various Facebook groups, LinkedIn, and your local area via meetup.com. You’ll never know what valuable information you may receive. Better yet, it’s a great way to make new friends! 🙂

6. Network With Editors

Congrats for meeting a major publishing company editor! Tell them about yourself, your works, and you may end up with your first writing gig.

7. Create Many Articles for Many Publishers

Please don’t write one article expecting it to be the holy article of all articles and send it to only one publishing company. Keep writing and submitting!

8. Just Do the Query Letter

Query letters can be difficult, but you have to go through it. The more letters you write, the easier it will be. Show editors darn good reasons why they should consider you as their “go to” writer.

9. Show Off Your Writing Track Record

In some cases, you may add some info about your previous writing publications related to the article in your query letter. Don’t write a hundred page epic about it or it’ll end up sent to the editor’s epic shredder.

10. Send Query Letters Via E-Mail

This is a modern approach to sending editors your query letters. At this day and age with technology, people barely have time for snail mail. Make sure your publishing company accepts query emails.

11. Triple Check Your Query Letters

Make sure you query letters are sent to the right editor, right department, right company! Don’t send your query letter regarding your “30 Freaky Kama Sutra Positions” article to Parenting magazine when it was supposed to be Cosmopolitan.

And always check your letters for grammar, punctuation, and etc.

12. Request Gallery Proofs

Gallery proofs are editorial reviews of articles right before they’re published for the entire world to see. You want to know about any changes made in your articles.

13. Get Your Money

Make sure you get paid. Check out the publishing company you’re writing for is legit.

*~*~*~*~*~*

Need more tips? Purchase your copy of The Renegade Writer now and check out the site. Hope these tips will give you better insight into freelance writing!

(Pic Source: The Renegade Writer)

Comment below if you have read this book, you know any freelance writing books you’d recommend, or share your personal freelance writing experiences!

 

The Millionaire Fastlane Review

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The Millionaire Fastlane is one of the best books for aspiring entrepreneurs I’ve read so far this year! The title appears scammy but the book covers clearly authentic material.  The book was an immediate reliever after reading the unsettling Automatic Millionaire. Author MJ DeMarco offers a “no BS” guide to the millionaire lifestyle of your dreams. Take note: it’s a long path of dedication and hard work.

DeMarco began his self-made millionaire journey after his encounter with his dream car: a Lamborghini. What surprised him even more than the car was the owner, a young inventor. DeMarco thought if the young man could afford a Lambo, he could too. He built and sold a highly successful limousine directory website and the rest was history.

The Millionaire Fastlane is a wake up call to readers to take a leap of faith, acknowledge their own power to create money, and work like it’s nobody’s business. DeMarco states there are three paths of wealth people take: the Sidewalk, the Slowlane, and the Fastlane. Sidewalkers are always broke, Slowlaners depend on retirement wealth, and Fastlaners build money systems (multiple passive incomes, businesses, etc).

Here’s a closer look at the three:

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Sidewalkers

  • Complete consumers
  • Dependent on people to give them money all the time
  • Look rich but completely broke
  • Sometimes steal
  • Scheme people for money
  • Spend their entire paycheck on crap on payday then complain about not being paid enough

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Slowlaners

  • More productive than the Sidewalker but still tend to consume useless liabilities. Even go into debt for it.
    • Example: Going into credit card debt for a rarely used boat
  • Hoping to earn millions through a decent full-time job with low to average pay with an annual 1% salary increase
  • Returning to college (and further debt in the process)  for an advanced degree in hopes of receiving a higher paying job
  • Working for an employer for forty-five years and contributing money for a 401k in order to retire rich (if they don’t die first)

 

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Fastlaners

  • Complete producers
  • Creates businesses
  • Own multiple streams of passive income

 

This book shatters the old beliefs about becoming a millionaire. There’s no age or career requirements to be one. The only tools you need are your ideas, passion, and commitment.

Now, DeMarco states passion alone isn’t enough to gain ultimate wealth. I was confused by this statement until he presented an example of a woman’s passion for art. She was so enthralled with art that she opened up an art gallery/cafe. The business shut down a few months after it opened. The problem: it didn’t answer to people’s needs.

If you can figure out how your passion can solve problems, you have a successful business!

I loved how DeMarco pointed out the difference between being “interested” in creating a business and being committed. The person interested in making a business would only work on the idea for an hour a day twice a week while the committed one works seven hours a day, seven days a week.

The committed individual will go farther financially than the interested one. Staying committed is part of the millionaire fastlane process.

The Millionaire Fastlane has done a great job guiding readers out of the outdated financial beliefs that wealth is only reserved for the naturally talented and retired old folks.

Please read this book along with other “millionaire” books you may find and see which ones you should keep. Not long before I’ve created this review, I purchased my own copy. The notes I’ve written down from my previous library copy wasn’t enough. I had to have a copy of my own because I know for sure I’ll be reading it again and keeping it as my personal strategy guide.

(Pics: Getty Images *via Bustle* and Tumblr *Sponbebob skelelton & Great Gatsby DiCaprio*) 

Comment below if you’ve read this book or have any related book recommendations!

 

 

The Automatic Millionaire Review: “Be a Millionaire by Skipping Starbucks?”

The Automatic Millionaire, Expanded and Updated: A Powerful One-Step Plan to Live and Finish Rich by [Bach, David]

 

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Don’t know your way to a millionaire future?

Does climbing the corporate ladder lead you to being a millionaire? Maybe. Do you have the patience to find out?

What about having two or three jobs? Sounds stressful.

David Bach’s The Automatic Millionaire offers the stress-free solution to your millionaire goals: compound interest and cutting out your morning Starbucks latte. Now, these steps are great ideas until I realized it’s not the financial route I’d take for the long run. Kudos to Bach, they’re smart moves, but not something I would depend on for the rest of my life. There has to be more than watching my baby dollar grow into mega millions when I’m 85.

The Automatic Millionaire presents a luring cover promising readers a life filled with financially free paradises if they follow the book’s monetary guidelines. I was excited to read this book when I picked up my library copy then disappointed. This book reveals you’ll become a millionaire by the automation process of repeatedly paying yourself 10% of your paycheck, putting a couple of bucks into a 401k, and investing in a few mutual funds.

C’mon, that can’t be it!

This book is for those who don’t mind becoming millionaires when they reach their sixties and seventies. Try reading another book if you have decided to retire while you’re still young.

Parts of the Automatic Millionaire path is throwing out hard-to-keep budgets and morning lattes to save money. Sure, lattes are not necessary like bread and water, but you can simply learn how to make more money enough to keep buying lattes. Either way, deleting unnecessary expenses is a good start to greater financial awareness.

From previous financial books I’ve read, the key to making more money is to keep purchasing assets that’ll you give more money repeatedly. To me, that’s the “real” millionaire route. That way, you don’t have to think about trading your precious hours away for an average pay working for somebody else for thirty years.

There’s little in this book teaching readers how to make millions getting out of the employee mentality. An employee’s wage runs on a fixed income under a fixed time. Plus, Uncle Sam (the government) takes a bite out of your paycheck before it passes over to you.  Adding more income streams like real estate investments and businesses are solutions to a full, happy financial life.

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Money can be transformed into an unlimited supply. Your limited human lifespan can’t be extended while you wait for your millions to manifest.

Overall, The Automatic Millionaire is a great book for crazy spenders who want to be millionaires but have no concept how to use the money to invest in themselves first. This is not the book for those striving to be millionaire entrepreneurs.

One more tip: don’t use this book as your only “how to be a millionaire” book.  Please read more. Keep yourself financially educated.

Personal book recommendations:

(Gifs & Pic Sources: tenor, totalpeople, giphy)

Please comment below if you read this book or you have any personal financial book recommendations!