Top 5 of 2022

9 Jan

I’m continuing on with trying to get back to the posts I did pre-baby. We’ll see how this goes. I used to do a Top 5 of the year and that sounds so fun right now so I’m excited to get back to it!

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5. Vessel by Lisa A. Nichols. In retrospect, maybe I should have rated this one higher. It was a fun story to get sucked into and I liked the sci-fi writing and understanding what was going on in the future world where we have visited other planets. Katherine was pretty relatable given everything she’d gone through. It was pretty dark at times, but I’m not sure there was another way to tell the story because her story isn’t one that could have a happy ending. Maybe three stars was a bit low.

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4. A House at the Bottom of a Lake by Josh Malerman. I’m surprising myself with this pick, but I can’t talk myself out of it. This was a fun, quick read and I enjoyed the tension Malerman had through the whole book. I’m not normally one for horror or suspense, but he got me to love his character and the unbelievable things they found at the bottom of the lake. Their teenage, summer romance interspersed on top of it made for a wonderfully layered short story.

445101813. Malorie by Josh Malterman. Wow, I guess I’m really toting Josh Malerman in this post. I was skeptical with the sequel to Bird Box because I loved the original so much. The movie was OK but a lot changed. I wondered how many of those changes would make their way into Malorie or if it would be more true to the book. All of my fears were brushed aside quickly and I was sucked into Malorie’s world. It started off with a great scene that just continued to get better and better. I loved the kids and how much they now had to take care of their mother. I felt it wrapped up a little too cleanly a little too quickly, but I still loved the rollercoaster this book took me on.

61khbbtpixl2. My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows. This was a fun ride. I really enjoyed the funny take on Tudor England and how much the authors wove history and fiction together. There were some great throw-away lines that referenced pop culture that had me laughing out loud while I listened. I might have to jump back into these books again in 2023, if only for the laughs.

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1. Troubled Blood by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling). This was far and away my favorite read of the year. I blew through it: over 900 pages in 10 days. I loved how intricate the mystery was and how it was unraveled. I’m hoping to read the next in this series soon because I really enjoyed it. This was one of my few Five Star reads this year and it’s well deserved.

Not my best year of books, but I’m optimistic about next year. Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.
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2022 in Books

5 Jan

I haven’t done this for a few years but thought I’d pick it up again. It’s a great way to reflect on my reading year.

I read 24 books in 2022. My goal was 15 so I’ve exceeded it by 9! After failing to meet it in 2021, I set a low bar so this is very welcome. I’m going to try to do meet 24 again in 2023 and see how that goes.

I read 7,744 pages. That’s fewer than 2021 by about 700, so not terribly far off. I read a lot of shorter books this year, so I’m not surprised by that. I’ve been making an effort the past month to read instead of scrolling social media and I’m hoping that will help me increase this for 2023.

The shortest book I read was the Shades of Magic: The Steel Prince graphic novels. Graphic novels tend to be shorter so I’m not surprised this 112 page story came in at the shortest. The longest was Troubled Blood at 944 pages. The funny thing is how fast I read this one! I was so absorbed I read it in 10 days. Both of these were ebook reads, which is funny with how much I have struggled with ebooks in the past. You get a lot of ebook time when you’re nursing an infant! My average book was 322 pages, which feels about right for the books I like to pick up.

My average rating was a 3.2. This doesn’t surprise me because I felt like I struggled with a lot of my books this year and let them languish because I wasn’t enjoying them.

5 Stars: 2
4 Stars: 5
3 Stars: 13
2 Stars: 4

This supports how I felt about reading this year. It was very middle-of-the-road in a lot of ways. I’m hoping I can find some books I enjoyed more in 2023!

Thanks for taking a look at stats with me! If you’ve been here a while, you know I love numbers and book-related numbers are the best.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.

WWW Wednesday, 4-January-2023

4 Jan

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

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The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


REAL QUICK! If you haven’t heard, I’m running the When Are You Reading? Challenge for the tenth year! Please consider joining in for this landmark year!

Currently reading: I’m back to Sophie’s Choice by William Styron now that my challenge-related priorities have wrapped themselves up. Maybe I won’t need a fourth renewal of this one from the library? Though I probably will.
I started the audio for Any Way the Wind Blows (Simon Snow #3) by Rainbow Rowell. It’s no surprise I’m absolutely in love with it. I love Rowell’s writing and this is no exception. It’s a longer story, which I’m excited about since it will last me a while.
I was a bit iffy on what my next ebook would be. I ended up putting holds on five books and I was excited when the first hold to come in was Ready Player Two by Ernest Cline! I hope this one doesn’t wallow in ebook purgatory as some others have.

Recently finished: The push to finish my reading challenges paid off! I wrapped up Soldiers’ Pay by William Faulkner on December 30th with little time to spare! I think some of my unenjoyment was because of how choppy my reading was. Maybe in a shorter time span, I would have liked it more. My review is forthcoming (I know I’m behind!) but I’m giving it a 2 out of 5 Star review for now.
Thankfully, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho was a short audiobook so I was able to fly through that as well! I took advantage of cleaning and driving time to make it happen. It was a great story and I can see why it’s studied in schools and popular for people to read more than once. Another review that needs to be done. For now, I’m giving it 4 out of 5 Stars.

Reading next: I’m at a loss for what book format I’ll need next. Knowing me, it will probably be either an ebook or an eaudiobook. I’m up in the air on ebooks since I put so many on hold. I have no idea what the next one to come in will be. For an eaudiobook, I think I’ll go for Mexican White Boy by Matt de la Peña. It’s one I got as a free download from my library that’s been lingering on my list for far too long.

Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.

Challenge Update, Fourth Quarter 2022

3 Jan

Reading didn’t come easily to me last year. I was learning how to be a mom to a toddler and it took a lot of mental capacity. I’m proud of all the reading I did manage, as scrappy as it was at times. You can look at my progress at any time on my challenge page.

Books finished in October, November, and December

Like No Other by Una LaMarche (4/5)
Easy Prey by Catherine Lo (2/5)
Mississippi Trial, 1955 by Chris Crowe (3/5)
Powering Up by Anne Doyle (3/5)
My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows (4/5)
The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant (3/5)
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (4/5)
Soldiers’ Pay by William Faulkner (2/5)

This is very audio-heavy. I was stuck on my ebook for months and my physical book is driving me crazy so I’ve relied on audio to get me through for the last bit. I owe a few reviews still. I had a big push to finish some reading challenges at the end and didn’t make enough time for reviews but I will get to them!

When Are You Reading? Challenge

12/12
By the skin of my teeth, but I made it. I finished Soldier’s Pay on December 30th which filled the 1900-1919 time period for me. Within the same week, I finished The Birth of Venus on audio which filled the 1300-1499 time period, one I often struggle with. So much happened in that time period, but it’s not as common for historical fiction. I’m glad Dunant tends to write of older times. I also sped through The Alchemist on audio. I made good use of some cleaning time and a bunch of car time and adored this short book. The setting is a little vague so I used the publication date which fit it in the 1980-1999 time period. It was a push, but I finished it and it’s never felt this good before!

Goodreads Challenge

24/15
This went so much better than expected and now I’m unsure of where to set the bar for 2023. Can I expect the stay this course? Read more? Will it go down with the toddler? I’m taking a shot in the dark any way I go.

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Book of the Quarter

I enjoyed My Lady Jane by Hand, Ashton, and Meadows more than I thought I would. I loved the humor and the alternative history was so fun to read. This was unlike any other book I’ve read and I thought it was really fun. I might have to explore the other books by this team, especially if they give me some hard time periods!

Added to my TBR

Making my way back down. I’m at 41 and I felt like I added so many that I’m surprised it’s that low! Will I ever get under 20?!

  • The Story of My Life // Hellen Keller. I thought I needed this one for my challenge last year but I’m going to hang on to it for the 2023 challenge instead!
  • The Lincoln Highway // Amor Towles. I went to a virtual event where Towles was interviewed by Erik Larson and I got a signed copy of this. The sad thing is, that was about 9 months ago. I forgot to add it to my TBR since then. Whoops.
  • Salt to the Sea // Ruta Sepetys. I like this author and my sister in law told me she adored this book. I got a copy in Spanish for Christmas so I’m planning for this to be my Spanish read for 2023!
  • Scattered Showers // Rainbow Rowell. What can I say? I’m a sucker for Rowell.
  • Choosing to Run // Des Lindon. I’ve been following Lindon’s career since she won the Boston Marathon in 2018. She’s from my state and I’m always impressed by her determination.
  • Beyond the Wand // Tom Felton. I feel like this doesn’t need much explanation. I’m pumped!

How did your challenges go? I hope to not push it so close to the end next year! I’m hosting again so you can click here to learn more and let me know if you want in.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.

Let’s go! The 2023 When Are You Reading? Challenge Starts Today!

1 Jan

when are you reading 2023

Today is the first day for the 2023 When Are You Reading? Challenge! I hope you’ll consider taking on the challenge and joining me. This is the tenth year! Yes, the tenth! There’s not a lot of things I’ll do for ten years straight, but this is one.

The premise of the challenge is to read one book from each of twelve time periods. It’s up to the reader where a book lies. You can do it based on publication date or setting, whatever you want. Feel free to switch it up, too. I did make a small update this year. For those who have been doing the challenges multiple years, if there are time periods you find very challenging (like I do for the 1300-1499 time period), let me know and we can make changes moving forward.

The challenge is located here. If you’d like to participate, leave me a comment somewhere on the blog letting me know and giving me a link to your challenge page or post. I’ll add a link to my challenge page so other readers can visit you and see what you’ve been reading. 

The time periods are:

  • Pre 1200 [UPDATED]
  • 1300-1499 [UPDATED]
  • 1500-1699
  • 1700-1799
  • 1800-1899
  • 1900-1919
  • 1920-1939
  • 1940-1959
  • 1960-1979
  • 1980-1999
  • 2000-Present
  • The Future

I do hope you’ll consider joining me. I’ve had a lot of fun with this challenge over the past several years and I’m looking forward to doing it again.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.

WWW Wednesday, 28-December-2022

28 Dec

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

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The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


Currently reading: I’ m finally feeling motivated to finish Soldiers’ Pay by William Faulkner. I was unsure I’d finish my reading challenge so my motivation to get this one checked off was low for a while. Now that I see the light, I want this one done! I’ll keep pushing on but it will be close!
I’ve let Sophie’s Choice by William Styron take a bit of a back seat while I finish my ebook. I’ll get back to it in the new year.
I’m happy to say I’m flying through The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. It’s a short audiobook and I was over half way through it the first day I downloaded it! That felt so good after feeling like I wasn’t going to complete this challenge for so long. Sometimes, you just need a short book to be motivated again.

Recently finished: I was able to wrap up The Birth of Venus by Sarah Durant! There was some holiday baking that lent itself well to powering through this audiobook. Combine that with traveling to see a friend’s new baby (I will drive pretty far to hold a 6 day old child) and I threw myself a little party for finishing another book. The review is not a priority for me right now as I try to finish other books first, so it might be a week or so. So far, I’m giving it Three out of Five Stars, but my ratings sometimes change as I dwell on them so we’ll see if that’s where I ultimately land.

Reading next: I’m hoping to get lucky with an eaudiobook of Any Way the Wind Blows (Simon Snow #3) by Rainbow Rowell. There’s only one copy available and I hope it’s available when I need it. These books are fun and I need some fun reading after having a few books I slogged through. Wish me luck!

Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.

WWW Wednesday, 21-December-2022

21 Dec

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


Currently reading: I keep pecking away at Soldiers’ Pay by William Faulkner. I know I need to buckle down and finish this one so I’m trying to do it more and more! I’m about 3/5 of the way through the book. I think I can push through and make it!
I’ve still not found my stride with Sophie’s Choice by William Styron. I don’t feel a huge rush to finish this one so I’m going to let it stew for a while. I’m hoping that I find something to enjoy in it soon so I pick it up more.
I’m so close to finishing The Birth of Venus by Sarah Durant! I have a few days off before Christmas so I’ll try to do some baking and finish this up! I’m really determined to finish my reading challenges.

Recently finished: Nothing again. But next week! Next week will be it! I’m pushing.

Reading next: I’ll remain optimistic about fitting in The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho before the end of the year. It will be tight but I think I can do it!

Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.

WWW Wednesday, 14-December-2022

14 Dec

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


But Wait! First thing before we dive into it. I announced my 2023 When Are You Reading? Challenge on Monday and I’m so excited about it! If you want to learn more, please view that post or check out the Challenge Homepage. I hope some of you will choose to join in!

Currently reading: I made some progress Soldiers’ Pay by William Faulkner this week, but probably not enough. I hate reading on my phone before bed so I’ve found some other time to pick this up, but not a lot. I really need to focus on it if I want to finish my challenge!
I’m kind of bored in Sophie’s Choice by William Styron right now. I’m about 100 pages in and nothing has been very compelling so far. I hear this story gets very emotional at the end, but I’m not there yet and I’m wishing I was because this is dragging on and on.
Fortunately, I’m still moving forward well in The Birth of Venus by Sarah Durant and I expect I’ll have it finished by next week! This one picked up for me and I had some long car rides where I was able to knock out a few hours last week. With the weather getting colder, runs are less frequent so I’m appreciating the longer drives for that reason.

Recently finished: I feel more confident I’ll have something next week so stay tuned!

Reading next: I think I’ll still be able to squeeze in The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho by the end of the year. It should be a fast one but I’ll be cutting it close.

Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.

Announcing the 2023 When Are You Reading? Challenge!

12 Dec

when are you reading 2023

It’s back again! I’ll be running the When Are You Reading? Challenge yet again in 2023. 2022 was a challenging year for me to read so much and I’m hoping things get a little easier in 2023. I think this is a good challenge for me to still aim to complete since it’s a relatively low number of books.

The premise of the challenge is to read one book from each of twelve time periods. It’s up to the reader where a book lies. You can do it based on publication date or setting, whatever you want. Feel free to switch it up, too. I did make a small update this year. For those who have been doing the challenges multiple years, if there are time periods you find very challenging (like I do for the 1300-1499 time period), let me know and we can make changes moving forward.

The challenge is located here. If you’d like to participate, leave me a comment somewhere on the blog letting me know and giving me a link to your challenge page or post. I’ll add a link to my challenge page so other readers can visit you and see what you’ve been reading. 

The time periods are:

  • Pre 1200 [UPDATED]
  • 1300-1499 [UPDATED]
  • 1500-1699
  • 1700-1799
  • 1800-1899
  • 1900-1919
  • 1920-1939
  • 1940-1959
  • 1960-1979
  • 1980-1999
  • 2000-Present
  • The Future

I do hope you’ll consider joining me. I’ve had a lot of fun with this challenge over the past several years and I’m looking forward to doing it again.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.

WWW Wednesday, 7-December-2022

7 Dec

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


Currently reading: I didn’t do great with Soldiers’ Pay by William Faulkner this week but I’m keeping it top of mind. I’m still determined to finish it up! Knowing I have a deadline is hugely motivating.
There hasn’t been much movement with Sophie’s Choice by William Styron either. My toddler is exhausting us in the evening and I keep collapsing into bed at night, too tired to pick it up. I’m not in a rush to finish so I’m OK with this taking some time.
Where I saw a lot of movement this week was The Birth of Venus by Sarah Durant. I had an event on Saturday that was over an hour drive each way so I took a good chunk out of this one! I’m glad to say I’m making progress somewhere, even if it’s not everywhere. I’m feeling like I’ve lined my books up well to finish my challenge by the end of the year!

Recently finished: Nothing new this week. I’m not confident I’ll have something next week, either. I’ll keep pushing forward, though. Slowly but surely.

Reading next: The plan is still to wrap up the year with The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho to finish my reading challenges. I’m feeling great at this one so we’ll see how it all ends!

Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.