One year ago today – April 10, 2015 – I started this little blog. I thought maybe like 3 people would read it besides me. My parents and my husband. And even then, probably not all 3 at once. 😉
You, my dear more-than-three readers, have exceeded my wildest imaginations.
The first book I reviewed on the blog was Jaded by Varina Denman, a debut author who has become a friend over the course of this last year. Poor Jaded, though. It suffered from “first post syndrome”. I only wrote a tiny paragraph. I hadn’t found my “voice” yet. So, this would probably be a great book for me to re-review one of these soonish days and flesh out my thoughts a little more… now that I know more than 3 people are reading this thing. 🙂
These were the most viewed, most visited, most talked-about posts over the last year.
Thank you just doesn’t seem adequate.
Click on the graphic or the date to be taken to that post.
(Jane Austen graphic by mara sop)
Kissing Books 101, Lesson 1 and Lesson 2
And while I certainly loved all of the above, I also had a few additional favorites among the myriad I’ve written over the past year. This highlights post wouldn’t be complete without at least mentioning them.
I cut my author-interviewing teeth with some gracious debut authors (Varina Denman & Pepper Basham… you may have heard me mention them once or five hundred times) who were new to me at the time. It still seemed surreal to me that either of them would want to bother with me and my little blog, but oh goodness I’m so glad they did! And oh goodness, I didn’t know surreal until Melanie Dickerson agreed to do an interview. You see, I’ve been reading Melanie Dickerson’s books since her retelling of Sleeping Beauty released in 2010. That book (The Healer’s Apprentice) and her retelling of Beauty & the Beast (The Merchant’s Daughter) are both on my absolute essentials packing list, should I know ahead of time that I will be indefinitely stranded on a deserted island. So needless to say, as a newbie blogger/reviewer, I completely drooled all over poor Melanie. Flails aplenty in said interview. Fortunately, she still talks to me – something for which I’m very grateful 🙂
September 26, 2015
Speaking of fangirl flailing… I had the great privilege of meeting another of my absolute fave authors – Laura Frantz. AND I got to carry Pepper Basham around in my pocket for the day. Via iPhone, of course haha. She wanted to be there in person but she lives too far away from Kentucky, so we just FaceTimed her in LOL. Every time I think about that day, I still smile. Between my pocket Pepper, HUGGING LAURA FRANTZ (who, I am happy to report, is just as sweet and gracious and down-to-earth as you might imagine, perhaps even more so), and meeting some reading buddies – it was truly a dream-come-true day!
I think we all know by now about my
slightly-unhealthy crush on myJames, the hero in Carla Laureano’s debut novel Five Days in Skye. If you aren’t aware of this, well… either you’re just joining us (in that case, welcome!) or you haven’t been paying attention. 🙂 But beyond the fact that this post introduced me to myJames, I also tend to point back to this particular review as the moment I really figured out my “voice”. I’ve honed it since then, to be sure, and I’ve changed the format of my reviews a little as my writing has grown with my blog, but basically this post is where it started.
One of the things that I have enjoyed the most about the past year of blogging has been participating in Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. The topics are fun, and I’ve “met” so many awesome blogging friends in the process. My reading comfort zone has been stretched a little (and that’s never a bad thing), and I’ve had the chance to talk about some of the things I love the most – BOOKS, Christian fiction, my authorly friends, and bookishy quirks. This “Dear Book Genie” post from October gave me the opportunity to dream about how I would furnish my ideal reading room. You know, if space requirements and money weren’t issues 😉
This post from February is one of my very favorite Top Ten Tuesday posts that I’ve put together! The topic was on reading outside our comfort zone, and I had a blast coming up with these “blind dates” for books I’ve enjoyed that fall outside my typical genre. But then I didn’t really have time to promote it or network it, so I don’t think a lot of people ended up seeing it. Which made me sad. So yes, yes I am shamelessly putting it here in this list on this day in hopes that you will go enjoy it now 🙂
And this is really just a drop in the bucket! I haven’t even touched on all the authors who have blessed me with their gracious words of encouragement, with their friendships, with their books, with their laughter and with their prayers. If I started listing them here, I would inevitably leave someone out so I’m not going to try. But you probably know who you are – and if so you should know that I’m thinking about you as I type this paragraph. Thinking about you with all the bubble hearts in my repertoire.
When I look back over the past year… and look ahead to the next, I am in awe. Humbled. Honored. Full of love for my readers, my authors, and my BOOKS! And I’m overwhelmed at how Jesus has showered grace on me.
To thank you all for making it such a phenomenal first year of blogging, I want to offer you some special giveaways.
For starters, please check out my GIVEAWAYS page where I keep a running list of what’s being offered on the blog.
Also, make sure you register for the first annual Christian Fiction Author/Reader Retreat in Nashville on August 24th. Early Bird Discount is running through May 4th, and we’ve got two great giveaways to go along with it!
Buuuuuuuut…. wait! There’s MORE!
Giveaway #1: Christian Fiction (US only)
One winner will receive a surprise box – from my gently read collection – of Christian fiction. Around 6 titles. ARCS (advanced reader copies) may be included.
US Mailing Addresses only. (International readers, hang in there – I’ve got one for you too!)
Giveaway #2: General Market Fiction (US only)
One winner will receive a surprise box – from my gently read collection – of general market fiction. Around 6 titles. ARCS (advanced reader copies) may be included.
US Mailing Addresses only. (International readers, I promise! Hang in there – I’ve got one for you too!)
Giveaway #3: BookWorm’s Choice Prize Pack (open internationally)
If the winner has a US mailing address, he/she will receive the following:
- Choice of any one (1) Tea Light Sample Pack from Frostbeard Studios
- Choice of any one (1) item from The Shoppe, priced $13.00 or less.
- $5 gift card to choice of Starbucks, Amazon, or Barnes & Noble
If the winner has an international mailing address, he/she will receive the following:
- $30 gift card to choice of bookstore or book-related gift shoppe, as long as I am able to send it electronically!
Again… always… thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for making this such a fantastic first year!
~I love you all~