It’s my FIRST blogiversary! (plus some giveaways!)

April 10, 2016 giveaway 164

first blogiversary

Y’all.

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. πŸ˜‰

You, my dear more-than-three readers, have exceeded my wildest imaginations.

Thank you.

my first post

Jaded

The first book I reviewed on the blog wasΒ Jaded by Varina Denman, a debut author who has become a friend over the course of this last year. PoorΒ Jaded, though. It suffered from “first post syndrome”. I only wrote a tiny paragraph. I hadn’t found my “voice” yet. Β 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. πŸ™‚

posts yall loved

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.

September 29, 2015

books to read if you love jane austen

(Jane Austen graphic by mara sop)

August 11, 2015

authors i've read the most

September 15, 2015

best book boyfriends

Kissing Books 101, Lesson 1 and Lesson 2

August 25, 2015 & February 9, 2016

kissingbooks 101

April 2, 2016

swooniest heroes

my fave posts

And while I certainly loved all of the above, I also had a few additionalΒ favorites among the myriad I’ve written over the past year. This highlights post wouldn’t be complete without at least mentioning them.

Melanie Dickerson

My Interview with Melanie Dickerson, April 30, 2015

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’tΒ know surreal until Melanie Dickerson agreed to do an interview. Β You see, I’ve been reading Melanie Dickerson’s books since her retelling of Sleeping Beauty released in 2010. Β 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 πŸ™‚

LF and ME

The Day I Met Laura Frantz (or the Adventures of Pocket Pepper)

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. Β Every time I think about that day, I still smile. Between my pocket Pepper, HUGGING LAURA FRANTZ (who, I am happy to report, isΒ 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!

five days in skye

My review of Five Days in Skye, April 21, 2015

I think we all know by now about my slightly-unhealthy crush on myJames, the hero in Carla Laureano’s debut novelΒ 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. πŸ™‚ Β But beyond the fact that this postΒ introduced me to myJames, I also tend to point back to this particular review as the moment I really figured out my “voice”. Β 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.

dear book genie

“Dear Book Genie”, October 20, 2015

One of the things that I have enjoyed the most aboutΒ 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. Β You know, if space requirements and money weren’t issues πŸ˜‰

blind date with a book

Blind Date With a Book, February 23, 2016

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 πŸ™‚

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. Β Thinking about you with all the bubble hearts in my repertoire.

giveaways blogiversary

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!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Giveaway #2: General Market Fiction (US only)Β 

One winner will receive a surprise box – from my gently read collection – of general marketΒ 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!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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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 ofΒ 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!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Again… always… thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for making this such a fantastic first year!

~I love you all~

Carrie

164 Responses to “It’s my FIRST blogiversary! (plus some giveaways!)”

  1. Deana Dick

    I love all the books and reviews you post. The blog is very pretty and really stands out. Thanks for introducing me to amazing authors. Congrats on your anniversary.

  2. DeAnna Dodson

    This is such a delightful blog. I can’t believe you’ve been doing this for only a year. May you have many more happy reviews, recaps and recommendations! πŸ˜€

    • Carrie

      Thank youuuuuuu, Deanna!!! I have so enjoyed getting to know you through your comments and emails!! πŸ˜€

  3. Dad

    I read your reviews. At least some of them. I’m proud of you, daughter, and of how you have let God use you to encourage authors and readers through this blog. Happyblogiversary!

  4. Gabrielle Meyer

    I’m so in awe of all you do for Christian Fiction. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for promoting and loving the books that you review. I get excited about these books and authors when I stop by your blog, because you’re excited. Congrats on one year of blogging! I’m looking forward to meeting you in Nashville in August! And I totally relate to your Laura Frantz pictures and comments. That will be me in Nashville. πŸ™‚

    • Carrie

      Awwww, Gabrielle! Thank you <3 I so cherish this comment!!! Cannot wait to meet you in person in Nashville where we can fangirl flail together πŸ˜‰

  5. Laura@125Pages

    Happy blogiversary Carrie! I always enjoy stopping by and seeing what you are reading and your fab Top Ten Tuesday posts.

    Here’s to much more in your second year and beyond!

    • Carrie

      Thanks, Laura! I’ve so enjoyed finding you through TTT & reading your posts each week πŸ™‚

  6. Kathryn Voss

    Congratulations! I love the featured books and learning more bout them. Thank you!!!!

  7. Kathryn Voss

    I’d love to see more author interviews and behind the scenes of favorite books. (o:

    • Carrie

      I’ve got a lot of author interviews coming this month, so stay tuned! Behind the scenes is a great idea, Kathryn! Thank you πŸ™‚

  8. SusanR

    Congratulations. I always look forward to your reviews – just ‘found’ you recently so I didn’t know that this was your first year! Great job.

  9. Andria Maus

    Happy blogaversary! I’m new to your blog, but enjoy it very much. I already have so many more books for my reading list! Thank you!

    • Carrie

      Thank you, Jill! I’ve enjoyed getting to know you & your blog this year too πŸ™‚

  10. Tracey Hagwood

    Congratulations on your first year Carrie! I’m a fairly new follower, but I have already backtracked some of those posts you listed. I especially like the top ten Tuesday. We seem to like a lot of the same books so when I see some new ones you love I take that opportunity to add them to my future reading list. Continued blessings on your next year.

    • Carrie

      Thank you, Tracey! I love finding new kindred reading spirits πŸ™‚ It means so much that you enjoy the top ten Tuesday posts!

  11. Sheri

    I just found your blog…I am an elementary media specialist who loves reading!! I love your blog name!!

  12. Mom

    So proud of you, honey! Every time you give a book a good review, it makes me want to read it!
    Love you for what you’ve accomplished, but also just for who you are. If God put all the book reviewers in one big room and told me I could pick whichever one I wanted, do you know which one I’d pick?…..πŸ’•πŸ’•. Happy first anniversary!

  13. Deanna S

    Congratulations on your 1st year! I like what you are doing.. don’t see where you would need to change anything πŸ™‚

  14. Patty

    Happy 1st anniversary!

    I always enjoy hearing what other avid readers think about some of the books I read, and also suggestions for new authors to try.

  15. Rel Mollet

    Congratulations, dear Carrie! You’ve made a real splash in the book reviewing pond and I know you’ll keep growing πŸ™‚

    Time will fly and you’ll be celebrating more milestones sooner than you think. I hit 10 years in September with Relz Reviewz – still getting my head around that!

    • Carrie

      Wow – 10 years!!! I can’t imagine! lol! Thank you, Rel, for all of your encouragement! πŸ™‚

  16. Rebecca F

    Happy Blogiversary to you! So excited to see how much you’ve accomplished in just one year. What I enjoy about the blog is learning about new books I haven’t read and what’s coming out. Also love the reviews so I can get an idea about if it’s something I might want to read or not. And, of course, I love giveaways so that’s always a plus!

  17. Lis K

    Congratulations on your anniversary! I enjoy your book reviews because I am either looking out for new books or wonder if other people felt the same about a book that I read.

  18. Annie JC

    Happy happy Blog Birthday! It’s been such a great ride every since I’ve discovered your blog! So much fun! I love every one of your topics and can’t wait to go back in the archives. Apparently I missed quite a few! Thanks for such great giveaways too!

    • Carrie

      Thank you, my friend! I have had a blast getting to know you!!! Looking so forward to our lunch in May πŸ˜€

  19. Debbie Clatterbuck

    Happy Anniversary!! You should definitely include more author interviews and giveaways are always welcome.

  20. Heidi Robbins

    Happy blogiversary! I love your reviews and the specialty posts where you come up with a theme and list books that fit under it. Keep up the great work! πŸ™‚

    • Carrie

      Thanks, Heidi!!! I’ve so enjoyed getting to know you through blogging & reviewing πŸ™‚

  21. Susan P

    Happy blogiversary!! I love reading about the books – I find new authors this way. πŸ™‚

  22. Nancy M

    Happy Blogiversary! So glad I have gotten to know you and meet you in person and fan girl with you! Looking forward to doing more of that! What a fun day that was!

    • Carrie

      YES, Nancy – so much fun!!! We definitely need to do it again sometime soon πŸ™‚

  23. Justina Wilson

    Happy Blogiversary! Thank you for the Awesome Opportunity to Win on Your Big Day! I look forward to reading many that you have told us about! Be Blessed!!

  24. Bonnie Roof

    Congrats, and “Happy 1st Blogiversary” – Carrie!! I love everything about it, it’s almost as beautiful as you are – my friend!! God has definitely gifted you with many talents, you amaze me with your accomplishments – I love the joy and excitement you always exude!!

    • Carrie

      Bonnie, you are such an encourager! I am so blessed to know you and to count you as a friend!! Looking exceedingly forward to our lunch date! πŸ™‚

  25. Kathy Anderson

    Congratulations on your first year! I would never have guessed it was your first year blogging. I like your author interviews.

  26. VeronikaDream

    I love your blog! It looks beautiful! Keep up the great work!
    Happy Blogoversary!

  27. Winnie Thomas

    Congratulations, Carrie! You have such a fabulous and endearing sense of humor! I can always count on a laugh or two (usually more than that and often a ROFL) from you. We need humor to get through life! Your personality shines through your writing, and since we can’t all be your next-door-neighbor (which would be so much fun), getting to know you through your blog is the next-best thing. I love your reviews and blogs–and please keep vetting all the kissing scenes and the swoony heroes.

    • Carrie

      LOL!!! Thank you so very much, Winnie! This might be my favorite comment so far today πŸ˜€ Laughter is truly one of my favorite things, and I love when I can share it with friends πŸ™‚

  28. carylkane

    Whoop Whoop! Meez Carrie, Congratulations on your one year anniversary! I enjoy your author interviews and reviews! I love your sunny personality! You are a blessing! πŸ™‚

  29. Cheryl Baranski

    Congrats on the first anniversary of your blog. Happy reading, reviewing and blogging.

  30. Trixi

    I love reading your book reviews! Some of the books I’ve read as well so I do like to see what others are saying or if I haven’t heard of or read, I get to add more to my want-to-read list πŸ™‚ That’s the fun part!

    You always come up with some fun “themes”…Kissing 101 or Book Boyfriends. So just keep that up I guess πŸ™‚ And happy blogiversary!! I don’t think I’ve been a part of this for a year, but whatever time frame I have been, I’ve enjoyed it so much! πŸ™‚ Looking forward to seeing all the new things in the future.

    • Carrie

      haha thank you, Trixi!! It’s always a delight when you join in the posts πŸ™‚

  31. Trixi

    Oh I forgot to ask…..as far as the “General Market Fiction” books, I’m assuming those aren’t Christian?

    • Carrie

      Right. Most of those are books I’ve reviewed for the magazine I write for. Some are books I have reviewed for the blog, though.

  32. Katie Edgar

    Congratulations!! I found your blog within the last year and have to say it’s probably my favorite and I have found some of my favorite books from your posts! I adored the blind date post and have read a few of those and am working on more yet!

  33. Pam K.

    Congratulations on completing your first year of blogging. I think what I like most about your blog is that it is always fun read. You always seem to have so much fun writing about the books you’ve read or the authors you’ve interviewed. Thanks for having the giveaways. I’m always willing to put more books in my TBR. The Christian Fiction Reader/Author retreat sounds like it will be delightful. It’s just too far away for me and school will have started again so it would be difficult to get off work. I hope enough others will be able to go to make it a successful event.

    • Carrie

      Maybe next year Pam! We hope to have it in different locations πŸ™‚ And thank you so much for your kind words. I do have such fun with this blog and my books πŸ™‚

    • Carrie

      and the kissingbooks post? πŸ˜‰ Thank you so much Rachel! Getting to know you has been one of the highlights of this past year!

      • Rachel Dixon

        Of course the kissing books hehe! <3 I still can't believe I won that!!! You rock girl! And I admire who you are and what you do so much!

        • Carrie

          πŸ˜€ There are not enough bubble hearts for how much I appreciate you πŸ™‚

  34. Trixi

    Oh yea, that’s my new favorite…..First Line Friday’s! Since I read 2-3 a week, it’s interesting to see how far I’ve made on my TBR pile…..haha! And seeing everyone else’s books too, of course πŸ™‚

  35. Katy C.

    Happy Blogoversary!
    The first thing I love about your blog is the name. Pretty sure reading is also my superpower, so when I saw the name of your blog (somewhere! sorry I don’t remember where) I knew I had to check it out.
    I really enjoy the variety of posts you have and look forward to reading more!

  36. Beth Erin

    You know I love your blog, I’m pretty sure I mentioned it enough times to border on socially awkward but hey, there’s no hiding the truth (on either account)! I think I most admire your analytical skills as applied to KissingBooks 101 and your ability to blog while swooning and fanning. You are truly multi-talented.

  37. Janice Moore

    What I most appreciate about the blog is finding out the BEST books to read. I realay do appreciate you and your sharing!

  38. Sylvia M.

    You have a lovely blog, Carrie. I love the header at the top of the page. Your reviews are very clear, creative and interesting. I also love your various top ten posts. I enjoy reading about other readers’ tastes in Christian fiction reading.

    nina4sm/at/gmail/dot/com

  39. Jamie Lapeyrolerie

    Thank you so so soooooo much for including The Shoppe in the giveaways! Made my day!!! And happy Blogversary! So glad you joined in the blog world and we “met!”

  40. kim hansen

    Happy Anniversay Reading is my super power blog. I love your top tens books, the reviews, what books the followers might like. So much on this blog I love or like.

  41. Loraine N.

    Happy Happy Blogiversary Carrie! What do I like about your blog? Well, I would have to say that your wonderful personality tops that list. I pretty much enjoy everything you do here, but my favorites would have to be the reviews, giveaways and top tens. I also like the new First Line Friday posts. Here’s to many more blog years for you!

  42. Lucy Reynolds

    Congratulations on your 1 year anniversary. I enjoy your blog the way it is. God bless you and thank you for the chance to win books.

  43. Mallori

    I just discovered your blog about a month ago, but I’ve been enjoying seeing the variety of books you review–some that the other authors I subscribe to do not review. Happy Anniversary!

  44. Heather Olsen

    I enjoy reading the book reviews that get me excited to read books from new to me authors. Congratulations on 1 year!

  45. Alison Bradley

    Congratulations! A year is no small feat. I honestly have always laughed my way through your kissing posts. Those make me happy. Thanks for reviewing and writing, and celebrating with such generous giveaways!

  46. Amanda Geaney

    You have taken book blogging by storm and you are doing an amazing job. I especially like the lists you put together of titles we may like if a certain book/genre/time period appeals to us.

    Happy Blogiversary!
    @AmandaGeaney

  47. Marilyn

    Happy Blogiversary. I enjoy your blog and the outlay of it. Thanks for the giveaway.
    Marilyn

  48. Marilyn

    Kudos to your blog. I would like to see you talk about what books and series you enjoyed as a child.
    Marilyn

    • Carrie

      I’m actually planning a post right this very minute on that topic! πŸ™‚ It should run in a couple of weeks – so stay tuned!

  49. KATHY D

    I was just found your blog anyways looking for new books that are uplifting and books about adoptive and foster families if you ever find them,,,,,

  50. Julie Waldron

    Happy Anniversary! I just discovered your blog. You remind me of my 20 year old daughter, she LOVES to read! I will be sharing this your blog with her. I wasn’t much of a reader growing up but I’m so glad both my girls enjoy it. πŸ™‚ It sure makes my mom proud, she’s a reader & couldn’t understand why her only daughter wasn’t a reader too. LOL

    • Carrie

      thanks, Julie! And especially thank you for saying I remind you of a 20-year-old!! πŸ˜€

  51. Diane Estrella

    I appreciate your willingness to support so many Christian authors. Even indie ones that are new to you. πŸ˜‰ Thank you and hugs and congrats!

  52. Terrill Rosado

    Carrie, you do a fantastic job with your blog. It’s all highly readable and relevant, at least for me. πŸ™‚ I can’t imagine you adding much more with all of the reading you have to be doing. That’s why I don’t have my own blog – it would cut into my reading time! haha

  53. Dana Matthews

    I’m new here. I do like I can see that God is part of your life…and your work here…these days…God is left out…so good to see that you share Him.

    • Carrie

      oh Dana, THANK YOU! Thank you so very much! that means the world <3 And welcome! I'm glad you found the blog!

  54. Dana Matthews

    I love that the print is large enough for me to see on your blog…us old folks don’t see well!

  55. Dana Matthews

    I like that your reviews are written in such a way that it gives us an good look at what the books is about…words are not always easy for some people! Happy 1 Year to you…hope you have many, many more to come!

  56. Linda Kish

    I really just found you but I like Christian Fiction. Happy Blogiversary! Who doesn’t love good fiction? lkish77123 at gmail dot com

  57. Katie R

    Your layout and graphics are so attractive! Love that your blog is everything books!

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