Today I celebrate three years as a book blogger. It has been a wonderful three years and I love this community and I wanted to celebrate the community this week by asking five of my fellow bloggers to write guest posts to help me celebrate. I purposely asked these bloggers to write posts that reflected them and their blogs so that each post was unique and stood out on it’s own merit, and I think they have each done a fabulous job.
At the end of the post you will find a giveaway, this is my thank you to everybody who has been by my side through the past three years, whether you were there from the beginning or are a newer reader I appreciate your support.
I asked James aka Jay to write a post for today because he is not just a blogging friend, since we connected he has become my writing partner and true friend who next month I will be meeting up with when he travels to the UK for a few days. His advice and encouragement has helped keep me focused and is probably the reason I’ve finished writing two books, even if I haven’t quite reached the point of publishing either of them yet! And the odd day we have where we don’t talk feels empty. I felt choked up when I read this post for the first time, I wasn’t expecting this and will definitely making sure to buy him a big slice of cake next month!
365 Bonus Post: Unexpectedly
Although the 365 Daily Challenge ended just about one month ago, it’s been unexpectedly resurrected for a day to celebrate a good friend’s blog’s third birthday… and for that reason today’s word is unexpectedly – meaning ‘in a way that was not likely or planned.’
It all began (from as far as I can tell) on April 22nd, 2017. No, my math isn’t wrong as that’s clearly less than three years. I didn’t mean when Claire’s blog began – instead, I refer to when our friendship unexpectedly began. Her blog appeared about two years beforehand, but I didn’t know her then. And from what she tells me, I kinda wonder what it might have been like to know her all those years ago! When she mentioned her blog anniversary was coming up, I had to check the date to see when we first started chatting as I knew it was at least 8 or 9 months ago, but I never realized it is coming up on 1 year in a few days. Yikes, did we age a whole year too, or was it just a day or two during that time?
I ask that question only because both Claire seems to age much less quickly than the rest of us. I thought about roasting her in this post, but then I realized it’s about her blog, not about her. Gosh, who wants to gush all about her – -it isn’t her birthday. So I’ll leave one compliment about her, then move on: she’s a beacon of strength when it comes to taking care of herself and helping others, and we should all be honored to have unexpectedly become her friend.
When I first started chatting with bloggers, there were a handful, Claire at the top of that list, who had these brilliant sites and voices in the words and style. I admit, I was jealous. I thought… how do they find the time, energy and creativity? After a few weeks, I realized it wasn’t something to be afraid of, rather something to embrace. And so I did… Claire and I began chatting a few times per week via WordPress comments on different posts. Then we chatted about books and writing reviews. We read in opposite genres – how funny is it that we can still connect? She loves romance and fantasy, but those are the two in which I hardly know anything. Of course, she tried to convert me by sending me a bunch of romance ideas, including her own in-progress novels. Guess what I learned?
Girl can write! And she even made me a fan when it comes to pushing my genre boundaries. Between the great relationships she develops and the emotional connections she builds in her work, it’s no wonder I feel the same kindred spirt with Claire when we chat. Which by the way… is every day on Facebook Messenger. Sometimes we’re both busy and it’s just a “Yo, you okay?” and a “I hate writing” or a “Can you help me understand what Twitter is?” and… okay, I’ll stop as I am probably embarrassing myself over the things I didn’t know anything about one year ago. Although, we’re probably both showing our age now because I don’t think it’s cool anymore to chat there; aren’t we supposed to send SnapChat and Instagram stories? Yeah, she does that more frequently, but I’m not there, yet. I do rather enjoy all the videos and photos she shares telling us what’s going on in her world. And that’s one of the key reasons to get to know her and subsequently follow her on all the social media sites.
Let’s get back to her blog. I’m unexpectedly off-topic again, right? And that never happens, so… I digress. Let’s talk about her actual blog content. Like the TBR Topple. What a cool name! At first, I didn’t know if it meant topple the TBR so we vote to pick which book should come off the TBR or which she should read on the TBR. I eventually figured it out, but I won’t tell you. Don’t be lazy. Go find out yourself! 😊 Yeah, I never used to be sarcastic, but I have to keep up with Claire who douses me with humor every day. When it comes to her TBR Topple, I vote strictly on cover. It’s usually either some crazy futuristic thing I don’t understand (I’m a bit boring) or some shirtless (or almost entirely naked) hunk that I get distracted by. Nonetheless, I vote and usually pick the right one from her posts whether I’m reading them on Facebook or the blog or Twitter or Instagram. Is there really a winner or loser is this poll?
What about those author interviews and model Q&A sessions she was doing for a while? Or the awards she’s won? Or the bookshelf pics? Or the insightful rants/vents/brilliant discussions about book reviewer approaches? Those always grab our attention and provide a lot to think about. But that’s Claire, as least as far as I’ve come to know her via the vast Internet space between us. However, here’s the next unexpected thing… I’m going to London with my other half for a business trip where I’ll have a few days to myself. Claire and I will be meeting in person and traipsing around London for a couple of days together. I’ll actually get to meet her and share a few posts together about the trip. How cool will that be?
So… if this anniversary celebration were about Claire, I’d continue telling you about the exercise mishaps she’s shared (there are plenty!), the eyebrow-raising beta reads she’s sent me (things she wrote!), or the amazing extent to which she gives herself to support other people… but like I said earlier, didn’t you listen? This isn’t about Claire… it’s about her blog. And its one of my favorite to follow… so you better start reading it more often because if I find out you are not, the next step will not be unexpected!
Ah, I send my happiest wishes to the three-year anniversary of BrizzleLass Books. I look forward to many more to come, including the evolution of the platform as she publishes her own future novels and begins to make even larger impacts on the book blogging industry. xoxo
Jay is one of my favourite bloggers…he is also a published author with his second book having just been released. I’ve read both of them and can say with certainty that you will all love them both!
Book: Watching Glass Shatter
Book: Father Figure
As a thank you to all my followers I’m giving away 3x £10/$10 Amazon Gift Vouchers at the end of this week. To enter just head to Rafflecopter.