It's no secret that I love to read books. And it's no secret that I read a LOT of books. Also no secret: I love to talk about the books I love. Final no secret confession: I love promoting books and authors.
Here's the confession.
I'm (almost) tired of reviewing. I've been writing and publishing reviews since 2006, which is over a decade. Feedback has been incredible, and giving away books makes my heart smile. When something I write helps or encourages an author, I'm overjoyed.
Unfortunately, it seems as if no one cares about reviews. Or giveaways. Or blogs.
So I attempted to retire a couple of years ago. I decided I was done, that my season had concluded. And I just read books for enjoyment. As the months went by I discovered that reading without sharing seemed empty. I missed my reading buddies, and I missed my blog.
I thought a fresh look, a new header, and a new format would liven the blog up. I found a design I (kind of) loved (too broke to afford a professional design) and a title that truly captured my reading habits. And I relaunched.
No comments. No feedback. And when I hosted a giveaway, nothing. I couldn't get any followers no matter what I did. If you were reading the reviews, I apologize. I truly did not know you were there. Thank you for reading.
Again, I took a break. I was battling severe depression, which I finally found a doctor who knows her stuff and I'm doing better. Then I was planning a wedding for my youngest daughter. In the midst of it all, I realized I had never grieved the death of my mother over 8 years ago.
Cue the waterfall, aka tear storms.
I couldn't go a day without crying, and it didn't take much to trigger uncontrollable tears. I'm surprised I'm not covered in mildew from the ever-flowing moisture. I couldn't read more than a few pages at a time without finding my little mind wandering around, alone and unsupervised.
One last confession...
I adore young adult fiction. Both in the inspirational market and in the general market. I am uber picky about my reading when it comes to the general market, so if I found excess language, sexual content, or inappropriate behavior with no natural consequences, it wasn't for me.
I hunted high and low for a website or a blogger who cared enough to give a content warning. I found a couple, but these bloggers weren't reading my kind of fiction. I pondered expanding to include my young adult favorites, or warning readers about the excessive content.
But when I posed it to readers, no one seemed interested. Because my reading habits were changing and expanding, much of what I read wasn't blog worthy, which reduced the number of reviews I was posting.
I was on the verge of throwing in the bookmark. My children encouraged me to keep going, because they loved what I shared, when I was a 'little bit famous' from a quote in a novel, and they knew I had to have someone to share with.
So, why am I sharing all of this? Because I'm committed to bringing you the best books in today's market, to supporting my authors when a new book releases, and I love talking books. A few changes are coming, but all good changes.
More reviews. If I have a stack to review, you may see more than one book per day. Apologies for flooding your feed (if you follow or subscribe!). I'm also going to begin sharing about the young adult fiction I'm in love with.
And I'm going to be sharing content warnings if I feel they are appropriate. On a scale of 1 being nothing offensive to 5 meaning you might want to avoid like the plague, I'll be ranking sexual content, language, violence, and behavior with no natural consequences.
I hope you'll read. I hope you'll stick around, and I hope you'll begin following. Most of all, I hope you are blessed by the books I share with you and that you will comment often. Even recommend a few titles to me that I may have missed without your input.
Regardless, even if I'm all alone over here in my corner of the blogosphere, I'm going to keep sharing and I'm going to offer freebies whenever I can. Thanks for sticking with me as I shared my heart with you. I appreciate it tremendously, and until the next review...
Mark Your Place,
P.S. If someone wants to give me a free bloggy makeover, I'm totally cool with that!