I honestly can’t believe that it’s been a year already! Where in the world has the time gone? I’m one year older, one year wiser, one year further in my career, and one year closer to my destiny.
For those of you who don’t know, this blog started one year ago after I read Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas, and was so inspired that I realized I wanted to be a writer. I created a twitter, and then figured a blog would be a good place to start… and what a start it was! One year later, this blog is evidence of what myself and my co-bloggers have accomplished.
I was going to do the usual and post all of our stats and accomplishments, but I realized that the stats and general social media success was never what this blog was about. I started this blog with the idea of loving reading, writing, good friends, and most importantly, myself and my journey. Live, Love, Read was never founded to focus on the amount of people we can attract, but rather the people we can connect with, and the journey we can take to finding ourselves. So, in honor of the morals I founded my blog on, I’m only going to say how grateful I am, and sincerely mind-blown, that so many of you are interested in what we say, what we write, and who we are. You all are so wonderful, and I hope that this year, we can get a little bit closer with each and every one of you.
I came up with a short questionnaire for all of us to answer in order to not talk your ears off and to give a little recap of the best this year has offered, since we only like to focus on the positives here at Live, Love, Read! Let’s get this party started!
1. What is your favorite post from this year?
Kelly: My favorite post is probably my most recent Recesses of Heart post, which you can find HERE! If not, I love every one of the Musings of Eternal Dreamers guest posts! If you haven’t checked them out yet, they’re filled with some amazing advice for young writers. Definitely worth a look!
Lauren: This may sound cheesy, but here it goes: my favorite post so far on this blog is still the first post I read from Kelly. It was on fear and writing, you can read it here. I love all the post we did, especially the musings, but this post is the one that lead me to reach out to Kelly with an email. Soon after our friend ship begun. So, even though we have had some great posts, this one is still my favorite!
Melissa: My favorite post is one from a feature we created together, Musings of Eternal Dreamers. Although I am not an aspiring writer, I love learning more about the writing process and getting inside the author’s head. The best post we’ve had so far has to go to Becky Albertalli, author of Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda. She talked about incorporating pop culture references into your writing, which can be read HERE.
2. What was your favorite book read from this year?
Kelly: Ouch, this is hard! Seeing as I read Sarah J. Maas’ series before I started this blog, I’m going to go with Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone! Laini’s writing is the most descriptive, fluid, and beautiful masterpiece I’ve ever read.
Lauren: Of course Kelly is going to pick one of the hardest questions for a reader to answer! I will give the same answer here I have said in a few other posts about this, my favorite book is a tie. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas and Air Awakens by Elise Kova.
Melissa: I’m gona cheat because I hate this question =P Fantasy: Truthwitch by Susan Dennard (yes it’s a 2016 book) Contemporary: The Year We Fell Apart by Emily Martin (yes 2016 debut) Historical Fiction: Under A Painted Sky by Stacey Lee
3. What was your favorite review from this year?
Kelly: Mine will probably have to be An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir. Though this was written a while ago, I just remember loving this book so much that I ended up going on this huge, long, fluid rant about how amazing the ARC was and how everyone needed to read it and love it like I did. It was the one review that I didn’t use talking points for, and instead I ended up just telling a story about my experience with it. I loved it!
Lauren: I always enjoy doing reviews, but so far my favorite has been Air Awakens review by Elise Kova. I honestly never thought I would review this book, but when she sent it to me early and asked for a review I couldn’t help but say yes. Thankfully I did because I then fell in love with the series and have had many chats with Elise! I love talking with her on Twitter.
4. What was your favorite blogging/book event you’ve participated in this year?
Kelly: This year being my first year blogging, I’d have to say that my favorite is an event I actually went to called BookItCon, which is created by the lovely Nori at ReadWriteLove28! I was actually able to sit down and have dinner with five major authors, and I was so starstruck that I was afraid I’d freeze up and not even be able to breathe. I loved every second of it though. If you’d like to attend, you can find more information at UBUBiz.com! =)
Lauren: I wish I had some grand story of a blogging or bookish event to tell you about, but sadly my life is boring in that area. However, I did participate in a book bloggers project called OTSPSecretSister. I had an amazing time, and met some of the most amazing people though this project! If you would like to find out more about this project feel free to ask me, or go to the site here for more information.
Melissa: I agree with Lauren, I have to say the OTSPSecretSister project. Without this amazing opportunity to send another blogger cheerful packages & Twitter chats I wouldn’t have met all of my blogger friends. This led to meeting Kelly & Lauren and be here blogging! I also got to meet so many participants later on at BEA. So thank you Brittany, Alyssa, & Amy!
5. What do you feel is your biggest blogging accomplishment so far?
Kelly: My biggest blogging accomplishment was probably getting over my fear of expressing my own emotions and telling my own stories. It’s so funny because I was so terrified of sharing parts of myself, but now it’s almost like a release, and my Recesses of Heart posts now seem to be my most successful posts. I love you all for reading my aches, pains, and nuisances with such heart and kindness!
Lauren: I’m still working on a lot, especially when it comes to expressing things for others to see. But I have learned to review without being “nice” all the time. I didn’t like the book? I can actually say I didn’t. I used to lie and say I would love every book just to make sure never to hurt anyone’s feelings. I still have a filter to make sure to not be harsh in my review, but I’m not as afraid to say a book was just not for me. I still have a ways to go though.
Melissa: I still have a lot growing to do as a blogger, so I can’t say there has been any big blogging accomplishments.
6. What was your biggest personal accomplishment during this year?
Kelly: This would definitely be landing my internship with Corvisiero, being brave enough to try to change my career path, and following it all the way to an Apprentice at the agency. Sometimes I still look at my life and wonder who I am, what I did to deserve this, and where in the world this confident person came from. I couldn’t have done it without all of you!
Lauren: I received 3 AAS degrees in business! I’m still working on Nursing school, but getting those degrees are a nice accomplishment. At least I don’t feel like I’ve just been spinning my wheels anyway.
7. What do you want to accomplish in blogging by our 2nd anniversary?
Kelly: I’d really like to start a few more features, because even though I may not have as much time to read books, I apparently have a gift for talking about life and all of it’s unpredictable majesty. I’ll take that over unhappiness any day.
Lauren: I would love to be a bit more organized in my own personal blogging life. Kelly and Melissa have been great with helping me keep things running on time, but I have too many, “OH CRAP!! I forgot that is today!!!” moments. Or I let things pile up and have to rush to get it up before Kelly and Melissa fire me as a co-blogger. (I blame school for most of this!)
Melissa: I’m hoping to be more organized with blogging and actually finish writing reviews. I have a bad habit of starting several reviews and try to make the beginning perfect by finding the right words to say. Then I get frustrated and give up, but I know there’s no true formula to writing reviews and I shouldn’t be afraid to write how I feel.
8. What has been your favorite experience (online, in person, etc.) with blogging and/or the bookish community this year?
Kelly: Honestly, getting to know all of you. I’ve really, truly made new friends and a very wonderful family with so many of you. Whenever there’s a problem, obstacle, etc., in my life, I know that I can turn to all of you and you will be there for me. Knowing you guys is and always will be my favorite experience with blogging.
Lauren: I don’t mean to repeat the same thing as Kelly, but that is honestly my answer. The whole reason I have loved the blogging experience is not really doing the blog, it’s the people I have met along the way. I have made friends I would never have been able to otherwise. I LOVE YOU PEOPLE!!!
Melissa: I can’t be original with this answer can I? It’s never just about blogging for me, it’s the chance to meet new people, gush about books you love, and the chance to do things together that doesn’t revolve around books.
9. What bloggers have helped you get through this year? Give a Shout Out!
Kelly: SO. MANY. BLOGGERS. I know that there’s way too many to name, so please forgive me if you’re not on this list, as I’m only naming a select few who I have to thank for all of my success in life and blogging. The loves of my blogging life are Nori at ReadWriteLove28, Justin at Justin’s Book Blog, Emily at Midwestern Book Nerd, and Chelsea and and Shanna on Twitter!
Lauren: I have quite a few people I have met and have helped me get through this year, even if it’s just been there to chat with me. I have a long list and it would take a long time to mention them all, so I am only going to mention a few: Nori (@ReadWriteLove28), Stacie (@ Book Nerd Addict), Judith Perez(@ Bookdr3ams), Library Luv (@Beyond the Book Reviews), Elise Kova ( @ EliseKova.com) and Mackayla on Twitter (@mackayla_hearon)
Melissa: I am so grateful to all the bloggers I’ve met along the way and it is a long list. But I’m going to keep this short so I’m sorry if I didn’t add you! Molly @ Cherry Blossoms and Maple Syrup, Elizabeth @ Book YAbber, Nicole @ Nicole’s Novel Reads, Margie @ Bumbles and Fairytales , Nori @ Read Write Love 28, Karina @ A Reader Under the Sea, Jen @ Library of a Book Witch, Rachel @ A Perfection Called Books, Dana @ DanaSquare, and Katie @ Katie’s Book Blog
10. Any additional comments or thanks?
Kelly: I just wanted to say thank you again to everyone who has supported me, been there for me, helped me through this year as I’ve grown into the person that I am today, with such wonderful, amazing friends and opportunities. I can’t thank you all enough, and express how genuinely I truly care about each and every one of you. I look forward to another year spent with you wonderful people by my side. ❤
Lauren: I love you guys!! Honestly, I do! Having bookish people like all of you to reach out and just chat books, tv, and life with has been amazing. It has been a very long time since I have felt like I have had such close friends, and being part of this community I have not only found amazing friends but some of the best people I have ever known! I look forward to another great year and can’t wait to see what we will get ourselves into! You ever want to chat please send me a message! (@betweendpages)
In order to thank you all for your continued friendship and following, I’ve concocted what I hope is another amazing giveaway for all of you. But first, in honor of all of you and my own sentimentality, I wanted to wish you all well. I hope that your journey leads you to only the greatest destinations and that you view every single one of the obstacles that block your path as stepping stones to making you the best possible version of yourself. May your dreams be big, your heart be full, and your courage be mountainous. Thank you all so much, and know that I love every single one of you.
This giveaway is U.S. ONLY, as I already have the books. I’m so sorry loves!
We have the right to disqualify any person or entry that has not followed the rules and is not following our blog.
We have the right to disqualify any person/social media profile who is what I claim to be a “Giveaway Robot,” whom only enters giveaways and does no other interactions.
This Giveaway will end on Sunday, February 14th at midnight (because I hate Valentine’s day and need something positive to happen during that time).
What’s included in this giveaway:
1 Vengeance Road HC – signed
1 Six of Crows HC – signed
1 Passenger HC – signed
1 Truthwitch HC – signed
1 Winter HC – signed
1 Queen of Shadows HC – signed
1 Passenger writing notebook
Truthwitch, Teardrop, Maze Runner, and The Giver Posters
Assorted pictured swag
All our love…