I’m so excited to have you stop by to celebrate my first year of book review blogging with me!!
I hope you’ll enjoy reading my beginnings story, how I found myself in the wondrous world of book reviewing and join in the giveaway fun! 🙂
A year ago I timidly sent Cynthia Ruchti a Facebook message (of all things!!) asking if she was looking for reviewers for her upcoming novella, An Endless Christmas.
To my astonishment, Cynthia accepted me with open arms and a few days later the novella showed up on my doorstep. It was like Christmas morning! I was beyond thrilled and ran around the house jumping up and down, so excited that I was actually getting to do something I’d only dreamed about – writing book reviews.
It felt magical. Finding Narnia in the wardrobe kind of magical.
I must have written 10 different versions of that first review. I was so nervous. The what ifs plagued me. What if it was terrible, horrible, no good? What if my review wasn’t well received by Cynthia? I adored her novella and wanted others to be intrigued to pick up the book for themselves. The what ifs almost stopped me…but I had made a commitment!
Publish was only one click away!
I closed my eyes and *clicked*
My words went into the world for everyone to see and the bubbling joy that came afterward was something I’ll never forget. I wanted to do that again.
And, for the past year, I’ve had the immense joy and pleasure to do exactly that!!
I’m honestly amazed – shocked, really – that I’ve been able to work with authors and publishers who have stocked my shelves full of worlds beyond this one I’m living. I never dreamed I’d be able to work personally with authors I’ve fangirled over. That I’d work with publishers who have printed some of my favorite books of all time. That I would be introduced to new authors and find myself loving their works so much that reading their books twice before I could write a review became the norm.
The opportunity to read to my heart’s content and write about what I experience while reading – this has been thrilling beyond words. I’m so incredibly glad I took that courageous step to email Cynthia asking if she was needing book reviews, and that she, in turn, granted me the opportunity.
So, from the very bottom of my joyous heart, I want to say THANK YOU!!
Thank you to all the authors who took a chance on me.
Thank you to all the publishers who accepted this new reviewer into your programs.
Thank you to all of YOU who follow this blog and chime in with your thoughts and voices as we read these books together.
Thank you for making this first year of reviewing so incredibly awesome!!
Okay, enough of my reminiscing and yammering on. 🙂 Time for the main reason this blog even exists – BOOKS!!
I’m so excited about the following 3 authors and their novels!
Kara Isaac is a new-to-me author but after looking at that cover of Can’t Help Falling I am so stoked to get my hands on a copy!! Just look at that cover – its GORGEOUS!!
If Newton & Polly is anything like Jody Hedlund’s Luther & Katharina, then we are in for a historical novel so intricately detailed, you’ll feel like you are breathing the same air as the characters!
For all my lovers of history and romance, you need to read Michelle Griep’s The Captive Heart, a novel on the early colonial settlers of America, with all of the suspense, action, and mail-ordered bride thrills that went along with this period of history!
Can’t Help Falling by Kara Isaac
A funny, heartfelt romance about how an antique shop, a wardrobe, and a mysterious tea cup bring two C.S. Lewis fans together in a snowy and picturesque Oxford, England.
Emelia Mason has spent her career finding the dirt on the rich and famous. But deep down past this fearless tabloid-reporter façade, there’s a nerdy Narnia-obsessed girl who still can’t resist climbing into wardrobes to check for the magical land on the other side. When a story she writes produces tragic results, she flees to Oxford, England—home to C.S. Lewis—to try and make amends for the damage she has caused.
Peter Carlisle was on his way to become one of Great Britain’s best rowers—until he injured his shoulder and lost his chance at glory. He’s determined to fight his way back to the top even if it means risking permanent disability to do so. It’s the only way he can find his way past failing the one person who never stopped believing in his Olympic dream.
When Peter and Emelia cross paths on her first night in Oxford, the attraction is instant and they find common ground in their shared love of Narnia. But can the lessons from a fantasyland be enough to hold them together when secrets of the real world threaten to tear them apart? Cobblestone streets, an aristocratic estate, and an antique shop with a curious wardrobe bring the world of Narnia to life in this inspiring and romantic story about second chances.
Newton & Polly by Jody Hedlund
John Newton fell in love with Polly Catlett at first sight. But Polly was unable to return the affections of the rebellious, worldly young man and her father ordered the aimless John away from her. Not long after, John was pressed into serving in the Navy. He saw Polly one last time before leaving England but Polly couldn’t promise any future to him.
After four years away, John is called back to England on family matters. But John was heavily, blindly involved in the slave trade and had no desire to return. John Sr. used his son’s undying love for Polly to lure him home. On that treacherous voyage back to England, in the midst of a terrible storm, John finally experienced salvation and began moving towards, eventually, crusading against slavery. Back at home, John must work hard to convince wise-beyond-her-years Polly Catlett that he is a changed man and worthy of her.
The Captive Heart by Michelle Griep
The wild American wilderness is no place for an elegant English governess.
On the run from a cruel British aristocratic employer, Eleanor Morgan escapes to America, the land of the free, for the opportunity to serve an upstanding Charles Town family. But freedom is hard to come by as an indentured servant, and downright impossible when she’s forced to agree to an even harsher contract—marriage to a man she’s never met.
Backwoodsman Samuel Heath doesn’t care what others think of him—but his young daughter’s upbringing matters very much. The life of a trapper in the Carolina backcountry is no life for a small girl, but neither is abandoning his child to another family. He decides it’s time to marry again, but that proves to be an impossible task. Who wants to wed a murderer?
Both Samuel and Eleanor are survivors, facing down the threat of war, betrayal, and divided loyalties that could cost them everything, but this time they must face their biggest challenge ever . . . Love.
In my excitement about having blogged for 1 entire year, I thought to myself: What’s better than 1 giveaway? TWO!! 🙂
The winner of the CELEBRATION GIVEAWAY 1 will win:
- Choice of book: Can’t Help Falling, Newton & Polly, or The Captive Heart
- Coffee Mug
- $15 Starbucks Giftcard
The winner of the CELEBRATION GIVEAWAY 2 will win:
- Choice of book: Can’t Help Falling, Newton & Polly, or The Captive Heart
Both of these giveaways will run through midnight on October 25! They are only open to residents of the USA (my apologies to my international friends!!). The winners will be notified via email and must respond within 48 hours to claim prize, otherwise a new winner will be chosen.
Thank you so much for stopping by today and celebrating with me!! I can’t wait to see where year 2 takes us!
Happy 1 Year Anniversary to us all!! 🙂
This giveaway is in no way endorsed by any of the authors or publishers mentioned in this blog post and is solely held at the discretion of the blog, Baker Kella.