One Year Anniversary PARTY + GIVEAWAYS!!

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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!!


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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 Hearta 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!

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.


GIVEAWAY TIME!!!!

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

Click here to enter the Celebration Giveaway 1!!

The winner of the CELEBRATION GIVEAWAY 2 will win:

  • Choice of book: Can’t Help Falling, Newton & Polly, or The Captive Heart

Click here to enter the Celebration Giveaway 2!!

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.

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58 Comments Add yours

  1. My favorite beverage on a rainy day is a steaming cup of cocoa with those tiny dried marshmallows.

    PS – congrats on the year of blogging! 🙂
    Dianna

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Baker Kella says:

      I LOVE hot cocoa with tiny marshmallows too! 🙂

      Like

  2. I’m trying to convince my kids that we need to go apple picking. There’s an orchard about an hour from my house. They’re less than thrilled about it.
    Dianna

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Baker Kella says:

      I’ve never been apple picking before but it sounds fun!! Do you cook or bake the apples afterward? My grandma gave me a recipe for homemade applesauce that I make just about every month now. LOVE IT! 🙂

      Like

  3. Favorite book changes all the time, but one mainstay is Pride and Prejudice!
    Dianna

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Baker Kella says:

      Pride & Prejudice is a must read! Good choice, Dianna!!

      Like

  4. Beth Bulow says:

    Oh, it’s way too hard to pick a favorite book, but two forever favorites are To Kill a Mockingbird and Jane Eyre.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Baker Kella says:

      To Kill a Mockingbird was one of my favorite reads in high school! I haven’t read it since then, but I loved it out of all the books we had to read. 🙂 Surprisingly, I haven’t read Jane Eyre! I’ll need to add this to my TBR list.

      Like

  5. Beth Bulow says:

    I hope to go to some local festivals in the next month or so!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Beth Bulow says:

    My go-to hot beverage is coffee! But if I’d already had (too much) caffeine that day, I like hot tea or hot chocolate.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Baker Kella says:

      Is there ever such a thing as too much coffee? 😉 haha

      Like

  7. Cynthia Ruchti says:

    Drinking Oolong tea at the moment…and grateful for you! I have a Christmas novel releasing next week, Michaela. Hint, hint, hint! 🙂 You’re a blessing

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Baker Kella says:

      Cynthia – I love these kind of hints!! 🙂

      Thanks so much for stopping by my blogging celebration & for giving me my first shot at reviewing! I’m forever grateful to you!! And, I am SUPER excited to read Restoring Christmas 🙂 I love Christmas stories!!

      Like

  8. Karen says:

    I love any flavor of hot cocoa, eapecially mint, caramel, raspberry, or hazelnut!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Baker Kella says:

      Ooooo that sounds amazing! I’ve never tried flavored hot cocoas. I’m going to need to get my hands on a mug of this goodness! 🙂

      Like

  9. Karen says:

    Our church is having their annual chili cook-off and trunk or treat, so that will be plenty of fun!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Karen says:

    I honestly don’t have a specific favorite book, but I love everything by Denise Hunter and Becky Wade!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Sylvia Miller says:

    Happy anniversary to you! I really enjoy your blog.

    Irish Breakfast tea is wonderful. Hot tea is something I drink every day. When it’s cold and rainy even better. My favorite is a plain, black, strong hot tea. Loose tea is so much better, so I always drink that. If I run out or am using a China mug, then I will use a tea bag. Most of the time I use a teapot, china tea cup, milk, sugar, and tea strainer. By the way. Since you are a baker do you have a good scone recipe to share? Also, I have trouble getting my scones to rise to great heights. Any advice?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Baker Kella says:

      Thanks so much for stopping by, Sylvia! 🙂

      Your way of making tea sounds so delightful! I’m usually throwing a tea bag into a to go cup and running out the door so I’m not late to work. ha!

      Hmmmm for scones that won’t rise…. I’d suggest using right-out-of-the-fridge cold butter (not melted) and cut that into the flour mixture. As the butter melts, it will create steam that helps to make the scone rise. But don’t over-mix the butter; you want the dough to have some small butter lumps and the dough should feel a tad on the sticky side.

      At work, I once mixed up baking soda and baking powder and the results were some very unpleasant baked globs that were supposed to be scones!! My boss wasn’t too thrilled with me, but we figured out what I did and moved on to the next batch! lol Be sure to use what the recipe calls for – you don’t want to pull a me! 🙂

      I hope that helps!! 🙂

      Like

  12. Winnie Thomas says:

    Congrats on your one-year anniversary! Here’s to many more!
    I love a cup of hot chocolate on a cold day..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Baker Kella says:

      Thanks Winnie!!! 🙂 I’m so glad you stopped by! I love hot coco too! I just wish NC would take the hint that its Fall and not summer so I could indulge already 😉

      Like

  13. Joyce J says:

    Congratulations on your anniversary! You have a gift for writing and I love the way you review books. I can’t pick just one book as a favorite. Most recently I have LOVED all of Lori Benton’s books. In the past I LOVED Francine Rivers books but confessed that I haven’t read her most recent ones. Bad me. I need to do that because she is an awesome authoress!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Baker Kella says:

      😀 Thanks so much, Joyce! I can’t believe its been a year already – time flew by! And thank you for your kind words!! 🙂

      I haven’t ready anything by Lori Benton – she is being added to my TBR list right now! The only book I’ve read by Francine Rivers is her beloved Redeeming Love, but I need to read more of her works too! 🙂

      Like

  14. Joyce J says:

    I love drinking hot chocolate on a rainy day. We don’t get those very often in my part of the country but we are praying for the drought to end this winter.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Joyce J says:

    This past summer I spent two weeks in Washington State visiting various family members. And then a spent another week in the mountains, hiking, visiting lakes and seeing God’s beautiful creation!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Baker Kella says:

      That sounds like a LOVELY summer!! I bet the scenery was gorgeous!

      Like

  16. Melissa Tagg says:

    Congrats on a year of book blogging! You are awesome…and are such a gift to authors. Virtual hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Baker Kella says:

      *virtual hug back* Thanks Melissa!!

      Like

  17. My favorite book is Jane Eyre…which reminds me it’s time for a re-read. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Baker Kella says:

      You are the 2nd person to mention Jane Eyre!! I am going to need to read this book now!!

      Like

  18. Sylvia Miller says:

    This fall I really want to go visit some historical houses and museum sites. Combining history with fall leaves, wood smoke, and a chill in the air just seems appropriate.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. This fall I plan to read a lot, work on a new photo project, and make pumpkin desserts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Baker Kella says:

      Oooooo what kind of pumpkin desserts? I love making pumpkin cookies and chocolate chip pumpkin bread!

      Can’t wait to see your new photo project! 🙂

      Like

  20. My favorite hot drink is hot cocoa, it’s so much better than coffee.

    Happy anniversary! I love your blog. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Baker Kella says:

      I have a compromise for you – a mocha! Hot cocoa meets coffee in deliciously caffeinated beverage 😀 haha

      Awwww thanks so much for your kind words, Amanda!! 🙂

      Like

  21. Sylvia Miller says:

    My favorite book is Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Jacki says:

    Congratulations on your 1 year! Next step is dabbling in writing a book yourself. You can do it, I find your reviews vivid and entertaining. And for a hot drink… Chai tea for me please, and if it’s from Dunking Donuts, all the better.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Baker Kella says:

      🙂 Thanks Jacki!! I’m so happy you joined in the fun! Maybe one day I will write a book 🙂

      I adore chai too! But I haven’t tried DD’s yet – I’ll have to check them out!

      Like

  23. Janice Boekhoff says:

    Congratulations!!! Thank you for being such a blessing to authors. Celebrate wildly!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Baker Kella says:

      Thanks Janice!!! 🙂

      Like

  24. Congratulations! I am thrilled to have just discovered your blog today. Looking forward to reading many reviews. I will be sharing this post and your giveaway celebration.
    Blessings,
    Lynn

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Baker Kella says:

      Ohh I’m so glad you stumbled upon my blog, Lynn! 🙂 Thanks for joining in the fun!!

      Liked by 1 person

  25. Congrats on a year of blogging!! Thanks so much!

    And my favorite drink is a milkshake. One a day would be perfect!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Baker Kella says:

      A milkshake a day sounds wonderful!! I might need to re-think my whole hot tea idea 😉

      Like

  26. Don’t enter me, please. I just wanted to say Happy Anniversary! Congrats on your one year of blogging!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Baker Kella says:

      Thanks so much, Melissa!!! 🙂 I appreciate your kind words!

      Like

  27. Julie Jobe says:

    Congrats on your anniversary! I have WAY too many books that are favorites for one reason or another to be able to name just one! As for the fall, I’m planning to enjoy the cooler weather and spending time with my family. And my favorite hot beverage is the Caramel Cafe Breve that my husband makes from our coffee shop! It’s the best!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Baker Kella says:

      That is so awesome you have a coffee shop, Julie! 🙂 That drink sounds delicious – I’m going to have to see if I can find a coffee shop around here who make that.
      Enjoy the cooler weather and time with family! 🙂

      Like

  28. Pam Graber says:

    I’m going to answer all 3 questions in one comment, if that’s OK. Favorite book? My favorite book is almost always the one I’m currently reading. If I had to pick just one that I’ve gone back and reread several times, I’d have to say The Secret Garden. More recently, I’ve loved Kara Isaac’s Close to You and The Bishop’s Family series by Suzanne Woods Fisher. Fall Activity? Leader’s Farm with my grandbabies!! Bouncy houses, goats to feed, huge slides and enough activities to wear out both the kiddos and their grandparents!! Favorite hot drink? Caramel Apple cider. Mmmmmmmm!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Baker Kella says:

      Oooo I love all your answers! 🙂 Its still pretty warm here in NC so I haven’t even begun to think about ciders…you’ve got me craving one! hehe

      That farm sounds super fun! Think they let adult kids play in the bouncy houses and go down huge slides too? 🙂 Enjoy your time with your grandkids!!

      Like

  29. Aerykah says:

    Congratulations!! 😀

    My favorite book is “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen. I think I’ve read it 6 times now..? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Baker Kella says:

      That is fantastic!! I think I’ve read it cover-to-cover twice, but definitely have seen both movies multiple times and the British show once. Its such a great novel!! 😀

      Like

  30. Beth Erin says:

    Happy Blogiversary, Kella!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Baker Kella says:

      🙂 Thanks Beth Erin!!

      Like

  31. carylkane says:

    I LOVE Chronicles of Narnia! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  32. carylkane says:

    I don’t have any plans for Fall.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. carylkane says:

    My favorite beverage on a rainy day is a cuppa Spicey Dragon Red Chai!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Baker Kella says:

      Oooooo I’ve never heard of that chai before but now I think I need some in my life! 🙂

      Like

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