Sixth Annual Blogo-Birthday Blast

On April 4, 2011, Reading Reality, as “Escape Reality, Read Fiction”, posted its first post. 2011 seems like the proverbial long time ago in the galaxy far, far away. Although it wasn’t THAT far away. At the time, we were living in Gainesville, Florida, and planning a move to Atlanta. Our first move to Atlanta.

Between 2011 and now, we moved to Seattle for a couple of years, and then right back here to the Atlanta suburbs. We even live in the same burb we lived in back then, just at a different address. It’s still near Galen’s work, and now mine as well. And we’re both immensely glad not to need to take the Atlanta not-so-Expressways to work every day, especially after that disastrous fire and collapse on I-85 last week. It’s going to take a long time to clean up that gigantic mess.

As much as we like living here, one of the big things I miss about both Chicago and Seattle is their efficient public transit systems. Maybe this will be a wake-up call for the Atlanta region, but I doubt it. We’ll see.

But this isn’t a traffic blog, or an Atlanta living blog. It’s a book blog. Six years and counting.

In those six years there have been over 2,500 posts, most of them reviews. And over 17,000 comments. I know I need to do way better at responding to comments. Ironically, I usually know just what to say when I’m reviewing a book, but still come over self-conscious when responding to an individual. We all have our quirks.

But speaking of reviews, this week I decided as a present to myself (my birthday is tomorrow) that  I would only review books I really, really wanted to read. So it’s all science fiction and fantasy this week, because those are still my go-to genres. Both The Lord of the Rings and Star Trek have a lot to answer for when it comes to my reading preference.

And, in the spirit of The Lord of the Rings, this is a hobbit birthday. Meaning that instead of getting presents, I will be giving out presents this week to you, my readers, followers and friends. I hope that you enjoy the books and gift cards every bit as much as I have enjoyed writing this blog.

Live long, and prosper! And read LOTS of books!

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Fifth Annual Blogo-Birthday Blast

Blogo-BirthdayThe teddy bear and I welcome you to my fifth annual Blogo-Birthday celebration! I still have the original bear somewhere in the house. I’m sure he’s holding down a bookshelf somewhere, as he should be.


Today is Reading Reality’s 5th birthday. Tomorrow is my 50-something birthday. Here on the blog, I celebrate birthdays Hobbit-style, meaning that I give away presents instead of getting presents. Today’s prize is a $15 Gift Card or a book of the winner’s choice, up to $15 in value, shipped by the lovely folks at The Book Depository. The rest of the week I’ll be giving books away, either courtesy of the publishers, the authors or my own self. There should be something to tickle every reader’s fancy.

It’s hard to believe it’s been 5 whole years since I started this blog. And also the fact that none of this technology was even a gleam in an inventor’s eye when I was born, 50-something years ago tomorrow.

I helped build my first PC from a kit in 1979. The joke was that the first program most people wrote for their new computers was a program to calculate the payment schedule. Home computers were very much a niche item, and they weren’t cheap. The other joke was that one’s dream computer cost around $5000, and it probably still does. But we’re able to dream a lot bigger when it comes to computers than we used to be. And $5,000 isn’t what it used to be either.

I’ve written a lot of posts in 5 years, and a lot of book reviews. There have been over 2,000 posts on Reading Reality in 5 years, most of them written by yours truly. While I’m sure there’s a word counter somewhere in the Jetpack Site Stats, I’m not sure I want to know. There have been not quite 13,000 comments in 5 years. And over 120,000 page views. I’m not sure whether this is a “time flies when you’re having fun” kind of comment, or something about how big the numbers get if you just leave them alone awhile to multiply. It’s still staggering.

My best day, at least so far, was November 15, 2015. The Gratitude Giveaways Hop had just started, and that brought in oodles of traffic. My best month, at least since I got Jetpack, was January 2016. Hopefully there will be even better days in the year ahead. No matter how the stats add up, there’s no statistic that measures just how much fun it is to write every day, and how much joy (and occasional frustration) I’ve gotten from all the books I’ve read and all the comments I’ve received.

Thank you for coming along with me on this journey. Stay tuned for more exciting adventures and fun books in the year ahead!

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4th Annual Blogo-Birthday Celebration + Giveaway

It’s hard to believe that I’ve been doing this for four years!

On April 4, Reading Reality turned a proud four years old. And on April 5, I turned a few times that many. My birthday.

Which is where the term “blogo-birthday” comes from. The blog has a blogoversary, and I have a birthday and a new word is coined. Ta-Da!

I was kind of hoping to have a bloggish makeover to reveal, but since I didn’t think of that brilliant idea until mid-February, I couldn’t get on the waiting list in time. Soon. Soon-ish.

But this is definitely a day to celebrate. As usual, this is a Hobbit birthday. Which means I give presents to people who come to the party. Because it’s Reading Reality’s fourth blogoversary, I’m going to give away four $10 prizes. It will be the winners’ choice whether they want an Amazon or B&N Gift Card, or a book from The Book Depository, which makes this an international giveaway.

Because this is an anniversary for the blog, it’s time to look back and forward. The question in the rafflecopter will be me asking you for suggestions or pointers. What do you like? What sort of things would you like to see that maybe I don’t do, or don’t do often enough? I would love to hear your suggestions and comments!

Thank you so much for following Reading Reality, and especially for stopping by to celebrate with me!

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Stacking the Shelves (83)

Stacking the Shelves

Today is my birthday, so I’m not going to say much, just go off and celebrate.

If you want to celebrate with me, my annual Blogo-Birthday giveaway started yesterday. I’m giving away a $15 gift card and a selection of books. I hope you’ll take a look!

For Review:
2 a.m. at the Cat’s Pajamas by Marie-Helene Bertino
Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill
Grim Shadows (Roaring Twenties #2) by Jenn Bennett
Mortal Heart (His Fair Assassin #3) by Robin LaFevers
Shaman Rises (Walker Papers #9) by C.E. Murphy
Tanya by Rebecca Rogers Maher
The Keys to the Realms (Dream Stewards #2) by Roberta Trahan
The Marriage Pact (Brides of Bliss County #1) by Linda Lael Miller
The Perfect Hostage (Super Agent #5) by Misty Evans
The Promise (Thunder Point #5) by Robyn Carr
The Tea Shop on Lavender Lane (Life in Icicle Falls #5) by Sheila Roberts
Traitor’s Blade (Greatcoats #1) by Sebastien de Castell
The Well of Tears (Dream Stewards #1) by Roberta Trahan

A Dance of Cloaks (Shadowdance #1) by David Dalglish
Thunder Mountain by Dean Wesley Smith

Blogo-Birthday Celebration and Giveaway

blogo birthday one day

Today is, believe it or not, the third anniversary of the founding of Reading Reality. In other words, it’s my blog’s birthday!

Tomorrow, April 5, just so happens to be my own personal birthday. (Three years ago, this was a pretty busy week!)

As is my custom, I’m having a Hobbit birthday for us. That means that instead of getting presents, I’ll be giving some away. I want to share the joy.

I also want to share a few books that need to get out and be loved by some lucky reader. These are my review copies, but because I usually get ebooks from NetGalley or Edelweiss, these are all unread, and waiting for someone to read them.

So, how is this giving stuff away thing going to work?

I’m giving away a $15 Amazon or B&N gift card to the first prize winner. Second prize gets to pick 4 books, and third prize is three books.

Which books? Forgiving Lies and Deceiving Lies by Molly McAdams, Dash of Peril by Lori Foster, Retribution by Anderson Harp, and a signed copy of Tarnished by Karina Cooper. I also have 2 copies of The Clockwork Wolf by Lynn Viehl, so both winners get one copy.

In the rafflecopter, just let me know which book you would pick first if you get to choose!

And thanks for stopping by to celebrate with me!!

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The Sunday Post AKA What’s On My (Mostly Virtual) Nightstand 4-7-13

Sunday Post

This weekend is part of the Reading Reality Blogo-Birthday Celebration. Sunday’s part of the celebration is that I get to tell you, one more time, all the chances that you have to win one of the bookish prizes!

About Last Night by Ruthie KnoxFrom the Blogoversary part, you have a chance to win a copy of either Ruthie Knox’ RITA nominated About Last Night, or her brand new Strangers on a Train story, Big Boy (review on Tuesday) or a $10 Amazon Giftcard.

From the Birthday part, you have a chance to win a copy of the entire (and entirely yummy) Devil DeVere series by Victoria Vane. Or another $10 Amazon Giftcard.

And, just for extras, there is also a chance to win a print copy of the first book in Robyn Carr’s new Thunder Point series, The Wanderer.

You have until April 13 to put your hat into the rings, or your entry into the rafflecopters, for all the prizes.

BTW, Mikki D. won the ebook copy of Temptation by Kathryn Barrett from Kathryn and Entangled Publishing.

Eternally Devoted by Stacey KennedyNow for the complete recap of last week’s posts:

B+ Review: Mystically Bound by Stacey Kennedy
B Review: And Then She Fell by Stephanie Laurens
A- Review: Eternally Devoted by Stacey Kennedy
Blogo-Birthday Celebration and Giveaway Day 1
Blogo-Birthday Celebration and Giveaway Day 2
B+ Review: The Wanderer by Robyn Carr
Guest Post: Q&A with Robyn Carr + Giveaway!

The Blogo-Birthday won’t come around for another year. Boo-hoo. But there are still more good things ahead!

This week I’ll have reviews of Ruthie Knox’ Big Boy and Victoria Vane’s The Trouble with Sin. It’s only fair after dropping hints about both stories last week in the giveaways. They are both definitely worth getting!

What She Wants by Sheila RobertsAnd in the middle, Sheila Roberts will be back to talk about the theme of friendship that runs through her stories, and she’ll be giving away a copy of her latest book, What She Wants. I’ll also have a review of this story of poker buddies turning to romance novels to figure out what women want. Does it work? Come and find out!

Blogo-Birthday Celebration and Giveaway Day 2

Reading Reality Blogo-Birthday

Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to me!

Oh that sounds strange, doesn’t it?

Today is the second day of Reading Reality’s Blogo-Birthday celebration. This is, rather obviously, the birthday part.

(For a complete explanation of the Blogo-Birthday phenomenon, and to enter yesterday’s giveaways, click here)

It’s my birthday and I’m sharing the joy by giving away more books that I loved.

Devil Devere

Victoria Vane’s Devil DeVere series (A Wild Night’s Bride, The Virgin Huntress, The Devil You Know, The Devil’s Match) has been absolutely oodles of fun to read. There have been moments when I have wanted to shake some of the characters until their teeth rattled, but that’s definitely been part of what has made this series such a blast! Her characters are ones that you want to talk back to. And sometimes choke. Or slap. That’s what made me list the Devil DeVere series as one of the Best Ebook Romances of 2012 in my annual wrap-up for Library Journal.

Victoria is letting me give a complete (as of now) seven-book set of the currently released titles in the Devil DeVere series to one lucky winner for my birthday. Someone is in for a real treat!

Devere collage2

In addition, I will be giving away another Amazon gift card. Two more chances to win.

Can I throw a party or can I throw a party?

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The Sunday Post AKA What’s On My (Mostly Virtual) Nightstand 3-24-13

Sunday Post

It’s officially Spring! It may or may not feel like Spring where you are on the planet but it is officially Spring in the Northern Hemisphere. (For those in the Southern Hemisphere, happy Autumn!)

In Seattle, Spring blew in on high, chilly winds, but we seem to have gotten some sun. Don’t envy me too much, it’ll rain again soon. And again. And again.

Some things happen only once. Like winning the Lucky in Love Blog Hop. The lucky winner  of the $10 Amazon Gift Card was Stacey P.

Night Demon by Lisa KesslerBut you still have plenty of time to enter some of the other giveaways from last week. Lisa Kessler is giving away four prizes to celebrate the launch of Night Demon, the latest book in her Night series.

One lucky winner will take away a copy of Jeanette Grey’s fabulous new romance, Take What You Want. Check out the giveaway details here.

And all sweet with no bitter at all, Nina Croft is giving away a copy of Bittersweet Blood, the terrific first book in her new paranormal romance series. Details here on that giveaway.

Take What You Want by Jeanette GreyThis week’s complete recap:

Guest Post: Night Demon Launch Party + Giveaway
A- Review: Take What You Want by Jennifer Grey
Interview with Jennifer Grey + Giveaway
A- Review: The Emperor’s Edge by Lindsay Buroker
A- Review: Bittersweet Blood by Nina Croft
Guest Post: Nina Croft’s Top Ten Movies + Giveaway
B Review: Border Lair by Bianca D’Arc
Stacking the Shelves (39)

Looking ahead to next week, I have two guests again. Christine Bell will be here on Tuesday, with a laugh-out-loud guest post that is totally apropos for her latest book, Down and Dirty. Because the book was more than a little of that, but all in pursuit of a good story. You’ll see in Tuesday’s review.

Temptation by Kathryn BarrettThursday my guest is Kathryn Barrett, as part of the tour for Temptation, her romance set in Amish country, Lancaster, Pennsylvania. I’ll confess that I wanted to read this tale of a Hollywood actress “tempting” an Amish furniture-maker because my husband grew up in Lancaster! Kathryn will be here with a guest post and I’ll be reviewing this modern take on Adam and Eve.

Both tours have book giveaways!

Looking ahead to the following week, April 4-5 is my second annual Blogo-Birthday! The blog and I have back-to-back birthdays. The blog is 2. I’m not saying. This will be a Hobbit-type birthday, which means that I give away presents. Come and celebrate with me!

Reading Reality Blogo Birthday

Blogo-Birthday Giveaway Winners!

During last week’s Blogo-Birthday Celebration there were four, count ’em four giveaways!

As promised, the announcement for the winners of those giveaways is today.

The winner of the ebook copy of Heather Massey’s erotic clockpunk novella The Watchmaker’s Lady is Lee.

The winner of the ebook copy of Heather Massey’s science fiction romance Queenie’s Brigade is Tina B.

The winner of the $15 Amazon giftcard is Louis H.

And the winner of the $20 Amazon giftcard is Krista.

Congratulations to all the winners. They’ve all received emails to confirm where they want their GCs or ebooks sent.

I want to thank everyone for coming to my party. This was so much fun, I think I’ll do it again next year!

Birthday Giveaway of Queenie’s Brigade

Today is my birthday. Not Reading Reality’s blogoversary, but my actual birthday.

I’ve been referring to this celebration as a hobbit’s birthday. For anyone who has not read J.R.R. Tolkien’s masterpieces, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, hobbits give presents to other people on their birthdays.

Reading, and re-reading The Hobbit and LOTR gave me my love of fantasy, and led to my lifelong adventures in genre fiction. From that introduction, I followed the primrose and circuit-strewn path to science fiction, and thus became a geek girl forever.

The biggest argument I had with Tolkien, then and now, is that there were almost no strong female characters. My current favorites generally don’t have that problem.

One of my favorite books from 2011 is Queenie’s Brigade, by Heather Massey. Queenie is a very strong woman, the leader of a prison colony at the edge of known space. This ebook science fiction romance was on my Best Ebook Romances of 2011 column at Library Journal. I could only pick 5 books, but Queenie’s Brigade had to be one of those five. Read my review and you’ll understand why it made my top 5.

Heather Massey, in addition to being an SFR author, also follows science fiction romance as the pilot of The Galaxy Express blog. Interested readers and fellow travelers should climb aboard The Galaxy Express. It’s a fantastic ride.

But about Queenie. Queenie is an alpha heroine leading a fight against overwhelming odds. Queenie’s Brigade has been called The Dirty Dozen in space. Why? Because Queenie joins the freed inmates of her prison colony to the crew of the last spaceship escaping from a doomed Earth Federation. Queenie and the captain of the spaceship team up to turn the prisoners into soldiers.

I called it great science fiction with hot romance. And thanks to Heather Massey, I get to giveaway a copy of Queenie’s Brigade to one reader of Reading Reality for my birthday.

(If Queenie’s Brigade sounds good, take a look at the review of Heather’s latest erotic clockpunk romance, The Watchmaker’s Lady. There’s still plenty of time to get in on that giveaway.)

To have an ebook copy of Queenie’s Brigade for your very own (PDF, EPUB or .mobi) , here’s all you have to do. Leave a comment that answers the following question: if you were in command of a ragtag fleet of barely repaired ships, which evil science fiction empire would you rather be up against? And also let me know which format you want you ebook in if you are the lucky winner.

The deadline to enter the giveaway is 12:01 a.m. EDT on the morning of April 8, 2012. I will announce the winner on April 9th.

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