Blogo-Birthday Giveaway

Today, April 4, is the seventh anniversary of the first post on Reading Reality. Tomorrow, April 5, is my 61st birthday. And I’m not sure which I find more astonishing.

The banner above was the original header for Reading Reality, back when it was called “Escape Reality, Read Fiction”, a line I got from a t-shirt. I found the original bear the other day, and he’s sitting on my desk right now. He’s still a good luck mascot – and Freddie has not yet found him and played with him to death. Give him time. Freddie, I mean, not the bear. There’s a reason we call him the Fredinator.

In those intervening years, Reading Reality has published 2,902 posts, most of them mine. It’s gone from a 3 or 4 day a week blog to a daily blog – even if I occasionally find myself scrambling to get a post ready on time. Believe it or not, there have been over 22,000 comments made during those seven years. That’s a lot of conversation.

And it has been, and continues to be, an absolute blast to do. It surprised me to realize that this is the second-longest I’ve ever held a single job. My record is 9 years, and that’s coming up fast.

What makes it all worthwhile are the contacts. I may not respond as much as I should, but I love hearing from readers that they have enjoyed the blog and my reviews, whether through comments here or comments on my Goodreads reviews. And I very much appreciate the way that my reach has expanded over the years, so that I get to read even more great books – as well as the occasional clunker.

This week is my opportunity to give back to all of you who have given so much to me over the past seven years, and I hope many more to come. For Reading Reality as well as myself, this is a Hobbit birthday, where I give presents instead of receiving them. I’m giving away something every day this week, whether through a blog tour, due to the generosity of some of my favorite authors, or out of Reading Reality’s pocket.

As the actual anniversary, today’s giveaways are special. I’m giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card AND a book from the Book Depository up to $25 in value, shipped anywhere that the Book Depository ships, which is a tremendous number of places.

It’s my way of saying thanks to all of you. I’m looking forward to spending many more years together, talking about even more books!

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The Sunday Post AKA What’s on my (Mostly Virtual) Nightstand 4-1-18

Sunday Post

Happy April Fool’s Day. Hoppy Easter, Happy Passover, and welcome to the first day of my Blogo-Birthday Celebration Week!

Officially the celebration is April 4 and April 5, but over the years it’s gotten bigger and bigger and now it’s a whole week. I will be giving something away every day this week. There will be books, gift cards and even some swag! Stop by every day to see what’s in store.

Here’s what’s coming up this week, as well as all the goodies that are usually a part of the Sunday Post.

Current Giveaways:

$10 Gift Card or $10 Book in the April Book of Choice Giveaway Hop
Hate to Want You by Alisha Rai

Winner Announcements:

The winner of the $10 Gift Card or $10 Book in the Lucky Leprechaun Giveaway Hop is Tari
The winner of the $10 Gift Card or $10 Book in the March into Madness Giveaway Hop is Judith
The winner of the $10 Gift Card or $10 Book in the All About Diversity Blog Hop is Adik

Blog Recap:

A- Review: Hurts to Love You by Alisha Rai + Giveaway
A Review: To Die But Once by Jacqueline Winspear
B Review: The Morcai Battalion: The Pursuit by Diana Palmer
B+ Review: The Awkward Squad by Sophie Henaff
A- Review: Queen of the Flowers by Kerry Greenwood
Stacking the Shelves (281)
April Book of Choice Giveaway Hop

Coming Next Week:

Counting on a Countess by Eva Leigh (blog tour review)
The World Awakening by Dan Koboldt (review)
Blogo-Birthday Giveaway
Cyborg by Anna Hackett (review)
Head On by John Scalzi (review)

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!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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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The Sunday Post AKA What’s on my (Mostly Virtual) Nightstand 4-5-15

Sunday Post

Today is my birthday. As is so often the case, my birthday is in the middle of Passover. As a kid, this was always a big pain, because, well, no cake. Also no party until after, because, well, no cake. Basically no cake. Now I’m a grownup and I can do whatever I want. I also prefer things like chocolate mousse or ice cream that are not cake. Not that I don’t like cake, but for one or two people, there are alternatives. A bunch of six or seven year olds want cake. With candles.

fool for love giveaway hopI would now need more than enough candles to set off the smoke detectors, if not the fire alarm. C’est la vie. Always happy to still be having vie.

Now if you want a present for my birthday, my annual Blogo-Birthday celebration and giveaway starts tomorrow. In the meantime, there are still a couple of days left in the Fool for Books Giveaway Hop.

Current Giveaways:

$10 Gift Card or book up to $10 in the Fool for Books Giveaway Hop
$25 Gift Card + ebook copy of The Kill Shot by Nichole Christoff
Paperback copy of Never Too Late by Robyn Carr

Winner Announcements:

The winner of the Lucky Leprechaun Giveaway Hop is Ed.

unbreakable by wc bauersBlog Recap:

A- Review: Behind Closed Doors by Elizabeth Haynes
B Review: Never Too Late by Robyn Carr + Giveaway
Fool for Books Giveaway Hop
A- Review: Unbreakable by W.C. Bauers
B- Review: The Kill Shot by Nichole Christoff + Giveaway
Stacking the Shelves (129)




Coming Next Week:

blogo-birthday-april 6 take two-1024x5904th Annual Blogo-Birthday Giveaway
Wildfire at Larch Creek by M.L. Buchman (review)
The Fifth Heart by Dan Simmons (review)
Doc by Maria Doria Russell (review)
Bite Me Your Grace by Brooklyn Ann (review)

Stacking the Shelves (129)

Stacking the Shelves

Today is the 4th anniversary of Reading Reality. 2011 seems like a LONG time ago. The official celebration (and giveaway) will be on Monday, April 6. I’m starting to measure my life in when we moved and where we were when “X” happened. When I started Reading Reality, we were living in Gainesville, FL. After that, we moved here to Atlanta. and moved again within Atlanta. Then Seattle, and we moved again in Seattle. Now we’re back in Atlanta. That’s a lot of moves to end up back in the same place. We often drive by that second place we lived in when we were here before. It’s hard to resist the impulse to turn in!

On the bookish front, Humble Bundle is currently offering a science fiction bundle that is pretty awesome. Check it out!

For Review:
Deadly Election (Flavia Albia #3) by Lindsey Davis
The Dismantling by Brian DeLeeuw
Dissident (Bellator #1) by Cecilia London
Finding Mr. Right Now (Salt Box #1) by Meg Benjamin
The Other Daughter by Lauren Willig
The State of Play edited by Daniel Goldberg and Linus Larsson
The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley

Purchased from Amazon:
The Atrocity Archives (Laundry Files #1) by Charles Stross
Crushed (City of Eldrich #2) by Laura Kirwan
The Fire Seer and Her Quradum (Coalition of Mages #2) by Amy Raby
Impervious (City of Eldrich #1) by Laura Kirwan
Target of the Heart (Night Stalkers) by M.L. Buchman

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 3-30-14

Sunday Post

Time passes so quickly. Reading Reality’s 3rd anniversary is this Friday. My birthday is Saturday, so this Friday I’m holding my annual Blogo-Birthday Celebration. By celebrate I mean giveaway! This year I’m planning to give away a gift card and some books from my recent collection. For international visitors, I’ll do a giveaway from Book Depository (I wish they did gift cards!!!)

But until Friday rolls around, here’s what else has been happening:

Current Giveaways:

The Accident by Chris Pavone (hardcover)
$25 B&N Gift card and an ecopy of The Cottage on Juniper Ridge courtesy of Sheila Roberts

Winner Announcements:

$10 Amazon Gift Card in the Leaping Leprechauns Blog Hop – Piroska B.

Accident by Chris PavoneBlog Recap:

B+ Review by Cass: A Murder of Crows by Anne Bishop
A+ Review: The Accident by Chris Pavone + Giveaway
C+ Review: Turned by Virna DePaul
B+ Review: The Cottage on Juniper Ridge by Sheila Roberts
Guest Post from Sheila Roberts about the REAL Icicle Falls + Giveaway
B+ Review: Silent Blade by Ilona Andrews
Stacking the Shelves (82)


Coming Next Week:

blogo birthday one dayThe Descartes Legacy by Nina Croft (review)
Waiting on You by Kristan Higgins (blog tour review)
Four Friends by Robyn Carr (blog tour review)
Duke City Split by Max Austin (blog tour review
Fool for Books Giveaway Hop
Reading Reality’s 3rd Annual 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!