Monday, September 30, 2013

Month in Review: September 2013

What did I do?
  • Felt like being honest with my buds in the blogosphere with this post about being shy, you can check it out here. All the lovely comments really did make me feel so much better and not so alone! Thank you to all the wonderful bloggers who have been an amazing encouragement. I'm blessed to know you :)
  • I participated in yet another read-a-thon. I'm on a sort of binge here! It's too much fun to pass them up. The Fall into Reading RAT was hosted by Bibliophile Sisters. Here are my GoalsProgress Updates, and Wrap-up posts.
Books Read
  • Bleeding Heart by Amber Stokes*
  • Anomaly by Krista McGee
  • She Does Good Hair by Terri Gillespie
*Favorite this month

Reviews Posted (title, author, rating)
Blog Awards
Giveaway Winners
That's my month in review. How was your September?

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Fall Into Reading: Wrap-up Post

Fall into Reading · Hosted by The Bibliophile Sisters · Runs from Sept. 22-29th

This week passed by so fast! And unfortunately I didn't reach my goals for the week! It's ok, though. I still had a lot of fun reading what I was able to and keeping up with everyone's updates. Here's the final tally for what I read:
- Final Tally -
Books finished: Anomaly by Krista McGee
Currently reading: She Does Good Hair by Terri Gillespie
Pages read: 500 (snuck in some more reading today :D)
 
I hope you were able to get closer to reaching your goals than I was. Go ahead and link up your wrap up post here and I'll go check'em out :)
 
 
Happy Fall and Happy Reading!!
e

Friday, September 27, 2013

Review: Bleeding Heart by Amber Stokes

Bleeding Heart
by Amber Stokes
Seasons of a Story (July 2013)
Source: Purchased Ebook Copy
Five bleeding hearts. One profound journey.
 
Summer 1886

Sally Clay’s livelihood has been snatched away, but in its place arises an opportunity to escape from her sordid past and an unrelenting, unwanted suitor. Boarding a train with a heartsick rancher and an enigmatic miner, she leaves Virginia City behind and heads to Northern California, waiting for the chance to make right what went wrong three long years before.

But the road to revenge is far from smooth. Sally soon learns that the jagged pieces of a broken heart can far too easily wound the hearts of others – and hers isn’t the only heart that’s broken. Tragedy and fear dog her steps as she flees from the redwood forests to the high desert and back again. Will her bleeding heart ever find a way and a place to heal? A desperate soiled dove. Three men who come to care for her. One man determined to claim her. All on a journey that will show them what true love really involves.
 
Bleeding Heart is Amber Stokes debut novel. And what a great debut it was! I've said this to Amber before, but I will say it again. She has a beautiful way with words. She's able to clearly express what she is trying to say in a simple way that draws you in. For me, her writing voice is gentle, understanding, sweet, and genuine. I admire her for her great writing ability and love that she's sharing her wonderful talent with us all!

Bleeding Heart is not your typical feel-good romance novel. Much like life, it was an unpredictable journey for each of these characters. It had its share of heartwarming moments along with heart wrenching ones. Sally, Joe, Myghal, and Seth each have a painful past they can't seem to break free from. Along the journey they find themselves on, these characters become close and stick together as they face all the pain and hurt that comes their way. By the end I felt emotionally invested and attached to each one of them for different reasons. I felt like I was there in their lowest point, and was with them as they were rising up from the pit.

As you can imagine, this was such an emotional roller coaster for me. There were moments that had me smiling and laughing. And then there were times when I couldn't believe what had just happened. I went back and reread certain parts because I thought I read wrong. I literally had to set my Kindle down and take in what I just read. I thought Amber did such a great job with those kinds of scenes. She didn't dwell on them for too long, but she still gave the characters, and readers, time to grieve.

My favorite character, and someone I hope we see more of, is Myghal. He was so sweet and had a great sense of humor. Even though he was hurting inside, he didn't let it show. He was always there when the other characters were in need and I loved that about him.

Amber captured so much raw emotion in this story. This novel was definitely darker than I had expected, but that's not a bad thing. Even though there's a lot of pain throughout the story, we still feel a sense of hope for Sally and the others in the end. I really liked the historical aspects and the perfect amount of suspense thrown in. Bleeding Heart was a beautiful debut and I can't wait to read more!

About Amber Stokes
 
Amber Stokes has a Bachelor of Science degree in English and a passion for the written word - from
blogging to writing poetry, short stories, and novels. After her brief time at college in Oregon, she is now back home among the redwoods of Northern California, living life one day at a time and pursuing her passion via freelance editing and self-publishing.

You can connect with Amber on her personal blog (Seasons of Humility), the group blog she contributes to (The Borrowed Book), Twitter, Pinterest, Goodreads, Shelfari, and LinkedIn.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Check out this awesome Kindle Fire HD giveaway!

fall kindle fire
 
This is a joint AUTHOR & BLOGGER GIVEAWAY EVENT! Bloggers & Authors have joined together and each chipped in a little money towards a Kindle Fire HD 7".

The winner will have the option of receiving a 7" Kindle Fire HD (US Only)
  Or $199 Amazon.com Gift Card (International)
  Or $199 in Paypal Cash (International)
    Fall Sponsoring Authors & Bloggers
  1. I Am A Reader, Not A Writer
  2. Feed Your Reader
  3. Author Annette K. Larsen
  4. Phantasmic Reads
  5. Author Bella Street
  6. Author Bonnie Blythe
  7. Author Stacy Claflin
  8. MyLadyWeb: Women's History, Women Authors
  9. Book Mama Blog
  10. Word to Dreams
  11. Candace's Book Blog
  12. Once Upon a YA Book
  13. Author Miriam Louise
  14. Author Mary Ting
  15. Author Camelia Miron Skiba
  16. Books4Tomorrow
  17. Author Theresa McClinton
  18. Brooke Blogs
  19. Author Pauline Creeden
  20. Author MK McClintock
  21. Author Kathryn Chastain Treat
  22. Books Unhinged Book Blog
  23. Author Kelly Cozy
  24. Meredith & Jennifer's Musings
  25. These Are But Shadows
  26. My Devotional Thoughts
  27. Author Ally Shields
  28. Dark Motive's Books and More
  29. Nessarox
  30. Fae Books
  31. Author Jennie Sherwin
  32. The Real Bookshelves of Room 918
  33. Auggie Talk
  34. No BS Book Reviews
  35. BookLover Sue
  36. Gin's Book Notes
  37. Bookhounds
  38. Buku-Buku Didi
  39. Author Shelli Profitt Howells
  40. My Nook, Books and More
  41. The Late Bloomer's Book Blog
  42. Clarice's Book Nook
  43. MichaelSciFan
  44. Magical Manuscripts
  45. Author Talia Jager
  46. Every Free Chance Book Reviews
  47. Jessabella Reads
  48. Author Melissa Pearl
  49. Author Elizabeth Isaacs
  50. Bookitty Blog
  51. Author Helen Smith
  52. The (Mis)Adventures of a Twenty-Something Year Old Girl
  53. Christine's Blog
  54. Write Away Bliss
  55. Another World of Books
  56. The Reporter and The Girl MINUS The Super Man!
  57. Katie's Clean Book Collection
  58. Author Marcia Lynn McClure
  59. Author Shannon Guymon
  60. Ripple Effect Romance Series
Sign up to Sponsor the NOVEMBER Giveaway http://www.iamareader.com/2013/09/november-kindle-fire-giveaway-sign-ups.html  

Giveaway Details
1 winner will receive their choice of a Kindle Fire 7" HD (US Only), $199 Amazon Gift Card or $199 in Paypal Cash (International).

There is a second separate giveaway for bloggers who post this giveaway on their blog. See details in the rafflecopter on how to enter to win the 2nd Kindle Fire.

Ends 10/31/13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer http://iamareader.com and sponsored by the participating authors & bloggers. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.  

Monday, September 23, 2013

Fall into Reading: Progress Updates

Fall into Reading · Hosted by The Bibliophile Sisters · Runs from Sept. 22-29th

Hey guys! So this is the post where I'll be updating my progress throughout the week. You can check back here everyday to see how I'm doing. I hope everyone is having fun so far! I know I am :) Happy Reading!

Sunday 9/22
Books read today: Anomaly by Krista McGee
Books completed so far: 0
Pages read so far: about 50
Percentage of current book: *checking goodreads* 21%
Thoughts on today (in 140 characters or less):
I love fall!! And this weather is perfect for reading under a warm blanket with a cup of tea. Today was an ok start for me :)

Monday 9/23
Books read today: Anomaly by Krista McGee
Books completed so far: 0
Pages read so far: about 100
Percentage of current book: 29%
Thoughts on today (in 140 characters or less):
Way more distractions than I would have liked to have. I've gotta find a hiding place where no one can find me so I can read!

Tuesday 9/24
Books read today: Anomaly by Krista McGee
Books completed so far: 0
Pages read so far: 122
Percentage of current book: 33%
Thoughts on today (in 140 characters or less):
I have no words about today -_- I really like Anomaly but I just can't find the time to get a good amount of reading done. That's changing tomorrow! I will finish! :D

Wednesday 9/25
Books read today: Anomaly by Krista McGee, She Does Good Hair by Terri Gillespie
Books completed so far: 1
Pages read so far: 320
Percentage of current book: 20%
Thoughts on today (in 140 characters or less):
So glad to have finished my first book! I wanted to start reading Made to Last by Melissa Tagg, but I NEED to finish She Does Good Hair first :D

Thursday 9/26
Books read today: She Does Good Hair by Terri Gillespie
Books completed so far: 1
Pages read so far: 350
Percentage of current book: 23%
Thoughts on today (in 140 characters or less):
Yeah. Not getting too much reading done lately :/ Not very happy about that!

Friday 9/27
Books read today: She Does Good Hair by Terri Gillespie
Books completed so far: 1
Pages read so far: 400
Percentage of current book: 30%
Thoughts on today (in 140 characters or less):
I got a bit more reading in my day, but not as much as I would have liked. This week just hasn't been so great for reading :(

Saturday 9/28
Books read today: She Does Good Hair by Terri Gillespie
Books completed so far: 1
Pages read so far: 420
Percentage of current book: 31%
Thoughts on today (in 140 characters or less):
Even though I won't be reaching my reading goal for the week, I still had fun! I loved getting updated on how blogging buddies were doing and encouraging each other!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Fall into Reading Read-A-Thon: Goals

Fall into Reading · Hosted by The Bibliophile Sisters · Runs from Sept. 22-29th

The Fall into Reading RAT is finally here! I honestly forgot it was starting today so I'm getting this post together quickly :D Let's get right to it! Here are my goals for the week -

1. Finish the book I'm reading now (Anomaly by Krista McGee)
2. Read at least 3 more books - for a total of 4 books this week!
3. Review at least two books I finish during the RAT
4. Participate in the challenges/activities
5. Comment on other blogs and "meet" new bloggers!
6. Update regularly and keep up with everyone's progress on Twitter and blogs
7. Enjoy the week and have fun reading!!

These are the books I hope to finish

There's still time to sign up if you haven't!
 
Happy first day of Autumn and Happy Reading!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Review: The Baker's Wife by Erin Healy

The Baker's Wife
by Erin Healy
Thomas Nelson (October 2011)
Source: From publisher for review
Amazon | Goodreads

Before Audrey was the baker's wife, she was the pastor's wife. 

Then a scandalous lie cost her husband a pastoral career. Now the two work side-by-side running a bakery, serving coffee, and baking fresh bread. But the hurt still pulls at Audrey.

Driving early one morning to the bakery, Audrey's car strikes something-or someone-at a fog-shrouded intersection. She finds a motor scooter belonging to a local teacher. Blood is everywhere, but there's no trace of a body.

Both the scooter and the blood belong to detective Jack Mansfield's wife, and he's certain that Audrey is behind Julie's disappearance.

But the case dead-ends and the detective spirals into madness. When he takes her family and some patrons hostage at the bakery, Audrey is left with a soul-damaged ex-con and a cynical teen to solve the mystery. And she'll never manage that unless she taps into something she would rather leave behind-her excruciating ability to feel other's pain.

I'll be honest with you, It's been a while since I read this novel and I feel so bad that I never got around to reviewing it until now! Obviously there are some things I don't remember too well about it, but one thing that stuck with me was the inspiring message of forgiveness and God's grace. The characters in this book are all flawed, they have their regrets and could use a second chance. And that's something we can all relate to, right? I really liked that they were very relatable and to me they felt like they could be real people who needed a friendly reminder of the amazing grace of God, just like a lot of us do.

Another thing I liked was the suspense. I thought Ms. Healy did a fantastic job with keeping readers in suspense as the mystery unfolded. The beginning did start off slow but from the moment Audrey was in a car accident on an early foggy morning and found a very bloody scene without a body, I was hooked! I couldn't stop reading until I found out every little detail about who, why, what, and how everything happened. In the end there were a couple unanswered questions, but it was still pretty satisfying to finally understand why/how certain things happened.

One thing I did find odd was Audrey's ability to literally feel other people's pain. At first I didn't like the idea because it seemed a little more on the paranormal side, but then once I read the author's reason for giving Audrey this gift it made a lot more sense to me. Now that I think of it, the gift did add a lot to the story and made things more interesting.

Overall, I thought this was a great read. I might not end up rereading it in the future but I would definitely recommend it to those who like Christian mystery/suspense.

 
About Erin Healy
Erin Healy is an award-winning fiction editor who has worked with talented novelists such as James Scott Bell, Melody Carlson, Colleen Coble, Brandilyn Collins, Traci DePree, L. B. Graham, Rene Gutteridge, Michelle McKinney Hammond, Robin Lee Hatcher, Denise Hildreth, Denise Hunter, Randy Ingermanson, Jane Kirkpatrick, Bryan Litfin, Frank Peretti,Lisa Samson, Randy Singer, Robert Whitlow, and many others.

She began working with Ted Dekker in 2002 and edited twelve of his heart-pounding storiesbefore their collaboration on Kiss, the first novel to seat her on “the other side of the desk.”

Erin is the owner of WordWright Editorial Services, a consulting firm specializing in fiction book development. She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers and the Academy of Christian Editors. She lives with her family in Colorado.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Mini Review: Attracted to Fire by DiAnn Mills

Attracted to Fire
by DiAnn Mills
Tyndale House Publishers (September 2011)
Source: Netgalley
Amazon | Goodreads

Special Agent Meghan Connors’ dream of one day protecting the president of the United States is about to come true. Only one assignment stands in her way. After the vice president’s rebellious daughter is threatened, Meghan is assigned to her protective detail on a secluded ranch in West Texas. Unfortunately, working with Special Agent in Charge Ash Zinders may be as tough as controlling her charge. Ash has a reputation for being critical and exacting, and he’s also after the same promotion as Meghan. But when the threats escalate and security on the ranch is breached, it becomes clear this isn’t the work of a single suspect—it’s part of a sophisticated plan that reaches deeper and higher than anyone imagined. And only Ash and Meghan can put the pieces together before it’s too late.

I wanted to like this book. I really did. I've read so many great reviews and know that a lot of other bloggers really liked it. The problem was that I never felt drawn into the story. The only other way I can describe it is I was always aware that I was reading. I never felt like I could get lost in the story. The book started off rather slow and by the time the pace picked up I wasn't interested anymore. I also never connected to any of the characters the way I usually do. I didn't feel attached emotionally because I didn't feel any real emotion from them. I don't know. I'm disappointed that I didn't end up liking it and I've been avoiding writing a review because I feel so bad! I guess this book wasn't for me and in the end I thought it was just ok. I would still consider reading another one of DiAnn Mills books in the future, though!


Just because I didn't enjoy this book doesn't mean you'd feel the same way. A lot of other bloggers really like it and maybe their reviews will help you decide if it's something you'd like to read. Here are reviews of Attracted to Fire from some bloggers I follow.
About the author
Website | Twitter | Facebook
Award-winning author DiAnn Mills is a fiction writer who combines an adventuresome spirit with unforgettable characters to create action-packed, suspense-filled novels. DiAnn's first book was
published in 1998. She currently has more than fifty books published.

Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists and have won placements through the American Christian Fiction Writer's Carol Awards and Inspirational Reader's Choice awards. DiAnn won the Christy Award in 2010 and 2011.

DiAnn is a founding board member for American Christian Fiction Writers and a member of Inspirational Writers Alive, Romance Writers of America, and Advanced Writers and Speakers Association. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country. DiAnn is also the Craftsman mentor for the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild.

She and her husband live in sunny Houston, Texas.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

From my shelf to yours

I have a lot of books on my shelf that are in need of new homes. I've already read them and have no use for them anymore. This does not mean they weren't great reads. It's just that I'd much rather share them with other book lovers than watch them sit on my shelf collecting dust. Books are meant to be read!

I want to give my readers a chance to win some of my old books and that's why I host From my shelf to yours giveaways every couple of weeks. They last a week from the day they're posted and one person will win the book of their choice.

Giveaway open to US only. To enter, fill out the rafflecopter below. This idea was inspired by Nearly New Books For You hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer.

* * *
I'm so happy to start doing these giveaways again! This is the Teen edition of From my shelf to yours. I just want to mention that two of the 4 books I'm giving away were won by someone more than a year ago but they never claimed their prize :( and yes, I just barely noticed! I completely forgot to choose a new winner so I'm just including them in this giveaway.
 
Books up for grabs
Shattered by Melody Carlson
Forgotten by Melody Carlson
Angry by Laura L. Smith
Goodbye Hollywood Nobody by Lisa Samson
 
All the books are in like-new condition, except for Goodbye Hollywood Nobody. The spine and left side is a bit cracked, but that's how I received it in the mail.
 
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, September 6, 2013

Liebster Blog Award

 

Melanie from Christian Bookshelf Reviews nominated me for the Liebster blog award. I was already nominated for this award a while back but I wanted to answer the new questions :D
Thank you Melanie!
The rules:
- Link back to the blogger that tagged you.
- Nominate ten others and answer the questions from the blogger who tagged you.
- Ask ten questions for the bloggers you nominate.
- Let your nominees know of their award.

1. Who is your favorite author and why?
One of my favorite authors is Lisa T. Bergren. I have loved every book I've read by her. She just has a way of pulling you into the story and doesn't let go until the very last word on the very last page. She's an amazing author and I know many of you reading this will agree with me.

2. What made you want to become a blogger?
I don't really know exactly what it was that made me want to become a blogger. Maybe it was the free books in exchange for reviews, maybe it was being able to have my own little space on the web? I wish I had a better answer, but I honestly don't know. It just looked like fun :)

3. Is there a book you didn't think you'd like, but you ended up loving it?
The Hunger Games. I had the whole series sitting on my shelf for about 2 weeks before I actually started reading them.

4. What would be your ideal vacation spot?
I'm not too big on vacations. My family goes on more "staycations" than anything else. We live near Disneyland and the beach and those two places are pretty popular vacation spots already so it's good enough for me :D But I would love to visit Hawaii. I always imagine myself sitting on one of the beautiful beaches there reading a really good book. *sigh* I would also like to visit Ireland someday.

5. How many books are on your TBR shelf?
There's too many to count.. I haven't even added them all to my Goodreads TBR shelf  -_- I do a little at a time LOL! Let's just say it's a lot ^_^

6. Where is your favorite spot to read?
My bed. It's the best spot in the house :D

7. Which blogger has been your biggest inspiration?
Katie McCurdy from Legacy of a Writer and Amber Stokes from Seasons of Humility are two bloggers who inspire me. I admire both of these girls for their amazing writing abilities and their humility. You can clearly see their passion for God and books through their reviews and any other posts they have for their readers. They are both so talented at what they do and it's always a pleasure to visit their blogs.

8. Do you prefer stand-alone novels or series?
I like both actually. I can't think of good reasons why at the moment. I've answered a lot of questions today and my brain isn't cooperating! :D

9. What are your other hobbies (besides reading)?
I love photography. Reading. Cooking. Reading. Gardening. Reading. And trying to perfect giving people shots! Just kidding, I only do that at school ^_^

10. What's one of your biggest book pet peeves?
Vulgar language. There's enough of that on tv and in any public place you go(well, not any but you know what I mean), I want to at least be able to escape that when I'm reading.

A lot of the bloggers I follow have already been nominated for this award. So I nominate all of you! If you'd like to answer these questions on your blog then please accept this award from me :) I'll ask the same questions Melanie did.
 
1. Who is your favorite author and why?
2. What made you want to become a blogger?
3. Is there a book you didn't think you'd like, but you ended up loving it?
4. What would be your ideal vacation spot?
5. How many books are on your TBR shelf?
6. Where is your favorite spot to read?
7. Which blogger has been your biggest inspiration?
8. Do you prefer stand-alone novels or series?
9. What are your other hobbies (besides reading)?
10. What's one of your biggest book pet peeves?

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Sunshine Award

Melanie from Christian Bookshelf Reviews nominated me for the Sunshine Award in December 2012. And I'm barely getting this post up now... I'm sorry Mel! Thanks for the award :)

The rules are:
1. Answer the 8 questions the person who awarded you asked
2. Nominate 8 new people (no tag-backs) and notify them on their blog
3. Ask 8 new questions (or reuse the ones you were asked) for your nominees to answer

Here are my answers...
1. What is your favorite TV show?
Once Upon a Time. It's one of the best shows ever and I can hardly wait for season 3 to begin Sept. 29th!

2. Have you ever read a book based on a friend's recommendation alone? If so, what was it and did you like it?
My sister's future cousin-in-law(a fellow book lover) recommended The Hunger Games a few years back. She let me borrow her books and I didn't want to return them to her after reading them.. don't worry I eventually did :) That's where my love for the series began.

3. What is your favorite Bible verse?
I have more than a few favorites, but one I've read a lot these past few weeks and have held close to my heart is Jeremiah 29:11-13 - "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."

4. What is your least favorite food?
Onion. I don't like chopping or eating it. Nope. It hurts my eyes and throat and it's so strong! Unless it's grilled and on top of something yummy :)

5. Who is your favorite professional sports team?
I guess the Lakers? I'm not big on sports and basketball is pretty much the only one I watch, but even that's rare  -_-

6. What is your favorite part about blogging?
I'm probably going the easiest route with this question by saying I love everything about blogging, but it's true. I've met a lot of amazing people who have similar interests as me and are SO nice, I've come to know some great authors that I never would have if it weren't for blogging, and I've discovered books in genres outside of what I usually read. Everything about blogging has been great and I would love to continue in it for as long as possible.

7. What is your favorite Christmas song?
I can't think of one right now, maybe cause it's about 95 degrees at the moment so Christmas seems oh so far away!

8. What are five of your all-time favorite books?
This is such a hard question! Only 5? Umm...
1. Divergent by Veronica Roth
2. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
3. Waterfall by Lisa T. Bergren
4. Corridor by Robin Parrish
And one from when I was a kid
5. Holes by Louis Sachar
A lot of the bloggers I follow have already been nominated for this award. So I nominate all of you! If you'd like to answer these questions on your blog then please accept this award from me :) I'll ask the same questions Melanie did.
 

1. What is your favorite TV show?
2. Have you ever read a book based on a friend's recommendation alone? If so, what was it and did you like it?
3. What is your favorite Bible verse?
4. What is your least favorite food?
5. Who is your favorite professional sports team?
6. What is your favorite part about blogging?
7. What is your favorite Christmas song?
8. What are five of your all-time favorite books?

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

I'm a shy person...

 
I'm a shy person. I've always been very quiet and unsure of myself when I meet someone new. When I'm around a group of people I'm usually the quietest one. I've never liked being the center of attention either and if I ever am my hands begin to shake, my heart beats twice as fast, and my legs feel like jello. I can only imagine how red my face gets from being embarrassed, nervous, and worried that I might say something that sounds dumb. I'm even shy to make a payment over the phone cause that would mean I have to speak to someone I don't know!

Lately I've been trying to overcome my shyness by forcing myself to do things I wouldn't normally do willingly. I made a phone call to pay a bill without fumbling my words for the first time about a month ago. That was an accomplishment I'm very proud of :)  When I started school again I made it a point to talk to people I didn't know. And you know what? I actually met some really nice people! I did come across some not-so-kind classmates, but the nice definitely outnumbered them. Every day I've been getting better at not second guessing myself so much, but there's one thing I still struggle with...

Commenting on other blogs.

Do you find it weird that I get shy to comment on other blogs? I don't know what it is but I get so nervous to click the "publish" button after I've typed up a comment. I just freeze up. There've been countless times that I've just moved on without leaving something to let the blogger know I agreed with what they were saying, congratulating them on an accomplishment, or just to say hi. I know how great it feels to sign into my blog and see that I have a comment waiting to be published, so I know that other bloggers love that feeling, too. But sometimes I just can't get myself to leave a comment! Especially when it's a blog I just started following. My thought process while debating on whether or not to leave one kind of goes like this.. "Oh gosh that sounds so dumb." "They're not gonna understand what you mean by that!" "There are so many grammatical errors here." "They don't know you and will probably wonder why you're here!" .. Yeah, there's a lot more but this post would be way too long :)

I just wanted to see if there's anyone else out there who kinda sorta feels the same way? Blogging has definitely helped me come out of my shell. I never would have thought that I'd be able to have a twitter convo with a fellow blogger or an author. And it's great to have met a lot of awesome people in the book blogging world who are so nice and encouraging. Being shy about commenting is something I hope to get over someday. Even as I'm typing this post I'm trying to decide whether or not I'll actually publish it.. Maybe writing this is a step closer to getting over this fear and shyness?

One more thing...
I know I wouldn't be able overcome my fears(and I'm not just talking about commenting) without God's help. A verse I want to end this post with is one I find I'm always going back to..
"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind."
- 2 Timothy 1:7
 
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