Saturday, November 7, 2009

Happy Bloggiversary To Me....

Alpha Heroes is Two!
Whoa. That was fast.

236 posts, 63 individual book reviews, 9 series reviews, 9 author profiles, 15 "Thursday Thirteens," three templates, several hundred books, and lots of new virtual friends later, I'm still here.

I've always loved reading, but writing this blog has pushed that love up the scale closer to the "obsession" level. Since starting Alpha Heroes, I've attended a dozen local book signings, two RWA book fairs, and a handful of related author events. I'm thinking seriously about attending one of the conferences, although 2011 is more likely than 2010 financially.

Technically speaking...
When I look back at my first couple of posts, I see: one solid block of text. I knew how to link, so I thought it was pretty clever, that business of linking to images with text. Heh. I'm still not the most talented at finding perfect graphics for my posts, but I try pretty hard to have at least one in every post, and because I'm kind of a hopeless rule follower, I also try to get permission if it seems like an image that isn't obviously public.

I'm nobody's expert at css, but boy have I learned a lot in the last two years. I tend to be a little bit of a perfectionist when it comes to formatting, so this last round of template changing and tweaking got really in depth.

Didn't take long before I figured out about linking to other blogs and commenting on them. I don't know about other bloggers, but I crave the comments. I love knowing that people are reading, that they like what I wrote or are engaged enough to debate something they disagree with. You all are awesome and the main reason I'm still here.

I Write a Little Differently
Self-editing is a tough one. There are some topics that I could go on and on and on about (maybe you've noticed the twenty-some -odd JR Ward posts....) but I do make a conscious effort to keep my blog posts kind of middlin'. I'm pretty much incapable of writing a 200-word post. If you see something from me that doesn't require you to scroll, it's probably one of my Lazy Posts, wherein I'm redirecting you to something fun.

There are more than a few posts that are very very long, and some of those I had to kind of stop myself and say, "enough already!" -- I could've gone on for pages and pages with our two Black Dagger Brotherhood scholars earlier this year.

Generally, my posts probably run a bit longer than a typical blog post, but it's how I roll. I'm getting a little better at being concise, but I'm not too worried about it-- I just try to pay attention and not go off the deep end.

I Read a Little Differently, Too
But not too much, I think. I might be a bit more likely to notice writing "tics", as O'Donovan calls them. I don't know. But when I know I'll be writing a review, I do try to pay attention and flag excerpts that I want to talk about -- things I particularly love, or are especially evocative of the character or the author's style.

A Few of My Favorite Things

I'm still partial to my vampire credibility index post-- what can I say, sometimes I just crack myself up. Antholopalooza last December was an interesting experiment, both in reading and blogging. I started something about a year ago that I like to call the Lazy Post, which is mostly just a link to someone else's fabulous content (if I were less lazy, I might try to turn it into a meme, but, well. Lazy. It's a problem.) This year, the two-post series with Maria Lindgren Leavenworth and Jessica Price was a huge highlight. And of course, who could forget the Penis Post?

What's Next?
Mostly more of the same, I guess. I'm still having fun reviewing and blogging, and I don't think I'll ever quit reading romance. A few new ideas include a short-story meme that Jackie over at Literary Escapism and I are cooking up, and I've been mulling over adding some author feature pages around my favorites. I've been getting quite a few pings at GoodReads lately, so I've been thinking about doing brief reviews there and linking to the blog. Maybe at Amazon, too. Do you guys do stuff like that?

Wouldn't be a birthday without them, now would it? You of course, are welcome to send me heaps of presents if you're so inclined, but of course I would NEVER presume to ask.

Coincidentally enough, I've been going over my non-keeper shelf today and I have a whole LOT of books that are ready to go to their next reader. So I'm going to bundle some up and give them away. I figure I'll do three packages: historical, contemporary, and paranormal/UF.

I do not guarantee condition, as quite a few of them were acquired used anyway. I'm gonna keep it simple -- leave a comment if you want to be entered and which of the 3 you're interested in. You don't have to comment 3 times to be in for all 3 packages, but you won't win more than one.

And one more time, if you're reading here? you're part of why I keep doing this. So thanks!


Anonymous said...

Happy Bloggiversary!!

I enjoy reading your blog - keep up the good work!

(I'm putting my raffle ticket in for the historicals, please!)

Venus Vaughn said...

Happy Bloggiversary!!
And many happy returns :)

My raffle ticket is stamped: Anything but Historicals, please.

I'll talk Ward and Wardisms with you any day.

PeggyP said...

Time goes by, eh? I always read your book reviews and usually skim the Wardism's... I'm just so done with her!

Some historicals or contemps would be great - I think I probably have most of the same para's as you!

Carolyn Crane said...

Happy Bloggaversary!!!
This is a really fun roundup. Wow the big TWO. 20 JR Ward posts? LOL. Did I miss your vampire cred index? Must see. So so sweet of you to give out pressies! I think I might not enter - I have far too many books.

Amanda from Novel Addiction said...

Yay pressies! Happy Bloggiversary! Here's a toast to many more!

And I've bought my raffle ticket for paranormal/UF, or contemporaries.

Thank you!
Morning Glow
ohmorningglow AT aol DOT com

Sophia (FV) said...

Happy bloggiversary. Sounds like you've come a long way. :)

SciFiGuy said...

I wonder if blogging years are like dog years. Two years is a long time in this age of blogs coming and going. Congratulations! Here's to the next two!

Chris said...

Happy blogiversary to you!!

(No need to enter me.)

Anonymous said...

Happy Bloggiversary!!!



Wendy said...

Congrats on making it to the two year mark. You're hitting your stride now baby!

No need to enter me in the contest. A lovely idea, but dang - I don't need more books. I'm half expecting my TBR to attack me in my sleep one of these nights.....

maered said...

Happy Bloggiversary! Here's to a great two years - and many more to come! :)

Sign me to enter any category, please. I'm not picky!

Donna said...

Happy Bloggiversary to you! Two years is a long time in the blog world. Great accomplishment.

Don't enter me for the presents, I just wanted to give you a high-five on your bloggiversary. Plus I have the Leaning of TBR. :)

Jackie (Literary Escapism) said...

Happy Bloggiversary! I turn 2 this year too!

You should totally be adding your reviews to GoodReads and Amazon (although I haven't done Amazon yet). I always give a snippet and then the "to read the full review, click here" at the end.

I almost missed the raffle! I'll put my ticket in for the paranormals.

Martha Lawson said...

Happy Blogiversary!!

I'd like to be entered for the contemporaries..

New to your site - got to sign up to follow next!!

mrsshukra said...

Congrats!!!! Please enter me for the historical giveaway!


Erin said...

Happy Anniversary Girl!! Always love to read what you pos :)

I'd happily take those contemporaries off your hands ;)

Marg said...

Our blogiversary's are very close, although different years!

I'd be happy with any of your prizes if you are posting internationally!

Jennifer B. said...

Happy Anniversary Alpha Heroes!

(Just sharing wishes!)

Mandi said...

Two years - CONGRATS!!!

You were the first romance book blog I ever read - and it was because I was searching for JR Ward posts. So there you go. :)

Anonymous said...

Happy Bloggiversary! Best wishes for more amazing blogging years!

I would love to be entered! I would love to win the paranormal/UF please!

Anna ♥

The Brunette Librarian said...


I'd love to be entered for the historicals :) Love 'em!

rachie2004 @ yahoo (D0t) com

Lyoness2009 said...

Wow! Time flies! deserve it. LOVE ALPHA HEROES!!

Count me in for the Contemporary or Historical book set..both sound good!

lyoness2009 AT hotmail **dot** COM

M. said...

Happy Anniversary, Nicola. Now I'm burning to go look at your credibility index!

In the event of luck - please surprise me. Though I should maybe add: I'm really not a vampire person. Or zombies. Which I'm told are the new vampires *g*

Medical Librarian said...

Happy anniversary! You've done a lot with your blog in two years, becoming one of the best book bloggers out there.

And, of course, being one of the best book bloggers makes you one of the best bloggers period.

(I would be thrilled to win any of the three. Thank you!)

Nicola O. said...

Awww, you guys are too sweet.

Mandi! If I had anything to do with inspiring your to start up Smexy, then I've made the book blogosphere a better place!

MedLib, what a lovely compliment. I consider myself a pretty small player on the scene, but it's nice to hear!

Carolyn, a quick check of my tags reveals: JR Ward (24). LOL.

SFG, I totally think blogging is like dog years. I'm a teenager now! I need the keys, don't hold supper for me, and can I have $20?

All of you who've taken the time to stop by, thanks so much! (And I kind of don't believe those of you who don't want more books. How is that possible?)

I ♥ Book Gossip said...

Eeek Happy Bloggiversaty!

I love reading your blog!

Put me in the raffle for contemporary, and paranormal/UF

I have no preference.

cindyc725 at gmail dot com

Lisa N. said...

Congrats on the anniversary!!! I enjoy reading your blog and seeing your take on the books. Please enter me for the contemporary and paranormal options.

rocket_kay at hotmail dot com

Jessica said...

Happy Bloggiversary!!

I would muchly appreciate being entered into the paranormal category please!!!

I wish your blog all the best and can't wait for your next bloggiversary. : D

Jessica W. - Book Bound

Mari said...

I'd love to win the historicals...hope you continue to enjoy many more happy years of blogging.

runningmatey at hotmail dot com

Anonymous said...

Happy Bloggiversary :)
Looking forward to reading more on your blog...

I'd be happy with any genre :)

Rueyn. said...

Happy Bloggiversary! I just started reading romance novels this year, and I found your blog pretty early on. I've been lurking for awhile, occasionally posting, but always reading with interest, especially reviews.

I'd love to be entered for the paranormals - something I've read a lot in, but am looking for new-to-me authors.

Keep up the awesome work, and here's to a lot more years :)

Anonymous said...

Happy Bloggiversary !
I hope you'll continue for a long time again ;-)
You can enter me for contemporaries and historicals, thx.


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