new birdHi gang! So today is a big day for me here at Joyfully Jay. It is our five year blogiversary!

I’ll be honest, I never quite expected this when I set out to start a blog five years ago. I actually hadn’t intended Joyfully Jay to be a review blog at all. Which is why I gave it a name that has nothing about books. Sigh. I figured it would be a place for me to babble on about all sorts of things. But from the start I was reviewing books, and I pretty much never stopped. Before I knew it I had some fabulous authors who were willing to stop by, reviewers who came on board, and publishers who were sending me books to read. And before I knew it, I had a full fledged book blog!

I know I have been lucky over the years. I had some wonderful authors and publishers who took a chance on me when I was a baby book blogger and had no real idea what I was doing. I will forever be grateful to Marie Sexton, who sent me my first review book and L.A. Witt who came on my blog about 50 times in the early months when I am not sure she was getting much out of the experience, but I was gaining much from her involvement. And to Riptide Publishing who was opening their doors around the same time and started sending me books and setting me up with blog tours with their authors. And of course to the many MANY incredible authors and publishers who have been so generous with their time, support, and books over the years.

I have also been incredibly lucky to have so many fabulous reviewers walk through my doors. Obviously I couldn’t even begin to run a blog of this size without other people doing some of the reading. I know it may seem like it is a glory job, but being a reviewer is A LOT of work and these folks give me so much of their time and energy, I can’t ever begin to repay them. Yes, they get review books for free, but that is a drop in the bucket compared to the time and love they put into their reviews. I have had a lot of different reviewers over the years, but I have to say, they are among the most awesomely dedicated folks out there (especially to put up with my crazy) and I am so lucky to have them.

This crazy job has been wonderful in helping me meet more of the romance community. I love getting to talk to readers online and meet readers and authors at conferences and events. It is so much fun to be a part of this community that I love, and I so appreciate all of my readers who take the time to stop by the blog, read our reviews, leave comments, chat with me online, and just generally support the blog in so many ways. I really couldn’t do it without you all and you are what makes this experience so much fun!

So there is my sentimental, sappy blogiversary post. With all the crazy going on for Reading Challenge Month, I am keeping things low key this year, but I just wanted to take a moment to share my thoughts and thank everyone for making this an amazing five years! XXOOO

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