Sunday, May 7, 2017

Two Year Blogiversary

I am currently running around Disneyland at PinUp Girl Clothing's Pinup Parade in the Park and maybe this post could have waited a day, but I could not wait to show you the new layout! plus, we all know that I live at Disneyland, so this is a perfect time. Carlene Inspired has slowly been changing over the last few months and my two year blogiversary is the perfect time to put it all in motion. Plus, there's celebrating and giveaways involved!

Two years, 400+ books, and a lot of new friends and adventures have made these two years incredible. I had a baby dream of a blog where I could write reviews, more for myself than for anyone else. Then I made blogger friends, and I made a few author friends, and here I am now reviewing books for publishers that are ending up on the New York Time's Best Sellers list. IT'S CRAZY. In the last two years I've worked with piles of promotional companies and I've read books ranging from romance and erotica to fantasy and thriller. I maintained a Facebook page, failed at Instagram, and tweeted more about music than anything else...which leads me to the biggest announcement of all.

Literature and Life

Yes, that's a new tagline for you. Carlene Inspired is more than books to me now and that's really due to the friendships I've made in authors and fellow readers. The Shh… [Smut, Heroes & HEAs…] group on Goodreads has become like a family to me and the other blogger girls I fly to through out the year are more than just book friends, they're true friends. Don't get me wrong, reading is my favorite thing to do in the entire world, but I bonded with these people because of our other shared interests. I want to share those interests with you and I want to do it on the website that made my tiny dream grow into a much larger one. Inspired has always been the right word for this blog, I am inspired to do so much more and now is the right time.

I plan to focus on books still, but I don't want to be promoting books I haven't and don't plan to read. It's easy to get caught up in the "who's posting the most" and "who gets the most ARCs" game, but I really want to focus on the quality of the content, not in the quantity. I want to post about the books I've actually read, about books I have on my TBR list, authors I obsess over *cough Jessica Hawkins & Brittney Sahin cough* and about the book events I attend. I started introducing some of those changes in January and so far the response has been so positive, 100 new followers positive! On top of that, I want to tell you about my adventures in life; my relationship, my transition from sort-of-adult to real adult, and everything in between. These "life" posts won't be the focal point of the blog, but they are the real me and I truly hope my readers find enjoyment in reading them.

With these changes comes a brand new layout, some re-branding, and of course some quick thank you's. I am bound to miss someone and I apologize if I have, because in truth I owe all of you a big thanks for following me. My layout is courtesy of the incredibly kind DutchLadyDigiDesign and the new clipart is from froufroucraft, you should definitely check them both out on Etsy. To the authors and publishers who allow me to read and dissect your work, you are brave and amazing. Thank you for letting me be one of the many. All my Shh...girls, in a little over a year I have found like-minded woman who love to read, discuss their opinions, and lift one another up despite our many differences. I can't imagine not having the group to escape to, though I know my involvement of late has been less. In particular, Dawn, Liz, and SueBee, you are woman I will forever happily travel for. To the many authors who support me as a friend, as a blogger, and as an aspiring writer, you have made my dream job finally seem like a reality. Sloane, Celia, Brittney, Scott & Jess, Jessica, and Lily, thank you for your friendship, to me you are far more than an author I befriended on Facebook. I will forever be a fangirl and book boyfriend hoarder, but with you seven it is far more personal. Thank you for sharing your lives with me (with us really) and writing books that make me LOVE reading. Thank you for your honesty, your encouragement, and your willingness to share the behind-the-scenes stuff that goes into your craft. Finally, my "real-life" friends, family, and Kevin (boyfriend), thank you. I know my reading is sometimes annoying, I know I space out when I am blogging, and I also know just how much you all stand behind and support me always. You are the best cheerleaders.

If you've hung on this long then you definitely deserve these two giveaways and the many more that will be going on over the next month on Facebook. Join me and a handful of authors as we party it up, I'll keep giveaway links updated below as they post. You can enter on Facebook and Rafflecopter, just remember to follow all the steps!

Giveaway 1: Facebook
Open Internationally
$25 Amazon giftcard, 2 eBooks

Winner to choose two ebooks from authors Sloane Howell, Celia Aaron, Brittney Sahin, SD Hildreth, Jessica Hildreth, Jessica Hawkins, or Lily Freeman
Share, like, and comment on the following post:
*you must be a follower of Carlene Inspired on Facebook to qualify*

Giveaway 2: Rafflecopter
4 Winners - US Only
Signed book from Jeannine Allison, Abbi Glines, M. Leighton, or Karen Docter 
One package will come with a signed copy of PUCKED from Helena Hunting (Im going to let my boyfriend just pick a box!)
$10 Amazon gift card bookmark, magnets, bookmarks, signed goodies, and other swag from authors featured on Carlene Inspired in all three!

Facebook Author Giveaways - International
To be updated with links
Two winners will receive eBooks of Abby Gale's Club Nymph series, Angel and Violet

One winner will receive a $10 gift card and an eBook of their choice from author Brittney Sahin!

One winner will receive eBooks of Jessica Hawkins two books in her three book series, Something in the Way!

One winner will receive a Sloane Howell Super Pack - Includes two signed books, a swag pack, and a t-shirt!

Two winners will receive eBooks of Jeannine Allison's Unveiling series!

Good luck and thank you again for all the support!


  1. Congratulations Carlene. I am so happy for you hey. :). Wishing you a lot of success and happiness

  2. Congratulations!! You are a truly an amazing person, and I am so blessed to have met you in this journey. Thank you for al your kind words and support. I ❤️ the new look & tagline!! 😘

  3. Loving the new look! (And I peeked at your adorable-slash-beautiful 'pinup in Disneyland' photos.) I've always advocated that bloggers should read what they love because it's so clear when, like for you, their heart is in it. ❤️ Thank you for all your support and here's to another 2 years! Literature and life ��


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