Man y’all. 3 years. It’s been three years since Stacy and I started the Garcia Sisters’ Book Blog. And what a glorious 3 years it’s been. I know I haven’t been on here hardly at all in the last 18 months or so and I wanted to explain why…. starting at the beginning.
It all started in August 2014.
I’ve always been a reader, but being a reader to me was reading like 6-8 books per year. Y’all. I thought that meant I was an avid reader. Ha! Ha ha ha ha ha! But one day after at least two years of Stacy telling me I needed to read the Fifty Shades Trilogy, I finally picked it up and read it. SEVEN TIMES. Y’all I couldn’t put it down. I couldn’t get enough. Before Fifty, I read mostly Paranormal and YA Dystopian. Yes you read that right lol. All Hunger Games, Divergent, The Sookie Stackhouse Series, The Morganville Vampires. I couldn’t get enough of them. Remember, 8 books per year. EIGHT.
After I finally had enough Christian Grey I went on and devoured The Crossfire Series by Sylvia Day, The Hacker Series by Meredith Wild, and eventually The Driven Series by K. Bromberg. After The Driven Series I found the indie community. I knew I wanted to meet Kristy, so I looked her up, and found her reader group, found out she was going to be in Austin the following year for a signing. It took very little to convince Stacy to come with me when I realized her favorite, Molly McAdams, was going to be there too.
Within a matter of weeks, Stacy and I were in quite a few reader groups dedicated to the indie community (thanks to our wonderful friend, Amanda Daniels, when she found me in K. Bromberg’s group). We found our people. Truly.
At the time I was in school full time majoring in Chemistry, yes you read that right. Chemistry. I had lost my drive to it though. I was driving 100 miles per day to get to school and back and most nights I wasn’t getting home until 8-9 pm. My husband was also working in North Dakota at the time so we were relying on my dad and step-mom to help us out—I will ALWAYS be thankful for this. They are truly a Godsend and I am so thankful for everything they do for me and my girls. Eventually though, I switched to my minor, Communication Studies, since I already had quite a few of the classes I needed and tacked on Marketing as a minor.
At this point I was about 6 months into my love affair with the indie romance community and had read roughly 125 books and was getting ready for my first signing—Austin Book Fest put on by Vilma’s Book Blog, which is now known as Vilma Iris because she is good at being fancy and stuff (go follow her if you aren’t already).
Shelf after 1st signing
shelf 2 years later
When Stacy and I got to the hotel for Austin Book Fest I was in full panic mode. Hello social anxiety. I saw Colleen Hoover just chillin’ in the lobby like she wasn’t famous or anything. Avoiding ALL eye contact with her because I thought she was going to shoot flames through her eyes to get rid of the crazy stalker fans—aka me—, Stacy and I walked over to a group of readers we knew from Vilma’s Vixens. We had been talking to these people for MONTHS. We knew most of their faces and names from Facebook, but no way would they know us. Ha! We walked up awkwardly—well, I walked up awkwardly, Stacy makes friends everywhere—and Nancy Minot (love you lady!) screamed “OMG IT’S THE GARCIA SISTERS” and it stuck.
Fast forward two months later and The Garcia Sisters’ Book Blog was born. We began posting reviews of books we loved. All original content. We didn’t even know you COULD sign up for blog tours and ARCs. We knew we were nothing special and we wouldn’t get them anyway. Eventually we figured out how though, obviously lol! Our first blog post was for a review of one of mine and Stacy’s all time favorites, Enslaved: The Life of Anna Part 1—now banned on Amazon. We got to meet Marissa in Las Vegas in 2015 and boy, was that a weekend to remember!
We found tour companies like InkSlinger PR that held most of our favorite authors like Emma Hart, Aletha Romig, Harper Sloan, Kelly Elliott, Kendall Ryan, Rebecca Shea, and so many more. And that’s when I realized how much I loved this industry. How much I loved promoting authors. How much I loved—and was good at—graphic design.
Shortly after that Uplifting Designs (a graphic design company that focuses on cover design and interior formatting) was born and I applied—and got—an internship at InkSlinger PR. My goals quickly morphed into me wanting to become a literary publicist (still in progress, could possibly change because sometimes our heart pulls us in a different direction). A little less than a year after starting my internship and a couple months after graduating I was offered a couple of positions at InkSlinger. Both of which I am still at today: Kendall Ryan’s Executive Assistant and an Event Specialist.
So, I told that entire story to tell y’all that for the past two years I have just been behind the scenes. I designed our blog website and I keep things running, for the most part, but I no longer review as I do not find it to be very professional given my positions in the industry now. Do I regret it, never. Do I miss blogging, sometimes.
That is why Stacy and I have decided to get this blog back to its roots. Reviews are a dime-a-dozen now, but we miss the author interviews we used to do. We miss sharing just to share because we loved a book. We miss not having any pressure to meet deadlines. We just miss it. So we’re going to tie in what we do in the publishing industry into our blog. Provide tips on blogging and requesting ARCs and some other tricks we’ve picked up along the way.
I hope you will stay with us and bare with us as we find our new footing!
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