Tuesday, August 2, 2022

A Final Farewell (+ book recs!)

    Summer 2020 was when I started posting with a dream that felt as wide as the horizon: to create a Common Sense Media-esque haven for bookworms like me. I knew there were others out there who didn't want to get sucked into reading a brilliant premise with a weak story. It started with me recommending books that took up my headspace, and then catapulted into a much bigger endeavor, hosting interviews with authors creating meaningful stories and participating in blog challenges that helped me to discover more of myself as a writer and a person. 

    But life, like story arcs, changes. In late 2021 I found myself unable to blog due to real-life activities. Then I struggled with a lack of motivation. I found myself forcing words to appear on the screen, worried about letting the small audience I had down. This past few year has been filled with more of the same, up to the point where I ended up going on multiple hiatuses, unsure about the amount of time I spent not blogging.

    While I still fully believe in the mission I had when starting this journey, writing on this blog has recently felt more like a chore than a joy. At this point I believe I've been so inactive that I've lost most of the audience I wanted to reach, and with new happenings in my personal and writing life I don't believe I have the time and energy to post enough to gain it back. So, I've decided to stop posting on Stepping Stones Book Reviews for good.

   I'm not blaming anyone but myself for the lack of activity on here. This also does not mean I don't consider myself a reader or a writer anymore. Simply, my priorities as a person have shifted. Like any of my finished or abandoned stories, I will always treasure the time I spent brainstorming and working on them. 

    My blog will remain up for future readers who want to enjoy what I've already posted.

    I'd like to say one last, heartfelt thank-you to anyone who interacted with this blog. Whether you scrolled through a post, allowed me to interview you (some multiple times!), or left me a comment, I deeply treasure you and wish you all the best going forward. Thank you for making my blogging years a lovely, wonderful memory.

    ~ JadeSky

(P.S. Below are a list of books that I planned to recommend in the future. Keep in mind that I have not reviewed these books for content, so please use your own judgement. I hope you enjoy!)

Friday, March 4, 2022

Update + Book Beginnings on Fridays/Friday 56: Nisei Daughter, and Book Blogger Hop

    Hello! It's been a while, hasn't it? Due to school, work, and other distractions I haven't had the time to get back on here and start regularly posting again. I'm so sorry about the wait!

    Looking at my schedule as of late, I don't think I'll be returning to weekly posts again soon. My own motivation to blog has considerably waned since 2021 ended. However, I do still believe in this blog's purpose and I do want to keep posting. That's why I've decided to aim for biweekly Friday updates: and if that doesn't work, trying to post triweekly. Stepping Stones Book Reviews may be less active, but in no way do I consider it a lost project. 

    I'm very excited to be coming back with another one of my book memes to restart my blogging schedule. This week, I'm pleased to spotlight Nisei Daughter! This is an autobiography that I consider an underrated classic. I read it for school, and was fascinated with the author's conversational style and personal experiences. 100/10 recommend!

Friday, December 24, 2021

An Author Interview: E.G. Bella (The Toymaker's Doll Blog Tour)

    Hey, everyone. First off, Merry Christmas! I hope you all are having a wonderful season gathering with friends and family.

    Today I'm excited to announce that one of my dear writer friends has released her first book. It's a short story called The Toymaker's Doll, and I'm honored to be a part of her blog tour for it! Here's the amazing cover and synopsis:

A limp. A scuff. A cowardly heart.

Jane is a doll struggling with all these things. She and her friend Isabel, a blind stuffed kitten, spend their days in the corner of their shelf, watching the other toys in the shop play—and wishing they could be like them.

Questions plague the friends. Why has the Toymaker allowed them to be flawed? Surely it's a mistake. One day, Jane sets off to find his workshop, eager to be fixed, and to bring him back for Isabel.

But the journey is hard and the road long. How can such a weak, fearful doll ever reach the Toymaker? And how will he respond if she does? 

In this sweet story reminiscent of a children's book, E. G. Bella offers a moving tale of what it means to trust, to love, and to shine light into the dark discouragements of life. 

    Doesn't that sound incredible? You can buy The Toymaker's Doll now on Amazon (and head over to E.G. Bella's site for a sneak peek, as well as a playlist link!) I'll also be planning to post a Goodreads review, so if you follow me there expect to see something from me soon 😉

    Along with the author's blog launch post (you can find her blog HERE), she and her upcoming book will be featured on the blogs of Vanessa Hall, Kristina Hall, Grace A. Johnson, and Teen Writers' Nook. You can click on those links to visit each site, and view the schedule for the blog tour below.

    Today, I got to interview the author herself about her book, her journey as a writer, and some fun Christmas themed questions! If you've stuck around here for a while, you'll recognize that some of the Christmas ones are from my interview with Kaley Rhea: I thought it would be fun to use them again this year.

    This is my fourteenth author interview. To see all the author interviews I've done in the past, click HERE.

    This interview is spoiler-free!

Friday, December 10, 2021

Update + Guest Blog Post Announcement!

Hey, everyone. Since Stepping Stones Book Reviews has gone on another multiple-week hiatus, I figured I should post a little update on myself and this site.

2021 has been pretty hectic for me. I've begun a lot of new activities, most of them with more responsibility. I've started (hopefully!) to become more of an adult, and I've realized that I haven't had the time to dedicate myself to blogging each week. Given that and the fact that I haven't read as many books I want to recommend lately, this blog has become more than a little inactive.

I still love being in this place, so this doesn't mean I'm saying goodbye. However, I've been considering moving around my posting schedule so I can keep providing quality content. With that being said, I'm hoping that Christmas break will allow me to start posting more regularly, maybe do another Week of Book Memes if I get there. So, please look forward to some new things here soon. 

I also wanted to let you know that I'm guest posting on my writer friend Allie Andersen's blog on December 15th, so if you're interested, stay ready for that. I'd love to see you there! 

I know I've said this in my previous posts, but thank you for remaining by my side. Ever since I started this book blog, it's been a true joy to find other people interested in my reviews and rambling. It means the world to me that others are still looking for recommendations and interesting material. 

See you soon!

- JadeSky <3

Friday, November 12, 2021

Blog With Character Tag

     Hi again! *waves from unexpected hiatus* Sorry for the long wait. Again, school and my schedule have hit me harder than I expected, which has led to me not posting. 

    It may seem now like my blog is reduced to monthly updates and blog tags, but I'm hoping to get back into book reviews and other fun things soon. Again, thanks for being patient with me.

    Today, Stepping Stones Book Reviews receives another honor: one of the first to send a blog tag out in the world! Stick around to watch me answer a few questions about how I write characters, as well as a couple of my favorites.

Friday, September 24, 2021

The Bookworm's (Blog) Tag

    Hey, everyone! It's been a while, hasn't it?

    To be honest, a bunch of things, including lack of inspiration, real life, and procrastination, led to me taking an extended break. I'm back now, though, and I'm hoping to start posting regularly again soon!

    I'm dipping my toe back in the blogging world by participating in The Bookworm's Tag, which I saw featured on fellow writer friend E.G. Bella's site last week. I thought this was a perfect way to get back into the habit of typing up my bookish thoughts!

Thursday, July 22, 2021

A Small Break

     Hello everyone! Just wanted to let you know that life's been a bit crazy right now, so I'm taking a small break from Stepping Stones Book Reviews. This is in no way a permanent hiatus, it's just a way for me to take a breather as I find new inspiration to make this blog the best it can be. I am aiming for regular posts again by August. Love you all and thanks for stopping by!