Today, we're going to take a look back at some of the things we've done over the past year and get your input on where you'd like to see us go in the future. Last November, our readers told us they wanted the primary focus of The Romance Dish to remain on reviews and author visits with the occasional non-book blog. They also told us they preferred historical and contemporary romance over other sub-genres. We listened and tried to take reader preferences into account when scheduling reviews, author blogs and interviews while still offering authors and books that stretch the boundaries of our reading comfort zones. You never know which book might turn you on to a new favorite author, trope or genre.
We reviewed a total of 167 books in our second year. Here's a breakdown by sub-genre:
Urban Fantasy: 5
Young Adult: 1 (does not include YA reviewed in Trish Milburn's monthly Teen Menu)
Romantic Suspense: 10
We also implemented our new Top Dish rating for those extra-special books we review. The first two books to receive this honor were The Black Hawk by Joanna Bourne and Scandalous Desires by Elizabeth Hoyt.
Janga wrote twenty-seven guest reviews for us this year. She writes some of the best reviews around (in my totally unbiased opinion) and has introduced me to many authors who are now on my auto-buy list. I hope you have been enjoying her thoughtful, and often thought-provoking, reviews. We are honored, and thankful, to have her on our team! (Be sure to stop by next Tuesday when Janga and Molly O'Keefe offer up a unique twist on an author interview!)
Sixty-five authors guest blogged with us during our second year and sixteen more were interviewed by the Dishes. They covered a broad range of experience, from debut authors (including our own Karyn Gerrard!) to multiple Rita winners, and brought us blogs that were informative, entertaining and frequently inspiring.
We brought you twenty Dish blogs this year covering a range of topics from Andrea's visits to Washington, DC and the WizardingWorld of Harry Potter to my Bronchial Blues (where you all excelled at turning my whines into giggles) and my Second Chances (where you inspired me with your own second chance stories). Our Dish blogs also included on-the-spot reports and photos from two conferences and a three-day Birthday Bash that I won't soon forget!
This year, the Dishes gave back by donating baskets to two important online auctions connected to the romance community. In March, we participated in Operation Auction to raise money for a fellow romance blogger whose husband was murdered and in May, we again participated in Brenda Novak's Online Auction for Diabetes Research. We've said it before and it remains true. The romance community is one of the most supportive and generous groups around and we are honored to be able to participate in these worthy events.
Have you noticed the News & Notes section on our sidebar? We added that this year to keep you up to date on announcements and breaking news within the romance industry. We hope you've found it useful!
I'm buying books for two teen girls now so Trish Milburn's Teen Menu is my first stop on the 10th of every month. As an award-winning YA author (she just won the Georgia Romance Writers' Maggie Award of Excellence for her YA book, Winter Longing, written as Tricia Mills), Trish has her finger on the pulse of YA fiction and brings us all the latest and greatest news in that world. Thinking of dipping your reading fingers in Young Adult waters? If so, you won't want to miss Trish's column!
I'm happy to announce that both Anna and Trish will be returning for another year of monthly blogs here at The Romance Dish!
This is a good time to once more say "Thank You!" to you, our readers, who make us a regular stop on your personal cyber-browsing highway. Whether you visit daily, weekly or just every now and then; whether you leave a comment or lurk behind the scenes, we appreciate you and hope that we help to make your day a little brighter.
So, that's a look back at our second year. Now it's time to turn our attention to the future and to do that, we want to know what you think. Don't be shy. Tell us what you'd like to see in the year ahead. More author blogs? Interviews? Do we have a good mix of sub-genres in our reviews? Would you like to see more books in any of the sub-genres? Are there any particular authors you'd like us to host here at TRD? We can't make any promises but tell us who you want and we'll do our very best to get them here.
**NOTE: Today is the last day to leave a comment for a chance to win one of our Anniversary Celebration prizes. Please put U.S. (if your mailing address is in the United States) or INT (if you live in another country) at the end of each of your comments so we can put your name in the right draw. The more comments you leave, the more chances you have to win!**
Don't forget to check back on Saturday to find out if you're one of our Anniversary Week winners!