Win Dinner with Mr. Darcy!

Hey, y’all! I’ve had such a blast hosting Twitter giveaways and decided to offer a lucky Jane Austen lover a copy of Dinner with Mr. Darcy by Pen Vogler! This may be one of the CUTEST cookbooks I’ve ever seen and its pink cover adds to its extreme elegance!

The rules are simple!

  • The giveaway will officially begin June 21 at midnight CST
  • Enter any way you choose via Rafflecopter – no mandatory entries required! 😀
  • Open internationally! 😀
  • Contest will end July 16 at midnight CST
  • Please – no Twitter accounts used solely for giveaways; I will not pick a winner with a giveaways only account – not fair!
  • Have fun, good luck, and holler at me if you have any questions! 😀

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Love, Maggie

Series I Need to Get Serious About

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, Top Ten Tuesday invites bookish bloggers to share lists based on a given topic. This week I’ll be talking about series I have yet to start!

The List

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas – I’m honestly embarrassed that I haven’t even started reading this sure-to-be amazing series! I’ve had all the books forever, but others have taken precedent. Once I start a series, I tend to become obsessed and MUST read all the books and I just haven’t nailed down a good time to start.

The Dark Artifices by Cassandra Clare – Well, so far, the only book I’ve read by Clare is Clockwork Angel, which I adored. The steampunk vibes of the story intrigued me. I want to hurry up and get to Lady Midnight and Lord of Shadows, but I feel like I should read Clare’s interconnected tales in order!

P.S. I just discovered the order Clare recommends reading them in on Goodreads! 😀 Naturally, I started way out of order!

The Young Elites by Marie Lu – This series caught my eye when I fell in love with the title of book two, The Rose Society. When I realized that there is a book previous to number two, The Young Elites, I knew this series needed to be read by me!

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo – I absolutely adore the Shadow and Bone trilogy and I can’t wait to get to this duology! If Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom are half as good as the Grisha trilogy, I’ll be one happy reader!

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han – I’m really looking forward to this series; it just seems so sweet! Plus, I’m hoping the books are full of fluff!

Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton – I’ve had the first book in the series, Rebel of the Sands, on audio for what seems like forever, but still haven’t listened to it. I’ve heard lots of good things about Hamilton’s series and I’m looking forward to carving out a place in my TBR pile for it!

Shades of Magic by V.E. Schwab – I do actually have the first book, A Darker Shade of Magic, on my Kindle and actually started reading it before getting bored and putting it down. I will try reading it again; I feel like the only reader in the world who hasn’t blown through the series yet! Everyone whose read the books seems to adore them; hopefully, my next try will be successful!

The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater – I have yet to read a Maggie Stiefvater book! Eek! I’m dying to read them all though! She has a few series that I need to begin. You’d think I’d be moving her books up my TBR list, because, hey, we share a name!

The Winner’s Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski – I’m really excited to get through this trilogy – I only hear and see excellent reviews, so far! I’m so silly that I bought the second book, The Winner’s Crime, first, as I didn’t realize it was part of a trilogy! So, naturally, I had to get The Winner’s Curse before even thinking about starting Rutkoski’s trilogy!

Air Awakens by Elise Kova – I’ve been busting a gut to start Kova’s Air Awakens series forever! I feel like I’ve been putting off starting it, well, other books just get in the way and I’m a total mood reader. I’m really looking forward to reading this series on Kindle Unlimited! Plus, the covers are breathtaking!

Love, Maggie

Summer TBR Wipeout

Hey, y’all! I’m so excited to announce that I’m participating in the Summer TBR Wipeout challenge, hosted by The Candid Cover! One of the awesome things about this challenge is that you don’t have to be a blogger to join in – participate via Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, etc. – all you need to do is post updates on the social media platform through which you will be participating.

Books in any format count toward the challenge, which makes me very happy, as I have tons of backlist, Kindle, and Audible editions to blow through! 😀

So as to not stress too much, I’m certainly planning to read and/or listen to short stuff.

Here’s the challenge schedule for your reference! 

P.S. I’m mainly posting the schedule here so I know what in the hell to do when! 😀

May 25- July 7: Sign-ups open!

Week of July 1: Introductory post- What books are you planning to read this summer?

Week of July 15: Update post #1- Tell us how your reading has been going so far. What books have you read? Were they enjoyable? What’s next on your TBR? Etc.

Week of July 29: Update post #2

Week of August 13: Wrap-up post- How did your summer reading go? Did you wipeout some books from your summer TBR?

Stay tuned for my reading list for the challenge, which will post on July 1st! Also, good luck to everyone participating and drop me a line if you’d like – I’d love to keep up with your progress as well! 😀

Love, Maggie

Comic Explosion

So, I finally subscribed for a subscription of OwlCrate! When I saw that May’s theme was Comic Explosion, I knew I needed it! I was lucky enough to get my hands on one before they sold out and I absolutely adore the book and bookish items I received!

I was so excited to see a Funko POP! in my box! 😀 I LOVE Funkos! The insert states that seven different POP!s were sent out, so I received a totally random one and I heart him – Captain America! 😀

In the Box

  • The darling Captain America Funko POP!
  • An amazing comic attack pen – an old school one featuring six different ink colors – from Ooly
  • An adorable zipper pull made exclusively for the May box
  • A precious tropical-scented Wonder Woman-inspired candle – it’s SO cute and SO tiny
  • Delicious coffee candy from Kafe! Zing!
  • A sneak-peek of AFAR from Image Comics
  • Eliza and her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

Needless to say, I’ve been dying for an OwlCrate forever and I’m so glad I bit the bullet and not only got this May box, but got a three-month subscription! I’m so excited to see what else these amazing boxes have in store for me this summer!

Love, Maggie

Nice to Meet You!

Hi, lovely readers! I stumbled across this tag on Deanna’s blog, A Novel Glimpse, and swiped it! LOL! Here’s hoping this survey will help break me out of my intense blogging slump!

Vital Stats

  • Name – Maggie is my name! I was named after my great-grandmother, Magdalena.
  • Nicknames – Mag, Magpie, Magster
  • Birthday – November 25 (I was born on Thanksgiving Day, in case you were curious!)
  • Star Sign – Sagittarius and proud!
  • Occupation – I’m a social worker who’s worked in many different fields! From a psychiatric hospital, to child advocacy centers, to a battered women’s shelter, and *fingers crossed* hopefully as an outpatient therapist! (I have an interview Tuesday!)

Appearance

  • Hair Color – Blond with a black streak; I need to get my color redone so my streak actually shows up again!
  • Hair Length – I’ve had short hair my entire life. Now, it’s probably at its longest ever at just above my shoulders.
  • Eye Color – Blue
  • Best Feature – I think my eyes are pretty.
  • Braces – I got braces in my early twenties and wore them for a year. I have always had a snaggletooth that didn’t bug me until I got older. But, I gave up my retainer and I’m snaggletoothed again!
  • Piercings – I had my left eyebrow pierced in college and took it out after a few years because I got sick of people talking about it!
  • Tattoos – Yes, a pink star on my lower right back. It looks like crap because I didn’t take care of it, but I love it anyway!
  • Right or Left – I’m right handed, but I use my left hand to drive.

Firsts

  • Real Holiday – That Christmas I caught my parents playing Santa!
  • Best Friend – Rachel, Alanna, Carol Marie, and Lindsey 
  • Award – I won the 1st place trophy for my class every year in grade school for earning the most accelerated reader points.
  • Concert – Creed with my cousin! LOL!

Favorites

  • TV Show(s) – WAY too many to list! I do adore reality TV!
  • Color – It’s a tossup between gold and orange.
  • Song – SO many! Right now I’m obsessed with Nirvana again! My favorite song of theirs is the cover they do of The Meat Puppets’ ‘Oh, Me’.
  • Restaurant – J. Alexander’s!!!!!
  • Shop – I’ve got a serious Amazon problem…I also love Etsy, but the shipping costs usually kill me!
  • Books – My most favorite book ever is Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina.
  • Shoes – Flats or flip flops most of the time; I’ve almost broken my ankles in heels SO many times!

Currently

  • Feeling – Pretty good and confident! I’m also trying to block out things that get on my freaking nerves!
  • Single or Taken – I married my husband in 2011, so I’m very obviously taken! 😀
  • Eating – Actually, I’m sucking down a cup of coffee!
  • Thinking About – That jerk on Facebook, which is ridiculous, because he’s a total stranger!
  • Watching – Maury!!!!
  • Wearing – A sun dress with a striped shirt over it – loungewear.

Future

  • Want Children – I’ve wanted children my entire life and I’ve been blessed with two beautiful baby boys!
  • Want to be Married – *see above*
  • Careers in Mind – As I said earlier, I’m hoping to ace my interview next week to become an outpatient therapist at our local mental health center! I’d also adore being able to write on the side!

Beliefs

  • God – Definitely; there has to be a God. The universe is too intricate…
  • Miracles – Yes! I’m Catholic, so I had all kinds of miracles stuffed into my brain as a kid!
  • Love at First Sight – I’ve experienced this, so totally yes! I remember when I first laid eyes on my now husband; I just knew.
  • Ghosts – I don’t necessarily believe in ghosts that haunt places, but I very much believe in spirits.
  • Aliens – Why not? The universe is enormous!
  • Soul Mates – Yes! I believe we have soul mates who are our friends as well as our lovers.
  • Heaven and Hell – Yes; and I’ll throw in Purgatory here too (I AM Catholic!).
  • Kissing on the First Date – It depends on the person; I remember telling this guy I went out with, who ultimately grossed me out, that I didn’t kiss on the first date so he would leave!
  • Yourself – I believe in myself most of the time. I don’t want to jinx anything, but I’m feeling pretty confident about my interview! *knock on wood*

Love, Maggie

 

Crown the King

Hello! I’m posting this week’s edition of Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, a day late, as I like the topic – the top books from X genre I’ve added to my TBR list recently.

I’m on a major Stephen King kick and am currently scooting through his apocalyptic epic, The Stand, the first of King’s books I’ve tackled. I’m in awe of his writing and finally saw the original movie version of It, making me even more anxious to read as many of his 50+ novels and stories as possible.

The List

The Shining is my favorite movie adaptation of a King book, so far. The creep factor is intense and the child actor is amazingly talented. Of course, one cannot forget Jack Nicholson’s penultimate role as Jack. I’m really looking forward to reading The Shining and being creeped out via an entirely different format!

It is, in my opinion, the ultimate creepy clown movie! Who am I kidding – clowns are just plain creepy regardless! I have the Audible edition of this particular work and I’m excited to see what Pennywise’s voice sounds like in it!

Carrie is among my most favorite King movies – about a telekinetic power possessing, isolated, teen girl with a creep show mother, I’m looking forward to reading this. Of course, I’ve seen the movie countless times; the psychotic mom is my favorite character.

Misery is another movie adaptation I’ve seen, but have yet to read. Kathy Bates, I think, was perfection in her role as a reader obsessed with a writer! The fact that this book concerns books at all makes me smile very big!

Pet Sematary is admittedly a cheesy, albeit creepy, movie. Pet Sematary 2 is just hilarious! Anyhow, I recently got a cool edition with a comic booky cover and I’ve heard that the book is amazing!

The Gunslinger, the beginning of King’s The Dark Tower series intrigues me. Plus, it comes very highly recommended. I heard that a movie adaptation is coming soon – with none other than Matthew McConaughey in the starring role! 😀

‘Salem’s Lot is a book I received through a swap and I’m really looking forward to hopefully figuring out why there’s an apostrophe at the beginning of the title!

The Green Mile seems very different from some of King’s tales. I’ve never seen the movie version, so reading it will be a total surprise!

Needful Things is a book I’ve been curious about for a long time. I remember when the movie came out – I haven’t seen it – and being creeped out by the previews. I hope to be creeped out when I read it as well!

Christine, the classic killer car tale, will undoubtedly be great in print, as I love the movie. It tickles me that the nerdy main character is avenged by his dang car!

Love, Maggie

Hello from the Recliner

Why, yes, I am participating in the 2017 edition of Armchair Book Expo!  Due to my severe blogging slump, I’ve put off introducing myself to other participants and I’m behind on challenges, but, I have taken part in one-and-a-half Twitter chats with the community. So, here I am, world!

Hi! I’m Maggie!

I am a cheese loving book blogger who adores reading and writing – quite naturally – as well as playing like I’m still a child! I’m a mommy to two precious baby boys and a wife to my wonderful husband, who is also my best friend ever.

Currently, I’m anxiously awaiting the return of my two-year-old, who has been staying with my in-laws the past few days – I miss him so much! Plus, since summertime, or at least the heat, has finally arrived, I cannot wait to go to the local pool and play with my family!

I love my precious family and my life in general – there are always ups and downs, but I wouldn’t trade who I am for the world!

My favorite thing to do, aside from spending time with loved ones, is to perch on the couch – or my bed – and binge all of the TV shows crowding my DVR!

My least favorite thing to do is argue about politics – especially in the current political climate. I’ve always been told that religion and politics are very personal value systems that shouldn’t be attacked – everyone has a right to his or her own opinion.

My current reads include a gigantic novel by the brilliant Stephen King, The Stand, in which I am so very absorbed! Clocking in at over 1000 pages, it’s the fattest book I’ve ever attempted to read. Tonight I began listening to the audio edition of Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins. Plus, I started The Walking Dead, Vol. 3, Safety Behind Bars. I’m so sick of The Walking Dead show, but I’m loving the graphic novels by Robert Kirkman!

I reckon I’ve listed plenty of tidbits about myself – I tried to keep this post short and sweet! To everyone at the real BEA, have a total blast! The same goes to all of we armchair attendees! 😀

Love, Maggie

 

Celebrate Good Times!

FLYLēF turns 2! To celebrate, the blog’s curator, Lonna, has brought together a group of bloggers to share friendship-based posts with y’all! Please make sure to visit everyone participating and maybe make a new friend, or a few, on the way! 😀

Friendship

I personally take friendship very seriously – I very much believe in loyalty above all else. I feel like I do my darnedest to remain true to those I feel are my friends. Sometimes friendships don’t last – I think people enter our lives at the right time and maybe aren’t meant to be around forever. Others you click with and become lifelong besties.

I have many acquaintances in real life, but few people, outside of family, that I consider true friends. My best friend and I have known each other for about 15 years – it’s incredible how time flies…Anyway, we’ve been through a lot together and just mesh so well – we like a lot of the same music, sports, and we’re cut from the same cloth, as far as loyalty is concerned.

Wholeheartedly I believe that if people are true blue friends, they don’t necessarily have to be together or talking every moment. I have great friends who live across the country and don’t see often, but when we come together, it’s like nothing has changed – like we’ve been together all along.

Friendship should be easy, simple, and mutual respect is a must. I also feel that it isn’t necessary to ‘collect’ people. For example, I have fewer than 200 friends on Facebook – all people with whom I actually interact. I like to keep up with my people, even if they’re far away. I mainly do Facebook now to post pictures for people I don’t see often to look at, especially of my babies.

In conclusion, friendships are very important, whether friends are made in real life, through the Internet, or even through pen palling, they keep us sane. Although some friends may disappoint us, never let go of the good eggs you have been lucky to find.

 Testimonial

I was introduced to Lonna when I joined the Goodreads book club, Owls Be Reading, which Lonna hosted with Olivia from Olivia’s Catastrophe, last year. Unfortunately, the book club is no longer active, but I really enjoyed it while it lasted!

Perhaps the best book to which I was introduced via Owls Be Reading is I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai. The memoir of a girl who narrowly escaped the horrors of the Pakistani Taliban, I really don’t think I ever would have read it had it not been the first book club pick. For the record, I adored the book and I will be forever grateful for being compelled to read it.

I also know Lonna through the amazing seasonal Comment Challenge (see below for the scoop), which pairs bloggers who then support each other for a month through blog comments. I love this challenge – it’s definitely one of my favorites, as it’s an awesome way to discover new blogs as well as to make new pals.

Although I don’t know Lonna in the real world, I feel that she is a really cool and sincere person who is on her blogging A-game! I also always enjoy reading Lonna’s book reviews and stalking her blog in general! Lonna, thanks so much for having me as part of your anniversary celebration – I am truly honored! 😀

  Tour Schedule

❖ May 15th – Bookfever: Spotlight / Giveaway
❖ May 15th – A Reader Writer: Spotlight / Giveaway
❖ May 16th – Milky Way of Books: Spotlight / Giveaway
❖ May 16th – Lisa Loves Literature: Spotlight / Giveaway
❖ May 20th – A Kernel of Nonsense: Spotlight / Giveaway
❖ May 21th – SUSANLOVESBOOKS: Spotlight / Giveaway
❖ May 23th – fallxnrobins: Spotlight / Giveaway
❖ May 27th – Utopia State of Mind: Spotlight / Giveaway
❖ May 28th – Book Briefs: Spotlight / Giveaway
❖ May 30th – Foxes & Fairy Tales: Spotlight / Giveaway
❖ June 1st – The Caramel Files: Spotlight / Giveaway

  About FLYLēF  

Lonna Yen the creative mind behind FLYLēF (pronounced like flyleaf) who enjoys reading late into the night to satisfy her insatiable addiction to mostly young adult and adult novels: romance (contemporary and historical), fantasy, and paranormal (especially vampires). She believes in the magic of spellbinding words coming together to build breathtaking worlds in our minds’ eyes. Happiness is just a book away, find it at FLYLēF.

Lonna also the host of FLYTIP and Book of Choice Giveaway Hop, and co-host of The Comment Challenge.

  Giveaway 

A one-month subscription box to Owl Crate, or $35 Amazon gift card for an international winner,


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Warm Weather Comments

Hey, y’all! It sure has been a while! Hopefully, my blogging block will come to an end shortly! With the Summer Comment Challenge, hosted by Lonna at FLYLef and Alicia at A Kernel of Nonsense, starting June 1, I’m praying for inspiration so my partner will have posts to actually comment on! 😀

I participated in the winter comment challenge as well this year – I absolutely adore this challenge! Not only does it connect bloggers with similar interests, it opens up doors to make new pals! I’ve pledged to leave a minimum of five comments on my partner’s blog this round.

I discovered today that my commenting buddy this time is Bella from Bella Blogs Because Books! A big shout out to Bella – I look forward to visiting your site and offering encouragement and sending happy thoughts! 😀

Love, Maggie

Purple Rain

*I originally wrote this post as part of the Blogging from A to Z 2017 Challenge. Unfortunately, I dropped off in the middle of the month-long challenge. So, against my perfectionist nature, I’ve decided to go ahead and publish the posts I did get drafted, as I am proud of them, out of alphabetical order.

Prince’s epic ballad, Purple Rain, has always been one of my favorite songs. Even though it’s already a long tune, I wish it were even longer – I love it that much. Purple Rain already had a special place in my heart, just because I loved it, but when I had my first ever dance with my now husband, it became even more special.

It was 2008 and Elliott and I were on a date at a Nashville bar, where his drummer brother had a gig that night. I remember having an absolute blast – we were with Elliott’s awesome sister and her husband. There was even a point where I got sick from drinking Long Island iced teas like an idiot and I slipped off to the bathroom. Yes, when I returned, I continued to drink, like an idiot.

Luckily, I didn’t get sick again that night. Like The Grinch, my heart grew a million sizes when the band, dubbed Moderately Sauced, played Purple Rain. Elliott and I jumped up and hit the dance floor. Moderately Sauced had an amazing female lead singer – let me tell you, she is one of the best vocalists I’ve ever heard and her rendition of Prince’s classic is really beyond explanation.

Elliott and I, who both knew every word to Purple Rain, – which is shocking in itself, as I don’t know the correct words to hardly any songs – serenaded each other as we slow danced among the throngs of other Purple Rain lovers on the dance floor.

Looking back, I knew subconsciously that I would marry Elliott the first moment we met. At the time of that dance, however, the deal was solidified and the idea of a future wedding entered my consciousness. Lo and behold, we got married in 2011 and our first dance song as husband and wife was, you guessed it, Purple Rain!

We had a deejay at our wedding reception, so we danced to Prince’s voice and it was magical. However, due to the length of the song, the two of us gliding around the dance floor for eight minutes got a little old. I recall glancing at our guests as we danced and most of them seemed to be screaming in their heads for Purple Rain to end already. The beginning of our dance was great, but after about four minutes, we all had lost interest!

I just now thought of the connection between the party decorations and our first song – the accents and most of the flowers were in shades of, what else, purple! Even the wedding cake had purple features.

Of course, anytime I hear Purple Rain now, not only am I overcome with sadness due to Prince’s being dead, but feelings of intense joy outweigh the grief. As I have two amazing, life-changing memories to attribute to Purple Rain, all I can do when I hear the song is belt it out with all of my heart.

Love, Maggie