Jumping into July

I absolutely cannot believe it’s nearly July! Of course, with the new month, comes another round of one of my favorite challenges: The Comment Challenge! Hosted by the lovely Lonna at FLYLef and the amazing Alicia at A Kernel of Nonsense, the challenge is held monthly and pairs bloggers who then spend the month commenting on each other’s posts. It’s a great way to meet new pals and fellow blogging/bookish buddies!

I discovered today that my July commenting partner is Melanie from Novel Descent – hi, Melanie! 😀 As always, I’m really looking forward to following Melanie’s blog, getting to know her, and to spread blogging and bookish love with her! 

This round, I decided to be ambitious. Generally, for this challenge I pledge to comment on a minimum of five of my partner’s posts, but this month, I’m hoping to comment on at least ten of Melanie’s posts! Hopefully, like with last month, I’ll be able to generate enough content for Melanie to actually comment on! 😀

Love, Maggie

Standing Around

Happy hump day! With today arrives the weekly meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words, WWW Wednesday! The meme has a simple format, asking the three W’s:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently

Well, I’m taking a little break from the behemoth Stephen King novel, The Stand, for a bit to pursue some other, lighter reads. I’m enthralled with King’s post-apacolyptic epic – I never dreamed I’d love his writing as much as I do, but it’s so engrossing. I’m right at 60% finished with it, which is further than I expected to be by now – I’d set September as my goal month to finish it!

I’m doing my first ever buddy read with one of my Twitter pals and it’s such a blast, even though I keep getting behind! We’re reading a cozy mystery – a genre which I recently discovered I love – by Alan Bradley, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. It’s the first in the Flavia de Luce series and I’m really enjoying it! 

Also, I’m listening to Rachel Hawkins’ Rebel Belle via Audible. I really like this quirky tale, but since I usually listen to it at night, I’m bad about falling asleep and losing my place! I love audiobooks, but I do have a tough time focusing on plots while listening as opposed to actually reading.

Just Finished

I’ve been on a serious Walking Dead graphic novel kick lately, although I stopped watching the show a few seasons ago, as it got really convoluted and confusing for me. However, reading the story makes the show make so much more sense! I’ve noticed a lot of plot points in the books that didn’t make it on screen that I wish had been written into the show, but, oh, well.

In the past few days I finished reading Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead, Vol. 3: Safety Behind Bars and Vol. 4: The Heart’s Desire. I’m anxious to get on to volumes five and six, alas, I have them on hold from the library for now. Le sigh…

Next

I really don’t know what I’ll read next, other than volumes five and six of The Walking Dead, which I’ll read as soon as they become available. I am dying to read, err, listen to, Caitlyn Jenner’s memoir, The Secrets of My Life, which I have on Audible, so it’ll probably be my next read.

Plus, I’ve absolutely got to get to reading Sarah J. Maas’ A Court of Mist and Fury and then A Court of Wings and RuinI FINALLY read A Court of Thorns and Roses in January, so I’m anxious to find out how Feyre’s story continues and ultimately ends!

Love, Maggie

I’m Honored!

Hey, y’all! I’m so thrilled to have been nominated for the Liebster Award by my Twitter buddy, @VivWrites! 😀 This is the first award I’ve been nominated for on The Caramel Files and I’m so excited to share my answers to Viv’s questions with everyone!

You can get the lowdown on Viv’s books HERE!

First of all, I did a bit of research and found the official 2017 Liebster Award rules – which you can check out HERE. In a nutshell, the Liebster Award is reserved for bloggers with 200 or fewer followers, which fits my blog like a glove!

My first task in acceptance of the Liebster Award is to discuss one of my favorite blogs to visit. I settled upon the amazing Lonna’s blog, FLYLeF, which features a ton of interesting tidbits, reviews, and giveaways. I not so secretly stalk Lonna’s space on the ‘net not only because of her regular features, including the FLYTIP column, in which Lonna discusses various creativity-related blogging ventures, but also because of a fabulous challenge Lonna cohosts with a fellow blogger.

Lonna, along with Alicia from A Kernel of Nonsense, hosts the seasonal Comment Challenge, during which bloggers are paired for a month-long commenting fest! I highly encourage you to join in on this amazing challenge, which has introduced me to some amazing bloggers. FYI: my partner for June has been the wonderful Bella from Bella Blogs Because Books! 😀

Sign-ups for the July edition of the Comment Challenge are still open, so run to either FLYLef or A Kernel of Nonsense to enter! 

Now, on to Viv’s questions!

  1. Hmm…I love a variety of genres, but I’d say my favorite of all is historical fiction. Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina is my favorite book in the entire world and it really got me interested especially in Russian-based fiction AND nonfiction. I love to learn as I read and after falling in love with Toslstoy’s classic, I read a biography of Catherine the Great, which I also adored.
  2. My absolute favorite ice cream flavor is mint chocolate chip, especially if it’s from Baskin Robbins!
  3. I love my profession as a social worker. I was recently hired as an outpatient therapist at our local mental health center and I’m so incredibly excited! Therapy is something I’ve wanted to do for a LONG time!
  4. I’m really attracted to cats in general, so any big cat makes my heart sing! I’ve always dreamt of having my own tiger or lion or whatever to cuddle with!
  5. My most hilarious dream was the one in which I dreamed about this boy I liked, who liked me also, but he was apparently afraid to ask me out. Pardon the language, but I literally dreamed that his email address was p*uss_wuss@hotmail.com! 😀
  6. I don’t have an ear for music at all, but I did take piano lessons, which I hated, as a child and learned the basics – I taught myself to play Fur Elise!
  7. My favorite type of holiday would be a tie between an amazing beach trip or a simple staycation.
  8. My ideal night in includes lots of TV, fun with my precious little family, laughter, and maybe a round of Trivial Pursuit!
  9. I wouldn’t say I have a most cherished collector’s item, although I do adore my Funko Pop!s! I think my most cherished possessions in general are my wedding ring and the jewelry and other mementos I have of my beloved Grandmother.
  10. I think my best character trait is my empathy, which can be a double-edged sword, as I tend to over-empathize and take on others’ problems instead of focusing on my own issues.
  11. My ultimate life goal is to leave behind a legacy of love and caring, especially regarding my sweet baby boys.

Now that I’ve answered Viv’s questions, here are mine for those of you whom I tag:

  1. Naturally, what’s your most cherished book?
  2. What is your all-time favorite movie?
  3. What would you consider to be your worst habit?
  4. When did you realize just how much you adore reading?
  5. What made you decide to start blogging?
  6. Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
  7. What are your favorite pizza toppings?
  8. Do you keep a journal? Why or why not?
  9. What’s your favorite childhood memory?
  10. What’s some advice you’d like to give other newish book bloggers?
  11. What’s the longest book you’ve ever read in its entirety?

I tag…

I’m so excited to see y’all’s answers! 😀

Love, Maggie

 

 

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