Two Years of Blogging Celebration + Giveaway

twoyears

That’s right! My blog is officially two years old! I can’t believe it. I never thought that I’d become a blogger – a passionate blogger – let alone a book blogger. But I am so happy to be here sharing my thoughts, feelings, and passions with all of you.

When I started blogging two years ago, I was nervous. Excited, but nervous. Would people even look at my blog? Comment on my stuff? Interact with me? I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t doing it for the “fame” in the beginning, because who doesn’t want their five minutes, you know? But pretty soon after I started I fell in love with it. Interacting with all of you – my peeps – is one of the joys that brings me back to my blog every day. I love seeing comments and commenting on other’s blogs (which I still need to work on, I know!), and then interacting on Twitter and Instagram… it’s so worth it!

I fell in love with books all over again because of blogging and book community. Not only is the book community the most welcoming community I’ve ever seen on the Internet, but there’s also so many passionate and diverse voices here that it sparked my love for reading all over again. Once people were excited over a book, so was I! It was fun to talk about and gush or gripe over books – and it still is!

When my first blogiversary came around, my numbers and content (and amount of books on my shelves) were much smaller than they are now, but I was still so grateful to have faithfully stuck with book blogging and having those connections with people and books and more.

Now, two years after I started blogging, I’m so excited to see how far I’ve come and where I can see myself going. I’ve had such a great time this past year and I have some of those milestones to share with you.

What Happened This Last Year

  • Between July last year and July this year I’ve read and reviewed 57 books, novellas, short stories, and audiobooks. That’s a lot for me and I am so amazed at how far I’ve come in that time!
  • I’ve had 43 discussions. Wow. I had a lot to say, apparently!
  • I went to my first author book signings in YEARS and got to meet my favorite author. Actually I went to three: Jodi Meadows and Erin Bowman, Sarah J. Maas, and Maggie Steifvater! All of the authors were so lovely and nice.
  • I participated in a lot more events and readathons, like Love-a-thon, Make Me Read, and more.
  • I even started the ToGReadalong with some bookish friends!
  • I’ve met more awesome bookish people through Twitter chats, which I am very thankful for. Such Twitter chats have been #BBTC and #RQWN.

What I’m Looking Forward To

  • Reading more books! I feel like I never have enough time in my day to read as much as I want anymore, but I hope to just continue reading and having fun doing it.
  • I’m obviously going to keep posting more on my blog, but I want to do some new and different things in the next year. I’m going to look into different things so they’ll be a surprise when/if they happen!
  • I’ve been neglecting my YouTube channel, and I don’t know if I’ll continue to make videos or not, so I’m going to be debating on an upload schedule and trying to stick to it.
  • Go to more book signings and events! I’m going to make it my mission to go to some sort of book convention whether it be this year or next year, but I really want to go and meet so many people!

The Giveaway

I’m giving away a $25USD gift card to Society6! You’ll be able to choose whatever design and item you want up to $25 (any additional fees are up to you to pay). I’ll be sending the gift to you via email, so be sure to keep a lookout! I’ll obviously email the winner beforehand so that they’re aware of it and all of that. Yes, the giveaway is international because they do have worldwide shipping! Just make sure they ship to your country, obviously.

Click here for the giveaway!

A Big Thank You

I feel like this year is going to get better, just like how I thought last year that it would get better – and it has! I’m so excited to be part of such an awesome community and I just want to thank you all for being part of this journey with me. You’re all lovely and beautiful and my peeps (yes, the fluffy marshmallow chicks). Thank you all for sticking around and I hope to have many more conversations with you all and continue to grow and be passionate and have more fun than before.

Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦

What has been YOUR favorite post that YOU’VE done on your blog and why? Share with me your links so I can check them out and visit your blogs! It’s all about connection here and I want to connect more with you all, so show me your favorite/best/most creative post/video/Instagram photo that you’ve got!

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Armchair BEA 2016 Wrap Up & Giveaway Winner

ArmchairBEA LogoExample

Made by Amber

Well friends, Armchair BEA has come to a close along with Book Expo America and BookCon. So sad, but it was just as fun as last year. I had a good time at the Twitter parties, discussing bookish topics, and overall seeing a small chunk of the community come together for something like this.

I definitely had fun talking about the fictional worlds I’d want to survive in and the ones I’d want to live in. Reality kind of sucks sometimes, so it’s always fun to imagine living in a different world – though I’m sure that, too, would suck after a while if there was a lot of chaos going on there. But I’d cope somehow!

I also enjoy talking about the importance of diversity in books and how there’s just not enough of it out there. Yes, some strides are being made – which is always a plus – but it’s not enough and I think the publishing industry needs to grow and expand and understand that we, as readers, as people, need it.

And then talking about other forms of reading, such as manga! I think that it’s a fun medium to read from and that it really can capture the emotions and the heart of a story.

And now the giveaway winner!

Thank you to everyone who participated! I’ll be sure to have another giveaway in a couple of months, but for now, here is the winner:

Congratulations to…

MONICA @ MONICA FASTENAU

I will send you an email regarding your win and choice of book from The Book Depository.

Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦

Did you participate in Armchair BEA? What were your favorite parts? Did you attend BEA or BookCon? Tell me all the things!

Armchair BEA Day 4: Surviving Fictional Worlds & Giveaway

ArmchairBEA LogoExample

Made by Amber

Today’s talk is all about surviving fictional worlds: ones we love, hate, and everything in between. Fictional worlds can be dangerous, but that’s not going to stop us from dreaming of living there with the other characters we love, right? So today’s chat is all about that. And I’m pretty excited because OH MAN. THE FEELS.

 

Some of the questions we were asked to think about were: Which fictional worlds would you want to live in? Which worlds do you never want to dive into? Which worlds are you content to stay behind the glass, so to speak, rather than wishing to dive through the page? And once you get there, what would you do?

Let’s start with the easy one: which fictional worlds would you want to live in?

My blanket answer: any that Sarah J. Maas writes.

I KNOW. But guys, the worlds she writes are large and expansive and beautiful, even if they are dangerous. I’d particularly want to stay in Prythian in the Night Court from A Court of Mist and Fury for several reasons…

Other worlds I’d want to live in:

  • Truthwitch‘s world & I’d want to be a threadwitch. Even if I can’t see my own connections to people, I think I’d like seeing others connections.
  • Eretz from Daughter of Smoke & Bone because WOW. Chimera and angels and all sorts of interesting things to see! I just hope I wouldn’t, you know, get killed.
  • Kingdoms of the Remnant from The Kiss of Deception. Particularly Venda because that part of the world just seems so mysterious and wild. Plus, my bae, Kaden, lives there.
  • And, you know, Hogwarts. Because duh.

Those are just a few of the worlds I’d want to visit, even if crap goes down there often.

Which fictional worlds do you never want to dive into?

I’d honestly say any dystopian world because there’s a very real chance that our world could turn into something similar one day and I’m just not ready for that.

Which worlds are you content to stay behind the glass, so to speak, rather than wishing to dive through the page?

Hmm… I think maybe the Shadowhunter world because although I do enjoy the characters and everything, I don’t know that I’d want a showdown like what happens in the books. That just seems a little too much for me. (And yet I’m willing be in worlds with CHIMERA. Like, what even is my brain?)

And once you get there, what would you do?

Probably find one of the characters I’d know and try to become friends with them. It might end horribly, but at least I can try!

Giveaway

Oh man guys, when was the last time I did one of these? Feels like forever ago, but we had the option of hosting a giveaway on our own blogs and so, because I love you all, I’m going to do just that!

So what you’re entering for is a purchase from The Book Depository for a book up to $15USD. If it ships to your country, then you are eligible to win. Meaning, yes, this is international!

The giveaway will be running from today, May 14th, until May 17th at 12AM EST!

Click Here for the Rafflecopter Giveaway! Closed!

WordPress doesn’t let me have the actual widget in posts, unfortunately, so just click the link and be sure to follow the rules!

Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦

What kinds of worlds would you most want to avoid? What about ones you’d want to stay in? Would you want to switch lives with a character or live your own life? Let’s talk about all the things!

August 2015 Wrap-Up + Giveaway Winner

In the month of August I read and completed two books. This summer has been really difficult in terms of reading and finishing books, but I’m trying my best!

The two books I completed this month are:

I also read several other books this month, but I have yet to complete them for one reason or another (the main reason being I’m stuck in a slump and can’t find my way out), and they are:

Yeah, I started all of those, but haven’t finished them… I think reading multiple books at once is what’s stopping me from reading, really. It’s difficult to retain everything that’s happening because I don’t want to confuse one plot with another.

So it’s been a productive month for reading, but not a fruitful month, you know? I want to finish what I’m reading and find out what happens!

As well as that, I did some discussions and other things this month:

  • Shoutouts (Part 1) – I did some shoutouts to various book people! I think everyone deserves recognition for what they do, and I’m going to do this as much as I can.
  • How I Organize My Bookshelves – I talked about how I do my own shelf organization. This will probably change over time, but I think one constant I’ll always have will be my “favorites” shelf.
  • Let’s Talk Shadowhunters – The show has a full cast and production is well under way. I talk a bit more about the cast and how excited I am for this show!
  • Book Clubs: Yea or Nay? – The pros and cons of book clubs are discussed here. Would you join one?
  • Rayna Recommends: High Fantasy – In hindsight, I wish I had done a broader topic of fantasy and then narrowed from there, but here I recommend some high fantasy books and movies!
  • Bout of Books 14 Readathon + My Birthday – I participated in Bout of Books 14 and it was also my birthday this past month! It was a fun time and I’m proud of what I accomplished.
  • Reading Tastes – I talked about how reading tastes change over time and how you can love one thing one year and completely change your views in the next.

So it’s been a productive month and I’m happy to have had all the talks and whatnot.

But now it’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for! The giveaway winner!

Thank you to everyone who participated and joined in! I’m very happy and I hope to see more of you around in the years to come.

And the winner is…

Bianca @ The Ultimate Fangirl

Congratulations! You’ve already been contacted by email, but I wanted to give a shoutout here, too! Thanks all and look forward to the next giveaway!

Let’s see what the next month has to bring. What did you read this past month? Let me know!

Bout of Books 14 Day 5 + Giveaway! (CLOSED)

Hey peeps! Another day of Bout of Books has come and gone, and I almost didn’t read at all yesterday, but I managed to read a chapter in “Magic Bites” by Ilona Andrews, so yay for me!

So my reading progress yesterday was:

  • Magic Bites: 28 pages

Now though I’ve strayed away from my TBR for the readathon a little bit, I am still reading those other books, just… not right now.

I also participated in the challenge that took place, which was to ship two characters together from two different books. Here’s my “ship:”

  • Professor Umbridge from the Harry Potter series and Joffery Baratheon from A Game of Thrones.
  • Ship Name: Evil Incarnate
    Reason: Now let me say this first: I do not ship them romantically. This ship is not a ship in the traditional sense, but rather a ship that is all about power and manipulation. You see, I loathe both of these characters from the very depths of my soul. They are both cruel and evil and they enjoy doing what they do that causes harm – emotionally, physically, or mentally – to those that that they wish to punish.With that being said, I ship them as like a grandmother/grandson type of thing where she oversees his actions and he rules the company. You know what I’m saying? They’d be the perfect evil power couple, even if both would be disgusted by the other.

Yup. I just couldn’t stop thinking about how evil this pair would be, so there you go.

Now I hope that you’re all having a good reading week as tomorrow is the last day of Bout of Books (though I’ll have two more update posts), but I also have something else in store for you all:

A GIVEAWAY!

I’m hosting this giveaway because, well, I think it’s long overdue and I wanted to show my gratitude to my followers and to those who read my blog. You guys are awesome and are part of the reason why I continue to do what I do.

That’s right! I’m going to be hosting a giveaway for one book up to $15USD from Book Depository! As long as it ships to your country, you have a chance to win!

Just fill out the rafflecopter below and you’ll be entered! The winner will be emailed following the end of the raffle and will have 48 hours to respond before someone else is picked.

CLICK HERE FOR THE GIVEAWAY

Rules

  • Must be at least 18 years or older, OR 13 and older with parents’ permission to win.
  • This is an INTERNATIONAL giveaway, but Book Depository MUST ship to your country in order to win.
  • You must be okay with giving me your address. I will not share it with anyone and will only use it as part of the Book Depository order.