5 Year BLOGIVERSARY + Giveaway!

Hi everyone! Guess what’s special about today? 😉 (Okay, okay, the title may have given that away. *cough*)

It’s my 5 Year Blogiversary! 😀

Yes, you heard that correctly.

On this day, half a decade ago, I posted my very first post on this blog!

It’s been a long, exciting journey, and I just started another shiny website too (as well as having a book blog I’ve been enjoying for a few years) — but this is where it all began, and it’s still the heart of my online presence as a writer, and… well… a human. 😉

So I’m celebrating with a giveaway (Hobbit-birthdays and all that sort of thing, so read on for that) and general merriment and partying.

*passes out virtual cupcakes and tosses confetti on everyone*

The Stats

  • 5 years
  • 293 posts (as of this one!)
  • 590 followers (plus social media = 1,091 followers, hence the number on the side. ;))
  • 6,700 comments
  • 16,298 visitors
  • 45,789 views

Top Commenters

Commenters are my favorite — this means you! Also, special shoutout to my top commenters of late. You guys are amazing! THANK YOU! (Everyone, check out their amazing blogs! ^_^)

My top 10 most popular posts this year

Thank You

I just want to say thank you.

Thanks to all my lovely readers, followers, and commenters! You make this blogging thing worthwhile. 🙂 It’s been such a joy taking this road with you all. Thank you for joining me in the journey. ❤

*GROUP HUG*

Blogiversary Giveaway

Okay, here’s the part you’re REALLY here for! 😉

There are 5 (ish) prizes — because 5 years — and they are (surprise, surprise!) books!

I love sharing books with people, and I also frequent library sales and collect beloved books. So I’ve decided to share a few of my favorites with y’all! ^_^

But just a second, because I’m going to tell you all about one of the awesome prizes. 😀

Stellar September

I’m extremely excited to be showcasing The Electrical Menagerie by Mollie E. Reeder today!

I won an ebook ARC copy of this book, and loved it so much that I raved about it in a review, got a paperback copy when I got to meet the author at Realm Makers (!!!), and just ordered a second paperback copy just so I could give it away on my blogiversary post today. 🙂

Mollie was also awesome and donated two sets of gorgeous character cards, of the delightful characters from The Electrical Menagerie, for me to share with y’all! (Visit the artist on Instagram.) One set I’m giving away with the paperback (US), and one set I’m offering as an International prize, because I love you peeps too! ❤

But wait, there’s even more delightful news! 😀

The Electrical Menagerie got a starred review on Publisher’s Weekly yesterday! :O I’m SO excited for Mollie, and so proud of her and this splendiferous book (and its characters. ;))! I just love it so much, and I hope more people will discover it. ^_^

If you’re curious to read it, now is a fantastic time to try it out, because the ebook is only 99 cents on Amazon right now, for a promotion Mollie is calling Stellar September. And is it ever stellar! 😀 So go get yourself a copy! ❤

And, of course, enter to win a paperback copy of this (and other books) below. 😉

You can learn more about The Electrical Menagerie, Mollie, and the characters, and sign up for Mollie’s newsletter for a free novelette about Huxley (it’s hilarious, FYI!), at thecelestialisles.com or writeratops.com!

The Giveaway Prizes

  1. The Electrical Menagerie by Mollie E. Reeder (paperback) — Steampunk (ish). The rest of these books I got at library sales, but this one I ordered. It’s a recent release, which I may have flailed about a lot. 😉 And since I’m writing steampunk right now, and love humor and dynamic characters, it seemed to fit the theme of my giveaway. 🙂 Let me just tell you that if you love The Greatest Showman, or steampunk, or dynamic duo friendships, or humor/snark, or magical worlds (floating islands with sky-trains run by stardust!), you simply have to try this book out! ❤ Included with this book is a set of the 4 lovely character cards!
  2. Magician’s Ward by Patricia C. Wrede (paperback) — Regency Fantasy. You can read my full review here, but this is a fascinating and fun story set in an alternate Regency London, about the fabulous magician (and eligible bachelor) Mairelon the Magician, and his ward, Kit, who is a street-thief-turned-Regency-lady. And yes, this is as fabulous as it sounds. XD It’s technically the second book in a duology, but I read it as a standalone and understood it just fine. (I’ve since read the first book, and enjoyed it, but not as much as I loved this one.) This is an ex-library paperback and is slightly worn — apologies! — but the story inside is lovely. 😉
  3. Conrad’s Fate (Chrestomanci Series) by Diana Wynne Jones (hardcover) — Fantasy. You know this had to be on here, because of COURSE I have to give away a DWJ book. 😉 Even if you haven’t read any of the Chrestomanci books before, you can start with this one (as it’s sort of a prequel). It’s a lot of fun, and features a teenage Chrestomanci/Christopher Chant, which was AWESOME. It’s also a buddy story, from the point of view of the “servants” at an older, fancy, British-like house, with magical shenanigans and humor. I love it. 😀
  4. The End of the Third Age by J.R.R. Tolkien (paperback) — This is the tail-end of a series of books featuring some of Tolkien’s older drafts of The Lord of the Rings (edited by his son Christopher Tolkien). But the reason I’m giving away this one is that it has the UNPUBLISHED epilogue of The Lord of the Rings, which never made it into the final version, but which I strongly believed SHOULD HAVE. It’s about Sam and his kids after the end, and makes the end of LOTR not sad, say I — it ends on a better note. There are two versions of the epilogue, both collected in this volume, and even if you don’t read the rest of the book, you HAVE to read them. And I want to make it possible for some LOTR fan to read it, so I’m giving away a copy. 🙂 (Plus, what with the Silmaril Awards going on right now — don’t forget to vote for your favorite characters this week!! — this feels like an appropriate thing to give away. ;))
  5. If You Want To Write: A Book About Art, Independence, and Spirit by Brenda Ueland (paperback) — Nonfiction. This is one of my favorite books on writing. I wrote a whole post about it once, which you can check out to see if it’s the sort of book you would like. And since this is “The Road of a Writer” and I know many of you are writers, it seemed fitting. 🙂
  6. Another set of Electrical Menagerie character cards (INTERNATIONAL) — Because, as I mentioned, Mollie kindly sent along two sets, and I wanted something for any of my lovely non-American readers who would like to enter a giveaway. (Huxley makes a great bookmark. I’m just sayin’. ;))

Giveaway details

  • You must be subscribed to my newsletter, or if you haven’t, your email address will be added to my newsletter, from which you can unsubscribe any time. (But I like to think that the sort of people who enjoy the sorts of books I’m giving away above, will be the sort to enjoy my newsletter. ;))
  • This giveaway is open from September 11 – 15, 2018
  • The books are US entries only (sorry! Because shipping) but the second set of character cards are just for international entries! 🙂
  • There will be 6 winners
  • Winners will be chosen by random draw. The winners be contacted by email, and posted here on or after September 17

You can subscribe to my newsletter here. 🙂

Enter the giveaway in the form below, or, if it’s not working for you, click here!

Giveaway Form

That’s it!

P.S. If you want to follow me on Instagram, I’m hoping to post a different fun picture there each day this week during the giveaway to showcase each of the books, so… there’s that. 😉

Whew! I think that’s all the fun I have for you guys today. 🙂 (Special thanks to Mollie for providing the character trading cards for the giveaway!)

Do you want to read The Electrical Menagerie? And which of these books would you most love to win? 😀 Thanks for joining me in my blogoversary as I celebrate 5 years of blogging! You’re all awesome! ❤

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Blogoversary (4 Years!) + Giveaway!

Happy blogoversary to meeee!

That’s right, The Road of a Writer is turning 4 YEARS OLD!

*confetti*

*fireworks*

So I’m celebrating by reminiscing, sharing some numbers and links, and giving away some fantasy novels!

It’s crazy to think it’s been so long since I started this li’l ol’ online way-post on the writing road… It’s been quite a journey, I’ve learned so much along the way, and I’ve definitely been enjoying it. It’s grown so much that I had to start a spinoff blog just for my reviewing and bookish posts! I love blogging. ^_^

Thanks so much to all of you for reading The Road of a Writer, commenting, encouraging, and generally putting up with my shenanigans — it means a lot! I’m supposed to be a writer, but in this case I don’t think there are words to say how I feel about you all… So. JUST — THANK YOU. ❤ *virtual hugs and cupcakes all around*

The Stats

(Look who wished me a happy blogoversary. XD)

  • 4 years
  • 250 posts (yes, last week‘s was my 250th!)
  • 470 followers (plus linked Twitter followers, hence the 789 number on the side; full disclosure. XD)
  • 5,562 comments
  • 10,328 visitors
  • 33,910 views
  • 9,043,930,894,038,098 hours spent trying to find the right gifs (okay, I exaggerate slightly… *cough*)

Top commenters of late (I think based on the last 1000 comments?):

Most popular posts I’ve posted:

Most-viewed posts from this year (after the ones above):

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

Here are some of my favorite posts from the past four years…

CHARACTER INTERVIEWS, ETC.

ABOUT MY SERIES (because I’m nostalgic. XD)

ABOUT MY FAVORITE BOOKS

ABOUT WRITING

ABOUT NANOWRIMO ADVENTURES

SOME FAVORITE WRITINGS OF MINE

The Giveaway

In the tradition of Hobbit birthdays, wherein Hobbits on their birthday give away presents to other people, I’m giving away four books to my lovely followers to say THANK YOU for being amazing and putting up with my shenanigans. 🙂 I’d like to share the love on some of my favorite fantasy novels, which is why I’ve chosen these to give away.

What I am giving away:

  • The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien (paperback; US)
  • The Bone House by Stephen R. Lawhead (paperback; US)
  • The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander (paperback; US)
  • Mossflower by Brian Jacques (paperback; US)

And alternate giveaway to enter internationally:

  • The Beast of Talesend by Kyle Robert Shultz (ebook; International)

Notes on each of these:

  • I do not entirely approve of the Hobbit movies, but I love this cover of The Hobbit all the same. XD If you’re not fortunate enough to have read this book yet, or don’t own a copy of your own, do enter this one! Or, ya know, if you already have a copy and want to give one as a gift to a friend/niece/nephew/neighbor/anybody — still enter! 😉
  • The Bone House is book 2 in the Bright Empires series, and I DO NOT recommend reading it unless you have read book 1, The Skin Map; but feel free to enter this one if you’ve read the first book and haven’t gotten around to the second yet (or, ya know, promise to get the first one and read it first. XD) — it’s one of my favorites! ^_^
  • The Book of Three is book 1 in the Prydain Chronicles; HIGHLY recommend; this is an ex-library book donated to Salvation Army, so it’s a readable copy and in good shape but with stickers/markings/etc.
  • Mossflower is a “prequel” to Redwall, but can stand alone, and it’s my favorite of the Redwall books. ❤
  • The paperback giveaway is for US residents only — sorry international peeps! I love you all the same! And to prove it, I also am giving away an ebook copy of The Beast of Talesend by Kyle Robert Shultz, so this one is open internationally!

You can enter via the form below — and you can pick which of the giveaways you would like to enter, so if you already have one or more of these, or for some reason do not wish to enter some of them, you can easily pick which one(s) you’d like to enter.

Details: Five winners — one for each book. Paperback giveaway open to US addresses only. Ebook giveaway open Internationally. (I’ve never tried giving away an ebook internationally so HOPEFULLY it will work…) Giveaways are open Monday, September 11 – Sunday, September 17, 2017. Winners will be listed here as an “EDIT” and also contacted by email, on Monday, September 18. So check back on this post on that day to see the winners!

EDIT: The winners have been chosen and contacted! Thanks so much to everyone who entered. 🙂

  • Winner of The Hobbit: Maddy
  • Winner of The Bone House: Savannah Grace
  • Winner of The Book of Three: Florid Sword
  • Winner of Mossflower: Emily Drown
  • Winner of The Beast of Talesend ebook: Skye

Thanks so much for coming with me all this way, my dearest Roadlings! ❤ You’re legit the best! ^_^ *group hug*

Blog Party Wrapup + Winners

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Well, roadlings, here we are, aren’t we?

I’m glad to be with you, Samwise Gamgee, my blog readers, here at the end of all things.

…Er, that is, the end of the blog party for my third blogoversary! *cough* (Couldn’t resist a touch of LOTR-related drama. ;))

Thanks so much for joining me, everyone!! It’s been a fun month here on the blog! 🙂 (For me at least; dunno about you folks. ;)) I hope you enjoyed getting so many posts! (And if not, well, it’s over now and I’ll be going back to a more moderate schedule again, so either way you should be happy! XD)

I believe that I’m all caught up on my tags now… (Except for a couple of writerly ones I’m saving for November…) WHEW. That was a LOT but also fun. XD I even caught up on my bookish tags over on my book blog, The Page Dreamer!

Thanks to all the lovely people who tagged me! Y’all are so sweet! ^_^

Here’s a list of the tags this month, if you missed ’em:

  1. Rising Authors Tag
  2. Writer’s Life Tag
  3. Million Dollar Writer Tag
  4. Sisterhood Blogger Award
  5. More Infinity Dreams
  6. Sweater Weather Fall Tag
  7. LOTR Tag
  8. Favorite Things + Happiness Tag
  9. Lovely Sunshine Dreams
  10. Blogs + Infinity Dreams Award (Again)

Page Dreamer book tags:

  1. 30 Bookish Questions Tag
  2. How I Read Tag
  3. The Birthstone Book Tag
  4. “Totally Should’ve…” Book Tag
  5. #FantasyFunMonth Book Tag

Buuut you’re not here to read me ramble about blogging, you’re here to see the WINNERS!

Which my sister and I pulled at random out of my viking helmet. Because it’s almost NaNo and I am, after all, a Small Home Repair Viking…

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Without further ado, the winners are:

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Giveaway #1: Writing themed

Winners:

  • Eats, Shoots & Leaves (hardcover) by Lynne Truss: Emily Drown
  • Handlettered C.S. Lewis writing quote art print: Christine
  • Blank forest road (for a writer! ;)) journal: Victoria Nightsky

giveawaypastpresfuture

Giveaway #2: Past-Present-Future

Winners:

  • The Princess Spy (ARC paperback) by Melanie Dickerson: NolieAlcarturiel (Sophia)
  • The Penderwicks (paperback) by Jeanne Birdsall: Mary Horton
  • Captives (paperback) by Jill Williamson: Texas Rebel Girl

giveawaylotr

Giveaway #3: Lord of the Rings themed

Winners:

  • Lord of the Rings boxed set (paperback): Savannah
  • Handlettered Tolkien quote art print: Sarah Taleweaver
  • Smaug/Dragon temporary tattoos: Alyssa

I wish I could give something to EVERYONE who entered… but I tried to have a lot of prizes so there would at least be more than one winner. 😉

Thanks so much for entering and commenting, everyone!!! You are all absolutely awesome and make my day. ❤ Thank you for celebrating with me!

This event was to celebrate the blogging anniversary of this writing blog The Road of a Writer, its past, present, hopeful future, and of course The Lord of the Rings — but ALSO to celebrate how awesome all my readers are (that’s you!) so THANKS SO MUCH! YOU ARE THE BEST! ^_^

Official announcer voice:

“This concludes the celebration of the 3rd Blogoversary of The Road of a Writer. Thank you for participating. Please file out of the auditorium in an orderly line and do not trample small aardvarks in the aisles. Thank you.” *sound of official announcer person bowing*

(Don’t even ask how you can hear a bow. It totally works. Hush.)

If anyone needs me, I’ll just be over here in the corner in denial that tomorrow is October. WHAT. EVEN. Ahem. (Also, sorry I’m so behind on comments! I was gone for a week… So I will work on replying to those soon!!) Have a lovely weekend, everyone, and I will see you whenever I get together an ishness post about my crazy September! Love you all, and thanks again! ❤

*throws celebratory confetti and hands out cupcakes to everyone*

Lord of the Rings Giveaway + LOTR Tag

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Oh, is it not Friday? Surprise! You get this giveaway post a day early because it’s a SPECIAL DAY. But I’m also doing an extra tag today as well.

Today being Bilbo’s and Frodo’s birthday (happy birthday!), it’s a Lord of the Rings themed giveaway, naturally!

But first I’m also doing a bonus tag (LOTR themed of course) because I saw it on Pinterest (originally from Tumblr I believe) and thought it would be fun, so I couldn’t resist doing it today. 🙂

LOTR Tag

It seems to be more movie- than book-oriented, but hey, I’ll give it a shot all the same. 😉 Answers are some inconsistent mix of movie/book answers.

  1. lotrcollage1Favorite Film — The Return of the King. So much epic and amazingness, not to mention the incredible music. ❤
  2. Favorite Battle — Um. Not sure. Tie between Helm’s Deep and the Pelennor Fields I guess?
  3. Favorite Character — Faramir. He’s the best. ❤ (We will NOT talk about how his character was ruined in The Two Towers movie… though I still love him in the movies, just… it’s atrocious how they changed him.)
  4. Scene That Makes You Cry — Boromir’s death. *sniffle*
  5. Scene That Makes You Laugh — “Shall I describe it to you? Or would you like me to find you a box?”
  6. Ugliest Orc — All of them.
  7. Favorite Antagonist — WHAT EVEN DOES THIS MEAN? Gollum, maybe?
  8. Gondor or Rohan — Rohan I guess. I love their culture and horses and green fields and Fangorn forest.
  9. Favorite Hobbit — Merry! He’s just so fun and awesome and the best. (Or Bilbo if we’re talking about the Hobbit movies, because Martin Freeman as Bilbo is perfection.)
  10. lotrcollage2OTP (translation: One True Pairing, a.k.a. favorite romantic couple) — Faramir and Eowyn. They’re my precious. ❤
  11. BROTP (translation: favorite best-friend brotherly friendship) — In the book: Aragorn and Eomer maybe? In the movie, Aragorn and Legolas and Gimli as a threesome.
  12. Favorite Location — Rivendell, maybe? I’d love to vacation there… or Lothlorien… or anywhere.
  13. Favorite Weapon — You can’t go wrong with Legolas’s bow & arrows.
  14. Favorite Outfit — Eowyn’s white dress, or maybe her green one, or Arwen’s red/black dress… and an Elven cloak too, please!
  15. Favorite Armor — Faramir’s white tree of Gondor leather armor.
  16. Favorite Female Character — Eowyn. She’s fabulous.
  17. Elves or Dwarves? — Elves. They’re splendid. ^_^
  18. Coolest Visual Effect — I’m rather fond of Legolas jumping up onto his horse when they’re riding against the wargs in The Two Towers. 😉
  19. Weirdest Screencap — I… don’t even know.
  20. Saddest Character Death — Thorin in the movie. D:
  21. Most Inspiring Moment — Both times the Rohirrim show up over a ridge at sunrise to save the day against the forces of evil; also Sam’s “I can’t carry it for you — but I can carry you!” And so many others. ❤
  22. Character You Pity Most — Gollum.
  23. Least Favorite Character — Denethor. He is… not a nice person. <.< Ugh.
  24. Scariest Moment — Everything with the Black Riders in the first movie.
  25. lotrcollage3Favorite Quote — “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.”
  26. Favorite Larger-Than-Life Foe — Does this mean scariest? In which case the Witch-King of Angmar a.k.a. leader of the Black Riders.
  27. Isengard or Mordor? — Hmm… Isengard, because it’s not as scary and the tower of Orthanc looks nicer. Pretty spikes and no fiery red eyeball at the top. *nods*
  28. Ents or Eagles — BOTH. (We will also not talk about how they ruined the Ents in the movies or how the Eagles didn’t talk. >.> AHEM.)
  29. Your LOTR Collection — You can see the stack of my books here, anyway…
  30. How You Got Into LOTR — I talked about it in this post for the 62nd birthday of LOTR a couple months ago… But it started with reading The Hobbit when I was hobbit-sized myself, and then listening to the Lord of the Rings audiobooks. The rest is history. *nods*

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LOTR Giveaway

Aaand, here it is, folks!

The third and final giveaway to celebrate my third blogoversary! 🙂

3 different winners, as usual.

*drumroll*

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Books pictured out of box, with box shown.

One winner will receive this beautiful boxed-set of The Lord of the Rings (in case you’re a sad mortal who doesn’t own the books — please only enter this part of the giveaway if you don’t own a copy of them yourself and/or haven’t read them, or if you plan to give a copy to someone you know or something, to share the love! ^_^).

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A second winner will win this art print of one of my favorite quotes from The Fellowship of the Ring (“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” — yes, that’s the book wording, not the movie one. *cough*), handlettered in blue calligraphy and gold pen by yours-truly.

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And for the third winner… I was given some Smaug/dragon temporary tattoos once, which I have not used but figured someone out there might like, so I’m offering them as the third prize of this giveaway. 🙂

Details

3 winners. Due to shipping costs, this giveaway is open to US residents only. Giveaway will run from today (Thursday, Sept. 22) until Thursday, September 29. Winners (3) will be chosen and contacted by email and also announced here on my blog, on September 30, 2016.

Well what are you waiting for? Enter below! ^_^

EDIT: The winners have been announced! Thanks for participating!

(If the embedded form below doesn’t work for you, you can find it here.)

Any answers to any of those LOTR questions? Answer in the comments or on your blog!

Happy birthday to Bilbo and Frodo Baggins, on this lovely 22nd of September, the start of Fall! And happy first day of Autumn to you, my roadlings! *throws colored leaves and Gandalf fireworks and cupcakes around*

“Past-Present-Future” Giveaway

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Here is the second giveaway to celebrate my 3rd Blogoversary!

Past/Present/Future is the theme, since I’m celebrating the past of my blog (3 years of it), the present of my blog (with giveaways and tags, yay!), and the future of my blog, looking forward, Lord willing, to many more fun times of posting! 🙂

Thanks everyone for coming with me so far. ^_^

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For this giveaway I’ve chosen 3 books: a historical fiction for the past, a contemporary novel for the present, and a dystopian novel for the future. (Hopefully the future will not be like that. AHEM.)

Past

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One winner will receive an ARC paperback copy of The Princess Spy by Melanie Dickerson (historical fiction/Christian YA romance/fairytale retelling set in Germany in the 1400s). Read my review here.

Present

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A second winner will receive a copy of The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall, which is like my favorite contemporary novel ever. ❤ SERIOUSLY, I ADORE IT. ^_^ If you’ve not read this, you are missing out on a perfect slice of summer and fun and family and friendship.

Future

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And a third winner will receive a paperback copy of Captives by Jill Williamson. I am not the hugest fan of dystopian (nothing to do with this book, which is really well-written; it’s just me in particular and this genre do not mix well), but I know many people are, so I thought I’d give a chance to win this one! Please note that I feel like it’s not appropriate for younger readers (I personally would say 18 and up) so keep that in mind if you choose it.

Details

3 winners. Due to shipping costs, this giveaway is open to US residents only. Giveaway will run from today (Fri., Sept. 16) until Thursday, September 29. Winners (3) will be chosen and contacted by email and also announced here on my blog, on September 30, 2016.

EDIT: The winners have been announced! Thanks for participating!

(If the embedded form doesn’t work for you, you can find it here.)

How about you, my roadlings? Do you prefer past, present, or future in your books? Have you read any of these? Want to? Share your thoughts! 🙂