Spam Box Treasures – January ´20

Hello and welcome

back to the ultimate Spam Box Treasure show! 

 

Oh yes. It´s that time of the month again where I share whatever bizarre comments from my much-loved blog Spam Box.

I swear on all that´s pink and fluffy… These just keep getting better and better. I´ll admit that some of these comments were definite soul soothers. Total ego-boosters and I loved it.

 

#1  Shelby Is A Doll

 

 

#2   They Couldn´t Make It Without Me? * Melts *

 

 

 

#3  @Stipwebcams – NAAAAW ❤

 

 

 

#4  @gaysex – And I was curious If You Ever Thought Of Just Leaving A Compliment?

 

 

 

 

#5   @cumshots – You Have A Slick & Smooth Way With Words. Cum By Next Time And Shoot Me Another Spam, Won´t `Ya?

 

 

 

 

#6   Dear Viagra, Keep Poking Around. Fate Will Direct You Upwards And You´ll Eventually Get The Hang Of It

 

 

 

#7  * cries – sobs *  I HAVE THE GIFT, PEOPLE!!!

 

 

 

#8  What?! I Just Got Told I´m Gifted, Now This?! 

 

 

That was it for this month. I hope you enjoyed these treasures as much as I have ❤

 

Hope you all have a lovely day.

Much bookish love,

 

 

Typical Book Blog Posts I Don´t Do

Book hauls, monthly reads, weekly themes, cover reveals, author interviews, blog tours, reviews, lists, How-to´s, discussions, creative posts, photography,… There´s an impressive list of things book bloggers can use to make their blogs a fantastic place to visit. That´s what every book blogger wants – To attract an audience with their awesome features. Everyone wants their work to be seen. Why else offer your platform to the public, right?

Just the other day, as I was sitting here rethinking my whole book blog concept, I thought about all the fun stuff other book bloggers do on their blogs- Basically the stuff I don´t do.

So many have monthly blog recaps at the end of each month. Quite a few have book haul features where they show off their newest book purchases and talk about them. While nearly 99% of all bloggers I´ve checked out basically do the same type of book blog posts I somehow can´t be bothered to jump in on the fun and do exactly the same things everyone else is doing.

 

Monthly Blog Recaps? They´re popular, sure. And clever, too. You talk about every post you uploaded in the last month and link each post to the recap. This generates more views by helping people ( who missed out on the posts when they were originally uploaded ) find your posts. Makes sense. I tried to include this feature in my blog concept but can´t seem to warm up to it. It´s just so chewed up.

 

Book Hauls? Another popular thing many book bloggers do. The main reason why I´ve never included a book haul post in my concept is: I don´t see the point. To me, when someone does a book haul post they´re basically showing off what they bought. If you´re anything like me you don´t necessarily care if someone purchased 10 books or not. The worst book hauls are the YouTuber book hauls.

 

Weekly themes. Hold up! I´m actually a fan of these although they´d have to be original to make me appreciate them. Once I see a Manic Monday, Topic Tuesday, etc. I´ll move on.

 

Cover Reveal Posts.  ( and this is coming from a book cover judge extraordinaire ) I don´t think these are necessary. Many book bloggers make a point out of revealing book covers for upcoming book releases ( oftentimes months ahead ). Some have a whole category dedicated to this feature while others reveal covers sporadically. This is just another boring marketing strategy from authors and publishers to stir up the hype. They´re popular but they do absolutely nothing for me. Think about what happens to these cover reveal posts after a book´s been on the market after 2 years. But hey- this is just my take on the feature. NOTE: I used to do this feature a loooong time ago. Too bad I can´t remember when I last did a cover reveal post.

 

How-Tos. Gotta love a helpful post, right? Especially the book blog How-To posts about How To Blog, How To Gain More Followers, How To Write A Review, etc

The reason why I don´t do these types of posts is that I don´t feel I´m in the position to give advice. Book blogging isn´t something that comes with a manual. This is more of a trial by error sort of thing. Because what worked for someone doesn´t mean it´ll automatically work for you. I get that there are people wanting help and that people are willing to lend a hand but at the end of the day, it´s still trial by error. I also see another problem with this: When you receive advice from a book blogger who already has a decent following you can quickly become frustrated when you follow their directions to the T and don´t see immediate results.

The only positive thing I can get out of a How-To book blog post is when it´s something for how to build a book castle ( or something like that ).

 

Book Blog Tours… * Clears throat * I hate to bring this one up again ( since it gave me a good batch of gray hair when I first posted about this ). Many book bloggers love to add these posts to their blogs. I don´t. You´re welcome to read my reasons in my Why I Don´t Join Book Blog Tours Anymore blog post.

 

My greatest ( and only ) goal as a book blogger is to be original. And by this, I mean adding my personal touch to my book blog. I want to be transparent. Show the good and bad sides but still include the essentials. Weekly themes are a great way to show off creativity which is why I would always include something creative such as photography, discussion posts and maybe something that´s associated with reading e.g music, food…

I´d rather have someone read about my bookish experiences and maybe take something from that instead of giving direct advice.

As for book reviews– I´m not going to lie- I hate typing reviews but I still do it because I believe it belongs to a book blog. So, I´ll continue to publish reviews. * sigh *

 

This is not me saying other book bloggers are idiots for using these typical popular book blog features. No. I believe everyone should use whatever they think suits their purpose. If you´re a book blogger who´s been doing monthly blog recaps and you enjoy them then I´m more than happy for you. Everyone has their own agenda, including myself. I follow book blogs who are dead set on working the popular features and I think they´re doing a wonderful job. It works for them but not for me.

 


 

What about your blog? Do you use weekly or monthly themes? Do you include any of the blog post features I´ve mentioned above? I´d love to know your thoughts on the subject and to find out what special features you have.


 

As always… Thank you for taking the time to read my post. I hope you enjoyed. ❤

 

Many bookish hugs,

Morgana

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Charity For Children Gone Weird

 

Today I´d like to dabble into something hardly anyone knows but something that I feel very strongly about- Book charity.

Just recently, something happened that got me in such a mood.

As none of you know, my daughters and I give secondhand and new books to children around the Christmas holidays. Sometimes we pick a random family from the village we live in or we pack boxes and bring them to children´s hospitals, orphanages, schools or Kindergartens.

I make an announcement in a few village Facebook groups asking for people to dump their unwanted children´s books at my doorstep ( to which many gladly do ) and I take a few days off to sort them out by age groups before making small bundles and driving them to their new homes.

The most crucial part of all this is reassuring the families ( who´ve donated books ) that their hand-me-downs truly reach their destinations. So, every step is documented via pictures and journals. I even invite the families over to see how we prepare the goods ( which they often decline ) and even encourage them to accompany me when I make deliveries. Some families don´t bother with the evidence anymore because I´ve won their trust. Others… Sometimes I don´t know why I even bother anymore.

While quite a few trust me, many families don´t and really want to know where their books go. Not that big of a deal. I´ll give you all the information I have. I create little info folders where every step is documented, even my private costs ( a copy of my driver logbook). I figured these people want to see if I´m just looking for a way to sack the books for myself, which I´m not. All this is 100% non-profitable. I´m actually spending money rather than making any off of this. So, the more information I provide the better. This year, for the very first time, I found out that one particular family didn´t care about the donation process. They only had one worry.

 

“Which kids are getting my books?”

 

I admit- This is a question I wasn´t prepared for. Which kids? Well… kids. The small people who look so vibrant and full of energy. The ones who scratch their asses with toys as they put curses on adults ( a little description of my own kids ). I replied with my standard answer: “Kids who need them.”

 

“That´s not what I asked. I want to know what type of children are receiving my books.”

 

At this point, I hadn´t the slightest clue what they wanted to hear. Or, my mind simply refused to acknowledge the hidden message behind their words. But don´t worry. I caught up eventually.

 

“You´re not giving my books to foreigners, are you?”

 

And there we had it. The old racist topic. In all honesty- I´m not interested in having this discussion with anyone, ever. I´m a foreigner in this country, too. All I want is to give children in need a chance at having great books. Before I acted out of tact I pulled my “be nice” card. “I can assure you, all books will go to children living in this country if that´s what you´re asking.”  The power of careful wording.

My reply was enough to pacify them. They graciously handed their used children´s books over and left, but not without telling me they wanted a full report on which `children ` received their used books. I was a little dishearted after having had such an encounter. A case of wine was what I needed to dull the pain in my chest.

My husband and I had a long chat about this afterward. He said I should´ve told them to shove their books up their asses. Trust me, I was close but I couldn´t. I thought misleading them would give me more satisfaction. The truth is- It didn´t. I´m still fuming at the unfairness of the situation. So, people don´t want a foreign kid to have their used books but every other kid in need is allowed? A child is a child. Last I checked, books aren´t racist.

This year I planned to donate two boxes to a Safe House for women and their children who´ve fled their abusive homes. I don´t know if there are foreigners there or not. There probably are. Do I care? Not one bit. To be honest- I don´t always have the pleasure of seeing children unpack the boxes. Most of the time the boxes are taken and brought to an extra room due to security reasons. Which is okay.

But sometimes I´m able to see kids unpack a box and when I do there´s nothing more heartwarming than being able to see their smiles.

Book charity for children is a wonderful thing. It helps the community. It gives children a chance at reading the latest release or a popular book if their families can´t afford them. I´m not feeding the world but I´m giving what I can and that is a good book.

Now that a few more days have passed I still can´t say I´m over this issue. It´s still dishearting. This one encounter feels like a setback in so many ways. I´m questioning everything.

Could I have handled the situation better? Should I have refused their books? Americans aren´t popular over here at the moment so if I had acted as I had originally wanted and said the things that needed to be said – What would´ve been the outcome? Worst case scenario: My kids could become targets. I don´t want that. Not over books.

Is all this book charity worth it if I have to deal with these people? Do I want to put up with this? Oddly enough, I do. Not because of the parents but because of the children receiving these books.

I´m a firm believer that everyone should have easy access to books.

 

Sorry for the long rant. I´m just saddened by all this. Let´s hope I won´t have to deal with these people next year.

 

Thank you for reading my blog post. I really appreciate the time you just invested.

 

Hope you all have a wonderful day.

Morgana

 

 

 

 

 

Book Reviews: The Wallflower Series – Lisa Kleypas

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I stumbled upon Lisa Kleypas back in 2011… when I was on a Historical Romance mission. One historical romance led to another and before I knew it I had almost purchased every ( and I mean this in a positive way ) cheesy bundle of exaggerated fluff written by the author.

I was Amazons customer of the month back then because I kept ordering and ordering until I ran out of Lisa Kleypas books to order- that´s how great I thought they were.

Now, if you´ve been following me for a while you´ve probably noticed that I don´t talk much about historical romances. That´s because they´re my guilty bookish pleasures. I´ll have phases where I´ll rant about HR and then there are phases where all I can do is swoon over the ridiculous etiquette and romance.

Historical romances are also the only genre I love to nitpick over. It´s because of the accuracy of the details. I love it when authors do their homework and absolutely hate it when they mix eras together.

The Wallflowers books offered exactly what I´m always looking for in historical romances. They have a dash of everything with a touch of cheesiness. Heroines who are strong yet still feminine. Exciting Heroes. Always a wonderful romance development and enough blush-worthy moments that would create enough scandal to last two lifetimes.

The Wallflowers is a 5 book series about 4 young ladies ( who each get their own book ) entering London´s society with the desire to find husbands. Desperate much? Definitely.


 

Secrets Of A Summer Night ( #1 ) – Lisa Kleypas

 

Secrets Of A Summer Night Out of all Wallflowers books, `Secrets Of A Summer Night´ is my favorite. I just love a romance about a stuck up chick slowly falling for the easy-going self-made man.

We meet Annabelle- Proper, well-spoken, beautiful and determined to find a husband who´ll save her and her family from financial ruin. Enter Simon Hunt- Not exactly the nobleman Annabelle´s looking for. Powerful, persistent and oh so irresistible Simon might not be the person Annabelle wants but he´s wealthy and willing to help Annabelle. Will the first wallflower find true love?

As I´ve said- This one is my favorite from all the Wallflower books because it has that push and pull romance I love so much. It has a Heroine who´s underestimated and judged from the start and a Hero who sees there´s more to the Heroine than her pretty face. A nice slow story development with holy hot steamy scenes. My kind of romance.

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It Happened One Autumn  ( #2 ) – Lisa Kleypas

 

It Happend One Autumn ( Wallflowers #2 )With book #2, `It Happened One Autumn` we meet Lillian Bowman, an independent young and wealthy American who´s ( yes, you´ve guessed correctly ) on the lookout for a husband. The highly opinionated beauty falls for the snobbish Marcus, Lord Westcliff, who couldn´t be more different from Lillian even if he tried. Because of their cultural differences, they have a bumpy and tense relationship but eventually slide into a smooth moving romantic pace.

This one was my second favorite Wallflower book. It´s not better or worse than the first one, just different. And I enjoyed it. `It Happened One Autumn` carries the enemies – to – lovers theme and has a great story development. What I loved most was the action-filled end scene. And the romance! Good Lawd, is Marcus and Lillian´s story romantic. Favorite part: The first secret garden scene.

 

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Devil In Winter  ( #3 ) – Lisa Kleypas

 

Devil In Winter ( Wallflowers #3)

 

Wallflower #3, Evangeline. I thought her story in `Devil In Winter` ( book #3 ) wasn´t as powerful as the ones of her fellow wallflowers. Evangeline is the most reserved and shiest of all 4 girls. Her stammer is a problem but her inheritance isn´t. Not for Viscount St. Vincent. When she meets the man with the dangerous reputation she offers him a deal. One he can´t turn down.

Okay. This story wasn´t terrible but it wasn´t as exciting as the first two were. I liked Evangeline but wasn´t so hot on the bad-boy-on-a-mission, St. Vincent. We first meet him in the first 2 books and even then I didn´t care much for him. I´m all for the villain – finally – sees – the – light themes but I sort of had the feeling that something was missing.

Still, a decent read with romantic parts.

 

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Scandal In Spring  ( #4 ) – Lisa Kleypas

 

Scandal In Spring ( Wallflower #4 )

 

It´s Daisy Bowman´s ( sister to Lillian ( book #2 ) ) turn to find herself a suitable husband and in book #4, `Scandal In Spring` she finds the wrong candidate, or is he the right one?
I´m not sure what I expected but it certainly wasn´t this. `Scandal In Spring` is a satisfying historical romance but it didn´t touch me the way book #1 and book #2 did. If I´m honest- I can compare this one with book #3 a little. Nice but not earth-shattering.

 

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Only one book is missing in this feature- The Christmas novella  `A Wallflower Christmas` ( book # 4.5 ).

Wallflower Christmas

 

`A Wallflower Christmas` is a cute novella where the wallflowers meet up again. Uuhm, personally, I´m not too fazed about this addition. I´d say this novella was written for the dedicated fans and no one else. I enjoyed it but I could have done without as the Wallflowers, for me, ended with book #4.


 

All in all The Wallflowers books are fun and so SO romantic. For fans of Lisa Kleypas a MUST READ.

 

My overall rating for all books

 

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You can purchase The Wallflowers by clicking the titles below. Enjoy reading. ❤

( Book #1 )   Secrets Of A Sumer Night

( Book #2 )   It Happened One Autumn

( Book #3 )   Devil In Winter

( Book #4 )   Scandal In Spring

( Book #4.5 )  A Wallflower Christmas

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Book Blogger Deal Breakers

Be kind.

Be respectful.

Be humble. Be fun. Be yourself because no one else can. The sky´s the limit. Book blogging is just a small area in a niche that´s overwhelmingly large so make the most of it. I preach this. What I also preach is that every opinion matters. You have something to say? Go for it.

What´s the worst a book blogger can do, am I right? Worst case scenario: A book blogger will hunt you down and beat you with a hardcover.

Turns out that wouldn´t be the worst thing a book blogger could do. The reality is- Book bloggers have a sneaky, quite dangerous power and their weapons are opinions and words.

Words sting and once said, can’t be taken back. People don´t forget words because they´re our form of communication and our brains register negativity better than anything else. But what the hell am I talking about?! Book bloggers are wonderful humans. Some just forget to be respectful and kind and humble. Some haven´t the slightest clue when to distance themselves from the internet. All they know is that they have an opinion and couldn´t care less if their opinion is nasty or inappropriate. Because it´s okay to share your thoughts. * face palm *

Absolutely mind-boggling for me. I was once told that an Aquarius is a humanitarian. I´m an Aquarius. They supposedly have a deep sense of justice and fairness. They don´t do petty shit. Normally, I don´t believe in zodiac signs but I have to say- Those traits fit my bill. Many things become deal breakers for me because I can´t stand injustice. Being petty is for me the lowest of all lows. For me- disrespect within the book blog community is a deal-breaker. Some things can be forgiven but other things- Things some book bloggers do or say are unacceptable.

You may have your opinion but think before you act as you never know what kind of impact your opinion will have on others and yourself. Trust me when I say I hate to unfollow a book blogger. But I will if shit hits the fan.

Alas! My top book blogger deal breakers. The things that make me remove myself from other book blogger maps.


#1 Deal Breaker

LGBT Hate. “I don´t like to read M/M or F/F romances.” It´s not nice to see this line in a book blog post in 2019 but it happens. Fine, don´t like a M/M romance. What´s worse, though, is when someone gives a 2K word explanation. “I´d wish authors would stop trying to shove gays down my throat. I´d wish people would stop wanting me to accept homosexuality. I belong to a minority but I am not afraid to share my opinion. Authors need to include LGBT in their warning labels.”
Jesus Christ. We got the picture.

Whether this is your opinion or not- Does this need to be shared? This says a lot about a person. In no way, shape or form do I want to be associated with people who hate on others for their sexual orientation. Although I´m all for speaking your mind freely, I can´t stomach this unnecessary hate towards human beings. To ask for LGBT warning labels is going too far in this time and age. Mention this little tidbit in the synopsis but not as a warning label. This is a huge deal-breaker for me.

#2 Deal Breaker

Publicly shaming others. I´m for giving every friendship a fair chance. I even give second chances when there´s a hiccup. But when things start to go downhill then you´ll see dust clouds where I once stood. I remember having a friendly convo about sex in romance novels with a befriended book blogger and in between she told me I was being unfaithful to my husband because I was “lusting” after fictional characters. * sigh * At first I thought this was a joke. I quickly found out the book blogger wasn´t joking because she mentioned in quite a few blog posts that I´m a shining example of why you shouldn´t read any romance novels with sex scenes as they lead to adultery. And adultery is a sin. * hangs head * Because adultery starts with a fantasy.

The book blogger had a few screws missing because who in their right mind would accuse someone of cheating when all they did was admire a well-written scene IN A BOOK?! Try to prevent that wildfire from spreading. Impossible. In the end, I had to live with the fact that missing-screws-lady and her dedicated following believed I was a sinner. This was a deal-breaker for me. I immediately cut off all ties and even avoided bloggers who followed that one book blogger. Don´t point your judgemental finger at me.

To this day, I check to see if a book blogger I want to follow follows missing-screws-lady.

#3 Deal Breaker

Queen Bee Book Bloggers. These are the book bloggers who like to set up their own etiquette and force it upon others. I was once involved in a conversation with a fellow book blogger about the importance of Queen Bees in the book blog community. “Someone has to call the shots.” This book blogger thought very highly of herself because she mentioned that she was the Queen Bee of all book blogger interactions and rules.

I´m not a bee. Neither are you. The book blog community isn´t a bee colony and book bloggers aren´t workers or drones. This is what I told her before I unfriended and unfollowed her.

Sadly, there are many book bloggers out there who think someone died just to leave them in charge. This is the type of book blogger I just know I won´t meet eye to eye with, despite our mutual love for books. Hierarchy doesn´t exist in the book blog community. Should you give the impression that you believe you have any kind of authority in this branch then you won´t gain me as a follower. And if I´ve been following you you can bet your ass I´m going to unfollow. I don´t like bossy people.

#4 Deal Breaker

Social Justice Book Blogger Warriors. Yeah, these folks won´t ever win any plus points from me. Ever heard of “No two persons ever read the same book.” ? Let´s say SJBBW and I read book X- A romance filled with fluff, hearts, and rainbows. I´ll bet my house and car on the fact that SJBBWs will hate the Hero and Heroine because the Hero is a “typical” guy and the Heroine doesn´t have that golden backbone a woman needs these days. Even if the MCs are portrayed as equals… it´s not enough. The Heroine has to be superior in order for SJBBWs to accept a romance. “It´s 2019. Authors need to stop hanging onto traditional relationships where the male lead is dominant.” * sigh *

What do these people expect when reading a stink normal romance? Want a badass Heroine? Go write your own damn book if you´re so God damn unhappy.

It´s pointless to start any discussion with SJBBWs because no matter how often you tell them traditional relationships in romances aren´t outdated and that they´re perfectly fine ( even IRL )… they´ll always find something to nag about. It´s a book. Get over it. Now, kindly fuck off. I will most definitely unfollow SJBBWs because their hate for the male population is too bogus.

#5 Deal Breaker

Sensitive Book Bloggers. These book bloggers are easy to spot as they´re the ones who´re constantly offended by minor actions. They´re also very unhappy and seem to have a hard time finding the beauty in many things. They feel the book world is against them. They create drama and attract drama. Thankfully, I don´t have to unfollow these book bloggers because I usually don´t follow them in the first place.

Now, don´t worry. Despite my enormous dislike of certain book bloggers, I still follow quite a few book blogs. Mainly the people who treat me with the same amount of respect I give. Because at the end of each day, it all comes down to acceptance, respect, and kindness ( along with interesting blog content ).

I´m also aware that I might come across as someone who´s super judgemental. I won´t deny that I question actions and ideas. If I´ve been treated with disrespect or have seen others being discriminated for no good reason I´ll react and handle the way I feel is best. If that means I´m judgemental then so be it.

You can have opinions and dislikes. Just offer these things without being a dick.


What are your deal breakers? Do you have any? Let me know what they are ( if you have any ) in the comments below. I´d love to chat. ❤


Thank you for reading this blog post. I totally appreciate it. Hope you enjoyed.

Have a wonderful day.

Much bookish love,

Morgana