Romancing the Blog: ¡Miraculous!

Today we welcome Karielle Stephanie from ¡Miraculous! as our guest.  Some of you may remember Stephanie from her time as a reviewer for us.  Her reviews can be seen here.  But she also has her own blog that she’d like to tell you about.

Jen: How did you get into blogging?
Stephanie: When I first started ¡Miraculous!, it was a place for me to vent, to write, to blow off the kind of steam any repressed, frustrated, but passionate kid would suffer from. That I got sucked into the world of literary blogging and bookish endeavors (reviews, interviews, giveaways, tours, et cetera) was pure happenstance. It happened like this:

I’d always loved reading, loved books as tools for escapism. The summer before I started 10th grade, I read The Hottest State by Ethan Hawke, and it struck me fiercely. Incredibly emotionally resonating, it became a book I grew attached to, a book I knew I would never forget. The moment I finished the last page, I furiously jotted down my thoughts onto the front cover, title page, dedication page, every blank space in the book I could find, out of fear that I would forget such a feeling in a few day’s time. That was something I didn’t want to ever happen; to forget the instant rush and reverence of a phenomenally affecting book would be truly tragic. I later typed up these musings onto the blog, making sure they would actually be coherent for other readers (in a mad state, my mind is but a dissonant jumble of words and at worst, feelings). I reposted to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Goodreads. People loved it. People requested their own books be reviewed.

That’s how the modern-day ¡Miraculous! was born.

I’ll be frank with you. The above process is pretty much how all my reviews are written: with a stroke of passion and a drop of insanity 😉

Jen: What’s the most rewarding aspect of being a part of the blogging community?
Stephanie: I LOVE connecting with readers, publishers, authors, and publicists from around the world, just discussing books with them, gossipping, braiding each other’s hair, painting each other’s nails… LOL. The best thing a reader or follower can do is contact me, not with a question or correction (though both are very much appreciated), but just to say hi, let’s be friends. I’ve met and gotten along with quite a few brilliant blog babes over the past couple of years, and many of them, I’m closer to than some friends I have in real life. The way this internet friendship thing works still continues to both amaze, and delight me.

Jen: If you had to recommend one book to our readers, what would it be and why?
Stephanie: I know Romancing the Book featured The Siren by Tiffany Reisz a few weeks back; it’s a book I cannot express my admiration for through words comprehensively enough (read my bumbling mess of a review here). I’ll be the first to admit it isn’t for all romance readers, but if, like me, you’re a whore for tragic fiction, flawed-to-the-point-of-hopelessness characters, and a little bit of kink, I guarantee you’ll fall as deeply in love with it as I have, too.

Jen: Will you tell us a little more about the person behind the blog?
Stephanie: I’m the girl who can’t go anywhere without a book. Every free moment I have — on the bus, in the waiting room, during a boring lecture I’m not paying attention to — you can find me with a book in hand — preferably romance, though I’m a fan of almost any fiction genre, to be honest. I’m the girl whose ideal man would give me books like other men would give flowers, the girl whose guiltiest form of retail therapy would be hundred-dollar splurges at Barnes & Noble, or even better: cheap used bookstores.

I grew up in Austin, which, in my opinion, will forever be the greatest town, and am currently a terribly overworked (read: sleep-deprived) student abroad in Korea. My life, other than reading and blogging and studying, consists of soccer, trying to understand the strange and stunning Korean culture, and volunteer work (organizations I support most: Somaly Mam, Mountain Child, and local orphanages, hospitals, and shelters). My favorite things usually are scandalous, vintage, or really really bad for me (e.g. dark chocolate and musicians). Like I mentioned earlier, I love making blog friends, so give me a shout-out if you want a new awesome best friend or postcard from Korea or shiny red Lamborghini or something.

Jen: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?
Stephanie: Thanks to a bunch of beautiful marvelous generous authors I’m besties with, I’ve THREE incredible giveaways for y’all. The first is a ‘tote bag’ full of signed books, post cards, bookmarks, and other cool swag — this is limited to US readers only. I put ‘tote bag’ in quotations because there is no actual tote bag — just a bunch of stuff you’ll get to constitute one 🙂 International readers, don’t despair! The second is another ‘tote bag’, but with eBooks (and a couple print books and swag) — open to everybody! And last, but not least, two gift cards for a lucky third winner: one for Amazon, and one for Barnes&Noble — again, open to international readers as well (as long as you can use those online stores). Below, I am listing the prizes included in each giveaway and their respective Rafflecopter forms. I also want to thank all the authors who have generously donated for this event!

To enter, please answer the following questions in the comments and fill out the form(s):

Do you blog? How did you come about blogging? If you don’t, what do you look for in a blog to follow?

US Only Tote Bag Giveaway:

  • Print copy of contemporary romance More Than a Kiss and author pens (donated by Stacey Joy Netzel)
  • Autographed trade paperback of Imagine Love (donated by Katherine Stone)
  • Trade paperback of King of Paine (donated by Larry Kahn)
  • Print copy of Sugar Rush (Cupcake Club #1) (donated by Donna Kauffman)
  • Romance trading cards for Beneath the Surface and Love Delivered, autographed bookmark, pen, and notepad (donated by Joya Fields)
  • Paperback of Railway Confessions (donated by Carolyn Moncel)
  • Autographed print copy of Thin Ice (donated by Liana Laverentz)
  • Bone Dressing official bookmark (donated by Michelle I. Brooks)
  • Signed print copy of Lifting the Wheel of Karma, 10 bookmarks, 2 keychains, 2 pens, and 1 eBook of Lifting the Wheel of Karma (donated by Paul H. Magid)
  • Bookmarks and choice of one print book: either Insight or See (donated by Jamie Magee)
  • Signed paperback of Taken by Storm, 20 bookmarks, and Taken by Storm T-shirt (donated by Angela Morrison)
  • Print copy of Pride and Prejudice: Hidden Lusts (donated by Mitzi Szereto)
  • Signed bookmarks, postcards, and pencils (donated by Beverly Stowe McClure)
  • Print copy of spicy historical romance, Message to Love (donated by Liz Arnold)
  • Bookmarks, paperback of Starless Sky, and paperback of Seven (donated by Paige Agnew)
  • Autographed print copy of Keowee Valley (upon October release) (donated by Katherine Scott Crawford)
  • eBook of Counterpoint: An Interactive Family Saga (Volume One) (donated by Alina Adams)
  • Print copy of Sneakers, Sandals, & Stilettoes and print copy of True Grime (donated by Natasha Deen)
  • Signed print copy of The Tide Changers and bookmark (donated by Sandy Green)
  • Signed print copies of The Gentleman’s Club, Touchable Love, The Dumpster, Returning Injury, and Blue the Bird (donated by Becky Due)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

International Tote Bag Giveaway:

  • eBook of contemporary western Chasin’ Mason (donated by Stacey Joy Netzel)
  • eBook of Love Songs (donated by Katherine Stone)
  • eBook of King of Paine (donated by Larry Kahn)
  • eBook of Railway Confessions (donated by Carolyn Moncel)
  • Autographed print copy of Thin Ice (donated by Liana Laverentz)
  • YA eBooks of Until Next Time (The Angel Chronicles #1) by Amy Lignor, Spectral by Shannon Duffy, and The Color of Snow by Brenda Stanley (donated by Nicole Langan)
  • eBook of Bone Dressing (donated by Michelle I. Brooks)
  • Signed print copy of Lifting the Wheel of Karma, 10 bookmarks, 2 keychains, 2 pens, and 1 eBook of Lifting the Wheel of Karma (donated by Paul H. Magid)
  • eBook of Taken by Storm (donated by Angela Morrison)
  • eBook of Honor and Integrity: A Collection of Pride and Prejudice-inspired short stories and eBook of The Spinster’s Vow: A Spicy Retelling of Mrs. Darcy’s Journey to Love (donated by Enid Wilson)
  • eBook of Keowee Valley (upon October release) (donated by Katherine Scott Crawford)
  • eBook of Counterpoint: An Interactive Family Saga (Volume One) (donated by Alina Adams)
  • eBook of Sneakers, Sandals, & Stilettoes and eBook of True Grime (donated by Natasha Deen)
  • eBook of A Meaningless Sequence of Arbitrary Symbols and PDF of The Screenwriter’s Workbook (donated by Joe T. Velikovsky)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

International Gift Card Giveaway:

  • $5 gift card to Amazon (donated by Joya Fields)
  • eBook of Counterpoint: An Interactive Family Saga (Volume One) (donated by Alina Adams)
  • $25 e-gift card to Barnes&Noble (donated by Mario Almonte)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


¡Miraculous! | Twitter | Goodreads

50 thoughts on “Romancing the Blog: ¡Miraculous!

  1. Maria D. says:

    Great Romancing the Blog post! I do blog, I’ve been doing it for a couple of years now – I’ve really buckled down this year about being more consistent with my blogging. I got into it because other people I knew were doing it and they encouraged me to review and do my own blog – I’m a quiet person by nature though so it’s been somewhat hard for me:) I look for reviews, author interviews, book news, and even product info on blogs.

    Thanks for the great giveaways!

  2. I do blog. I got into it after my cousin, who is also a major bibliophile, started one. We thought it would be cool if we both did one, because she’s more into contemp and I’m more into paranormal/fantasy. It’s been a blast!

    And awesome giveaway…thank you!

  3. bn100 says:

    Nice post. I don’t blog. I like a blog that’s easy to follow, doesn’t have a lot of graphics that make the site too slow to load, and features books and authors.

  4. Fiery Na says:

    I can relate! I’m also a girl who has to have a book with me everywhere…just in case I need to read 🙂 I don’t blog but ever since I discovered the blogging world about a year ago I find reading blogs fun. I like blogs that have personality. It’s not just books and reviews (which is great) but something a little more. Maybe posts about meeting authors, attending a reading convention or something book-related.

  5. Stephanie,
    Thanks for sharing about yourself. It is nice to learn about others and see similarities as well as differences. I like that you can always be found with a book in hand. I love reading too. I even take books with me to football games to read at half time or timeouts (LOL).

  6. I do blog. I happened upon a few blogs one day while looking for a book. I ended up coming back several times and then started entering giveaway hops and going from blog to blog. I thought about it for a long time and finally decided to jump in. I am glad I did! I love it! Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

  7. Moira says:

    I don’t blog but I look for humor and fun facts in a blog. I also follow many card designers to get creative tips and ideas to enhance my creativity. For authors I like to keep up on the latest books and trends.

  8. Kitty says:

    I do not blog. What I look for in a blog is either a sense of humor or someone who’s really serious about what they do. I also like blogs which blog about extra things book-related, not just reviews 🙂

  9. Stephanie T. says:

    I don’t blog, but I’d love to if I had the time. I found out about blogs through my cousin who started blog hopping long ago. I look for blogs that have some sense of humor and show they actually enjoy what they’re doing and it’s not like a chore.

  10. June says:

    I don’t blog yet. I started to set one up but then things got very crazy this summer (physical therapy, mom had a light stroke, great-grandmother died, working on getting signed up for disability, etc) so right now it is just too crazed.
    When I look for blogs to read/follow, I try to find ones that review a lot of books that I enjoy. I read a lot of different types of books (mainly in romance) so I do like a variety of blogs too 🙂
    I like when the bloggers enjoy what they are doing, give honest, simple, straight-forward reviews, and, even if they don’t like the book, are respectful.

  11. DeeDee Griffin says:

    I wish I had time to blog. There are a ton of book blogs that I follow. Mostly what I look for is similar taste in books, and also fun things to read or participate in. I also like honest reviews, rather than all 5 stars. I’m looking for advice on what I should read.

  12. Sharlene Wegner says:

    I love reading book blogs, particularly on romance books. I like to hear about new books by authors I already know & love, but I particularly like to hear reviews about books by authors I have never read. I love when the reviewer is passionate, one way or another, about the book she is reviewing.

  13. Tammy says:

    I do not have a blog. I have thought about trying to start a blog but I haven’t. When I am looking at blogs what I look for is if the blogger reads the same kind of books that I read. If the blogger blogs on a regular basis. I really like it when the bloggers post information about there personal experiences or just talk about there life in general. I feel like I am reading another friends blog when I know a little about the blogger.. 🙂

  14. Brandi S. says:

    I don’t blog. The blogs that I follow have to be relatable to me. They either have to review or interview authors or books that I read. I like if the blog is funny and gives good info about the author or book. Really, I follow blogs that post info about books or authors that I wouldn’t be able to find out by going to a book store to buy the book.

  15. Brandy M. says:

    I used to blog before life got so crazy 🙂 I look for diversity in a blog, I like to hear honest opinions also. Serious reviews are nice but funny, light reviews peak my interest more and keep me reading more reviews by that blogger. I follow bloggers that post regularly and have reviews, memes and random posts 🙂

  16. I do blog, but not as a book blogger per se, but as an author blogger! I write YA urban fantasy and I’m also a huge fan of the same genre. When I’ve read a brilliant book, I love blogging about it! 🙂

  17. I for one adore Stephanie and her blog. I totally blog and started out in the same way. It was a place for me to vent then it evolved into a book blog I knew things I love would come into play and books are that thing that I love so much. Hell I started a book tour company. First Rule Publicity *plug* and it really is the people bloggers/authors/publicists that I adore and as Stephanie said many of those online friends I am closer to than in person friends.

  18. Maureen says:

    I don’t blog but I do like to read blogs. I mostly visit book sites and I enjoy sites that have reviews where I can find a book that I would enjoy. Also, I do enjoy author interviews to find out about upcoming stories that are coming out.

  19. MaijaS says:

    I don`t blog, I`d have to make it a routine to post something every two days to keep followers interested, but I don`t do routine, except reading and writing a few reviews.
    Usually i look for interesting topics about either new or really good books, sometimes about handy works and do-it-yourself articles.
    Thank you for this amazing giveaway!

  20. I do blog! My website is Fictional Candy I started because I had just discovered book blogs, and I was visiting everyone elses. It looked like so much fun, I had to start my own. Its been an obsession for the past year, and I love it. And I agree, I have made so many new friends, the connections with people who all have something in common is great.

  21. Jen B. says:

    I don’t blog but I follow tons of blogs. I look for a simple, clean design. If a blog is too busy, I won’t follow. I want simple, well written books reviews. Most important I want to know WHY a book was loved or hated. I want to be able to find book and auhor information easily and the finally rating easily. If I have to search, I give up because life is too short. I don’t like blogs that post a million different things every day or two (like 10 reviews, 6 giveaway, author posts, links to other blogs and…and…). Again, life is too short. And I like consistency. I want to know what the blog is about (like sci-fi, romance, all books by Penguin etc.). That way I can focus on my intersts and not have to dig through all of the debris. Thanks for the giveaway.

  22. Desere says:

    Fabulous and wow what a contest ! I personally do not blog I dont have the know how or the time but I follow a large number of blog and mostly they need to jump out at me with lots and lots of info on things I like . Like interviews ,experts ,contests,sneak peaks and also I like blogs that are updated every day it is very nice to see something new each day.

    Thank you so very very very much for the wonderfull contest prize number two sounds really fabulous ! And also a tremendous big thank you for allowing international entries !

  23. Linda Mc says:

    I don’t blog, but I love reading blogs. My favorite blogs are about books and writers. At times I have thought about starting a blog, but never have followed through. Maybe someday when I think about what I’d really like to blog about.

  24. Crystal Newman says:

    I am really trying to do a blog. I just can’t seem to get much done with it. I really have no idea what to do with it either. So I just write about some of the books I read and my kids. Maybe one of these days I will get creative and get it off the ground.

  25. JoAnne says:

    Great post. I don’t blog – no time. But I love reading blogs of fellow readers and also authors I like. Nice gifts!

  26. lala welch-dutter says:

    I read blogs usually versus posting them, but for a chance at a tote full of free books, we’ll give it a try. I have always loved to read (guess that’s why I read blogs) and do like to write (just not blogs 🙂 ) Not too much into romance books unless they are soap opera connected, but my daughter does, so I would like to win these for her. Have a wonderful day everybody!!

  27. Artemis says:

    I do not blog but I do like to read blogs. I love to learn for new books and writers, to read honest reviews without spoilers, funny interviews by authors or characters. I want a simple design, I can’t the many colours and the photos.
    Thank you for the great giveaway!

  28. I do blog. I started 3 years ago but I was too lazy so I quit. A few months ago,a friend of mine asked me if I wanted to start a blog with him so I did.

    P.S. I entered by mistake on the US only giveaway. Sorry.

  29. Misha K. says:

    I don’t blog~ but, I love to read them. I look for blogs that have fun voices writing them. If you sound boring, I will be bored! I also don’t like reading blogs that tell me too much about a book without warning me there might be spoilers in the review. I like finding things out for myself while reading and I get sad from spoilers!

  30. Wow, great giveaway! I do blogging, but new to book blog. Just started couple a month, and still have to kick my own to started a review… I’m very lazy making review.. But I’m addicted to blogwalking.

  31. JoAnne says:

    I don’t blog but I do reviews for both and Through that I now facebook with favorite authors, enter contests and giveaways and talk books all the time with family and friends.
    Thanks for sharing! Good interview.

  32. Kassandra Fuentes says:

    I don’t blog, but I write reviews on goodreads and on amazon. Now, when it comes to following a blog, I look for the consistency in reviews, blog tours, and great post on book info.

  33. Patti P says:

    I don’t have a blog but I do follow quite a few. I love reading about books and reviews and authors. I look for blogs that have some variety of genres because I read a lot of different things. I usually like to read reviews from people who have given good reviews to books I have already read and liked so I know that they like the same things I do.

  34. Alyn Yang says:

    No I do not blog. I follow a lot of blogs that review books and show new releases. I also follow a few blogs about couponing.

  35. Lenell C says:

    I am very new to Blogging. I’m planning to start my own very soon. I follow blogs that discuss new authors. I’m also following a few regarding couponoing.

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