Category Archives: Giveaways

Giveaway Winners, and a Few Random Thoughts

Last Thursday I did three giveaways: One here on my blog, one on Facebook, and one on Instagram. Today, I randomly selected the winners!

First up we have our Blog giveaway where I asked for your favorite Christmas tradition. Our winner, Laura, wrote, “My birthday is near Christmas and I think it’s neat how everyone feels so celebratory around my birthday! 🙂” Congrats, Laura!

Next, our Facebook Winner. On Facebook I asked entrants to name their least favorite Christmas song, and our winner, Nikki, wrote “I really dislike All I Want For Christmas Is You!!”

Finally, on Instagram, Lyn was our winner. Lyn wrote, “I entered because, well, it’s not often my friend’s imaginary and ill-fated romance for me enters into a book.”

Yes, Lyn was in my book, at the end of chapter 7. Congrats Lyn! You may not have won the heart of the architect, but you won a copy of my book!

(By the way, a big thanks to all 3 of you for responding to my email/DMs so promptly! I’ll have your books in the mail tomorrow.)

Now, on to my random thoughts.

I found my Instagram comments so fascinating. I asked people to write one thing they hoped to do in 2021 (although any sort of comment counted as an entry), and I’d say 90% of the responses were “travel.”

Of course, that would be my response too. But it made me think: do most humans have an inborn desire to travel?

If so, how can that be so? Haven’t most humans, for most of human history, not really traveled much?

Why do we travel so much? Because it’s cheap and easy? Because we see so many amazing places on Instagram? Because the ease of travel mean that our loved ones move to far-flung corners of the earth?

Or do we just want to travel because of all the Covid-related travel bans? Do we just want what we can’t have?

I was also fascinated by how many people thanked me for not requiring them to tag friends in order to enter the giveaway. I know that the whole “tag all your friends, follow this whole list of people” strategy probably nets an Instagram page an impressive amount of new followers, especially if they’re giving away really expensive, awesome stuff. But it’s such an annoying system, and it’s strange to me that it’s just the Accepted Way Instagram Giveaways Are Done.

Another random thought: I enjoyed reading people’s least favorite Christmas songs, but compared to the other two questions I asked, I didn’t get nearly as many interesting answers. Here’s my theory: a positive will always be more interesting than a negative. Liking something is inherently more interesting than not liking something.

What do you think? Agree? Disagree?

Maybe it’s just a personal preference, but I’ve noticed this about people in general. The guy who was obsessed with trees, and could name every species in his home state, was much more interesting than the guy who never watched Star Wars. And yet people often mention things they don’t like, or movies they have never seen, to try to prove that they’re interesting.

(This is not to say that everyone who entered the Facebook giveway was boring, LOL. I mean, I was the one who asked for your least favorite Christmas song. It just made me think about that concept in general.)

The one exception, I think, is coffee. No one cares that you like coffee. (But then again, no one cares if you dislike it either.)

(Although to be fair, no one probably cares that I like tea either, and yet I put it in the title of my book. Haha. I’d better stop now.)

Those are my random thoughts of the day. Thank you all so much for participating! I loved reading through your comments.

Giveaway!

Edit: Giveaway is now closed.

Hi everyone,

Today I’m giving away a copy of my book, The Highway and Me and My Earl Grey Tea. Entering is simple: Just leave a comment below telling me your favorite Christmas/holiday tradition.

Or, just leave a comment. Any comment. Unless your comment specifically says “don’t enter my name into this giveaway,” I will enter your name into the giveaway.

The giveaway will close on Monday, December 14 at 3 pm PST.

If you want to increase your odds of winning, I’m also doing a giveaway on Facebook and on Instagram, so head over there and enter as well!

Good luck, and I hope you win! Heehee

You can order my book here.

You can find me on

Instagram: @emilytheduchess

Twitter: @emilysmucker

Facebook: facebook.com/emilysmuckerblog

YouTube: youtube.com/emilysmucker

Patreon: patreon.com/emilysmucker (This is where I post bonus blog posts, about more personal/controversial subjects, for a subscription fee of $1 a month [or more if you’re feeling generous]. I try to post twice a month. My latest two posts were titled My Thoughts on the Election and With Honor)

12 Days of Blogmas, Day 1: Christmas Giveaway

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Update: Giveaway is now closed! Thank you for participating!

This year I’m doing the 12 Days of Blogmas challenge, where I’ll post something Christmas-related on each of the 12 days leading up to Christmas.

And in the spirit of Christmas, let’s start off with a good old-fashioned giveaway!

I wanted my giveaway to be cozy/winter themed rather than Christmas themed, because by the time you get this, Christmas will be almost over. So I have a few things here that will keep you cozy this winter.

First, books! I carefully selected three books that I think will be universally appealing to readers, regardless of age or gender. They are:

  1. Paris Underground, by Etta Shiber
    This book is a true story about two older widows who ended up smuggling people out of France during WWII. Fascinating, informative, and oddly charming despite its serious subject matter.
  2. Leave it to Psmith, by P.G. Wodehouse
    P.G. Wodehouse is the king of humor writing, and this book is one of his masterpieces. I’ve never met someone who read this book and didn’t love it. As an added bonus, Wodehouse went on to write not one, but two series based on this book…one that focuses on the character Psmith, and one that centers around Blandings Castle, where Leave it to Psmith takes place. So if you enjoy it, you have many more books to explore.
  3. The Little Book of Hygge, by Meik Wiking
    This book is a little bit nerdy, digging, as it does, into the etymology of one little Danish word. It’s also quite charming, with its pretty illustrations and its instructions on how to use candles, baked treats, and cozy nooks to their best advantage.
    But most of all, it is practical and informative for anyone who struggles with the cold, dark days of winter. If the Danish people can figure out a way to be the happiest people on earth in one of the coldest, darkest locations, than you can get through the winter too. This book will help.

Besides the books, this giveaway includes a cozy pottery mug, and a large unscented candle. (The unscented part is important. You’ll understand once you read The Little Book of Hygge.) (Also, it’s a good one. Not one of those cheap candles that burns up before you can blink.)

To enter this giveaway, you must…

  1. Comment on this post, saying you’d like to be entered into the giveaway. Or saying whatever you want to say. If you leave a comment, I’ll assume that means you want to be entered.
  2. That’s the only requirement, but if you share this post on Facebook I’ll give you TWO extra entries. (Just tell me, in your comment on this post, that you shared it.)

This giveaway will close Monday, December 16, at 11:59 pm Pacific Time. 

And meanwhile, come back every day for my 12 Days of Blogmas posts! Lord willing and my computer cord don’t explode, I’ll post every day from now until Christmas Eve. (But with my propensity to post late in the evenings, and my Pacific time zone, it might be more like every morning from tomorrow morning until Christmas morning for you East Coasters.)

Anyway, we’ll have some fun times! I wrote a Christmas-themed fiction story. And lined up a guest poster. And scoured my blog for a couple funny Christmas memories from years past. And hopefully I’ll manage to shoot and edit a fun video.

Finally, I want to mention that this giveaway is the very first thing I’m spending my Patreon money on!

Last April I set up a Patreon page, where I post at least one, but usually two, bonus blog posts a month. I post about opinions, semi-controversial thoughts, and personal reflections that I’m not comfortable showing the whole entire world on my regular blog. Things get much deeper over on my Patreon.

I charge $1 a month for access, although you can give more than that, if you want to further support my blog.

So far I haven’t spent any of that money. Since it came from blog supporters, I wanted to pour it back into my blog in some way. Beginning with this givaway, and then renewing my domain name, and eventually replacing the little pink $190 laptop I’ve been using for five years. After that my goal will be to buy a camera and start doing more video projects for the blog!

Anyway. All this to say a deep “thank you” to everyone who supports my blog. If you’re interested in supporting me on Patreon and getting access to my bonus posts, go to patreon.com/emilysmucker and click the pink “Join $1 Tier” button (on computers), or the red “select” button (on mobile).

End of commercial.

Merry Christmas, and don’t forget to comment below and enter the giveaway!!!

Magazine Giveaway

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A month or so ago I wrote an article in Vibrant Girl magazine, and today I’m giving away a copy of that issue.

“What is Vibrant Girl magazine?” You might ask.

Well, let me tell you a little story.

When I was a preteen I LOVED American Girl magazine. One time, American Girl ran a story about a Jewish girl who started her own magazine, which was essentially an American Girl for Jewish girls. This story delighted me. Wouldn’t it be wonderful, I thought, to start a magazine for Mennonite girls?

But, like many of my great ideas, I never made it happen.

Another note about my preteen years was this: I hated the way that everyone of youth group age or older completely excluded those younger than them. So when I began to grow up, I always tried to chat with younger girls and take them seriously.

The added bonus of this was that preteen girls were often much more interesting, vivacious, and creative than their older-teenage counterparts. The classic example of this was Monica Miller.

Monica was my neighbor when I lived in Colorado, and she reminded me of a miniature version of myself. She was always coming up with fun creative ideas, like writing stories and then roping her friends into dressing up, acting them out, and filming them. She, too, loved American Girl magazine and dreamed of starting a Mennonite version of it.

And what do you know? She actually did it.

It started as an online magazine called The Girlfriend Gazette. It slowly evolved, as Monica gained more experience and honed her talents. Now it’s called Vibrant Girl, and is a physical magazine that you can subscribe to. And it’s absolutely fantastic.

I should note that while I call it “American Girl for Mennonites,” it’s really for any Christian girls, so long as they can put up with the models wearing skirts and head coverings. I don’t think there’s any Mennonite-specific content besides that.

What I especially appreciate is that it’s really fun, and doesn’t have a super-spiritual deep-and-serious sit-in-the-meadow-all-day-and-prayer-journal vibe. There is some spiritual content, of course, but it is all very relevant to the spiritual experiences of a preteen.

The article I wrote for Vibrant Girl was about when my brother Ben and I got stuck in China.

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But the magazine is full of other fun stuff, like an article about what to do when you feel left out, a photo spread about a girl who re-decorated an old camper, crafts, an article about prayer walking, and more.

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To enter the giveaway, leave a comment here or on Facebook saying that you want to enter the giveaway. I’ll randomly pick a winner and mail you the magazine. Also this time I’m limiting it to US applications. International postage is still confusing to me.

Whether or not you win, if you have a young daughter, niece, friend, etc, you should consider this magazine. To subscribe, go to http://www.vibrantgirlmagazine.com/subscribe

Take care, and I hope you win!

(Ends at 11:59 pm on Thursday, June 28)