Sunday, 27 July 2014

It's my 1st year Blogiversary. Let's Celebrate !!!

It has been exactly one year since I wrote my first post on  I can’t believe how much fun it has been and how a little blog like mine could have taken off so fast!  It just goes to prove that books are alive and well and long may this last!!

Rather than asking authors or publishers to donate books for the giveaways, I have bought a few things myself and plan to run giveaways through the day.  There will be some books, of course, as well as some other girlie treats.  I have managed to get some lovely testimonials  from followers, authors, publishers that I will share with you on this special day.
I will be updating post right through the evening and adding giveaways, memories and snippets so keep checking back.

I have “Met” some amazing people through this process and it’s great to be able to chat away with like-minded people on a daily basis, about books, authors, events and just general chat.  As the review blog is for both adult and children’s books, there is such a special mix of people I can call on when I have a bookish question.  I want to thank everyone who has contributed over the past year; with guest reviews, comments, entering giveaways, RTs and Favourites and the wonderful support I got when I was doing my exams!  I’m off to college in September, but never fear, I’ll still be blogging about books and reviewing as many books as possible......

Thanks for reading my reviews and just being part of this great book review/blog community!!!
You can check back here all day to see some great quotes from authors, readers, bloggers and general bookish people.....

Just leave a blog comment, or comment on Facebook posts or RT tweets to enter the giveaways running all day.  My kids will take turns pulling name out of the hat ( an actual hat will be used, it is a special day afterall ) and I will tag winners.  Please be patient with postage delivery, as I pay for all my own giveaways, I may need to spread the postage costs over a week or two.  All Giveaways are open Internationally and I wish you all the best of luck!

Lots of love from Co. Louth.....
Margaret Bonass Madden

Some Blog Memories

Louise Phillips was the first author to come for an author evening at Bleach House Library.  An amazing, award winning author of Crime Fiction, she has helped me so much over the year and I thank her from the bottom of my heart XX

From Louise Phillips
As a writer it's wonderful to meet someone who is so passionate about books Margaret!! I love reading your reviews and appreciate that you have read my work. Writers need readers like you, and every bit of support is really appreciated. Thank you so much for the warm welcome of your wonderful bookclub too, and the chance to stay in that lovely library of books!! I know and it's readers look forward to your reviews too. You have a talent for getting to the soul of a book which is something really remarkable. I'm not surprised your blog has taken off so well as it is filled with great pieces and within a very short time, you have become one of the top reviewers in the Irish publishing scene. Happy reading and happy blogging! 

Another author evening, this time with my great pal, Carmel Harrington.  An inspiration in persistence and determination.

Vlog From Carmel Harrington 


Bleach House Front Door (during renovation)
Books are definitely my bag !!
Giveaway #1 

CLOSED-winner @agi_mybookshelf
Blog Memories

 Filming for TV3 bookclub with Esquires BookClub at BleachHouseLibrary

Vanessa O'Loughlin of, Zoe Miller and myself in Dubray Books,Grafton St.

From Claire Allen

You wrote the most gorgeous review of 'The First Time...' which really made me feel like I had done something very special with the book. It was an open and honest review and one I will cherish x

From Lisa Redmond of

Margaret is one of the most passionate book lovers I have ever met and I am delighted to have seen her blog really take off. She is a great supporter of writers especially Irish writers


Giveaway #2

Super cute notebook. Who doesn't love stationary???
Just comment below using Ruler in your message.  ___________________________________________________________________________

 Mia got to meet and interview Erika McGann !!

A visit to The O'Brien Press was one of our highlights.
From AnnMarie Miles

There are some blogs that grab you straight away - this is one of them. 
Before Bleachhouse I would have said I don't read book reviews (or write them). But I read them now...
Margaret has a great way of telling you just about enough to tempt you in, without blowing the plot. 

I was particularly struck by her review of Nuala Ní Choncuir's book, 'The Closet of Savage Momentos', much talked about at the time. Margaret dispensed with the other issues and did what she always does. Made me want to read more. 

To know she has read my own book is a special treat ;)

Here's to many more years of Bleachhouse reviews. 

Annmarie Miles

Giveaway #3 

As we review children's books as well as adults, this one is for the kids. A copy of  Mad Monster Agency along with some kids bookmarks ( age 7+ ). Just comment below to enter and use word kids in your message.

___________________CLOSED - WINNER FIONA KEHOE ______________________

 Outside Amazon offices in Dublin

At Kate Kerrigan's book launch in Dublin

From Lynn Marie Hulsman 
One of my favorite things about blogger Margaret Bonass Madden is her authenticity. She will read any book she likes, and review it without regard to trend, status, or publisher. It's clear that she simply loves to read a good story, and to share her views with her tribe. I had the pleasure of being a guest at Bleach House Library. She honored both me and my books, while managing to maintain an open friendliness. I'm proud to support Margaret and her work. What she does is a gift to authors, and I know I'm not alone in my appreciation.

Lynn Marie

From Sue Carroll, Bookclub Buddy 

Margaret you always find some amazing books, and I was fortunate enough to have won from you (em, I'll read it when I away in a couple of weeks) - congratulations on your first anniversary


Giveaway #4

Great magnets styled like scrabble pieces. Just comment with 'magnets' in your message below.

Gillian Binchy at our interview about Ruby's Tuesday

The children of 4th class, Collon N.S. at one of my kids reader events

From Gillian Binchy
Huge congratulations on your 1st Blogiversary - aptly your paper anniversary !

I love your blog the reviews  they are beautifully written, very  entertaining, spot on and terribly honest. It was a pleasure to finally met you and the extended family this summer - a fantastic bunch. Thank you for having us to your incredible home. Wishing you continued success in your blogging and writing career - such a refreshing and interesting blog.

From a BIG fan 
Gillian Binchy

From Celeste McCreesh of
I've actually read a few of books over the last few months that Margaret has recommended on her blog & I hope to get more of them read, I don't think I've ever met anyone as passionate about books as she is, she also is a huge supporter of alot of Irish authors & their books that have been released over the last year or so & I  talking about everything book related with her too  Congrats again Margaret on your success  


Giveaway #5

A paperback edition of the wonderful Jodi Picoult's Change of Heart.  Just leave comment with 'Jodi' in your message to enter.


Nicola Pierce after her talk on City of Fate

Me showing my crime investigating skills at Carmel Harrington book launch, Enniscorthy Castle

From Nuala Ni Chonchuir
'Writers don't get out much, apart from to meet other writers, so I always love a chance to meet readers, daunting and all as that can be. I was delighted when Margaret asked me to her stunning Louth home to meet her book club, who had recently read my novel. It was like meeting people I had known for ages - they were all warm, witty and wise, with plenty of insights and opinions about my characters: 'She didn't really love your man!' 'Yes she did!' We chatted and yapped and laughed; the convo sometimes serious, always honest.
Margaret and her club, as well as the family and dogs, couldn't have been more welcoming to me, my husband and youngest daughter, Juno.
The author night at Bleach House was one of those rare, memorable events that happen to us as writers: something out-of-the-ordinary, offered up as a gift, by a truly enthused, decent and warm reader. Thanks a million, ó chroí, Margaret - may your devotion to books continue to bring great things to your life and to the lives of others.' Nuala Ní Chonchúir, author of The Closet of Savage Mementos

From Sharon Wilden of
Several of the books I've added to my Amazon wishlist recently is as a result of your reviews, one of the latest is Ruby Tuesday.
Sharon x 

Giveaway #6

Really cute clip-on book light.  Just comment below with 'light' in your message to enter.

_____________________CLOSED- WINNER CELESTE MCCREESH_______________________

Dexter (named after serial killer) is getting some tips....

The amazing John Connolly. I am a MASSIVE fan !!

From Liz Nugent
I will have to meet you some time! You are such a great supporter of writers and readers! THANK YOU! x

From Hazel Gaynor
'Margaret wrote one of the very first reviews of the The Girl Who Came Home and although I was terrified of what she would think, I was very happy to know that my book was in good hands. Margaret's reviews are always honest, thoughtful and considered. This lady knows books! She also works exceptionally hard at what she does, which is why her second year of book blogging will be even more epic than the first. As for her author evenings - I am recovering from one as I type. Turns out that 'evenings' can be wonderfully long when books, wine and great company collide!' 


Giveaway #7

Paperback edition of Mrs Zhivago. Just comment 'Zhivago' in your message below.
At Maria Duffy's Book Launch, Dublin

My summer outdoor office ;)


Giveaway #8 

Cute cotton tote. Perfect as a book bag! Just comment 'tote' in your message to enter.

Have to finish up for tonight as internet playing up :(

Back tomorrow for part two, with lots more giveaways and photo memories!!!



I had so much fun yesterday, but the internet started to play up and I had to quit before all giveaways done. So, continuing today, with more books and random stuff.  Keep spreading the word and leaving comments, RTs and best of luck to you all !!!


Giveaway #9

For crime fiction lovers. Magnetic bookmarks. Just comment 'Murder' below in your message.


Prof. Terence Dooley was my first non-fiction review.

Me and TV3 prize winning author, Jennifer Burke


Giveaway #10

Shortlisted for Orange Prize 2006, a wonderful debut. Just comment 'Rules@ in your message below. RT, share also gains an entry.

Two amazing ladies, Carmel Harrington & Hazel Gaynor, signing in Drogheda.

From Lavender Smith of

 I love your blog and am so happy that I can always find the best Irish books on it! I keep track of your reviews, so I won't miss any great new discovery. You're also a great friend and I'm glad I've met you.


Giveaway #11

Cute notebook which basically says what we all think ;)  Just comment below with 'trap' in your message.

_______________________CLOSED - WINNER ANNMARIE MILES_______________________

Me and Clare Dowling, Dubray Books, Grafton St

2 of my reviewers, Cassie & Mia, aged 10.


Giveaway #12

You can never have enough bookmarks! Just comment 'owls' in your message below to enter.

__________________________________________CLOSED - WINNER EM-BLOG_________
Myself and Zoe Miller

Janet E Cameron in Dubray Books


Giveaway #13

Everyone needs something light to read in the summertime. Just comment 'Fairy Godmother' in your message below to enter. 

_________________CLOSED - WINNER LAVENDER SMITH ______________________

Final Giveaway and a Big Thank You!

Mr. Darcy, you are my soulmate !!!

My real-life Mr. Darcy. My real-life soulmate.

A massive thanks has to go to my husband, Declan ( also known as Mr. Darcy ) for putting up with a wife who is constantly either reading or tweeting. Non-stop. He has the patience of a saint and I love him dearly. He encourages me everyday and nagged me (gently) to study for my exams.  As my tattoo says " I believe we were designed for each other " 
Pride and Prejudice

My five chicks. Thanks for agreeing to takeaway on more than one occasion!

Giveaway #14

Kindly donated ( I didn't even ask, I swear ) by the author,  a SIGNED edition of Hazel Gaynor's The Girl Who Came Home and a bookmark - A New York Bestseller if you don't mind !!!
Just comment 'Titanic' in your message below to enter.



  1. Looks like a great book �� x Disco Bus

  2. That looks really nice! And I love your blog! You always have the best books :). xx

  3. Congrats on 1 year Hun! And thanks for the opportunity to win! X

  4. Oh I forgot to say Ruler?! X

    1. You are the winner of this cute notebook, Samantha. DM your address details @margaretbmadden. Congrats !!!

  5. disco bus! Well done Mags on a great year of blogging, and may there be many ahead for you.

  6. Happy Blogganiversay to you Margaret xxxxx

  7. Disco bus! :) Happy bloggoversary Margaret, and many happy years to come :) (Ruler, ekhm :))) ) xx

  8. Congrats!!!! Here's to more����

  9. Wow!! You're too generous! Something for the kids too!

  10. The ruler notebook is just too cute! Love how you've got something for the kids too ��

  11. Would love to win kids! For my class in September!!! X

  12. Happy Blogiversary! Keep those reviews coming! :)

  13. How cute are those magnets! Would just love them x

  14. Would mind the Jodi Picoult book! Have heard great things about her but have never actually read one! ��

  15. Replies
    1. You have won Jodi Picoult's book. Please contact me with details. Congrats!!!

  16. Kids please :) and magnets too!

  17. I could really do with the light! It's gorgeous! �� x

  18. Caroline Finnerty27 July 2014 at 12:45

    Happy Blogoversary, I loved reading about your year (you've been busy!). Looking forward to reading more from Bleachhouse for many more years x

  19. Yippie Congrats!!

    So my kids and I went on a wild ride! We were on a big bus, that Jodi, my daughter deemed "The Disco Bus" ! She said it was because of the bright red LIGHT in the middle hanging down that blinked, incessantly... My son accidentally poked a lady with his ruler, she was not a very happy woman let me tell you... Sometimes it seems my kids are magnets for trouble. ��

  20. Happy Blogeversariy love reading your blog discovering new authors.magnets would be great.

  21. Are you *sure* you've only been doing this a year? What a great blog, I love it & enjoying the stuff you share too. Congrats! "Light"

  22. The Zhivago book looks great! You're being too generous x

  23. Ruler, magnets, light
    Ruler magnets, light
    I'd be so glad
    If I had,
    Ruler, magnet, light

    Hoping attempt no. 7 makes it lol

    Happy Blogiversary MBM :) xx

  24. Ruler, magnets, light
    Ruler magnets, light
    I'd be so glad
    If I had,
    Ruler, magnet, light

    Hoping attempt no. 7 makes it lol

    Happy Blogiversary MBM :) xx

  25. Happy Blogiversary! Disco Bus looks a lot of fun!

  26. Oh, forgot to mention... They were playing the classic Dr. Zhivago on the crazy Disco Bus �� good time, good times �� loving the book!

  27. Urgh.... I forgot my tote!

  28. Wow those magnets look awesome!!

  29. I love a good Tote too! Perfect for carrying just about anything! On the look out for a new one to carry my pe kit to school ha ha! This would be awesome to win! Thanks for the opportunity! X

  30. Your prizes look so great, I just had to say that even though I commented already :) xxx

  31. Thanks to everyone for their lovely, warm comments. Some are so funny too !!
    Lots more giveaways tomorrow so check back in XXXXXXXX

  32. Magnets, ruler, Jodi, tote... it's like literary Tourette s!

  33. Well done on year 1 + wishing you continued success for many more to come

  34. This is awesome! Congrats on a wonderful year. Happy Bloggerversary!

  35. Great giveaways, Margaret. Congrats on your first blogoversary, long may you reign. N x

  36. I know I've already congratulated you on Twitter but congrats again xxx #Tote

  37. Such a lovely tote bag! Would be perfect for carrying books x

  38. The murder book marks would be incredibly handy ��

  39. The rules book looks like it would be a great read

  40. Magnets! Magnets! Congrats and happy Blogiversary! Just realised that mine is a fortnight younger than yours.

    - Mel

  41. 3rd time's a charm, my technology is letting me down. Congrats on your blogiversary, I love reading your reviews and your daughter's too, a similar age to mine. I would love to read the Jodi book myself and my kids would love to read monster magic, haven't heard of it before.

  42. The don't grow up it's a trap notebook is just adorable and very very true ��

  43. The most amazing giveaways ever! Trap ��

  44. Happy Blogiversary! :)
    'Jodi' and 'light'
    Thanks for the awesome giveaways! :)

  45. ohh can I just say... 'trap' :)
    Hope day 2 is going well x

  46. What an awesome post - and giveaways!!! xx Congratulations on a brilliant year!



  47. I love the owls bookmark �� x

  48. Happy Blogiversary Margaret.I've only recently discovered your blog but have enjoyed looking back on your reviews and blog posts. Thanks for a great giveaway :) I was nearly forgetting to mention OWLS :)

    1. Congrats Em.... You have won Giveaway #12. Contact me with details XXX

  49. Oh how I do love bookmarks... :)

  50. Would love to win the bookmarks! You can never have too many! So Murder and Owls!!! X

  51. Will the giveaways never stop?!? Owls :)

  52. Am on a Claudia Carroll readthon at the moment so this would be the perfect prize! Fairy Godmother x

  53. Love the owls magnetic bookmarks x

  54. The titanic book looks amazing x

  55. Wow very generous of Hazel, would def love to win her book #Titanic

  56. Well done you! What a great birthday party :)
    Congrats MBM xx

  57. If I've got a #Fairy Gidmother......I'm sure she would make sure I won!!!! Hehehe xxxx

  58. If the #titanic hadn't of sunk! I wouldn't be here now. Great grandmother was engaged to a man on it. Past family history!

  59. Congrats to all the winners and congrats on your blogoversary!


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