Sunday, July 7, 2013

Reading Road Trip: Maryland (and GIVEAWAY!)

Hey there! Welcome to the Reading Road Trip Day 7! This fabulous blog event is coordinated by the amazing Britta from I Like These Books and Hafsah from IceyBooks.

I am BEYOND excited to share with you the wonders of MY state, Maryland! I am honored to have been chosen to represent Maryland. So, I hope you enjoy my post!

What's so great about Maryland?

- MD is one of the thirteen original colonies; it is the seventh state
- MD is the most democratic state in the USA
- The Baltimore Ravens (MD's football team) won the Superbowl in the seasons of 2000 and 2012!
- MD hosts the Pimlico race, one of the three races of the Triple Crown
- MD was one of the border states in the Civil War
- MD has Johns Hopkins University (HOLLA! I'll be a freshman there in August!), a top-15 university in the USA
- MD is the fifth greenest state in the USA (yay environment!)
- Baltimore, MD's largest city, used to be known as The City That Reads

Classic Maryland Foods!

(edited to add this section, because I'm clearly without a brain if I can talk about Maryland without mentioning Maryland foods)

- Blue crabs! From the Chesapeake Bay! So like, crab cakes. Crab dip. Steamed crabs. That sort of thing. I kind of don't like crabs (I know, I'm a disgrace to Maryland)
- Oyster... stuff. Oyster stew. Steamed oysters. I don't really like oysters either.
- Chicken. Okay, this one is really general, but one of the most known Perdue farms is in Maryland! Plus, there are a ton of privately owned poultry farms all over Maryland.
- Pit beef (sandwiches). Oh, yeah.
- BERGER COOKIES! The best cookies in the world!
- Smith Island Cake (the official dessert of Maryland)

(Smith Island Cake)

Maryland Slang!

The most distinct slang of Maryland comes from Baltimore - or "Balmar", I should say. Check this out:

- Hon is the most famous Baltimorese word, and it's an endearment
- Pavement ("payment") is the substitute for "sidewalk"
- O's is short for the Orioles (we're in Birdland, people!)
- Down the ocean typically means going to Ocean City
- Ok/Kay is used a lot in the beginning of sentences, but this might not just be a Maryland thing
- Wash can be pronounced "warsh"
- Carry can be pronounced "curry"
- Maryland can be pronounced "Murland"

I don't use most of those words/phrases/connotations in my speech, but I hear them all the time!

Famous Maryland People (NOT including authors):

- Spiro Agnew, 39th Vice President (with Nixon)
- Benjamin Banneker, scientist
- Frederick Douglass, abolitionist
- John Wilkes Booth, assassinated Lincoln (yikes...)
- John Dickinson, lawyer, officer during the American Revolution
- Babe Ruth, baseball player
- Harriet Tubman, abolitionist,
- Roger B. Taney, 5th Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court

Well-Known Maryland Authors (Historic):

- Francis Scott Key (Oooo, didn't know he was an author? YUP!)
- Upton Sinclair (The Jungle)
- Leon Uris (Exodus)
- Edgar Allan Poe (Okay, he WROTE in Maryland, but he was born in Massacusetts)
- Tom Clancy (Clear and Present Danger)

Well-Known Maryland Authors (Modern):

(Author websites/blogs and books' Goodreads links provided)

**She lives in Florida, but she was born in Maryland!

Well-Known Maryland Bloggers:

(Blog links provided!)

- ME! (Couldn't help myself)

And now, for the giveaway!

Okay, so there are a ton of books set in Maryland, and even more books by Maryland authors. But I thought I'd give away a book that is one of my all-time favorites, AND recently got a new cover!

Recognize this beauty? Check out my review (and the old cover) HERE.

The Dark Light by Sara Walsh
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: August 28, 2012

Summary (from Goodreads):

Mia is torn between two guys—and two worlds—in this epic, romantic fantasy.

Mysterious lights have flickered above Crownsville for as long as Mia can remember. And as far as she’s concerned, that’s about the only interesting thing to happen in her small town. 

That is, until Sol arrives. Mia’s not one to fall for just any guy, but she can’t get Sol—or the brilliant tattoo on his back—out of her mind.

Then Mia’s brother goes missing, and Mia’s convinced that Sol knows more than he’s sharing. But getting closer to Sol means reevaluating everything Mia once believed to be true. Because Sol’s not who Mia thought he was—and neither is she.

The Giveaway:

Grand Prize: A paperback pre-order of The Dark Light by Sara Walsh, a mini-poster with the original cover of The Dark Light, and a bookmark with the original cover of The Dark Light! Open to anyone as long as The Book Depository ships to your country!

Second Prize: A mini-poster with the original cover of The Dark Light, and a bookmark with the original cover of The Dark Light! Open to anyone!

PLEASE read the rules in the Rafflecopter before entering!


  1. I like the Maryland slang! Loved your post so much!
    Thank you for the amazing prizes for the giveaway!

  2. Thank you Sara Walsh for the giveaway. I think every state has their own version of slang. It's fun to hear it.

  3. I love that the city used to be called The City that Reads! Great title to have! Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

  4. I like the slang, but I don't think all those are specific to Maryland.

    I lived in Mississippi most my life, and live in Alabama now, and have heard lots of men call women hon'. It's short for "honey", I think, and my father does it alot when he doesn't know a woman's name.
    Also, we say wash like it has an R in it as well. I always thought that was a Southern thing.
    Thanks so much to the author helping with the giveaway.

    1. I'll be very interested in seeing the stops for the Tri-State area. (MS-TN-AL)

  5. I'm originally from the western corner of Maryland although I haven't lived there for over a decade. I'm surprised you didn't mention the Chesapeake Bay blue crabs! Some of the slang you mentioned made me laugh though, I know a lot of people who say Warshington. I actually didn't know that Baltimore used to be called the city that reads!
    Thank you Sara Walsh for being so generous!

    1. Blue crabs are the best :D

    2. Clearly when I created this post, I left my brain behind somewhere. I've added a few Maryland foods! Blue crabs are definitely the most popular Maryland choice of food ;)

  6. Aww, this post makes me miss my hometown of Baltimore. Great post, Hon! ;)

  7. Thank you Alyssa and Sara for the awesome giveaway! I loved the Maryland slang. It's interesting about the pronunciations as well. Like here in NC, I have heard Maryland pronounced Meryl-land (like as in Meryl Streep) quite a bit. But in the west, where I'm originally from, we pronounced it Mar-a-land.

  8. Hey, Alyssa!

    A huge "Hi" from Annapolis, Maryland! What a fantastic showcase of our wonderful State. Fabulous post. *applauds*

    Alyssa, thank you so much for choosing THE DARK LIGHT to represent Maryland authors, especially when there are so many wonderful authors who live and work here. I feel incredibly honored.

    And huge thanks to all the entrants in the contest: It's all down to Alyssa's generosity! Thanks again, Alyssa.

    Go Maryland!

    Sara Walsh
    *huge smiles*

  9. The slang was really cool! We don't say those things in NYC, or at least I don't.

    The City that Reads! That's so cool! :D If only that was NYC...

    Thank you for your generous donation, Sara!
    And thank you for the great post and giveaway, Alyssa!

  10. This here is a great post hon and I didn't even have to go down the oshun to read it!

    Thanks for including me too!

  11. Awesome post, Alyssa! I didn't know Baltimore used to be called The City that Reads. Very interesting. I need to get around to reading The Dark Light. I have this thing where I must read all the books that take place in our state. Thanks for the mention!

  12. Thanks for including me! :) I didn't know there were this many bloggers in MD! It's very exciting to see!!!

    I am surprised no mention of the blue crab, either. Something I love - or Old Bay! Maybe it's because I'm obsessed with Old Bay and LOVE eating crabs! :P Great post, though! (I'm guilty of Warsh)

    1. That's me, brainless, and not mentioning the Chesapeake Bay OR blue crabs. Too late now, but I added it in there ;)

  13. I love this whole post all about Maryland! The state I grew up in and lived in till well three weeks ago. I never really noticed anything special about calling sidewalk Pavement, i just call it that. It was nice to learn so much more about our state!

  14. Smith Island Cake for sure! Yum! Yum! I love cake!
    Thank you for the giveaway! :) (Ileana A.-rafflecopter)

  15. I've never heard of Smith Island Cake, but I know I want it in my mouth, immediately lol! I knew about the word "hon" because I saw a Kitchen Nightmares episode where some woman copyrighted the word and the people of Baltimore were angry. (Random way to know it, I know.)

    Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

  16. I like to represent the nerd girls who also love sports, so the Super Bowl win is awesome! I know we're a rare breed, but that makes us all the more special :)

  17. I love oysters AND crabs! I should've been born in a coastal state instead of the Midwest. ;) Maryland is one of the states I have yet to visit, but how could I NOT want to visit The City That Reads?! That's awesome!

    Thank you Ms. Walsh for the bookmarks & posters! And thank you, Alyssa, for the chance to win!

  18. Hola!!! I have been to Maryland but I was a young kid so I barely remember it. I am enjoying reading all the host's posts who live on the east coast. I never really get up there enough so this is fun! I am hosting Utah in a few weeks and can't wait!

    Angela's Anxious Life

  19. I'm a New Yorker but used to work for a company with HQ in Baltimore down by the Inner Harbor. I loved going down for staff meetings and such especially during crab season. I would find all the 'all-you-can-eat' crab spots and give them all a run for their money. I've been to Charm City Cakes and met Duff and the rest of his crazy staff, that was really COOL.

  20. It's super cool that it's the fifth greenest state! Thanks to Sara Walsh for the giveaway and thank you Alyssa!

  21. Smith Island Cake. Yuuuuum! Maryland sounds coool! Thanks for the giveaway! :D

  22. I love the Well-Known Maryland Authors post I totally love Brigid Kemmerer and her Elemental series she is one of my favorite authors thanks for the great givaway!

  23. I would keep it a secret that John Wilkes booth was from Maryland.
    However, Babe Ruth sort of makes up for it to a point.
    Thank you for your generosity with this giveaway.


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