Monday, August 31, 2009

Belated Contest Announcements

No one ever said starting a new job was easy, nor did they say life would continue on as you knew it when you started a new job. Well, both are true for me. I absolutely love my new job and I'm learning so much every day, but I feel like I'm letting you down.  I haven't been consistent about posting, reading blogs, and getting contest announcements out.  For my absence and inconsistency, I sincerely apologize.  I love my blog and miss posting reviews and interacting with you. 

I have 2 contests that I need to post winners for tonight.  I will be emailing the winners and getting their prizes sent out from their respective places as soon as I get mailing information.  So, without further adieu...

 
First off, the Eyes Like Stars Extravaganza was a fun contest and Lisa loved each and every one of your entries.  But, since there could only be winner, she had to choose.  Her choice?   
 
 
If you haven't seen it, make sure you check it out!!  
 
Thank you to Vania, for providing our prizes for this winner!  We also had prizes for second place, who was chosen randomly from the other entries.  That winner is:


Then, we had a HUGE giveaway for Stephanie Kuehnert's release of Ballads of Suburbia.  Entries were earned by pre-ordering or buying the book and then sending a copy of your receipt.  We didn't get as many entries as we had hoped for, but we did get some good participation as well as publicity for the book.  The winner, chosen at random from all the entries is:

Kristen from Bittahsweet Harmony

A big CONGRATS to all the winners!!  Thanks so much for your participation.  I hope you will stick with me as I figure out my new job and learn to juggle it all.

Movie Monday - 8/31/09

This is our last Movie Monday.  I have enjoyed reading all of the movie reviews and hope that you have enjoyed them as well, either as a participant or just a reader. 


Today is the BIG day!!  The day we give away not only a signed copy of Prophecy, but also the Swag Bag.  I can hardly wait to tell you who the winner is...first, the winner of a signed copy of Prophecy...

CONGRATULATIONS TO:
MELANIE!!

And now, the moment you've all been waiting for...the winner of the Prophecy Swag Bag...

CONGRATULATIONS TO:
KRISTEN!!


I have emailed both of the winners, and will pass the addresses on to Michelle as soon as they get back to me.  I have had fun with this contest.  I will be posting the winners from the Eyes Like Stars Extravaganza and Ballads Blitz tonight, so come back to see more winners.  I also have some great giveaways coming up, so you don't want to miss out!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Snapshot Saturday #19


Last weekend, my brother and sister-in-law took my nephew to see my grandfather for the first time.  My grandfather lives in Arkansas, and will be 97 in November.  He was afraid that our last name wouldn't live on if my brother and sister-in-law hadn't had a boy, so the day he was born was a great day in our family.  It was also very important to my father, to have a 4 generation picture taken of all of them.  That's my snapshot this week, thanks to my step-mom, who sent me the picture.

 
In the back is my brother.  On the left, my grandfather, then my father on the right, holding my nephew.




Friday, August 28, 2009

Friday Fill-Ins - 8/28/09





1. The last thing I ate was a piece of cake and a diet coke.

2.New shoes is something I recently bought.

3. When it rains, it doesn't usually rain at my house.

4.Willie was the first person I talked to today.

5. Hugs are needed daily.

6.My feather pillow gives me extra comfort.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to dinner with my husband, tomorrow my plans include coffee and a book on the porch in the morning and Sunday, I want to help search for my missing sister-in-law!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Because of A Book with Your Name Here

 

I'm sad to say that I do not have a guest for you today.  I had someone scheduled, but did not receive the post in time, so I'm doing things a little differently today.  

I just sent out a tweet asking for new participants for this feature.  Thank you to all who have responded, retweeted, and/or agreed to be a guest for me.  I want this feature to continue as it is one that I love and know that many of you do as well.  I want it to be a way to let others get to know bloggers, authors, and publishers.  Here is the information that I originally posted when I started this feature.
I hope you will enjoy this new Tuesday post.  It will be a weekly post, not by me, but by authors, bloggers, and publishers.  Of course, it's about books - the books that we read as children that have had some kind of an impact on our lives.  What do I mean?  Well, many of us read a book growing up, that sparked something inside us, created the reader we are now, inspired us to write, etc.  In some way, our lives were changed Because of A Book!
What does it entail?  Well, you type up a post, of any length about a book, from your childhood, that you loved or that inspired you to become the reader/writer that you are.  You also need to include a short bio about yourself along with a picture.  If you are an author, I will include info about your latest book, as well as the book you speak of in your post.

The following are past Because of A Book posts that you can use as an example.  Some authors have included a giveaway with their post, but it is not a requirement.

http://writeforareader.blogspot.com/2009/06/because-of-book-with-margaret-stohl.html
http://writeforareader.blogspot.com/2009/08/because-of-book-with-pj-kaiser.html
http://writeforareader.blogspot.com/2009/08/because-of-book-with-shannon-primicerio.html
http://writeforareader.blogspot.com/2009/08/because-of-book-with-c-lee-mckenzie.html
http://writeforareader.blogspot.com/2009/07/because-of-book-lauren-becker.html
http://writeforareader.blogspot.com/2009/07/because-of-book-with-alexandra-cenni.html
http://writeforareader.blogspot.com/2009/07/because-of-book-with-kami-garcia.html
http://writeforareader.blogspot.com/2009/06/because-of-book.html
http://writeforareader.blogspot.com/2009/07/because-of-book-with-michelle-zink.html

I have yet to feature a publisher, although I have had a publisher contact me about featuring one of their authors.  Please feel free to pass this information on to others you know that may be interested in participating.  If you'd like to participate, please comment below with your email address, or email me direct.  My email address is in the left sidebar.

I look forward to hearing from you!!



Monday, August 24, 2009

Movie Monday - 8/24/09

I apologize for the late posting of this today, but it was the first day of school and I was a little preoccupied.  I hope that you don't mind too much.

 

Welcome to the 4th and final edition of Movie Monday.  I have enjoyed reading all of your movie reviews and can't wait to see what you post this week.  Remember, next week there will be two winners posted.  One for the signed copy of Prophecy, based on this week's reviews, and the other for the Grand Prize Swag Bag, based on all of the weekly entries.  

This week's winner is Ashley, who watched and reviewed Interview with a Vampire.  Congratulations Ashley!!  I have emailed you for your address.

Won't you join in this week?  Watch one of the following movies, post the review on your blog, link back to this contest page as well as Michelle Zink's blog. You must also mention Prophecy and post the cover of the book. Once your post is up, come back here and leave the link in the comments. The post can go up anytime between now and Saturday. On Sunday, I will draw a random winner from all the entries and post the winner on next week's Movie Monday. The winner will receive a signed hard cover copy of Prophecy as well as assorted Prophecy swag.

For every week that you participate, your name is put into the Grand Prize drawing for a Gothic Swag Bag - gift cards, jewlery, movies, etc.

The list of movies to choose from are as follows:

Interview with a Vampire
The Others
Wuthering Heights
Rebecca
Rear Window
Dial M for Murder
The Village
The Orphanage
An American Haunting
Sleepy Hollow
The Skeleton Key
The Haunting
The Changeling
30 Days of Night
The Talented Mr. Ripley
Van Helsing
The Crow
Edward Scissorhands

R U H squared?

Not sure what that means?  Well here's a picture to help you out.

 

Yes, that's me in my bathroom mirror.  What you should notice is the front of the shirt I'm wearing.  It says, "R. U. H. 2?  The two is up high after the H, to signify squared.  What is that?  Well, somehow I thought you might ask.  I will give you some hints, but I can't reveal all until September 1st.  The t-shirt was sent to me by an author, who's book debuts on 9/1.  I would show you the back of the shirt, which is also cool, but that would give it away, and I'm not prepared to do that just yet.  Feel free to guess...

Friday, August 21, 2009

Friday Fill-Ins - 8/21/09



1. I remember, I remember the lazy days before I came back to work.
2. Dear dog I want you to know that my personal undergarments are not your chew toys.
3. Is that my shoe he's chewing on!!???
4. I'm trying to resist the temptation of screaming at the dog.
5. I'm saving a piece of chocolate just for you!
6. If I made a birthday list a Kindle would definitely be on it!!!
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to relaxing with my hubby, tomorrow my plans include shopping with my mom and Sunday, I want to read!

Can you see a theme today?  Our 9 month old red heeler keeps chewing up my things.  Why just mine?  If you'd like to play along, visit Friday Fill-Ins.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

"Waiting On" Wednesday - Bleeding Violet

 

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:
 
Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves
Release date: January 2010 by Simon Pulse

Sixteen-year-old Hanna Järvinen is an unusual girl with a head full of hallucinations, a medicine cabinet full of pills, and a closet full of frilly, violet dresses. Everything a girl needs--except love. But that's what mothers are for, and Hanna is sure she can reconcile with hers, even though she was abandoned as a baby.

Unfortunately, her mother lives in Portero, an odd East Texas town with doors that lead out of the world, flesh-eating creatures, and parasitical spirits--not an ideal environment for winning a mother's love.

Hanna, however, refuses to let a few monsters interfere with her plans. If she has to flirt a little, lie a little, kill a little, or even bleed a little, she'll do it. Hanna can live with monsters and mayhem, but she would rather die than live without love. 



Have you seen a theme in my WoW posts lately?  They have all had something to do with the color purple.  I just love it and I'm so psyched to see all these covers using purple.  This story is different.  Just read the synopsis...oooh!  Sounds interesting; can't wait!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Because of A Book with PJ Kaiser


This week I am happy to feature a blogger, PJ Kaiser.  We have become friends on Twitter and I am so excited about her post this week.  I hope you will take the time to get to know her here as well as on her blogs and Twitter.

P.J. is a stay-at-home mom, a former Information Technology professional (among other things) and an aspiring writer. She lives with her husband and two young children in Hoboken, New Jersey. P.J. blogs about education, parenting and other things at Double Latte Mama’s Blog, writes fiction at Inspired By Real Life and has a fertility website at High FSH Info. She will also be a contributor at the new New York family site  NY Metropolista. She can be found on Twitter @doublelattemama.



I’ve been around books all my life. As a child, my mom seemingly went through piles of books each week – primarily reading them while waiting for me to finish my tap class, swim team or other event. I remember reading the covers of the books and every time I looked she had a new book. I mostly read for entertainment until I was somewhere in my twenties. It was then that I discovered that books could have deeper meaning than a “whodunnit” or a romance.

Somewhere along the way, I became fascinated with authors from India. The very first book I read by an Indian author was “The God of Small Things” by Arundhati Roy. This smallish book made me fall in love with the landscape of India, the people of India and – above all – the authors of India. Since that book, I have read a steady stream of books by Indian authors and the vast majority have been fantastic. The most incredible book in this genre that I have read to-date is “A Fine Balance” by Rohinton Mistry. The prose in this book approaches poetry and Mistry maintains this level of beauty throughout this wide-ranging book. Just reading the book is enjoyable enough and when you contemplate the message, it is very powerful.

There are four protagonists in the story and each is drawn in such a way that although they are probably quite different from anyone that you know, they are incredibly real. These intimate characters find themselves in a variety of desperate situations while living in Indira Gandhi’s India. The characters come from different circumstances – some with advantages and some without. Some of the characters with absolutely no advantage survive horrific experiences and somehow are able to achieve happiness in spite of it all. There is an important message in this book about creating your own happiness and truly rising above your circumstances. I have drawn inspiration from this book on numerous occasions. Although many of the details of the book have faded from my memory, the characters with their message of hope live on.



About The God of Small Things:  The story of the tragic decline of an Indian family whose members suffer the terrible consequences of forbidden love, The God of Small Things is set in the state of Kerala, on the southernmost tip of India. Armed only with the invincible innocence of children, the twins Rahel and Esthappen fashion a childhood for themselves in the shade of the wreck that is their family — their lonely, lovely mother, Ammu (who loves by night the man her children love by day), their blind grandmother, Mammachi (who plays Handel on her violin), their beloved uncle Chacko (Rhodes scholar, pickle baron, radical Marxist, bottom-pincher), their enemy, Baby Kochamma (ex-nun and incumbent grandaunt), and the ghost of an imperial entomologist's moth (with unusually dense dorsal tufts).

When their English cousin and her mother arrive on a Christmas visit, the twins learn that Things Can Change in a Day. That lives can twist into new, ugly shapes, even cease forever. The brilliantly plotted story uncoils with an agonizing sense of foreboding and inevitability. Yet nothing prepares you for what lies at the heart of it.

Buy it at Amazon
Buy it at Powells
Buy it at Indiebound

I am currently looking for bloggers, authors and publishers to feature here on Because of A Book.  If you'd like to be a guest, please email me.  First person gets next week's spot!





Monday, August 17, 2009

Movie Monday

Welcome back to our 3rd edition of Movie Monday were readers are reviewing Gothic movies for a chance to win a signed hard copy of Prophecy of the Sisters as well as some Prophecy swag.

This week's winner is Kristen, who watched and reviewed The Changeling.   Congratulations Kristen!!!  I will be emailing you for your address so that Michelle can send you your prizes.


Remember: Watch one of the following movies, post the review on your blog, link back to this contest page as well as Michelle Zink's blog. You must also mention Prophecy and post the cover of the book. Once your post is up, come back here and leave the link in the comments. The post can go up anytime between now and Saturday. On Sunday, I will draw a random winner from all the entries and post the winner on next week's Movie Monday. The winner will receive a signed hard cover copy of Prophecy as well as assorted Prophecy swag.

For every week that you participate, your name is put into the Grand Prize drawing for a Gothic Swag Bag - gift cards, jewlery, movies, etc.

The list of movies to choose from are as follows:

Interview with a Vampire
The Others
Wuthering Heights
Rebecca
Rear Window
Dial M for Murder
The Village
The Orphanage
An American Haunting
Sleepy Hollow
The Skeleton Key
The Haunting
The Changeling
30 Days of Night
The Talented Mr. Ripley
Van Helsing
The Crow
Edward Scissorhands

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Review: Everything Sucks

 

Author:  Hannah Friedman

About the Book:
When everything sucks,
change everything . . .
And that's exactly what Hannah Friedman set out to do in an ambitious attempt to bust out of a life of obscurity and absurdity and into an alternate world of glamour, wealth, and popularity.

Being dubbed 'That Monkey Girl' by middle school bullies and being pulled out of sixth grade to live on a tour bus with her agoraphobic mother, her smelly little brother, and her father's hippie band mates convinces Hannah that she is destined for a life of freakdom.

But when she enters one of the country's most prestigious boarding schools on scholarship, Hannah transforms herself into everything she is not: cool. By senior year, she has a perfect millionaire boyfriend, a perfect GPA, a perfect designer wardrobe, and is part of the most popular clique in school, but somehow everything begins to suck far worse than when she first started. Her newfound costly drug habit, eating disorder, identity crisis, and Queen-Bee attitude lead to the unraveling of Hannah's very unusual life.

Putting her life back together will take more than a few clicks of her heels, or the perfect fit of a glass slipper, in this not-so-fairy tale of going from rock bottom to head of the class and back again.

My Review:   Now this was a memoir that I could get into.  If you've been a reader for awhile, you know that memoirs aren't really my thing, but since this one was in the YA genre, I decided to give it a try.

Hannah tells about real-life, teen-age life, in a prep school.  Her challenges are the challenges that many teenagers go through.  Her story is a completely honest and funny look at her experiences.  I enjoyed reading all about the "things that suck."  What teenager can't relate to that terminology?

This story will definitely take you back to the time when you were in your teens.  I could really relate to Hannah and I shared in her life and her emotions as I read.  This is one talented young writer and I hope there are many more books to come from her.

4 out of 5 stars to Hannah Friedman and Everything Sucks!
 


Snapshot Saturday #19

Many of you may have noticed that my blog posting has been sporadic for the last two weeks.  Well, I started my new job and have been super busy.  I am finally coming out from under all the work, and will be scheduling a bunch of posts so I'll have them ready to go.  I've also been away from Twitter like I used to be.  When I get home at night, I'm exhausted.  I usually get dinner made, clean up the kitchen, and crash.  So, I haven't gone away, I just can't devote hours to Twitter, like I could during the summer. 

I thought that you might like to see the school where I'm working.  So, this edition of Snapshot Saturday is devoted to that.  Enjoy!

Later today, I will be posting my review for Everything Sucks, so look for that!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

"Waiting On" Wednesday - The Dark Divine


"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

The Dark Divine by Bree Despain
Release date: December 2009 by Egmont USA

 A prodigal son

A dangerous love

A deadly secret . . .


I stood back and watched his movements. Daniel had that way about him that could shut me down in an instant. . . . I kicked the gravel a couple of times and worked up my courage again. “Tell me . . . I mean . . . why did you come back? Why now, after all this time?”

Grace Divine, daughter of the local pastor, always knew something terrible happened the night Daniel Kalbi disappeared—the night she found her brother Jude collapsed on the porch, covered in blood. But she has no idea what a truly monstrous secret that night really held. And when Daniel returns three years later, Grace can no longer deny her attraction to him, despite promising Jude she’ll stay away.

As Grace gets closer to Daniel, her actions stir the ancient evil Daniel unleashed that horrific night. Grace must discover the truth behind Jude and Daniel's dark secret . . . and the cure that can save the ones she loves. But she may have to lay down the ultimate sacrifice to do it—her soul.

If you've read my blog for any time, you know that purple is my favorite color, so this cover spoke to me.  It seems to be mysterious.  Where is the netting coming from, why is it wrapped around her legs, whose legs are they?  Then, read the synopsis and wow!  Another book about teen romance and magic...I can't wait!

Review: Prophecy of the Sisters

 

Title:  Prophecy of the Sisters
Author:  Michelle Zink

About the Book: An ancient prophecy divides two sisters-

One good...

One evil...

Who will prevail?

Twin sisters Lia and Alice Milthorpe have just become orphans. They have also become enemies. As they discover their roles in a prophecy that has turned generations of sisters against each other, the girls find themselves entangled in a mystery that involves a tattoo-like mark, their parents' deaths, a boy, a book, and a lifetime of secrets.

Lia and Alice don't know whom they can trust.

They just know they can't trust each other.

My Review:  To say I loved this book is an understatement.  In fact, I could gush about this one for days.  The more I read YA, the more I fall in love with it and don't want to read anything else.  Michelle does such a great job with this debut novel, that I'm sure she'll be a YA author that teens and adults alike will be talking about and reading for years to come.

I can't begin to tell you how wrapped up in this story I got.  Michelle's writing is top-notch.  She knows how to develop her characters so that you find out more about them as the story unfolds, not all at once.  I like that!  Lia and Alice, although twins, aren't as alike as most twins are.  In fact, they have very different agendas in this story.  Through her unique story-telling, Michelle weaves her reader into the lives of the characters.  You may be pro Lia or pro Alice.  Whichever side you choose to take, know that you will root for, cry for, hurt with that sister as you get to know her.  Just so you know, I'm a HUGE Lia fan!  I just connected with her early on, and I can't wait to see what she does next.

Yes, I said next.  There will be a sequel.  If you've read it, you know why.  If not, you'll see.  The end of the book is definitely not the end of the story.  There is more to come, and I for one can not wait to see how Michelle lets it all play out.

You will fall in love with this book.  At least I hope you do!  There are no vampires, no werewolves, or strange creatures, but there is magic, and a touch of teen romance.  I for one was glad to read a story without the added creatures, just real people with an ancient prophecy that changes their lives.

Way to go Michelle!  You've scored big with this one!  5 out of 5 stars for Michelle Zink's Prophecy of the Sisters.



You have a chance to win a signed hardcover of Prophecy when you participate in the Gothic Film Club that I am hosting here on the blog.  All you have to do is watch a movie from Michelle's list, review it, and you're entered.  At the end of the month, all participants have a chance to win a big swag bag from Michelle.  So, what are you waiting for?  Check out Movie Monday for the list of movies!




Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Because of A Book with Shannon Primicerio

 
This week's post features author Shannon Primicerio.  Please help me welcome Shannon to the blog.  I am very excited about her post.  When I first started working on this feature, she sent me the following email:
I’m definitely interested. When I was a teenager I read a series by Robin Jones Gunn that made me want to become a writer. Without knowing this, my first editor asked Robin to write the foreword for my first book! So, it’s been wonderful to get to know the woman who made me want to be a writer. I would love to write about the series I read back then, and the new spin-off series she is currently writing. I’ve even emailed her to see if she’d be willing to donate an autographed copy to one of your readers.
 I told Shannon that it sounded like a story that needed to be told, so I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did.  Here's a little about Shannon:

From the moment she learned to talk, author and speaker Shannon (Kubiak) Primicerio has been engaging audiences with her wit and wisdom. A writer from the second she learned to hold a pencil, Shannon brings a deep passion for God and a keen awareness of the issues teen girls face to both the page and the stage. Whether you are reading one of her books or sitting in an auditorium listening to her speak, you will feel like you know Shannon—and like she knows you. In addition to writing nine books to Christian teen girls, Shannon also created her own writing curriculum for tweens and teens. She has a B.A. in Journalism and a minor in Biblical Studies from Biola University. Shannon resides in Southern California with her husband, Michael.



In junior high I was the epitome of awkward. I had long blonde hair and a gangly frame. In most social settings I was too shy to do something as basic as ordering from a restaurant menu. On most days I just wanted to escape. Whenever navigating the social woes of adolescence became too much for me, I would transport myself into another world through the pages of a book.

I must have been eleven or twelve at the time I met Christy Miller. Little did I know then that she would be a friend I would share countless experiences with. In many ways, Christy Miller saved me from the clumsiness of my life by navigating her own mortifying moments with grace and humility. I’ll never forget the time she went on a date with Todd only to discover, once she got home, that she had chocolate smeared across her face. Or the time she was invited to a slumber party only to be left feeling like an outsider by everyone else there. Christy’s life became so intertwined with my own that I sometimes couldn’t tell where her life ended and mine began. In many ways Christy Miller was like the best friend I never had. To some she may just be a fictional character in a series of books, but to me she will always be more than that.

It’s no surprise to me that the books in The Christy Miller series became best sellers. Many girls have found comfort, humor and respite from their own adolescence and teen years in the pages of her story. Several years ago, I pulled out some of my old journals from my “Christy Miller years” and found a paragraph that took me by surprise. I had written this about the author of The Christy Miller books: “What I admire most about Robin Jones Gunn is her legacy, and I hope to one day touch lives with my writing the way she has touched mine…”

It was on the pages of The Christy Miller series that I first found my passion for writing. During what were some of the most awkward years of my life I began to dream about writing books that would change the lives of teenage girls in the same way Christy Miller changed mine. And in what Christy would call a “God thing” Robin Jones Gunn wrote the foreword for my first book The Divine Dance. My editor had no clue that I even knew who Robin was. She just knew she was a popular author to teens, and thought her endorsement would help sales for a newcomer like me.

The Divine Dance could have tanked and I still would have been thrilled to receive the stamp of approval from a woman whose own words had greatly shaped my life. Thankfully, the book didn’t tank and is still selling six years later. My friendship with Robin also grew into something much more than a simple foreword. And I’m thankful for all she has taken the time to teach me about being an author who truly changes lives.

In 2001 the final chapter in Christy’s story was written, and girls around the world mourned the loss of a friend they had followed for years. Thankfully, though, there was more left to Christy’s story and in 2008 Robin launched a new series with all the same characters focusing on the life of Christy’s best friend Katie Weldon. Now new fans, and old alike, can follow the adventures of a crazy redhead and the forever friend she shared with so many.

One lucky reader will receive an autographed copy of the newest book in the Katie Weldon series. Coming Attractions promises to be a fun adventure with Christy, Katie and all of their friends.

You can learn more about Robin and Shannon at their respective websites: http://www.robingunn.com/ and http://www.beingagirlbooks.com/



About Summer Promise (The Christy Miller series #1):  Fourteen-year-old Christy Miller has the dream summer ahead of her in sun-kissed California, staying with her aunt and uncle at their beachfront home. Aunt Marti loves to shop, and those surfers are cute—especially Todd. Christy promised her parents she wouldn’t do anything she’d regret later, and some of her beach friends are a little wild. But Todd and his “God-Lover” friends are giving Christy a new image of all things eternal. Can this summer live up to its promise?

Buy it at Amazon
Buy it at Powells
Buy it at IndieBound

About The Divine Dance:  We want to be liked—that's why we put so much energy into pleasing others. Life has become a dance that we perform for others, auditioning for a place in the hearts of everyone we meet. We put our energy into performances to please our parents, friends, teachers, boys—even people we don't know. It's simple: We all desire to be loved and accepted. But in this busy, complicated world, we should be dancing as we were designed to—for the One who really cares. When the audiences are gone and we take off our masks, that's the part the Director likes best. Away from the alluring lights and demanding crowds, we can know ourselves and God in a powerful, meaningful way. When we realize that the One who matters already loves us, we will flourish in this life that is the Divine Dance.  

Buy it at Amazon
Buy it at Powells
Buy it at IndieBound

Monday, August 10, 2009

Louder Than Words TV

I'm going to be posting live video chats on my blog this week from authors of a new teen series, Louder Than Words, published by HCI Books. Teen authors Marni Bates, Emily Smucker, Chelsey Shannon, and series editor Deborah Reber, will videochat live on the blog August 10-14, from 8-9 p.m. Eastern Time. They'll answer questions on subjects such as overcoming problems with siblings, schoolmates, health issues, mental health issues -- even the death of a parent -- plus talk about writing books and getting published.

I missed the first one tonight, but will have all the others up for you the rest of the week.  Here's the chat link. Make sure to come back the rest of the week at 8 PM, EST and check out the chat.





Movie Monday - 8/10/09

I know that I have some movie watcher readers out there, but I only had one participant last week.  What Bri Reads watched and reviewed The Talented Mr. Ripley.  Thank you, Bri, for participating!  Bri is our first Gothic Film Club winner!  She will be receiving a hard cover copy of Prophecy of the Sisters and some Prophecy swag.  Now, how many participants will I have this week?


Here's the details again. Watch one of the following movies, post the review on your blog, link back to this contest page as well as Michelle Zink's blog.  You must also mention Prophecy and post the cover of the book.  Once your post is up, come back here and leave the link in the comments.  The post can go up anytime between now and Saturday.  On Sunday, I will draw a random winner from all the entries and post the winner on next week's Movie Monday.  The winner will receive a signed hard cover copy of Prophecy as well as assorted Prophecy swag.

For every week that you participate, your name is put into the Grand Prize drawing for a Gothic Swag Bag - gift cards, jewlery, movies, etc.


 

Sunday, August 9, 2009

C. Lee Picked a Winner!!

Last week's Because of A Book with C. Lee McKenzie was the first in the feature to have a giveaway. There were many great comments on Lee's post, but only one could be the winner. Thank you to everyone who stopped by to read Lee's post!

 
Congratulations to traveler!!  Here's her comment:
Thanks for this lovely and thought provoking post. I enjoy being able to imagine and dream about wishes that could become true. Sometimes they do but mine would be for great health and happiness as well as to travel and experience the joy of learning about new places.

She will be receiving a signed hard cover copy of Sliding on the Edge.  Enjoy!  Look for the next installment of Because of A Book, on Tuesday.  You never know when a prize will be involved!



Friday, August 7, 2009

Friday Fill-Ins - 8/7/09

ffi

1. Wearing flip-flops is my favorite summertime thing to do.

2. My favorite John Hughes movies is The Breakfast Club.

3. A baby's skin is something I love to touch.

4. The full moon keeps my husband from sleeping.

5. I'm listening to KStar on the radio right now.

6. When daylight fades I get sleepy.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to resting after a busy week, tomorrow my plans include mowing the yard and Sunday, I want to work outside!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

"Waiting On" Wednesday - Forget-Her-Nots

 


"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

Forget-Her-Nots by Amy Brecount White
Release Date: March 2010 by Greenwillow Books


When someone leaves three mystery flowers outside her dorm door, Laurel thinks that maybe the Avondale School isn't so awful after all — until her own body starts to freak out. In the middle of her English presentation on the Victorian Language of Flowers, strange words pop into her head, and her body seems to tingle and hum. Impulsively, Laurel gives the love bouquet she made to demonstrate the language to her spinster English teacher. When that teacher unexpectedly and immediately finds romance, Laurel suspects that something — something magical — is up. With her new friend, Kate, she sets out to discover the origins and breadth of her powers by experimenting on herself and others. But she can’t seem to find any living experts in the field of flower powers to guide her. And her bouquets don't always do her bidding, especially when it comes to her own crush, Justin. Rumors about Laurel and her flowers fly across campus, and she's soon besieged by requests from girls — both friends and enemies — who want their lives magically transformed — just in time for prom.

Why do I want to read this?  Well, again, look at the pretty cover!  I on't base my reading on covers, but I do love them!  I love books that deal with magic, so this one is right up my alley.


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Because of A Book with C. Lee McKenzie

Today I am pleased to bring you debut author, C. Lee McKenzie. Lee's YA book, Sliding on the Edge, was released in April. If you haven't read it, I suggest you pick it up.

Before I began writing fiction for teens and middle grade readers I was a lecturer and administrator at California State University, San Jose. My field of Linguistics and Inter-cultural Communication has carried me to a lot of places in the world to explore different cultures and languages. I’m multi-lingual in, "Where's the toilet?" and "I'm lost!"

If I had three wishes my first would be to have more wishes. My second would be to receive warning labels for any wish I made. Like, "If you actually find the money to buy a hundred-room castle in Scotland you'll have to clean it yourself." Or, "If you win the million-dollar lottery, all your relatives will visit." My third wish might be to cancel the first two wishes.

My idea of a perfect day is one or all of the following: starting a new novel, writing “The End” to a good or final draft of a novel, hiking on a misty morning trail, saying Namaste after a great yoga practice, sipping a cappuccino topped with chocolate at a bustling café, reading in front of a fire with snow outside, swimming in an ocean someplace.

Websites: http://cleemckenziebooks.com http://slidingontheedge.com
Blog: http://writegame.blogspot.com



Because of this Book:

The book that changed my life has to be Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. I wanted to be Alice from the moment I entered her world. I wanted to attend a tea party with the Mad Hatter and watch the Dormouse being stuffed inside the teapot. Croquet had been dull before I knew a flamingo could be croquet mallet–well, almost. If a cat grin could take on a life of its own, then what else might be possible? After reading about Alice I’d discovered that anything could happen if I only read a book.

It didn’t take me long to figure out that being on the other side of the reading process was writing. In Writingland I could take charge and create the people, the story, the setting just the way I wanted them. Behind me I’ve left a trail, bits and pieces of plays, poems, short and long stories—practice for learning what this storytelling is all about, but I never really considered publishing the fiction that I wrote until a few years ago. Then I thought about Alice—strange but true.

I thought about the pleasure I’d had of reading something written before I was born. “How magical,” I thought, “to send words and ideas ahead to readers who haven’t been born yet, especially words that might effect positive change.” It was pretty interesting to mull that over. And that’s when I began thinking about what would be worth sending forward. Whatever it might be I wanted it to last a while. I’ll never know if I’ve succeeded, but it feels good to have tried. Now I just hope my book stands up half as well as Mr. Lewis Carroll’s.

Thanks, Shelly for nudging me to return to my Wonderland memories. It has been a long time since I opened that book for the first time, but I was amazed at how vivid those moments inside Alice’s world remained.



About Sliding on the Edge:  Shawna Stone, sixteen, can handle anything from a Las Vegas hustle to skipping out on the rent. Scarred inside and out, she's survived with a tough, hardened attitude. Yet she's thrown when her mother abandons her in Vegas with only a bus ticket and the name and number of a stranger to call. Now this troubled, desperate teen finds herself on a Northern California horse ranch with Kay Stone, her steely, youngish, disillusioned grandmother,who overwhelms Shawna with rules and daily barn chores. Shawna will baffle Kay with her foul mouthed anger and shrugging indifference to everything--except the maltreated horse on the ranch next door. But it's worse than even Kay suspects: Shawna's driven to cut herself by that strange voice inside her head,which at times has been her only steady companion.Kay, brittle from the loss of her marriage and her only son, struggles to keep the ranch going with only Kenny, the broken down drifter she hired, to lean on. Wondering what secrets hide behind Shawna's barricade, Kay fears that unless she somehow helps this troubled girl, she could lose her last living family member. And Kay's own secret is the very one that's kept Shawna and her mother away for all these years. As this unlikely pair struggles to co-exist, will they overcome their inner suffering to build a bridge to each other, and together find the strength to transcend the past?

Buy it at Amazon
Buy it at Powell's
Buy it at IndieBound

About Alice's Adventures in Wonderland:  One of the most magical concoctions in children's literature, Lewis Carroll's tale follows Alice into the upside-down, inside-out world of Wonderland where she attends the tea party of the Mad Hatter and plays croquet in the court of the Queen of Hearts 

Buy it at Amazon
Buy it at Powell's 
Buy it at IndieBound




C. Lee has been gracious enough to offer up a giveaway in connection with her feature today.  Anyone who leaves a comment on this post from now until Friday, will be entered to win their choice of either a $10 gift certificate to their nearest indie bookstore, or a signed copy of Sliding on the Edge.  Your comment must be about the post, not just "enter me" or "That was a good post."  The winner will be chosen randomly and posted on Saturday. 

Monday, August 3, 2009

Movie Monday

Today kicks off an awesome contest hosted here and sponsored by Michelle Zink, author of Prophecy of the Sisters. It is the Gothic Film Club.


To be a part of the "club," you agree to watch and review one to four of the following movies in the month of August.

Interview with a Vampire
The Others
Wuthering Heights
Rebecca
Rear Window
Dial M for Murder
The Village
The Orphanage
An American Haunting
Sleepy Hollow
The Skeleton Key
The Haunting
The Changeling
30 Days of Night
The Talented Mr. Ripley
Van Helsing
The Crow
Edward Scissorhands

Watch one of the movies, post the review on your blog, link back to this contest page as well as Michelle Zink's blog.  You must also mention Prophecy and post the cover of the book.  Once your post is up, come back here and leave the link in the comments.  The post can go up anytime between now and Saturday.  On Sunday, I will draw a random winner from all the entries and post the winner on next week's Movie Monday.  The winner will receive a signed hard cover copy of Prophecy as well as assorted Prophecy swag.

 
This contest will run for 4 weeks, so that means you can watch and review up to 4 movies, one per week.  Each week that you review, you will receive an entry into the Grand Prize drawing for a Gothic Swag Bag - gift cards, jewlery, movies, etc.
So, choose your movie for the week, watch, review, and post your link in the comments!


Sunday, August 2, 2009

Gothic Film Club


Yesterday, Aug 1st, as many of you know, was the actual release date for Michelle Zink's Prophecy of the Sisters.  The reviews for her book have been glowing, so if you haven't read it, I suggest that you do.  I will be posting my review this week. 

Michelle has graciously offered up some fabulous prizes for my readers, in connection with a contest that I will be hosting here for the entire month of August. Entrants need to watch one movie a week and then blog about it (a movie review) with a link back to my blog as well as Michelle's. You have to mention Prophecy and post the cover in order to be eligible.

Each Monday in August, I will post Movie Monday, where you'll put your links in the comments.  Then, the following Sunday, I will choose one winner, randomly, from all the entries.  The winner will receive a signed hardcover of Prophecy of the Sisters as well as miscellaneous Prophecy swag to include a magnet, a signed mini-poster, etc.  At the end of the month I will choose a winner from each person who entered during the month (you will receive one entry per week that you participate, for a total of 4 entries if you participate each week) and the Grand Prize winner will receive a Gothic Swag Bag - gift cards, jewlery, movies, etc.

The list of movies to choose from are as follows:

Interview with a Vampire
The Others
Wuthering Heights
Rebecca
Rear Window
Dial M for Murder
The Village
The Orphanage
An American Haunting
Sleepy Hollow
The Skeleton Key
The Haunting
The Changeling
30 Days of Night
The Talented Mr. Ripley
Van Helsing
The Crow
Edward Scissorhands

I am announcing the contest today, and will have a post up tomorrow where you can link to your movie review posts throughout the week.  You can start watching movies tonight and start posting as early as tomorrow.  Remember, all posts must be up and linked by the following Saturday each week so that a winnner can be drawn on Sunday to be posted on Monday with the new week's Movie Monday post. 

Today, you can comment about your desire to participate, which movies you will watch and review, etc.  Don't worry about choosing the same movie as someone else, multiple reviews for the same movie are welcome!  So, who's going goth, as in goth movies?

Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Sylvan Dell Revolution


I do reviews for Sylvan Dell and have been very impressed with everything they've ever sent me.  Their children's books are not only great stories, many with lessons, but they are beautifully illustrated.   When Sara Dobie, from Sylvan Dell sent me this email the other day, I knew I had to share it with you.  I hope you will check out this great new venture that Sylvan Dell is embarking on.



SYLVAN DELL PUBLISHING

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JULY 29, 2009

MOVE OVER KINDLE

Sylvan Dell’s innovative eBook format promises to improve reading speeds,
comprehension, and language learning skills

MT PLEASANT, SC - Sylvan Dell Publishing goes LIVE this week with its next generation eBook, proving the company represents “so much more than a picture book;” it represents a full-fledged campaign for literacy in America.

From Sylvan Dell publisher and co-founder Lee German: “These are the most technologically advanced eBooks in the world today, featuring Auto-Flip, Auto-Read, and Selectable Language. There is nothing even close to this on the market. Amazon/Kindle and Barnes & Noble eBooks are not even in the same category. I encourage parents and teachers to take a test-drive and see for themselves. Let the children play with these for a few weeks, and you’ll be amazed at their excitement and improved reading performance. For children wanting to learn a foreign language or ESOL families learning English, these are phenomenal tools.”

Below is a link to a 90-day trial of all 45 Sylvan Dell eBooks:

http://www.sylvandellpublishing.com/ebooktrials.php?e=MSBL9J
Code expiration date: 10/31/2009

For guided directions: http://www.sylvandellpublishing.com/documents/eBookOperatingInstructions.pdf

“Whether in Auto-Flip or Manual Mode, switch back and forth between English and Spanish text and audio (more language choices on the way) and remain on the same page,” said German. “With the addition of Auto-Flip and Auto-Read features, our Sylvan Dell eBooks are powerful literacy and language learning tools to complement our mission of teaching ‘Science and Math Through Literature.’”

Sylvan Dell is no newcomer to literacy education and no stranger to technological advances. Since the company’s founding in 2004, co-founders Lee and Donna German have been ahead of the picture book publishing curve. Last year, Sylvan Dell awarded free eBook site licenses to over 2600 elementary and Title I/III schools nationwide through their School Resource Grant Program.

What’s next? According to German, “We want moms, dads, and grandparents to be able to record a reading of our books and add that audio to the language selection list. This is especially important for military families with a parent overseas. We are also developing an iPhone, iPod, and iPod touch application so that our eBooks will be available on handhelds and an online data capture system to allow teachers to track student reading and quiz performance.”

Sylvan Dell eBooks are available on the company website, http://SylvanDellPublishing.com, as are an array of free educational resources, which include Teaching Activities and Interactive Math and Reading Comprehension Quizzes. For more information about the eBooks, visit http://www.sylvandellpublishing.com/ebooks.php. For more about the eBook Resource Grants: http://www.sylvandellpublishing.com/ResourceGrant.htm.
 
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