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<<August 2014>>
new posts in all blogs
Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Giveaways, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 883
1. Watch Out, Hollywood!: More Confessions of a So-called Middle Child | Book Giveaway

Enter to win copies of both CONFESSIONS OF A SO-CALLED MIDDLE CHILD and WATCH OUT, HOLLYWOOD! MORE CONFESSIONS OF A SO-CALLED MIDDLE CHILD, by Maria T. Lennon. Giveaway begins August 20, 2014, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends September 19, 2014, at 11:59 P.M. PST.

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2. Coloring Page Tuesday - Drawing Mouse

     Many of our little ones are heading back to school to read, write, and (I hope) draw a little bit too! The arts keep the brain elastic and flexible, open to new ideas!
     The original drawing for this mouse went to one of my students in the MFA in Writing and Illustrating program at Hollins University this past summer.
     CLICK HERE for more coloring pages! And be sure to share your creations in my gallery so I can put them in my upcoming newsletters! (Cards, kids art, and crafts are welcome!)
     Sign up to receive alerts when a new coloring page is posted each week and... Please check out my books! Especially...

my debut novel, A BIRD ON WATER STREET, coming out next week! Click the cover to learn more!
     When the birds return to Water Street, will anyone be left to hear them sing? A miner's strike allows green and growing things to return to the Red Hills, but that same strike may force residents to seek new homes and livelihoods elsewhere. Follow the story of Jack Hicks as he struggles to hold onto everything he loves most.
**A SIBA OKRA Pick!**
**A GOLD Mom's Choice Award Winner!**
**The 2014 National Book Festival Featured Title for Georgia!**
**eLit 2014 Gold Medal Winner in the Environmental/Ecology/Nature Category**

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3. 5th Blogaversary Giveaway

I've been blogging on and off since 1998. It's been such a fun and fulfilling part of my life and though I slow down now and then, I never really stop, and probably never will.

Some big things happening on this, the 5th anniversary of my current blog, Read Now Sleep Later:

1) We are going to be switching over to a new blog! readnowsleeplater.com will remain where it is for now, but new posts will only appear on readnowsleeplater.org, so update your bookmarks! We have a new Twitter @rnslbooks, but Facebook and Email followers, no need to switch :) 

2) CleverBee began as a group blog experiment with posts written by myself, Alyson Beecher from Kid Lit Frenzy, and David Yenoki from davidyenoki.com. I've decided to continue on my own, and Read Now Sleep Later will still cover book reviews, events, and giveaways. However, I'll also be blogging about other things I think are cool or interesting under the CleverBee banner. Interested? Click "CleverBee" on the menu above.

3) Giveaways! Oh my gosh so many giveaways. Thanks to all of our followers, new and old, for reading and following our blogs.

Enter with the Rafflecopter widgets below, depending on where you are. Please read our contest policy if you enter any of the giveaways.

Giveaway #1

For our US followers, we have $100 worth of books from the oldest children’s bookstore in America, Once Upon a Time Bookstore (winner’s choice)! Make sure you follow them on Twitter and Facebook

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway #2

For our non-US followers, we have $50 worth of books from Book Depository (winner’s choice)!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway #3

Open to all Etsy shop followers anywhere in the world, 36 Book Geek buttons (a random selection) from my Etsy shop!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway #4

Open to all school- or library-affiliated US blog followers, a 10-pack of Live to Read posters (16" x 24")! Keep one for yourself and give the rest of them away to your students, friends, colleagues. (Or keep them all for yourself; we won’t tell!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck, and thanks again for your loyalty! We love you!

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4. WILD THINGS - Guest Post and Giveaway!

Two of my favorite librarians have teamed up to create what is sure to be the new must read in children's lit scholarly circles and I couldn't be happier for them. Julie (Jules) Danielson and Betsy Bird have combined their considerable talents with the new blog WILD THINGS and the new book, WILD THINGS: ACTS OF MISCHIEF IN CHILDREN'S LITERATURE. The journey has been bittersweet since co-author Peter Sieruta passed away before the book went to publications - but oh, what a tribute the book is! I'm thrilled that Jules and Betsy were able to stop by to talk about their collaboration...

      Jules and I are very lucky. In promoting our new book Wild Things: Acts of Mischief in Children’s Literature (co-written with the late Peter Sieruta) we’ve gotten to field all sorts of interesting questions. One that we were handed recently concentrated on the subversive nature of our book. You see, in Wild Things we authors attempt to debunk the very notion that all things associated with children’s literature are fluffy bunnies and sparkly rainbows. I think Maurice Sendak said it best when he said “I think it is unnatural to think that there is such a thing as a blue-sky, white-clouded happy childhood for anybody. Childhood is a very, very tricky business of surviving it. Because if one thing goes wrong or anything goes wrong, and usually something goes wrong, then you are compromised as a human being. You're going to trip over that for a good part of your life.” With that in mind we set out to write a book that talks about the true stories behind children’s books and what they set out to do. It’s been arduous but fun and we’ve really enjoyed it.
      The question that I was recently asked that really caught my eye, however, regarded our favorite example of subversive writing in children’s books. And let me tell you, that is a hard thing to choose. Just one? Would you go with The Paper Bag Princess, written by Robert Munsch and illustrated by Michael Martchenko which turns princess-based tales turned on their heads (a perfect gift for baby showers, yes?). Or should it be the great Stinky Cheese Man himself, bacon smile and all? Should it be Uncle Shelby’s ABZs by Shel Silverstein (which wasn’t really for children anyway) or a more recent title like A Rule Is to Break: A Child’s Guide to Anarchy by John Seven and Jana Christy (a book that made the Tea Party go crazy not too long ago) or the upcoming Me & Dog by Gene Weingarten (which may be the first atheist picture book I’ve ever seen)?
      No. In the end my heart belongs to a boy with wild tangled hair and fingernails who has never seen a bath a day of his short life. Struwwelpeter by Heinrich Hoffman was subversive before there was subversion, and its lessons have fed the nightmares of parents world round for years (kids apparently take the “lessons” with a grain of salt and aren’t as affected). Hoffman wrote the tales as a reaction against the namby pamby didactic lesson books for kids that were coming out at the time. Read the right way, there’s a morbid humor to his style. Whether it’s a story about a rabbit taking revenge on a hunter or why you shouldn’t suck your thumbs (Scissor Man, anyone?) once you’ve read these stories you will NEVER forget them.
      The kicker is that the book wasn’t published in the last five years. It wasn’t published in the last ten years. It wasn’t published in the last ONE HUNDRED years even!
     Oh. And Mark Twain was a big fan. Even brought them to America from Germany where he’d found them.
      Basically if you’re looking for a book that gives you some insights behind-the-scenes to stories like this one and lets you know the true dirt behind books for the young, ours is the one for you. As Walter de la Mare is often quoted as saying, “I know well that only the rarest kind of best in anything can be good enough for the young.” Or, put another way by Maurice Sendak, “. . .from their earliest years children live on familiar terms with disrupting emotions, fear and anxiety are an intrinsic part of their everyday lives, they continually cope with frustrations as best they can. And it is through fantasy that children achieve catharsis. It is the best means they have for taming Wild Things.” Consider our Wild Things untamed.

Betsy Bird is the youth materials collections specialist for the New York Public Library and is the author of Giant Dance Party, illustrated by Brandon Dorman. In addition to writing for The Horn Book magazine, she is the creator of the blog A Fuse #8 Production.

Julie Danielson is a regular contributor to Kirkus Reviews, and in her blog, Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast, she has featured and / or interviewed hundreds of top names in picture books. Julie Danielson lives in Tennessee.

Peter D. Sieruta (1958–2012) was an author, book critic, and frequent reviewer for The Horn Book magazine. His blog, Collecting Children’s Books, served as inspiration for his contributions to Wild Things!

Candlewick has generously agreed to send a free galley to one of my lucky followers. Must live in the US to win - enter below.

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5. Book Trailer Reveal and Giveaway: Compulsion by Martina Boone

by Martina Boone
Coming October 28th
Simon & Schuster/Simon Pulse


About the Book

Three plantations. Two wishes. One ancient curse.

All her life, Barrie Watson had been a virtual prisoner in the house where she lived with her shut-in mother. When her mother dies, Barrie promises to put some mileage on her stiletto heels. But she finds a new kind of prison at her aunt’s South Carolina plantation instead--a prison guarded by an ancient spirit who long ago cursed one of the three founding families of Watson Island and gave the others magical gifts that became compulsions.

Stuck with the ghosts of a generations-old feud and hunted by forces she cannot see, Barrie must find a way to break free of the family legacy. With the help of sun-kissed Eight Beaufort, who knows what Barrie wants before she knows herself, the last Watson heir starts to unravel her family's twisted secrets. What she finds is dangerous: a love she never expected, a river that turns to fire at midnight, a gorgeous cousin who isn’t what she seems, and very real enemies who want both Eight and Barrie dead.

"Darkly romantic and steeped in Southern Gothic charm, you'll be compelled to get lost in the Heirs of Watson Island series." -- #1 New York Times Bestselling Author Jennifer L. Armentrout

"A fresh twist on the Southern Gothic — haunting, atmospheric, and absorbing.” -- Claudia Gray, New York Times bestselling author of A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU and the Evernight and Spellcaster series

"Compulsion is a stunningly magical debut with a delicious slow burn to be savored. I want to live in this story world!" -- Wendy Higgins, USA Today and NYT bestselling author of the Sweet Evil Trilogy from HarperTeen



b2ap3_thumbnail_Martina-Jacket-sm.jpgAbout the Author

Martina Boone was born in Prague and spoke several languages before learning English. She fell in love with words and never stopped delighting in them. She’s the founder of AdventuresInYAPublishing.com, a Writer’s Digest 101 Best Websites for Writers site, and YASeriesInsiders.com, a site devoted to encouraging literacy and all this YA Series.

From her home in Virginia, where she lives with her husband, children, and Auggie the wonder dog, she enjoys writing contemporary fantasy set in the kinds of magical places she’d love to visit. When she isn’t writing, she’s addicted to travel, horses, skiing, chocolate flavored tea, and anything with Nutella on it.

Check out her website.

Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, and Pinterest.







To enter, head over to Martina's website for the full details. Go unlock that prize vault, YABCers!


Compulsion Is Available Everywhere:

IndieBound | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository (free worldwide shipping)

Add to Goodreads

New Prizes in the Prize Vault (Winners will be posted in the prize vault shortly!)




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6. Evil Fairies Love Hair

EVIL FAIRIES LOVE HAIR Written by Mary G. Thompson Illustrations by Blake Henry ISBN-13/EAN: 9780544308909 ISBN-10: 0544308905 Published August 8, 2014 by Clarion Books Houghton Mifflin Harcourt


Written by Mary G. Thompson
Illustrations by Blake Henry

ISBN-13/EAN: 9780544308909
ISBN-10: 0544308905

Published August 8, 2014 by Clarion Books
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Check out Mary G. Thompson's new middle grade novel, Evil Fairies Love Hair! We have a quick Q&A with the author, links to other stops on the blog tour, and of course, a chance to win a copy of the book. Read on!

About the book

Eighth-grader Ali is growing one hundred fairies so she can get her wish. All she has to do is feed their ravenous appetite for . . . hair? She mustn't let them near her own hair, or break any of the other rules. They are called evil fairies for a reason! A realistic setting plus fairies plus plenty of humor add up to an accessible fantasy that will enchant tween readers.

Where to find it


Once Upon a Time

Barnes & Noble


Your local library

+ Add it to your Goodreads shelf 

Q&A with Mary G. Thompson

RNSL: I read a lot of fairy books, but this is the first I've heard of evil fairies eating hair! Where did you get the idea for such an outlandish bit of world-building?

MGT: I wish I had a good, rational story to give you. The idea really just popped into my head. If you want to be logical about it, hair is generally a very silly thing. Wigs are hilarious in almost any context. People care way too much about their hair, and people consider it gross once it’s fallen off somebody’s head, even though it’s not gross at all when flopping around people’s shoulders. In that way, hair is mysterious. There’s mythology about hair having magical power, like in the biblical story of Samson and Delilah. I wasn’t consciously thinking about all this when I came up with the idea that the fairies ate hair, but it might be somewhere in the background.

RNSL: If you were in 7th grade and were presented with the amazing (though perilous) opportunity to make a wish (in exchange for helping evil to spread); would you do it? and if yes, what would you wish for?

MGT: When I was in seventh grade, I’m not sure if I would have done it. I was kind of a mature, thoughtful seventh grader. I probably would have reported the fairies to the appropriate authority. Now, I would absolutely do it. I’ve previously said that I’d wish to be smarter, like Ali does in the book, but maybe I’d wish for the “improvement in health” choice. It would be nice to never get sick or tired and all that.

RNSL: While writing this book, how were you influenced (or not) by previously written fairy lore?

MGT: I tried to be influenced as little as possible. I called them “fairies” just because they were little magical creatures, and I thought people would immediately get the idea, but beyond the name, I was trying to be original.

RNSL: What is your preferred hairstyle? On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 1 being the least likelihood), how likely are you to be eaten by evil fairies due to this grooming choice?

MGT: I try to do as little as possible with my hair. Wash, dry, brush—that’s it. I do put my hair up a couple days a week if I’m too lazy to wash it, so on those days I’d be pretty safe, maybe 2. Otherwise, I’m afraid I’m normally about a 9!

RNSL: Have you always been a writer? When and how did the inspiration to start writing reach you?

MGT: I started writing when I was a little kid. I remember that my first “book” was written in a little purple blank notebook, and it was all about a planet full of like Amazon-ish warrior women. They came to earth somewhere near my house, and after that, I’m pretty sure I lost my train of thought and stopped writing. I had tons of partially written-in blank books! But I didn’t get serious about it until about eight years ago. All of a sudden I just couldn’t go on with my life without actually finishing something and trying to publish it. I guess it was building for all that time.

RNSL: What book are you in the middle of reading right now? If you're not currently reading a book, what book did you just finish?

MGT: I’m in the middle of One Came Home by Amy Timberlake. Loving it so far!

RNSL: What book have you read (again, written by someone else) do you wish you had written? (I'll tell you mine--it's The Time Traveler's Wife, written by Audrey Niffenegger.)

MGT: Feed by M.T. Anderson.

Download the free activity and Reader's Theatre kit here.

About the author

Mary G. Thompson was born and raised in Cottage Grove and Eugene, Oregon. She was a practicing attorney for more than seven years, including almost five years in the U.S. Navy, before she moved to New York City to write full time. This is her third novel. Visit her website at marygthompson.com.

Blog Tour Schedule

Mon, Aug 11 Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers

Tues, Aug 12 The Book Monsters

Wed, Aug 13 The Children's Book Review

Thurs, Aug 14 Cracking the Cover

Fri, Aug 15 Read Now, Sleep Later

Sat, Aug 16 Beauty and the Bookshelf

Mon Aug 18 Word Spelunking

Tues, Aug 19 Flashlight Reader

Wed, Aug 20 The Compulsive Reader

Thurs, Aug 21 The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia

Fri, Aug 22 Small Review

Mon, Aug 25 The Hiding Spot


US addresses only, ends 8/22/2014. Please use the Rafflecopter widget, and remember, if you're 13 years old or under, get a parent or guardian's permission first. Full contest rules here. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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7. SIMON'S CAT by Simon Tofield - interview and giveaway!

I can't tell you how tickled I am to have Simon Tofield on today, talking about his wildly successful "Simon's Cat." It began life as a YouTube viral phenomenon, and quickly grew into a beloved character ingrained in our lives. Because, who hasn't known a cat like Hugh, after all? He reminds me so much of my own cat, and I'll bet he reminds you of yours - or a cat you know. Let's get a peek behind the curtain of Simon's success...

Q. Simon, I was teaching at Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia this summer, so I asked some of our students to provide some of the questions along with my own... here's one of mine: I'm such a geek for good line quality and you have it in spades. Did you stumble into it, or are you a geek for line too?
I have several clean up artists that work in my animation team now and it is important to make sure that the 'life' of the line is still maintained in the animations, as this is one of the things that makes Simon's Cat so special.

Q. Some of the students wanted to know your cat's name! It's "Hugh," right? Is there anything you haven't shared about him yet?
Well I have four cats, Hugh is the cat that my film Cat Man Do is based on, not many people know that Hugh comes to see me every morning and tries to suck my ear, he does this because as a kitten he wasn't weened off his mother, and he thinks I have become her replacement! It can been cute sometimes, but often it is very painful!

Q. What percentage of the antics are real versus made up?
I get my inspiration from my four real life cats, I like to keep the majority of the animation purely observational as this is where most of the charm lies. However the made up elements are where some of the funniest gags lie eg the baseball bat in Cat Man Do.

Q. What software do you use to create your animations?
My animators and I have been using Adobe Flash as that is the software I originally learnt digital animation on, however we are now experimenting with using a TVPaint which is another 2D animation program.

Q. Was working in a book format a challenging difference for you?
I had never made a book before but I really enjoyed the process. Now I love making books as it allows me to include a lot more ideas and gags than I can in the short films.

Q. I've always thought drawing and coloring were two different skills. Did you find working in color, rather than in straight black and white, to be challenging?
Yes it was very different, I kept the cat white and coloured the background to make the cat stand out against the detailed background. Working with colour does allow me to include more detail in my work however it does have it's own set of challenges in comparison to Black and White, such as deciding on tonal perspective.

Q. SIMON'S CAT has become a major licensing success - congratulations! How do you maintain the integrity and original intent of your creation?
I go through all new product prototypes and proofs personally and carefully make sure that the integrity of the Simon's Cat brand and the quality of the product is maintained.

Q. Can you think of your proudest moment or more transformative moment in your journey with SIMON'S CAT?
Seeing my first book being published and hitting the shops was a very proud moment for me. It was always a dream of mine to create a book and I never thought it would come true!

Q. It seems you've created a character who will be around for a very long time. What hopes or ambitions do you have for SIMON'S CAT?
I would like to make a television series one day. Keeping the same short snappy format and experimenting by having some fun with developing other characters in the Simon's Cat universe.

We all here at Hollins wish you much continued success!!!

This is a great video from 2009 in which Simon talks about the invention of Simon's Cat.

And another from 2010 when the licensing really started taking off:


Simon is also celebrating the release of yet another new book - SIMON'S CAT IN KITTEN CHAOS. Here's a little about it...

     Half the size, double the trouble. Simon’s cat has a new little friend who may be even more accident prone.
      With over 200 million hits on YouTube, Simon’s Cat is a genuine word-of-mouth phenomenon. Fans from all over the world have fallen for this adorable but anarchic feline who will do just about anything to be fed. Simon Tofield’s beautiful drawings and warm humor come alive on the page in this irresistible humor book—an outgrowth of the enormously popular short films featured on YouTube.
      Like all great cartoon creations, from Peanuts to Asterix, from Garfield to Tintin, Simon’s Cat has continued to evolve by introducing new characters and new story lines. After the runaway success of the first two books (Simon’s Cat and Simon’s Cat: Beyond the Fence), Simon welcomes a cuddly new addition to the family in the form of Simon’s Kitten, who is sure to delight Simon’s millions of fans.
Akashic Books has generously offered, not just a free, signed copy of SIMON'S CAT VS. THE WORLD, but also a signed copy of SIMON'S CAT IN KITTEN CHAOS - Wowsa!! Must live in the US to win - enter below.

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8. Compulsion Trailer Reveal Giveaways

Today we're really excited to be helping to introduce the new book trailer for COMPULSION by Martina Boone.  Make sure you check out the giveaway that Martina has going on, and grab the Key Code below! Giveaway Time! Simon Pulse and Martina Boone have put together an amazing prize package.  “A star-crossed romance, lush gothic plantations, and an island full of intrigue–COMPULSION

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9. Evil Fairies Love Hair, by Mary G. Thompson | Book Giveaway

Enter to win a copy of Evil Fairies Love Hair, by Mary G. Thompson. Giveaway begins August 13, 2014, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends September 12, 2014, at 11:59 P.M. PST.

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10. YA Authors as YAs: The AdriAnne Strickland Edition + Giveaway (US only)


Welcome to the latest YA Authors as YAs interview!

Our goal? To prove that your favorite authors — no matter how AWESOME and COOL you think they are — were once awkward, weird, and they geeked out about fandoms and guilty-pleasure music JUST LIKE YOU when they were teens. (Most of them still do, you know, and that’s totally COOL, because being yourself is the ultimate in EPIC COOLNESS.)

Don’t believe me? 

Maybe AdriAnne Strickland, author of WORDLESS, newly released from Flux on August 8th, 2014, can convince you with tales from her teen years and a giveaway of WORDLESS!



One US winner will receive a finished copy of the book (once it is available). 

The winner will be notified by email within 30 days after the giveaway is over.



>> Click here to read my interview with AdriAnne and enter to win the giveaway! <<






Publisher: Flux (August 8, 2014)
ISBN-10: 0738739669
ISBN-13: 978-0738739663


"The Gods made their Words into flesh, giving privileged individuals the powers of creation ..."

In Eden City, a member of the illiterate wordless class would never dream of meeting the all-powerful Words ... much less of running away with one. So when a gorgeous girl literally falls into his lap during a routine trash run, seventeen-year-old Tavin Barnes isn't sure if it's the luckiest or worst day of his life. That girl is Khaya, the Word of Life, who can heal a wound or command an ivy bush to devour a city block with ease. And yet she needs Tavin's help.

By aiding Khaya's escape from the seemingly idyllic confines of Eden City, Tavin unwittingly throws himself into the heart of a conflict that is threatening to tear the world apart. Eden City's elite will stop at nothing to protect the shocking secret Khaya hides, and they enlist the other Words, each with their own frightening powers, to bring her back.



AdriAnne Strickland was a bibliophile who wanted to be an author before she knew what either of those words meant. She shares a home base in Alaska with her husband, but has spent two cumulative years living abroad in Africa, Asia, and Europe. While writing occupies most of her time, she commercial fishes every summer in Bristol Bay, because she can't seem to stop. Her debut YA sci-fi/fantasy, WORDLESS, is coming 2014 from Flux Books.


Connect with ADRIANNE:



Stay tuned for our next YA Authors as YAs, coming soon!


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11. Coloring Page Tuesday - Under a Tree

     I'm not sure why the newsletter went out Monday, but any rate... What is your favorite spot to read? I used to love the woods, or a hanging swing. School has already started in some places and will start soon in others. Grab those delicious moments reading in your favorite spot while you still can!
     Can you believe that school is starting in some places this week? More reading-themed images on the way soon!
     CLICK HERE for more coloring pages! And be sure to share your creations in my gallery so I can put them in my upcoming newsletters! (Cards, kids art, and crafts are welcome!)
     Sign up to receive alerts when a new coloring page is posted each week and... Please check out my books! Especially...

my debut novel, A BIRD ON WATER STREET, coming out next week! Click the cover to learn more!
     When the birds return to Water Street, will anyone be left to hear them sing? A miner's strike allows green and growing things to return to the Red Hills, but that same strike may force residents to seek new homes and livelihoods elsewhere. Follow the story of Jack Hicks as he struggles to hold onto everything he loves most.
**A SIBA OKRA Pick!**
**A GOLD Mom's Choice Award Winner!**
**The 2014 National Book Festival Featured Title for Georgia!**

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12. Giveaway: SERVANTS OF THE STORM by Delilah S Dawson

SERVANTS OF THE STORMby Delilah S. DawsonHardcover: 384 pagesPublisher: Simon Pulse (August 5, 2014)Language: EnglishGoodreads | Amazon Dovey learns that demons lurk in places other than the dark corners of her mind in this southern gothic fantasy from the author of the Blud series. A year ago, Hurricane Josephine swept through Savannah, Georgia, leaving behind nothing but death and

0 Comments on Giveaway: SERVANTS OF THE STORM by Delilah S Dawson as of 8/11/2014 12:54:00 AM
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13. THREE BIRD SUMMER by Sara St. Antoine - Guest Post and Giveaway!

The seeds for THREE BIRD SUMMER were sown many years ago when my grandmother interrupted my television-watching to ask me what she should do about the little girl in her bedroom.
      I looked at her, stunned. I was the only little girl in the house. I accompanied her back to her room, where she pointed to a childhood photograph of my aunt, sitting framed on her dresser. “There she is,” she told me.
      My relief at not finding a strange girl in my house was quickly replaced by the realization that my grandmother had been talking to a photograph! From then on, her moments of clarity alternated with regular delusions—like telling the lady in her mirror that her bedroom was much nicer than her own. Years later, I drew upon these memories to write a short story about a boy whose confused grandmother leaves him love notes. This being a college fiction class, my story was a little raw and edgy. If you thought your grandmother was a bit of a dried-up prune, would it be intriguing or just disgusting to discover that she could still write an amorous message? If she complimented you on your biceps, would that be anything but very creepy?
      Over the next couple of decades, I kept thinking about that college short story. There was something there I wanted to get back to—about coming of age and waking up to the many layers of other people, not to mention yourself.
      And so began THREE BIRD SUMMER, the story of a 12-year-old boy named Adam whose bewilderment with the opposite sex is forced into sharp relief by a summer spent at a lakeside cabin with just his mother, addled grandmother, and boisterous new neighbor, Alice.
      Wildlife, I knew, would be an important part of my story, too, so I set it at the natural place I know best—the woods and lake in northern Minnesota where my husband’s family has for generations spent their summers, and where I’ve been lucky enough to enjoy long, sweet stretches of time outdoors.
     Like a lot of fiction writers, I created my characters with some sense of who they were and where they were going, but they then surprised me in countless ways. It turns out, for example, that if you take your grandmother—a petite citified Irishwoman—and set her down in northern Minnesota, she gets more physically robust and a little bit obsessed with birdwatching. You put an introverted boy next to an extroverted girl and just add water, and the next thing you know you they’re laughing and making up aquatic games you never played yourself.
      THREE BIRD SUMMER has a bit of a mystery in it that I planned from the outset. I knew how the mystery would start and I knew how it would be solved. But when I finished writing, I realized it had turned into something more: a metaphor for that increased awareness that I associate with growing into a more attuned and empathetic human being. It made me realize that a story is a bit like a baby—you may be responsible for bringing it into the world, but soon it’s going to assert itself in all sorts of unexpected, confusing, and occasionally magical ways.
      When THREE BIRD SUMMER appeared on the shelves of my local bookstore two months ago, I thought I’d reached the high point in any author’s career: a beautiful book in print. (Thank you, Candlewick!) But it turns out that a published book, too, takes on a life of its own. It speaks to readers in ways you didn’t anticipate. It opens up fresh conversations with friends and family members and gives you new insights into who they are. Apparently it gives them new insights into you, too (this part is a little bit scary). But the best part has been finding out that individuals—kids, teens, parents, and even grandparents—have read my book and found something they love: feisty Grandma, ebullient Alice, the animal “keepers of the lake” as one reader put it, or the reminder of a time when our days moved slowly enough to pay attention to ripples in the water or the birds perched overhead. Maybe a seasoned author gets used to that kind of feedback, but for me, it’s still a wonder.

Sara St. Antoine writes from her home in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she lives with her husband, two daughters, and cat, Tapioca. In addition to writing fiction, she has edited the Stories from Where We Live series (Milkweed Editions)--anthologies of regional literature for young people. Sara's fave writing spot is at her local bookstore, Porter Square Books.

Candlewick has kindly agreed to give away one free copy of THREE BIRD SUMMER to one of my lucky commenters. Must live in the US or Canada to win - enter below.

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14. Friday Feature: Sassy Summer Book Party

I'm one of the 61 authors participating in the Sassy Summer Book Party. There are 10 prize packs up for grabs with books, SWAG, and gift cards! You don't want to miss this.

Into the Fire is one of the books in prize pack #3, which is a YA prize pack. If you want to try to win a copy along with 7 other books and a gift card, enter here.

That's not all though. You can enter all 10 giveaways and increase your chances of winning. Just click on the links below to enter. (Some books are ebook, while others are print. Click on the giveaway to find out the format.)

Prize Pack #1 YA
Malicious by Alissa T. Hunter
This Is Sara by Ally Malinenko
My Sister's Reaper by Dorothy Dreyer
My Tethered Soul by Dorothy Dreyer
Darkness Watching by Emma Adams
Lore (YA fantasy anthology)
Eternal Shadows by Kate Martin
Forget Me Not by Stacey Nash
$10 Amazon Gift Card

Prize Pack #2
This Is Sara by Ally Malinenko
Of Breakable Things by Lyden Rolland (includes SWAG)
Resisting Fate and Seizing Fate by Heather Van Fleet
Elixir Bound by Katie Carroll
Forget Me Not by Stacey Nash
Crown of Ice by Vicki Weavil (includes SWAG)
$10 Amazon Gift Card

Prize Pack #3 YA
This Is Sara by Ally Malinenko
Ex-Factor by Elisa Dane
Call Me Grim by Elizabeth Holloway
Into the Fire by Ashelyn Drake (That's me!!!)
Quest of the Hart by Mary Waibel
Surrender the Sky by Meradeth Houston
Fatal by T.A. Brock
A Whispered Darkness by Vanessa Barger
$10 Amazon Gift Card

Prize Pack #4 YA
This Is Sara by Ally Malinenko
Daughter of Chaos by Jen McConnel
The Secret Year by Jennifer Hubbard
The Mystery Prince by Mary Waibel
Don't Fall by Rachel Schieffelbein
Snark and Circumstance by Stephanie Wardrop
Sean Griswold's Head by Lindsey Leavitt
The Funeral Singer by Linda Budzinski
$10 Amazon Gift Card

Prize Park #5 NA
Wonderfully Wicked by C.J. Burright
Clipped Wings and Inked Armor by Helena Hunting
Because the Night by Kristen Strassel
Fire of Stars and Dragons by Melissa Petreshock
Jace by M.J. Fields
Bloodlust by Nicole Zoltack
Double Life by S. Usher Evans
9th Life by Wendy Beck
$10 Amazon Gift Card

Prize Pack #6 NA
Psych Major Syndrome by Alicia Thompson
This Is Sara by Ally Malinenko
$5 Starbucks Gift Card
In the Desert by Dierdre Riordan Hall (includes SWAG)
Up For Grabs by Heather Young Nichols (includes $5 Amazon GC)
Fire of Stars and Dragons by Melissa Petreshock
Jace by M.J. Fields
Over the Ocean by Georgia St. Mane
The Darkness of Light by Tammy Farrell
$10 Amazon Gift Card

Goodbye to You by A.J. Matthews
Adorned by Georgeann Swiger
Up For Grabs by Heather Young Nichols
Clipped Wings and Inked Armor by Helena Hunting
Fire of Stars and Dragons by Melissa Petreshock
Jace by M.J. Fields
Crossing the Line by Nicola Marsh
Black Hellebore by Nicola Marsh
$10 Amazon Gift Card

Prize Packs 8-10 are Adult/Erotica, so I won't list them here since this blog doesn't cover adult or erotica. You can access the page for those giveaways here if you are interested.

Good luck to all who enter!

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15. LATELY LILY by Micah Player - Interview and Giveaway!

If you read my blog, you probably know I love to travel (although I don’t get to do it as much as I’d like). Hubbie and I did a Safari in Africa for our honeymoon, and I was an exchange student in Paris during college. So, when LATELY LILY came across my desk - I flipped! Lily is a jet-setting young girl excited to see the world and make it her marble. The endpapers are suitcases - gotta love it. The author/illustrator, Micah Player stopped by to talk about it…

Q. Micah! I adore LATELY LILY! How did the idea come to you?
I had been working on this series of little international characters for my Around the World Puzzle and would often think to myself that it would be rad if there was one kid that knew all these other kids. Some immensely connected, well traveled little person that happened to have friends all over the world at like ten.
      The thought stuck with me and later when my good friend (apparel designer and Lately Lily co-founder) Erin Nichols contacted me about collaborating on a line of teeshirts for little girls with an international element, I immediately thought again of that imaginary cosmopolitan kid. She would serve to connect all the different places we might use as inspiration for our apparel seasons. A Traveling Girl! Erin and I went around with a bunch of different names, but one day I spotted a “Lily’s Laundry” sign while driving home from a brainstorming session. We really wanted the name to have a “breaking news” sort of feel and sound a little old timey. So “Lately Lily” popped in my head and there she was!
      Lily’s unique situation is that her Mom and Dad are a writer and photographer for “The International Exposition” (in Lily’s universe it is nothing short of the “World’s Greatest Magazine”) traveling the globe on assignment. She lives out of a meticulously packed Sunny Yellow Suitcase and has pen pals and friends all over the globe. I love the idea that she writes letters and carries a notebook. Her very best friend and travel companion is a stuffed corduroy zebra named Zeborah, which she purchased early on in her travels at a thrift store in London. So, we’ve produced five Lately Lily apparel releases so far, each one is a short story “pulled from Lily’s Notebook” and told across a line of teeshirts.

Q. I’ll be using LATELY LILY in my Design class at Hollins University to talk about shape and color in book design. What was your approach to all that?
Hmm... What a great question! Well, Lately Lily has a very specific palette because we make product and it has to be consistent. Having already done that work for the brand as a whole, I had a good starting point, color-wise. Lily has very particular blues and yellows and reds that are all pantone colors. If you look at Lately Lily’s teeshirt art, it’s super linear with alot of brushy lines in fluid thicks and thins. This works great for apparel because its easy to reproduce and doesn’t rely on a lot of color to be expressive. Lily’s face, which also acts as a logo for our company, is harder edged with more color. The art for the book is a blend of the two. Strong full color shapes with linear details and ink washes finishing the illustrations. There is almost no black at all in the book, except Lily’s eyes and Zeborah’s coloration.

Q. What is your method?
I always start with a pencil drawing. Things change after that point depending on the final destination of the art. If its going to be one color or linear, I’ll do the pencil drawing on watercolor paper and immediately jump to ink and brush, erasing the pencil lines underneath when its dry. I use Speedball ink and Grumbacher Golden Edge brushes. For monochromatic art prints and whatnot, I use watered down ink to shade the finished piece and then I scan it in and do final cleanup.
      If the finished destination is screen printing for our tees, I will usually stick to simple line work and scan that in, leaving the shading for a separate layer on the light table so I can scan it in separate. That way I can adjust the dot density and stuff in a bitmap pattern to best preserve the washiness of the shading in the final print.

      For full color art, I scan in my pencil sketch and then open it in Illustrator. I make all my major shapes there, sort of like an underpainting. I leave out any details that are linear, like nose, mouth, freckles, eye lashes, fingers, zippers, hair, etc. Then, I print out the finished layout of flat colors and put it on a light table where I paint all those final details in ink on watercolor paper. Two layers, one for the fine details and another for the shading and washes. I scan that detail work and compile the underpainting and ink work in photoshop! Its sort of a long process on paper, but I prefer scanning details to working on a stylus. I feel like the paper and the inky water (with it’s little bits and grit) add something that would get lost if I did all the work in a digital medium. The finished art has a nice “is it digital or not?” feel to it, with super-saturated color that I like alot.

Q. Your work has such a consistent look to it (I know you’ve done work for Target). What is the philosophy behind what you do?
Thank you! A couple thoughts... My philosophy is that anything that is made for kids should be thoughtful. Working on art, literature or product for children is such a privilege. Its an opportunity to connect with some of the most complete parts of your head. By the time you are in your thirties or so, the questions that came up for you as a kid are things you’ve been mulling over on some level for a very long time. Like, I only have a few years of perspective on what it is to live as a thirty something person, but I have more than thirty years experience being a kid. So, the fact that so much of what is made for kids is throwaway, thoughtless garbage is inexcusable.
      Art-wise, as I get older, I find that the amount of traditional media I use rises in relation to the amount of digital work, to where now almost all of the actual art making is on paper, aside from color. I’m just less and less impressed with digital art tools, which is weird because of course they are getting better not worse. Still, why do anything on a computer that can, objectively, be done better without a computer? Like, a fake ink brush in Photoshop or Corel Draw isn’t better than a real brush! The one thing that holds me back from just ditching all digital and handling my color completely with watercolors or acrylics is that handling color as a core digital element is just really great for consistency and reproduction. The graphic designer in me holds on to that. And, I’m not gonna lie, I do love the undo button!

Q. There is an entire website of fun stuff dedicated to LATELY LILY at http://latelylily.com. Did that come before or after the book? Was it a planned product line from the start?
Because so much of what is sold for kids follows the pattern of “Oh! This is a popular character in a movie or a cartoon or a book, lets expand it into a bunch of stuff after the fact”, sometimes people get confused about a project like Lately Lily. From the first tee line we produced three years ago, people were like “This is so adorable, is this a book?” No, its a story told across teeshirts. Now that we’ve released a book I’ve seen people be like “This is so adorable, is it based on a cartoon?” There is no distinction for me. A Lately Lily teeshirt is as much a piece of literature to me as the book and of course Lily would make an amazing cartoon. The process is the same, the attention is the same. The amount of time I have spent with her as a character has been so awesome. You really sense that there is so much more to her than whatever you’re seeing at that moment. Erin and I are ridiculously ambitious in that way, we put easter eggs in everything and then make up what they reference later.

Q. What was your path to publication/journey with LATELY LILY and how’s it going?
From the moment we started showing the early designs for Lily, people just took for granted that she was going to be in a book. Then, I sent it to a couple friends at Chronicle Books. That publisher is incredible. It is staffed, top to bottom, with people that absolutely adore books. Lily is the result of wishing everything made for kids could be as smart as great kids books, so it really appealed to my friends Naomi Kirsten and Amy Achaibou who just grabbed Lily and made her a part of their life. Everyone over there just embraced Lately Lily. Chronicle Books is very friendly territory for the Traveling Girl. She does that! Lily makes friends! Its been the same everywhere we take her. There is always someone awesome that falls in love with her and makes an opportunity happen.

Q. Will we see Lily again in future adventures?
Lily is always having new adventures! There is always a new story to read in one way or another. One way is of course in our tee shirt line as well as a pretty constant stream of Lily art on Instagramand Facebook. In addition to the picture book, Travel Flash Cards, and Sunny Yellow Suitcase available now, there are two new Chronicle Books Lately Lily projects coming out next year that I’m extremely excited about. So much awesome stuff!

Q. How have you been celebrating the release of LATELY LILY and what are you cooking up next?
Its been amazing seeing people react to the book, which turned out absolutely beautiful. We have a line of Lately Lily bedding that just came out through the Land of Nod, and have also just finished perfecting the first Lily plush doll, coming out this Holiday season!

Thanks so much for stopping by!
Thank YOU!! Such rad questions.

If you have trouble viewing the embedded video - CLICK HERE.

Chronicle Books is generously giving a free copy of LATELY LILY to one of my lucky followers. Must live in the US/Canada to win - enter below.

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16. You Are Not Small, by Anna Kang | Book Giveaway

Enter to win a copy of You Are Not Small, story by Anna Kang and illustrations by Christopher Weyant. Giveaway begins August 6, 2014, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends September 5, 2014, at 11:59 P.M. PST.

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17. Coloring Page Tuesday - Paper Bird!

     Is there somebody who delivers the paper to your house, or is that an idea that doesn't really exist anymore? I still love wool, tweed caps!
     Can you believe that school is starting in some places this week? More reading-themed images on the way soon!
     CLICK HERE for more coloring pages! And be sure to share your creations in my gallery so I can put them in my upcoming newsletters! (Cards, kids art, and crafts are welcome!)
     Sign up to receive alerts when a new coloring page is posted each week and... Please check out my books! Especially...

my debut novel, A BIRD ON WATER STREET, coming out next week! Click the cover to learn more!
     When the birds return to Water Street, will anyone be left to hear them sing? A miner's strike allows green and growing things to return to the Red Hills, but that same strike may force residents to seek new homes and livelihoods elsewhere. Follow the story of Jack Hicks as he struggles to hold onto everything he loves most.
**A SIBA OKRA Pick!**
**A GOLD Mom's Choice Award Winner!**
**The 2014 National Book Festival Featured Title for Georgia!**

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18. Seize the Tuesday!! Post by Adi Alsaid, Author of LET'S GET LOST {+Giveaway}

Adi Alsaid, author of the new contemporary YA novel Let’s Get Lost, is touring the web with ‘’Seize the Tuesday” posts to celebrate the publication of his new novel! Each piece focuses on a different, fun example of how Adi was able to "Seize the Tuesday" in his own life and how that can inspire others to make a change in their lives too! Seize the Tuesday not only gives readers a glimpse

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19. Giveaway: Storm Siren by Mary Weber (US Only)

Book’s Title: Storm Siren

Author’s Name: Mary Weber

Book’s Release Date: August 19, 2014

About the Book

In a world at war, a slave girl's lethal curse could become one kingdom's weapon of salvation. If the curse - and the girl - can be controlled.

As a slave in the war-weary kingdom of Faelen, seventeen-year-old Nym isn't merely devoid of rights, her Elemental kind are only born male and always killed at birth - meaning, she shouldn't even exist.

Standing on the auction block beneath smoke-drenched mountains, Nym faces her fifteenth sell. But when her hood is removed and her storm-summoning killing curse revealed, Nym is snatched up by a court advisor and given a choice: be trained as the weapon Faelen needs to win the war, or be killed.

Choosing the former, Nym is unleashed into a world of politics, bizarre parties, and rumors of an evil more sinister than she's being prepared to fight . . . not to mention the handsome trainer whose dark secrets lie behind a mysterious ability to calm every lightning strike she summons.

But what if she doesn't want to be the weapon they've all been waiting for?

Check out the book on Goodreads.


About the Author

Mary Weber is a ridiculously uncoordinated girl plotting to take over make-believe worlds through books, handstands, and imaginary throwing knives.                                                                                   

In her spare time, she feeds unicorns, sings 80’s hairband songs to her three muggle children, and ogles her husband who looks strikingly like Wolverine. They live in California, which is perfect for stalking L.A. bands, Joss Whedon, and the ocean.  

Check out Mary's website.

Follow Mary on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


Giveaway Details


One winner will win a prize pack consisting of a limited edition necklace and copy of Storm Siren. US only.

Entering is simple, just fill out the entry form below. Winners will be announced on this site and in our monthly newsletter (sign up now!) within 30 days after the giveaway ends.

During each giveaway, we ask entrants a question pertaining to the book. Here is the question they'll be answering in the comments below for extra entries:

Would you want to have a super ability like Nym? What would be yours?


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20. Giveaway: Let's Get Lost by Ali Alsaid (US & Canada Only)

Book’s Title: Let’s Get Lost

Author’s Name: Adi Alsaid
Book’s Release Date: July 29, 2014


About the Book

Five strangers. Countless adventures. One epic way to get lost. Four teens across the country have only one thing in common: a girl named LEILA. She crashes into their lives in her absurdly red car at the moment they need someone the most.

There's HUDSON, a small-town mechanic who is willing to throw away his dreams for true love. And BREE, a runaway who seizes every Tuesday—and a few stolen goods along the way. ELLIOT believes in happy endings…until his own life goes off-script. And SONIA worries that when she lost her boyfriend, she also lost the ability to love.

Hudson, Bree, Elliot and Sonia find a friend in Leila. And when Leila leaves them, their lives are forever changed. But it is during Leila's own 4,268-mile journey that she discovers the most important truth— sometimes, what you need most is right where you started. And maybe the only way to find what you're looking for is to get lost along the way.

Check out the book on Goodreads.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Adi_Alsaid_photo.jpgAbout the Author

Adi Alsaid is the author of Let’s Get Lost, coming from Harlequin Teen and Alloy Entertainment in August 2014. He was born and raised in Mexico City. He attended college at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. While in class, he mostly read fiction and continuously failed to fill out crossword puzzles, so it’s no surprise that after graduating, he packed up his car and escaped to the California coastline to become a writer.

Adi is now back in his hometown, Mexico City, where he writes, coaches high school and elementary basketball, and has perfected the art of making every dish he eats or cooks as spicy as possible. In addition to Mexico, he’s lived in Tel Aviv, Las Vegas and Monterey, California. A tingly feeling in his feet tells him more places will eventually be added to the list.

Check out Ali's blog.

Follow Ali on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram.

Giveaway Details

Two winners will each receive a signed copy of the book. US & Canada only.

Entering is simple, just fill out the entry form below. Winners will be announced on this site and in our monthly newsletter (sign up now!) within 30 days after the giveaway ends.

During each giveaway, we ask entrants a question pertaining to the book. Here is the question they'll be answering in the comments below for extra entries:

Have you ever been on a road trip? Share your experience below!


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21. Giveaway: The Fog of Forgetting by G.A. Morgan (US Only)

Book’s Title: The Fog of Forgetting

Author’s Name: G.A. Morgan

Book’s Release Date: July 17, 2014


About the Book

Move over, Narnia. The journey to Ayda has begun.

The journey to Ayda begins when five children sneak out for a quick boat ride on a summer day. Engulfed in a curtain of dense, powerful fog, they are transported from the rocky Maine coast to the mysterious island of Ayda.
Rescued by Seaborne, a machete-toting wayfarer of few words, the children suddenly find themselves at the center of a centuries-old battle between Dankar, the ruler of Exor, and three siblings that rule the other realms of Ayda.
At stake are the four stones of power and the elusive Fifth Stone that connects them all.
When 9-year-old Frankie is kidnapped by Dankar, her older sister Evelyn and the three Thompson brothers must learn to harness the powers of the daylights, ancient forces of earth, fire, water, and air, in order to navigate their way through the realms of Ayda, save her, and find a way home.

Find the book on Goodreads.


b2ap3_thumbnail_Cosby_GAmorgan-highres-6-of-17.jpgAbout the Author

Genevieve (G.A.) Morgan is a writer and editor living in Portland. Maine. She was born in Manhattan and attended the Spence School, a private school on the Upper East Side, where she was her senior class’s valedictorian. She graduated with a BA in English from Bowdoin College, Magna Cum Laude, and won the acting chair award for her class.

After moving to California to pursue a career as an actor, she found more steady work as a copy editor at SF Magazine. She moved away from acting to become the managing editor at Chronicle Books in San Francisco, where among other things, she helped to launch their award-winning Giftworks division. After five years learning the trade, she left to co-found a book-packaging company that produced a variety of work, including Saints: A Visual Almanac of the Virtuous, Pure, Praiseworthy and Good and its (more dastardly) follow-up: The Devil.

She has written books for Smith & Hawken, Williams-Sonoma, Starbucks, The Nature Company, Harper Collins, Borders Books, and Hay House publishers, and was the wellness editor for Maine magazine. Her work on health topics has appeared in The Bangor Daily News, as well as Body and Soul and Insight magazines. She co-created, produced and was the weekly co-host of “The Dr. Lisa Radio Hour,” a Maine Media Company production, during its inaugural year. As a volunteer, she worked for many years with kids and teens as the president of the board of The Telling Room. In addition to Undecided: Navigating Life and Learning after High School (Zest Publications; April 2014), she is the author of a YA fantasy-adventure trilogy called The Five Stones. The first volume, The Fog of Forgetting (Islandport Press), will be released in July 2014, followed by Chantarelle, releasing July 2015, and Kinfolk, releasing  July 2016.

Morgan is a member of the Author’s Guild, the Maine Writer’s and Publisher’s Association (MWPA), and the advisory board for The Telling Room. She chairs the advisory board of the Thompson Family Foundation and was the recipient of a Hewn Oaks Artistic Residency Fellowship in 2013. In a happy twist of fate, after Islandport Press acquired The Fog of Forgetting, they acquired Genevieve for the position of senior editor for adult trade and gift divisions there!

She is also the host for a new weekly TV segment on writers and artists for Your Magazine, an entertainment digest broadcast by Time Warner Cable, watched by over 350,000 households in New England.

When she is not writing or reading, Genevieve does a lot of yoga, walks her dog in the countryside, and practices bass guitar with her neighbor (someday they will have a band). Though she has not officially acted in years, she enjoys reading in different character’s voices and pretending to speak obscure foreign languages to her dog. She lives with her husband and two teenagers in Portland, Maine.

Check out her website.


Giveaway Details


One grand prize winner will win a full set of one-of-a-kind stone necklaces from The Fog of Forgetting collection. They will also receive a signed copy of the book. US only.

Entering is simple, just fill out the entry form below. Winners will be announced on this site and in our monthly newsletter (sign up now!) within 30 days after the giveaway ends.

During each giveaway, we ask entrants a question pertaining to the book. Here is the question they'll be answering in the comments below for extra entries:

What war is going on at the start of The Fog of Forgetting? Find out the answer here by reading an excerpt on YABC!


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22. Giveaway: Twyning by Terence Blacker (US & Canada Only)


Author’s Name: Terence Blacker

Book’s Release Date: 9/9/14



About the Book

In a harsh and dangerous world, a rat and a boy must each choose their way as their fates become inextricably linked.

Efren is a young rat, unnoticed and timid among the kingdom of rats living in the London sewers. When the king dies, leaving the kingdom in upheaval, only Efren dares to journey into the human world, where he discovers a human doctor’s plan to destroy London’s entire rat population. Meanwhile, Peter, otherwise known as Dogboy, does odd jobs for both the scheming doctor and the town ratcatcher. But his gift for understanding animals — even rats — forces him to decide where his allegiances truly lie. Dogboy and Efren, along with the waifish girl Caz and her pet rat, Malaika, set out to test the strengths of friendship and loyalty against the gut-wrenching cruelties of the world.

Find the book on Goodreads.


b2ap3_thumbnail_photo_20140801-185615_1.jpgAbout the Author

Terence Blacker is the author of numerous books for children and adults and is a columnist for the Independent. This is his first book with Candlewick Press. He lives in the English countryside in a house that he converted from a goose hatchery.

Follow Candlewick Press on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Tumblr.



Giveaway Details

FIVE winners will each receive a hardcover copy of the book.

Entering is simple, just fill out the entry form below. Winners will be announced on this site and in our monthly newsletter (sign up now!) within 30 days after the giveaway ends.

During each giveaway, we ask entrants a question pertaining to the book. Here is the question they'll be answering in the comments below for extra entries:

As a child Terence Blacker wanted to grow up to do what profession? 



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23. Giveaway: Monstrous Affections - An Anthology of Beastly Tales by Kelly Link & Gavin J. Grant (US & Canada Only)

Monstrous Affections: An Anthology of Beastly Tales

Author’s Name: Kelly Link & Gavin J. Grant (editors)
Book’s Release Date: 9/9/14


About the Book

Fifteen top voices in speculative fiction explore the intersection of fear and love in a haunting, at times hilarious, darkly imaginative volume.

Predatory kraken that sing with — and for — their kin; band members and betrayed friends who happen to be demonic; harpies as likely to attract as repel. Welcome to a world where humans live side by side with monsters, from vampires both nostalgic and bumbling to an eight-legged alien who makes tea. Here you’ll find mercurial forms that burrow into warm fat, spectral boy toys, a Maori force of nature, a landform that claims lives, and an architect of hell on earth. Through these and a few monsters that defy categorization, some of today’s top young-adult authors explore ambition and sacrifice, loneliness and rage, love requited and avenged, and the boundless potential for connection, even across extreme borders.

Check out the book on Goodreads.

b2ap3_thumbnail_k.jpgAbout the Authors

Kelly Link and Gavin J. Grant started a zine, founded an independent publishing house, own two letterpresses, and edited the fantasy half of The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror for five years. Kelly Link is the author of three acclaimed short story collections, and her award-winning stories have appeared in many anthologies. Gavin J. Grant has published numerous articles and short stories. They live in Northampton, Massachusetts, with their daughter, Ursula.

Follow Candlewick Press on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Tumblr.




Giveaway Details

FIVE winners will each receive a hardcover copy of the book. US & Canada only.

Entering is simple, just fill out the entry form below. Winners will be announced on this site and in our monthly newsletter (sign up now!) within 30 days after the giveaway ends.

During each giveaway, we ask entrants a question pertaining to the book. Here is the question they'll be answering in the comments below for extra entries:

Authors Kelly Link and Gavin J. Grant edited another similar collection of YA fantasy short stories. What was the title? 


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24. HURRICANE BOY by Laura Roach Dragon - Guest Post and Giveaway!

Twelve-year-old Hollis Williams endures Hurricane Katrina, then has to help piece his family back together in a drowned city.

Hurricane Boy by Laura Roach Dragon
Inspiration and Path to Publication

      Living in the New Orleans area, I’ve experienced many hurricanes in my life. My first, in fact, was Hurricane Betsy in 1965. My parents, new to the hurricane South, did not evacuate prior to the storm. They’d been advised by neighbors not to. There hadn’t been a particularly bad storm in New Orleans for 38 years. In the middle of the storm, my parents and many of our neighbors, wound up evacuating due to tornadoes in the area. I was 9. I remember being in parking lot traffic the whole way to the shelter and the wind shaking the poles, bringing power lines down around us. When we returned home, we found that a tornado had hit the neighborhood, picking up a neighbor’s roof and depositing it into another neighbor’s back yard several blocks down. Our house had minimal damage but the experience made hurricanes bogeymen I would nervous about for the following years of my life.
      So 40 years later Katrina hit. Those of you reading this who live here will understand the shock and grief at the devastation of the entire greater New Orleans area. I evacuated with my work. We left with the certainty we would be back in three to five days at the most. Like always. We took little with us. It was three weeks before we returned and we considered ourselves lucky to be able to come back so soon.
      Stories of the storm were universally horrifying and sad. Almost 2000 people were verified as casualties, the property damage was unbelievable and a large chunk of the population was stranded far from home for several years. And I thought three weeks was devastating. Anyway, it’s difficult to find anything other than tragedy and trauma in all that. But I’m a psychotherapist and that’s always something I want to do.
      Among the stories was one about 5000 children along the gulf coast, being separated from their families. This was due to the suddenness of Katrina’s arrival and the ferocity of its assault on the area. An organized rescue would take days. So rag-tag groups of people swept in to help, some of whom were victims of the storm themselves. In the resulting melee of rescue attempts by stressed and devastated people, children were separated from their parents and sent, well, everywhere.
      This was the story I chose. My work with children also made it closer to my heart. I created a family who was separated by the storm.
      Pelican, our local, very respected publisher, was my first choice. I sent to them. They kept the story for a year and then turned me down. I didn’t have any idea why so I poured over the story, rewrote and got my courage back up and sent out again. And again. And so forth. I found in my efforts four kinds of rejections. 1) The Nothing Response. You don’t hear nuttin’. Sometimes they warn you that this is their style on their website. Don’t call us child we’ll call you. I got several like this. 2) The Form Letter. Thank you for thinking of us. It doesn’t fit our list. I got a couple of these. 3) The Personal Comment on the Form Letter. Not for our list but I liked it. Friends of mine have gotten this. 4) A letter that is entirely personal with some insight as to what you’re doing wrong. I got this from Adams Literary and it made all the difference.
      All along I’d been rewriting. I removed characters, tightened the writing, killed whole sections that I feared were irrelevant to the story. As I learned, I revised and saved. I have 60 rewrites on my computer over 6 years. After I got Adams comments, I made another set of changes, this time targeted and prepared to send it out again.
      In the meantime, a friend Mary Fauchaux, a woman I met through one of my critique groups, attended a writers conference where a representative of Pelican was presenting. Upon being told her story didn’t fit their list, she pitched mine. The woman, Kathleen Nettleton said she remembered the story. When Mary told me that, I emailed a request to re-submit saying I had made several changes.
      Ms. Nettleton agreed.
      They kept it a year.
      And took it.
      The book came out March 15, 2014, about one year before the ten year anniversary of Katrina with the coolest cover ever, in my opinion.
      I took Mary out to dinner.

Bio: Laura Roach Dragon lives in the New Orleans area of Louisiana. She works with children at a local hospital and has just released her first book, a middle grade novel called Hurricane Boy about a family's ordeal after Hurricane Katrina. Next year is the tenth anniversary and the city has come far with her recovery. It was a long difficult journey. Visit Hurricane Boy's facebook page.
Laura Roach Dragon Blog
Amazon Sales Page
Book Trailer

Laura has kindly agreed to give a free, signed and dedicated copy of HURRICANE BOY to one of my lucky followers. Must live in the US to win - enter below.

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25. Home and books!

Well, the drive home from Hollins University on Friday turned out to be a doozie with a wreck on the highway that delayed my progress by over an hour, tons of rain, and big trucks driving too close. *Whew!* I'm glad to be home safe!
     Cool thing is, I returned home to a massive pile of packages, which I've just finished opening... Check out this awesome pile of books I get to share with all of you over the coming months!

     I'd best get busy!

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