Sunday, May 31, 2009

Welcome to New Features Week

Happy June! Okay, so June starts tomorrow, but since the week starts today, it's time to start New Features week.

This week, I'm going to tell you about all the new features/contests/etc. that I'm adding to the blog. Despite the name, the new stuff really won't appear until Tuesday, and there will also be some old mixed in during the week too. Tomorrow will be Contest Monday as normal, but I promise this is a contest you are not going to want to miss! This will also be accompanied by the new contest roundup posts, provided I have time to research contest. :-) So if you have a contest/giveaway going on right now that you'd like posted, let me know in the comments.

I hope you're excited. I know I'm excited to show you! So stay up to date all week to check out all the new stuff.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Taking a Break

I may be scarce for the next few days. But it's for a good cause, I promise. Rather than spending my evenings working on the blog, I'm going to try and catch up on my reviews, since I am way, way, way behind. Trust me on this one.

So don't miss me too much. I'll be back for sure on Monday for a new contest. And you're going to love this one, I promise.

Wish me luck! I hope a get a lot of work done...

Friday, May 29, 2009

Thank You!

I don't have a lot of time to post today, since I'm supposed to be headed to the post office (everyone who's been waiting on prize books, they are being mailed today!), but I wanted to drop by and say thank you to everyone who's commented on yesterday's post. And if you haven't weighed in yet, head over to that post and comment. I'd love to know what you think.

Based on the feedback I've gotten, it doesn't look like it will be a problem if I post more than once a day. So if you don't read past the first post, you might want to do that here, especially one days with regular features. Right now, that means Contest Monday, Teaser Tuesday, and Waiting on Wednesday, in case you needed a reminder. :-)

Again, thank you to everyone who commented so far. I absolutely love, love, love getting comments. So I encourage you to comment anytime you like. And you might get something in return too. But more about that next month...

Thursday, May 28, 2009

So What Do You Think?

Here's a thought that been bouncing around in my mind lately. When you are reading your blogs, do you every scroll down past the first post?

Here's why I ask. Lately, I've been trying to keep a goal of posting something every day. But some days, like Mondays, already have a post every week anyway. So if I want to post something else on that day, one of the two posts gets shoved halfway down my homepage.

Personally, this isn't really something I thought of until recently, because I follow all of my blogs in a reader. But looking at some new blogs made me think about it a little more. And of course, I seem to be OCD about polls, so there's a post in the sidebar (--->) if you want to vote.

But you can also weigh in with a comment here. So what do you think? Do you ever scroll down past the first post? What makes you want to keep scrolling down on a blog? Do you ever search archives? Labels? What kind of navigations do you like to see?

I really want to know!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday: 5.27.09

In keeping with the theme of this week's Contest Monday, I thought it appropriate to share this book for today's WOW post.

The Diamond Secret by Suzanne Weyn

About the Book (from Amazon.com): "A Retelling of "Anastasia"

Nadya is a mischievous kitchen girl in a Russian tavern. Having nearly drowned in the Iset River during the turmoil of the Revolution, she has no memory of her past and longs for the life she cannot remember.

Then two young men arrive at the tavern and announce that Nadya's long-lost grandmother has sent them to find her. Yearning for family and friendship, she agrees to accompany them to Paris for the joyful reunion. Nadya eagerly embarks on her journey, never dreaming it will be one of laughter, love -- and betrayal."

As you may have noticed, The Diamond Secret is the latest installment of the Once Upon A Time Series. There seems to be a little bit of uproar about this book. First of all, you'll notice the cover is different than the usual Kinuko Craft covers. Apparently, she's no longer doing the cover art. :-( I love her covers. But, I feel almost like a traitor saying it, I do like this new one too. Though that dress is totally not period-appropriate. They are apparently redoing the covers for the entire series, but more about that in another post.

Secondly, some people are upset because this has been labelled A Retelling of "Anastasia". Which isn't a fairytale. Anastasia Romanov was a really person. So here's my take on the whole thing. Based on the description of the book, this very much sounds like a retelling of Fox's (no, it's not Disney, despite what everyone thinks) animated movie Anastasia. Which, technically, could be considered a fairytale. It is based on what could have happened to Anastasia, but really didn't. The entire movie (with a few very minor exceptions) is all made up. So does that make it a fairytale...well someone thinks so. Either way, I think it will be interesting to see what the book turns out to be.

The Diamond Secret by Suzanne Weyn will be released on June 2nd (just a few more days!) and can be pre-ordered right now from Amazon.com:

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Winner of Contest Monday: The Waters and The Wild

It's Tuesday, and you know what that means. It's time to announce a winner! Today it's your lucky day if you your name is...

WhatBriReads

You're a winner! Email me with your mailing address and I'll get your ARC copy of The Waters & the Wild in the mail to you ASAP.

Everyone else, there's already another chance to win by entering this week's contest. This one is open internationally! In case you missed it, there was also a countest roundup post yesterday, or you can simply click the book covers in the sidebar over there ----> to find out more information. There's a lot of chances to win out there!

Starting on June 2nd, you can buy you're own copy of The Waters & the Wild. Or you can pre-order it now from Amazon.com:

Monday, May 25, 2009

Contest Monday: Win a Copy of Water Song

First of all, it's time to announce the Contest Monday Banner winner. As you can see from the above graphic, the winner is "Book Gift" by Liyana. Congratulations! You will now see your graphic every Monday! For everyone who entered the contest, look in your inboxes for an email telling you how to claim your prizes.

And now it's time to tell you what you're playing for. Those of you who have been following for awhile know how much I gush about the Once Upon A Time Series done by Simon Pulse. Well, when I was unpacking boxes the other day, I happend to find a prize copy I though I had already given away. I guess not. So here's my chance to share something I love with all of you. If you were observant and noticed the title of this post, you'll have guessed the prize already. This week the prize is a copy of Suzanne Weyn's book Water Song: A Retelling of The Frog Prince. Hmmm... seems we have a water theme going on with CM posts lately.

About the Book (From Back Cover): "Young, beautiful, and wealthy, Emma Pennington is accustomed to a very comfortable life. Although war rages abroad, she hardly feels its effect. She and her mother travel from their home in Britain to the family estate in Belgium, never imagining that the war could reach them there. But it does.

Soon Emma finds herself stranded in a war-torn country, utterly alone. Enemy troops fight to take over her estate, leaving her with no way to reach her family, and no way out.

With all of her attention focused on survival and escape, Emma hardly expects to find love. But the war will teach her that life is unpredictable, people aren't always what they seem, and magic is lurking everywhere."

How to Enter: To enter the contest, simply leave a comment on this post. Or, if you can't leave a comment, send an email to shadyglade (AT) mail (DOT) com with the subject line "Water Song Contest" and include your name, your email address, and the correct subject line.

How to earn Extra Entries:

  1. Post about the contest on your blog or website. Post a link in the comments, or email the link to me.
  2. Become a follower of this Blog (post a comment to let me know).
  3. Come up with and post your own Contest Monday (post a comment with the link).

Rules: The contest is open until Monday, June 1st, 2009. This contest is open internationally, even if you've won a contest in the past. The winner will be chosen by a random number generator. One free entry per person allowed. See above for instructions to earn extra contest entries. Questions? Post a comment or email and ask.

Good luck to everyone! I'll announce the contest winner of this book on Tuesday, June 2nd. Look for an announcement tomorrow for past week's winner.

Water Song: A Retelling of The Frog Prince is also available from Amazon.com:

Contest Roundup: May 25th

Okay, so it is Contest Monday, and according to my poll a few weeks back, several of you wanted to see more contest roundup posts. So here's some books you can win, which will also go over in the sidebar for your viewing pleasure:

Over at Addicted to Books, you can win three different books, including The Glassmaker's Daughter. Full details at the original post. Ends May 29th, so hurry and enter.

Reviewer X is having a giveaway for 50 (!) copies of The Chosen One. And it's super easy to enter over at the original post. Ends June 1st.


Presenting Lenore has a prize pack of 9 fantasy books, including Goddess Boot Camp. If fantasy's not your thing there's details at the original post on how to win a reality prize pack too. Ends June 3rd.


And last, but certainly not least, Cindy Pon, author of Silver Pheonix is having a HUGE contest to celebrate the release of her book. She's giving away one of her paintings and a $100 gift card. You can read more at her site. Ends June 8th.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

April's Search Terms

So this is one of those posts I thought I'd posted weeks ago. But it turns out with the craziness of the move I never did. So here goes.

April Search Terms

Here's a list of the unusual, strange, and downright unusual keywords people searched to find my during the month of April.

Author things
"s.e hinton""mailing address"- You could try her website...
meg cabot+talents/hobbies- Meg also has a great website you should try.

Bookish things
"non-romantic" vampire books- Obviously not a Twilight fan.
"what's the first book you can remember reading"- Good question! I don't remember.
amanda miranda book free summaries- Do you want a summary of the original or the abridged version?
fairyopolis the movie teaser trailer- Oooh, a movie. Cool! Let me know when you find that. I wanna see it.
good book to read like twilight, luxe and vampire diaries?- Sounds like you got a good list going already.
john green arcs- I gave one away in March
what to read after twilight "no vampires"- There's lots of good books without vampires. Just look at your local library.
shabanu last page- Was the copy you were reading have it missing?

Spoilers?
beka cooper bloodhound spoilers- No spoilers here! This is a spoiler-free zone. Most of the time.
bloodhound beka spoilers- Umm, no spoilers, remember?
bloodhound tamora pierce spoilers- See above. Please.
bloodhound tamora pierce spoilers ending dale- You really don't believe me, do you?
cathy's key spoilers- Well, at least it's a different book...


Huh? (need I say more?)
"if i could"- If you could...what?
contest to win diamond- Ooh! I want to win a diamond!
deviation from plans- My plans deviate all the time. Learn to go with the flow. You'll be happier. Trust me on this one.
how to recover from a sugar overload- Water helps. And long naps.
i was sick and now im sick again- I'm sorry to hear that. I know how you feel.
ideas for name selection contests- Can't help you. I'm horrible at coming up with names.
plural of shady- Ummm... shadies? Is that a word? It should be. It has a vowel in it...

I hope this has brought a smile to your face today. So what brought people to your blog last month?

Friday, May 22, 2009

Author Interview: Anne Osterlund

So today, I'm happy to announce an interview with Anne Osterlund, the magnificent author of Aurelia and the recently released Academy 7. So without further ado, here's the interview, with my questions in bold, and Anne's answers below.

According to your author bio you live in Oregon, which makes you a West Coast gal like me! What’s your favorite thing about where you live?

The sky. I need space and sunshine! And sunsets in Eastern Oregon are unearthly beautiful.

So I know you spend part of your time as a 6th grade teacher. What made you want to try out writing? Or are you a writer who picked up teaching?

I am both. As long as I can remember, I would close my eyes before going to sleep and imagine stories. Some of them drift away with time but some never go away. And these, I believe, are the ones that need to be written.

Teaching is another passion. It is very child-centered (teachers survive because of all the wonderful, small, life-altering moments that happen with their students throughout the year). But I am finding that teaching is also a vital part of being an author. Writing is about connecting with people, through words, workshops, school visits, and presentations: all things I have learned as a teacher.

Is it hard to juggle both jobs?

Is it difficult to wade through 5 ½ inches of snow, surrounded by sixth graders, and write prose in your head?

Eww snow. I spent four years of college wading through feet of the stuff! Do you have a character that is your favorite to write about?

That is a loaded question. I love Aurelia. She is very noisy, and opinionated, and has a temper; but she is also a tremendous amount of fun and has a great deal of strength. Dane is a blast—always making a mess of my scenes when I think I know where they are going. But I really love writing about all my main point of view characters. If I had to write in Aurelia’s and Dane’s heads all the time, it would be exhausting. Robert and Aerin can be much more calming. And there is a young man named Salva right now who is spectacular—and everyone knows it, which drives him crazy. Characters are alive! They have their own will, and I just try to listen.

Was one of your books more fun/easier to write than the other?

I love them both equally. The process of revising Academy 7 was probably easier because I learned a lot of things while I was revising Aurelia that helped me with Academy 7.

I think there is more lightness to Aurelia. I love to listen to her banter. The danger in her book is life-threatening, but it is also a thrill-ride. Academy 7 is darker and some of its hazards are more applicable to real life. It can be tough to live through that level of intensity day in and day out when you are writing. But then Dane is always around to blow things up!

I enjoy cooking, so I’m nosy about other people’s recipes. What’s your favorite food?

Watermelon, lefsa, grandma’s meatloaf, chocolate chip mint ice cream . . .
Lefsa is a full-day process and should, IMO, only be attempted with many hands, Christmas music, a real lefsa pan, and a desire to be covered in flour.

Sounds messy! Do you enjoy reading reader reviews about your books, or do you avoid them?

I read them. I enjoy the positive ones. I feel sick when I read the negative ones and sometimes flip websites before finishing them. I love the reviews that tap into my own feelings about the books. And themes. And characters. The top two on the review page from my website are my two favorites for Aurelia.

What’s the best thing about being a writer?

The moments when the characters come into your head and live through something you’ve never seen before. And you know it’s right.

And since every job has its ups and downs, what’s your least favorite thing about being a writer?

Losing the chance to share the sequels to my stories.

That is a bummer! I hate it when I can't find out how a story ends. Your new book Academy 7 came out on May 14th. Is there anything you want your readers to know about this new book?

Hmm. Have I mentioned that I really love Dane and that he likes to blow up scenes? Academy 7 is the story of a girl who is fleeing a dangerous planet and trying scrub away the person she has been for the past six years in order find a better life. Think Star Wars meets The Outsiders.

Anything new you’re working on that you’re allowed to tell us about?

I’m writing Exile, which is the second book in the trilogy about Aurelia; but Penguin rejected the proposal for it. They said they would like another book (good because I have lots of ideas I love), but they have not received enough feedback to publish a sequel (heartbreaking, especially since I feel like it’s letting all the people down who loved the first story and deserve to know how it really ends). Aurelia, of course, is not about to let me quit on her, though, so I am just going to have to keep writing in faith. I’ve also written two synopsis which Penguin is considering at the moment. One is called Justice of Thieves and the other is Salvation. We shall have to see what fate holds in store.

This question gets the most unusal answers. So, what is your favorite word?

Cats.

I like that word too! As a fellow cat-servant, I noticed your bio was “written” by your cats. Can you tell us more about them?

Very sadly, Tease passed away last spring. I decided to leave the biography up in honor of her and because she and Dance went through all the trouble of writing it. Tease was my very loving, snuggly kitty with a fondness for looooong naps, sitting on top of whatever I was trying to read, type, or print; and talking to birds. Dance is my very strong-willed, tough cat with an appreciation for knocking over plastic garbage cans. She does an excellent job defending me from the very hazardous threats of moths, birds, spiders, and all the tom cats within her radius. She would prefer to defend me from the ultimate danger: orphan kittens, but has failed with regard to one particular gray kitty named Billy who now resides at my parents’ house and pesters her whenever we visit.

Thanks for the interview Anne. Best of luck with the new book!

Thank you for letting me visit your site, Alyssa! It was a pleasure!

Catch up with Anne for more great info at her website. If you've enjoyed this interview, you're going to love Anne's books. You can pick up your copy from your local bookstore, or order them online from Amazon.com:

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A little blogger trouble

My blog seems to be acting a little funny lately. I can't seem to view my pages without it "aborting" in IE. Seems to be okay in Firefox though.

Is anyone else having trouble? I'll try to be back soon!

*EDIT* I think the problem has been fixed. It seems that several other Blogger users are having the same trouble, and it seems to be caused by the "Followers" widget. So I've removed mine for now. :-( Hopefully they'll have the bugs worked out soon.

Please comment and let me know (or email) if you're still having trouble viewing! I want to make sure this gets completely fixed.

Vote for the Finalist!

Thank you to everyone who voted for the Contest Monday Banner semi-finalists. After tallying the votes, here are your top six (there was a tie) banners.

Look at all of the designs below and choose your favorite. Then vote in the poll below, or email me your votes (include the word "vote" in the subject line). Note that the poll is available in this post ONLY, so make sure you scroll all the way down.

Those of you who didn't make it to the finals, thank you so much for your hard work. If you have a blog, you are welcome to spread the word about your entries. Voting is open through Sunday, May 24th. The grand prize winner will be announced as the banner is used on the Contest Monday post the following Monday.

If anyone has any questions, please let me know. Otherwise, happy voting and good luck. I think you know the drill by now, so vote below or by email. The entries in no particular order are (click on each image to see it bigger):

Your Gateway by The Bookworm


Flourish by Deltay


Dots by Amanda


Book Gift by Liyana


Butterfly Tag by Liyana


Pink Flowers by Karen


Good luck! Cast your vote now!

*EDIT* The voting is now closed. Thanks for participating. Check out the Contest Monday post on May 25th to see who won!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday: 5.20.09

Another feature I had time to do this week! Whoo-hoo, I am on a roll!

The Reluctant Heiress by Eva Ibbotson

About the Book (from Amazon.com): "Being an heiress in 1920s Austria with nothing but a broken-down castle to your name and nary a penny in your purse could be frustrating for anyone but the Princess Theresa-Maria of Pfaffenstein. “Tessa,” however, is thrilled with her situation, as it allows her to concentrate on her love of the arts—and no one in the Viennese opera company need know that their delightful and charming under-wardrobe mistress is really a princess. But when the dashing self-made millionaire Guy Farne arrives at the opera in search of suitable entertainment for his high society guests, Tessa realizes that there may be more to life—and love—than just music. But while the attraction between them in undeniable, Guy’s insufferable snob of a fiancĂ©e only solidifies Tessa’s determination to keep her true identity a secret. Yet, after a chance meeting with the handsome Englishman, Tessa’s reserve begins to melt, and she starts to wonder if it’s not too late for a fairytale ending… "

I loved Ibbotson's fantasy books when I was younger, and discovering her historical fiction was a delight (A Countess Below Stairs is my favorite). So you can guess that I'm exstatic that she's releasing another one in this series. Though it's not really a series. More of a "collection" I guess.

The Reluctant Heiress will be offically released on May 28th, but is available early for order on Amazon.com:

Learn More About Me

How could I forget to post this? For those who might be interested, I was intervied by Steph of Hey Teenager of the Year recently. You can read the full interview there.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Winner of Contest Monday: Once Dead, Twice Shy

So I know I said last week that the contest for Wings was our biggest Contest Monday ever. Well, this one turned out to be even bigger. So I've got one very lucky winner to announce. You beat a lot of entries! So congratulations to...

(: Isa :)

You're a winner! Email me with your mailing address and I'll get your ARC copy of Once Dead, Twice Shy in the mail to you ASAP.

Everyone else, there's already another chance to win by entering this week's contest. This one is open internationally! Did you notice the new button in the sidebar? ----> Pretty spiffy, no? Well, I thought it was cool anyway... Also, make sure you've read the new prize policy, since it takes effect now!

Starting on May 25th, you can buy you're own copy of Once Dead, Twice Shy. Or you can pre-order it now from Amazon.com:

Teaser Tuesday: 5.19.09

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  1. Grab your current read
  2. Open to a random page
  3. Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  4. BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS!
  5. Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

I haven't done one of these in awhile, but I actually have time this week! My teaser is from The Season by Sarah MacLean:

"The duchess was not in the mood to hear her daughter's feeble explanations. 'No buts, young lady. March up to your chamber, apologize to Eliza for her having to bother with you at this hour of the day, and Remove. That. Dress."

Who else has heard their mother speak in that tone? You know the one. Where. Every. Word. Is. It's. Own. Sentence. Oooh. I shiver just thinking about it.

If you are intrigued, you can check out more about The Season at Amazon.com:

    Monday, May 18, 2009

    Contest Monday: The Waters and the Wild

    It's Monday, and you all know what that means. It's time for Contest Monday! Up for grabs today is an ARC of Francesca Lia Block's new book The Waters & the Wild.

    About the Book (From Back Cover): "When Bee woke up, there was a girl standing in her room. 'You are me,' the girl said. Then she was gone.

    Thus begins thirteen-year-old Bee's discovery that her life is not what she thought it was. In this compellingly eerie new teen novel from critically acclaimed writer Francesca Lia Block, Bee's never felt like she really belongs in this world. When she encounters her dark and ethereal double, she realizes she may be right..."

    How to Enter: To enter the contest, simply leave a comment on this post. Or, if you can't leave a comment, send an email to shadyglade (AT) mail (DOT) com with the subject line "Waters Wild Contest" and include your name, your email address, and the correct subject line.

    How to earn Extra Entries:


    1. Post about the contest on your blog or website. Post a link in the comments, or email the link to me.

    2. Become a follower of this Blog (post a comment to let me know).

    3. Come up with and post your own Contest Monday (post a comment with the link).


    Rules: The contest is open until Monday, May 25th, 2009. *EDIT* This contest is open internationally, even if you've won a contest in the past. The winner will be chosen by a random number generator. One free entry per person allowed. See above for instructions to earn extra contest entries. Questions? Post a comment or email and ask.


    And while we're on the subject of contests...


    Make sure you vote for the semi-finals of the Contest Monday Banner. Voting ends Wednesday and the finals start Thursday. Also, I recently posted some changes to my prize policy. If you haven't read them, you can view them here.

    Good luck to everyone! I'll announce the contest winner of this book on Tuesday, May 26th. Look for an announcement on Friday for past week's winner.

    The Waters & the Wild will be released on June 2nd, but you can pre-order your copy from Amazon.com right now:


    Saturday, May 16, 2009

    Change to Claiming Contest Prizes

    Due to some recent events, I'm going to make a change to the policy for claiming prizes won here at The Shady Glade. Right now, this mostly applies to Contest Monday entries, but you can pretty much assume it applies to any contest hosted here unless otherwise noted.

    Normally, those who win prizes here are asked to send me their mailing addresses so I can get them their prize. However, I've had a lot of people who haven't been claiming their books lately. I wish I had time to track everyone down and get their addresses so I can send the prizes out, but I don't. I'm not unreasonable. I realize that sometimes it takes a week or so to get around to checking your blog feeds to see if you've won anything. But three weeks is a little much, I think. So here's the new policy.

    Winners will be announced every Tuesday unless otherwise noted in the contest post, or an update post (i.e. if the contest is extended). Winners will then have one week until the next winners are posted to email me and claim their prize.

    If the prize has not been claimed in one week's time, I will randomly select another winner. The second winner will be mentioned in the new winner's post. The first person to email me (either the original winner or the second winner) will get the book. If no one claims it by the next week, a third winner will be chosen, and so on.

    Now, I know this doesn't seem fair to those original winners who don't claim their books within a week's time. So if those original winners don't email me in time to claim their prize, I will give them one extra entry into the next Contest Monday they enter. That way they have an even better chance to win a different book, the second winner (or third, or whatever) also got a book, and I don't have to find storage space for the prize anymore. It's a win-win-win situation.

    These changes will take place starting with the winner of the Once Dead Contest. So if you win a prize, you'll want to email me to claim it right away! That being said, you may want to check the posts for the winners of Generation Dead and Wings, to see if you won, since neither winner has claimed them yet! If you have questions/comments, I'm always happy to hear them.

    Friday, May 15, 2009

    Winner of Contest Monday (Sort of): Wings

    So it's time to announce the winner of the (extended) Contest Monday post for an ARC of Wings. Thank you to everyone who entered, since this has turned out to be one of the biggest Contest Monday posts ever! I seem to keep saying that every few months. But it's still true, so I guess we keep growing! I wish I had more than one copy to give away, but alas, I do have only one. Le sigh. But we came here to congratulate a winner. So now, put your hands together for...

    Mishel

    You're a winner! Email me with your mailing address and I'll get your ARC copy of Wings in the mail to you ASAP.

    For those of you who didn't win, better luck next time. Remember, there's a new contest every Monday, and this week's looks like it will turn out to be just as big. There's still a few days left to enter!

    I also suggest you pick up your own copy of Wings, which is available in a number of places, including Amazon.com. This is going to be a book you'll enjoy!