Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Want to Join Me on a Crazy Idea?

So I've had this thing percolating around inside my head for a couple weeks and I've decided it's time to share. Ever since I heard about both Nerds Heart YA and School Library Journal's Battle of the Books, I've really wanted to try something like this on my own. But I couldn't really figure out a good focus. SLJ focuses on award winning books and bestsellers of the year, while Nerds Heart YA is more about under appreciated YA lit. But yesterday I finally got an idea:

A Battle for the Best Debut Book

So what do you think? Because although this sounds fun to me, it would be a big enough project I couldn't do it on my own. I would need help with a whole bunch of things including:

1. Judging

2. Nominations

3. Promotion

4. and of course Cheering the contenders on!

So, I guess the point of this post is, do you want to join me? If I get enough positive response, I'm going to move forward with this, so if you think it's a good idea, leave me a comment below!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Ahem...

Well, I have an announcement to make. I hadn't decided when I was going to post this, but seeing as my brother spilled the beans in his blog post on Sunday** I guess it's time for me to share the news.

The reason I've been gone so much of the past few weeks is I've been working on a job application. This job application:


That's right. I'm going back to work at Walt Disney World this summer. Readers who have been with this blog since 2008 (and before) now that I started by Disney-related blog, Disney World Girl, to chronicle my adventures during my experiences of The Disney College Program. Well, now I've been invited back to participate in an alumni program from May to August this summer.

So what does this mean for you? Well, this will have a big impact on my blogging schedule, although I don't know how much. Last time I pretty much only did Disney blogging, and that took a lot of time. But I will try to keep up the book blogs this time too, because I did A LOT of reading last time around. So we'll see.

Meanwhile, I'm starting a new feature on that other blog to celebrate the countdown of my departure for Florida. It's called Ask a Cast Member, where you can ask me any Disney-related question you can think of. Head over to the introduction post to learn more, or you can jump straight to the form too.

Anyway, now you know what's going on. More news about this as it comes, although most of it will be on the other blog, so make sure you follow that one if you're interested.

**Incidentally if you visit my brother's blog, make sure you ooh and ah at the header. I made it myself using only Paint and I am very proud of it. :)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday: 3.24.10

I had a hard time picking a book to share today for this, but I finally chose one:

Princess of Glass by Jessica Day George

About the Book (from Amazon.com): "Hoping to escape the troubles in her kingdom, Princess Poppy reluctantly agrees to take part in a royal exchange program, whereby young princes and princesses travel to each other's countries in the name of better political alliances and potential marriages. It's got the makings of a fairy tale until a hapless servant named Eleanor is tricked by a vengeful fairy godmother into competing with Poppy for the eligible prince. Ballgowns, cinders, and enchanted glass slippers fly in this romantic and action-packed happily-ever-after quest from an author with a flair for embroidering tales in her own delightful way."

So why am I waiting on this one? It's a companion to Princess of the Midnight Ball. Do I need another other reason? I kind of like the fact that this one sounds like it has a Cinderella twist to it too. And love the cover. As usual. :)

Princess of Glass will be released on May 25, 2010 and is currently available for pre-order from Amazon.com:

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Dark Divine Nail Polish Giveaway

Now that things are settling down, it's time for another giveaway! I have bottles of wonderful purple nail polish inspired by The Dark Devine to giveaway. Three lucky winners will each get a bottle of this wonderful color, which matches the cover of The Dark Devine by Bree Despain.

All you have to do to enter is comment on this post and answer this question:

What are your feelings about forgiveness?

Open to US residents only (sorry international friends!) and ends March 31st, 2010 at midnight.

So what are you waiting for? Time to enter!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

LOL of the Week: Visiting Friends

In light of the vet problems I've been having with my cat lately (he is finally pulling through!), I thought this LOL was appropriate for today:

Yeah, that's pretty much the expression he had on his face. That, and this one:


If you'd like to learn more about LOLcats, you can check out the website, or read my review of the book.

Have a great week!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Food for Thought: The Future of Publishing

Probably many of you have seen this already, but since I'm catching up on things I just discovered it myself and wanted to share.

Thanks to DK Publishing for putting together such a thought-provoking video. Make sure you watch the whole thing, don't stop in the middle:

Friday, March 19, 2010

New Wherever Nina Lies Winner

One winner of the Wherever Nina Lies Giveaway has not yet responded, so it's time to pick another winner. So congrats to:

Aik


Who is our new winner! Please email me your mailing address by Sunday (March 21) or a new winner will be chosen.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Note For Those Waiting On Prizes

I just wanted to pop in and say I'm really behind on mailing out prizes. If you've won anything for the past few months and haven't gotten it from me yet, it will be on it's way soon. Life has been really crazy since December, but I finally have everything packaged up (I think) to go out.

If you want to double check that your prize is on my To Be Mailed list, you can send me a quick email at shadyglade(AT)mail(DOT)com.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Winners of Wherever Nina Lies

So in the confusion circulating around the last week, I completely forgot to choose winners for the Wherever Nina Lies giveaway. So here they are now. The winners are:

Adriana, ReaganStar/Star Shadow, and misskallie2000

Congrats! Please email me your mailing address within 48 hours to claim your prize. New winners will be chosen on Friday at 5:00 if needed.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Don't forget

As I posted last month, Bookmark Day is today (March 15th). If you're like me and you love bookmarks, you'll want to head over to the The Bibliophilic Book Blog and check out all the neat features, giveaways, and posts going on all day. Including a giveaway from yours truly. ;)

Hurry, since most of these giveaways are only open until tomorrow (Mar 16)!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Thank You

I just wanted to thank everyone for their kind wishes on my blogging hiatus post. You have no idea how much your support has meant to me. I keep going back and reading the comments every time I need a pick-me-up.

For those who are wondering, the cat has stabilized a little, but he isn't getting better yet, so we're still on pins and needles. I will post as I can, but again, I'm not sure when I'll be in exactly.

So again, thank you for bearing with me during this difficult time.

Cover Contest: Voting Round 2

Wow! My cover actually made it to Round 2! Not bad for a first attempt. :)

So head over to Princess Bookie to vote for your favorite cover for Round 2. But hurry, only the first 75 votes count!

Please vote for your favorite, but if you want to vote for me, I'm number 3 this time.

What are you waiting for?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Blogger Hiatus

I did have a different post planned for today, but find that I am not in the mood at the moment to blog.

This may make me sound silly, but my cat is sick and it might be his time. He's really old so I suspect he might not make it this time around. I've had him for 16 years, and he's my baby. The experience has made me too depressed to blog.

So I will be gone for a few days, I don't know how long. Tomorrow's my birthday, so I probably won't be around then whatever happens with Greysen.

Back soon, hopefully.

Time to Vote: Hurry!

Entries are closed and it's now time to vote for your favorite recreated cover in Princess Bookie's contest. The top 20 from this round will move on to round 2. If you'd like to vote for my cover (pictured here) head over to the post and vote for number six (that's mine!).

Or you can vote for one you like better too. :) But hurry! Only the first 100 votes will be counted, and as of this post there are 68 votes.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Recreate a Cover Contest

Cindy from Princess Bookie is having a Contest Craze again, which includes once again a Recreate a Cover contest. Now normally I don't do things like this, because I have absolutely no talent. However, while looking at the other entries I got a really good idea for a cover, and so I bit the bullet, opened up Photoshop and started playing around. I have never, ever used Photoshop (or a similar program) before so this was completely new territory for me.

SEVEN HOURS LATER I have a result. Before I show it to you, head over to Princess Bookie if you want to do your own entry. But hurry, since it's filling up fast! Only the first 50 will count, and I managed to squeak in by number 46.

The rules stated that it has to be a redesign of a 2010 release, and I chose the upcoming addition to the Once Upon a Time Series out in June called The World Above by Cameron Dokey. Here's the original cover on the left:

The series got a make over last year with these new photographic covers. They're slowly redoing the old ones, but the four newest books in the series have this new style instead of the beautiful old Kinuko Craft covers each book used to have.

Although I like the new covers, I really miss the Kinuko Craft ones. So I had the brilliant idea to recreate one of the 2010 releases for the series with a Kinuko Craft cover. Here's an example of one of the older covers (on the right) so you get an idea of the model I was attempting to immitate.


S
C
R
O
L
L

D
O
W
N

to see the result...


Ta-Da!

My Redesigned Cover

So obviously it's not as good as the real Kinuko Craft covers. Not even close, actually. But considering this was my very first attempt at doing anything at all in Photoshop, I'm pretty proud of myself. There's a lot more detail for the actual covers, but considering I'm a beginner and I don't have endless hours to waste doing things like this, I really like the result. The hardest part was adding the texture, which took me a #@*%!#$%$*! long time to figure out.

I'm not very happy with the middle either (where the title is) but I kind of ran out of time to play with it and had to use what I could. Oh well.

It took me ages to find the right artwork to use. As far as I can tell, The World Above is a retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk, and I wanted to mimic the peasant-type look of the dress in the actual cover. But most of Kinuko Craft's paintings are about royalty and were wayyyyy too pretty to work for this. But I finally found this painting of Joan of Arc to use and I think it turned out okay.

So what do you think? Did I do okay for a first attempt?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday: 3.10.10

It's been awhile since I've had time to do one of these! But since I have a few extra minutes today, here's what I'm waiting for this week:

Toads and Diamonds by Heather Tomlinson

Book Description (from Amazon.com): "Diribani has come to the village well to get water for her family's scant meal of curry and rice. She never expected to meet a goddess there. Yet she is granted a remarkable gift: Flowers and precious jewels drop from her lips whenever she speaks.

It seems only right to Tana that the goddess judged her kind, lovely stepsister worthy of such riches. And when she encounters the goddess, she is not surprised to find herself speaking snakes and toads as a reward.

Blessings and curses are never so clear as they might seem, however. Diribani’s newfound wealth brings her a prince—and an attempt on her life. Tana is chased out of the village because the province's governor fears snakes, yet thousands are dying of a plague spread by rats. As the sisters' fates hang in the balance, each struggles to understand her gift. Will it bring her wisdom, good fortune, love . . . or death?"

You know me, can't resist a fairy tale book. I'm really intrigued with how this one will be shaped to match the setting in India. I love the cover too! I've enjoyed one of Tomlinson's other books, Aurelie: A Faerie Tale, so I'm hoping this will also turn out to be a good read.

Toads and Diamonds will be released on March 30th, 2009. So I won't have to wait too long to read it! It's also currently available for pre-order on Amazon.com:

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Cover Evolution

So one of the things I love about talking about books is also talking about book covers. I know you're not supposed to judge a book by it's cover, but pretty much I always have.

Today will be the first of a few posts I have planned talking about book covers. Specifically about how they change/relate to each other. I know this is almost over-done on a few blogs, but I really enjoy this type of thing, so you'll have to bear with me.

So onto today's discussion

Thanks to The Story Siren's latest release post, I came across the fact that Hyperion is re-releasing the first three Daughters of the Moon by Lynne Ewing books in an omnibus. I really like it when my favorite books get reissued so that new readers can find them. And then I saw the cover of this new edition:



Excuse me? These books are full of action, mythology, magic, and pure evil, but does that cover look like it to you? I think if I saw that on the shelf I would just walk right by.

Now compare that with the original covers for those three books:

I love these covers. Granted, the covers for this series did get a lot better than these starting with Book 7, but I'll still take them over that bland black cover. So why (why!) did they go with that cover? Even what they did for the last book in the series (recycling the last 6 books covers into one giant college) would be better:

I don't know, maybe I'm just a color person. But although some might like the new cover for it's simplicity, I don't think it conveys to urban/fantasy feel that the old covers do. But maybe that's just me.

So, what do you think?

By the way, if you enjoyed this post, let me know. I have a lot of these in my head, but they won't get posted if no one wants to read them. I can just discuss to myself in that case. :)

And now, even though I have tons of other books to read, I think I want to go re-read these. They were some of my all-time favorites in high school, and I could use a comfort read right now...

Sunday, March 07, 2010

LOL of the Week: Nature

It's getting to be springtime a little bit around here. Which means it's once again time to get out of the house and commune with nature:

Or something like that anyway. :)

If you'd like to learn more about LOLcats, you can check out the website, or read my review of the book.

Have a great week!

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Clear Away the Clutter Challenge

I've been meaning to post this for awhile now, but I've been busy with work. I've also been spending my free time trying to finish a project I'm working on rather than reading/blogging/writing reviews, but there you go. Plus, I've been waiting on new about a job... but more about that at another time.

This post is my sign up for the Clear Away the Clutter Challenge, hosted by Kate from The Neverending Shelf. Which is how my TBR stack feels right now (neverending I mean).

Anyway, you can check out all the details at the sign-up post, but the idea is that from March 1st to May 31st you read a stack of books you've designated to be "cleaned-out".

I am going for the Organizer level, which is to clean out and read at least 15 books. So here's my list for the challenge:

serafina67 *urgently requires life* by Susie Day
Pish Posh by Ellen Potter
They Never Came Back by Caroline B. Cooney
Emily the Strange: The Lost Days
The Great Race by Gary Blackwood
Three Good Deeds by Vivian Vande Velde
Click!: The Girl's Guide to Knowing What You Want and Making It Happen
The Debs by Susan McBride
Love, Lies and Texas Dips by Susan McBride
Dayan's Birthday
Both Side of Time by Caroline B. Cooney
Blackthorn Winter by Kathryn Reiss
The Humming of Numbers by Jodi Sensel
Letters From Rapunzel by Sara Lewis Holmes
Avalon Web of Magic: Cricles in the Stream
The Robe of Skulls by Vivian French

(Eh, too lazy to put up Amazon links right now. Will do it sometime later I think.)

So if you want to join me, head over to the challenge post to sign up. Now, I'm off to get reading!

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Books Read in February

Well my experiment in doing retrospect videos for each month seemed to be popular last month, so I decided to try it again. So here's the video for books I read in February.

I did things a little differently this time, so please let me know if you like it. If you don't feel like leaving a comment, you can use the poll I've added after the video to vote instead. Also, there's a spot in the poll to choose if you couldn't get the video to work. I've had the odd comment saying they couldn't get these videos to load so I would like to know how widespread that problem is. I may need to switch from the Blogger video host if that problem continues.

Anyway, here's the video, and don't forget to vote in the poll too. If you are a feed subscriber you will probably need to visit the original post to see both poll and video:

video




The music I chose for this month is a bit of a tribute to the now closed Olympics. This song was the music chosen by American Ice Dance skaters Emily Samuelson and Evan Bates. I fell in love with the music during their program, and so decided to use it to accompany the video this month. In case you missed it (or want to see it again) you can view their free skate here.

And while you're at it, you should watch Davis and White too. Their free skate was also amazing (and it got them a silver medal!).

Monday, March 01, 2010

Contest Roundup: March 1

Hey everyone! It's Monday, and you know what that means *insert trumpet fanfare here* It's time for the weekly Contest Roundup!

First of all, don't forget you have a chance to win 3 copies of Wherever Nina Lies right here at The Shady Glade. Ends on my birthday (Mar 13) so you still have plenty of time to win. Also, I've extended February's comment contest for The Reluctant Heiress to the end of March (since I didn't blog much in Feb). So comment away if you'd still like to win that.

I will make sure I update the sidebar this time around, so make sure you check that out for other contests still going on as well.

And now, moving on to other chances to win:


Velvet from vvb32 Reads has a lot of great contests going on from her recent Mr. Knightley's Picnic event, including this one for Wicked Lovely: Desert Tales. Ends March 27th.


We've got some great books coming up in March, one of which is Hex Hall. The author is celebrating the release of her first book by hosting a contest for the book (and some t-shirts) at her blog. How cool! I'm really, really, really excited for this one, and I can't wait to read it.


Another book I've been eagerly anticipating for release this month is Brightly Woven. And it's almost here! Alexandra Bracken is also having a contest to celebrate her release date, so check this one out as well.


In Which a Girl Reads has reached 400 followers and is celebrating with an international giveaway for a book of your choice. Congrats on the followers! Ends March 6th, so hurry and enter!



There's another great contest going on at Fantastic Book Reivew, this time for an ARC of Forget-Her-Nots. This is another release I'm eagerly anticipating. :) Ends March 11th.


And speaking of followers, Bloody Bookaholic has reached 700 followers and is having a massive contest to celebrate. She's giving away 20 books (maybe more) including Jekyl Loves Hyde, Hearts at Stake, Harry Potter, and more. Don't want to miss this one. Ends April 18th.


Dark Faerie Tales is having another huge contest, this time to celebrate 500 followers. The winner will pick from a long list of books including The Body Finder, The Line, Voices of Dragons and more. Ends March 21st.


Misty from The Book Rat is celebrating her birthday (happy birthday Misty!) with a contest. She's giving away 5 books with a twist. Check out her post for all the details. Ends April 1st.


And last but certainly not least, here is a great giveaway from the Fire and Ice blog (check out the blog too, by the way, they've got some great stuff!). This giveaway is for a postcard and two bookmarks and they are GORGEOUS! On second thought, don't enter this contest, since that way I'll have a greater chance of winning. LOL :) Ends March 14th, which will be easy for me to remember since it's the day after my birthday.

And that's it for me this roundup. Don't forget to check the covers in the right sidebar for the latest!