Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Quotes: DramaCon Vol. 2

I just had to post this one. This is my life in so many ways!

"Life, you are offically fired on an account of not being fair..." - Chrisse from Dramacon 2

Friday, December 22, 2006

Review: Christmas Titles

If you’ve been looking for some great Christmas reads, you should check out these reviews:

Mistletoe Madness by Various

Christmas is the perfect time to gather around and read all those wonderful holiday stories that we love. Whether you are into stories about Santa, magic, families, or general goodwill to mankind, Mistletoe Madness has what you’re looking for.

Learn what happens when a 12-year-old cooks her first Christmas turkey, how one family celebrates Christmas two ways, and what happens when a girl rides catches the train for a very special Christmas present. This is just a small peek into the treasures that are in this anthology. Filled with stories, poems, and occasional illustrations this book has something for everyone.

And not all of these stories take place in modern times or under unusual circumstances. Set in both past and present, these stories are full of magic, both real and imagined. My favorite story, “Liranel’s Gift” was set in Medieval times, in a town where blessings are bestowed by Song (magic through singing). Although that one was by far my favorite, I would have to say “The Clauses go to Hollywood” was a close tie. After all, who wouldn’t want to see Santa Claus as a real movie star?

Recommended for ages 12 and up, although readers of all ages will enjoy reading (or hearing) this wonderful collection.

Shady Glade Rating- 8/10

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A Christmas Dozen by Steve Burt

One of my absolute favorite times of year is the Christmas season. It’s a time of widespread goodwill towards mankind, and I love all the stories that come from this wonderful holiday.

A Christmas Dozen is a collection of 12 such short stories, to warm the heart, inspire, and lift your spirits. Each story is unique and completely different. Travel to Europe during World War II to experience how a lost solider experiences his Christmas Eve, see how a pair of circus elephants brought a community together, how one minister’s candlelight service changed his life forever, and how a town’s collective prayers are answered in one unique live nativity.

My personal favorite was a story entitled “Christmas Mouse” about a German mouse who gets caught on a ship in India for Christmas. In a situation reminiscent of Belleau Wood during World War I, a traditional Christmas carol changes this particular Christmas Eve forever.

My only complaint with the book as a whole was that the writing can be a little awkward in some places. However, the stories make up for any temporary flaws. In turns heartwarming, hilarious, and heartbreaking, this collection is the perfect way to get in the Christmas Spirit. Filled with tales that both old and young will enjoy, I recommend this for readers aged 12 and up.

Shady Glade Rating- 7/10

*Please note* These were originally posted off-site. Clicking on the below links will take you to the full body of my reviews found at

Click here to read the review for Mistletoe Madness
Click here to read the review for A Christmas Dozen

Monday, December 18, 2006


Guess what? I’m done with finals. I know this is completely random, but I had to celebrate somehow. *Does a little tap dance*

Anyway, now that my next two weeks are free, you know what that means. Yup, lots of reading! There’s all sorts of good stuff coming your way, so make sure you sign up for the newsletter (over in the sidebar) if you haven’t already done so. You’ll be glad you did!

Review: Stravaganza: City of Masks

Stravaganza: City of Masks by Mary Hoffman

Lucien has been diagnosed with cancer. Undergoing chemotherapy is very tiring, and soon he finds himself falling asleep while clutching a beautiful notebook. Unbeknownst to Lucien the notebook is from a parallel world called Talia, similar to Renaissance Italy. Lucien finds himself in the beautiful city of Bellezza, similar to our Venice. Ruled by the powerful and beautiful Duchessa, Lucien soon finds himself being drawn closer into the beautiful city. But all is not right in Talia. The powerful di Chimici family is determined to take over all of Talia, but the Duchessa is in the way. Can Lucien help save the Duchessa before it’s too late?

Part historical, part fantasy, part mystery, and part political intrigue, this book has everything. The author has crafted a wonderful mystery perfect for any fantasy lover. This book is truly too complicated to summarize in such a short amount of space. It is so involved that there is no way I can do it proper justice without giving parts away. You’ll just have to take my word for it, and go and read it yourself! This is the first of the Stravaganza series, make sure you also check out City of Stars and City of Flowers!

Shady Glade Rating: 10/10!

Visit the Shady Glade Store for more recommended reads, movies, music and more!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Contest: Book Club Sweepstakes

Penguin's Young Readers group is offering a fantastic contest for those bookworms out there who have banded together. You could win a year supply of books for your book club, including favorite books such as An Abundance of Kathrines and Paranoid Park (look for SG's review by clicking on the Review List link in the sidebar).

All you have to do is go to the entry form and submit your information. Could it get any easier? This ends on Wednesday, December 22, 2006 so make sure you enter soon! And hey, if you don't have a book club, enter anyway. Its always a good excuse to start one, right? :-)

Click here for contest details

Contest: Enthusiasm

YABC is offering a contest for 5 copies of Enthusiasm by Polly Shulman. If you love Jane Austen you'll love this book! It's Pride and Prejudice meets modern times in a YA novel that's been getting plenty of fantastic reviews.

Entering is so easy. Simply head over to YABC and answer this question:
If you could be any heroine from any romantic novel you've read, who would you be and why?

Click here to enter

Contest: The Looking Glass Wars

YABC is offering a contest for 5 copies of The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor. I haven't read this one myself yet, but its in my to-read stack. And its gotten rave reviews so far!

Entering is so easy. Simply head over to YABC and answer this question:
If you could live in any alternate world and/or reality from any book...which one would you pick and why?

Click here to enter

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Review: The Blue Day Book

The Blue Day Book by Bradley Trevor Grieve

Have you ever suffered from a blue day? One of those “the world is against me” days? Well, here’s the solution! In this book Bradley Trevor Grieve has excellently combined a simple lesson on how to rid ourselves of life’s blue days with animal photographs that magnificently illustrate his points. From the causes of blue days to how to get rid of them, this book is classic. The text and photos go so well with each other, it is impossible to feel sad after reading this book. Whether you are in the mood for a pick-me-up or just a good laugh, check out The Blue Day Book! Let me tell you, it works! It’s the only thing getting me through finals this week!

Shady Glade Rating: 10/10!

Visit the Shady Glade Store for more recommended reads, movies, music and more!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

News and Updates (again)

Sorry about the lack of updates! My real life (aka finals) has been getting in the way these past few weeks. In addition I have tons of books to finish for the Cybils awards, and a few Christmas books I need to finish soon for YABC. Anyway, here's what you can expect in the next few weeks:

Contests: I know, I know, December's going fast. I promise to have the contests up soon. Right now, I do have the Harperteen FanLit contest going on, so make sure you click on the "This Month's Contests" link (that way ----->) to go to that.

Quotes, Quotes, and more Quotes: I'm reading some really good books right now, with all sorts of good quotes. Not all of them are reading related, but I'm keeping track of them to post here. Keep an eye out!

Reviews (Of course!): You can see a list of what I'm currently reading by looking at the"Recent Books from my library" list in the sidebar (below "related book links"). Several of them are Christmas, so you can expect reviews soon! In addition, I still have a few older reviews I need to get up, so those are coming along.

Book site reviews: I know its been months since I've done one of these. (Don't hurt me! *cringe*) I promise to get some more of these done, if nothing else than during Christmas vacation when I'll finally have some time to sit down and actually write them. I've got several sites on my list including bookburger,, simonpulse and more. Stay tuned for more.

As always, I'm open to suggestions. I LOVE to hear from people, so email me if you have anything you want to tell me. I'm an email junkie and I'll probably reply within a day or two. We also need a lot more people to visit if I'm going to start book giveaways, so please help spread the word about this blog!

If you need any ideas for Christmas, why not check out The Shady Glade Store? I've just added a whole bunch of BRAND NEW books, and anything you buy goes to help YABC's campaign to support teen reading. Check it out!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Fall Writing Challenge- UPDATE, Choose the WINNER!

The entries for YABC's Fall Writing Challenge are in! Now we need YOUR help to pick the winner!

You can check out the entries using these links below, and then VOTE!

Here's the great entries you have to choose from:
Fall Haiku

The Masquerade
A Moment

Fall Pleasures
Discovering Autumn

This will only be active for 7 days! Please vote now!