Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Can’t access my blog to update

Hi everyone. Just a quick note to let you know I’m on an indefinite break from blogging. For some reason I can’t access either of my blogs or blogger to make any changes. I can’t even see what I’ve already posted, and many blogger blogs are not opening on my computer. :-(
So for now I’m on an indefinite break until I can get it figured out. It really bums me out because I had a lot of really cool stuff planned for this week. But right now I can’t post anything. I managed to get this post up because my wonderful brother (who is currently 3 states away) was able to access my account to quickly post this. Right now, the Catching Fire Contest will remain open indefinitely until I can figure out what’s going on.
If you can see this post, please, please, please, comment here so that I can try to figure out how big the problem is. Even if you don’t normally comment or you want to comment anonymously, please (!) consider doing so on this post. And if you have problems commenting, but can see the post, please send me an email at shadyglade AT mail DOT com and let me know. I really need your help on this one!
Thanks for hanging in there. We’ll get this worked out soon (hopefully)!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Funnybone Fridays: Michael Jackson and Star Wars

So I was actually planning to post this next week, but with the news of Michael Jackson's passing yesterday, I'm pushing this up a week.

One of my favorite things about working at Disney's Hollywood Studios last summer was Star Wars Weekends. And one of my favorite things for that event was the nightly Hyperspace Hoopla. Unfortunately, I never got to see it live (I was working), but the videos people have shown me are hilarious.

So here's last year's video, when I was working there. The theme last year was a tribute to the 1980s, and here's where the Michael Jackson connection comes in. Stick with it until the last act to see a Star Wars version of Thriller. It's worth it, I promise.

Sometime in the next few days I'll post this year's video over at my Disney blog. If last year was the 1980s, you can probably guess what this year's theme is. Let's just say it involves the Spice Girls, MC Hammer, and some Backstreet Boys. You can subscribe over there if you don't want to miss that in the next few days.

Have a great weekend!

Name Those Categories!

So, judging by the comments I received on this post, many of you think my recommendation week is a good idea. Cool! I think it's a good idea too.

I'm still toying around with ideas on how I want to implement it, but here's where I need your help at the moment. In order to make this work, I need a theme/category for each week. I can come up with some, but I'd like to know what you'd like to hear recommendations about.

These can be broad or more specific, but try to make them more specific than just a genre. In other words don't say "fantasy". Okay. What kind of fantasy? Do you like paranormal fantasy? High fantasy? Just fairies? Just vampires?

Here's another broad example: historical fiction. Okay. What time period? Do you want to include time travel in that? Let me know.

One last example before I open this up: summer reads. The reason this one bugs me is because, personally, I think every great book is a great summer read. But not everyone sees it that way. So do you mean books that take place in summer? Light, fluffy, fun-but-no-substance reads? Chicklit and/or romance books?

Anyway, start suggesting away. I'll take every suggestion (and add in some of my own) and maybe we'll get this thing going!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Royal Rebels is Here

If you read my Funnybone Friday post last week, then you'll already know about this. If not, you may want to click through and check it out.

Today is the first posting of the Royal Rebel web comic over at my other blog, Disney World Girl. Head over there now to check it out. And leave me a comment and let me know what you think. I always love feedback.

A new comic will be posted every Thursday, so now is a good opportunity to subscribe if you won't want to miss anything. I'm not sure yet if I'll post a link here every week or not. Guess we'll have to wait and see.

Anyway, enjoy the comic. Now I return you to your regularly scheduled blog. :-)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Random Contest: Scavenger Hunt

How about another random contest? That last one was a little too easy. This time I'm going to make you work for your bread. Here's the task: Find a quote from a movie or TV show that regards books/reading in some way. I'll give you some examples:

Beauty and the Beast:
"How can you read this? There's no pictures!"
"It's not right a for a girl to read."

The Princess Bride:
"Is this a kissing book?"

You get the idea. So here's the rules. Leave me a comment below with your quote, and make sure you tell me where it's from! If you forget that part, I'll have to disqualify you! You can leave up to four (4) different quotes. Bonus points if you can find a YouTube video that contains your quote. Leave that link in your comment as well. A winner will be randomly selected in two weeks, which will be on July 8th. You have until then to enter.

Want to know what you're playing for? The winner of this contest will get a book of their choice from the list at the end of this post. So start searching, and good luck!

The winner will get to pick from this list:
Boots and Pieces by Emily Ecton (PB)
The City in the Lake by Rachel Neumeier (HC)
City of Time by Eoin McNamee (HC)
Crash Test (The Upper Class) by Hobson Brown (PB)
Clemency Pogue by J. T. Petty (HC, no DJ)
Chasing the Jaguar by Michele Dominguez Greene (HC)
Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter (HC)
The Curse of Cuddles McGee by Emily Ecton (PB)
Darkside by Tom Becker (HC)
Dear Mom by Bradley Trevor Greive (HC)
Derailed by Jon Ripslinger (PB - signed)
The Edge on the Sword by Rebecca Tingle (PB)
Bratfest at Tiffany's by Lisi Harrison (PB)
Fashionistas by Chloe Walsh (PB)
I Conquer Britain by Dyan Sheldon (HC)
In the Company of Whispers by Sallie C. Lowenstein (HC)
The Incredible Truth About Motherhood by Bradley Trevor Greive (HC)
Lurker by Stefan Petrucha (PB)
Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Writing Thank-You Notes by Peggy Gifford (HC)
Off Campus (The Upper Class) by Hobson Brown (PB)
Perpetual Check by Rich Wallace (HC)
Big Slick by Eric Luper (HC)
The Ghost in Allie's Pool by Sari Bodi (ARC)
Great Peacemakers; True Stories From Around the World by Ken Beller (ARC)
Kino No Tabi Volume 1 (PopFiction) by Keiichi Sigsawa (ARC)
The Decoding of Lana Morris by Laura & Tom McNeal (ARC)
Hancock Park by Isabel Kaplan (ARC)
Gorgeous (Lucky) by Rachel Vail (ARC)
Soul Enchilada by David Macinnis GIll (ARC)
Cicada Summer by Andread Beaty (ARC)
Secrets of My Hollywood Life by Jen Calonita (ARC)
Totally Fabulous by Michelle Radford (ARC)
The Running Man by Michael Gerard Bauer (HC)
Shimmer by Dallas Reed (PB)
Sophie Pitt-turnbull Discovers America by Dyan Sheldon (HC)
The Sweet, Terrible, Glorious Year I Truly, Completely Lost It by Lisa Shanahan (HC)
Tallulah Falls by Christine Fletcher (HC)
This Year's Model by Carol Alt (PB)
Truth or Fashion (Fashionistas) by Chloe Walsh (PB)
The Upper Class by Hobson Brown (PB)
Walk Softly and Watch Out for Bigfoot by Ann Herrick (PB - signed)
The Water Mirror by Kai Meyer (HC)
Wish You Were Here by Catherine Clark (PB)
Jet Set by Carrie Karasyon & Jill Kargman (ARC)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

More About Me

I'm going to let you in on a little secret. It was my full intention to post this yesterday. But after typing like a madwoman for two days straight during the Bloggiesta, my body decided to punish me. My carpal tunnel flared up really bad yesterday, and my left hand was pretty much numb the whole day. So no blogging yesterday. :-(

But today I am feeling much better! So here we go. And really, this post should have been up ages ago. Let me explain. Perhaps you remember the post in February where I asked you what questions you had about me? Yeah, totally forgot about it. So when I found those questions again during the Bloggiesta (funny what you find when you're cleaning things out) I wanted to finally get around to posting them.

So here's the answer to your questions about me. Thank you to everyone who sent them in! And if you have follow-up questions, leave 'em in the comments below. Maybe I'll do a post like this again. And I won't wait four months this time (hopefully).

From Erika Lynn:
I am always curious where people are blogging from so where do you live?- Right now I'm in Northern California, where I grew up. However, in the past three years that I've been blogging I've done so from my school in Eastern Idaho, and I had a three-month stint in Orlando, Florida while I worked for the Walt Disney World Resort.

From donnas:
What made you want to start blogging?- I'd been doing reviews for a Young Adult website for about 8 months before I started my own blog. Through the forums of that site I had become friends with Jocelyn over at Teen Book Review. She had posted one day that she started a blog, and I went "Hey, I can do that!" So here I am, almost 3 years (and a whole lot less free time) later.

And what is your favorite color?- Pink! I know, I'm such a girly-girl. However pink is closely followed by purple and green. Hence the blog colors.

From Senfaye:
What is your favorite book of all time?- Phew! That's a horrible question! :-) That's like asking me to pick a favorite child. Hmmm... if I had to pick one pick that's remained a favorite for the longest time, I would have to say Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede. Does that count as favorite book of all time?

From Yan:
What's your favorite book that you've reviewed so far?- Wow. Umm... (flips through blog looking for reviews). Okay, I have a hard time choosing just one because they books I review are so different in their own ways, so I'll compromise and choose one of several categories. My favorite fantasy so far has been City of Masks, my favorite manga/graphic novel has been Emma, my favorite non-serious book has been I Can Has Cheezburger?, my favorite historical fiction has been Doomed Queen Anne, my favorite obscure book is The Last Grail Keeper and my favorite children's book has been The Complete Book of the Flower Fairies. But that's just what I've reviewed. I have lots of favorites that I haven't reviewed yet.

And which book are you most excited about to be released!- When Yan asked me this question it would definitely have been The Diamond Secret by Suzanne Weyn. Now... hmm... I really want to read The Pale Assassin, which just came out in the UK, but I have to wait until November to read.

From Paradox:
What's your favorite genre to read?- Fantasy. Hands down. Though I've found that most adult fantasy is a little too deep for me. If I can't pronounce any of the names, I usually put it down. Close behind fantasy is historical fiction. YA, of course.

I won't ask about favorite books, because that is almost always an impossible question, but what about favorite books you've read this month? Bloodhound by Tamora Pierce. Well, I started it last month, but I did finish it this month. In fact, this book is what caused my book slump I mentioned two weeks ago (I'm over it now though!)

From deltay:
What types of blogs do you personally enjoy reading?- To be honest I don't really read a lot of stuff beyond book blogs. I just don't have time to find more than that! My experience in the blogosphere focuses on one realm only because otherwise I would spend wayyyyyyyyy too much more time on the computer than I do now.

Do you like/dislike when there's pictures in the entries?- Personally I love pictures. But I think it depends a lot on what you're writing about too. Some posts aren't picture friendly, and some deserve more than pictures.

If you could meet someone, anyone, who would it be, and why?- Walt Disney. I am enormously impressed with him, and I think he would be a wonderful person to meet.

From Michelle Kuo:
Even though I'm sure many others are asking the same thing, what is your favorite book of all time? Or if that's too hard to answer, who's your favorite author?- It would be a toss up between Patricia C. Wrede and Tamora Pierce.

I'm also curious as to what your favorite genre of books is--romance? Action? Humor?- Ooh, humor. That's a good one too. I forgot about that one. So fantasy, historical fiction, and humor. Or a combination of all three would be good.

From H:
You said you like crafts. What do you make/draw?- I've dabbled in pretty much everything. I stay away from the drawing/art aspect mostly because I have absolutely no talent in that arena. Beyond that, I go in cycles. Right now I'm working on a huge cross stitch project, and I love making cards with a process called quilling.

Also, because the favourite book question has already been asked I thought I'd go a bit different and ask what is your favourite book COVER and why?- Hmm... another one that's hard to choose. I'm actually very picky about my covers. I'm one of those nuts who will rebuy a book if they change the cover because I like the new cover better. I'm not sure what makes me like one cover over the other, it's more of a I-know-it-when-I-see-it thing. But to pick something, I love, love, love Kinuko Y. Craft's covers for the Once Upon a Time Series. Headless girls precluded, I love the amount of detail she does for everything she paints. She also did the cover for Wildwood Dancing and Cybele's Secret, both of which I like so much I bought jigsaw puzzles of both paintings.

From the epic rat:
If all books had to be burned save one and you could pick which one to save, what would you choose and why?- I'm going to have to go religious on one. I know, I know, I picked the easy way out. But I'd save my scriptures. You know, eternal salvation and all that. :-)

Which literary character do you most want to be or be friends with? For the risk of sounding cliche, I would really like to be friend with Elizabeth Bennet. I have a tendency to be rather introverted in public, but I think she would bring out the adventurous side of me if we were friends.

What's your all-time favorite Disney movie? Whose your favorite Disney princess?- Well, I'll answer the princess question first, because that's easier. Aurora is my favorite princess, followed closely by Belle. My favorite movie changes yearly it seems. When I was little it was Cinderella, until The Little Mermaid came out, until Beauty and the Beast came out, until Aladdin came out, until The Lion King came out.... well, you get the idea. I can tell you that Pirates of the Caribbean and Enchanted will always be at the top of that list. And right now my favorite is, of course, Up, which I saw two weeks ago.

What book(s) have had a major impact on your life or the way you think?- This is going to sound cliche again, but I really like Shakespeare for this reason. Another example is A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain and Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck. I read both for an American Lit class and we had some great discussions. Another interesting one, although it's not a book, is the play Trifles by Susan Glaspell.

How did Contest Monday start, and how do you manage to keep it going?- It started as an idea that popped into my head as I was moving after graduating college. Despite the fact that I had only brought about 10 books up to school with me, I had over 100 I had to cart back home (most of them were Cybils nominees, which I was smack dab in the middle of at the time). It was one of the many things that made me realize I have way more books than I will ever have time to read or keep track of. So I thought of, "would it be fun if I held a weekly contest on my blog to help give away some of the books I no longer need and/or want?". I thought that idea was cool, so then I thought what day should I have it on? Well, nobody really likes Mondays, so why not brighten up a least favorite day by giving someone a prize. And so Contest Monday was born.

As far as how I keep it up, that's a little more complicated. I don't think I will ever have a shortage of prizes, but postage can get really expensive. I do make a (very, very) small commission using Amazon Associates which helps me pay for postage some months. So if you are planning on buying something from Amazon, using the links found here helps a lot. And the more stuff people buy, the more prizes I can afford to send out. In the end though, the thing that keeps me going is the satisfaction I have knowing someone is getting a book that they are excited about reading.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Random Contest: More Catching Fire Buzz

*EDIT* We have our four winners, meaning this contest is now closed. Thanks for playing!

In lieu of a contest roundup post, we're going to have a random contest! We're going to do this one "radio station style". Think of those "be the x caller and you win" contests you hear on the radio all the time.

In other words, the fifth person to send me an email after seeing this post will win their very own mini mockingjay button, and 3 extra entries into the Catching Fire contest (or this month's comment contest, if you prefer). The tenth person to email me will get 3 extra entries, the fifteenth person will get 2 entries, and the twentieth person will get 1 extra entry.

Rules: You MUST include "random contest" in your subject line, or your entry will not count! This winner is picked purely on luck and will be notified by email. I will update this post when all 20 entries are received, so you know it's too late to email. :-)

Questions? Just ask. Otherwise, good luck!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

LOL of the Week: Father's Day Edition

Hope you had a great father's day. Here's an LOLcat tribute to those wonderful dads and grandpas in our life.
Yeah, I got that "uphill both ways" story from my grandpa too.

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!

Happy Father's Day

Love you, Dad

And you too, Grandpa.

Bloggiesta Wrap-Up

Well, it's time to wrap up the Bloggiesta. Unfortunately, I got rather sick on Friday, so I didn't get as much done as I hoped. But, having just added up my hours, I spend a total of 12 hours and 15 minutes on this challenge. Which was just barely over my goal of 12 hours. Yes!

So here's what I got done:

Blogging- 28 posts written (29 including this one).

I completed 6 mini-challenges: Clean Up Your Feedreader!, rainy-day post, Google Alerts, Elevator Pitch, blog directories, creating links using anchor text, and Grade Your Blog.

I only made two blog comments. I was more focused on writing than reading other blogs. :-) I certainly hope that was the case around here too, since I noticed there weren't as many people this weekend. However I did spend about an hour or so in conversations with people on my new Ning profile.

Layout- I fixed the sidebars on both blogs and signed up for Feedburner. Now you can subscribe by email if you are so inclined! I did re-add the followers widget here and it did fine for a few hours and then gave me problems again. So I had to take it off again. Grrr. I hate technology sometimes.

I only go two reviews written. This is the big bummer. But considering the huge number of posts I got written, this isn't a surprise. Every time I tried to sit down and write a review something else would pop into my head and demand attention. I think I have Blogger ADD.

All in all, not too bad! The mini-challenges were a great addition, although I only took on half of them. Hope everyone who participated had a great time, and if you didn't make it this year, join us next time!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Funnybone Fridays: A Day Late

Yeah, I know these are supposed to be posted on Fridays. But I got so wrapped up with the Bloggiesta that I forgot to post this. So it's going to be Saturday at 5:00 this week.

Today's post deserves a little bit of an introduction. I'm starting a new feature over at my Disney blog Disney World Girl next week. I've gotten permission to repost a webcomic, and I will posting a new comic every Thursday. So here's a sneak peek for this week's funnybone:

Intrigued? If you like princesses and/or Disneyland, you'll love this comic. I've added a follower widget and a feedreader button to that blog, so you can easily subscribe if you want. That way you won't miss anything.

Anyway, I'll be back next week with something on time next time.

Friday, June 19, 2009


Okay, so here's my introduction post for the Bloggiesta. Although I officially started at 10:00am this morning, I am late putting up this post. I didn't think to check the host blog until just now. I know, ironic isn't it? So my official end time with be 10:00am Sunday morning.

My goals

Time: I'm not going for any prizes here, because I already know I won't win. I have way to many things to do this weekend. Unfortunately, more than I thought I would when I signed up last week. Oh well, I'm going to do what I can! I think if I can pass 12 hours (6 each day), I'll be doing really well! That's how cluttered my weekend ended up.

Reviews: I have (hold on, let me count) currently 43 (!) books sitting on my top shelf that need to be reviewed. Beyond that I have another 27 books on a list of books I have returned to the library/borrowed/etc. that also need to be reviewed. Yeah, not going to get that all done. But a girl can dream!

Posts: My big o' notebook of blogs has 22 ideas in it. Plus I would like to get ahead on creating future Contest Monday, Waiting on Wednesday, Funnybone Fridays, and LOLs of the week posts. I want to plan them out at least if not write them. Plus I have two series on my Disney blog I want to get started on, as well as a regular feature for the summer I'd like to plan out. I also have a little something I'd like to do for Father's Day on Sunday, but we'll see what happens.

Layout stuff: I think it's time to add a feedburner to my blog. So I'm going to investigate that. I also want to re-add my followers widget and see if I still have problems "aborting". I also need to update my Disney blog. I'm going to add a follower widget over there, as well as a subscribe button. And maybe a feedburner. Also, as a sidenote, I'm having problems claiming my blog with Technorati. If anyone can help with this, please send me an email!
Social networking: Nothing planned really. I need to update my profile on a Ning group I recently joined. Other than that, not really anything planned.

Mini-challenges: I just found out about these. Arg! One more thing to add to my list. I don't know how many I'll even try, but we'll wait and see.
Wow, now I feel even more overwhelmed now that I've written all that down. Time to get cracking!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

I Can't Decide...Help!

So I had another idea this morning... Man! I've been on something lately...

Anyway, I can't seem to decide if this is something worth doing or not. I really like the idea of it, but I would hate for it to fall flat. So who better to ask than you, my readers?

This idea was inspired by a rather lengthy exchange between myself and one of my readers about a good book to take on a long summer trip. It was quite the challenge, and I had fun recommending books that would fit into the specifications she was looking for. So I thought, wouldn't this be fun to do on a regular basis.

Essentially, here's the gist of what would go on. After choosing some sort of theme/genre, I would have a "recommendation week" for that week's theme. The first post would be a list of books I recommend in that week's theme, and I would also ask for comments on your favorite recommendations. If I get my act together on reviews, I would also include at least one review throughout the week of one of my recommended readers. The week would end with a complied list of your recommendations.

So why would I want to do this? I love recommending books to people. I'm not sure why, but I always have. And although it's fun to do it through reviews, doing it in themes is fun too. Also, I think with a lot of blogs people tend to get caught up in the latest and greatest. And although I love recent buzz, I feel kinda sad that a lot of great older books get overlooked sometimes.

Anyway, that's the idea. What do you think?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Some Random Thoughts

I'm busy today getting things done so I have time to spend on the Bloggiesta this weekend, but I just came across an interesting post that I had to share before I lose my train of thought.

Those of you who hang around in the book blogosphere a lot probably are familiar with the whole print review/blogger review debate. This thing has been hashed and rehashed so many times, I'm not really going to get into it here. However, Collen over at Chasing Ray has been having some interesting discussions on reviews in general, including the latest one that tries to tie everything together.

What interested me was this. She points out a comment from an anonymous blogger who basically said this about print reviews/blog reviews: "However, I do believe that more and more the masses are looking for some sort of personal mirroring in their "critics" rather than being thankful that, well, someone with a lot of knowledge combed through hundreds of books (or movies or CDs) a year, each year, so that they could provide you with the best information possible [revering to print reviewers]. Anyone who comes from a highly informed background (years of study or professional status, advanced degree), in essence, has the power to make the masses feel bad for their taste. Don't like the latest wildly popular, crappily illustrated picture book best seller? You're "elitist."

Excuse me? Let's look at it this way. I've been doing reviews for almost four years. I also have a four year degree, so this is a subject I do have experience in. I also happen to not like Eragon, a book that is a best seller. So am I elitist? What do you think?

Here's the down low for me. Not everybody is going to like every book. Sometimes you don't have to like a best seller. And I think you should be free to tell people so. That's what reviews are, professional or not. They are someone's opinion on something they have experienced. I review because I like to. It's not my job. I update this blog because it's my hobby. I enjoy what I do. I read thousands of pages from books every year and I do it not for the better of the general public (although I enjoy sharing it with you) but because I want to. I'm an English major. I write. That's what I do, and this blog is just one of the ways I practice those writing skills.

Okay rant over. But I had to get that off my chest. Chime in if you'd like.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Winner of Contest Monday: Shiver

Sorry to keep you all in anticpating so long. I had a lot of entries to wade through(over 150)! But it's now time to announce the very lucky person who is the proud new owner of a brand new Shiver ARC. And the winner is...

Karen Kincy

Congrats! You have one week from now to claim your prize. Email me with your mailing address and I'll get your ARC of Shiver in the mail to you ASAP.
Everyone else, there's already another chance to win by entering this week's contest for an ARC of Catching Fire. In case you missed it, there was also a contest roundup post yesterday, or you can simply click the book covers in the sidebar to find out more information. Stay tuned later today for yet another chance to win!

If you didn't win this time, you can pre-order your own copy of Shiver so it's waiting for you on it's release August 1st:

Monday, June 15, 2009

Contest Monday: Win a Copy of Catching Fire

As I start off a new Contest Monday, I first want to thank everyone who entered the contest to win Shiver. Not only did that post become an instant hit, but it was my first post to reach over 100 comments! I really wish I had more than one copy to give away. However, someone lucky will get picked, and that announcement will be tomorrow. So stay tuned! Now, what could we give away that might actually have a chance competing with Shiver? How about a brand new ARC of Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins?

About the Book (From Back Cover): "Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has won the annual Hunger Games with fellow district tribute Peeta Mellark. But it was a victory won by defiance of the Capitol and their harsh rules. Katniss and Peeta should be happy. After all, they have just won for themselves and their families a life of safety and plenty. But there are rumors of rebellion among the subjects, and Katniss and Peeta, to their horror, are the faces of that rebellion. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge."

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 "Catching Fire 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. +1 for a sidebar post, +2 for a regular post. Post a link in your comment.
  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 29th, 2009. You have two weeks to enter this one! Open to US and Canada residents, 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. Rules about claiming prizes can be found here. Questions? Post a comment or email and ask.

Good luck to everyone! I'll announce the contest winner of this book on Tuesday, June 30th.

Of course, you can always buy your own copy of Catching Fire too. But you'll have to wait until Septemember 1st to read it:

*The amazing Contest Monday banner was designed by Liyana.

Contest Roundup: June 15th

Time to see some of the stuff you can win around the blogging universe. Remember to always check the sidebar for current contests, including the new Contest Monday that will be posted later today.
If you didn't win last week, there's another chance to win Eyes Like Stars, this time over at Reviewer X. There's no end date listed, so enter now before it's over!

You may remember seeing A Sweet Disorder two weeks ago for Waiting on Wednesday. Well, here's a chance to win yourself a copy if you also want to read it! Ends tomorrow, June 16th.

My fellow Cybils panelist Charlotte is giving away paperback copies of Harry Potter books 5, 6, and 7. Comment on the original post by July 6th to enter.

Amy over at Addicted to Books has a new contest up. Win one of three prize packs which include books like Demon Princess. Comment to enter by July 27th.

That's all I have time to post today. Remember that this is only a few contests, there a lots more out there. Start by checking out the right sidebar for more chances to win, and then buzz some other book blogs for more contest fun!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

LOL of the week: Singing Fish

Did anyone else have one of those singing fish on thier walls growing up?
*Don't worry.... Be happy...*

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!

Winner of the First Random Contest

It's time to announce the winner of the first ever Random Contest. This time you had to guess how many Jane Austen-inspired novels I had on my bookshelf. The correct answer is 13. Two of you guessed correctly, so by random selection the winner is:


Congrats. You have one week to claim your prize. Email me with your pick of either a book from my Bookmooch inventory, or a Bookmooch point. And our runner up (who also guessed correctly) is

Email me letting me know if you would like an extra entry into either the current Contest Monday or Comment Contest.

Thank you to everyone who entered. Keep an eye out because you never know when a Random Contest will show up!

For those who are interested, here are the 13 books mentioned in this contest:
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen- This is my grandmother's copy. It was published in 1943!
Pride and Prejudice (Insight Edition) by Jane Austen
Persuasion by Jane Austen
The Friendly Jane Austen: A Well-Mannered Introduction to a Lady of Sense and Sensibility by Natalie Tyler
Dear Jane Austen: A Heroine's Guide to Life and Love by Patrice Hannon (my newest acquisition)
The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler
Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor: Being the First Jane Austen Mystery by Stephanie Barron
Pride and Prescience: Or, A Truth Universally Acknowledged by Carrie Bebris
Mr. Darcy's Daughters by Elizabeth Aston
Just Jane by Nancy Moser
Cassandra's Sister by Veronica Bennett
Enthusiasm by Polly Shulman

I know, surprising isn't it? I don't have all of Austen's novels, but I do have two copies of Pride and Prejudice. :-)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Book Slump

*sigh* I seem to be in a book slump.

Let me explain. This week I finished a fantastic book. It was one I had anticipated for a very long time (several years) and it was everything I would hoped it would be. For several days I had to steal every moment I spent with this book, and I went out of my way to find time to read it.

But now I've finished it. And try as I might, I can't seem to get in the mood to read anything else. I have lots (tons, piles, scads) of books I want/need to read. But I'm feeling kinda "meh" about all of them. It's almost as if I can't bring myself to read anything because it can't possibly measure up to the book I just finished. Which is really irrational, but I can't seem to shake it despite that.

Has this ever happened to you?

Friday, June 12, 2009

Welcome to Funnybone Fridays

Did I mention here's another feature? June is turning out to be full of all sorts of suprises. :-)

Today I'm introducing a new feature I call Funnybone Friday (go alliteration!). In the vein of the LOL of the week, this is just a small something to get your weekend started on the right note. So these will always be posted at 5:00 on Fridays, since that's the offical start of the weekend. I don't expect this to be a regular feature, but every once and awhile I'll throw things up. This could be a picture, a comic, a youtube clip, anything I feel like sharing that made me smile.

So today, here's a clip from Monty Python about joke warfare. Enjoy!

If you want to see more from this episode, it's available on the Monty Python's Flying Circus: Set 1 DVD.

It's time for a Bloggiesta!

The time has come. I've finally committed to a continual blogging event. For three years I've watched participants in events like the 48 hour book challenge and wished I could particpated. Because, let's face it, my mother would probably kill me if I tried to spend 48 hours reading and did nothing else.

Enter the Bloggiesta. Natasha over at Maw Books Blog has started this event as a way for you to get caught up on all those posts and blog improvements you've be meaning to do forever, and haven't ever gotten around to. Think of it as instead of shrinking your TBR pile, you're shrinking your TBB (to be blogged) pile. I really, really, really need to catch up on reviews, so I will be spending most of that time working on that probably. And maybe I'll turn my attention to that neglected Disney blog too...

The Bloggiesta starts at 8am on Friday, June 19th (one week from today) and runs through the following Sunday (the 21st) through 8am. Full rules and details can be found at the event post.

So if you have a blog, join me and sign up! Now I'm off to work really hard on unpacking some things. That way I don't get sass from my family if I spend all next weekend blogging!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

New Features: The Random Contest

I guess instead of having New Features week, I should have just called June New Features month. Oh well. I keep having all these great ideas for new stuff!

Today I'm introducing the new feature called Random Contests. Why Random Contests? Well, because they are random. The posting will be random, the entries random, the length random, the prizes random. If I feel like putting up a contest, I'll put up a contest. Sometimes you'll have to do something to enter, sometimes you'll have to be fast, and sometimes you'll just have to be lucky.

Today's contest is going to be one of the luck kind. If you've been paying attention to my posts you'll know that I'm a bit of a Jane Austen fan. In order to win you'll need to correctly answer this question: How many Jane Austen or Austen-inspired books do I have on my bookshelves? This would include books written by Jane Austen, books about Jane Austen (fiction or nonfiction), or books inspired by Jane Austen (such as yesterday's WOW feature, Prada & Prejudice). So take a guess!

Rules: To enter, post your answer in the comments below, or send your answer to me by email with the subject "Austen Guess." More than one person can guess the same number. One entry per person. Entries will be open until noon PST on Saturday June 13th. The person who guesses the right number of books will be the winner. In the event that two (or more) people guess correctly, a winner will be randomly selected from the correct guesses. Please note that comments made on this post don't count for this month's comment contest.

Today's random prize: The winner of this contest will get their choice of either 1 free book listed in my Bookmooch inventory, or a Bookmooch point for you to request your own book. Obviously you will need to be a Bookmooch member for the latter prize. Don't know what Bookmooch is all about? You can read more about it in my post. If we have runners-up, each will get an extra entry into either the current Contest Monday or Comment Contests, whichever they choose.

So good luck to everyone. Now guess away!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday: 6.10.09

So this is probably another book you've heard about already. But since it will be released tomorrow, I'm celebrating anyway.

Prada and Prejudice by Mandy Hubbard

About the Book (from Amazon.com): "To impress the popular girls on a high school trip to London, klutzy Callie buys real Prada heels. But trying them on, she trips…conks her head…and wakes up in the year 1815! There Callie meets Emily, who takes her in, mistaking her for a long-lost friend. As she spends time with Emily’s family, Callie warms to them—particularly to Emily’s cousin Alex, a hottie and a duke, if a tad arrogant. But can Callie save Emily from a dire engagement, and win Alex’s heart, before her time in the past is up?"

You know me and Jane Austen. I think that's all I have to say. :-)

Prada and Prejudice will be released tomorrow (June 11th). Look for it on Amazon.com:

Monday, June 08, 2009

Contest Roundup: June 8

Welcome to another contest roundup! First off, here's a reminder to check the sidebar for contests that are still open. I won't mention them again here, but if it's still over there, click to see if you can still win!

Next, don't forget about my contests! There won't be a CM post this week because you still have one more week to enter and win a copy of Shiver. And and ARC of the The Sky Inside is also up for grabs as this month's comment contest. Any comment you make in June gets you closer to winning!

Now let's start with the new stuff.

For those of you who went to BEA (not me though... *sniff*) the big buzz was all about Catching Fire, the sequel to Hunger Games. Well, you can win your own copy over at Linus's Blanket if you enter by June 22nd. Lenore is also giving away a copy with two other books from BEA so check that one out by June 17th.

If you hurry, you can enter to win a copy of Eyes Like Stars and a whole bunch of other stuff from the Beautiful Creatures Book Club. Open until June 12th, so hurry and enter.

Another BEA contest, this time for Fire, the prequel to Graceling (not to be confused with Catching Fire). Open until June 14th from Rebecca's Book blog.

If you haven't gotten a copy of Stephenie Meyer's The Host yet, you can win a copy from NotNessie of Today's Adventure. The contest is open until June 25th, when she'll be hosting The Host book tour.

I have to admit that The Clique is one of those series that I consider a guilty pleasure. I don't really get anything at all out of reading those books, but they are fun to read! If you like The Clique too, you can enter to win all 5 books in The Summer Collection at Readings of a Teenage Tree. Ends June 30th, and you can enter another contest while you're over there.

That's it for today's post, in lieu of Contest Monday. Don't forget to check the sidebar for still open contests!

Sunday, June 07, 2009

New Feature: LOL of the week

Okay, so I guess I lied when I said yesterday was the end of New Features week. Because I just now thought of an idea of something else. I call it LOL of the week.

Some of you may remember my review of the I Can Has Cheezburger? book back in February. Well, I have some many LOLs that I'd like to share. So on Sundays (since I usually don't have much time to post anything) I'll be sharing an LOL with you to help lighten up your week from the beginning.

Welcome to the first post:

For those of you who have trouble getting up on Mondays. ;-)

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!

May's Search Terms

So it's that time again. It's time to look at the wild and crazy things that brought people to my blog last month.

May Search Terms

a short book summary of the rumpelstiltskin problem- How short do need want it? It's not a very big book to begin with!
free wings aprilynne pike- Good luck. I'm pretty sure unless you can find a contest, you're going to have to pay for it.
important quotes from shabanu- Are you trying to write an essay? Fess up.
quotes and page numbers from missing persons by m.e rabb- Okay, I know you're writing an essay if you want page numbers too.
blogger trouble- There seems to be a lot of it around lately. You can read about my trouble if you like.
youtubecats- I love watching cat videos from YouTube. Here's a post about it. And another one.
what are some ideas for a contest?- You could give away something...
dead contest- I don't even know what to say.
get sick again- But I don't like being sick?

Not much crazy stuff this month. It must be settling down a bit for summer or something. Since I've gotten a lot of questions on this, I use Google Analytics and Statcounter.com to check my search terms. Both are free, which is exactly in my price range. :-)

What brought people to your blog last month?

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Thanks for the Awards

It's Saturday, which means it's time to say goodbye to New Features week. Hmmm. That sentence makes me feel like I'm in the Mickey Mouse Club (and now it's time to say goodbye...)

Anyway, back on topic. I hope you've enjoyed the look at all the new stuff I'm implementing this month. Today I want to catch up on all the wonderful blog awards people have given me in the past few weeks. I'm shamefully behind on these, so I'm not going to tag anyone, but if you're reading this message consider yourself tagged for all these awards. You are all awesome in my book.

The reason this counts for New Features week is because these awards will eventually go into the sidebar (probably the left one) later to show my everlasting gratitude for everyone who made them available.

So without further ado, here we go:

Thank you to both Liyana and Bingo who gave me the One Lovely Blog Award.

Senfaye over at A Maze of Books passed on the Let's Be Friends Award. According to her post "blogs that received the Let’s Be Friends Award are exceedingly charming. These kind of bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers." That's so sweet! Thank you Senfaye!

Wendy at Wendy's Minding Spot and Book ♥ Soulmates both nominated me for the Literary Blogger Award. This lovely award "acknowledges bloggers who energize & inspire reading by going the extra mile. These amazing bloggers make reading fun & enhance the delight of reading!" Thank you Wendy!

Liyana tagged a whole bunch of people for awards on her blog. Thank you Liyana, and check out her post to see if you're on the list too!

Thank you again to everyone! That concludes New Features week. Tomorrow will commence with the last monthly feature, the May Site Searches. From there on, who knows! Let me know what you think of all the new stuff too.

Friday, June 05, 2009

I almost forgot

I forgot to mention this when I posted my wishlist yesterday (and thank you to those who already emailed me!). If you have a wishlist available on the internet somewhere, whether it's on your blog, amazon.com, etc. post a link below. I might have some of the books you are looking for, and we could help each other out!

New Features: Books Now Available

It's time for another addition as part of New Features week. Today's feature will be a monthly installment I like to call Now Available.

It occurred to me while going through my blog the past few weeks that many of the books I feature (either through WOW or a contest) are not available when I feature them. This means you can pre-order your copy, but if you're one of those people who like to buy a book in person, or maybe borrow it from the library/a friend, you have to wait until the release date. And who can remember all those dates? I have to keep a calendar to stay straight!

To aid those of you who have this problem, I'm starting the feature Now Available. Each month I'll go through my blog archives and pick out any book that was featured in the past month and has now become available. That way you can buy/borrow/whatever right away. I've seen this done with reviews on a few other blogs, but why not with contests too? Especially since I usually don't post a review before the release date.

So here's a list of all the books featured on this blog since January that have now become available. Remember, this only applies to those books that were featured before their release date. I'll also provide a link to each original post in case you're interested. Now, this list will be long because, like the wish list yesterday, it's the first one. In case you're wondering, these are listed in chronological order, with the oldest feature at the top and the newest featured ones at the bottom.

These featured books are now available in a store near you:
The Girls by Tucker Shaw (Read original post here)
Absolutely Maybe by Lisa Yee (Read original post here)
Alis by Naomi Rich (Read original post here)
Wild Orchid: A Retelling of the Ballad of Mulan by Cameron Dokey (Read original post here)
My Life in Pink & Green by Lisa Greenwald (Read original post here)
The Season by Sarah MacLean (Read original post here)
The Amaranth Enchantment by Julie Berry (Read original post here)
Willow by Julia Hoban
Riding the Universe by Gaby Triana (Read original post here)
The King's Rose by Alisa Libby (Read original post here)
Fablehaven: Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary by Brandon Mull (Read original post here)
The Unknowns: A Mystery by Benedict Carey (Read original post here)
Thirteenth Child by Patricia C. Wrede (Read original post here)
Reality Check by Peter Abrahams (Read original post here)
Bloodhound by Tamora Pierce (Read original post here)
A Kiss in Time by Alex Flinn (Read original post here)
Cathy's Ring by by Sean Stewart & Jordan Weisman (Read original post here)
Wings by Aprilynne Pike (Read original post here)
Once Dead, Twice Shy by Kim Harrison (Read original post here)
The Waters & the Wild by Francesca Lia Block (Read original post here)
The Reluctant Heiress by Eva Ibbotson (Read original post here)
The Diamond Secret by Suzanne Weyn (Read original post here)