Friday, December 31, 2010

An Event for the New Year?

Today is New Year's Eve, which means a new year starts tomorrow. This time every year I usually think a lot about my blogging in the past year. My best of 2010 posts will be coming in the next few days (I still have decisions to make on those) but I also did a lot of other things besides reading and reviewing this year that were a lot of fun. If I had to choose, I think this one was my absolute favorite:

It's the 2010 YA Bloggers Debut Battle. I got a lot of positive response from last year and I think I'd like to do it again. There's several changes I'd like to make to help things move more smoothly, but to incorporate them, I'm going to need a LOT of help. So if everyone can promise me that we'll get even more participation this year, I'll do it again.

So I could use everyone's help right away. One of the suggestions I got from multiple people on the feedback form I created at the end of last year's battle was changing the focus of our book battle. Last year the theme was Debut Novels from 2009 (and a little bit of 2010).

So I'm looking for ideas. We can do the debut thing again, or maybe focus on just one genre, or do any other idea or theme you can think about.

If you have even a small idea, you could really help me out by suggesting it in the comments below, or if it's easier for you, using the form at the end of this post. I'm not going to beg for help at this point (plenty of time for that as the battle progresses) but we could use some ideas for an awesome theme.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Reader's Choice Awards 2010

If you haven't heard yet, make sure you head over the Mindful Musings to vote on the 2010 Reader's Choice Awards. There's a host of awards up for grabs including best new book blog, most anticipated book of 2011, best character, best series, etc.

Normally I don't do posts like this, but I know from experience how hard it can be to get the word out about stuff like this (Book Battle anyone?). So I'm here to help Natalie out and say go vote! It only takes a few minutes, plus you can win some stuff if you vote in certain polls.

So what are you waiting for? Head over there and check it out!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Happy Birthday Bro!

For those of you who are new readers, today (Dec 26th) is my brother's birtday. It's a tradition for me to post a Star Wars related video on this day in his honor.

This year, I have one of my more recent favorites: How the Empire Strikes Back Should Have Ended...

By the way, they've done lots of videos, and a lot of them are extremely hilarious. In fact, to keep this somewhat book related, here's How Twilight Should Have Ended.

Hehe. So funny. :D

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas 2010!


Merry Christmas to you and yours from The Shady Glade! Thank you for joining me during A Shady Glade Christmas this year. I know it wasn't quite as grand as last year's celebration (work deadlines are not fun) but I promise to make it up to everyone in 2010!

It's just after midnight here in sunny California, which means it's officially Christmas day. Santa's still on his way, and he'll need Rudolph to make it through this thick fog. I'm leaving out milk and cookies and going to sleep to have sugarplums dance through my head.

I may take a week off from blogging until the new year, I haven't decided yet. So if I'm not around until 2011, have a Happy New Year too.

P.S. Google's got the coolest home page up for the holidays. You should go check it out.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Holiday Let's Make A Deal: Game Post

Well, we have our winners, and now it's time to play! Winners, simply leave a comment on this post letting me know the number of the present you pick. Each represents a different mystery prize, some small and some big, so choose wisely!

I'll try to update this post as quickly as possible, so keep checking back often. Prizes will be revealed after they have been chosen.

Let the games begin!

Winners still to choose:
All winners have been chosen. Contest is now closed.

Box #1

Box #2

Box #3
Picked by Throuthehaze

Box #4

Box #5

Box #6
Picked by Orchid

Box #7

Box #8
Picked by Robin K.

Box #9
Picked by Yan

Box #10
Picked by Victoria

Box #11

Box #12

Box #13
Picked by Elie

Box #14
Picked by Jenna

Box #15

Box #16
Picked by .Ambur.

Box #17
Picked by Lasha

Box #18

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Guest Post: Memories of Christmas Vacation, the Movie

So I had some technical difficulties with my computer in the morning and it made me completely space that I had an absolutely wonderful guest post planned for yesterday. Since it's better late than never, I'm proud to host Jessi from The Elliott Review here at The Shady Glade today. Jessi has a post about one of her favorite Christmas movies, so without further ado, take it away Jessi!

To me, the quintessential Christmas movie is National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Back in the 1990s in my middle school years when I discovered it, it was the perfect blend of Christmas magic and quirky, off-color humor that my little juvenile heart desired.

I watch this at least once every Christmas season, transported back to my younger years. Each year I am able to relive all of my favorite, quotable parts and notice different things that perhaps didn't strike me as so funny when I was younger. In this year's rewatching, I was shocked to realize that I quote a lot of things from this movie all year long when the appropriate occasion arises.

Here are my top ten moments from the movie:

10. Clark goes Christmas shopping at the lingerie stand.

The sales girl is (for the 80s, I suppose) a looker, and Clark gets a little flustered in talking to her - so much so that Freudian slips pepper everything he says. He's so enamored that he doesn't even realize his son is standing there listening to most of his interactions with her.

9. The family goes Christmas tree hunting.

Due to Clark's perfectionism, they must find the best tree out in the middle of nowhere in sub-zero temperatures, and he refuses to stop even when his daughter's limbs start to progressively go numb until her eyes are frozen to the point she can't see. This is vaguely reminiscent of one of my family's Christmases together when we lived up north. That outing somehow ended with my sister in the car putting gloves on her feet.

8. The Chesters, the yuppie couple that lives next door.

This couple cracks me up. When I was younger I remember thinking their house was so modern and up-to-date looking. Now it cracks me up with the sheer 80s-ness it possesses. This poor couple just can't get over their own sense of importance, and unfortunately they have their holiday ruined by the Griswolds - a tree coming through the window, a huge chunk of ice destroying their "high tech" radio, lights blinding them in their tender moments, a squirrel jumping on her, and so much more...

7. Gross Cousin Eddie and family.

Randy Quaid plays the gross, uninvited cousin WAY too well. I find myself staring at him in shock every time he is on screen. His disgusting outfits and hair style and random bulges disgust me, but they are hilarious, too. With his RV sewage, disgusting dog that likes to hump people, white sweater with a black turtleneck dickie underneath, Cousin Eddie steals the scene every time he is in it. But not in a good way.

6. Christmas Dinner Disaster.

If having both sets of parents in the house and Cousin Eddie's family in the RV for an extended period of time wasn't enough, the REST of the family gathers for a Christmas Eve that ultimately makes Clark go berserk. Uncle Clark's toupe comes off with his hat, and his cigar smoking makes the dried out Christmas tree ignite. Aunt Bethany accidentally wrapped her cat in a box as a present. The perfect looking turkey deflates.

5. The SWAT team breaks into the house.

When the poo hits the fan due to Cousin Eddie ("he was a huge, beastly, bulging man") kidnapping Clark's boss, the SWAT team descends on the Griswold house, destroying it by randomly kicking out the windows and breaking in the door despite the fact they never actually knocked on it in the first place. When they tell everyone to freeze, everyone is in the craziest position.

4. The storm drain blows up.

Again, thanks to Cousin Eddie, at the end of the movie the storm drain is filled with sewer gases that have been festering and Uncle Lewis's stogy misplaced - and BAM! Plastic reindeer fly through the sky across the moon, giving the impression that Santa is flying past.

3. The flying squirrel scares them all.

After the Christmas tree explodes, Clark goes ballistic and chops down a tree from the neighbor's yard, not considering the fact that it is also a home to a flying squirrel. The family then goes ballistic, frantically fleeing from the poor little critter. It always amazes me that people are that scared of the poor little squirrel because I love it!

2. Clark's light hanging fiasco.

Clark completely overdoes his exterior lighting decoration by coating the house in a thick layer of twinkling lights and then, at the special moment they are all supposed to light up, nothing happens. Frustrations galore erupt at this point, especially when the father-in-law makes caustic comments about it not working out. My favorite, favorite, favorite part in this section of the movie is when Clark attacks the plastic Santa and reindeer, kicking them and cursing rabidly. To this day, my family calls any house that is excessively decorated a "Griswold house."

1. Clark makes his special Christmas request.

"Ah, hey. If any of you are looking for any last-minute gift ideas for me, I have one. I'd like Frank Shirley, my boss, right here tonight. I want him brought from his happy holiday slumber over there on Melody Lane with all the other rich people and I want him brought right here, with a big ribbon on his head, and I want to look him straight in the eye and I want to tell him what a..." My all-time favorite memory about this movie watching it with my best friend and continuously rewinding and absorbing parts that we thought were hilarious. THE part that we loved the post was toward the end when Clark flips out because he doesn't receive his Christmas bonus. We were fascinated by the long, colorful name he bequeaths his boss at the time, rewinding and rewinding until we were able to copy down the whole diatribe and memorize it for future reference.

Again, thanks to Alyssa for allowing me to ramble on about my happy memories regarding this movie...

Monday, December 20, 2010

Winners, Winners, Winners

It's time to announce some winners! Before I get to the 12 that most of you are waiting for, I also forgot I have two previous winners who never got announced. So we're going to do those too first.

Winner of October's Comment Contest (Empty ARC) - Mary D (M.A.D)
Winner of The Great ARC Giveaway (Choice of Three Quarters Dead, Blood and Flowers, or Vesper) - Jess (The Cozy Reader)

Congrats to both of you! Please email me your mailing address at shadygladeATmailDOTcom so I can get your prizes in the mail to you.

And now the winners from the 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway-A-Day:

Day 1 (Secret Santa by Sabrina James) - Lasha R. Claimed
Day 2 (Dark Devine Nail Polish) - Orchid Claimed
Day 3 (Chicken Soup for the Soul Christmas Treasury) - Elie Claimed
Day 4 (The Incredible Truth About Mothers) - Throuthehaze Claimed
Day 5 (The Tweleve Days of Christmas by Regina Scott) - Suzanne S. Claimed
Day 6 (3 mini flower magnets) - Yan Claimed
Day 7 (Mary Engelbreit Christmas notebook) - Jennifer S. Claimed
Day 8 (2 mini Christmas puzzles) - Rachelle H.
Day 9 (Mini tin of Disney hot chocolate) - Robin K (Intense Whisper) Claimed
Day 10 (The Best Christmas Pagent Ever by Barbara Robinson) - .Ambur. Claimed
Day 11 (The Nutcracker adapted by Janet Shulman) - Jenna Claimed
Day 12 (3001 Things We Love About Christmas book) - Victoria Z. Claimed

Congrats to all of you! If you haven't yet gotten something in your email inbox from me, email me right away and let me know. You only have the next 24 hours to claim your prize, and the picking of prizes for Holiday Let's Make A Deal will be first come, first serve, so make sure you contact me right away. Unclaimed prizes will have new winners picked tomorrow.

Let the fun begin!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Holiday Let's Make A Deal Preview

Tomorrow (Dec 20th) winners for the 2010 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway-A-Day will be announced. Those winners will get to play my version of Holiday Let's Make a Deal.

Here's how it will work:

12 winners will be announced tomorrow, one for each of the 12 days (and prizes). Once each winner has confirmed their participation, they will get the option of keeping the prize they won, or picking one of the below mystery prizes. Just like the Let's Make A Deal game show, the prizes could be a lot bigger, about the same, or even a smaller prize. But you'll have to take the chance...

There are all sorts of hidden mysteries behind these boxes. Each one has a prize assigned to it, but it will not be revealed until the winner has picked. Hidden underneath this wrapping you may find the following:
  • A Box of 6+ Young Adult ARCs and assorted books
  • A Box of 6+ Elementary/MG ARCs and assorted books
  • One of 5 more holiday/Christmas books
  • Duplicates from the 12 days prizes
  • and more...
I'll leave you to let your imagination run wild, but remember that all the contests end tonight at midnight, so you'll want to enter while you still can!

Box #1

Box #2

Box #3

Box #4

Box #5

Box #6

Box #7

Box #8

Box #9

Box #10

Box #11

Box #12

Box #13

Box #14

Box #15

Box #16

Box #18

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Need a Last Minute Gift?

So I went a little crazy when I was doing up bookmark gifts for my friends and now I have too many of them. Does anyone need a last minute Christmas gift:

I'm selling them for $2.00, and I can mail them out next day. If anyone wants one, send me an email at shadygladeATmailDOTcom and let me know. They fit up to a standard hardback book. And the ribbons and charms are mix and match (so I can put any charm on any ribbon).

Good thing my friends like to read... :)

12 Day of Christmas Giveaway-A-Day Roundup (and some hints!)

Here for your convenience, is a link to all 12 contests for the 2010 Giveaway-A-Day. These contests are all open internationally, and will remain open for two more days until 11:59 p.m. Pacific time on December 19th.

For your greatest chance to win, enter as many of these as you can. Remember, even if you don't like the prize for that particular day, you will have a chance to trade it in for a different mystery prize later. So the more you enter, the greater your chances.

Also remember that you have 2 wild cards to use if you don't know the answer for a particular day. If anyone wants to know how many wild cards they have left to use, or if you want to change a wild card to a guess, email me at shadygladeATmailDOTcom and let me know.

And since I know a few of these were harder than others, I'm going to give you a little hint. The least three entered contests were Day 7, Day 9, and Day 11. I have two clues, each of which apply to two of the three contests. It's up to you to figure out which clues apply to which contests and guess the title from there. To make it fair to those of you who guessed right before the clues, anyone who's guess was correct and entered before now is getting an extra +1 entry for those three days.

Clue 1: Two of the above mentioned contests have "Princess" in the title.
Clue 2: Two of the above mentioned contests are fairy-tale retellings.

And as a general clue, all 12 covers picked for these contests are related to the blog in some way. How they are related is up to you to figure out. :)

And here for your entering pleasure, is a link to all 12 contests. Remember that winners will be announced on December 20th, and only have 24 hours to claim their entries, so make sure you all check the blog or your email on December 20th!

Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5
Day 6
Day 7
Day 8
Day 9
Day 10
Day 11
Day 12

Friday, December 17, 2010

Twelfth Day of Christmas Contest

And here we are at Day 12, the last day of the 2010 The 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway-A-Day. If you haven't already, make sure you've reviewed the rules so you know how to play the game. And don't forget to check the previous posts from today for Day 11, which went up (late) today as well.

Since today is the wrap up contest for this year, I thought this book was appropriate. Today's prize is a gently used copy of 3001 Things We Love About Christmas. The winner of today's prize will have the choice to keep the book or trade it in for a mystery prize during Holiday Let's Make A Deal, which starts this Monday.

To enter today's contest, tell me which book this cover clip belongs to:

Fill out the form below for your chance to win. If you haven't used up your two wild cards yet this is the last contest you will have to use them on. This contest will be open until December 19th at midnight and is open internationally.

About the Book (from "Here are all the merry, magical things we love about the holidays, between the cover of one unabashedly sentimental book! With seasonal spins on subjects such as family, children, grandparents, romance, Christmas carols, reaching out to others, and of course, the best gift of all time, God's Son, this joyful book will spread good cheer to all who receive it. Nostalgic and sweet, fun and festive, here's the perfect pick-me-up for those who can't wait to drape tinsel on their tree."

The Eleventh Day of Christmas Contest

So I'm a day late with this one, but welcome anyway to the contest for Day 11 of The 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway-A-Day. I had a little bit of a snag that I've had to deal with the past two days, which is why this is late. But it's good news for you, since you'll get two days of contests in one! If you haven't already, make sure you've reviewed the rules so you know how to play the game.

One of my favorite tales from the Christmas season is The Nutcracker. You probably immediately think of the ballet, which I love, but the ballet was based on a story originally authored by E.T.A. Hoffmann. Today's prize is a gently used paperback copy of the version I loved best in grade school, The Nutcracker as adapted by Janet Schulman and Illustrated by Kay Chorao. The winner of today's prize can choose to keep it, or trade it in for a mystery prize during our game of Holiday Let's Make A Deal, which starts in just a few more days!

To enter today's contest, tell me which book this cover clip belongs to:

Fill out the form below for your chance to win. If you're not sure of the cover and would like to enter anyway, then you have the option of also using one of your two Wild Cards for today's contest. This contest will be open until December 19th at midnight and is open internationally.

About the Book (from back cover): "Countless children have seen or will see the Nutcracker ballet--it has become part of our holiday tradition. Yet when they see the ballet, children often have questions about the story. Why, they ask, were the King of Mice and the Nutcracker enemies? How was it that the Nutcracker turned into a handsome prince? These questions--and many others--are answered in this sparkling adaptation, the only one that draws both from the ballet and from E.T.A. Hoffmann's original fantasy, written in 1816. The result is an effortlessly interwoven tapestry, complete with exquisitely detailed line illustrations, that captures the special magic and spirit of this enduring fairy tale."

Poetry Friday: Can You Remember

Here's another edition of Poetry Friday Christmas style. I'm featuring lyrics from Christmas songs as my Poetry Friday posts all month long!

The song I've had stuck in my head today is "Can You Remember". Most of you have probably never heard of it. It's the song that's at the beginning of Believe... in Holiday Magic, which is Disneyland's Christmas fireworks display. Being the big Disney fan I am, the music to those fireworks in one of my favorite Christmas things to listen to. But I love the words too. So here for your enjoyment are the lyrics, as best as I can tell (I had to transcribe them myself).

"Can You Remember" from Believe... in Holiday Magic at the Disneyland Resort

(spoken) Does your heart hold the magic of the holidays? Is it filled with warm memories just waiting to be discovered again? Well now is the time to open your heart. Believe in that magic, and remember those treasured moments. Oh, they're still there, deep within you. Waiting to touch you once more. So come along, as the magic of the season leads the way.

Can you remember
How Christmas makes you feel?
The special magic in the air
When all your dreams were real
Can you remember
The smell of gingerbread?
Candy canes and sugar plums
That danced inside your head

Remember when the twinkling stars at night
Told you reindeer were in flight?
And jolly Santa Claus was on his way
The warmth of candle glow
A kiss of mistletoe
The magic lives when we believe it's in our hearts to stay

Remember the caring
A season worth sharing
Believe in the magic in our lives
Just open up your heart
And reel in the feeling
Just remember the magic
Yes, remember the magic
One more time

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Tenth Day of Christmas Contest

Welcome to Day 10 of the 2010 The 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway-A-Day. If you haven't already, make sure you've reviewed the rules so you know how to play the game.

We're getting back to a book prize today. In honor of today's post, the prize for Day 10 is a gently used paperback copy of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson. The winner from today can choose to either keep the book or trade it in for a different mystery prize during Holiday Let's Make A Deal starting December 20th.

To enter today's contest, tell me which book this cover clip belongs to:

Fill out the form below for your chance to win. If you're not sure of the cover and would like to enter anyway, then you have the option of also using one of your two Wild Cards for today's contest. This contest will be open until December 19th at midnight and is open internationally.

About the Book (from "Hey! Unto you a child is born!
The Herdmans are absolutely the worst kids in the history of the world. They lie and steal and smoke cigars (even the girls). They talk dirty, hit little kids, cuss their teachers, set fire to Fred Shoemaker's old broken-down toolhouse, and take the name of the Lord in vain. So no one is prepared when the Herdmans invade church one Sunday-and decide to take over the annual Christmas pageant.

None of them has ever heard the Christmas story before. Their interpretation--the Wise Men are a bunch of dirty spies and Herod needs a good beating--has a lot of people up in arms. But the actual pageant is full of surprises for everyone, starting with the Herdmans themselves."