Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to you and yours from The Shady Glade. I hope each of you can take the time to enjoy today with your families. 

I'll be back in the New Year with new posts.  Thanks for being patient with me through this.  Being this sick is certainly no fun!

Guest Post: Mariah from A Reader's Adventure

I'm happy to have another great guest post today.  Please help me in welcoming Mariah from A Reader's Adventure to the blog.  You may recognize her name, she's been a judging staple of the book battles these past two years.  As we wrap up the Christmas season (and I'm STILL sick, can you believe it?) Mariah's agreed to share one of her favorite traditions.  So take it away Mariah!  

Family traditions are a big part of the holidays. Now my family does not have very many, it’s just my immediate family and I who come together to celebrate Christmas. We do the typical thing, unwrapping presents, Christmas dinner, that whole thing. But we also do something special.

Ever since I can remember my family has made a special Christmas breakfast. We don’t make it any other time of the year which makes it very special. Part of the fun is making it!

After we unwrap our gifts and my parents get their coffee we turn on some Christmas music and then all sit down and unwrap caramels which usually takes about 30 minutes. It’s a fun chance to talk and just enjoy each other’s company. Then we melt the caramels with some evaporated milk until they are creamy. The caramel is then poured into a pan and covered with pecans. Finally that mixture is covered with some store-bought biscuits and baked until the biscuits are done.

We then eat them and the extra are left on the counter so people can eat them all day long. It’s a really fun tradition that I will forever connect with Christmas!

What are some of your holiday traditions?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Guest Post: It’s Not the Holiday

Today I have the last of my scheduled guest posts for this holiday season.  I hope the last few days have put you in the holiday mood as we countdown to Sunday!  Of course, it's not too late, so if you'd like to participate still this year, make sure you let me know right away. 

It’s Not the Holiday,
It’s How You Celebrate It
Margay Leah Justice
This time of year as we celebrate Thanksgiving with Black Friday deals and Cyber Monday shopping and are constantly barraged by special deals and holiday cheer, we often get so caught up in the commercialization of the holiday that we tend to forget what it’s all about. I admit I go into panic mode the first time I see a holiday-themed commercial on TV and start worrying about all the things that are yet to be done – who doesn’t?

With this store telling you they can give you a deal on that and that program telling you what is the Must Have gift of the season, it’s so easy to get so caught up in the Must Have-Buy Now for less mentality of the season that your nerves end up in a bundle to rival that of the Christmas tree lights you just had to keep from last year to save on the cost this year. And what do we do with those lights? Toss them in the trash and buy new ones because they’re just not worth the effort to unravel them and, ultimately, one of them is not going to work anyhow, which throws the rest off. But what do we do when we take the tree down after New Year’s? Bundle the lights away with the ornaments to put back on the tree next year, you know, to save a little money.

Next year: Push Play and repeat on your Holidays-Make-Me-Crazy recorder.

Lost in the brightly-colored wrappings, perky bows, tinsel and mistletoe is the message of the holiday season. We are so caught up in the process of getting the perfect gift at the best price to give to the most deserving at the gathering to beat every other gathering that came before that we forget one simple fact. The holiday isn’t about how much money you save – or spend – or how well you decorate or plan a gathering. It’s about how you actually celebrate the day. It’s about the people you surround yourself with when you pass on the traditions that were passed on to you.

Do you think Mary and Joseph were worried about how the manger looked when all of those people came to visit after the birth of their son? Did Mary have to leave Thanksgiving dinner early to go stand in line at the local Best Buy until it opened on Black Friday so she could get a killer deal on a iPad? So why do we? When did this holiday season become all about getting the best gift for or from someone and not about why we celebrate it in the first place?

For me, one of the best memories I have about Christmas happened during one of the most trying times in my life. I found myself without a home, so I was living in a hotel room with my two young daughters as we waited for a spot to open up in a local shelter. We didn’t have much of anything then – certainly not enough to celebrate the holiday – but we got through it with the help of strangers who donated gifts to us.

But what made this day really special was how my older daughter (who was about 11 at the time) made our Christmas tree. She drew it – on notebook paper. Not just one piece, but several, each piece containing a part of the tree. Then she aligned them all together, like a puzzle, and taped the whole to the wall. We didn’t have much, but we did have the spirit of the season and it took my young daughter to remind me of what it truly means to celebrate the season.

Now, some years later, as I find myself in difficult circumstances again, my daughters both remind me that it’s not about the gifts that are exchanged on that day. It’s about the people whom you choose to spend the day with – they are the true gifts of the season. Of every season.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Guest Post: Lydia from The Lost Entwife

Today I have a Christmas guest post from a frequent Shady Glade visitor, Lydia from the Lost Entwife. You may recognize her name from the book battle judging brackets.  :)  Lydia's taken the oppertunity to write about dealing with holiday stress by recognizing blessings in your life.  It's a beautiful post, so take it away Lydia!

That Time of Year

I come from a family of eleven. There's my mom and dad, married 36 years, then their 9 children, ranging in age from 35 to 16. We're all biological siblings, we look like each other, like our parents, like our grandparents, and also have a few strange noses, toes and fingers thrown in the mix. We argue, love, squabble, laugh, cry, and sulk in silence like each other. There's a friend for every situation, and an enemy for the same. There's book smart and common sense smart. There's big hearts for family, and big hearts for friends. That's what you get when you have a big family.

2011 has not been easy on us. With the recession happening, we've been hit hard - plus a few other things thrown into the mix make for a very stressful Christmas season. We have a wedding to throw on the 27th, the first semester of college for two of us to finish (or in this case, have finished). There's high school musicals, madrigals, homework lost, jobs taking up more and more time, overtime, new people moving in, another wedding to plan for next summer, and on top of that all, the swinging emotions of each and every one of the 11 (+1) in the household. (That +1 is my soon to be brother-in-law, Chuckie, who I do not envy for having to step into this mess.)

Then last September, a major car accident was thrown into the mix. I lost my job, my car, and my independence. Suddenly I was not only injured, but injured badly enough that I couldn't work until released from the doctors. Unfortunately, the bills do not stop coming. So I've been horrifically dependent on my family in an already stressful season.

You can see why this holiday things might be seeming a little blue around here.

So when I start feeling blue, I remind myself of what this is supposed to be about.

  • I'm alive. I finished my first semester back to school, and I finished it strongly - making just one B out of a series of A's that I was told I might not be able to remember enough to get.
  • My sister is getting married and leaving to move several states away. It'll be a beautiful wedding, and I got to spend an entire semester getting to know her again before she goes away.
  • The house is decorated, the smells are wonderful, there's a constant flurry of friends and family drifting in and out of the house.
All this is basically to say - the bills will eventually get paid, the car eventually replaced, the stress of these last final weeks will eventually fade. I'll gain a new brother for Christmas, start a new semester in January uninjured and ready to learn. My future is bright - no matter how the present may feel. But the best feeling of all? In spite of all the hurtful words, the pain of loss, the stressful anger outbursts - I'm safe in the knowledge that my family will always be my family. They may be living far away, or as close as under my roof, but for my lifetime, and theirs, they are all mine.

That's a Christmas gift I wouldn't trade for anything else in the world.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Guest Post: Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas

Today I have a great guest post from Allison of the blog The Allure of Books.  She's going to share one of her favorite Christmas movies (and one I've never heard of!).  So without further delay, take it away Allison!

When I was a kid, my mom always brought out a special basket of holiday-themed books in December. It was also the only time I was allowed to watch the movies on the "Christmas" shelf in the movie closet.
No book or movie was more beloved than Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas. Y'all, it became a tradition to watch it every year. In fact - I still do. No matter how old I get, I'll never grow out of this one.


Emmet and his mother are having trouble making ends meet, and they're both upset at the thought of not being able to buy each other Christmas presents. A local talent show is announced with money offered to the winner. Both Emmet and his mama enter the competition secretly hoping to surprise the other by winning.
The songs, the characters...all of it is exemplary. This movie is one of the things that defines Christmas for me. It probably wouldn't feel like the holidays if I didn't dig it out and watch it.

Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas could not be any cuter, seriously. I don't care who you are. Even if you aren't normally a fan of Jim Henson - make an exception! I don't care how young, old or jaded you think you are. Watch it! (It is available instantly on Netflix right now by the way, so no excuses!)

Even the villains are awesome:

So, what are your favorite holiday movies?

Definitely looks like one I will be looking at! Now off to go check my Netflix queue...

Thanks for the great post Allison!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Guest Post: Erica from The Book Cellar

One of my favorite parts of doing A Shady Glade Christmas is getting to read all the awesome guests post submitted. Today I'm happy to share my first guest blog of this season, from my old friend Erica of the Book Cellar. Erica is posting about her favorite wintery reads, so take it away Erica!

[Also, my links aren't working for some reason, so I will go back and add them all in later]

I am not a big fan of winter by any means. I enjoy snow for about a week around Christmas, and have no tolerance for the cold. But there is one thing I enjoy about winter: sitting by the fire, curled up with hot chocolate and a good book, escaping from the cold outside. So I thought I would share with you my favorite books to read in the wintertime by the fire :)

Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols: This is a long time favorite – it is a great one to reread, especially by a warm fire.

The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab: This book shares a tale so bewitching in Schwab’s fairytale-esque world. It can get a bit creepy at times, so the fire is a good comfort to have. Plus the story is so dreamy that you will simply get swept up in the story, and forget about the weather outdoors.

When It Happens by Susane Colasanti: This story has one of the most adorable romances ever and is just a favorite of mine to reread time and time again.

Any of the Simon Pulse Romantic Comedies – I own essentially the entire collection of these – they are absolutely wonderful. They are great stories of whirl wind romances and you can read one easily in an afternoon.

The Private Series by Kate Brian: I love getting caught up in the drama, disaster, and romances of this stories. The pages just fly by, and every new book in the series brings more to the story and introduces new great characters.

Erica blogs at the YA Book Blog, The Book Cellar. When she is not reading, you can find her singing, dancing, or on stage in whatever show the local theater is currently doing. She is currently a freshmen in college where she is studying science education.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

12 Days of Christmas Gameboard

This is our game post for the 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway 2011. Please do not comment on this post unless you are one of our 12 players. Thank you!

Reminders for players:
If possible, please post your move(s) as comments on this post. It will help everyone follow the game as easily as possibly. If you cannot post a comment, email me your choice.

On your turn:
Choose a gift to unwrap (comment as “I’d like to unwrap #X”) or steal one of the revealed prizes (comment “I would like to steal X”). Leave a comment on this post with your move.

If you have been stolen from:
Either choose a new gift to unwrap, or you can steal another revealed prize.

Rules for stealing: You cannot steal a book directly back after someone has stolen it from you. (You can steal it back later though.) Each prize will be allowed 3 steals and then it is out.

Play Order (and books currently held):
Victoria Z. - The Angel Doll: A Christmas Story by Jerry Bledsoe
Amanda (That Teen Can Blog) - The Quiet Little Woman by Louisa May Alcott
Michelle (chelleyreads) -My Life as a Snow Bunny by Kaz Delaney
Andrea / Purplg8r- Chicken Soup for the Soul: A Christmas Treasury

Mary [M.A.D] - Love, Santa: A Different Kind of Christmas Story by Sharon Glassman
Lieder Madchen - Politically Correct Holiday Stories: For an Enlightened Yuletide Season by James Finn Garner
Wrighty - I'll Be Home for Christmas by Thomas Kinkade
Erica - Secret Santa by D. E. Athkinz (2 steals)
Mashal W - The Joy of a Peanuts Christmas: 50 Years of Holiday Comics
Hamwam - Last Christmas (the Private Prequel) by Kate Brian (3 steals and out of play!)
misskallie2000 -The Cat Who Came for Christmas by Cleveland Amory (1 steal)
Patsy H. - No response to play. She can come pick from the leftovers later. :)


Gift #1
Doing Santa's job isn't always easy, especially in New York (Novella)
It's Love, Santa: A Different Kind of Christmas Story by Sharon Glassman
Currently held by Mary

Gift #2
"I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year." (Anthology)

Gift #3
What will my true love give to me?  (Picture Book)

Gift #4
May this heavenly toy always bring you love (Novella)
It's The Angel Doll: A Christmas Story by Jerry Bledsoe
Currently held by Victoria

Gift #5
Christmas with the painter of light (Picture Book)
It's I'll Be Home for Christmas by Thomas Kinkade
Currently held by Wrighty

Gift #6
Guess who's coming for dinner Christmas? (Novel)
It's The Cat Who Came for Christmas by Cleveland Amory
Currently held by misskallie (1 steal)

Gift #7
"Christmas won't be Christmas without any presents" (Novella)
It's The Quiet Little Woman by Louisa May Alcott
Currently held by Amanda

Gift #8
I'm not skiing the big slopes! (Young Adult)
It's My Life as a Snow Bunny by Kaz Delaney
Currently held by Michelle

Gift #9
Jolly like the big man himself (Kids Anthology)

Gift #10
That's the true meaning of Christmas Charlie Brown (Anthology)
It's The Joy of a Peanuts Christmas: 50 Years of Holiday Comics
Currently held by Mashal

Gift #11
"His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!" (Picture Book)

Gift #12
Christmas stories in the modern world? (Anthology for adults)
It's Politically Correct Holiday Stories: For an Enlightened Yuletide Season by James Finn Garner
Currently held by Lieder Madchen

Gift #13
No room left at the inn (Picture Book)

Gift #14
Mini doses of Christmas cheer (Anthology)

Gift #16
Warms your heart and soul (Anthology)
It's Chicken Soup for the Soul: A Christmas Treasury
Currently held by Andrea

Gift #17
Let's take a (Christmas) quiz! (Kids anthology)

Gift #18
A holiday party with a morbid twist (Young Adult)
It's Secret Santa by D. E. Athkinz
Currently held by Erica (2 steals)
Gift #19
Symbols of Christmas (Family Anthology)
Gift #20
Morning Glory for Christmas Day (Kids Novella)

Prizes out of play (stolen 3 times):
Gift #15
I know what you did last summer Christmas (Young Adult)
It's Last Christmas (the Private Prequel) by Kate Brian
Currently held by Shana (3 steals and OUT!)

Here's what's going on...

Okay, so I really hate apologize blog posts.  But I did kind of drop off the face of the earth for a few days, so I thought you all might like an explanation. 

I know I mentioned in my last post that I've had some medical things I've been dealing with lately.  Well, to make a long story short my minor pains became more substantial and I had to go to an urgent care center late Monday night.  There I found out I have two cracked ribs, one on each side.  Naturally I've spent most of the time since then laying in bed as it hurts to move in a lot of ways. 

But the good news is that I'm on the mend.  So hopefully things will get back on track.  I thank you for being patient with me!  I've got some great guests posts coming in, so look for those coming up later this week. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

12 Days of Christmas players

I just don’t seem to have any luck lately. :( I meant to get this up this weekend, but kind of had a slight medical complication this weekend. Oh well, better late than never!

Here are our players for the 12 Days of Christmas giveaway this year. You will all be getting an email from me today with the full rules. You’ll need to respond within the next 48 hours to play. If you didn’t get your email, leave a comment here and let me know right away.

So congratuations to:
Mary [M.A.D]
Amanda (That Teen Can Blog)
Lieder Madchen
Victoria Z.
Patsy H.
Andrea / Purplg8r
Mashal W.

These are our players. Thank you to everyone who entered! If for any reason any of these cannot play, I’ll choose alterates to play.

Let’s get ready to win some prizes.

Friday, December 09, 2011

We interrupt this program...

Sorry, not much of a post today guys.  I'm busy doing stuff for my mom's birthday which is today:


We have two December birthdays in my family (my brother's is after Christmas).  I feel a little bad for everyone with a birthday in December, since they kind of get eclipsed by the holiday season.  Everyone's so focused on Christmas. 

I always try to make an extra effort to do special birthday-only themed things for my family so they don't feel like they're missing out.  But I have to run now so I can make dinner and pie and wrap presents so things are ready by the time Mom is off work! 

Back tomorrow with a more Christmas-y post...

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Contest Deadline Reminder

Don't forget, there's only a few more day to enter for your chance to particpate in the 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway this year.  Entries will close Saturday the 10th at midnight! 

You'll miss all the fun if you don't enter... :)

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

A Christmas Confession

I'll admit it.  I love Christmas specials and movies.  These are those really sappy 30 minute programs or made-for-TV movies you see all the time during this year.  You know the ones I mean.  Many of them are sweet enough to make your teeth hurt. 

But I still love them, especially the classics.  I look forward to watching A Charlie Brown Christmas during this time of year, and I've enjoyed Frosty and Rudolph in the past too.  Of course, there's always the new specials that pop up every year too.  Some stand the test of time, some don't.  If you haven't seen Disney's newest special, Prep & Landing, that's a good one to see too. 

But here's the confession time.  Despite my many, many years of going out of my way to see Christmas specials I have never, ever seen Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town or The Year Without Santa Claus. I'm almost ashamed to admit it, espcially since I've seen Rudolph and Frosty so many times!  They are true Christmas classics, and so I'm not sure why exactly I've never seen them, but there you go.  People reference them this time year frequently and I always feel a little left out. 

So my goal this Christmas is finally see the dratted things.  I WILL do it! 

What about you?  Is there a Christmas standby (book, movie, whatever) you've never experienced?

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Christmas Music on YouTube

One of my favorite things during the Christmas season is the music. None of my family will let me play any before Thanksgiving, but literally the day after I pull out all of my Christmas CDs and playlists. It always manages to get me in the Christmas mood.

So when my brother sent me a video by a group called Straight No Chaser for a song called “The Christmas Can Can” I knew I had to watch it. And I wasn’t disappointed. It’s hilarious. So for today’s Christmas post, I present to you “The Christmas Can Can”:

By the way, someone also animated this song, which is also pretty funny. You can see that here.

There’s also a pretty awesome version of “The 12 Days of Christmas” too:

Monday, December 05, 2011

Rules for 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway 2011

Welcome to everyone's favorite part of A Shady Glade Christmas... the contests!

Those of you who are long time readers know that I'm always looking for new an innovative ways to do contests. So this year I'm proud to announce that we will be having a Christmas White Elephant Book Exchange!

I'm doing the rules in FAQ format this year, so they're a little easier to read. Make sure you've read all the rules, and then fill out this Google form to enter.

So what happened to the 12 days of Christmas?
Well, I'm still calling this the 12 Days of Christmas giveaway. There will be 12 prizes, and the actual event will start on December 12th. So it's a little different than last year, but the idea is still there.

Do I have to have a book to exchange?
Nope! The title is a little misleading, I admit. There will be 12 prizes, all provided by me. We will be exchanging prizes as a white elephant swap. If you don't know how that works, there's a brief overview at the very bottom of this post.

So how do I enter?
You need to fill out this Google form before 11:59 PST on December 10th. Since there is only 12 prizes, we can only have 12 players. On December 11th I will randomly select 12 participants from the list to play in the exchange game. Play will commence on the 12th.  Everyone who enters will be given +1 entries.  Extra entries available are listed below. 

Who can enter?
There are only two requirements: you must be a US or Canada resident (sorry international friends!) and you must be able to respond to emails within 24 hours (very important!). I know people get busy this time of year, but we want the game to move fast (otherwise you'll get your prizes in February).

What are the prizes?
That's the other surprise. The prizes are a secret this year! But you will get a clue about each prize and what type it is (picture book, anthology, non-fiction, etc.) when our 12 players are ready to play. I can tell you that they are ALL Christmas books this year. I scoured all my sources to search out Christmas books for you guys, since last year was lacking on the book prizes.

Are there extra entries?
Yes! You can earn extra entries before you submit your form. This will give you a great chance at being picked as one of our 12 players.
+7 for submitting a guest post
+5 for grabbing the A Shady Glade Christmas button. You can find it in the right sidebar.
+1/link for posting about the contest (sidebar, blog, twitter, etc.)
+1 for following

How does a White Elephant Exchange work?
Honestly, I have no idea where the name came from. But in general, this is how it works (our players will get more detailed rules before they start playing for prizes):

There are 12 players. Player 1 will pick a prize from the list, and I will reveal what that prize is. Player 2 then has two options. They can either pick a different prize they want revealed, or they can "steal" Player 1's prize. If they steal Player 1's prize, Player 1 will need to pick a new prize to be revealed. Player 3 can either steal Player 2's prize or Player 1's prize, or choose a new prize to be revealed. If a prize is stolen, then the person it was stolen from will need to pick a new prize or steal from someone else. And so on and so forth until every player has a prize.

Now, if you're ready, make sure you've filled out the Google form to enter for a chance to be one of our 12 players.

As always, let me know if you have any questions. I will update/expand this post as needed.

Good luck!

Bah Humbug

The worst thing at all during the holiday season is getting sick. Unfortunately I’ve been fighting off a cold for a couple weeks, and it decided to rear its very ugly head again this weekend. Hence the reason I am behind on Christmas posts.

But, the good news is that I am feeling a bit better today. Look out for rules for the 12 Days of Christmas giveaway to be posted tonight.

Meanwhile, there's still room for a few guest posts.  Share your favorite winter tradition or holiday.  All the details are here!

For those who have already emailed me about doing a guest post, if you haven't heard back from me, try again.  Also, some people said they had trouble with comment verification, so I have temporarily turned it off, just for the holidays.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Happy Haul-idays from Chronicle Books 2011

Remember last year when I entered Chronicle Books' Happy Haul-idays contest? Well, I didn't win, but it was fun to do so I'm super glad I had a chance to do it again this year. Actually, I made up my list weeks and weeks ago, but it slipped my mind until today that I never did my post. I squeaked in just in time, since the deadline is today.

For those who didn't see me particpate last year, here's the general idea. To enter, create a list of Chronicle titles you would like to win valued at up to $500. One random blog post will be chosen to win.

But wait! You can win too! One random commentor on the winning blog post will also win books. So, you can win too by commenting on this post (*hint hint*).

This year they've added another new feature. They're also giving away $500 of books to the winning blogger's charity of choice. My choice would be our local Friends of the Library branch. I'm a big supporter of libraries, and our county's system has been hit really hard with budget cuts. More and more on upcoming books I see the words "Order cancelled" instead of "Order pending for XXX branch". I think they could really use some new books for circulation.

But anyway, enough about that. Here's my list for this year. You might notice a few repeats from last year, but there's lots of new stuff too. It's filled with Disney books for me, Star Wars stuff for my brother, cookbooks for my mom and a few things for my Dad. Because I can't stand to not share my goodwill (in the very rare chance I do win) with my family too. :)

The Book of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks: A Celebration of Creative Punctuation
By Bethany Keeley

The Art of Tangled
By Jeff Kurtti, John Lasseter, Nathan Greno, Byron Howard

The Art of The Princess and the Frog
By Jeff Kurtti, John Lasseter, John Musker, Ron Clements

Obsessed With Star Wars
By Benjamin Harper

See's Famous Old Time Candies: A Sweet Story
By Margaret Moos Pick

Sky High: Irresistible Triple-Layer Cakes
By Alisa Huntsman, Peter Wynne, Tina Rupp

Eric Carle's Dream Snow Pop-Up Advent Calendar
By Eric Carle

Setting the Scene: The Art and Evolution of Animation Layout
By Fraser MacLean Foreword by Pete Docter

To Infinity and Beyond!: The Story of Pixar Animation Studios
By Karen Paik,Based on Interviews and Research by Leslie Iwerks,Foreword by John Lasseter,and Ed Catmull,and Steve Jobs

Milk & Cookies: 89 Heirloom Recipes from New York's & Cookies Bakery
By Tina Casaceli, Foreword by Jacques Torres

The Star Wars Poster Book
By Stephen J. Sansweet, and Peter Vilmur

Pinhole Cameras: A DIY Guide
By Chris Keeney

Top Pot Hand-Forged Doughnuts: Secrets and Recipes for the Home Baker
By Mark and Michael Klebeck with Jess Thomson

Cake Simple: Recipes for Bundt-Style Cakes from Classic Dark Chocolate to Luscious Lemon Basil
By Christie Matheson

F in Exams: The Very Best Totally Wrong Test Answers
By Richard Benson

Meow: I Love Cats
Featuring images by Rachael Hale McKenna, Catherine Ledner & Gandee Vasan

Cake Pops: 20 Notecards and Envelopes
By Bakerella

Grand total: $491.49

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Welcome to A Shady Glade Christmas 2011

Well, today is the first of December, so that means....

A Shady Glade Christmas 2011!

A Shady Glade Christmas is back for the third year. I really struggled with this feature last year, mostly because I hadn't planned on doing it again after my first time in 2009. But a lot of people asked me if I was doing it again, and so 2010 went on with a little struggle.

BUT, this year I did plan! So hopefully it will be great this year. I know for sure I've got lots of Christmas and winter themed book prizes to give away this year. Because getting presents this time of year is always fun. :)

For those of you who are new, A Shady Glade Christmas is a series of posts celebrating all things Christmas, wintery, and holiday. There is (hopefully) one post a day from now until Christmas on the 25th. There's book reviews, reflections, gift lists, and of course the always popular 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway.

If you'd like to join in, I am always really excited to have people submit guest posts. Share with us your favorite winter/Christmas/holiday book/movie/song/tradition. It doesn't have to be long or fancy, and don't worry if you're not a good writer. It's the content we care about after all. If you're interested in doing a guest post, check out the call for them at this post.

And if you have a blog, make sure you grab some bling for your blog. It might earn you some extra entries for contests later. *hint hint*

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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Reminder: One Month Left...

Would you like to win a new hardcover copy of Tamora Pierce's newest short story collection, Tortall and Other Lands: A Collection of Tales?  If so, you're in luck.  There's still a month left to sign up to participate in the Tamora Tamora Pierce Reading Challenge.  You only have to read one book to qualify as long as you write some sort of wrap up when you have finished your challenge. 

For those of you who have signed up, how are you doing?  Are you going to make your goal by the end of Decemeber? 

I have three books left, Terrier, Bloodhound, and Tortall and Other Lands (on my Kindle).  Now if I can just finish them with all the other reading I have to finish by January...

A new linky will be up soon for those of you who are finished and want to write your wrap up posts. 

Tomorrow starts A Shady Glade Christmas, so don't forget to come back and check in for that. 

Happy reading everyone!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

It's Coming... Call for Guest Posts!

Hello blog readers! I hope you had a fun Thanksgiving for those who celebrate. Of course, now Christmas is just around the corner. And those of you who are longtime followers know what that means:

That’s right, it’s almost time for A Shady Glade Christmas! I know I almost didn’t do it last year, but this will be my third year celebrating and I’m super excited this year. It’s a 25 day celebration about the holidays, traditions, favorite books/movies, and lots of great guest posts.

Returning this year will also be the 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway where I give away 12 Christmas prizes to my blog readers. There will be a big twist on the contests this year, so I hope you enjoy them.

But this post isn’t about that. It’s about those previously mentioned guest posts. Frankly, after two years, I’m running out of things to post about. But I love reading guest posts from all of you!

We’ve had some great posts over the years about various favorite Christmas books or movies, holiday traditions, family heirlooms, and even how they celebrate Christmas in Australia.

I want YOU to participate this year. If you’ve done one in the past, we’d love to have you back again. But I’d also love to have new people. Those of you who are new blog readers or just haven’t stepped up to a do a post before. Maybe you’re a lurker, and you read the blog, but don’t comment a lot. Do a guest post! We’d love the chance to get to know you better!

As far as subject, you can pick anything as long as it’s holiday themed. Share your favorite Christmas book or movie, why you love it. What traditions do you have this time of year? Do you celebrate a different holiday other than Christmas (like Kwanzaa or Hanukkah?) Tell us about them! Don’t celebrate any holidays? What’s your favorite thing about winter? Anything goes, as long as it has something to do with this time of year.

So please, for those of you who have contributed in the past, and even more especially for those of you who haven’t, we want to read your guest posts! They don’t have to be long or fancy, just heartfelt. Okay, I didn’t want to have to bribe you, but there is also a special prize being given away for anyone who does a guest post. Only they will get a chance to win it. But it’s a secret, so I’m not telling you what the prize is yet. :)

If you are interested, send me an email at shadyglade (AT) mail (DOT) com (not gmail, just regular, and no spaces) with the subject you’d like to post about AND a day you want it to be posted. If you don’t care what day, at least give me a week that works for you so we can set up a deadline to get it to me. If you’re having trouble with email, please leave me a comment.

Here’s looking forward to some great entries!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Blogoversary Winners (Finally)

First of all, let me say that I am totally and completely embarrassed it has taken me so long to getting around to announcing these. I had the winners decided about a week after the blogoversary contests closed back in October, and I have just been too busy to post them. Then my computer ate the spreadsheet with everyone’s info on it… it’s been a mess all around.

Oh well, better late than never, right?

Here are the winners for all 30 prizes offered during the Blogoversary contests. Yes, the announcements are late, but the good news is you should all get your prizes in time for Christmas! Speaking of which, there will be MORE prizes up for grabs come December. But more about that later this week…

As I mentioned, I have misplaced the mailing addresses (and in some case email addresses) that everyone submitted when they entered. If you see your name in the winning cases below, please email me at shadyglade AT mail DOT com to tell me where to send your books. Also, with so many prizes, we did have a few people who won multiple things, so double check the whole list before sending yoru email.

Congrats to all the winners! Don’t forget to email me!

Lot #100: YA Mystery Box – Audrey

Lot #101: Recycled Book Purse – Marie N.

Lot #102: Paranormal/Fantasy pack – Rosie Carlo

Lot #103: Sorcery and Cecelia or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer – Jennifer S.

Lot #104: Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter – Ashley (Book Labyrinth)

Lot #105: Goose Chase by Patrice Kindl – Jennifer S.

Lot #106: Ghost set – Mary DeBorde [M.A.D.]

Lot #107: The Edge on the Sword by Rebecca Tingle – Jennifer S.

Lot #108: Babymouse, Our Hero by Matt and Jennifer Holm – Kristen H.

Lot #109: What the Dormouse Said: Lessons for Grown-ups from Children's Books by Amy Gash – Ashley (Book Labyrinth)

Lot #200: Mystery ARC box – Angie L.

Lot #201: Handmade Pumpkin Bookmark – Ashley (Book Labyrinth)

Lot #202: Tamora Pierce Prize Pack – Kristen H.

Lot #203: The Man You'll Marry by Debbie Macomber – Ashley (Book Labyrinth)

Lot #204: Letters from Rapunzel by Sara Lewis Holmes – Angie L.

Lot #205: Nicola and the Viscount by Meg Cabot – Jennifer S.

Lot #206: 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson – Mina H.

Lot #207: Ghosts of Kerfol by Deborah Noyes – Robin B.

Lot #208: NERDS pack – Jasmyn

Lot #209: Ingo by Helen Dunmore – Melissa @ 1lbr

Lot #300: Graphic Novel Mystery Box – Debbie B.

Lot #301: Dark Divine Nail Polish – Trisha W.

Lot #302: History Prize Pack – Stephanie/Bookworm1858

Lot #303: Lady Grace Mysteries: Betrayal by Patricia Finney – Jasmyn

Lot #304: The Two Princesses of Bamarre by Gail Carson Levine – Jennifer S.

Lot #305: Raiders' Ransom by Emily Diamand – Lieder Madchen

Lot #306: Real Princesses: An Inside Look at the Royal Life by Valerie Wilding – Lieder Madchen

Lot #307: Pride and Prejudice Prize Pack – Melissa @ 1lbr

Lot #308: The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo – Jenna

Lot #309: ARC Prize Pack #2 (Thank you again to Kristen of The Book Monsters for donating this prize!) – Lieder Madchen

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Need Book Recommendations

Hello Readers! 

Okay, so I know I've been super bad about updating lately.  Let's just leave it at life has been crazier than I thought and all my free time has been completely used before I have time for blogging.  But hopefully that will be remedied soon!  In the meantime, I'm getting ready for special event in December (more info on that as it gets closer). 

Which brings me to the reason for this post.  I am looking for book recommendations for the holidays.  What is your favorite Christmas/other holiday/winter book? (or books if you have more than one favorite)  They can be any age, picture books, novels, anthologies, adult, teen, anything.  Please leave your suggestions in the comments or send me an email at shadyglade(AT)mail(DOT)com. 

Thanks!  You'll be really helping me out!

Friday, November 04, 2011

Update on Tamora Pierce Reading Challenge

So I have some good news for some of you. A couple weeks ago some of my readers stumbled across my Tamora Pierce Reading Challenge, only to express disappointment that they had discovered it so late.

I figured why not spread the joy, so the challenge has been extended until the end of the year! Which is good for me too, since because of other commitments (*cough* Cybils *cough*) I didn’t meet my goal yet, but am on track to finish by the end of the year. The challenge will now finish on December 31, 2011.

I’ve also found a prize for us. At the end of the year, one participant in the challenge will be randomly selected to receive a brand new hardcover copy of Tortall and Other Lands: A Collection of Tales, Ms. Pierce’s new book that came out last February.

If you want to win, you need to have signed up to participate in the challenge using Mr. Linky on the original page. And if you haven’t signed up yet, what are you waiting for?  Signups remain open for the length of the challenge.  It only takes 1 book to participate, and you can read that by January, can’t you?

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween to everyone who celebrates!  I'll be busy handing out candy tonight, but for those of you who stop by, here's a little Halloween treat to entertain you for a few minutes.  My mom turned me onto this, and it is the coolest thing ever:

And here's a Thriller one (since that's a classic):

Enjoy your night!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Some new widgets in the sidebar

Hello readers! I wanted to pop in really quick and bring your attention to one of the new widgets in the blog sidebar, especially if you get these posts via feed and don’t see the actual blog very often.

Over on the right hand side, I’ve added a widget for my “currently reading” shelf on Goodreads. This is for two reasons. One, I’ve wanted to put up a currently reading thing for a while, but wasn’t sure of the best way to do it since I often read multiple books at one time. The second reason is that while the Cybils awards get underway for this year, I find myself spending more time reading and less on the internet as I’m fulfilling my judging responsibilities. So review frequency (as well as frequency of other posts) can slow down this time of year. So this at least will show a record of what I’m reading, even if I’m too busy to post about it at the time.

The other widget I’ve had up for a while that you may or may not have noticed, is my 2011 Goodreads Reading Challenge one. It’s also on the right side, although down a bit. I challenged myself to read 160 books during 2011. Right now I’m sitting at about 115. It’s a good thing it’s Cybils season, because I am obviously behind. Do you think I can read 45 books by the end of the year? I guess we’ll see.

By the way, if anyone wants to friend me on Goodreads, feel free. I don’t post a lot of my reviews there, but I give lots of “status” comments on my currently reading shelf, and I do usually rate the books at least.

By the way, the winners of the blogoversary contest WILL be posted soon. I’ve been having some trouble getting the list extracted from my buggy computer. But it will be coming soon, I promise!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Secret Santa HELP!

Halloween is in a couple of days, and as hard as it is to get my head around it, that means Christmas is just around the corner.

One of my very favorite things to do during the holidays is to particpate in Secret Santa exchanges with other book lovers/bloggers. Usually I do about 3 exchanges, but this year, I've only found one, hosted by Kate and Kristen at The Book Monsters. It's made me kind of sad because I really do enjoy doing the exchanges...

So I'm hoping you can all help me out. Are you participating in book/blogger Secret Santa this year? Are the signups still open? Leave me a link in the comments. Help me spread a little holiday cheer!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

What do you think?

One of my goals for the rest of this year (call it an early New Year’s Resolution if you will) is to get back into doing reviews on the blog. These used to be my prime focus, and I’ve kind of neglected them in the last little stretch of my blogging activities.

There are many reasons why this happened, but this is the main one. I really have been writing reviews, despite the fact that my blog sometimes shows otherwise. :) Most of my reviews have been written for publication in Sacramento Book Review, a local review newspaper that I review. Originally when I started the reviews were only to be used by the publications themselves, but recently the owners gave permission for us to repost our reviews in other place. I think it had a lot to do with the fact that the reviews were taken down by and that the site’s servers lost most of the archived reviews in a recent move.

So here’s a question for you, my blog readers. Would you like me to repost some of my SBR reviews? Just to keep things fresh and moving while I’m busy with other projects. I do have to warn you, we’re constrained to 200 words, so some of them are a little shorter than my normal reviews.

Let me know what you think in the comments below. Thanks!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Something Else I've Been Working On...

Okay readers, things are almost back to normal, I promise. And I’m going to let you in on a little secret. One of the (many) reasons I’ve been lacking in my blogging lately is because I’m working on a new blog.

Yeah, you read that right. A new blog.

Don’t worry, it won’t interfere with this one. I’m still going to talk about all things book related here. But lately, I’ve been wanting more and more to talk about movies that I watch too. So the new blog is going to be a movie blog. And I’m almost done setting it up.

The problem is, I suck at coming up with names. Does anyone have any good ideas for me?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

So now what?

Well, it's been a busy summer for me.  You may have noticed I've been a little quiet lately.  With the 2011 YA Bloggers Book Battle and the 5th Blogoversary both behind me, it's been a good time to take a step back and refelct a bit. 

Don't worry though, things are still happening.  I've been working on a few things behind the scenes, some of which you should be hearing about in the next few days.  Some are blog-related, and some are side projects that are keeping me away from the computer.  I'm also looking forward to Decemeber, which hopefully will be the next big project I'm doing on the blog.  I'm big project worn out! 

I'm going to try to keep blogging while I work behind the scenes, but posts will probably be shorter and more random.  Because I've found that's how I get when I'm busy.  In the meantime, I'm also tallying up winners for the 5th Blogoversary giveaway, so keep an eye out for that post, hopefully in the next week.  That way I can start sending out all of those 30 prizes!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Help a Classroom in Need!

I had an online aquantance reach out to me regarding getting books for her 5th grade daughter's classroom.  The teacher wants to get new books for a reading group but the school doesn't have the budget for the new books. 

So I'm trying to help her out.  If you have any of the books listed below, any condition (new or used), any format (hardcover or paperback) and you would be willing to donate them, please send me an email at shadyglade (AT) mail (DOT) com to let me know. 

You'll be helping kids get great books in their hands.  Can't think of a better way to do a good deed.  :)

Needed Books:
A Long Way From Chicago by Richard Peck

A Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck

Freaky Friday by Mary Rodgers

The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis

Shoeshine Girl by Clyde Robert Bulla, Jim Burke (Illustrator)

The Black Pearl by Scott O'Dell

The BFG by Roald Dahl

The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin

Schooled by Gordon Korman

Monday, October 10, 2011

Random 5th Blogoversary Giveaway

What's this you say?  Another 5th Blogoversary Giveaway?  But haven't we already had one? 

The answer to all of those questions is yes.  But due to some issues with the form and registration, I've admitted defeat and decided to do the giveaway a different way.  While the silent auction format was a good idea, it didn't work as well in execution as it did in planning.  Mostly because everyone was bidding on the same prizes.  So due to the fact that so many prizes went unclaimed, I am reformatting the contest, and extending it until the end of the week. 

Here's how the new contest will work.  For every prize that has not had any "bidders" (or has only 1 bidder with a 1 point bid), I will be re-offering the prizes up for grabs.  EVERYONE can enter this contest, and prizes will be awarded by  All you have to do is pick which prizes you want to enter for.  Easy, right?  So if you didn't enter before, I strongly encourage you to do so now.  Yes, you at the computer.  You know you want free books, right?

This (new) contest will be open until 11:59 pm on Friday, October 14.  To enter, simply fill out the Google form found at the end of the post.  Or you can email me your entries at shadyglade (AT) mail (DOT) com.  Of course, if you prefer to enter the old way, the forms are still open on this page.  It's a great way to increase your chances at winning a particular prize.  Otherwise, prizes are going to be awarded randomly. As before, this giveaway is open internationally.

Here is a recap of the prizes that have been reshuffled for this giveaway.  If you'd more information on these prizes, you can check out the original prize posts (one, two, and three).  Scoll all the way to the bottom for the entry form, or follow this link

Prizes still up for grabs:

Paranormal/Fantasy pack
Dragon's Bait by Vivian Vande Velde and Sunshine by Robin McKinley.

Sorcery and Cecelia or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer

Goose Chase by Patrice Kindl

Ghost set
The House Next Door by Richie Tankersley Cusick and Time Windows by Kathryn Reiss

The Edge on the Sword by Rebecca Tingle

Babymouse, Our Hero by Matt and Jennifer Holm

Handmade Pumpkin Bookmark

Tamora Pierce Prize Pack
A whole box of assorted Tamora Pierce books (Tortall books only)

The Man You'll Marry by Debbie Macomber

Nicola and the Viscount by Meg Cabot

13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson

Ghosts of Kerfol by Deborah Noyes

NERDS pack
NERDS (National Espionage, Rescue, and Defense Society), and the second book, M is for Mama's Boy, both by Michael Buckley

Ingo by Helen Dunmore

Graphic Novel Mystery Box
A box full of new/like new graphic novels for you to enjoy

Dark Divine Nail Polish
Two bottles, one for you and one for a friend

History Prize Pack
Historical Tweets by Alan Beard and Alec McNayr and Don't Know Much About History by Kenneth C. Davis

Lady Grace Mysteries: Betrayal by Patricia Finney

The Two Princesses of Bamarre by Gail Carson Levine

Pride and Prejudice Prize Pack
Mr. Darcy's Dream and The True Darcy Spirit by Elizabeth Aston (both sequels to Pride and Prejudice) and a copy of Darcy's Story by Janet Aylmer (Pride and Prejudice from Mr. Darcy's point of view)

The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo