Wednesday, July 20, 2011

And the Winner Is...

The votes have been tallied and it's time to announce the winner of our readers poll!  The winner, of course, will be our returning book for Series 4 that gets a final last chance at the final and winning spot.  So which book will it be?

The winner is StarCrossed by Elizabeth C. Bunce!

It will be moving on to Bracket 22, where it will go up against Stravaganza: City of Masks for one of the finalist spots in Series 5.

We're getting down to the end, and we have more results to announce later this week! Keep an eye out for the winners of Series 3 coming soon. And, for those who are curious, the second runners up for the poll were The Hollow Kingdom, John Belushi Is Dead, and Bloody Jack.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Quick Change For Returning Book Poll

There's been a slight update to the What Book Returns in Series 4 poll. Thanks to one of my sharp readers, it was brought to my attention that there is no way to NOT vote for a book in one of the series.  I've corrected the list, and now you have the option to choose "No vote for this series" as one of your votes.

I've sent an email to everyone who "chose" one of the default books on the list (Academy 7 for Series 1 and The Grimm Legacy for Series 2) as their vote to ensure that they meant to pick that book.  If you fall into that category and for some reason didn't get an email, go ahead and resubmit your corrected vote using the form on the original post.  Just put "Resubmission: (your email address)" in the Email address box so I know to delete your earlier vote.

For those of you who haven't voted, you have until midnight on the 18th (Monday).  Remember, ANYONE can vote, and your email address are only used to track multiple submissions and will be deleted after the poll is closed.  So don't forget to vote!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

You Pick What Book Returns!

For those of you who've been keeping an eye on the brackets graphic for the battle may have noticed a mysterious spot in Round 4.  And while returning battle spectators from last year may know what this means, those of you who are new might not.

To keep brackets evenly matched, we need another competitor to add to Round 4.  So we "resurrect" one of the previously eliminated titles and give it one last second chance at the coveted spot in Series 5.  Last year a team of judges helped narrow down which books were eligible for the spot.  There was a lot of thought and feedback from last year (both judges and spectators) that went into the planning for this year.  And I've decided to do things a little differently.

To be truly fair to those books that maybe didn't get a chance because they were matched up with the wrong book, I've decided to narrow the field of competitors to only books eliminated in Series 1 and Series 2.  This also makes it easier on our Round 4 judges in the affected bracket, since they don't have to wait for a decision at the end of Round 3 to get their assignment.

So, now it's your turn.  Want to have a say in which book comes back?  Fill out the form below and let your voice be heard!  You can choose up to 2 books, one from each series.  Pick a book from one series or the other, or you can pick one from each.  It's up to you.  The book that gets the most votes will move on.  The announcement will be made at the end of Series 3.

You have until midnight on July 18th to vote.  So what are you waiting for?  Go fill out the form already!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Book Battle: Round 2 Series 2 Winners (Part 2)

Welcome back to the 2011 YA Bloggers Book Battle. It's time to announce the rest of our winners from Series 2. So without further ado, let's jump into the brackets.

Bracket 16:
StarCrossed by Elizabeth C. Bunce VS. Threads and Flames by Esther Friesner
Judged by Ashley of Book Labyrinth

This had to be a hard bracket to judge, and I don't envy Ashley her job. Two very different books were matched up here, one a engaging historical novel and the other a unique fantasy with excellent world-building. But only one can make it out. Which one would it be?

Here's what Judge Ashley had to say about the process:
"This was a tough decision because the books are so different. An incredibly fun cat-burglar fantasy tale versus a heart wrenching historical. They’re so dissimilar that it’s tough to judge them against each other. When it came down to it I asked myself “Which book, of the two, would you say that people have to read?” The answer was clear."
Would your clear answer be the same? It is if you picked the winner as...Threads and Flames by Esther Friesner! I have to say I'm happy for this book. As I mentioned in the announcement posts for the last series, I recently finished it and loved it. But I must say I'm disappointed to see StarCrossed go. But, don't count it out yet. We do have that Round 4 surprise coming up...

And so Threads and Flames moves on to Series 3, where it will meet Song of the Sparrow head on in Bracket 20.

Bracket 17:
Stravaganza: City Of Masks by Mary Hoffman VS. John Belushi Is Dead by Kathy Charles
Judged by Mariah of A Reader's Adventure

Mariah is one of our returning judges this year, and we're so happy to have her back. She also had a interesting bracket to judge with a more lighter middle grade-ish time travel book (that I highly admire) pitched against a unique contemporary story. Even with her veteran judging experience, Judge Mariah had a hard time choosing:
"So as you can see this was a really hard decision, and ultimately came down to which book held more surprises throughout it, as well as which book kept me the most captivated."
So which book was more surprising and captivating. In a surprising turn of events (for me at least) the winner is...Stravaganza: City Of Masks by Mary Hoffman! I'm happy to see this one win another round, and I am also pleasantly surprised, since I didn't expect this book to go this far.

Bracket 18:
Stork by Wendy Delsol VS. The Hollow Kingdom by Clare B. Dunkle
Judged by Stormi from Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My! and Cade from Braintasia Books

Our judges this round included a newcomer (Cade) and another veteran judge from last year (Stormi). Together they teamed up to judge a pair of evenly-matched fantasies. Just like last time, this was the bracket I was most nervous about, since The Hollow Kingdom easily fits in my Top 10 favorite books. But what would the judges think?

Judge Stormi had this to say about the process:
"So as I read these two books I had to go with the book that held the most appeal to me. The one that had a interesting storyline. I went with the one that held my attention and made me care more about the characters in the book. "
Judge Cade added that they picked the winner:
"Because of its original concept, general readability, and totally awesome main character..."
And which book made it out in one piece? The winner is...Stork by Wendy Delsol! So although I'm disappointed to see The Hollow Kingdom go, it sounds like I need to read Stork ASAP. :) Stork will move forward in the battle, heading up against City of Masks in Bracket 21 of the next series.

And as they say, that's all she wrote for Series 2. Don't forget to click through the links to read the full (and awesome) judges' posts.  I only pull a tiny snippet of their thoughts for these roundups, so if this is all you're reading, you're missing half the fun!  Series 3 judges are already underway with their judging, with decisions (hopefully) being made by Saturday. So keep an eye out for those in the coming week or so.

And if you're tired of being a spectator and want to have some say in the battle, definitely come back tomorrow to see the surprise twist in store. Oh, and check out the Reader's Choice Awards currently going on with our Goodreads group. More fun stuff coming your way with those in the next few weeks as well.

Viva la Book Battle!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Book Battle: Round 2 Series 2 Winners (Part 1)

So after an unfortunate delay, we're back to announcing bracket winners! Amazing how fast the contenders dwindle, isn't it? Series 2 results will be broken up over two short days. And there will be a surprise after that as well. But since we're here to announce winners, let's get started!

Bracket 13:
Intrinsical by Lani Woodland VS. The Grimm Legacy by Polly Shulman
Judged by Heidi and husband partner A from Las Vegas Ladies of Literature

After The Grimm Legacy beat out Keturah and Lord Death last time, I admit I had high hopes for it this round. I recently started the book and am loving it, although I haven't had a chance to get my hand on Intrinsical. (Which, incidentally, seems to be a pattern among our judges). Anyway, I knew Heidi and her partner had their work cut out for them, and they responded magnificently! Despite being one of the last brackets in Series 2 to know both of their assignments, they finished quite earlier. They officially win the Fastest Judging Award! But what did they think of the contenders?

Judge Heidi had this to say about the winning book:
"I was hooked from the start. It kept me intrigued and made me read it in 24 hours. It was a nice paced, intense read that was not as heavy and depressing as I thought it would be. It had a nice blend of creepy, humor and romance."
And Judge A had this to add:
"The more I got into it, the more I was intrigued. Despite my best efforts, dang it, I cared about the characters. I wanted them to work it all out."
Sounds like A declared a winner a little reluctantly maybe? So which book won? It is... Intrinsical by Lani Woodland! Heidi and partner have a great breakdown and analysis of the whole decision on their blog, so don't forget to pop over and have a look at that.

Bracket 14:
Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper VS. Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress by Tina Ferraro
Judged by Lizzy of Cornucopia Of Reviews and Melissa of My Chaotic Ramblings

Top Ten seemed to be our underdog winner from last time, with a surprise upset over the much more serious Devil's Kiss. But would it prevail again? Well, the book that did move on was a big hit with the judges.

Judge Melissa had this to say about the winning title:
"I literally fell in love with the main character in [the winning] book right off the bat. I couldn't stop reading and it ended up taking me about 6 hours to finish the book."
Think you guessed the winner? I'll let Judge Lizzy make the announcement for this one:
"There was really no contest about which book was the winner, we both agreed that Out of My Mind beat out Prom Dress. The story was moving, the characters were believable, and most importantly I think that there's something in it that everyone can relate to. The story and the characters were so compelling that I found myself tearing up during a couple of scenes. So, a big two thumbs up from me!"
So there you have it. Out of My Mind gets two more glowing reviews from the judges, and moves on to the next series, where it will come up against the also highly rated Intrinsical. These decisions are going to get harder and harder folks...

Bracket 15:
Storm Thief by Chris Wooding VS. Song Of The Sparrow by Lisa Ann Sandell
Judged by Kayla of Caught Between The Pages

Song of the Sparrow was a strong favorite among its bracket last time around, as was Storm Thief. When two favorites come head to head, which one will come out on top? Judge Kayla reviewed both books, but had this to say about the winner:
"All in all, this book was practically perfect to me. I read through it very quickly, loved every moment of it, and wish there was more. The ending was brilliant, the characters witty and captivating."
And which book is she talking about? The winner of this bracket is...Song Of The Sparrow by Lisa Ann Sandell! So this book will be winging it's way (pun intended) to the next series of brackets where it will battle it out against a new competitor.

And with that we are halfway through. As always, don't forget to click through the links to all the judges' blogs to read their full posts, which are awesome as usual. Come back tomorrow for the rest of the Series 2 results!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Free Books!

Since my new job requires a bus ride to work, I've found myself getting much more reading done lately.  And as my "read" pile gets a little larger, I realize it's time to get rid of some of the books on my bookshelves.

So here I offer them to all of you.  Some of these have been on my shelves for so long, I'm very ready to get rid of them.  A lot of these I'm giving away for free, all you have to do is cover the shipping costs.   If you see anything you're interested in, email me right away (shadygladeATmailDOTcom).  Rather than list all the book this time, I've decided to do a cover montage through Goodreads.  That way it links to the book's description, and you get to see all the pretty covers too.

These are divided into Free, $1, and $2 categories.  You just pay the price of the book (if any), plus shipping.  Rates are listed at the very, very bottom of this post, and I do ship internationally.  If you've got a lot of books you're interested, I can look into doing a Priority flat rate box, since it might be cheaper (depending on where you live).

If you have any books on my wishlist (left sidebar), let me know since I might also be willing to trade.  I prefer PayPal as a method of payment, which requires a credit card. Anyone who can't do PayPal, send me an email (shadyglade(AT)mail(DOT)com) and we'll work something out.

Almost all of these are either new or like new condition. I take very good care of my books. I will confirm condition of every book before shipment, so you'll know exactly what you're getting before you pay for anything.  So without further ado, here's the books.

Free Books

Free ARCs

$1 books

$2 books

Shipping costs
Up to 1 pound $3.18
1-2 pounds $3.57
2-3 pounds $3.96
3-4 pounds $4.35
4-5 pounds $4.74
5-6 pounds $5.13
6-7 pounds $5.52
7-8 pounds $5.91
Above 8 pounds, you can email for a quote.

Shipping will be done via Media Mail for US addresses, since it's much cheaper. Shipping is determined by the weight of the books. If you'd like to know beforehand how heavy something is that you're interested in, let me know and I'll weigh it for you. Shipping costs also include delivery confirmation for the US, so you can track the package while en route.