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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

FORGET-HER-NOTS Contest Winners!

First off, thanks to everyone who entered. All 302 entries have been tallied! I organized them in a manner that only I would understand before I went to random.org and asked it to spit out two numbers. Both numbers ended in 6 which I thought was weird, but that has absolutely no bearing on anything really. I just thought I would share.

Translation: WE HAVE WINNERS!

A signed copy of FORGET-HER-NOTS and some super cool swag goes to... Jade.
A FHN swag pack, complete with signed swag goes to... Elizabeth.

Congratulations ladies! I have e-mailed you both. Please respond with your mailing address is 48-hours or a new winner will be chosen.

WARNING: I'm jumping on my soap box.

Lastly, can I just say that there would have been more entries if people followed instructions. I know that tweets and sidebar posts and all the various linkage I request can be tedious, but some people didn't even note that being a blog follower was required, so they were disqualified. Others had their profiles set to private so I couldn't verify that they were followers. The laundry list of offenses goes on....

I guess what I'm saying is that there are more contests coming up and following directions is key. I don't want to eliminate you on a technicality! Really I don't!

Also, in this contest and the last one I had numerous people not leave an e-mail address. It hasn't been a problem yet, but I don't want it to become one. The moral of this story is that leaving an e-mail in your comment makes our lives easy. You get cool books in a timely fashion and I am a happy blogger. Capish?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Don't hate the blogger, hate the game

Okay, I'll be very upfront. I'm blogging today because feel it. My dander's up and I need to get this off my chest. All this talk of bloggers never posting a bad review has got me hot!

A blogger friend of mine was accused of that just yesterday and I couldn't believe it. She is one of the most dedicated bloggers I know and, while she's never mean, she doesn't sugarcoat things. If she didn't like something, she will tell you. (Read her post on this topic HERE.)So you can imagine my shock at hearing that someone thought she only posted positive reviews of books, like she was some kind of publicity plant. And it's not the first time I've heard these kinds of allegations against awesome book bloggers.

Bloggers spend a lot of their time reading and reviewing to get the word out and promote great new books that are forthcoming. But you know this. What you might not know is that there are people who exist just to disagree with other people, sully their name and make that person look bad. (Well, maybe you knew that too.)

And I'm not talking about people who comment on a blog to share their opinion in an honest and meaningful way. I'm talking about people who pop up on occasion and accuse bloggers of being dishonest or a shyster - no better than the stereotypical greasy used car salesman.

Do we, as bloggers, know authors? Of course we do. Are we in their pocket? NO WAY!

Some people might assume that because we get an advance copy of a book or we know an author that we feel we should give their book a positive review. But bloggers aren't around to cater to authors or publishing houses. We don't get paid for what we do and we certainly don't blow smoke. That's what PR flacks are for.

If you want to know the truth of the matter, there are endless reasons why it seems like a blogger writes only positive reviews. Let's examine the possibilities...

(More beneath the cut.)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Uncovered: Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

Tenner Kiersten White has a cover for her debut young adult novel PARANORMALCY. I saw it and immediately thought, "Even if I knew nothing about this book, I would buy this book on its cover art alone!"

It is beautiful and has a haunting quality that is sure to make it leap off the shelves. It's definitely striking, in my opinion. Read all about Kiersten's excitement on her blog, Kiersten Writes.

What does everyone think? Leave a comment and let me know.

Coming from HarperTeen on September 21, 2010.

Sixteen-year-old Evie’s job is bagging and tagging paranormals. Possessing the strange ability to see through their glamours, she works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency. But when someone–or something–starts taking out the vamps, werewolves, and other odd beasties she’s worked hard to help become productive members of society, she’s got to figure it out before they all disappear and the world becomes utterly normal.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Maggie Stiefvater's Charlottesville signing and Contest

Yes, that's right. Today is all about me. Become my minions or perish.

Okay, so maybe it wasn't quite like that, but a signing with Maggie Stiefvater is never a tame event. Randomness and shenanigans are always part of the experience, and what starts out as an on-topic conversation about books can quickly degrade, but that's all part of the fun. Maggie's signing at the Barnes & Noble in Charlottesville, Virginia, last Saturday (March 13) was no exception.

Maggie fans of all ages showed up to catch a glimpse of the best selling author, packing tight into a corner of the bookstore to listen to her speak. I met up with Monica from Bibliophilic Book Blog and we befriended Laura from Tattooed Books at the event. Of course one of the first questions she answered was, "Where do you get your ideas?"

She explained that they start out as little nagging thoughts and slowly grow. Sometimes writing a short story just to put the idea down on paper and quiet the voices. Other times, they become so loud that something more is necessary. That was the case with Maggie's NYT best seller SHIVER. Maggie said the voice got rather impatient with that particular idea.

"Maggie Stiefvater," it boomed. "Write a book about werewolves and kissing."

So she did... And the people did rejoice. YAY! (In case you need a little more rejoicing, the sequel LINGER comes out on July 20.)

After talking about her books, she shared some stories about her travels. Including one about a security guard at the Newark airport who thought Maggie intended to take out a plane with her terrorist sketch book. All this because it had a metal latch on it. Too your left, you will see Maggie with the afforementioned "Sketch Book of Doom."

While she signed books and bookplates and doodled in several people's books, there was talk of critiquing and revisions and the Merry Sisters of Fate, a short fiction site that Maggie and her critique partners Brenna Yovanoff (THE REPLACEMENT, Razorbill 2010) and Tessa Gratton (BLOOD MAGIC, Random House 2011) post to regularly.

Maggie even reenacted her meeting with author M.T. Anderson at the Midwest Bookseller's Association annual meeting last fall where Publisher's Weekly snapped a photo of them chatting. On the left is Maggie playing M.T. Anderson and a podium standing in for Maggie. On the right is the actual shot, which is not quite as marked, but his face is priceless.

As the signing began to wind down, casual conversation with Maggie continued. Everything from the recent surge in zombie books to Loki's new stereo system was fair game. (Loki is Maggie's camaro for those who don't know.) That was about the time James from Book Chic Club rolled in, speeding ticket in hand.

Awful right? Yes, but this is not a first for our beloved boy blogger. Oh no. He's broken the law to get to Maggie before, and you can read about that incident here.  

Maggie and I also took a photo together. Long story short, Maggie apparently can't take a photo with me where she doesn't look like she's plotting my demise, so I pleaded with her to behave. That's when the camera malfunctioned, bad photos were taken and Maggie suddenly decided to take over as creative director of my blog. Of the handful of photos taken of us, the following train wreck of a photo is her selection...

I know what you're thinking, but I had no choice. Maggie chose. I tried to protest and her response was:
 "NYT best seller. I win."

A copy of Ballad, the sequel to Lament, is up for grabs! It's signed AND Maggie doodled the King of the Dead just inside the cover, so some lucky reader with not only have her autograph, but also some of her artwork.

You have to be a blog follower, and leave a comment on this post to enter. Extra entry opportunities are listed below.

Extra Entries
+3 Follower (New or Old)
+3 Add Wastepaper Prose to your blog roll
+2 Follow @wastepaperprose on Twitter
+1 Tweet about the contest. (Include @wastepaperprose in your tweet.)
+1 Link this contest on your blog

Don't forget to include your e-mail and links to tweets/posts, and tally your entries in your comment.
Contest closes on April 10 at midnight EST .

Iron King Winners!!!

Three weeks. Forty-five unique entrants. A total of 291 entries. One individual has emerged victorious.

Okay, well the truth is this person got really lucky because I put all the names into a randomizer and it spit out this particular name, but still... WE HAVE A WINNER!

Congratulations to Sandy (Scribing Shadows)!

You are the proud owner of a signed copy of THE IRON KING, some swag and a hand-painted Grimalkin rock, painted by author Julie Kagawa. See all the shiny goodies?

All you have to do is e-mail me within 48 hours. Contact info is in my profile. I would love to send you an e-mail letting know that you've won, but, alas, you did not leave an e-mail addy in your entry. (See people, following directions is to your benefit.)

But wait! There's more!

That's right. I was feeling a little generous this afternoon since I went to VA Festival of the Book yesterday and decided to give away some Tenner swag (some signed, all very cool) to another lucky reader who entered. So...

Congrads Rex Robot Reviews!

And I have e-mailed you, so just respond with your mailing address with 48 hours, and I will get that swag pack out to you.

Thanks to everyone who entered! Don't forget to enter my other contests. I'll be posting a new one tonight, and it's a good one. I promise.

Happy reading!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Uncovered: Beautiful Darkness (The Caster Chronicles #2)

Authors Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl promised that once the name was released that a cover would follow shortly, and they delivered! The cover for Beautiful Darkness, the sequel to Beautiful Creatures, was released today, and, I must say, it is quite fetching. Leave a comment and let me know what you think.

Some secrets are life-altering... Others are life-ENDING.
In stores October 26, 2010.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Brightly Woven Contest

Brightly Woven comes out in just about one week and author Alexandra Bracken is giving away a few copies on her website and livejournal as part of the Big Damn Contest. Go enter for your chance to win this fabulous book!

When Wayland North brings rain to a region that's been dry for over ten years, he's promised anything he'd like as a reward. He chooses the village elder's daughter, sixteen-year-old Sydelle Mirabel, who is a skilled weaver and has an unusual knack for repairing his magical cloaks. Though Sydelle has dreamt of escaping her home, she's hurt that her parents relinquish her so freely and finds herself awed and afraid of the slightly ragtag wizard who is unlike any of the men of magic in the tales she's heard. Still, she is drawn to this mysterious man who is fiercely protective of her and so reluctant to share his own past.

The pair rushes toward the capital, intent to stop an imminent war, pursued by Reuel Dorwan (a dark wizard who has taken a keen interest in Sydelle) and plagued by unusually wild weather. But the sudden earthquakes and freak snowstorms may not be a coincidence. As Sydelle discovers North's dark secret and the reason for his interest in her and learns to master her own mysterious power, it becomes increasingly clear that the fate of the kingdom rests in her fingertips. She will either be a savior, weaving together the frayed bonds between Saldorra and Auster, or the disastrous force that destroys both kingdoms forever.

Releases: March 23, 2010
Publisher: Egmont USA
Length: 368 pages

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Undercover Book Lover's Birthday Bash

The Undercover Book Lover is celebrating her birthday tomorrow and she's giving away a great lot of YA books. Take a peek...
Enter this great contest HERE.

Monday, March 8, 2010

SCBWI For the Loss

One weekend, not so very long ago, I decided to take the plunge, hand over $85 of my hard-earned money and join the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators. I mean, it's an investment right? Little did I know that it would lead to a call from my bank's fraud department.

So I sat down in front of my computer, credit card in hand, and filled out all the online forms for SCBWI, nothing difficult. Name. Address. E-mail. Writer. I filled in all the blanks and continued to the next screen. The credit card information screen.

After inputing my credit card number and verifying all the other information, I clicked "Submit." It took a moment to process and... ERROR. No explanation. Just a screen telling me that it didn't go through.

Fair enough. I wait and try again the next day. ERROR. The following Monday morning I called and got an answering machine at SCBWI. So I try again and ERROR.

One last ditch effort that afternoon lead to an, you guessed it, ERROR! That was when I gave up and went to lunch. Forget SCBWI. They would return my phone call. I would pay them over the phone, and it would be done.

While in the restaurant parking lot, my cell rang and a 1-800 number showed on the Caller ID. Hallelujah! It was SCBWI... Or not. Turns out it was the fraud department of my bank and they were calling to ask me if me credit card had been stolen because someone had attempted to charge over $300 to "something called SCBWI."

Damn crooks, trying to join literary guilds in my name!

Friday, March 5, 2010

SEA giveaway from author Heidi Kling

SEA by Heidi R. Kling--Available Bookstores everywhere June 10, 2010! And pre-order now!

Haunted by recurring nightmares since her mother's accidental disappearance over the Indian ocean three years before, fifteen year old California girl Sienna "Sea" Jones reluctantly travels with her father's volunteer team to six months post-tsunami Indonesia. During her stay at the orphanage, she meets scarred and soulful Deni who is more like Sea than anyone she has ever met.
She knows they can't be together, so why can't she stay away from him? And what about her old-best-friend-turned-suddenly-hot Spider who may or may not be waiting for her back home? And why is her psychiatrist father so secretive about her mother's plane crash? The farther she gets from home, the closer she comes to the truth. And Sea's real adventure begins.

Praise for Sea
"From the opening pages of SEA, the hair stood on the back of my neck, as it does whenever I encounter a writer who really knows what she's doing with words. Tragedies and miracles coexist in this entrancing debut novel about the aftermath of a tsunami." -- Jennifer R. Hubbard, author of THE SECRET YEAR

"SEA is a richly woven story as turbulent and beautiful as the sea itself, plunging us headlong into the depths of loss, devastation, compassion, and hope. A touching and romantic debut about the redemptive power of altruism and the heart's capacity for love." -- Sarah Ockler, author of TWENTY BOY SUMMER

"Heartbreaking but always hopeful; achingly romantic but never sappy-- SEA is simply luminous. What a remarkable debut!" -- Jennifer Laughran, "Not Your Mother's Book Club" Books Inc., San Francisco

For more about SEA and Heidi please visit: http://heidirkling.com/
Enter to win an ARC here: http://seaheidi.livejournal.com/
SEA debuts June 10, 2010 with Putnam (Penguin)

Homage to Alice in Wonderland

Tim Burton’s "Alice in Wonderland" releases in theaters TODAY!

Okay, so that’s not news to anyone, but I had to say it. I need to share my excitement with the world because “unhealthy obsession” does not even begin to describe my love of all things "Alice in Wonderland."
I don’t really remember when it started, but for as long as I can remember I have adored everything Alice and been fascinated by everything Wonderland. I guess, looking back, you could say that "Alice in Wonderland" was my early introduction into world building.

To quote Alice:
“If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn't. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn't be. And what it wouldn't be, it would. You see?”

It sounds odd saying this, but I owe a lot to Lewis Carroll – To this book. I watched the Disney movie first as a child. After that I read the book for the first time and discovered the beauty of escaping into a fictional world. It was one of my first reads, my first experience with fantasy, and my first real literary attachment. And Alice and I have stayed very close over the years.

(Okay, so that assessment came later in life because at the time I was in late elementary school and probably was content to think: “This book is the BEST BOOK EVER!” Or something like that.)

Regardless, the story stuck with me. I’ve followed its evolution, watching all the movies and TV specials and reading anything I could get my hands on that gave me insight into that world. In high school, I wrote my senior paper on the real Alice and the origins of the story. In college, I did an art history project on Lewis Carroll’s photography. Throughout my adult life I have collected "Alice in Wonderland" art and paraphernalia. My office is positively littered with it.

I never stop discovering new and wonderful things about Lewis Carroll, "Alice in Wonderland," and the things that inspired it. For instance…

• Author Lewis Carroll’s given name was Charles Lutwigde Dodgson.
• Carroll stammered when he spoke.

• He studied to become a priest but was never ordained. He met the Alice Liddell and her sisters Lorina Charlotte and Edith while working at Christ Church, Oxford. They were the children of Dean Henry Liddell.

• Nearly all of “Alice’s Adventures Underground,” as it was originally called, was told to the Liddell sisters on a boat ride down the Thames River from Folley Bridge near Oxford to Godstow in 1862. Carroll was later persuaded to publish his story by author Henry Kingsley. It was released in 1865.

• Tenniel’s illustrations of Alice are not illustrations of Alice Liddell, who had dark hair and bangs. Lewis Carroll sent Tenniel a photograph of Mary Hilton Badock, a childhood friend, and recommended that he use her as a model. It is uncertain if Tenniel accepted the suggestion.

• Dinah was the name of a cat that belonged to the Liddell children. She appears early on in Alice in Wonderland then again in the first chapter of Through the Looking Glass.

• At the end of Chapter 2: The Pool of Tears, each animal in the pool represents someone in Alice Liddell’s life. The Lory represents her sister Lorina; The Eaglet, her sister Edith; and the Dodo is Lewis Carroll himself. When he spoke his own name and stammered, saying Do-Do-Dodgson.

• “Grin like a Chrshire cat,” “mad as a hatter,” and “mad as a march hare” were common phrases in Carroll’s day.

• Original sketches of the croquet game reveal that the mallets were not originally flamingoes, but ostriches.

• In Chapter 7: A Mad Tea-party, it is established that the day is May 4, which was Alice Liddell’s birthday.

• The dormouse tells a story of three girls – Elsie, Lacie & Tillie – who lived at the bottom of a treacle well. The three girls are the Liddell children. Elsie for Lorina Charlotte, Lacie is an anagram for Alice, and Tillie was an affectionate family nickname for Edith.
Source: The Annotated Alice

I also absolutely love seeing how other Alice fanatics express they’re undying devotion. The art in this post is some of my favorite and below are some links to the book, the movies and a photo series that I think is amazing.

The Book
Read Alice in Wonderland online HERE.
Listen to Alice in Wonderland HERE.
Popular Movie/TV Versions
Alice in Wonderland, Disney  (1951)
Alice in Wonderland, Harry Harris (1985)
Alice in Wonderland (1999)
Alice, SciFi Mini-Series (2009)
Alice in Wonderland, Tim Burton (2010)

"Alice in Wonderland" Art
Sugarocks99 “Alice in Waterland” series
Here are some other pieces, ranging from funny to downright dark.

Happy movie watching!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Forget-Her-Nots Launch Report & Contest

So there is only one word to describe Amy Brecount White's launch party: AMAZING!

It was held Tuesday night at the National Museum for Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C. and Amy rocked the house. It was beautiful decorated in pink with flowers placed around the galleries, complete with cards that stated there meaning to keep with the theme of FORGET-HER-NOTS, Amy's debut novel.

It was hard to say how many people came because the space was packed, but I would say that well over 100 people came out for the event. Aladdin's Lamp: Children's Books and Other Treasures, an indie store based in Arlington, brought boxes upon boxes of books and sold over 250 copies!

And Amy signed each and every one. She even signed a book and a swag pack for one lucky reader. (More on that later.) Have a look at the festivites...

It was a flurry of activity from the time the launch started. People immediately jumped in line to buy books and Amy was signing before she could even sit down. The signing line was long all night and, at one point it actually ran the length of the gallery and curved around along the back wall. Everyone was desperate to get a moment of face time with the author. 

She also read a passage from FORGET-HER-NOTS, which you can listen to below.

Alright ladies and gents, let's make this one international. Grand prize is a signed copy of FORGET-HER-NOTS and a swag pack full of buttons, temporary tatoos, and signed bookmarks and post cards. The runner-up will receive a swag pack with all of the aforementioned goodies.

To enter answer this question: Which do you think are more romantic, roses or tulips?
Leave your answer and e-mail address in a comment below. You must be a follower to win. There are also opportunities for extra entries.

Extra Entries
+3 Old Follower
+2 New Follower
+5 Post the FORGET-HER-NOTS cover and description on your blog along with a link to buy the book, which you can find HERE.
+3 Add Wastepaper Prose to your blog roll
+2 Follow @wastepaperprose on Twitter
+1 Tweet about the contest (Include @wastepaperprose)
+1 Link this contest on your blog

Be sure to leave me links! If I can't find a post, then it doesn't exist.
Contest closes at midnight on 3/27.