The Kindle Giveaway is Live

Many of you know I’m a member of the Emblazon authors group. We have a really big, really awesome celebration going on right now. We’re giving a way a Kindle loaded with 50+ books. Today is the first day to enter. I can’t embed the actual Rafflecopter here on my freebie blog, but this is a link to the giveaway sign-up. The info from the Emblazon wesite follows. Good luck!

banner for contest

Attention teachers, librarians, tweens, and parents of tweens! Announcing a contest just for you…

To celebrate our first year and to treat you, our readers, we, the Emblazon authors, are giving away a brand new touch screen Kindle loaded with over 50 of our books. That’s a $300 value and hours of reading entertainment!

The Rafflecopter contest runs November 3 through November 17 and is open to anyone who loves tween literature.

Help Wanted

banner for contestYou guys get the early bird heads up…

The Emblazon authors are hosting the giveaway of the decade during the next two weeks–a brand new touch screen Kindle preloaded with over 50 of our books. That’s a $300 value and hours of entertainment! You are all welcome to enter. I’ll post the Rafflecopter on Monday.

In the meantime, we’re also looking for bloggers to help us spread the word during the giveaway. Anyone want to share with their readers? We have this ready-made banner (top of page) AND a premade post with all the details if you’re interested. All you have to do is copy, paste, and publish! Just email me at misenhoff (at) hotmail (dot) com and I’ll forward the content to you.

And of course, y’all are welcome to use the share buttons at the bottom of this post as well. ;)

Thanks everyone!

The Gypsy Pearl 2: Craggy, by Lia London

craggy gypsy pearl 2I rushed to get a copy of this sequel. Book one is my favorite by author Lia London to date. I liked the space frontier settings, the sensory details, and the humor and spunk of the heroine. Book two has all of the above plus a deepening of the adventure as well as the stakes.

Caz journeys to Craggy, the second of three planets she must visit to cycle the gypsy pearl, free the fanep race, and bring justice to the Granbo system. Her gifts of strength and memory serve her well during several narrow escapes. She must sort through the cast of characters and their intensions. Who is a friend? And who wants her dead?

In particular, I really like the surprises Caz finds hidden within Craggy’s bleak landscape. (I can’t give away more!) I also appreciate the revelation of some of Caz’s history and the way the villain’s plan and motivations begin to make sense, allowing me to begin making some book three predictions.

Craggy did not evoke as much emotional response in me as book one. It’s really, really hard to develop a hero’s character in a sequel. It’s already been established in book one. Caz is so powerful in that story. She maintains her quirky character, and I see hints of a broadening of her bewilderment and dread and a deepening of her commitment to her cause, but her motivating factor is mostly survival. This makes for some great action, but it didn’t leave as much of an emotional footprint. In addition, a certain extremely significant individual makes an appearance, but the backstory lacked the strength to move me toward tears or anger when I think it could have. It does surround the individual with a sense of mystery—and that might have been the author’s intension. Said person feels like a bit of a wildcard who might increase in significance in the trilogy’s conclusion.

All that aside, I have to praise my very favorite element of Lia London’s stories—her writing style. It’s so smooth and eminently readable. And she likes to bury little gems for us to pull out and admire. Like this beautiful description: I couldn’t guess ages of the miners based on their wind carved faces, but their muscles and gaits spoke of tired youth. Or this perfect takeaway thought dropped so naturally in the middle of a conversation: “Haven’t you ever known something without learning it logically?” “Trust,” he said. “What do you mean?” “That’s trust,” he said, looking at me intently. “Trust is when you know—like I know it’s a good idea to stick with you.”

Want a great story with beautiful style? Grab up this series. Looking forward to the third! Recommended for ages 10+

Kindle versions of The Gypsy Pearl:
Craggy (book 2) – $1.99
Caren (book 1) – $.99

In My Inbox

I’m currently working on a few changes in preparation for a new marketing campaign aimed at teachers and classrooms. I’ve had rather poor success at reaching kids directly in the past, but I’m hoping this will bring about a little more interaction. On that optimistic note, I’m beginning an irregular feature called “In My Inbox” where I highlight recent correspondence. With any luck, future IMI posts will highlight kids. In the meantime, I’d love to share a recent review from an Amazon reader.

“I literally cried during and after this book. It is so beautiful & touching. It’s absolutely amazing. Not only did it touch my heart, it also widened my horizons. I would give it many, many more stars if that were possible. Absolutely perfect. I couldn’t think of any way to make it better.”

Thanks “Boooooooo!!!” for your take on The Candle Star. You made my day. :)

New ‘do

I’ve been updating! Yes, when I should have been writing yesterday, I was creating a new blog header and background. I considered changing the name, too, but Bookworm Blather has been around a long time now and I still sort of like the whimsical sound of it. So the name stayed. I might impliment a few more small changes in the next several weeks to make my online hangout a little more kid friendly. I’d like to court some teachers directly over Twitter and interact with more classrooms. I plan to hand out this address.

Song newOne of my books also received a facelift this week. Last spring, I replaced my original (and terrible!) Song of the Mountain cover with a new one of my own design. I loved it! I still love it. It captures Li Min and the mountain setting perfectly. However, browsers on Amazon didn’t seem to agree with me, as “sales” of the free book equaled only one tenth of those by my free historical fiction title, The Candle Star. Part of this is genre-related. Historical fiction is pretty popular. But fantasy shouldn’t lag that far behind. Sigh. Who’s drawn to the image of an old man?

So…you guessed it. I hired it done.

I wasn’t crazy about this new image at first. I still don’t think it captures the spirit of the book as well as the old one. But it’s exciting, and it’s grown on me. With some tweaking, we ended up with a cover that should gather more attention from customers browsing the fantasy category–especially kids. A few days is too small of a sampling to draw sure conclusions, but since swapping it out, daily downloads have increased. So, yay for increased exposure! Maybe more people will go on to purchase Fire on the Mountain, which will be re-covered soon to match.

SongOfTheMountain_cover_v3new

Yes…sigh…I am one of those people who’s always moving furniture around, too.  How’d you guess?

New cover image by D. Robert Pease of Walkingstick Books.

 

Since

What Dreams May Come, by Beth Honeycutt

what dreams may comeI read and reviewed What Dreams May Come at the request of the author, whom I had met online through the Clean Indie Reads group this past spring. I really enjoyed it! As an afterthought, I realized it would also be totally appropriate to feature here on Bookworm Blather.

I was a little hesitant to pick this one up. My regular readers have probably already figured out that I rarely read romance. Usually they’re too heavy on the smexy or they contain so much sappy mush that I’m gagging by the end—if I make it that far. This one is delightful sweet. And the paranormal adds a nice bit of creativity.

But I was especially appreciative of the prose. It’s smooth, readable, and just a little snarky. Ms. Honeycut has a style that is quite literary in nature, with lots of great word pictures and comparisons. I really enjoyed that. And the voice stays upbeat, even when the heroine is struggling with some heavy issues. There were times I wanted to shake the lead character and tell her to buck up, or I’d roll my eyes a bit at one of the more gushy scenes, but I kept on because I just plain liked the story. Kudos to a very fine writing style.

The editing is excellent, and the language and content are clean and innocent…so that I passed this one along to my teen daughter. A sweet and delightful YA paranormal. Ages 13+

Newbery Honor Books, 2011-2020

This one’s obviously not finished yet, but you can find the most recent Newbery honor books below. I’ll link to any reviews I’ve written, as well. Asterics indicate books I’ve read for my personal Newbery challenge but not reviewed.

2014

2013

2012

2011