Posts Categorized: Giveaways

Giveaway! Signed ARC of The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau

December 28, 2012 Bonnie Giveaways, YA 17 Comments

   
The Testing
by Joelle Charbonneau
Expected publication: June 4th 2013 by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children
Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Isn’t that what they say? But how close is too close when they may be one in the same?
The Seven Stages War left much of the planet a charred wasteland. The future belongs to the next generation’s chosen few who must rebuild it. But to enter this elite group, candidates must first pass The Testing—their one chance at a college education and a rewarding career.
Cia Vale is honored to be chosen as a Testing candidate; eager to prove her worthiness as a University student and future leader of the United Commonwealth. But on the eve of her departure, her father’s advice hints at a darker side to her upcoming studies–trust no one.
But surely she can trust Tomas, her handsome childhood friend who offers an alliance? Tomas, who seems to care more about her with the passing of every grueling (and deadly) day of the Testing. To survive, Cia must choose: love without truth or life without trust.
I’m giving away my signed ARC to one lucky reader! This doesn’t come out until June so this is your opportunity to get a super early look at this new YA dystopian that has been likened to The Hunger Games.
Giveaway Details
This is for my personal (ARC) copy of The Testing and since I am covering the shipping charges this is open to U.S. addresses only. Sorry international followers!
Giveaway ends January 25th, 2013
To enter use the Rafflecopter form below. Remember to come back for more entry opportunities daily!!

 

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Early Review + Giveaway! Just One Day (Just One Day #1) by Gayle Forman

December 15, 2012 Bonnie Book Reviews, Early Review, Giveaways, Read in 2012, YA 4 Comments

I received this book free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Early Review + Giveaway! Just One Day (Just One Day #1) by Gayle FormanJust One Day by Gayle Forman
Series: Just One Day #1
Published by Dutton Juvenile on January 8th 2013
Pages: 368
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Format: ARC
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Just One Year, Just One Night

three-stars

A breathtaking journey toward self-discovery and true love, from the author of If I Stay

When sheltered American good girl Allyson "LuLu" Healey first meets laid-back Dutch actor Willem De Ruiter at an underground performance of Twelfth Night in England, there’s an undeniable spark. After just one day together, that spark bursts into a flame, or so it seems to Allyson, until the following morning, when she wakes up after a whirlwind day in Paris to discover that Willem has left. Over the next year, Allyson embarks on a journey to come to terms with the narrow confines of her life, and through Shakespeare, travel, and a quest for her almost-true-love, to break free of those confines.

Just One Day is the first in a sweepingly romantic duet of novels. Willem’s story—Just One Year—is coming soon!

 ‘We are born in one day. We die in one day. We can change in one day. And we can fall in love in one day. Anything can happen in just one day.’

Admittedly, I do believe I started this when I was in the completely wrong sort of mood. I totally killed this story for myself in the beginning and could not get into it. I was mentally flashing to scenes from ‘Taken’ and kept waiting for her to start using her brain and NOT get on the train with the complete stranger BY HERSELF to PARIS where she’s never been before, barely has any money, and can’t speak the language. I can understand getting caught up in the moment and feeling a connection to someone so much that you just lose yourself in the moment… but this was just downright reckless and so potentially dangerous that it sucked all enjoyment out of it for me.

Allyson was such a strange and unrealistic narrator. Always the smart girl, the girl who played it safe, and then she meets Willem and he unlocks a side of her that she herself didn’t know existed. Allyson had been on a tour of Europe for several weeks but had never got to see Paris, so he asks for her to go with him there. And this is where I get even MORE disturbed. They have one single day in Paris and it ended up being the most random, jumbled and seemingly unenjoyable day. So it wasn’t the type of day spent in Paris like you see in the movies but they didn’t even DO anything! So much beauty surrounded them and for part of it they ended up taking a nap in the park? Are you kidding me? If I had a single day in Paris and I needed to nap I’d be pounding the red bulls and trying to get the most I could out of that day.

‘We kiss again. This next kiss is the kind that breaks open the sky. It steals my breath and gives it back. It shows me that every other kiss I’ve had in my life has been wrong.’

I’m not saying that it’s impossible to meet someone and only after a single day they have somehow managed to change a piece of you forever. I believe that can happen; I’ve felt it. But I didn’t feel it while reading this and I was left dumbfounded and confused to what Willem did exactly to evoke such a long-lasting reaction. I just didn’t’ believe it strongly enough. My other issue was with the fact that she attributed this other her, “Lulu”, as a result of being with Willem. It was disheartening to see her give up that new her just because he disappeared. I would have liked to see her take the situation for what it was: a life lesson that opened her eyes to how different she could live her life and actually enjoy it in the process. But instead she crawled deeper into her shell than she had before.

The Ending. Spoilers! For real. Don’t click.

View Spoiler »

Of course I have to read the follow-up because it’s obvious that Allyson was lacking in answers and I can only hope we receive some resolution (that is logical too) from Willem’s side of things. And hello cliffhanger, thanks for that. Not terribly pleased with the story itself but there’s really no denying it, Gayle Forman can write one entrancing story.

*All quotes taken are from an uncorrected proof*

This is for my personal (ARC) copy of Just One Day and since I am covering the shipping charges this is open to U.S. addresses only. Sorry international followers!

Giveaway ends December 31st, 2012

To enter use the Rafflecopter form below. Remember to come back for more entry opportunities daily!!

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Book Blitz + Giveaway! Snow White Sorrow by Cameron Jace

December 12, 2012 Bonnie Book Blitz, Giveaways 0 Comments

Today, I’m happy to be a part of the Xpresso Book Tours Book Blitz for Snow White Sorrow by Cameron Jace! I’m also hosting a giveaway for all  6 prequel short stories which are also available for $0.99 for a limited time via purchase links below!
Snow White Sorrow (The Grimm Diaries #1)
by Cameron Jace
Expected publication: 2013 by Akmal Eldin Farouk Ali Shebl
What if all you knew about fairy tales was wrong?
Sixteen year old Loki Blackstar is no Prince Charming. His mother is a ghost. His only friend is a red Cadillac that talks to him through the radio. He looks like an Angel but acts like jerk. No wonder he has been banned from Heaven, which is the least of his troubles. Loki needs a job to pay for school and support himself.
Still, Loki has a rare gift: He is a Dreamhunter. One of the few in the world who can hunt and kill immortal demons in their dreams so they never wake up again.
When Loki is sent to kill a sixteen-year-old vampire girl the locals call Snow White Sorrow, he is pulled into a magical but dangerous world. The locals believe the monster to be Snow White.
The real Snow White… living in the ruins of an ancient castle in a small town. She is described as horribly beautiful, terrifyingly enchanting, and wickedly lovely.
What he finds instead is a beautiful monster girl filled with rage and hurt, who has an epic untold story to tell of things such like why the Brothers Grimm altered the fairy tale, who the Evil Queen really is, where the mirror came from, and who possessed it.
Snow White has killed every person who has dared come near the castle where she once lived with the queen. Mysteriously, she lets Loki live, and whispers two words in his ears; two words that will change his life forever.
Wonderlander, Neverlander, Unicorn-chaser, enchanter, musician, survived a coma, & totally awesome. Sometimes I tell stories. Always luv the little monsters I write young adult paranormal romance, urban fantasy, and science fiction mostly. The Grimm Diaries series is a seven book saga that deals with retellings of fairy tales from a young adult POV – it connects most of the fairy tales together and claims to be the truth about fairy tales. I live in San Fransisco and seriously think circles are way cooler than triangles.
The Grimm Diaries Prequels
The Grimm Diaries Prequels are a number of short books in the form of epistolary diary entries. The diaries are more of teasers for the upcoming series: The Grimm Diaries, allowing you to get a glimpse of what to expect of the series. The 6 diaries are told by The Evil Queen, Peter Pan, Little Red Riding Hood, the Devil, Prince Charming, and Alice Grimm
Author Warning: these Grimm Prequels are snap shots of a magical land you’re about to visit soon. I like to think of them as poisoned apples. Once you taste them, you will never see fairy tales in the same light again.

Prequel Package Deal Until December 13th you can purchase all 6 Prequels for only $0.99! {Purchase}

 

Snow White Blood Red (The Grimm Diaries Prequels #1)
Ashes to Ashes and Cinder to Cinder (The Grimm Diaries Prequels #2)
Beauty Never Dies (The Grimm Diaries Prequels #3)
Ladle Rat Rotten Hut (The Grimm Diaries Prequels, #4)
Mary Mary Quite Contrary (The Grimm Diaries Prequels, #5)
Blood Apples (The Grimm Diaries Prequels, #6)
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Giveaway! Signed ARC of Let the Sky Fall by Shannon Messenger

December 3, 2012 Bonnie Giveaways, YA 35 Comments

   
Let the Sky Fall (Let the Sky Fall #1)
by Shannon Messenger
Expected publication: March 5th 2013 by Simon Pulse

Seventeen-year-old Vane Weston has no idea how he survived the category five tornado that killed his parents. And he has no idea if the beautiful, dark-haired girl who’s swept through his dreams every night since the storm is real. But he hopes she is.

Seventeen-year-old Audra is a sylph, an air elemental. She walks on the wind, can translate its alluring songs, and can even coax it into a weapon with a simple string of commands. She’s also a guardian—Vane’s guardian—and has sworn an oath to protect Vane at all costs. Even if it means sacrificing her own life.

When a hasty mistake reveals their location to the enemy who murdered both of their families, Audra’s forced to help Vane remember who he is. He has a power to claim—the secret language of the West Wind, which only he can understand. But unlocking his heritage will also unlock the memory Audra needs him to forget. And their greatest danger is not the warriors coming to destroy them—but the forbidden romance that’s grown between them.
I was super lucky to get a signed ARC of this and now that I’ve read it I’m ready to pass it on to one lucky reader! This doesn’t come out until MARCH so here’s your opportunity to get an early look. 🙂

Giveaway Details
This is for my personal (ARC) copy of Let the Sky Fall and since I am covering the shipping charges this is open to U.S. addresses only. Sorry international followers!
Giveaway ends December 31st, 2012
To enter use the Rafflecopter form below. Remember to come back for more entry opportunities daily!!

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Cover Reveal + Giveaway! Some Quiet Place by Kelsey Sutton

November 17, 2012 Bonnie Cover Reveal, Giveaways 0 Comments

Today The Mod Podge Bookshelf and Mod Podge Blog Tours are hosting Kelsey Sutton’s Some Quiet Place cover reveal!


Summary:

Elizabeth Caldwell has perfected the art of pretending to feel emotion, but it’s always a lie. After a near-fatal car accident when she was a small child, Elizabeth lost the ability to feel any emotion, but along with that loss she gained bizarre abilities: she can see the personified Emotions she cannot feel.  Fury, Resentment, Longing—they’ve all given up on her, because she doesn’t succumb to their touch. All, that is, save one. Fear. He’s consumed by the mystery of Elizabeth’s past, consumed by her.

And then there are Elizabeth’s cryptic, recurring dreams, in which there’s always love, and there’s always death. Haunted by these dreams, Elizabeth paints them, knowing that they somehow hold the key to the mystery of her past. 

But a shadowy menace is stalking Elizabeth.  Her survival depends on uncovering the truth about herself.  And when it matters most, she won’t be able to rely on Fear to save her.

Kelsey is very enthusiastic about her debut novel’s cover; here is what she has to say about the design:

“It is gorgeous, eerie, and maybe a little strange. I love how much relevance it has to the story, as well. The farmland in the background, the town, the stormy sky, the leaves, the way the girl is vanishing. The point is, I am in love. Hope you adore it as much as I do.”

 What relevance is she talking about? 

Enter to win a Pre-Order of Some Quiet Place below to find out!!!

This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL!

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Review + Giveaway! Crewel (Crewel World #1) by Gennifer Albin

November 14, 2012 Bonnie Book Reviews, Giveaways, Read in 2012, YA 0 Comments

I received this book free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review + Giveaway! Crewel (Crewel World #1) by Gennifer AlbinCrewel by Gennifer Albin
Series: Crewel World #1
Published by Farrar Straus and Giroux (BYR) on October 16th 2012
Pages: 368
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Sci-fi
Format: ARC
Source: the Publisher
Amazon
Goodreads


four-stars

Incapable. Awkward. Artless.

That’s what the other girls whisper behind her back. But sixteen-year-old Adelice Lewys has a secret: She wants to fail.

Gifted with the ability to weave time with matter, she’s exactly what the Guild is looking for, and in the world of Arras, being chosen to work the looms is everything a girl could want. It means privilege, eternal beauty, and being something other than a secretary. It also means the power to manipulate the very fabric of reality. But if controlling what people eat, where they live, and how many children they have is the price of having it all, Adelice isn’t interested.

Not that her feelings matter, because she slipped and used her hidden talent for a moment. Now she has one hour to eat her mom’s overcooked pot roast. One hour to listen to her sister’s academy gossip and laugh at her dad’s jokes. One hour to pretend everything’s okay. And one hour to escape.

Because tonight, they’ll come for her.

‘No one knows why some girls have the gift. There are theories, of course. That it’s passed down genetically. Or that girls with an open mind can see the weave of life around them at all times. Even that it’s a gift only given to the pure-hearted. But I know better. It’s a curse.’

In this world, everything is comprised of threads which can be altered, manipulated, or completely removed. Behavior modification can be done for unruly children or if they’re deemed a lost cause can be removed completely. If that is done then everything is reworked in order to change the complete structure of everyone’s thoughts and memories so that the child that was removed is not even remembered, even by his own parents. Even the most base things that would normally be natural: food cultivation, upcoming thunderstorms, these are all managed by the Spinsters. Only managed though.

‘Crewel work is an act of pure creation. Crewelers do more than weave the fabric of Arras. They can capture the materials to create the weave. Only they can see the weave of the raw materials. (…) The Spinsters wouldn’t have any matter to weave if it weren’t for her special gift.’

Because this world wouldn’t exist without the Creweler.

‘Day by day, I am remade, into someone else. I’m sixteen now, and I will be almost flawless forever. That thought helps me fall asleep at night, secure in my place here, but it also wakes me up trembling with nightmares.’

Their beauty routines and the description of how these women look reminded me of geisha’s. The only difference with the women in Arras is the access to renewal patches which allow them to heal wounds rapidly but also help to preserve their youth. These patches worked so well that you’re virtually unable to tell people’s true age anymore. A very sci-fi and freaky touch.

Sure, there is a slight love-triangle in the book but I’m starting to realize that my main issue with them is that there is always the guy the protagonist should obviously be going for and one that she very clearly should not be (and he’s usually a total prick). That wasn’t the case with Crewel and it was a very plausible situation in which the love triangle derived from. I actually liked both guys, one more so than the other (Jost), but they were both still well likable and weren’t total pricks. That calls for celebration I think.

I loved the twist that was thrown in at the end. Everything slowly begins to unravel (haha… pun intended) and Adelice finally realizes the enormity of the situation that she’s been forced into. The twist succeeded in not only making the entire situation crazy and eye-popping but really added a layer of realism to this ‘perfect world’.

While I had trouble grasping the concept (at first) I was still incredibly fascinated by the idea and everything ended up being explained sufficiently in my opinion. The attention to detail into every facet of this world was incredibly intricate and entirely original. I loved it. Crewel is a sci-fi world where everything can be altered with a 1984 type society where people are controlled to the nth degree. Highly recommended for dystopian fans.

My personal (signed!) ARC of Crewel is up for grabs!
Open to U.S. addresses only.
Contest ends December 5th, 2012
To enter use the Rafflecopter form below. Remember to come back for more entry opportunities daily!!

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Review + Giveaway! The Round House by Louise Erdrich

November 7, 2012 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Book Tour, Giveaways, Read in 2012, TLC Book Tours 1 Comment

I received this book free from TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review + Giveaway! The Round House by Louise ErdrichThe Round House by Louise Erdrich
Published by HarperCollins on October 2nd 2012
Pages: 321
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery
Format: ARC
Source: TLC Book Tours
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Future Home of the Living God

three-half-stars

One Sunday in the spring of 1988, a woman living on a reservation in North Dakota is attacked. The details of the crime are slow to surface as Geraldine Coutts is traumatized and reluctant to relive or reveal what happened, either to the police or to her husband, Bazil, and thirteen-year-old son, Joe. In one day, Joe's life is irrevocably transformed. He tries to heal his mother, but she will not leave her bed and slips into an abyss of solitude. Increasingly alone, Joe finds himself thrust prematurely into an adult world for which he is ill prepared.

While his father, who is a tribal judge, endeavors to wrest justice from a situation that defies his efforts, Joe becomes frustrated with the official investigation and sets out with his trusted friends, Cappy, Zack, and Angus, to get some answers of his own. Their quest takes them first to the Round House, a sacred space and place of worship for the Ojibwe. And this is only the beginning.

‘The sun fell onto the kitchen floor in golden pools, but it was an ominous radiance, like the piercing light behind a western cloud.’

In 1988, thirteen year old Joe is forever changed when he and his father come home to find his mother covered in blood. She had been attacked, but she managed to get away to safety. Joe is unable to understand the difficulty behind getting a conviction even though his mother knows exactly who attacked her. The root of the problem lies in not knowing exactly where she was attacked. The approximate location is an area that happens to be so divided that tribal, federal, and state all claim ownership to various pieces. Since the exact location is unknown her attacker can’t be prosecuted if its unclear as to what laws would apply.

The story was told from the point-of-view of Joe, a teenager, and one having a hard time coming to terms with the changes his life is currently undergoing. He begins drinking and smoking with his friends more often and being a generally rebellious teen. Joe’s mother wasn’t the only one forever transformed from the attack, his transformation was just less obvious to others.

‘We read with a concentrated intensity. My father had become convinced that somewhere within his bench briefs, memos, summaries, and decisions lay the identity of the man whose act had nearly severed my mother’s spirit from her body. With all that we did, we were trying to coax the soul back into her. But I could feel it tug away from us like a kite on a string. I was afraid that string would break and she’d careen off, vanish into the dark.’

Joe’s father is a local tribal judge and shortly after the attack he begins bringing case documents home for research purposes and enlists Joe’s help. He becomes dismayed to find that his father didn’t handle cases of great importance but rather small and petty cases that seemed more like a waste of time. His father explains to him:

“We are trying to build a solid base here for our sovereignty. We try to press against the boundaries of what we are allowed, walk a step past the edge. Our records will be scrutinized by Congress one day and decisions on whether to enlarge our jurisdiction will be made. Some day. We want the right to prosecute criminals of all races on all lands within our original boundaries. Which is why I try to run a tight courtroom, Joe. What I am doing now is for the future, though it may seem small, or trivial, or boring, to you.”

I’ve seen it done before (and I have no idea why) where quotation marks are left out entirely. I would often read a passage and think it’s internal dialogue when in fact it’s an actual conversation so I would have to go back and re-read the entire passage to be in the right frame of mind. I’m really not clear as to what purpose it serves by leaving them out, other than confusion. My only other issue was after finishing I was left with the feeling that the book was unnecessarily long (despite it only being 317 pages long). It just felt as if there was too much information that in the end was simply irrelevant. Interesting, but ultimately irrelevant.

I enjoyed the obvious amount of research the author conducted in regards to Native American laws and culture. It made the story feel solid, sound, and very much believable. The Round House is an interesting story with a powerful message about how regardless of the centuries of change and advancement, the laws of today still have their flaws.

My personal ARC of The Round House is up for grabs.

Open to U.S. addresses only.

Ends November 14th, 2012

To enter use the Rafflecopter form below. Remember to come back for more entry opportunities daily!!

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dvd-pearl

This post was a part of The Round House blog tour.

Click the button below for a complete list of tour stops.

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Gravity by Melissa West – Tour Stop + Giveaway!

October 29, 2012 Bonnie Book Tour, Giveaways, Read in 2012, YA 0 Comments

Gravity (The Taking #1)
by Melissa West
Expected publication: October 30th 2012 by Entangled Publishing, LLC


In the future, only one rule will matter:


Don’t. Ever. Peek.


Seventeen-year-old Ari Alexander just broke that rule and saw the last person she expected hovering above her bed — arrogant Jackson Locke, the most popular boy in her school. She expects instant execution or some kind of freak alien punishment, but instead, Jackson issues a challenge: help him, or everyone on Earth will die.


Ari knows she should report him, but everything about Jackson makes her question what she’s been taught about his kind. And against her instincts, she’s falling for him. But Ari isn’t just any girl, and Jackson wants more than her attention. She’s a military legacy who’s been trained by her father and exposed to war strategies and societal information no one can know — especially an alien spy, like Jackson. Giving Jackson the information he needs will betray her father and her country, but keeping silent will start a war.
About the Author: Melissa West
Website – Facebook – Twitter – Goodreads

Melissa lives in a tiny suburb of Atlanta, GA with her husband and daughter. She pretends to like yoga, actually likes shoes, and could not live without coffee. Her writing heroes include greats like Jane Austen and Madeleine L’Engle.

She holds a B.A. in Communication Studies and an M.S. in Graphic Communication, both from Clemson University. Yeah, her blood runs orange.


Giveaway

Melissa is giving away a signed copy of Gravity and Swag to one lucky reader!
Open to U.S. addresses only. Sign up via Rafflecopter.

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Review + Guest Post + Giveaway! The Shortest Way Home by Juliette Fay

October 24, 2012 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Early Review, Giveaways, Guest Post, Read in 2012 1 Comment

I received this book free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review + Guest Post + Giveaway! The Shortest Way Home by Juliette FayThe Shortest Way Home by Juliette Fay
Published by Penguin Books on October 30th 2012
Pages: 416
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Format: ARC
Source: the Publisher
Amazon
Goodreads


four-stars

A NOVEL FULL OF HUMOR AND HOPE FOR FINDING YOURSELF WHERE YOU LEAST EXPECTED

Sean has spent twenty years in Third World war zones and natural disaster areas, fully embracing what he’d always felt was his life’s mission. But when burnout sets in, Sean is reluctantly drawn home to Belham, Massachusetts, the setting of Fay’s much-loved Shelter Me. There, he discovers that his steely aunt, overly dramatic sister, and quirky nephew are having a little natural disaster of their own. When he reconnects with a woman from his past, Sean has to wonder if the bonds of love and loyalty might just rewrite his destiny. Completely relatable, The Shortest Way Home is another perfect serving of a slice of life from the irresistible Fay.

About Juliette Fay

Juliette Fay's first novel, Shelter Me, was a 2009 Massachusetts Book Award "Book of the Year." Her second novel, Deep Down True, was short-listed for the Women's Fiction award by the American Library Association. Juliette received a bachelor's degree from Boston College and a master's degree from Harvard University. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and four children. The Shortest Way Home is her third novel.

 

A Book in The Drawer . . . Right Where It Should Be
By Juliette Fay,
Author of The Shortest Way Home

I have a book in the drawer. Okay, it’s not in an actual drawer. It’s in a box with old tax documentation under my fax/scanner. I also have electronic copies stashed in several places. Not that it matters. It will never see the light of day.

The Book in the Drawer is a phrase I’ve heard often from other authors, nearly proverbial in its usage. It’s the practice novel, the one that never got published. If a fiction-writers bible were ever to be written, the psalms might include the following lamentation:

Oh, Lord, have mercy on my wretchedness.
I have been cast out into the wilderness of time wastage.
I have put my pen to many a parchment,
Pages that speak from the depths of my soul,
And yet my toil has been for naught!
Alas, my Book is in The Drawer.

(Woeful sigh.)

I wrote my drawer novel out of aggravation. I had just read a remarkably bad book. The only thing I liked about it was the premise: two people trapped in an elevator. (She was beautiful, he was handsome. Of course. Yawn.) I found myself wondering, What would I do with that for a starting point? Who would I put in that elevator?

I decided that the man had just come from a family barbecue at which his siblings had skewered him for being selfish. The woman was a recovering alcoholic with an unmedicated anxiety disorder. The elevator got stuck between floors during a power outage, and the woman had a panic attack and peed her pants.

I called it The Hyperventilating Pants-Wetter Society. It took me a year to write. In the end, the best thing about it was the title, which I still really love.

And it almost got published! I had an agent and everything. (He completely ignored me then shunted me off to some 24-year-old “associate” who clearly hated me and my book. After a couple of painful months they decided it was unpublishable, notifying me by registered letter. I am not making this up. Seriously, they couldn’t have picked up the phone?)

I was in a state of ocean-floor level misery until I remembered how much I truly loathed and was slightly afraid of the both of them. Also, in the year that I had been trying desperately to get an agent, then waiting for them to find a publisher, I had written another novel, Shelter Me, and I knew it was better than The Hyperventilating Pants-Wetter Society, except for the title, which, let’s face it, is hard to beat.

Shelter Me was soon repped by Theresa Park of The Park Literary Group, my second — and as far as I’m concerned, final — agent, whom I love. After she got Shelter Me sold to HarperCollins, I asked her to read The Hyperventilating Pants-Wetter Society. She was not enthusiastic — didn’t even think it could be fixed — so I left it in The Drawer (so to speak) and turned my efforts toward the new story I was working on which became Deep Down True.

There are three things I’m grateful for regarding The Hyperventilating Pants-Wetter Society:

1. That I completed it. Before that I truly had no idea if I could take a story from the bunch of stray thoughts to a full-length novel with a recognizable beginning, middle and end. It allowed me to put an official check mark next to something I’d always had on my bucket list: write a novel. Not write a bestseller or even get published. Just put the words on paper from start to finish.

2. That it’s in The Drawer. For a while I had a hard time with the fact that I’d spent an entire year writing something that would never see the light of day. After I finishedDeep Down True, I went back to see if I couldn’t — oh, how foolishly — prove my agent wrong by buffing it to a publishable state. I couldn’t. It was not good. And if it hadbeen published, I would be embarrassed by it now. It was a practice novel, pure and simple.

The third reason is a little surprising. My father read and loved The Hyperventilating Pants-Wetter Society when I first wrote it. Along with being an adoring and completely biased parent, he’s also a psychologist who often sees clients with phobias.

A couple of months ago, he was helping a client with incapacitating claustrophobia — especially in elevators. Her father was very ill and being treated on the twelfth floor of Massachusetts General Hospital. She desperately wanted to visit him, but not being in great health herself, she couldn’t walk up twelve floors. My father went with her to help her get through the elevator ride. As they waited on the ground floor, she became terribly anxious, and he thought she might not be able to visit her dad.
He later told me, “I wanted to distract her, so I started telling the story of The Hyperventilating Pants-Wetter Society. By the time the elevator came she was laughing, so I kept going. When we got to the twelfth floor she couldn’t believe the ride was over so fast.”

Thus, 3. That it helped someone. You could look at a book in a drawer as a year’s worth of work for nothing, and in some sense you’d be right. But when I remember that mine also helped an ailing man get a visit from his daughter, my frustration is reduced to almost nothing.

© 2012 Juliette Fay, author of The Shortest Way Home

‘From the time he was fifteen Sean had known he would head out and do as much good as he could in the time that was left, while he waited for his mother’s diagnosis to become his own.’

Sean has known since an early age that he had a 50% chance he would develop the same disease that took his mother: Huntington’s disease. Not wanting to waste the life he had left he devoted his life to being selfless and helping others as a nurse in various foreign lands. Deciding that he needs a break because he’s getting burnt out from working so hard, he finally realizes that he’s old enough that he may have actually dodged a bullet and he doesn’t in fact have Huntington’s disease. He beat the odds. But this comes with the realization that he molded his life around the fact that he may very well not have many years to live and he begins to wonder just how different his life could have been if he had made different choices, if he had actually gotten tested and known for sure if he had the disease or not.

Sean returns home to visit his Aunt Vivian, sister Deidre, and his late brother Hugh’s son Kevin. He’s shocked to find that his Aunt Vivvy appears to have Alzheimer’s or early signs of dementia, Deidre is completely absorbed in making it big as an actor and is never home, and that eleven year old Kevin appears to be raising himself. Kevin is an extremely self-sufficient child and isn’t neglected; however, he finds his behavior to be strange until a friend mentions he exhibits signs of having a sensory processing disorder. Reluctant to alter his roaming lifestyle despite the obvious need for his presence to be closer to home, Sean still fully intends on leaving again once he’s been able to get everything straightened out.

There was a lot of detail given regarding Huntington’s disease and sensory processing disorders. Both diseases/disorders I knew very little about to begin with but it was extremely interesting to learn more about. It wasn’t overdone and didn’t venture off into medical jargon that didn’t make much sense, it was well explained and quite informative.

This is a hard book to put a label on. There were a few religious angles but they weren’t so abundant that I would label it a ‘Christian Fiction’ because there were also a couple of sex scenes. The bits of romance that were thrown in weren’t overdone and was nicely intertwined with the story but not so much I would label it a ‘Romance’ either. Definitely one for Adult Contemporary fans with a ‘deeper’ message. I found all of the characters to be quite charming which was a real treat. Once I passed the halfway point I was so absorbed into the story I couldn’t put it down. I suppose it could be said it was a predictable ending but I still raced to finish. Overall this was a surprisingly funny and lighthearted read despite the serious subject matter and I found myself laughing often.

Phew! This was a super long post with lots of scrolling required. Well, as a ‘congratulations you made it to the end’, here’s your opportunity to win a copy of this wonderful book!

Giveaway Details
1 copy of The Shortest Way Home open to U.S. and Canada addresses only!
Giveaway ends October 30th, 2012
To enter use the Rafflecopter form below. Remember to come back for more entry opportunities daily!!

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Giveaway!! Signed ARC of The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

August 18, 2012 Bonnie Giveaways 12 Comments

   
The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle #1)
by Maggie Stiefvater
Expected publication: September 18th 2012 by Scholastic Press
I was lucky enough to snag an early signed copy of The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater and even though I’m your typical book hoarder and very rarely get rid of books… I’ve decided to make an exception. I enjoyed this book SO MUCH that I want to share it with one lucky winner! Did I mention it’s a signed copy? 🙂 Yeah, I thought I did.
Giveaway Details
This is for my personal (ARC) copy of The Raven Boys and since I am covering the shipping charges this is open to U.S. addresses only. Sorry international followers!
Giveaway ends September 18th, 2012
To enter use the Rafflecopter form below. Remember to come back for more entry opportunities daily!!

 

Good luck!!!!!!
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