Finding Something Friday on a Book Giveaway! and Persistence

Let me start by saying I am persistent. Which sounds like a good quality, but the Beneficent Mr. Hall might beg to differ.

Anyway, I have been trying forEVER to somehow win Cheryl Klein’s Second Sight. I’ve heard her speak several times, so I know her book on writing, revising and publishing books for children and young adults is awesome. I mean, I really want to win this book.

Now, of course, I could buy it. And dear readers, after MONTHS of not winning the book, followed by the birthday present of a lovely giftcard re: one of those big bookstores that shall remain nameless, I decided to buy the book. After all, technically, I was still winning the book.

So I ordered Second Sight. And just a week later, Second Sight arrived! Oh, frabjous joy! Except it was NOT Second Sight by Cheryl Klein. It was Second Sight by Amanda Quick (who I’m sure is a lovely person and it’s probably a great book but it’s not the totally awesome book I ordered.)

Thus began my two MONTH quest to get my money back and/or Second Sight by Cheryl Klein. On Wednesday, this Wednesday, I spent one hour and 23 minutes on the phone with said Big Bookstore and the manager was lovely and all but I still do not have my money and/or book. The gift certificate is “in the mail,” she said. Uh-huh.

But yesterday, I found out that Cheryl Klein is giving away yet another copy of Second Sight! I’m pretty sure it’s a sign and that my dogged persistence shall pay off.

(P.S. She also shares some excellent advice for writers and a chance to win Elizabeth Bunce’s Star-crossed and Liar’s Moon. Zip over for the hows and more here!)

Go Win The Christmas Village (Um, It’s a Book)

Yes, it’s middle grade, but it’s such a charming story; I think it would make a wonderful family read-aloud during the holidays. And you can win it, just by commenting. But not here. There.
Oh! And if you’ve ever considered trying the children’s magazine market, Melissa gives some great tips on how she got her byline in the magazine door. So, there’s great writing stuff, too.
Now, seriously. What are you still doing here? Dash away all!

The Poison Diaries: Book Review and Giveaway

Just so you know, I received a copy of Nightshade from the publisher.

Nightshade is the second book in the Poison Diaries trilogy by Maryrose Wood. And you also should know, I’m a HUGE fan of Maryrose Wood (and not just because I kinda want to steal her name). Her style is unique and evocative, whether she’s writing about poisonous plants or incorrigible kids. I am immersed in her worlds from the moment I open her books. I jumped on the opportunity to get my hands on Nightshade.

So, yes, I might be a tad biased. On to the review…

Nightshade begins with Jessamine Luxton, a healer, and her lover, Weed, separated from each other, and suffering both physically and emotionally. Our young innocent is desperate to find Weed, especially considering the distrust she has for her cruel father, an apothecary and keeper of poisons. And so she makes a terrible bargain with Oleander, the Prince of Poisons, and the price he exacts is monstrous. Nightshade is a gothic tale of poison, politics, and passion, asking that question that always makes for a killer story: How far would you go for love?

I think I liked the first book in the trilogy a bit better, perhaps because I was entranced by that first blush of a high concept–and the well-crafted rendering of the story. I’ve longed love gothic, I love gardening and plants, and I completely fell for these unusual characters. Nightshade, of course, is more of the same, but it moves slowly at first; I was aware of the “let’s catch everyone up” feel. Still, once the plot starts moving, it’s an intense and riveting ride. In fact, Jessamine’s dark transformation occurs so swiftly that I found myself wanting to see more of her struggle against the evil forces of Oleander. I have a feeling that our story won’t end until our heroine finds her hidden strengths—and help from her allies, Weed and his plants.

Wood is an excellent storyteller, and though Nightshade is a tale dark and grim, there is a glimmer of hope, and it’s that glimmer that will entice me to pick up the third book in the trilogy. Read the first book while you’re waiting to get Nightshade. (I’ll tell you how to win a copy in just a sec.) The Poison Diaries trilogy is not like anything you’ve read before. Check out the amazing website and you’ll get a peek at exactly what I mean.

To win a SIGNED copy of Nightshade, you must perform the following tasks (I know. It’s like one of those epic quests. But it’s SIGNED by Maryrose Wood, so yeah, just do it):

Go to Twitter, follow @Poison Diaries and tweet “I want to win Nightshade, saw it on @cathychall’s blog.”

Go to Facebook, like Poison Diaries, and post on the wall “I want to win Nightshade, saw it on Cathy C.’s Hall of Fame.”

And go to the website, find the plant Arum Maculatum, and share it on Twitter, adding my blog name and @poisondiaries.

Okay, I told you it was epic. But here’s the thing. There are quite a few blogs out there involved in this promotion. Each blog is sponsoring a giveaway. In order for the promo mistress to keep up with entries, she has to have the blog name. And of course, using social media to promote the book is genius.

Nightshade is genius, too. Now off you go to win a copy. You have seven days, starting now. (And P.S. you can enter through every blog you find!)