Win Your Own Copy of I Has A Hotdog!

Posted in Giveaway at 3:16 pm by Amber

I Has A Hotdog! is popping up all over since it was released this week. Hachette Book Group has been kind enough to allow three of my readers the opportunity to win their own copy.

Here are the rules:

  1. This is open to US and Canadian addresses (no P.O. Boxes) only.
  2. Random.org will choose a winner Friday, April 30th, 6pm Eastern from the entries.
  3. Leave a comment naming your favorite fictional or real dog. (The canine can be from a book, movie or painting.)

While you think about #3, here is a link to Anna Balasi’s Blog Talk Radio interview with Professor Happycat (aka Ben Huh).  You may recognize some of the names of people with questions.

Forget Lassie and Benji.  One of my all-time favorite dogs is Skippy.  You know him best as Asta from The Thin Man movies and he was also in Bringing Up Baby.  I’ll take an intelligent dog that can make me laugh any day of the week.

Note: This is a sticky post – there may be newer posts below this one.


Rhonda Parrish Shades of Green Giveaway and Visit

Posted in Event, Giveaway at 11:39 pm by Amber

On Monday I’ll have a review up for Rhonda Parrish’s Shades of Green.  Then on Tuesday you can read an interview with her about the novellette.  In the meantime, between now and February 1st Rhonda’s holding a contest giving away a copy of Shades of Green.  It’s easy to enter so don’t miss your chance to win it.


Win Your Own Copy of A Field Guide to Burying Your Parents by Liza Palmer

Posted in Event, Giveaway at 1:12 am by Amber

In November last year, I posted my review of Liza Palmer’s A Field Guide to Burying Your Parents.

This Friday at 1pm Eastern, Liza Palmer has a live interview on Blog Talk Radio.  Stop by to listen in or call with a question.

In conjunction with the interview, Hachette Book Group has been kind enough to allow one of my readers the opportunity to win their own copy of A Field Guide To Burying Your Parents

Here are the rules:

  1. This is open to US and Canadian addresses (no P.O. Boxes) only.
  2. Random.org will choose a winner Friday, January 8th, 2pm from the entries.
  3. Grace Hawkes, the main character, walks away from her siblings after their mother dies.  Leave a comment on what you would want to walk away from, if you could.

I think I would want to walk away from a clock.  It would be great if I could show up at the library or bookstore at 3am when I can’t fall asleep.

Note: This is a sticky post – there may be newer posts below this one.


BBAW: Small Publisher Giveaway Winners

Posted in Event, Giveaway at 7:32 pm by Amber

My site was offline for a day or two but I decided to not extend the giveaway.  Instead, I’ll have another giveaway when I return from vacation.


The winner of Norah Labiner’s book, German for Travelers, is SFP at Pages TurnedCongratulations, SFP!

The winner of Dave Egger’s book, Zeitoun, is Karen at Bookin’ With “Bingo“.  Congratulations, Karen!


BBAW: Small Publisher Book Giveaways!

Posted in Giveaway at 12:44 am by Amber


I made a pledge earlier that for BBAW I would have book giveaways from small book publishers.  Here’s the post for it!

Coffee House Press – where good books are brewing – was founded in 1984.  They publish only a few titles a year.  The staff size is small.  Coffee House Press is a nonprofit publisher and will welcome donations.

The book I’ve chosen from them is one on my TBR pile by a Minneapolis author, Norah Labiner.  German for Travelers should be an interesting read.

German for Travelers

From the back of the book:

In Search of the key to unlock a great family mystery, Lemon Leopold, a Hollywood starlet, and her cousin Eliza, a romance writer, set off for Berlin.  Soon they are on a trail that leads back to their great-grandfather, Jozef Apfel, a Jewish pioneer of psychoanalysis in early twentieth-century Germany.

Alternating between the great doctor’s household, the mysterious case of his patient Eliza Z., the rise of Nazi Germany, mid-century Detroit, and modern-day Berlin, this is a story about a girl whose dreams reveal the future, a family beset by ghosts, and the place that haunts them all.

McSweeney’s was founded in 1998 as a literary journal by David Eggers.  It’s expanded into a few different divisions.  The book division has a book of the month club.  Several times a year they have some wonderful sales.  Dave Eggers is one of my favorite authors and I’m giving away a copy of his book, Zeitoun.


From the McSweeney’s description of Zeitoun:

When Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, Abdulrahman Zeitoun, a prosperous Syrian-American and father of four, chose to stay through the storm to protect his house and contracting business. In the days after, he traveled the flooded streets in a secondhand canoe, passing on supplies and helping those he could. But, on September 6, 2005, Zeitoun abruptly disappeared. Eggers’s riveting nonfiction book, three years in the making, explores Zeitoun’s roots in Syria, his marriage to Kathy—an American who converted to Islam—and their children, and the surreal atmosphere (in New Orleans and the United States generally) in which what happened to Abdulrahman Zeitoun became possible. Like What Is the What, Zeitoun was written in close collaboration with its subjects and involved vast research—in this case, in the U.S., Spain, and Syria.


The giveaway is open to addresses in the United States and Canada.  You can only enter to win one book so leave a comment with the name of the book you’d like to win.  I will make a spreadsheet with the names and have my husband draw the winning names out of a hat.  Giveaway ends Tuesday, September 22nd at 8pm Eastern.  Good luck!


Book Blogger Appreciation Week September 14th – 18th

Posted in Event, Giveaway at 8:24 pm by Amber



Just a reminder – Book Blogger Appreciation Week begins tomorrow.  The celebration of book bloggers is an idea that My Friend Amy came up with last year.  She did nearly all of the work herself and it was very well run.  This year it has it’s own web site and even merchandise to show off your appreciation of book bloggers all year round. 

The theme this year is Celebrate Books.  I will have posts during the week on this theme and you’ll find giveaways of books here too.


“Sister Margaret” Giveaway Winner!

Posted in Event, Giveaway at 3:45 pm by Amber

Congratulations to Joyce Sterling Scarbrough for winning her own copy of “Sister Margaret” by Rhonda Parrish! 

Thanks for stopping by and I hope to have more giveaways and author visits soon.


Abiding Hope and Love Winner

Posted in Giveaway at 11:52 pm by Amber

I’m happy to announce the winner Connie Arnold’s poetry collection, Abiding Hope and Love, is Brenda LaVelle!!  I’ve emailed Brenda about where to send her autographed copy of Abiding Hope and Love.

If you didn’t win this giveaway, I’m sure Connie will be touring again for her poetry collection and you’ll get another chance.  You can keep up with Connie’s news on her web site – Inspirational Poetry of Connie Arnold.

If your taste leans towards fantasy, you may want to meet author Rhonda Parrish whom I interviewed earlier in the week.  She also wrote a guest blog post about secondary characters that is worth reading.


Meet Rhonda Parrish!

Posted in Event, Giveaway at 12:05 am by Amber

I’ve known Rhonda Parrish for several years and am always amazed by her latest accomplishments.   In addition to inspiring other writers through an online writing community, she edits Niteblade and somehow manages to find the time to write original material.  Her story, “Sister Margaret“, was recently published by Eternal Press.  In celebration of the occasion, Rhonda allowed me to interview her.  She’s got a little surprise for you at the end!

Amber: Congratulations on your recent Rhysling Award nomination.  You write in many formats and genres.  Is there a specific piece you’re most proud of?  Or one you have a funny story about?

Rhonda: I am very proud of “Lovers” which is my Rhysling nominated poem. It’s a haiku, which I think is one of those poem formats which is easy to learn and difficult to master. I’m a very long way from mastering anything, but I think I have a very solid poem in “Lovers”. That someone else felt that way too makes me exceptionally happy.

By Rhonda Parrish

Where river meets bank
We linger, yet again, with
Your fin in my paw

Interestingly, I read “Lovers” at the World Fantasy Convention’s open mic poetry event and was quite surprised when people laughed. The story behind the piece in my mind wasn’t a funny one, it was a very sad one. I think that message got lost when I changed the title from “Cursed Lovers” to “Lovers”. That’s one of the reasons I adore that poem so much, it can be interpreted in many different ways.

I’m also incredibly pleased with “Sister Margaret”. It turned out exactly how I envisioned it and has been getting positive reviews, which makes me happy because I’m pretty much just an ego with legs 🙂


Amber: Do you have any writing rituals or superstitions?

Rhonda: I don’t. I kind of wish I did because that could make for more interesting writing sessions (and a better answer to your question). Really, I just sit down and write.

Maybe I should make up a ritual! 😉


Amber: Have you noticed an evolution or style change in your writing since you began writing fulltime?

Rhonda: Oh, absolutely. When I wrote my first novel for NaNoWriMo in 2005 I used then and than interchangeably, had no idea what active voice was and over used ellipses. Really, really overused them. And commas? Don’t even get me started on them.

I’ve come a long way since then, but I’ve still got loads of room for improvement.

I guess that sounds like the mechanics of my writing as opposed to style, but the two are related to one another. Without the ellipses, passive voice and misspellings my writing style is hugely different. The drawback of that, of course, is that sometimes when I go back and read things I wrote even a few months ago it can take a lot of willpower not to revise it. Again and again. LOL What stops me is knowing that if I kept doing that, I would never write anything new again LOL


Amber: “Sister Margaret” could have worked well in a contemporary setting.  Would you say Dungeons and Dragons has influenced your work in the fantasy genre?

Rhonda: Without question. The vampires in “Sister Margaret” are far more of the monster variety than the sexy or even the sparkly/sexy variety, and I think that’s a direct reflection of the roleplaying I used to do. In addition, one of the main characters, Bayne, is the child of my favorite Dungeons and Dragons character.

I know one of the unwritten rules of RP and writing is ‘No one else will ever think your roleplaying character is as cool as you do’ but surely writing about their offspring doesn’t fall into that category right? Right? 🙂


Amber: Did the story for “Sister Margaret” appear fully formed or did it take a few revisions to get to where it is today?

Rhonda: Both of the above. The skeleton for “Sister Margaret” appeared fully formed in my brain, but it took several revisions to get it where it is today. Heck, I had to do one revision solely to take out extraneous ‘thans’. Apparently I was very fond of the word than when I wrote the first draft LOL Just another example of how my style has developed I suppose.


Amber: In “Sister Margaret”, the narrator mentions dwarves, elves, half-humans, and incubi as some of the species that can be found in Haven.  What other species might be found in the city of Haven?

Rhonda: There are several different elvish races, and a few different varieties of demons in addition to the incubi. The demons, including full-blood incubi, aren’t welcome in Haven any more than undead are, though. There are several flavors of them too, zombies, vampires, lichs…


Amber: Will your readers get to explore Haven or other places with Michael and Bayne in future publications?

Rhonda: I hope so LoL.

I’ve written a few other stories set in Haven, or Aphanasia (the world in which Haven is set). I’m currently looking for publishers for the shorter pieces which feature Bayne, his sister and a few other very interesting characters. I’ve also written a novel called “Shadows” that is sort of a sequel to “Sister Margaret”. It features Michael, Bayne and a whole host of other characters. I’m seeking agent representation on that one. Keep your fingers crossed for me.


Amber: Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Rhonda: I’d just like to thank you for having me here today and for this wonderful interview Amber. As a way to show my gratitude I’d like to give out a copy or two of “Sister Margaret” to your readers. Anyone who comments today or on my guest blog post tomorrow will have their name entered into the draw to win an e-book copy of “Sister Margaret”. I will hold the draw on May 2nd to give people a chance to pop by and enter, and if there are more than 15 comments (not counting mine) I’ll give away two copies.

Thank you again for having me here Amber. You rock!


Abiding Hope and Love Giveaway and Excerpts

Posted in Giveaway at 12:45 am by Amber

Abiding Hope and Love

Connie Arnold has graciously provided a signed copy of Abiding Hope and Love for one of my lucky readers.  All you have to do to enter is leave a comment between now and Wednesday, April 29th at 11:30pm Eastern to let me know of your interest.  This is open to international postal addresses.  The winner will be picked using the randomizer available at random.org. 

Here are two poems from the collection – “Melody and Harmony” and “Love Can”.

Melody and Harmony

Hope filled
Joy is spilled
Calming, insightful, creative, delightful

Love unites
Thrills and excites
Pleasant, blending, never ending

  Read the rest of this entry »

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