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!


Found Books

Posted in Event at 5:10 pm by Amber


Today’s Book Blogger Appreciation Week topic is about the books we discovered through a book blog.  Here are the some books since the last BBAW that I’ve found through the help of Book Blogs:

  • That Went Well by Terrell Harris Dougan through At Home With Books.  The review was so catchy I couldn’t help but want to read this book.
  • Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford through multiple blogs.  This is one instance where power of persuasion worked.  The cover was pleasant but what really got my attention was my exposure to it.  On multiple blogs I saw this cover.  In fact, one blog (I’m sorry, I don’t remember which one) compared the ARC and retail covers.  Somehow, I managed to be exposed to multiple blogs without learning any spoilers about the characters and plot.
  • Sweetsmoke by David Fuller through Caribous Mom.  It’s the adjectives that got to me… gripping, complex and memorable are not often used in book reviews.

What books have you found through a book blog?

Bookmarks are like Socks

Posted in Event at 7:49 am by Amber


I have a theory.  There must be an elf in my house.  He doesn’t live in the dryer taking socks.  He hides in the attic, comes out when everyone is asleep, and takes my bookmarks.  The elf is considerate – he waits until I am done with the book to remove the bookmark.

Seriously… I honestly don’t know what happens to them.  I have honest to goodness real bookmarks.  Most were purchased for me as gifts.  But I do use movie postcards and a really nice ticket from the 2005 Toulouse-Lautrec exhibit from the Art Institute of Chicago.  They aren’t conventional bookmarks but they not only keep my place in the book, they let me gauge how much is left to read.

So you know what I usually use since I can’t find my bookmarks?  Library slips.  My library provides a slip of paper with the due dates of checked out materials.  They are flimsy and it can be difficult to find my place again.  But the elf doesn’t take them.


Meet Tess Hilmo during Book Blogger Appreciation Week

Posted in Event at 8:00 am by Amber

You haven’t met Tess Hilmo yet?  Well, let me fix that for you.

She’s a writer!  Tess is currently revising her Middle Grade novel, With A Name Like Love, so her agent can begin submitting it.  Her blog is all about her journey to publication.  The agent is a new addition to her adventure.  After you read the interview you can read the words of Tess for yourself at http://tesshilmo.blogspot.com/.


Amber: How did you find out about Book Blogger Appreciation Week?

Tess: A thoughtful and sneaky writing friend nominated my blog for an award. I still don’t know who it was but will take this opportunity to give a shout out of thanks.


Amber: Do you have one or two books about writing that you recommend to all of your writing friends?

Tess: There are so many wonderful craft books out there and, honestly, I have friends who write in all genres so it is hard to choose one that is applicable to everyone.  My favorite instruction has come from conferences and from reading other writing blogs.  That is one of the best parts about blogging, we all share our ideas and insights and help one another stumble along this path toward publication.


Amber: A lot of published authors advise reading as a way to learn how to write.  Are there any authors or genres you like to read?

Tess: I read all things Middle Grade.  If you are unaware, Middle Grade fiction encompasses ages 7-13. Great novels such as The Witch of Blackbird Pond, Island of the Blue Dolphins and even the earlier Harry Potterbooks are considered Middle Grade.  Some of my favorite Middle Grade authors include (but are not limited to) Kate DiCamillo, Patricia Reilly Giff and Richard Peck.


Amber: Looking at your blog I found out you’ve spent six years sitting in your chair and writing.  Getting the writing done is often the hardest part about writing.  Do you write novels and short stories?

Tess: I write middle grade novels.  I have written three novels, but the blurb for my novel currently on submission is:

With A Name Like Love is a middle grade murder mystery set in Binder, Arkansas.  In the early summer days of 1957, Ollie’s daddy pulls their green and gold teardrop trailer into town with the intent of offering a three day revival.

On their very first day, Ollie meets a boy whose mother is in jail for murdering his father – and who asserts her innocence.  But, even if Ollie were to believe the boy, could she convince her daddy to stay long enough to help him?  And, if the Love family did stay, how could two thirteen year olds free a woman who has admitted to the crime and signed a full confession?

If you want to take a peek, I have a book trailer up on my blog for this particular novel.

Amber: This is the year you became represented by an agent.  Is it anything like you imagined?

Tess: It’s wonderful to have someone who believes in your work and who has the ability to help you toward the goal of publication.  Steven Chudney is my agent and he is fantastic.  He is communicative, insightful and encouraging.  Acquiring representation has been a true blessing.  But, it has also been a lot of work.  The saying goes no rest for the weary, but I think it should be no rest for the aspiring author!


 Amber: What is your favorite tomato salsa recipe?  (I am up to my ears in friends’ tomatoes and could use a good recipe.)

 Tess: I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you 😉


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.


Reminder About Book Blogger Appreciation Week Awards

Posted in Event at 1:22 pm by Amber

It’s almost time!  Nominations for the Book Blogger Appreciation Week Awards close tomorrow.  Stop by their site at http://bookbloggerappreciationweek.com/index.php/awards to show a book blogger or your favorite author a little love.


Economic Crunch for Small Publishers

Posted in Event, Writing at 12:58 am by Amber

There are some regularly scheduled writer’s chats over varying topics each week and I don’t often get to attend them.  During the course of one I recently attended it was mentioned a small publishing house would not be publishing any new books for the remainder of the year and not accept any new submissions until 2010.  Like a lot of businesses the smaller publishing houses are feeling the economic crunch.  For a few days I wondered what I could do to help and I came upon two ideas. 

  1. List some of them here in a blog post.  You may find a book that you knew nothing about that ends up being the best book you read all year.
  2. For Book Blogger Appreciation Week the prizes I give away will be from small publishing houses.

Here’s a short list (in alphabetical order) of some small book publishers I’ve come across in the last few years. 

4RV Publishing
Drollerie Press
Living Waters Publications
Red Rose Publishing
Small Beer Press
Swimming Kangaroo Books

Do you have any favorite small publishers?


Book Blogger Appreciation Week In September

Posted in Event at 7:24 am by Amber

Book Blogger Appreciation Week is happening again this year!  In 2009 it will be from September 14th through September 18th. 

BBAW Award nominations are now open until August 14th.  Many categories are available including Best Book Published (so far) in 2009, Best Name for a Blog, Most Chatty, and Best Published Writer Blog.  If you’re a writer or a reader, feel free to fill out the nomination form.


Book Blogging Survey Answers

Posted in Event at 5:11 am by Amber

Amy from My Friend Amy sent all of the official blog participants these survey questions.  I thought I’d answer them and share them with you.

1) What is the craziest place you’ve ever read?

I suppose the craziest place would be wherever I can take my PDA with me.  The last year or so I’ve read ebooks on my Palm.  It’s especially nice when I’m working on a book review for a publication.  Though nothing can replace the feel and weight of a book in my hands, they don’t always fit well into my purse.

2) How many books are in your TBR pile?

At last count LibrayThing had me at 137 books.  They are scattered throughout the house.  I have two bookshelves by our fireplace with TBR books and three boxes in the basement.  There is a box of books unaccounted for that I haven’t been able to locate so there may be more than 136.

3) How many hours a week do you spend on reading? Read the rest of this entry »

Winner of My Second Book Giveaway for Book Blogger Appreciation Week

Posted in Event, Giveaway at 12:08 am by Amber

Congratulations to Laura K for winning an ebook copy of The Duchess by Rhonda Lee.  Rhonda should be emailing you the ebook soon.

Thank you to Rhonda for providing the ebook for the giveaway!

« Previous Page« Previous entries « Previous Page · Next Page » Next entries »Next Page »