Magic Most Foul Giveaway

Annnd… Because I’m a huge dork who forgot to include it in the previous post. There is a giveaway attached to the lovely Leanna Renee Hieber’s guest post, sponsored by her Greatness and courtesy of her dear publisher, Sourcebooks Fire.

Giveaway is for one (1) copy of Darker Still and is open to any human person on the planet Earth who leaves a comment either here or on the previous post (I’ll combine them) before midnight in the Eastern (my) time zone on February 19th.  

Thank you all and sorry that didn’t get included on the original posting. February has left me flabbergasted this year.

White Trash Zombie Giveaway Winners

I am insanely late with announcing these winners, since the contest ended on — what? the 14th?

I can only apologize profusely. I forgot. No excuses — I just completely forgot.

So here’s what I’m going to do. I only had 3 comments on this giveaway. So everybody wins!

Christine, Pamela (Spaz), and Blaise please send your mailing addresses to kiara (at) waitingforfairies (dot) com. I will send each of you a copy of Diana Rowland’s wonderful White Trash Zombie  and probably a bonus or two as well. I have some extra copies of things lying around, and you guys deserve it for being so patient.

So get your info to me and I’ll get your prizes out all lightning-like!

Review: My Life As A White Trash Zombie by Diana Rowland

My Life As A White Trash Zombie

White Trash Zombie #1

Written: Diana Rowland

Published: July 5, 2011

Publisher: DAW

ISBN: 9780756406752

Obtained via: Purchase

Blurb:

Teenage delinquent Angel Crawford lives with her redneck father in the swamps of southern Louisiana. She’s a high school dropout, addicted to drugs and alcohol, and has a police record a mile long. But when she’s made into a zombie after a car crash, her addictions disappear, except for her all-consuming need to stay “alive”…

My Review:

For a hot pink book featuring a wonderfully white-trashy, Louisianna-bayou-living redneck heroine with a pill addicion, this book has it’s surprisingly deep moments. I loved it to pieces (pun intended).

Underneath the decomposing bodies, blood, and brains is the story of a girl with mentally ill and alcoholic parents who has hit rock bottom via a horrific accident that left her wandering overdosed and naked on the side of a swampy road. A mysterious benefactor has saved her life and gotten her a job at the local morgue (and – oh, yeah – turned her into a zombie!) Except a serial killer starts depriving people of their brains, and Angel suspects a fellow zombie has gone rogue. Since the cops don’t even realize zombies exist, it’s up to Angel to stop the killer. In the meantime, Angel has to deal with a selfish, criminal boyfriend; her alcoholic dad; her own pill addiction; as well as avoid arousing the suspicion of her co-workers as she steals the brains she needs to survive.

Rowland manages to mix the macabre with the sincere in this book, balancing the grotesque with the sarcastic, and the desperate with the ordinary. In case you can’t read between the lines: this book has its revolting and hilarious moments. I mean, we’re talking about a zombie who’s a morgue tech. If you can’t assume we’ll have some blood and guts and some callous disregard for the dignity of corpses, then you probably shouldn’t be reading at all, okay?

This is a fun book, with a bit of depth if you care to look for it. The romance plot line is subtle enough for us anti-romance-ers (okay, me), at least until the bottom of the ninth when it kind of smacks you in the face. But it’s a gentle smack, at least, and I give Rowland props for not using the “in love in less than two days” scenario that so many books do. The “twist” ending isn’t very twisty but it’s enjoyable, if a smidgen on the abrupt side. The book is worth buying just for Dan Dos Santos’ amazing cover (even if it is pink!), but happily the inside is just as yummy as the outside.

I’m going to give it 4 and 1/2 stars, not because it isn’t awesome, but because I think it will get even better as we go along.

Oh, and I almost forgot…. If you’ve read this far, you get a special surprise! I promised the author herself I’d give away two copies of this book on my blog. And I’m fulfilling that promise. Comment on this post if you want entered to win your very own copy of WTZ. Contest closes July 14, 2011 at midnight in the US Eastern time zone. I’ll ship anywhere in the US, mostly because I can print that postage online. (If it requires a trip to the post office, it won’t get done for a very long time. I’m lazy. Sorry. Just ask my previous contest winners!) Note: I don’t care where you actually live, as long as you give me a US address to mail to. If you have a friend who’ll forward it, that’s good enough for me!

“Zombie Super Powers, Activate!”

[xrr rating=4.5/5 imageset=default]

Kiaras Festivus Winners

My most sincere apologies for being a few days late with this. My Darling Husband, the Artist, had surgery this week so one or two things sort of slipped through the cracks. Here are the winners of our Kiaras Festivus contests:

The winner of spragusj‘s copy of BLACKVEIL:

~ap~

The winners of Leanna Renee Hieber’s giveaway of 1 copy each of STRANGELY BEAUTIFUL:

spragusj

Matt White

And the winner for the copy of N.K. Jemison’s ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND KINGDOMS:

Reyna-nana

Winners – please email me your shipping addresses at kiara at waiting for fairies dot com, even if you think I might already have it. Please get them to me by this Monday, March 7th at noon Eastern, or I will chose a backup winner for your contest.

Kiaras Festivus: Author Focus – Leanna Renee Hieber (w/ Giveaway!)

Sometime back in 2009, I received a review request via email from an author. She introduced herself quite politely, identified herself as a fellow Southwest Ohioan, and asked that I give her book an honest review. Having less than a year of book blogging under my belt, at that time I never turned down a review (I’ve since learned better), and I readily agreed. I’m sure any book blogger out there could tell you that sometimes these review requests turn out well, and other times they do … not.

This is one of those times that it turned out very, very well and today I’d like to introduce you to her and her beautiful, haunting work.

Meet Leanna Renee Hieber, author of The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker, The Darkly Luminous Fight for Persephone Parker, and the upcoming The Perilous Prophecy of Guard and Goddess (out May, 2011).

Photo: www.taraleigh.com

She is not only an award-winning, best-selling author but also an actress and a playwright. Further, she co-founded Lady Jane’s Salon, a romance fiction reading series in NYC whose proceeds go to organizations that benefit women in need. She is a Renaissance Woman, by talent — although it seems she is Victorian Gothic by temperament.

I won’t re-hash my reviews of her work. You can find them here and here. However, I will say that if you would like a dark Victorian romance with a hefty helping of Greek mythological figures, ghostly hauntings, and dangerous situations then you should give this series a try.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To facilitate that, the author has most generously donated 2 copies of the first book in the series, The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker for me to give away. The contest will open today and will end at midnight February 28th. Comment here to enter. Any comment on this post will be an entry. If you’d like an extra entry, follow Leanna Renee Hieber on Twitter. For a second extra entry, like her Facebook page as well. Make sure you note in your comment that you have done these things, so that all your entries can be counted. Winners must have a United States shipping address. (Sorry, international folks.)

For more Gothic Victorian goodness, come back this Friday for my review of Strangely Beautiful #2.5 – the novella A Christmas Carroll. And be sure to check back on Monday, for the crown jewel of our Kiaras Festivus celebration — an exclusive new Valentine’s Day short featuring two of our (okay, my) favorite Guard characters!

Kiaras Festivus Green Rider Guest Review & Blackveil GIVEAWAY

A Note From Kiara: This review & giveaway is written and sponsored by one of my dear friends who posts as Spragujs and has been cross-posted with the author’s permission from The Double Phoenix blog. Please stay tuned for the giveaway at the end of this post!

To celebrate Festivus Kiaras, Kiara has asked for some guest reviews.  In honor of my friend’s birthday month and the release of one of my favorite author’s newest books, I’m doing a reread review of the associated series as well as a give away of the newest book.  It will be a hardcover copy that I’ll have read before sending it out, so it’ll be slightly used and you won’t get it in time for the release, but maybe if you haven’t read any of the series yet, this give away will entice you to go out and give the others a shot.  🙂  And with no further adieu…

I recently finished rereading Green Rider, the first book in Kristen Britain’s Green Rider series, in preparation for the fourth book, Blackveil, which is coming out today. The blurb:

Karigan G’ladahon has fled from school following a fight which would surely lead to her expulsion. As she makes her way through the deep forest, a galloping horse pounds up to her, its rider impaled by two black-shafted arrows. With his dying breath, he tells her he is a Green Rider, one of the legendary magical messengers of the King, and makes Karigan swear to deliver the message he’s carrying, giving her his green coat, with its symbolic brooch of office. This promise given to a dying man changes Karigan’s life forever. Pursued by unknown assassins, following a path only her horse seems to know, she unwittingly finds herself in a world of deadly danger and complex magic, compelled by forces she cannot understand.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I wish more of my friends had read these books.  I remembered the stories very vaguely as feeling very otherworldly, which was pretty funny to me after reading an article about the upcoming release party for Blackveil, that ”while the stories are fantasies, the characters and settings are not fantastical or otherworldly.  There is an appealing familiarity about them, and they are so convincingly drawn that they could be real.”  I agree, but at the same time still stand by my statement.  The world is extremely vivid and easily imagined.  I think it’s the layer of magic that blankets everything combined with the very easily imagined setting that gives me the otherworldly feeling.  It should feel extremely familiar, but the magic also makes it very different.

Green Rider introduces the reader to the world of Sacoridia and its surrounds, to the characters of the story, and to the idea that there’s a very big story arc coming up in this series.  The characters are great, and even if they do tend to fall to the black and white, they’re still individuals with their own strengths, weaknesses, and personalities.  I’m always impressed that Britain has made me feel for even the briefly mentioned characters when things (often bad) end up happening to them.  Very brief descriptions bring them fully to life.  I will say that her attempts at romance in this novel were a little less than fully developed, but that’s really the only complaint I can think of at this point.  With more novels out, there’s plenty of time for them to become more believable.

I also think that Karigan may be one of the few protagonists I’ve run into that I can remember that wasn’t whiny.  Yes, she starts out pretty spoiled and of course she complains about a few things and makes wishes about others, but not to the point where I’d describe it as whiny.  Just in case that’s a pet peeve for any interested readers out there!  ;)

Check The Double Phoenix soon for a review of book 2, First Rider’s Call!

Another note from Kiara: If you’d like to enter the giveaway for a copy of Blackveil, please leave a comment on this post. Giveaway is open to International readers and will close February 28th at midnight EST. One entry per commenter, regardless of the number of comments left. Winner will be drawn at random.

Laurie Halse Anderson’s SPEAK

This is the situation: Some guy thinks a rape scene is pornography, and wants to keep the book out of the hands of “impressionable teenagers”.

Myra McEntire has already said everything that I was thinking about on the subject.  (McEntire has a YA of her own, due to be released in May of 2011, which I’ll be putting on my ‘To Get” list based purely on the linked post).

Then I realized that next week is Banned Books Week, and ideas began to form.

You see, Speak was recommended to me nearly a year ago, and I did buy myself a copy, but I’ve still not read it. It’s partly because I have so many other things on my shelf (about 100 at last check) and partly because I sort of have a feeling this book is going to be painful.

I’ve not been through the same events as the main character has, but high school was not easy for me (is it for anybody?) and I don’t revisit those days by choice. There’s a reason most of the YA I’ve read has been fantasy or urban fantasy in nature.

I think it’s time to stop being afraid. So for the next two weeks (through the end of Banned Books Week on October 2nd), I’m going to be reading Speak and discussing it here. I’m not sure what I’ll be talking about, because I haven’t read this book before, but we’ll all think of something.

On top of that, and in support of Laurie Halse Anderson and this book, I’m going to be running a giveaway. Comment on this post before 12:01 am EST on October 2nd and you’ll be entered for a chance to win a copy of Speak. And I’ll ship it anywhere The Book Depository delivers.

Diana Rowland ‘Impromptu Contest’ Winner

I apologize for the delay, as I said I would draw the winner on Tuesday. And I completely forgot.

This is what working 6 days/50 hour weeks at Ye Olde Day Job (henceforth to be known as YODJ) does to me.

To choose the winner, I numbered each entrant’s comment (skipping over any replies). By my count, we had 5 unique entrants.

So, according to Random.org, our winner is:  *brazen fanfare, please* (Drumrolls are so ’80’s.)

Commenter #1 or jacabur1. Congratulations, Jackie B, you are our winner! Please email the address where you’d like the book sent to kiara [at-squiggle] waitingforfairies [dot] com.

I  hope the rest of you will stay tuned, as I know I at the very least have an extra copy of Mark Henry’s Battle of the Network Zombies to give away as well! (And probably more than that – I need to check my shelves again…)

Diana Rowland 'Impromptu Contest' Winner

I apologize for the delay, as I said I would draw the winner on Tuesday. And I completely forgot.

This is what working 6 days/50 hour weeks at Ye Olde Day Job (henceforth to be known as YODJ) does to me.

To choose the winner, I numbered each entrant’s comment (skipping over any replies). By my count, we had 5 unique entrants.

So, according to Random.org, our winner is:  *brazen fanfare, please* (Drumrolls are so ’80’s.)

Commenter #1 or jacabur1. Congratulations, Jackie B, you are our winner! Please email the address where you’d like the book sent to kiara [at-squiggle] waitingforfairies [dot] com.

I  hope the rest of you will stay tuned, as I know I at the very least have an extra copy of Mark Henry’s Battle of the Network Zombies to give away as well! (And probably more than that – I need to check my shelves again…)

Impromtu Contest: Vent Here to Win a Diana Rowland Book

Okay, folks. Diana Rowland is posting some gems over at her Twitter feed tonight, and she’s inspired me. So I’m holding an impromptu contest. I have an extra copy of her latest Blood of the Demon (Review here.) and I’m giving it away.

All you have to do to win is vent here. It can be about anything. What’s frustrating YOU lately? Get it off your chest and maybe win a free book*.

*Anyone can vent but I can only ship to within the US. Sorry. I’m poor & international shipping is expensive.

Edit: Contest will stay open through Monday evening EST.