Books: The Cheapest Vacation You Can Buy











I am a hoarder of sorts.  A collector, if you will…  of signed books and swag.  I love them, and I love to share them with my beloved readers… so over the past few months, I’ve been collecting (or hoarding) books and swag that I’ve picked up at various conferences… most of which is from UtopYA 2014 (because, let’s face it, that was the most epic conference ever and I can’t wait for UtopYA 2015)!

And today seems like a fine day to run an epic giveaway.  Yes?

Here’s a detailed list of everything you can win:

What you’ll win:

Epic Giveaway

  • Signed paperback of Take Me To Your Reader by Tammy Blackwell, Amy A. Bartol, Amanda Havard, Sarah Ross, Tiffany King, Raine Thomas, Heather Hildenbrand, and C.A. Kunz (signed by all the authors)
  • Signed paperback of The Light Tamer by Devyn Dawson
  • Signed paperback of Blood Debt by Nancy Straight
  • Signed paperback of The One by Heather Self
  • Signed paperback of Soul Survivor by Michelle N. Files
  • Signed paperback of Spirits and Spells by Hollie Westring
  • Signed Tote Bag–Amy Evans
  • Wildflower Seed Packet signed by Elizabeth Sharp
  • Temporary Tattoos: Alien and Spade
  • Tissues from Michelle N. Files
  • Cell Phone Cleaner from Mindy Ruiz
  • Signed Coaster from Amy Miles–Captive
  • Lip Balm–Going Down in Flames by Chris Cannon
  • One Tiny Secret by T.A. Kunz Trading Card
  • The Dark by Heather Self–Card
  • My Endless Endings Pen

PLUS:

Signed Bookmarks from:

  • Maggie Stiefvater—The Raven Boys
  • Brenda Pandos—The Sapphire Talisman
  • Brenda Pandos–Everlost
  • Georgia Cates—Beauty From Surrender
  • Jennifer L. Armentrout—Don’t Look Back
  • Bella Roccaforte—The Ink Series
  • Dani Hart—A Firefighter’s Flame
  • Dani Hart–Reality
  • Casey Peeler—No Turning Back
  • C.L. Foster—Light and Shadows Collide
  • Jon Messenger—Wind Warrior
  • Kristie Cook—Purpose
  • Kristie Cook—The Space Within
  • Becca Vincenza–Healed
  • Rebecca Gober and Courtney Nuckels–Project Ele
  • Devri Walls–Wings of Arian
  • Emma Shade–Finding Obscurity
  • T.A. Kunz–With Hunter Olivia
  • Misty Provencher–Full of Grace
  • Paulina Ulrich–Chosen
  • Kelly Risser–Never Forgotten
  • Stacey Marie Brown–Blood Beyond Darkness

Bookmarks from:

  • Tiffany King—Jordyn: The Final Battle
  • Megan Curd—Steel Lily
  • Stuck in Books
  • Paulina Urlich–Flightless Birds Book Thong
  • Misty Provencher–Stronger

Keychains:

  • Return of the Ascendant by Raine Thomas
  • House of Spades and Poker Chip from Mindy Ruiz
  • Clicks and Dolphin by Amy Evans
  • Dani Hart Bottle Cap
  • Angel Wing

Magnets from:

  • Elizabeth Kirke—Snow Bound
  • Raine Thomas—Becoming
  • Elizabeth Kirke—Semester Aboard
  • A Book Vacation Reviews
  • Miranda Kavi—Rue and Rive
  • P.K. Hrezo
  • Chris Cannon–Going Down in Flames
  • P.K. Hrezo–Diary of a Teenage Time Traveler
  • Amy Evans–Jellybean Kisses
  • Stories About Melissa
  • Krystal Wade

Signed Cards from:

  • Becca Vincenza–Damaged
  • Nely Cab–Forever Begins
  • Georgia Cates–Beauty From Love
  • Courtney Farrell–Bait
  • Kelly Risser–Never Forgotten

Buttons:

  • 5 from Casey L. Bond
  • Lucky Number Four by Amanda Jason
  • T.A. Kunz
  • “I Like Big Books and I Cannot Lie”
  • “Keep Calm and Read a Bethany Lopez Novel”
  • “Don’t Eat the Food–Through Glass”
  • “I went to Area 51 and all I got was a stupid implant”
  • Fair Feathered–Paulina Ulrich
  • Curiosity Quills
  • Illusions Begin by N.L. Greene

Stickers:

  • Flightless Birds by Paulina Ulrich (signed)
  • Lucky Number Four Amanda Jason
  • Jordyn by Tiffany King
  • Author Paulina Ulrich
  • Witch Hunter Olivia by T.A. Kunz (signed)

Rubber Bracelets:

  • #ExpandYourClump
  • C.L. Foster—”Ninja in Training
  • Dani Hart—”A Firefighter’s Flame”
  • KristenDayBooks
  • Green and Black

Candy:

  • Blue Sucker
  • 4 Stick Candies from Karice Bolton

Jewelry:

  • Angel Wing Necklace from Devri Walls
  • The Broken Destiny by Carlyle Labuschagne–Pendant
  • Abberant by Ruth Silven–Charm
  • Dark Reflections by Elizabeth Sharp Bottle Cap–Charm
  • Rout of the Dem-Shyr by Raine Thomas–Charm
  • Dolphin Ring from Amy Evans
  • Necklace from Anne Elliot

And breathe…

Excited?

To enter you must:

-Be 18 years or older (or have parent/guardian permission)

-Fill in the mandatory questions on rafflecopter (extra entries optional)

Click here to go to the Rafflecopter Entry Form!

This contest is open internationally and will end at 12:01am EST on November 20th. The winner will receive email notification! Please read my giveaway policy and leave me a comment!

______________________________________________________________________

And Don’t Forget to Enter my Other Epic Giveaway:

Win YOUR CHOICE of ONE of these Recent Releases (ENDS November 1) International:

RRG October

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AfterworldsFrom Goodreads: Darcy Patel has put college and everything else on hold to publish her teen novel, Afterworlds. Arriving in New York with no apartment or friends she wonders whether she’s made the right decision until she falls in with a crowd of other seasoned and fledgling writers who take her under their wings…

Told in alternating chapters is Darcy’s novel, a suspenseful thriller about Lizzie, a teen who slips into the ‘Afterworld’ to survive a terrorist attack. But the Afterworld is a place between the living and the dead and as Lizzie drifts between our world and that of the Afterworld, she discovers that many unsolved – and terrifying – stories need to be reconciled. And when a new threat resurfaces, Lizzie learns her special gifts may not be enough to protect those she loves and cares about most.

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While I generally love Scott Westerfeld’s novels, this one fell just a bit flat for me. The novel itself is extremely long, and after the first 200 pages, I found that both storylines began to drag a bit, which is unfortunate since the novel started out with much intrigue. Unfortunately, I ended up not caring much for either protagonists, and I think a lot of my enjoyment of the story diminished as I got to know them more and more.

Darcy is somewhat of a boring person. Unsure of herself within the world of authors, she stumbles along and overspends on her writing advance time and time again, wrapped in the throes of what, to me, seemed like an instant lesbian relationship meant to shock readers more than drive the plot. The relationship seems to fabricate out of thin air, and while Darcy definitely learns the ropes of authorhood from girlfriend Imogen, this portion of the story felt forced to me. And while I do enjoy novels that portray the world of authors, Afterworlds is the third novel I’ve read over the past month that deals with this topic, and by this time, it sort of felt old hat. Having read and loved both The Write Stuff by Tiffany King and Neurotica by Eliza Gordon prior to Afterworlds, I found that Darcy’s story just didn’t bring anything new to the table for me, aside from a protagonist who’s story was juxtaposed with her novel–awesome in theory, less so in execution.

As Afterworlds tells two different stories, one of the real world in which Darcy resides, and one of the paranormal world in which Lizzie, the protagonist of Darcy’s debut novel, resides, I actually found myself more drawn to Lizzie’s story. Westerfeld alternates between the two, and I found myself, in the beginning, really wanting more and more of Lizzie’s story, but again, as the novel progressed, I found myself liking Lizzie less and less, and as it turns out, we don’t get the full story of Lizzie and her newfound powers—instead, it’s more of a shell. And I soon found myself losing interest in Lizzie and her world as well.

Honestly, I feel as if the novel could be divided up into two shorter novels as the worlds don’t really intersect in the book, aside from the fact that Darcy is the author of Lizzie’s story, and that the publisher wants massive rewrites to the story. I really would love a fully developed novel surrounding Lizzie and her world, but I doubt we’re actually going to get it. Two stars.

2 stars

I received this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble



Vault of DreamersFrom Goodreads: From the author of the Birthmarked trilogy comes a fast-paced, psychologically thrilling novel about what happens when your dreams are not your own.
 
The Forge School is the most prestigious arts school in the country. The secret to its success:  every moment of the students’ lives is televised as part of the insanely popular Forge Show, and the students’ schedule includes twelve hours of induced sleep meant to enhance creativity. But when first year student Rosie Sinclair skips her sleeping pill, she discovers there is something off about Forge. In fact, she suspects that there are sinister things going on deep below the reaches of the cameras in the school. What’s worse is, she starts to notice that the edges of her consciousness do not feel quite right. And soon, she unearths the ghastly secret that the Forge School is hiding—and what it truly means to dream there.

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The idea of a reality show that follows students around a boarding school is completely unique and piqued my interest from the get go. The fact that the students have to take sleeping pills and sleep for 12 hours also adds an ominous tone to the novel, and as it all unfolded, it became clear that the Forge School is much more than it appears to be.

Rosie Sinclair is an interesting young woman, and I loved getting to know her, as well as watching her relationship with Linus bloom. Unfortunately for Rosie, happily-ever-after doesn’t seem to be written in the stars, and as she continually refuses her sleeping pills and roams the silent halls at night, readers learn some rather disturbing things about her new school—things that would have the best of us running for the hills. That is… if any of it is real.

Presented with a mystery that keeps readers frantically turning the pages, this novel has many ups and downs, causing readers to question everything the know and have learned within the pages of the text. What is real? What is fiction? How sound of mind and body is Rosie, really? As the novel progresses, readers are given key insights into the mind of the characters, and it’s a heart-pounding ride. But reader beware, this is definitely not a happily-ever-after scenario, and yet, while I was crushed by the end, it is indeed a perfect conclusion for this story, setting it further apart from any other boarding school novel I’ve ever read. Four stars.

4 stars

I received this novel from the publisher, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.  This title releases today.

Amazon | Kindle | Barnes and Noble



After the EndFrom Goodreads: She’s searching for answers to her past. They’re hunting her to save their future.

World War III has left the world ravaged by nuclear radiation. A lucky few escaped to the Alaskan wilderness. They’ve survived for the last thirty years by living off the land, being one with nature, and hiding from whoever else might still be out there.

At least, this is what Juneau has been told her entire life.

When Juneau returns from a hunting trip to discover that everyone in her clan has vanished, she sets off to find them. Leaving the boundaries of their land for the very first time, she learns something horrifying: There never was a war. Cities were never destroyed. The world is intact. Everything was a lie.

Now Juneau is adrift in a modern-day world she never knew existed. But while she’s trying to find a way to rescue her friends and family, someone else is looking for her. Someone who knows the extraordinary truth about the secrets of her past.

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I didn’t have access to the internet when I started reading this novel on my Kindle, so I couldn’t refresh my memory about the synopsis before I plunged in. But truth be told, I actually think not knowing the synopsis made After the End even more interesting for me because early on, when the truth hit about WWIII for Juneau and Miles, I was shocked and totally riveted to the spot. It’s always fun to go into a book without knowing the premise, and generally I am always surprised by what I learn along the way, having no expectations going in, and so I feel like I should do it more often, especially after absolutely falling in love with this novel.
I will admit that the first chapter didn’t reel me in right away. I wasn’t sure what was going on, and this is why people write a synopsis for books in the first place—to give a little background. Juneau’s story was a bit interesting, but not riveting, and I was definitely thinking Hunger Games throughout that first chapter, but then Miles came on the scene and changed everything for me. I can’t express how exciting it is to figure something out before a character does; to have an “aha” moment before the entire picture becomes clear, but as Miles’ story began to evolve, I definitely had a moment where everything suddenly clicked and I was hooked, line and sinker.

If you haven’t read the synopsis above as of yet, well, I’m about to ruin it for you. The whole idea of a society gone into hiding after WWIII, only for the truth to come out that there never was a WWIII, well… genius. Just. Genius.

Can you imagine finding out that the entire world you know and understand, or thought you knew and understood, was a lie? That everyone, mentors and parents included, have lied to you since birth? It’s mind boggling, yet this is exactly what Juneau experiences as her world deteriorates around her. Thrust into the unknown, a world she was taught to fear, she must trust the most unlikely allies in order to find her family, and it’s definitely a bumpy and intense ride the entire way.

Filled with elements of the paranormal, Plum’s latest novel is epically fun. I especially love that it’s told from two different viewpoints, allowing readers inside the minds of both Juneau and Miles as they make decisions and choices that could ultimately end with their death if they aren’t careful—but to not take risks means ultimate failure and the death of others. Locked between a rock and a hard place, unsure just how much trust to put in the other, both Juneau and Miles have many choices to make, and lots of growing up to do. Five amazing stars.

5 stars

In exchange for an honest review, has been extremely gracious in allowing me to read an ARC of this novel, via Netgalley, prior to its release on May 6, 2014.

Amazon | Kindle | Barnes and Noble



et cetera
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