Random Magic (Blog Tour)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Random Magic by Sasha Soren may be the quirkiest novel I have ever read -- in a good way! It is definitely random, and I couldn't help thinking while I read this that it definitely fit the title of the blog and it did "Take Me Away"!

The basic storyline is that Professor Random has misplaced the character Alice from Alice in Wonderland. He then gets (tricks?) Henry Witherspoon to help him find her. His explanation is that Henry needs to find Alice by tomorrow's tea time in order to prevent Chaos Theory -- you may know this as "The Butterfly Effect -- where basically one small action affects a whole bunch of other events and hugely changes the future. Yes, losing the main character from Alice in Wonderland will have this enormously large effect. After all, it is a well-loved and oft-read children's novel. If those children didn't have the opportunity to get to know Alice... well, just imagine. ;)

The opening scene of the book involves a gathering at a castle where all are informed that the Lord and Lady Witherspoon's son, Henry, has gone missing. (Of course, he's off to find Alice). This scene was amusing and, this is sort of random, but it reminded me of the movie Clue (1985)... at the beginning of this movie, a cast of eccentric individuals gather for reasons they are unaware of. They're all confused and peculiar, and the drollery of this scene was similar to that of this novel. In fact, the same whimsical humor is found throughout this novel causing me to smirk at times or giggle out loud. And at times it made me stop and think to myself -- "what??" These moments throughout the book sometimes reminded me of my first experience reading A Wrinkle in Time back in the 5th grade. I knew the book was good, but that first foray of mine into "science-fiction" had me confused. I appreciated this new type of story but it made me stop and think, and it was something I had to get used to.

In the beginning of his pursuit of Alice, Henry runs across Winnie Flapjack. He and Winnie proceed to experience adventures together and build a bond. Winnie is a funny character, but she is also a strong and independent female (a great role model!). The author, Sasha Soren, certainly has an interesting and vivid imagination. She possesses wonderful story-telling skills full of plot movement and conversation. I'd like to quote a random conversation between Winnie and Henry that I found oddly humorous. It's from page 76 near the beginning of Winnie and Henry's journey together:

"Why's it called the Grey Forest?" he asked, his voice echoing back at them as they picked their way through a massive fallen oak.

"Well," Winnie said, her face eerily luminescent in the half-dark, "it's halfway between the White and the Black."


"Black," she explained, as they emerged from the tunnel, and onto the other side of a low valley, "is for, oh, vampires and hobgoblins and things that go bump in the night--"
She stopped to sniff the wind again. "That way."

"But they all go bump in the night."

"Winnie snorted. "They don't all
go bump in the night. Only Things That Go Bump in the Night go 'Bump' in the night. The ghosties go 'Whoo,' the long-leggedy beasties go 'Blugha Blugha Blug.' It's all very specialized."

And just so you know, Winnie is a "doodle witch", but you'll have to read the book to figure out what that is. And while we're on the topic of colors, check out the essay at the end of this post regarding the color Black. It's one of many essays regarding the different colors that are used in this book.

I did want to point out the interesting manner in which the author set up her chapters. If you think of each chapter as a scene in a movie, then the "title" of the chapter is a quick narrator summation of that chapter. It's then followed by a random preview quote from the chapter. For instance, each chapter title starts out with "in which" and then goes on to quickly summarize the main point. I did find myself wanting to read further after each chapter, but I do recommend reading and savoring one chapter at a time to truly digest and understand everthing read. As I mentioned, it's quirky and random and may take some getting used to. But if you do, you'll find a fun and interesting adventure story.

Before moving on to the short essay on the color Black, take this fun quiz to learn which character in the book you are! (I'm one of the nine muses)

The Colors of Random Magic: Black

Everyone who’s read the book says that the world of Random Magic is so colorful and vivid that they can actually almost see the world right in front of them, as if it were a movie.

It was definitely written that way, since that world actually is a lot more magical and overwhelming than our own world. Everything would be more powerful and startling, including something as basic as the colors surrounding Henry and Winnie as they search for Alice.

But a lot of the colors in Random Magic aren’t just there for decoration, but actually have some particular significance.

Here are some quick reader notes about the more symbolic uses of color in Random Magic. This post is about the use of the color black:

The color of black is the color of night. It’s the color of secrets, mystery, mourning and power.

But it’s also the color of renunciation of the world, as is the case with priests or other religious figures, even including modern-day Wiccans.

So, although the color black is often associated with evil, or with ill luck -- as in the saying “don’t let a black cat cross your path” -- it’s also a deeply spiritual color, the color of people who have turned their back on the world, or those who are outcasts through no fault of their own.

Or it might just be in their own particular nature. Night creatures might not necessarily be evil, so much as much of what they are is hidden from plain view.

The Dark Queen, for example, wears black. She may or may not necessarily be evil, but she favors black because night is her natural environment. The De Morgues, as well, are isolated in their castle, in a gloomy, dark nest of spooky places.

These characters feel comfortable with their secrets and mysterious ways, isolation and connection to their inner and outer darkness. So, they might not necessarily do you any harm. On the other hand, it’s never a good idea to push your luck.

The Black Forest, on the other hand, is an unabashedly unpleasant, vicious and dastardly place to visit. The curt and unfriendly signpost to the entrance to the Black Forest says it all.

The Black Forest, well, it embodies all of those non-friendly aspects of night, darkness, and things that go bump in the night, and is best approached with just one point of view: If you don’t have to go there -- don’t.

Of course, this doesn’t stop Winnie. She knows her way through the Black Forest…but only because she’s already made it out alive.

Enjoy the rest of the tour! The other stops can be found here

The Sunday Salon

Sunday, October 25, 2009

My reading seems to finally be picking up a little. I recently finished The Financial Lives of the Poets which was an engaging read and is possibly what kick started my reading. I'm currently working on Random Magic for my blog tour stop on Thursday. And, as always, I have a ton of books lined up that I want to read next.

I "watched" everyone do the read-a-thon yesterday and it looked like fun! For my blog readers who don't know what this is, you can check out this link for more information... Basically, anyone who wants to join takes one entire 24 hour day and does nothing, or little else, but read!! When I first heard about it I thought it would be the last thing I'd want or be able to do, but I've changed my mind, I think. Plus, some of you all finished a ton of books! As many as it sometimes takes me a month to read! And all the preparations that everyone did sound fun too -- picking out the books ahead of time, getting snacks ready, getting blog posts ready, etc. I'm somewhat considering joining in on the one in April. I have so very much to do on the weekends, though, that I may need to take a day off of work to catch up if I read for an entire day, lol! And maybe I can get my husband to join in too. ;)

I think that's about it for now. The next book up after Random Magic is a Christmas book that I have for review and it looks really cute! I'm very much enjoying the books I've been reading, and am looking forward to the Christmas one too, but I have to admit I'm also looking forward to reading a book that's solely my pick and not for any specific reviews or blog tours, lol!

The Financial Lives of the Poets (Blog Tour)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Blog tours are something I often find risky because you are promising (generally) to read and review a book by a certain time. This is all without knowing much about the book other than the synopsis. But sometimes the risk proves worthwhile and you end up with a book you really like and with an introduction to an author who you would like to read more of. That is what happened when I read The Financial Lives of the Poets by Jess Walter.

This satirical novel begins with the main character, Matt Prior, going to the 7/11 at midnight to buy a gallon of milk. There he has an interesting run in with some "stoners" which leads him to a bevy of humorous (to the reader, anyway) situations. Throughout the novel, Matt reflects on where his life has brought him. His financial situation is in ruins after he left his job as a newspaper reporter to start his own website/business of financial news written in verse. Things continue to get worse as his house is about to be foreclosed. He hasn't yet told his wife, for fear of losing her, though he suspects she's already having an affair. Matt is also dealing with the stress of caring for his elderly father who is suffering from early onset Dementia. His escapades lead him through a variety of interesting situations and then to a place where he can finally look back and reflect on how his decisions have impacted him. In that way it's almost like a mid-life "coming of age" story.

Matt's musings (on life in general and on his situation) are both humorous and reflective. The author appears to have a sense of humor about life and can look at a difficult situation with wit. Jess Walter's writing is intelligent, yet his conversational style makes the reading flow easily from one page to the next and engages the reader. This is a book I have recommended to my husband... it reminds me of other authors he likes (though I've yet to actually read one of their books so I'm going off the little I know) such as Nick Hornby, Christopher Moore, Carl Hiaasen, etc.

The Financial Lives of the Poets is an amusing novel full of life, epiphanies, drugs, revenge, love, and the every man. I will be looking for more books by this author, and I recommend this book!

From his website:
Jess Walter is the author of five novels, including The Zero, a finalist for the 2006 National Book Award and Citizen Vince, winner of the 2005 Edgar Allan Poe Award for best novel. He has been a finalist for the L.A. Times Book Prize and the PEN USA Literary Prize in both fiction and nonfiction. His books have been New York Times, Washington Post and NPR best books of the year and have been translated into twenty languages.

Stop by these other blog tour locations to read more thoughts!

Tuesday, October 13th: Lit and Life

Wednesday, October 14th: One Person’s Journey Through a World of Books

Thursday, October 15th: Jo-Jo Loves to Read!

Monday, October 19th: Starting Fresh

Tuesday, October 20th: I’m Booking It

Wednesday, October 21st: Beth’s Book Review Blog

Friday, October 23rd: Take Me Away

Monday, October 26th: Raging Bibliomania

Tuesday, October 27th: Booksie’s Blog

Wednesday, October 28th: Book Nook Club

Thursday, October 29th: Books and Movies

Friday, October 30th: The Novel Bookworm

Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday – this is a weekly event hosted by me! It is the time each week to recognize those older books… an older book you’ve always wanted to read, or one that you have read and love; maybe one from your childhood; or review an older book -- how about even a classic! Leave a comment here and feel free to take an icon and use it on your blog!

This week's throwback is:

One Child and The Tiger's Child by Torey Hayden

From bn.com for One Child:

Finally, a beginning...

The time had finally come. The time I had been waiting for through all these long months that I knew sooner or later had to occur. Now it was here.

She had surprised me so much by actually crying that for a moment I did nothing but look at her. Then I gathered her into my arms, hugging her tightly. She clutched onto my shirt so that I could feel the dull pain of her fingers digging into my skin. She cried and cried and cried. I held her and rocked the chair back and on its rear legs, feeling my arms and chest get damp from the tears and her hot breath and the smallness of the room.

From Publishers Weekly via Amazon for The Tiger's Child:
Abandoned by her mother on a highway at age four, abused by her drug-addict father between his prison stints, autistic, electively mute Sheila Renstad at age six broke through her silent rage to communicate, aided by her five-month relationship with special-education teacher Hayden. That experience, recorded in Hayden's One Child, which became a TV movie, is updated in this deeply moving sequel. It picks up with Sheila as a sullen 13-year-old bouncing between juvenile facilities and her father's "care." As Hayden renews her ties to Sheila, first at a clinic, then through informal contacts, the girl's outbursts and foul-mouthed sexual preoccupations betray a desperate craving for a sense of belonging. An inspirational testament to the healing power of love, this authentic tearjerker resonates with drama. There is no storybook ending: Sheila, with an IQ over 180, forgoes college to work for McDonald's; an epilogue finds her 10 years later as a branch manager at McDonald's and an articulate, stable woman.

Torey Hayden has written many books about abused children, and I read a couple of these while I was working on my undergraduate degree in social work. This was a true, heartbreaking but amazing story (the second is a sequel). This was the kind of thing that motivated me to be a social worker.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Has anyone been to BEA before? I'm trying to find out more about it to decide if I should try to go or not. I wonder if as much as I love books and am interested in the publishing industry, if the conference would keep my interest the entire time. I also wouldn't want to spend the money for the conference and then decide I'd rather spend my time exploring the city.

Anyone have any tips, experiences, etc. for me?

Thanks in advance!

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Here's my pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection:

Eggsecutive Orders (White House Chef Mystery #3) by Julie Hyzy

From Julie Hyzy's website:
Ollie’s mom and grandmother have flown out to D.C. for the annual Easter Egg Roll and a personal tour of the White House. But plans are scrambled when executive chef Ollie is banished from the kitchen after one of the president’s guests dies at the dinner table. Who killed Carl Minkus? Ollie is at odds with her Secret Service boyfriend, Tom, who has been charged with making sure his intrepid girlfriend keeps her nose out of official business this time. But Ollie is determined to restore her reputation. Will proving her innocence mean the end of a relationship with Tom?

Publish date: January 5, 2010

I love this cozy series!! (And I just found out the first in the series, State of the Onion, is a 2009 Anthony Award winner!) Ollie is a very likeable character. And I love that it takes place in DC (which I wrote about in my location post here ) and in the white house. You still have time to catch up on the first two, State of the Onion and Hail to the Chef!

upcoming tour

Monday, October 19, 2009

I'm a little late in posting this, but I wanted to post about an upcoming blog tour for Random Magic by Sasha Soren. It's sort of a take off of Alice in Wonderland and sounds very interesting and quirky.

From Amazon:
When absent-minded Professor Random misplaces the main character from Alice in Wonderland, young Henry Witherspoon must book-jump to fetch Alice before chaos theory kicks in and the world vanishes. Along the way he meets Winnie Flapjack, a wit-cracking doodle witch with nothing to her name but a magic feather and a plan. Such as it is. Henry and Winnie brave the Dark Queen, whatwolves, pirates, Struths, and fluttersmoths, Priscilla and Charybdis, obnoxiously cheerful vampires, Baron Samedi, a nine-dimensional cat, and one perpetually inebriated Muse to rescue Alice and save the world by tea time.

The author is very friendly and personable too. She has put together a great blog tour with lots of extras so look for those too! I'm going to have fun following this tour around and think you might too. The blog tour list is below. Also, for those of you in my Alice in Wonderland challenge, this book works for the extra related book you have to read!

Random Magic Tour
Oct. 17 - Nov. 25, 2009

Author site: Sasha Soren
Main blog host: The Other Shelf
Contact the tour: @RM_TheCoven

1/Oct. 15
[Pre-tour prep]

2/Oct. 17
Michelle’s Book Blog
tw: (not on Twitter)
tour bio

3/Oct. 18
My Fluttering Heart
tw: http://twitter.com/aimeefluttering
tour bio

4/Oct. 20
Well-Read Reviews
tw: http://twitter.com/wellreadreviews
tour bio

5/Oct. 22
A Passion For Books
tw: http://twitter.com/casey625
tour bio (to be added)

6/Oct. 24
And Anything Bookish
tw: http://twitter.com/sunxxmoon
tour bio (to be added)

6b/Oct. 25
The Neverending Shelf
Alt: The Other Shelf (Tour site)
tw: http://twitter.com/neshelf

7/Oct. 26
Trisha Lynn
Trisha’s Book Blog
tw: http://twitter.com/trishalynn0708
tour bio

7b/Oct. 27
The Bookette
tw: (not on Twitter)
tour bio (to be added)

8/Oct. 28
Book Junkie
tw: (not on Twitter)
tour bio

9/Oct. 29
Take Me Away
tw: https://twitter.com/JennyTakeMeAway
(Related: Doing Alice in Wonderland challenge, Sept.1, 2009 - Aug. 31, 2010)
tour bio (to be added)

10/Oct. 30
Ellz Readz
tw: (not on Twitter)
tour bio

11/Oct. 31 (Halloween)
A Reader’s Adventure
tw: (not on Twitter)
tour bio (to be added)

12/Nov. 2
Beyond Books
tw: http://twitter.com/beyondelsewhere
tour bio

13/Nov. 3
The O.W.L. Blog
tw: (not on Twitter)
tour bio

14/Nov. 4
Tales of Whimsy
tw: (not on Twitter)
tour bio

Charity Lynn
Keep On Booking
tw: http://twitter.com/CharityGamble
tour bio

15/Nov. 10
Queen of Happy Endings
tw: http://twitter.com/madscrapper
tour bio (to be added)

16/Nov. 11
Tina’s Book Reviews
(alt: http://blogwithbitereviews.blogspot.com/)
tw: (not on Twitter)
tour bio

17/Nov. 12
The Book Owl
tw: (not on Twitter)
tour bio (to be added)

18/Nov. 13
Willow Raven
Red House Books
tw: (not on Twitter)
tour bio (to be added)

19/Nov. 15
What Book Is That?
tw: http://twitter.com/heynocupcake
tour bio (to be added)

20/Nov. 17
Fallling Off The Shelf
tw: (not on Twitter)
tour bio (to be added)

21/Nov. 18
tw: (not on Twitter)
tour bio

22/Nov. 20
Wicked Good Reads
tw: (not on Twitter)
tour bio (to be added)

23/Nov. 21
The True Book Addict
tw: http://twitter.com/truebookaddict
tour bio

24/Nov. 23
The Little Bookworm
tw: http://twitter.com/lilbookworm
tour bio

Elizabeth (Miss Eliza)
Strange & Random Happenstance
tw: (not on Twitter)
tour bio (to be added)

25/Nov. 25
La Femme Readers
tw: http://twitter.com/lafemmereaders
tour bio

Twenties Girl

It feels so great to finally finish another book! It's been ages! And this was a sweet and surprisingly heartwarming one to start back with. I do have to say, though, that this wasn't Sophie Kinsella's best, and it took me a while to get into it. Sophie Kinsella's books are known to be fun and filled with ridiculosity, but this one took it to another level.

In Twenties Girl, Lara Lington attends the funeral of her 105-year-old great-aunt, Sadie Lancaster, whom she never knew. Then all of a sudden, Sadie's ghost, at the age of 23-years-old, appears to Lara. Lara is the only one who can hear or see Sadie. Sadie begs Lara to stop the funeral and to help her find her dragonfly necklace.

I initially thought the storyline of the ghost bothering Lara was annoying and too ridiculous. I also didn't think it was very original since I've read/watched other stories involving a ghost that only certain people can see. If this book hadn't been written by Sophie Kinsella, I may not have even finished it.

But THEN, it started to get more interesting and Lara became involved in many funny and typical of Kinsella scenarios. Sadie was also an interesting character and the mischief the two engage in is hilarious. There is also a side plot that I realized later into the reading and it all came together in the end and wrapped up well. I grew to really like the two characters. There were moments when I laughed out loud and other heartwarming moments, as I mentioned earlier.

While, I wouldn't necessarily recommend this book as one of the first of Kinsella's to read, those who are already fans of hers will find her typical humor and fun in this latest novel!

Winner #8

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Ok, we are now down to 1 book.

I have not yet had a chance to read this (am giving one away because I ended up with 2 copies). However, all the reviews I have read about this book says how good it is. It's a memoir/humor book about a teacher's experiences teaching 3rd grade. I will eventually read it but do not currently have a personal review to give.

Rather than choose a name and hope they actually want this last book, I am going to leave this open to the FIRST person who comments that they would like this book. I will go by whose comment shows up first, so even if you post at the same (ish) time, whose ever is listed first will be who the book goes to.

The last thing on the giveaway agenda is the two gift cards!!

Castle Fans

Saturday, October 17, 2009

How many of you are fans of the show Castle? My husband and I love this show! Nathan Fillion is also the perfect person to play the main character, and he's really funny.

The basic premise is that the character, Richard Castle, is a best selling mystery author. He ends up getting to shadow some NYPD detectives, as they investigate homicides, for research for his new book. And his knowledge of writing and stories actually helps solve many of the murders.

There is sexual tension between Castle and the lead female detective, Kate Beckett. It's one of those love/hate relationships. She tries to act like she doesn't like him when she obviously does.

Some famous authors, such as James Patterson, have had cameos in the show too.

Well, in the show, Richard Castle has just written a new book in a new series (since he killed off the main character in his last series) and the book is just ready to be released. In it, the main character is based off the female detective he works with, and he inserts a lot of his humor and his experience from working with NYPD. In the book, a journalist gets to follow around the detective to research a story. This book is called Heat Wave. So my point... they actually released the book in real life!!! AND, it's "written" by Richard Castle and has Nathan Fillion's picture on the back like the author, and the bio is of the character in the show. It is actually the book the character in the show wrote, lol!! No clue who the actual writer is, but how clever is it that we, in real life, get to read the book too?? There is even a quote from James Patterson on the cover about how great the author is, lol!

So, of course, my husband and I had to get the book so we can read it and know what the characters in the show are reading! It's short... only about 200 pages... and the cover is sort of cheap looking in real life, but I think it will be really fun to read and I think it's such a great idea that the show did this!

Waiting on Wednesday

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Here's my pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection:

Heart's Blood by Juliet Marillier

From bn.com:
The national bestselling "fine folklorist and gifted narrator"(Publishers Weekly) of the Sevenwaters novels conjures a new sweeping romantic fantasy.

Anluan has been crippled since childhood, part of a curse that has besieged his family and his home of Whistling Tor. But when the young scribe Caitrin is retained to sort through family documents, she brings about unexpected changes in the household, casting a hopeful light against the despairing shadows.

But to truly free Anluan's burdened soul, Caitrin must unravel the web of sorcery woven by his ancestors before it claims his life—and their love...

Publish date: November 3, 2009

I recently posted a Throwback Thursday about Juliet Marillier's series, The Sevenwater Trilogy. This is a WONDERFUL series that I highly recommend so I'm excited to see the beginning of another series that looks really good!

Hello everyone!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I thought I would do a quick update since I haven't been around much! Well, other than posting giveaway winners and pre-scheduled Waiting on Wednesdays!

I am back from my wonderful trip to NYC! I had an absolutely amazing time and loved it there!! We have decided to go back again very soon (and again and again) lol! I will randomly post some pictures here from my trip.

Today I am catching up on school work so I really need to focus on that. I have class tonight and then have a client afterward. And tomorrow I'm back to work. =(

While in NYC I stopped at the Strand bookstore... 18 miles of books when laid down together. They have a bunch of rare books but had a great collection of new books too. This is a picture of me perusing the books.

While there I picked up:

  • A one book collection of E.B. White's books, Charlotte's Web, Stuart Little, and Trumpet of the Swan. I think I still have all three of these that came together in a set from when I was young, but the pages are all mixed up in Trumpet of the Swan (was printed like that I guess) and Stuart Little is super wavy from being left outside in the rain when I was a kid, lol. Still in good shape other than that though. Anyway, cannot wait to re-read these stories!
  • Juliet, Naked by Nick Hornby... my husband loves this author. I have yet to read anything by him but really want to!
  • Darkly Dreaming Dexter -- have heard great things about this series and show. Saw the book there half off and decided to try it.
  • The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler -- I featured this on a recent throwback thursday and it takes place in nyc in the met!
And that's actually it... had to limit myself since we had to fly back... one of our suitcases was 51 lbs on the way there and they let it go. We did some rearranging on the way back with all the stuff we bought and that suitcase was 50 lbs and our other 43! We cut it really close to that extra $50 fee, lol!

Hope everyone has a great day and I will get back to posting (and hopefully reading) more regularly very soon!

let's try this again... winner #7

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Our 6th winner, Sheere, chose The Birthing House!

Winner #7 is................





Bunny B

Bunny B., please comment with your book choice!

Crossing Washington Square by Joanne Rendell
My Review

The Space Between Before and After by Jean Reynolds Page
My Review

Close Encounters of the Third Grade Kind: Thoughts on Teacherhood by Phillip Done

Winner #7 re-do

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Sorry I've been so MIA lately! I am enjoying myself in NYC and have literally been too exhausted to check in and update! Anyway, our winner #7 never checked in (for 3 days, lol) so I am re-drawing a #7!

(Btw, this is also why I haven't been checking in on all of you guys's blogs, but I will catch up soon!)

Our 6th winner, Sheere, chose The Birthing House!

Before I announce winner # 7, I wanted to indulge you in a picture of someone I have now seen twice in NYC...

Winner #7 is................





Shellie @ Layers of Thought!

Shellie, please comment with your book choice!

Crossing Washington Square by Joanne Rendell
My Review

The Space Between Before and After by Jean Reynolds Page
My Review

Close Encounters of the Third Grade Kind: Thoughts on Teacherhood by Phillip Done

Waiting on Wednesday

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Here's my pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection:

Gateway by Sharon Shinn

From bn.com:
As a Chinese adoptee in St. Louis, teenage Daiyu often feels out of place. When an elderly Asian jewelry seller at a street fair shows her a black jade ring�and tells her that "black jade" translates to "Daiyu"�she buys it as a talisman of her heritage. But it's more than that; it's magic. It takes Daiyu through a gateway into a version of St. Louis much like 19th century China. Almost immediately she is recruited as a spy, which means hours of training in manners and niceties and sleight of hand. It also means stealing time to be with handsome Kalen, who is in on the plan. There's only one problem. Once her task is done, she must go back to St. Louis and leave him behind forever. . . .

Publish date: October 15, 2009

Winner #7

Monday, October 5, 2009

Our 6th winner, Sheere, chose The Birthing House!

Winner #7 is................





Jaime @ Revenge of the Book Nerds

Jaime, please comment with your book choice!

Crossing Washington Square by Joanne Rendell
My Review

The Space Between Before and After by Jean Reynolds Page
My Review

Close Encounters of the Third Grade Kind: Thoughts on Teacherhood by Phillip Done

Winner #6

Our 5th winner, Jessica, chose Ruined!

Winner #6 is................






Sheere, please comment with your book choice!

The Birthing House by Christopher Ransom

Crossing Washington Square by Joanne Rendell
My Review

The Space Between Before and After by Jean Reynolds Page
My Review

Close Encounters of the Third Grade Kind: Thoughts on Teacherhood by Phillip Done

Winner #5

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Our 4th winner, Tina, chose Another Faust!

Winner #5 is................





Jessica Secret

Jessica, please comment with your book choice!

The Birthing House by Christopher Ransom

Ruined by Paula Morris

Crossing Washington Square by Joanne Rendell
My Review

The Space Between Before and After by Jean Reynolds Page
My Review

Close Encounters of the Third Grade Kind: Thoughts on Teacherhood by Phillip Done