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Tag: "giveaway"

Giveaway: Pound for Pound by Shannon Kopp

[ 2 ] May 2, 2016

pound for pound book coverI have 1 copy of Pound for Pound by Shannon Kopp to give away! Open to U.S. residents only

About the book

“The dogs don’t judge me or give me a motivational speech. They don’t rush me to heal or grow. They sit in my lap and lick my face and make me feel chosen. And sometimes, it hits me hard that I’m doing the exact thing I say I cannot do. Changing.”

Pound for Pound is the inspirational tale of one woman’s journey back from the brink of self-destruction, and a heartfelt homage to the four-legged heroes who unexpectedly saved her life.

For eight years, Shannon Kopp battled the silent, horrific, and all-too-common disease of bulimia. Stuck in an endless cycle of bingeing and purging, Shannon was overwhelmed by broken promises: to herself, to her family, to her future. Finally, at twenty-four, she got a job working at the San Diego Humane Society and SPCA, where in caring for shelter dogs, she found the inspiration to heal and the courage to forgive herself. With the help of some extraordinary homeless animals — dogs like Sweet Pea, Big Girl, Abby, Stewie, and countless others — Shannon realized from her suffering, something beautiful had been born. Compassion.

Shannon’s poignant memoir is a story of hope, resilience, and the spiritual healing animals bring to our lives. Pound for Pound vividly reminds us that animals are more than just friends and companions — they can teach us how to savor the present moment and reclaim our joy. Rich with emotion and inspiration, Pound for Pound is essential reading for animal lovers and everyone who has struggled to change.

About the author

Shannon Kopp, author of Pound for Pound, is a writer, eating disorder survivor, and animal welfare advocate. She has worked and volunteered at various animal shelters throughout San Diego and Los Angeles, where shelter dogs helped her to discover a healthier, more joyful way of living. Her mission is to help every shelter dog find a loving home, and to raise awareness about eating disorders and animal welfare issues.

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Giveaway: The Cook Up by D. Watkins

[ 8 ] April 28, 2016

the cook up book coverI have 2 copies of The Cook Up by D. Watkins to give away! Open to U.S. and Canada residents only

About the book

Reminiscent of the classic Random Family and The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace, but told by the man who lived it, The Cook Up is a riveting look inside the Baltimore drug trade portrayed in The Wire and an incredible story of redemption.

The smartest kid on his block in East Baltimore, D. was certain he would escape the life of drugs, decadence, and violence that had surrounded him since birth. But when his brother Devin is shot-only days after D. receives notice that he’s been accepted into Georgetown University-the plans for his life are exploded, and he takes up the mantel of his brother’s crack empire. D. succeeds in cultivating the family business, but when he meets a woman unlike any he’s known before, his priorities are once more put into question. Equally terrifying and hilarious, inspiring and heartbreaking, D.’s story offers a rare glimpse into the mentality of a person who has escaped many hells.

About the author

D. Watkins is a columnist for Salon. His work has been published in the New York Times, Guardian, Rolling Stone, and other publications. He holds a master’s in Education from Johns Hopkins University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Baltimore. He is a college professor at the University of Baltimore and founder of the BMORE Writers Project. Watkins has been the recipient of numerous awards including Ford’s Men of Courage and a BME Fellowship. Watkins is from and lives in East Baltimore. He is the author of The Beast Side: Living (and Dying) While Black in America.

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Blog Tour & Giveaway: The Rivals of Versailles by Sally Christie

[ 8 ] April 28, 2016

the rivals of versailles book coverPlease join Sally Christie, author of The Rivals of Versailles, as she tours the blogosphere with Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours!

Enter to win a copy of the book below! Open to U.S. and Canada residents only

Reviewed by Vera Pereskokova

When she was just a child, a gypsy at a fair foretold that Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson would be loved by the King. Charmingly beautiful, Jeanne was nevertheless a child of middle class parents, with no noble blood to speak of. In 1700s France, it was unheard of for someone of her background to even be introduced at Versailles. But, heeding the gypsy’s words, Jeanne’s mother and her mother’s lover – Jeanne’s father was exiled and not present in her life – made every effort to educate the girl and train her in social arts like dancing, singing, and playing instruments. Their goal, first and foremost, was to make her a suitable companion for the King.

As a teenager, Jeanne was married off to a man she barely knew and did not particularly respect. The marriage made her a Countess and gave her a much beloved daughter, Alexandrine. Through it all, Jeanne lived with an unwavering belief that she was destined for bigger things, that she was destined to be by the King’s side.

In 1745, Marie-Anne de Mailly-Nesle, the youngest of Nesle sisters and King Louis XV’s official mistress (after two of her sisters held the same “post”), died at a young age, leaving courtiers scheming to fill the King’s bed. The beautiful, educated and charming Jeanne was on the minds of many, but those closest to the King made it clear that her bourgeois background would preclude her from ever being officially acknowledged by the King. She’d be a mere plaything, nothing more. Steadfast in her convictions and her self worth, – and with the help of some well-placed connections – Jeanne paved her own way into Versailles and the arms of Louis XV, becoming his latest official mistress. In order to be presented at Court. Jeanne was also granted the title of the Marquise de Pompadour, a name that would become famous around the world and that is still widely recognized today.

As Louis XV’s lover and later simply a friend and a confidante, Jeanne triumphed over many enemies and rivals using her intelligence and understanding of human nature. When her weak health and multiple miscarriages precluded her from satisfying the King in physical ways, Jeanne even arranged for young (and typically uneducated and simple) girls to warm his bed. She knew that their lack of sophistication and wit would quickly make Louis lose his interest, and that they did not pose any serious threat. Considered to be one of three most powerful women of the 18th century, – alongside Catherine the Great of Russia and Maria Theresa of Austria – Jeanne essentially ruled alongside the King for nearly 20 years, advising him on everything from foreign affairs to appointments for important government posts.

The Rivals of Versailles is the second book in The Mistresses of Versailles trilogy by Sally Christie. While The Sisters of Versailles focused on the Nesle sisters and their roles in Louis XV’s life, The Rivals of Versailles is primarily the story of Marquise de Pompadour, with a few other fleeting love liaisons sprinkled throughout the pages. While I have read the books in order, it is not necessary to read the first book in the trilogy to follow the story in the second. Both books stand well on their own.

I greatly enjoyed The Sisters of Versailles but The Rivals of Versailles is definitely my favorite in the trilogy–so far. The Enemies of Versailles will be released in March, 2017. Sally Christie weaves an intriguing and at times salacious tale, making history come alive on the pages. And to me, Christie could not have picked a better subject to write about than Marquise de Pompadour. Jeanne used perhaps the only avenue available to women of meager beginnings in those days – sex – to claw her way to power, to a better life. But once there, it was her intelligence that made her a valued companion, even after sex was no longer on the table.

Rating: ★★★★½ 

Review and giveaway copies were provided by Atria Books. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.

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Giveaway: The Haters by Jesse Andrews

[ 5 ] April 25, 2016

the haters book coverDiscover a new band to hate to love! Enter to win a copy of The Haters by Jesse Andrews, a branded bumper stickers and a Spotify premium 3-month subscription gift card!

Giveaway is open to U.S. residents only

About the book

From Jesse Andrews, author of the New York Times bestselling Me and Earl and the Dying Girl and screenwriter of the Sundance award–winning motion picture of the same name, comes a groundbreaking young adult novel about music, love, friendship, and freedom as three young musicians follow a quest to escape the law long enough to play the amazing show they hope (but also doubt) they have in them.

Inspired by the years he spent playing bass in a band himself, The Haters is Jesse Andrews’s road trip adventure about a trio of jazz-camp escapees who, against every realistic expectation, become a band.

For Wes and his best friend, Corey, jazz camp turns out to be lame. It’s pretty much all dudes talking in Jazz Voice. But then they jam with Ash, a charismatic girl with an unusual sound, and the three just click. It’s three and a half hours of pure musical magic, and Ash makes a decision: They need to hit the road. Because the road, not summer camp, is where bands get good. Before Wes and Corey know it, they’re in Ash’s SUV heading south, and The Haters Summer of Hate Tour has begun.

In his second novel, Andrews again brings his brilliant and distinctive voice to YA, in the perfect book for music lovers, fans of The Commitments and High Fidelity, or anyone who has ever loved—and hated—a song or a band. This witty, funny coming-of-age novel is contemporary fiction at its best.

About the author

Jesse Andrews’s debut novel, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, a New York Times and USA Today bestseller, was published to critical acclaim and starred reviews. His adaptation of the book for the big screen won both the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. Jesse is also a musician and screenwriter. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts. Visit Jesse at www.jesseandrews.com.

This post is brought to you in partnership with Abrams Books.

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Blog Tour & Giveaway: The Girl from the Paradise Ballroom by Alison Love

[ 10 ] April 17, 2016

the girl from the paradise ballroom book coverPlease join Alison Love, author of The Girl from the Paradise Ballroom, as she tours the blogosphere with TLC Book Tours

Enter to win a copy of the book below!

Reviewed by Bethany Kelly

Do you believe in love at first sight? This is a question that is asked time and time again. Each person that you encounter and ask this to will either say yes or no, but will likely give you a different reason for whatever answer they gave. It will depend on the circumstances they are in at that point in their life, as well as the past experiences they have had. In The Girl from the Paradise Ballroom by Alison Love, the two main characters, Olivia and Antonio, would likely tell you that they do believe in love at first sight, as they experienced this with one another.

When Antonio and Olivia first met at the Paradise Ballroom, the encounter was brief but also substantial. Antonio was a singer and Olivia a dance hostess. Both were working in a difficult field of work and both were struggling to make ends meet doing something that they were passionate about. However, after their shifts were over, they went their separate ways, both expecting to never see each other again.

A few months go by and both of their paths change as World War II begins. Olivia is now married to Bernard, a wealthy Englishman who is also determined to help Antonio’s singing career. When Olivia realizes who her husband has taken under his wing, she is terrified that he will reveal the secret that he learned on the night of their first meeting. What she doesn’t know is that he is in love with her and would never betray her trust. When Olivia’s marriage changes into something that she doesn’t recognize, she can no longer hide her attraction to Antonio from him. However, with the war heating up, they may not be able to be together. In fact, they may end up separated forever.

Although I loved some of this novel, I wasn’t pleased with the majority of it. The first several chapters were a little dull, filled with a lot of backstory. However, I understand why they were in the novel. The middle of the book was what I loved the most. It was rich with beautiful (and somewhat lyrical) writing, and was also quite interesting. However, the ending of the book seemed quite anti-climactic to me. Although I wasn’t expecting it to end the way that it did, I also expected the last few chapters to be more profound. One thing I will say, though, is that I liked the very last chapter immensely.

All in all, I don’t regret reading this book, as it did have some fantastic attributes, but I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone who doesn’t have the patience to get through the somewhat dull backstory contained in the initial chapters.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

Bethany Kelly is currently getting her MFA at Goddard College and has a BA in English. She is a writer, editor, and stay-at-home mother and wife who spends her spare time (when she has some) reading and cooking. Check out her website at www.bckwritingcorner.com.

Review and giveaway copies were provided free of any obligation by Broadway Books. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.

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Giveaway: Furious by T.R. Ragan

[ 7 ] April 14, 2016

furious book coverI have 1 copy of Furious by T.R. Ragan to give away! Open to U.S. residents only

About the book

Faith McMann comes home to a nightmare: her husband is killed and her son and daughter are taken. Although the intruders leave her for dead, she survives. Crippling grief and fear for her children make life unbearable. Until her anguish turns to anger…and she trades victimhood for vengeance. Frustrated with the law’s efforts, she takes action to rescue her children—and wreaks havoc on the brutal criminals who tore them from her. With her family and new found allies at her side, Faith descends into the hellish underworld of human trafficking, determined to make those who prey on the innocent pray for mercy.

The forces she’s up against have already proven that their ruthlessness knows no bounds. And there’s nothing they won’t do to turn Faith’s crusade into a suicide mission. But they’re about to learn that nothing is more dangerous than a mother fighting for her children—especially one who’s earned the nickname Furious.

About the author

T.R. Ragan (Theresa Ragan) is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. Her exciting Lizzy Gardner series (Abducted, Dead Weight, A Dark Mind, Obsessed, Almost Dead, and Evil Never Dies) has received tremendous praise. In August 2015 Evil Never Dies hit #7 on the Wall Street Journal Bestselling List. Since publishing in 2011, she has sold two million books and has been mentioned in the Wall Street Journal, the L.A. Times, PC Magazine, Huffington Post, and Publishers Weekly.

Theresa grew up in a family of five girls in Lafayette, California. An avid traveler, her wanderings have carried her to Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, China, Thailand, and Nepal, where she narrowly survived being chased by a killer elephant. Before devoting herself to writing fiction, she worked as a legal secretary for a large corporation. Theresa and her husband Joe have four children and live in Sacramento, California.

Furious, the first book in her most recent Faith McMann series was released March 22, 2016, followed by Outrage and Wrath.

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