Book Reviews by Today, I Read…

A Continuous Book Review and Vocabulary Assignment

January 31

Comments: 1

Wish Giveaway Winner

by Ann-Katrina

Wish Book Cover I’d like to start by thanking everyone who participated in the Wish giveaway. I also thank Alexandra Bullen for writing the book and Sheila for making this giveaway possible.

And without further ado…

Here’s the group story that the contest generated (and I have to admit, I’d love to see what becomes of it):

I never believed in fairy godmothers until one showed up on my doorstep with a broken wand.

With a purple frilly dress and hair all done up in wringlets, she truly looked like something out of a children’s fairy tale book.

Sparkles even covered her entire body, making her shimmer as she shifted her weight from foot to foot.

I stood in shock, not sure what to do or I was supposed to invite her inside or not.

I let her in, unsure of what to say, I offered her some honey tea and crackers.

The fairy godmother kindly refused my offer, she asked me to come with her, it was a matter of great urgency.

She reached for my hand and pulled me into the dark and icy night.

As my feet flew out the door, the most amazing thing happened, I never touched the ground, we were flying!

“Just enjoy the flight, you’ll find out soon enough,” she smiled.

Ever since I was a child I had dreams of flying over the New York skyline, but nothing compares to the real thing.

The lights below, shining in the buildings, sparkled like a million stars.

All of a sudden, the wind beneath me started to calm and I realized we were coming to a stop.

I panicked a bit, as I feared for the landing.

To my surprise it was a very soft landing in a strange place I’ve never seen before.

So, I asked my fairy godmother, “Where are we?”

Her answer was one I was definitely not expecting.

She told me that although our surroundings might look familiar, we were actually in an alternate realm known as Magictasia. (Congratulations, Emily!)

She also told me to get ready to expect the unexpected within this realm.

Because beneath the breathtaking appearance of Magictasia lies the truth and history of what she really is.

With that said, we departed deep into the realm of Magictasia.

We knew we had many grand adventures yet to come perhaps many important lessons yet to learn.

I was ready to take on whatever was in store for us because I had a gut feeling that here, in Magictasia, something extraordinary was going to happen.

And I knew I was bound to find out sooner than later.

We stepped through a giant door I had not seen until now.

A warm golden light washed over us and for the first time in my entire life, it felt like I was at home.

Which after the year I had had, I didn’t realize how much I craved that until now.

Random.org Wish Giveaway Results Using the power that is Random.org, I popped in the total number of approved comments on the giveaway post and asked it to show me the winner—not including my own summary comments. (I’ve made the winning sentence bold.)

I’ve sent an email to the winner. If I don’t receive a response within 72 hours, I’ll select another entry.

That’s all for now. Thank you again for participating and keep an eye open for upcoming giveaways!

1 Comment, add yours...

January 7

Comments: 28

[CLOSED] Giveaway: Wish by Alexandra Bullen (Autographed)

by Ann-Katrina

Wish I wanted to start the new year off with something great at Today, I Read… and then I got some wonderful news from Sheila—she’s allowing me to give away an autographed copy of Wish by Alexandra Bullen.

Here’s a rundown of the story:

For broken-hearted Olivia Larsen, nothing can change the fact that her twin sister, Violet, is gone… until a mysterious, beautiful gown arrives on her doorstep. The dress doesn’t just look magical; it is magical. It has the power to grant her one wish, and the only thing Olivia wants is her sister back.

With Violet again by her side, both girls get a second chance at life. And as the sisters soon discover, they have two more dresses-and two more wishes left. But magic can’t solve everything, and Olivia is forced to confront her ghosts to learn how to laugh, love, and live again.

In a breathtaking debut from Alexandra Bullen, WISH asks the question: If you could have anything, what would you wish for?

Since my Hush, Hush giveaway was such a success (and a ton of fun to boot), I decided to keep the format. Basically, to enter the giveaway, you must help write a story…this time around, a fairytale.

In this post will be a sentence which will serve as the beginning of our story. The first person to comment must copy the first sentence and add another sentence to the story, the person after that must copy the previous commenter’s sentence and add another sentence, and so forth.

I know, I know…the torture! the agony! the inhumanity!! You’re probably naming all the ways you aren’t creative, but I beg to differ (don’t you remember that awesome finger painting you did when you were six that could rival a genuine Van Gogh?) and plus, wouldn’t it all be worth it if you win a copy of Wish?!?

So without further ado…

Here’s the first sentence: Continue reading »

28 Comments, add yours...

October 19

Comments: 2

Hush, Hush Giveaway Winner

by Ann-Katrina

For the last giveaway, rather than have everyone simply leave a comment, I asked each participant to help me write an angelic story. (Befitting considering the prize was a copy of Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick, which I’ve already had the pleasure of reading and reviewing—both ARC and final.)

There were a number of entrants and I must thank each and everyone for indulging me; I know the barrier for entry was slightly out of the ordinary. And I certainly hope you all had as much fun as I did watching the story progress.

It was so much fun that I’m thinking of making a weekly game of it—a group story written one sentence at a time—but that’s for later. Now, it’s time to select a winner.

The final story is below; the winner’s sentence is in bold:

I was told once that angels couldn’t bleed, but the one sitting across from me was covered in blood. (original sentence)

He sat stiff and rigid, and barely glanced in my direction; I could tell he had been through a rough time, the wounds helped to prove it.

I leaned forward, wanting to help. But I didn’t know how to help – and I didn’t want to ask the obvious question of “are you ok?”

I realized the blood he was covered with was not his; it was mine.

It didn’t seem real, somehow.

I simply couldn’t figure out how it could be my blood. I couldn’t, couldn’t remember how I got injured, how I got here, anything, not even my own name…

I frantically searched my brain for any clue as to what my name was, and then I thought to look in my wallet – which I had forgotten at home that day in a rush to meet with him.

I began to breath hard, my hands began to shake, and he looked at me and smiled a sad sweet smile that made what was left of my blood heat up.

Cautiously, I looked him in the eyes wondering if it was possible that he could have inflicted these wounds upon me, wondering if I was here with him because I was dead. He didn’t look like he could have killed me, he had no weapon.

And, now that I thought about it, I was in far too much pain to be dead. He touched my cheek and asked me if i was ok, cautiously looking over his shoulder at something that i hadn’t noticed before.

Unsure as to whether or not I was okay, I didn’t answer and instead tried to get a closer look at what he was looking at, whincing in pain from the effort.

It was an indistinct shape, as if it was blurred at the edges, or perhaps, made of smoke.

I tried to think of what it could be – having never seen anything like it before. Is it really what it seems?

The shape took the outline of a human – or human like figure – and started walking toward him, my heart frozen with terror at what might happen next.

Suddenly strangely drawn to the smoky human figure walking towards us, I reached out as if to touch it, but, in a soft, cracking voice that sounded as if it hadn’t been used in ages, the angel spat out a harsh “No!”

I recoiled – though ‘fell back with a gasp of pain’ might be a better description.

He stood up and told me not to touch the figure, that if I did only pain and suffering would come to me.

I thought to myself, what could be more painful than the state I was in at this moment?

“What are we doing here?” the angel asked the figure as it emerged from the smoke; already his voice was much stronger.

I was puzzled more than fearful, but I felt like I was not supposed to see such a confrontation.

Those blank and life-grabbing eyes…

My heart pounded just as he was about to reach my skin…And then the angel grabed him…

He caressed me as if there was only me as I tentatively looked into his seductive eyes.

Suddenly, the angel’s face changed to one of anger, and he growled to me harshly under his breath “You have to leave here now! I don’t know how you got here, but this is not your fight!”

I was hurt by his words because for some reason, deep in my soul, I did not want to leave him alone.

I stood up and looked at him and said “No. I will not leave you.”

But I could not find the courage to resist, and so I ran from there, not looking back even when I heard the sound of two worlds coliding.

I knew I couldn’t get far, that the one still standing would reach for me soon enough, and I hoped it was the angel, even if my fascination with the creature was growing at every breath I took.

I stopped to regain my breath, leaning against a wall and praying to whoever would listen.

I was no longer sure that I could pray to the Guardian Angel I believed to have since childhood, for one had just stand before me and screamed.

Yes, he saved my life, but that did not hide the fact that he was a creature that inspired much fear.

The exploding sound, just centimeters away from me, came with a wave of dust covering everything around.

I could only understand that one of them had just landed with great force in the terrain that was before me, but I was unable to even guess which one by the mere sight of that silhouete.

As the dust began to settle, I finally could make at who it was – and a smile began to creep upon my lips; even though I fought to keep my face a mask.

An email has been sent out to the winner. If I don’t receive a response within 48 hours, I’ll select another winner. Congratulations and again, thank you for humoring me. :D

2 Comments, add yours...

October 10

Comments: 45

[CLOSED] Giveaway: Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

by Ann-Katrina

This post is sticky until the contest is over. For newer posts, please scroll down.

Hush, Hush Cover This is one highly anticipated book, especially because of that burning hot cover…yummy half naked guy…hooray to that cover designer.

There has been much talk in the blogosphere by those few lucky enough to have received a review copy and much drooling by those who can’t wait for October 13th to arrive fast enough.

Now, if you’re in the latter category, here’s a chance for you to get your very own ARC.

You’re probably staring at the screen a little cross-eyed wondering what I must be smoking if I’m willing to part with my amazing, drool-worthy copy of Hush, Hush, but fear not…the copy I’m offering up for giveaway is an extra ARC sent to me by the wonderful folks at Simon & Schuster.

Since I want to do something a little different for this particular giveaway, it’s not going to be your typical “leave a comment to be entered” post. Nope. Not at all.

Well, you still have to comment, yes, but that’s not all. In order to be officially entered in this Hush, Hush giveaway, you must help write an angelic story.

WTF?!? I hear you muttering…

Let me explain.

Continue reading »

45 Comments, add yours...

October 9

Comments: 1

Ruined Giveaway Winners

by Ann-Katrina

Ruined Book Cover I’m terribly sorry for the delay in getting the winners selected for this giveaway, but it’s done and five awesome TIR readers will be receiving a copy of Ruined: A Ghost Story by Paula Morris.

It was a fun read with a lush description of New Orleans, so anyone who reads it should feel like they’ve been transported there if only for a few hours.

Now, without further ado (since I know you’re all anxious to find out who’s won), here they are in no particular order:

Congratulations! I’ll be sending out individual emails this afternoon. If you haven’t received an email from me within 24 hours, please check your spam filter and if it’s not there, send me an email directly (todayiread[at]gmail[dot]com) and let me know your mailing address.

If you didn’t win this time around, don’t fret. I have a couple awesome ARC giveaways planned—one starting this weekend (i.e. tomorrow).

1 Comment, add yours...

 

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