Book Reviews by Today, I Read…

A Continuous Book Review and Vocabulary Assignment

April 21

Comments: 15

[CLOSED] Giveaway: Morpheus Road: The Light by D. J. MacHale

by Ann-Katrina

This post will be sticky until the contest is over. Scroll down to read the new stuff. :)

Morpheus Road: The Light In my recent review of Morpheus Road: The Light by D. J. MacHale, I basically gushed. It’s been a while since I’ve been able to gush about a horror novel. And thanks to the wonderful book fairies at Simon & Schuster, I’m able to giveaway 5 copies of the finished book. (Hooray for book fairies!!)

The last few giveaways I’ve held, I’ve asked you to help me create a story, but this time around, I’m going to be different…

One common thread throughout this book was fear, complete and utter.

Imagine for a moment that there was an entity which could climb inside your head and make you believe the most heinous things are happening all around you. What would you see? What is that deep dark fear lurking in the outer reaches of your mind?

To enter the giveaway, all you need to do is leave a comment answering the question above. If you’d like extra entries, there’s a couple ways you can do it:

  • Follow me on Twitter +1
  • Tweet about the giveaway (include a link to your tweet in the comments) +2
  • Add a link to the giveaway in your sidebar +2
  • Blog about the giveaway +3
  • Become a confirmed newsletter subscriber +3
  • Leave a comment on the Morpheus Road: The Light review +1
    (No spammy comments please. Spamminess of comments measured at my sole discretion.)

Entrants must be at least 13 years old. The contest is open only to residents of the U.S. and Canada. (My apologies to my international readers, but I’m limited by the publisher’s shipping restrictions.) The contest is open until 12 Midnight EST on Sunday May 16th, 2010. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email me.

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March 22

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More Padded Journal Goodness

by Ann-Katrina

Last week I had an opportunity to make a couple more padded journals. They were quick and helped to calm my nerves. (And more conservative than my previous creations.)

Blue Padded Journal White and Green Pattern Padded Journal

The blue one I made for my sister and the white with green stripes, I made for Belle (aka Ms. Bookish).

If you’d like me to make a padded journal for you, there’s still time to enter the giveaway. :)

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March 12

Comments: 11

[CLOSED] Giveaway: Padded Journals (Are A Lot Like Padded Cells)

by Ann-Katrina

I collect journals. I have at least a hundred. And, generally, I don’t even write in them. (It’s a sickness, I know.) So, one would think the last thing I needed was a project involving more journals. But that’s precisely what’s happened.

In some roundabout way, I landed on a YouTube video of Raven-Symone making a padded journal.

And that was the beginning of the end, because it was also when I remembered I had a bunch of fabric left over from my wannabe fashion designer and plenty of glue sticks and ribbon from my crafty diva phases.

So far I’ve already made two journals (and they were a hoot), with plenty more in the works.

Padded Journals & Fabric
You can click on the picture for a ginormous view

I’ve been using the first journal (the black & white leopard print) as my everyday random thoughts journal and the second (the orange plaid) as my random book notes and grocery list journal.

Frankly, I have no idea what I could use the remaining journals I plan to create for. In that vein, I thought I’d reach out to you. Maybe you could use one to pen the next great memoir. Just don’t forget me when you become rich and famous and have a movie made out of your life.

If you’d like me to make you a padded journal, just leave me a quick comment. In two weeks, I’ll select two* people randomly to choose the desired fabric and ribbon and I’ll get to gluin’. Yes, international readers may partake in the fun. :)

I can’t take all the credit for this idea, though. It was a post over at Ms. Bookish that got the wheels turning. I offered to make one for Belle, fully expecting her to laugh at me, but she said she was serious about wanting one and then I thought, I wonder if anyone else would be interested in receiving a padded journal.

(*I’d love to make and send a journal to everyone who asks for one, but I do have budgetary constraints. Sorry.)

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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!

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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 »

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