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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Stacking The Shelves - September 30, 2012


This meme is hosted by Tynga over at Tynga's Reviews, which she describes as follows:

"Stacking The Shelves is all about the books we are adding to our shelves each week, sharing with you our excitement for our newest titles and maybe have you discover a new book in the process!"



I won this e-book in the Indie Read-a-Thon Giveaway hosted by Claire at Claire Reads:

The Summer I Learned to Dive
by Shannon McCrimmon

Thanks again, Claire & Shannon!


 










I won this e-book in the Blogoversary Celebration Day 3 Giveaway hosted by Giselle at Xpresso Reads:

The Breakaway
(The Breakaway, Book #1)
by Michelle Davidson Argyle

Thanks again, Giselle & Michelle!











I won this softcover in the Summer Giveaway Hop hosted by Adam at Roof Beam Reader:

Pure
(Pure, Book #1)
by Julianna Baggott

Thanks again, Adam!












I won this softcover in the Books to Movie Giveaway by Myne  at Romance Meets Life:

by Audrey Niffenegger

Thanks again, Myne!



What books have you added to your shelves this week? If you are also participating in this meme, please leave me the link to your blog post in the comments so that I can come and drool over all your goodies!

 If anyone has read any of these books, I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Spotlight Saturday: Guest Post and Giveaway with Rena Willemin, author of End of Faith: A Novel

Hi, everyone!


Welcome to another edition of Spotlight Saturday at Darlene's Book Nook, where we feature authors and their books!

We will be joined today by Rena Willemin.



About Rena:

Rena Willemin writes thriller, fantasy, and dystopian fiction. Her visits to the library were some of her fondest memories from childhood. She has always been fascinated with how words give us glimpses into worlds so wondrous and different from our own. Her love for words quickly grew into a passion. When not writing, Rena enjoys traveling. Her favorite destination is France, where she once lived and pondered without end over the ruins of castles, and the people who dwelled in them hundreds of years ago. She loves history, archaeology and reading over tea.

End of Faith: A Novel is her first published book. She’s currently writing a sequel, and outlining a fantasy novel exploring magic in antiquity.

CONNECT ONLINE WITH RENA:

Welcome to Darlene's Book Nook, Rena!

Rena has written a guest post, so I will now turn the floor over to her!



Where the Mind Travels
by Rena Willemin


When I lived in France enjoying too much cheese and wine and the countryside, I put the finishing touches on End of Faith: A Novel. I looked up at my husband and said, “J’ai fini.” He said something to the effect of “Thank, God.” In all fairness, the final months were filled with growing pains. This wasn’t my first book, but I felt a special satisfaction with End of Faith: A Novel because so many pieces of the writing puzzle had snapped together for me.

The idea of the book started a few years before I met my husband. I was living in Chicago, on the fourth floor of a four-story walkup. On a fall afternoon, I drew back the curtains to watch the autumn leaves lazily drop from the trees. People were going about their business as usual, and a single idea struck me: what if a woman was casually looking out of her window and saw a pregnant woman crawling away from an attacker, and she was the only person willing to help. I later put a name to the protagonist: Valentina.

At the time I didn’t know this was a dystopian novel, but I knew that Valentina lived in a broken world where interfering meant certain death.  Something had gone horribly wrong with the world when the next scene popped into my head: “The dying crawling among the dead expending what little energy they had left only to find a thousand more bodies to crawl over.”

Who was Valentina? If helping meant death for Valentina (and she knows this), what would possess her to interfere? Why was this pregnant woman on the run? What if the woman belonged to a dangerous cult leader? What if in helping the woman escape Valentina inadvertently sealed the woman’s fate? How did the world became lawless and desolate? Why was everyone dying? In this short space of time, my mind had traveled deep into this new world and a story was born!

A few years later and unknown amounts of wine and cheese consumed, I wrapped up End of Faith: A Novel and took a celebratory walk in the French countryside.

P.s. While in France, I ate a lot of chocolate too. See the giveaway below!
Thanks so much for joining us today, Rena!


One lucky winner will win your choice of paperback or digital copy of Rena's dystopian novel, End of Faith: A Novel, together with a yummy box of dessert truffles from Godiva!


Please note: The Godiva Chocolates will only be included if the winner has a mailing address within the USA. If the winner is from Canada, the winner will win their choice of a paperback or digital copy of Rena's book.

If the winner is from outside US/Canada, the prize will be a digital copy of the book.








Ninety-five percent of the world’s population perishes in the worst pandemic since the Black Plague and Valentina’s about to find out that surviving means enduring the wrath of a prophet determined to bend her to his will.

With a price on her head, Valentina’s on the run and grappling with feelings of guilt, isolation, and hopelessness. She’s just about given up all faith in humanity until she happens upon a girl left alone to fend for herself. The girl fulfills Valentina’s yearning to be a mother and she vows to protect her. Before she can live up to that promise, she comes face to face with the prophet who gives her a choice: carry his child, or die.

End of Faith: A Novel encompasses underlying moral issues with themes of redemption and sacrifice in an action-packed dystopian thriller.

Buy Links: 
Amazon / Amazon FR / Amazon UK / Barnes & Noble / 
Apple iBookstore (available through the iBooks app on iPad)
 

To enter the giveaway, you must complete the Rafflecopter entry form below.

This giveaway is open worldwide, however, please note the giveaway parameters set out above. The contest will close at 12:01 AM EST on October 6, 2012.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Fall Book Exchange 2.0



I just came across the Fall Book Exchange, which is like Random Acts of Kindness but you are matched up with someone instead of picking someone randomly. 

The Rules of the Exchange:

First, here's a little refresher on how things will work: Each participant will link to at least one wishlist with a collection of titles they'd like to receive from their Santa. Names will be thrown in a virtual hat and drawn so that each person will have a Fall Santa who will give them a book, and a Fall Santee they will give to. Fall Santas will choose titles from their Santee's wishlist(s). We want to be clear: Everyone who signs up will both give and receive. Sounds like fun? Yeah, we thought so too.

Here are the rules:
  1. You do not have to be a book blogger to participate. Everyone's welcome!
  2. International participants are welcome, too, anywhere that the Book Depository ships. Please be aware, when you sign up, that you may be assigned an international santee.
  3. You will need wishlist in order to participate. Where you keep your wishlist--on Goodreads, Amazon, or your blog--is up to you and you will be able to link to two wishlists in the form. If you need help setting up a wishlist, email me and we'll help you figure it out. Amanda may be a technical genius, but Ruby is definitely not.
  4. Please note: Fall Santas (FSs--) will chose two books from your wishlist for a total of around $18-20. If you want one book for that price, it's up to you--let your FS know. Also remember that the Book Depository has free shipping. You should not be spending half of your $18-$20 on shipping. This was an issue during the last exchange, and some people felt they didn't get a fair exchange.
  5. Pre-ordered items are acceptable only if this is agreed upon by both parties.
  6. You may purchase your books from whatever source you choose, but please do not send used books. Ebooks must be okayed with the santee before purchasing.
  7. Once santas and santees are assigned, addresses will be exchanged between individuals. If you're not comfortable with this, please do not sign up.
  8. Sign ups begin on September 22, and end on October 22. This is a bit different from the usual, since the Summer Book Exchange 2.0 began late this year.
  9. After you send the books to your santee, you must fill out the tracking information form I will provide for you.
  10. To join the exchange, you must fill out THIS form. It is also included at the end of this post.

We would highly appreciate it if, after signing up, you would grab the button below and put it in your sidebar. It's not required, but it would help to spread the word. If you want write up a post announcing your participation, that would be even fawesomer. We're not giving out any details yet, but there just may be a giveaway for those that help with publicity. Yes, we know we like to tease...

Still got questions? Remember, there's a special Ruby's Reads Book Exchanges email address now. And we have a twitter account. Make sure you follow us so you're up-to-date on all important FBE2.0 announcements! Our email and Twitter follow buttons are on the sidebar.
To join, please click on the badge at the beginning of this post!

Guest Post and Giveaway with Carol Tibaldi, author of Willow Pond

Hi, everyone!



I am pleased to participate in Carol Tibaldi's Willow Pond Virtual Blog Tour hosted by Pump Up Your Book.


About Carol:


Carol Tibaldi was born and raised in Bayside, New York and attended Queens College of the City University of New York. She loves to travel and has lived in London and Los Angeles. For twenty five years she worked as a newspaper reporter and covered the crime beat. She is a history buff and loves to research different time periods having a special affinity of the prohibition era and the Civil War. Willow Pond is her first novel and she is hard at work on the sequel.

CONNECT WITH CAROL ONLINE: 

Welcome to Darlene's Book Nook, Carol!

Carol has written a guest post, so I will now turn the floor over to her.



What Inspired Me To Write "Willow Pond"
By Carol Tibaldi

My road to becoming a published author was a long one. I couldn't have been more than nine years old when I wrote my first short story. Actually it was a collection of several stories each one probably no more than a page or so long. I made a little booklet and presented it to my father. He was very proud and made a big fuss and that made me happy. I don't remember what the stories were about, but I loved the look on his face when he read them.

It would be years before I even came close to achieving my goal. My teenage years were rough; my father died just before I turned thirteen and I became rebellious. My love of writing faded into the background. After graduating from high school I went to London with a friend. We lived there and made a feeble attempt to co-author a novel about a rock band. It was a disaster and we never discussed it again.

Back home I found myself floundering. I wanted to do something with my life, but what? One day I came across those stories I had written so many years ago. To my surprise my mother had saved them. My love of writing was renewed.

In college I decided I wanted to be a journalist and travel around the world investigating the biggest news stories. My main interest was investigating crimes especially when a child was involved. Those broke my heart.

For the subject of my freshman English research paper I chose the Lindbergh kidnapping. The case fascinated me and I sensed that the whole thing had been bungled from the beginning. I wanted to write a book about it, but it just never all came together.

I don't remember when the idea for Willow Pond began to form in my mind. One day it was just there. It was a difficult journey and the book went through many different versions and had many different titles none of which sounded right to me. Finally the title just came to me and it felt right.

I don't believe in ever giving up on your dreams. No matter how long it takes just keep pursuing it because I think if you believe in yourself your dreams can come true. Just keep working hard and never pay any attention to the naysayers who doubt you.

Thanks so much for joining us today, Carol!
 

One lucky winner will win a paperback copy of Carol's historical fiction debut, Willow Pond.





The Roaring Twenties crumble into the Great Depression, but Virginia Kingsley, New York's toughest and most successful speakeasy owner, is doing just fine. Now that the world is falling apart, bootlegging is a flourishing business, and she's queen of that castle.

Then her infant nephew is kidnapped. Her niece, Laura, and Laura's philandering movie star husband, are devastated. The police have few leads, and speculation and rumors abound in the media circus that follows the celebrity abduction.

Only one reporter, Erich Muller, seems to care enough about the child's welfare and the parents' feelings to report the case responsibly. Over the course of the investigation, Erich Muller and Laura fall in love, but their relationship is doomed to failure since he suspects her beloved aunt Virginia is behind the kidnapping. Laura, jaded when it comes to men, sides with Virginia.

But Virginia has figured out the truth, and she can't tell anyone for fear of losing her niece's affections and having the police ransack her life. So she pursues her own investigation, shaking down, threatening, and killing one petty crook after another during her search.

Little Todd's absence shapes everyone's lives. When he is finally found, the discovery will bring disaster for some and revelation for others.
 To enter the giveaway, please fill out the Rafflecopter entry form below.

This giveaway is open to Canada/US addresses only until 12:01 AM EST on October 5, 2012.

 
Tour Participants

Monday, Sept. 3rd

Thursday, Sept. 6th
Review & Guest Post ~ Garden of Books

Friday, Sept. 7th
Spotlight & Giveaway ~ Book Lovin’ Busy Mom’s Daily

Monday, Sept. 10th
Review & Giveaway ~ So Little Time

Tuesday, Sept. 11th
Interview ~ Literarily Speaking

Wednesday, Sept. 12th

Friday, Sept. 14th
Review & Giveaway ~ Brunette Librarian

Monday, Sept. 17th
Review & Giveaway ~ A Bookish Libraria

Tuesday, Sept. 18th

Wednesday, Sept. 19th

Thursday, Sept. 20th

Friday, Sept. 21st
Interview, Guest Post & Giveaway ~ A Soul Unsung

Monday, Sept. 24th

Tuesday, Sept. 25th
Interview ~ The Book Rack

Wednesday, Sept. 26th
Review ~ Hollywood Daze

Thursday, Sept. 27th
Review, Interview & Giveaway ~ Reading Reality

Friday, Sept. 28th
Guest Post & Giveaway ~ Darlene’s Book Nook

Saturday, Sept. 29th
Review, Guest Post & Giveaway ~ Turning The Pages
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