Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Brooke's Turning 17 = Birthday Giveaway!

Today's the day! I'm seventeen and, as promised, I'm hosting a giveaway. There are two prizes up for grabs, both of which I acquired at YAK Fest 2014.

#1: A Signed Book

THE PIRATE'S WISH by Cassandra Rose Clarke

After setting out to break the curse that binds them together, the pirate Ananna and the assassin Naji find themselves stranded on an enchanted island in the north with nothing but a sword, their wits, and the secret to breaking the curse: complete three impossible tasks. With the help of their friend Marjani and a rather unusual ally, Ananna and Naji make their way south again, seeking what seems to be beyond their reach.

Unfortunately, Naji has enemies from the shadowy world known as the Mists, and Ananna must still face the repercussions of going up against the Pirate Confederation. Together, Naji and Ananna must break the curse, escape their enemies — and come to terms with their growing romantic attraction.

Christina from Christina Reads YA was kind enough to write a short review of the book for me. If the summary hasn't quite sold you, perhaps her opinion will.

"Cassandra Rose Clarke does a fantastic job at incorporating various fantasy and fairy tale elements while keeping her novel action-packed and full of humor and heart in this sequel to THE ASSASSIN'S CURSE.

"A new character, in the form of a talking manticore, is a lot of fun and propels the plot into unexpected territory. Not only do we get to see Ananna grow a lot because of the leadership position she's forced to assume, but we also get to see a lot more of the world as she and her crew journey to break the curse and more of her soft side as she and Naji learn to open up to one another. Getting slight hints about other places that Clarke has created also makes me eager to read and explore more about the world--and makes me sad to learn that there are no more novels in this series. However, I also thought that Clarke had done a great job keeping this plot confined to a duology, and thus not trying to stretch things too thin. Basically she's done the best of both things: managing her plot well while adding in enough about the world to make me curious for more.

"In the end, I'm disappointed that there are not more light, swashbuckling fantasy adventure series like this. If I had one complaint about THE PIRATE'S WISH, it'd be that I wanted more: more characters, more adventure, more of everything--and certainly that's not a bad complaint at all, huh?"

#2: A Swag Package

See for yourself:

Now, that you've seen the goodies, just follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter widget below to enter. This is a U.S. only giveaway. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, February 03, 2014

YAK Fest 2014

The weekend before last I traveled to Ft. Worth, TX to attend the Young Adult Keller Book Festival. Last time I attended, I posted a blow-by-blow account of the experience that spanned four posts. I am not going to be that detailed this go 'round, but I would still like to give you a run-down of the day.

This post will be organized by time frames. Below is the schedule for the event.

10:00 - 10:45

I actually made it to the keynote this year! We (my grandparents, Lizzie, and I) stayed the night in Ft. Worth on Friday to be sure of it. All of the authors were introduced and asked their greatest fear. Afterward, Neal Shusterman gave a speech about the events in his life that led him to tell stories. My grandparents then left.

10:55 - 11:45

For the first session, I chose Reality Bites. This panel featured contemporary writers. They discussed their books and talked about what inspired them. Then they answered some "lightning round" questions such as "What is your biggest pet peeve?".

11:45 - 12:45

Lizzie and I met back up with my grandparents for lunch. We drove to a nearby Sonic to eat.

Upon getting dropped back at the festival, I decided to visit the table where The Book Carriage was selling books by the attending authors. To my dismay, I found many of the books I had hoped to purchase were sold out. I ended up purchasing only two items: FAULT LINE by C. Desir and EVERFOUND by Neal Shusterman.

12:45 - 1:35

During this time slot, I decided to visit the Escape Hatch, a place the authors on break came to intermingle with guests. They handed out (signed!) swag, answered questions, and took silly pictures. I really enjoyed participating and came away with lots of cool (signed!) stuff. Megan Shepherd also signed my copy of THE MADMAN'S DAUGHTER.

After I left the Escape Hatch, I stopped at the The Book Carriage table again and bought a copy of DREADLOCKS by Neal Shusterman.

1:45 - 2:35

Our next stop was Colin Gilbert's workshop Escape With a Poem, which we also attended during YAK Fest 2012. I was a little disappointed this year. The session was not nearly as interactive or fun as the previous one. We were supposed to draw inspiration from art then free write. I feel like I sat doing nothing for an hour. On the plus side, Colin remembered me!

2:45 - 3:35

We walked down the hallway to the Council for Post-Apocalyptic Survival panel. Again, the authors talked about their books. They also supplied interesting survival tips and explained how they worldbuild. These panelists also answered a set of "lighting round" questions.

3:35 - 5:00

At last, it was time for the book signing.

My grandparents had returned while Lizzie and I were in the last session. Upon reuniting, I found that my grandmother had purchased A MIDSUMMER'S NIGHTMARE by Kody Keplinger and TESLA'S ATTIC by Neal Shusterman for me. She had also managed to find a copy of THE DOLLHOUSE ASYLUM by Mary Gray, a book I had wanted earlier. My grandfather also bought WINGER by Andrew Smith for Lizzie.

We put my grandfather in charge of keeping our place in Neal Shusterman's (looong) line, then raced to get all of our other books signed. The lines moved quickly and we were soon able to relieve my grandfather. When we reached the author's table, my grandmother slid in and took a picture of Lizzie and me with Neal.

I left the festival happy and satisfied. Below are pictures of the other eight signatures I acquired.

One last thing before you go. While I was at YAK Fest, I picked up a few extra things. That, plus the fact that tomorrow is my birthday, means I'm hosting a giveaway! Stop back by tomorrow to enter.