Category Archives: Contests

Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon October 2014

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    It’s time!!! Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon is here and the countdown to begin is in approximately one hour. My stack is pictured above. There is still time to sign up so don’t miss out. This year we have a record breaking 900 readers from all over the world. It’s truly amazing to see how far this event has come in our book blogging community. I have been participating in this event since 2010 and helping to co-host since 2012…even if those short years this event has grown to truly unbelievable proportions. In April due to the needs of my family I was both unable to participate or co-host and it was really hard for me. All day it felt like something was missing. It was as if I was missing a family reunion. So let’s get together, read and have a fabulous next 24 hours together. Let’s make each and every page count. Make sure and join me for hours 15, 16 & 17 (10pm-1am EST) as those will be my co-hosting hours and I have some fun stuff in store. Keep in touch & have a great readathon!! Follow me @stiletostrytime  And away we go……

Readathon Log

Hours Read: 13.25

Pages Read: 615

Books Completed: 1

Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld

Currently Reading:

The Paradise by Emile Zola

Mini-Challenges Completed: 5

Hours Hosted: 3

Snacks Consumed: Too Guilty to List Them At This Point

Opening Meme

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?

Saint Augustine Beach , FL

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2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?

Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld. And today is feeling like a Zola day so I may throw some Emile Zola in.

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?

Trader Joe’s Cowgirl Bark

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!

I love fresh flowers, tea and my sweet son more than life itself.

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today?

Pace myself and not over-do my eyes before I host tonight. In the past I have tried strained my eyes.

Mid-Event Survey
1. What are you reading right now?

Can you believe I am still on my first book? I cannot put down Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld.
2. How many books have you read so far?

Almost 1!
3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?

I have not decided yet but it is between a horror title and a classic re-read.
4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?

Quite a few but I have still managed to stay pretty focused…you know for a Mommy!
5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?

I am shocked I am staying with one book. This has never happened in 4 years of readathons.

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Filed under Book Blogs, Contests, Events, Reading Challenge, Reading Fun

Blog Tour & Paperback Giveaway: Enchantments by Kathryn Harrison

 One of The New York Times 100 Most Notable Books of 2012

” From Kathryn Harrison, one of America’s most admired literary voices, comes a gorgeously written, enthralling novel set in the final days of Russia’s Romanov Empire.

St. Petersburg, 1917. After Rasputin’s body is pulled from the icy waters of the Neva River, his eighteen-year-old daughter, Masha, is sent to live at the imperial palace with Tsar Nikolay and his family—including the headstrong Prince Alyosha. Desperately hoping that Masha has inherited Rasputin’s miraculous healing powers, Tsarina Alexandra asks her to tend to Aloysha, who suffers from hemophilia, a blood disease that keeps the boy confined to his sickbed, lest a simple scrape or bump prove fatal.

Two months after Masha arrives at the palace, the tsar is forced to abdicate, and Bolsheviks place the royal family under house arrest. As Russia descends into civil war, Masha and Alyosha grieve the loss of their former lives, finding solace in each other’s company. To escape the confinement of the palace, they tell stories—some embellished and some entirely imagined—about Nikolay and Alexandra’s courtship, Rasputin’s many exploits, and the wild and wonderful country on the brink of an irrevocable transformation. In the worlds of their imagination, the weak become strong, legend becomes fact, and a future that will never come to pass feels close at hand.

Mesmerizing, haunting, and told in Kathryn Harrison’s signature crystalline prose, Enchantments is a love story about two people who come together as everything around them is falling apart.”


In some cases the story really begins at the end. Spanning the time immediately after Rasputin’s brutal murder and beyond the last days of the Romanov family, Enchantments gives a unique look into a time period of Russian history very well documented and yet still coveted in the fictional world of literature. This novel however is unlike the others I have read in that it gives a fresh look as it delves into Rasputin’s life as a family man, very rarely do you ever see it even mentioned that he had a wife and children much less see his offspring as the narrator of such a monumental time in history.

Masha as she was called was the oldest of Rasputin’s daughters and very much the favorite daughter who both respected and cherished her father. The Tsarina of Russia even felt that the young girl had inherited her father’s healing gifts although Masha never felt so herself and never pursued any of Rasputin’s practices. Nevertheless this belief allowed Masha and her sister access to the Romanovs that very few ever held.  Within her stories Masha gives a insider’s account of both Rasptuin the Monk’s life and that of the last royal family of Russia. She is truly a gifted storyteller and the accounts she gives create characters out of historical figures we have all read about.

While much of the novel is very well imagined and given in a abundance of fictional stories within it still lies the tragedy of the last Tsar of Russia and his family. Many of the stories told by Masha are clearly of a fantastical nature but they provide not only a enjoyable reading experience but also a deeper insight into a family lost. A relationship between Masha and Alyosha, gives  the son of Nicholay and Alexandra a life and history beyond his disease and death. Alexei truly becomes a person within this novel and that is something I have rarely seen in accounts of the Romanovs.

In the end while most of the the stories are purely fiction behind them lie real people whose story may never be able to be factually told. This novel at least gives them a past and life of some type in which to be real people and not simply notes in a history book. I thoroughly enjoyed the book from both a fictional and historical stand point. It truly flies by once you become entranced by Harrison’s unique storytelling style. I would recommend this book to lovers of historical fiction and those interested in the Romanovs specifically. I adored this novel when I first read it in 2012 and am so excited to be able to share it again with my readers in it’s new paperback release.

 Book Giveaway

Stiletto Storytime is excited to be able to offer a giveaway as part of this TLC Book Blog Tour Stop for Enchantments and a paperback copy of the book will soon belong to one very lucky reader. Giveaway ends midnight EST March 25, 2013. US/Canada addresses only please for this giveaway.

To enter: Simply share one of your favorite historical fiction authors and the time period that most appeals to you as a reader below in the comment section. I love getting new suggestions for my future reading and it seems there is always a work that I have passed by or not heard of . So share one…or share a few while entering to win a great addition to your own library.

Want extra entries? You can get an extra entry by doing any of the following:

Be/Become a Follower of Stiletto Storytime

Be/Become a Follower Stiletto Storytime on Twitter. (Please leave Twitter handle in comments.)

Be/Become a Follower of TLC Book Tours on Twitter. (Please leave Twitter Handle in comments.)

Tweet or Blog about this Giveaway (Please leave link in comments)

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Filed under Adult Books, Blog Tour, Contests, historical fiction

Pride & Predjudice 200th Anniversary Party Hop

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Happy Happy Anniversary Pride & Prejudice. Can you believe it’s been 200 years? It’s amazing when you think about it that something written so long ago still has such a hold on so many individuals, still inspires such passion in our hearts and minds. I cannot tell you how excited I am to celebrate this milestone and to be able to co-host this fabulous event with author Alyssa Goodnight. Thank you to each and every one of you who are joining us and helping make the Pride and Prejudice 200th Anniversary Party Hop possible.

My love of Jane Austen is something very dear to my heart. This love is something that happened so early on in my life -it has become such an engrained part of who I am as a person and my personality that it’s hard to really remember myself before. Digging further, Pride and Prejudice is an especially personal work for me. I came to love it at the age of 13 when I first read the book…soon after I laid my eyes upon Colin Firth and my Mr. Darcy found a forever face in my mind. It’s also a very very special book for me because of it’s connection to my great great grandmother.

My Granny was a reader. As a child I often spent time with her since she lived only two houses down. She watched me while my mother worked and summers were spent in her care as well. My grandmother was a life-long reader. She owned multiple bookshelves and perusing them became a favorite past time of mine from a very young age. I loved staying up nights reading with her and making my way through her personal bookshelves knowing each book had been read and selected by her. Unfortunately around the age of ten, I was no longer able to spend time with my Granny. She began to suffer from dementia and quickly lost the ability to live on her own, take care of herself and even recognize me. To her the adult Courtney was unconceivable, she pictured me as a little girl and so I stayed away as not to upset her. Needless to say I was devastated. Although she did not pass away until my early twenties…our relationship ended too early and a large hole was put into my heart much before she left this earth. While my grandmother never shared Pride and Prejudice with me personally (I suspect she would have had I reached the age), she did encourage a love of reading that defines me and the path I have chosen in life. When she died I was desperate to revisit our special times and luckily her entire book collection became my very own. By this time I was a devoted Janeite…imagine my joy when I discovered tucked amongst her books her very own copy of Pride and Prejudice.

My Grandmother had a unique habit when she read a book. She would write her name and the year she read it within the cover. However she did not do it to every book she owned. I suspect she started in later in life so her earlier books remained blank.  When I saw that copy of Pride and Prejudice I literally burst into tears but then immediately prayed that it contained her handwritten name as well. As I opened the cover I could not contain myself, inside was her name in the handwriting I will never forget to the day I die. To this day that book is one of most prized and valued objects. It is not only one of my favorite books by my favorite author…it is a link to my Granny. A symbol that she and I are forever linked and so very similar. Though she left me too early, I know she would be so proud of who I have become. For that reason Pride and Prejudice goes so far beyond being just any book. And that one volume means the sun, moon and stars when I hold it in my hands.

Jane Austen Journal Giveaway

Join the Pride & Prejudice 200th Anniversary Party HopPlease remember to join in and travel to all our wonderful participants in this hop…some may even have goodies up for grabs. Speaking of goodies, I wanted to give away something Austen themed for this very special occasion. So the lovely Jane Austen journal below will be finding a home with one of you dear readers. I own one myself and love to jot down quotes that jump out for me and even after over 15 years of Austen, I still come across lines that make me think, laugh and smile. So want to add this journal to your collection of Jane Austen items? It’s very easy to be entered…just share a Pride and Prejudice moment or memory with all of us as we share and celebrate on this very special 200th anniversary. Happy Anniversary Pride and Prejudice…here’s to 200 more years and once again “Bravo” dear Jane.

Giveaway ends midnight EST on January 29, 2013. Open internationally. Winner will be notified via e-mail address.

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Filed under Contests, Events, Jane Austen, Movies, Reading Fun

Join the Pride & Prejudice 200th Anniversary Party Hop

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Can you believe it? In exactly two weeks or as Jane would say “in only a fortnight”, our beloved Pride & Prejudice is about to turn 200 years old! How can you let an event like that pass without a celebration of enormous proportions amongst all Janeites and even those who only have a passing relationship with the classic…the answer is….you can’t. That’s why when the very talented Jane Austen inspired author Alyssa Goodnight approached me about doing a 200th Anniversary Party Blog Hop, I simply couldn’t resist. 200 Austen lovers getting together to celebrate 200 years of Pride & Prejudice is our goal. That’s right 200 of you…I know that’s quite a large number but what can I say we’re optimists and this is a very big milestone indeed. How often does this type of anniversary come around after all?

Jane Austen Journal

So you want to be a part of the party? It’s simple really. Just sign up and post on January 28, 2013 about the anniversary of Pride & Prejudice. You can post about anything you would like as long as it is P & P related…write a letter to Jane herself about how she’s affected your life with her most treasured tome, reminisce about the first time you saw your favorite embodiment of Mr. Darcy whether it be Colin Firth (as it should be) or any other I suppose (wink) on the big or small screen. You could even write a bit of fan fiction yourself if you felt so inclined. Also if you’d like you can host a giveaway or mini-challenge event as we hope people will be hopping around the participant blogs and having a grand ole time.

Here at Stiletto Storytime I will be posting about Pride & Prejudice as well as hosting a fun little game for all my devoted Janeite friends. The prize will be a lovely Jane Austen journal for you to jot your favorite Austen quotes into in the future. So get fun, get creative and get excited as we celebrate a classic that has made all our live richer in so many ways. And remember begin to prepare for the party coming up in two weeks but sign up now here.

So you’re formally invited ladies and gentlemen. Won’t you please honor us and dearest Jane with your online presence?

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Filed under Adult Books, Blog Tour, Book Blogs, Contests, Events, Jane Austen

Christmas Books Giveaway Hop with Author Heather Vogel Frederick

christmas books hopIt’s that time of year again folks! I’m not going to lie…I love Christmas. I always have and having a three year old now who is literally obsessed with Christmas has only made it more special. One of my favorite things about Christmas has also always been that extra reading time and if I am lucky bookstore gift cards coming my way or even that one special book under the tree on Christmas morning. So to celebrate I am participating in the Christmas Book Giveaway Hop hosted by I Am a Reader, Not a Writer & Laurie Here. This great giveaway hop has over 120 blogs participating and giving away one or more Christmas themed tomes. Make sure to check out the participating blog list here.

This holiday season I decided to team up with the always lovely, talented and extremely generous Heather Vogel Frederick so we could provide some very lucky reader with copies of her fifth installment in the fabulous Mother- Daughter Book Club series:  Home for the Holidays. It’s the perfect read for Mom or Daughter…or even better Mom and Daughter together. It would also make a fantastic Christmas present and I know Heather would be more than happy to sign it to that special someone if you’d like. She’s just that kind of person. A true gem of an author indeed. I have honestly enjoyed every book in this series and each can be read alone or in order so don’t worry if you’re not all caught up!

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To enter to win just comment below and let us know your favorite book to read during this time of year…it doesn’t have to be Holiday related whatsoever. For instance I often re-read my favorite classics this time of year simply because I have the time. This year I am re-reading Les Miserables by Victor Hugo in preparation for the release of the movie musical. So…as you sip hot cocoa, sit by the fire and maybe just maybe…watch it snow ( who am I kidding…I live in Georgia)…what book will you have in hand?

Three lucky winners will be chosen here at Stiletto Storytime to win their own copy of Home for the Holidays by Heather Vogel Frederick. This Giveaway Hop will end on December 9, 2012 at midnight EST. This giveaway is open to US/CAN addresses only. Winners will be chosen by random number generator and notified by e-mail.

Want extra entries? You can get an extra entry by doing any of the following:

Be/Become a Follower of Stiletto Storytime

Be/Become a Follower Stiletto Storytime on Twitter

Check out Heather Vogel Frederick’s Website & Share Something You Learned/Found Interesting

Tweet or Blog about this Giveaway at Stiletto Storytime (Please leave link in comments)

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Filed under Book Blogs, Contests, Girly Books, Heather Vogel Frederick, Middle Grade, New Books, Reading Fun, Young Adult Books

Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-thon: October 2012

  

It’s that time of year again readers…if you have followed Stiletto Storytime over the years at all you know this is one of my favorite events that takes place every year in April and October. This is my sixth Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-thon. I have worn many hats for this event. I have been a reader, a cheerleader and a co-host long into the night in April. Every experience has been special and this year I am looking forward to being simply a reader again and really focusing on the reading. So what am I reading?

                 

This year I am kind of pushing the boundaries by choosing two very long books and one shorter YA. Often it’s best to choose multiple shorter titles to keep the momentum going but this year I simply had to re-read Justin Cronin’s The Passage so I could dive into The TwelveI also chose Beta  by Rachel Cohn as my go to break book if needed since the first two books are 500-700 pages respectfully. But I am so excited to dig in and hopefully even get some reviewing and blogging done as well.

So won’t you join me? There’s still time sign up and get involved. Join hundreds of readers from all over the world dedicated to reading together for an entire 24 hours. You can sign up here. Enjoy hourly updates, mini-challenges, giveaways and so much more. So come on be a part of literary greatness…join us. I will regularly update my progress on this same post so check back and see how things are going and share your experience. Happy Reading to All!

Read-a-thon Progress 

Current Book: The Passage by Justin Cronin

Books Completed: 0

Pages Read:601

Hours Reading: 8.5

Mini-Challenges Completed: 11

Introductory Questionnaire

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? Atlanta, Georgia in the USA
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? The Twelve by Justin Cronin
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?  My sea salt bagel chips & chocolate covered almonds. Yum!
4) Tell us a little something about yourself! I am the mother of an amazingly loving and intelligent three year son who just happens to have autism…we are fighting every day and winning!
5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to? I have participated in six of these read-a-thons as a reader, cheerleader and co-host…excited this year to lay back and enjoy the ride while focusing on the reading!

Book Puzzle Mini-Challenge from One Librarian’s Book Reviews

                     

Can you guess the book title from the images above?

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Filed under Book Blogs, Challenges, Contests, Events, New Books, Reading Challenge, Reading Fun, Young Adult Books

Feature & Giveaway: Ghost Town by Jason Hawes & Grant Wilson

  “WELCOME TO EXETER, THE “MOST HAUNTED TOWN IN AMERICA,” thanks to a deadly flood that unleashed an army of ghosts decades ago. And when ghost trackers Amber, Drew, and Trevor attend a conference during Exeter’s spookiest week of the year, the ghouls grow restless. First, an innocent bookstore worker is mysteriously killed, setting off a string of strange deaths that point to a shadowy spirit known as the Dark Lady.

With a paranormal revolution ensuing, the team must stop the twisted bloodbath. But a past horror involving the death of a former teammate has them spinning faster than a specter in a storm, especially when they learn that it’s his ghost who awakened the Dark Lady. Now, with their lives on the line and the entire town at stake, the three must decide whether to trust the spirit of their old friend or to finally put a stake through his heart.”

Just in time for some great Halloween related reading comes the release of Ghost Town, the second book from Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson who head up TAPS, The Atlantic Paranormal Society—built on Jason and Grant’s interest in getting to the bottom of everyday, paranormal occurrences.  TAPS has developed an impressive reputation for helping people with “unusual domestic problems.”  It has been more than a decade since Jason and Grant first met, and since then TAPS has grown in size and scope to become one of the most respected paranormal-investigation groups in America.  It now has branches across the United States and affiliates in 12 other countries. You may know them best from their hit TV show on SyFy Ghost Hunters.

As many of you know I am always on the look out for books that can strike a little fear especially during the festive Halloween season. However in the past the list of books that have been able to actually scare me to any degree have been few and far between. When approached to be a part of the Ghost Town promotion I was very much excited, not only to have a new book to give a try for that special fear factor but to also very excited be working with the creators of TAPS since I am a big fan of the show. I was especially interested to read the book knowing of the team’s approach to the paranormal in that they are very reserved and take a scientific approach until they simply have no other explanation for what could be paranormal phenomenon. I wondered how that would affect the crafting of a book that is primarily paranormal in nature and most undoubtedly designed to strike fear in the heart of it’s readers?

Ghost Town is definitely a little different from what I would have expected but it did not disappoint in it’s creep factor. The book really is a never-ending ride into all aspects of the paranormal and the things that go creep in the night. While at times I found the books to be a little unbelievable and therefore not really frightening…there were other times where the spook factor was undeniable. I’m not gonna lie. There was a point when I quit reading the book late into the night with the pitch dark surrounding me and only my tiny book light creating a small glow with the surrounding shadows beyond. The crafting of the story is definitely eerie and will leave you a little uneasy as you slip off into sleep at night. It’s perfect for this Halloween season and for any reader wanting a little scare…including those who might be skeptical and thinking a true fright from literature might be impossible. Unafraid? Skeptical? Non-Believer? Give it a try. I dare you.

Ultimate Paranormal Book Pack Giveaway

Now just in time for Halloween  you too can stock up on some great spooky reading to get you in the mood for the upcoming season. Thanks to the generous folks at Gallery Books I am pleased to be able to giveaway two great titles to two very lucky readers here at Stiletto Storytime. Not only will readers receive a copy of Ghost Town by it’s release date on October 9, 2012 but they will also receive a copy of Jason and Grant’s first book Ghost Trackers as well. But you have to act quick!

Giveaway ends at noon EST on  October 4, 2012. US address only please. The winners will be chosen by random number generator and contacted by e-mail. To enter just comment below. Good Luck to all and Happy Reading!

Want extra entries? You can get an extra entry by doing any of the following:

Be/Become a Follower of Stiletto Storytime

Be/Become a Follower of Stiletto Storytime on Twitter

Be/Become a Follower of (any/all) Ghost Hunters Jason Hawes Grant Wilson on Twitter

“Like” Jason Hawes and/or Ghost Hunters on Facebook

Tweet or Blog about this Giveaway (Please leave link in comments)

Winners

Wow…thanks for all the great response to this very short giveaway! I know everyone is very excited to get a hold of Jason & Grant’s newest book so in the interest of getting it to you as soon as possible- let’s announce our winners! Congrats to Paxton Walker and Margay! You’ve both won a copy of both “Ghost Trackers” and “Ghost Town”. Enjoy and as always enjoy “Ghost Hunters” as well especially now during the festive Halloween season!

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Filed under Adult Books, Books to TV, Contests, New Books, Paranormal