Announcing the BBAW Book Blog Reader’s Contest Winners!!!!

September 19, 2008 at 12:11 pm | Posted in Books | 3 Comments
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Joshua Henkin and I had a great time reading and reviewing all of the wonderful entries in our “I read book blogs because…” contest (click here for the original post).  This contest was open to all of our wonderful book blogs readers who do not write for a blog themselves.  On Monday, over 50 entries were narrowed down to 10 finalists.  From that list, Joshua selected the first, second, and third place winners.

Josh, I can’t thank you enough for making this contest for readers so very special.  It’s so wonderful to know that there are authors out there who so willingly give of themselves to their readers.  I’m looking forward to reading your work for many decades to come. 🙂

Without further ado, here are top three finalists in this contest:

First Place

The First Place winner, who receives a signed copy of Matrimony from Joshua Henkin as well as a 6 book grab bag from Hachette Book Group is:

Laura from MN

Congratulations, Laura!  To peak your interest in your upcoming copy of Matrimony, here is a video of Joshua:

If you have a book club, you might also be interested in this message I received from Joshua:

I wanted to let you know about a special time-bound offer my publisher, Vintage, is making to book groups.  Sign up by midnight September 21 and Vintage will set up a phone chat for your book group with me to discuss my novel MATRIMONY, which has recently come out in paperback.  Normally, only five book groups are chosen among the entrants, but I have agreed to talk to all book groups that sign up.  Here’s the link to learn more, and to sign up.  I would be delighted to talk to your book group.

Second Place

The Second Place winner, who receives a three book grab bag from Hachette Book Group and a copy of First Daughter by Eric Van Lustbader from me is:

Jeanne Sager

Congratulation, Jeanne!

Third Place

The Third Place winner, who receives a three book grab bag from Hachette Book Group is:

K. Stephenson

Congratulations, K!

Please send me an email with your mailing information and I will pass that on to everyone who needs it.  Please report back when you get your prizes.  I love to hear your reactions!

And the Winners Are…

September 18, 2008 at 5:00 pm | Posted in Books, Historical Fiction, LIfe, Reading | 10 Comments
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As I mentioned over the weekend, I’m presenting several of the wonderful BBAW 2008 Awards.  This afternoon, I’m pleased to announce the winners of the Best Fantasy/Sci-fi/Horror/Spec-fic Blog and Best Historical/Historical Fiction Blog.  As a recap, here are the nominees:

Best Fantasy/Sci-fi/Horror/Spec-fic Bog

Fantasy Book Critic
OCD, vampires, and amusing rants, oh my!
Stainless Steel Droppings
Stuff as Dreams are Made On
Things Mean a Lot

Best Historical/Historical Fiction Blog

Books’N Border Collies
Civil War Blog
Historical Tapestry
Medieval Bookworm

And the Winners Are…


Fantasy Book Critic!



Medieval Bookworm!




_Congratulations to both of our Winners!

BBAW: Philippa Gregory Scavenger Hunt Second Chance Winner

September 17, 2008 at 4:15 pm | Posted in Books, Historical Fiction, LIfe, Philippa Gregory, Reading | 6 Comments
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Since Alyce so quickly won the Philippa Gregory Scavenger Hunt on Sunday, I decided to hold a second chance drawing for a second copy of The Other Queen with the caveat that I will get the second chance winner’s book signed if at all possible (I don’t know whether there will be any restrictions on the number of books Philippa will sign).  I had four others send in the list of locations: Darlene, Jill, Bonnie, and Shana.  The race was tight!

The winner, as determined by The Randomizer, is:

Jill at Fizzy Thoughts!!!!!!

Congratulations, Jill!!!!  I hope that I can get your book signed and that you, Alyce and I will absolutely love this novel.

And the Winners Are…

September 17, 2008 at 5:00 am | Posted in Books | 10 Comments
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As I mentioned over the weekend, I’m presenting several of the wonderful BBAW 2008 Awards.  This afternoon, I’m pleased to announce the winners of the Best Community Builder and Best Published Author Blog Awards.  As a recap, here are the nominees:

Best Community Builder

5 Minutes for Book
The Hidden Side of a Leaf
J.Kaye’s Book Blog
My Friend Amy

Best Published Author Blog

Camy Tang
Colleen Gleason
John Scalzi
Meg Cabot
Neil Gaiman

And the Winners Are…



My Friend Amy!






Neil Gaiman!




_Congratulations to both of our Winners!

I Heart Your Blog

September 16, 2008 at 9:09 am | Posted in Books, LIfe, Reading | 14 Comments
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I don’t where to start with this post.  My life has been enriched so much by so many blogs.  Here is a list of blogs I love to share with people:

Devourer of Books ~ Jen, I love ya!  You said that I helped you get started.  What you don’t know is that you are what kept me going.  You came along at a time when I was losing direction.  Being offered the opportunity to support you helped me more than you know.  I am so proud of your blog.  You’ve accomplished so much.  You inspire me to write better and participate more in our wondeful book blogging community.  Thank you for all that you are.

A Girl Walks Into a Bookstore ~ Although she reads a reviews from various genres, Katherine focuses mainly on historical fiction, which is what drew me to her blog.  Her reviews are concise and always enjoyable.  I’ve picked up three or four books she’s reviewed.  When I ever get to them (that’s a whole other story), I’m sure that I’ll love them.

A Guy’s Moleskin Notebook ~ As a college literature professor, Matt and his blog is are gems to me.  I miss the challenge and excitement I got reading for my college and grad school classes.  Although Matt reads and writes about a variety of topics, I love his thoughts on the classics.  I can’t wait to get back into Anna Karenina so that I can go back and re-read his posts from this summer.  There’s always something to learn from his blog.

B&b exlibris ~ I can’t remember when I first stumbled upon Bethany’s blog, but really kept me coming back were the pictures she posts of herself.  What I’m thinking of specifically are her posts during the read-a-thon.  She’s been in my heart ever since.  She’s fun and I read everything she posts.  I’m hoping that very soon I’ll be able to follow through with our Mrs. Lieutenant conversation.  Don’t give up on me, Bethany!

Bermudaonion’s Weblog ~ In addition to book reviews and tales of the Hokies, you’ll find some delicious recipes.  I love the way that she weaves cooking into her website.  It gives her blog a different flavor (no pun intended!).  Of all my book blogging friends, I have the best opportunity to meet her.  I’m looking forward to meeting her someday in Blacksburg.

Literarily ~ I have so say that Shana is one of the nicest people I’ve never met.  She reviews some wonderful books and has inciteful things to say about all things reading.  Just reading her name in my comments or in the comments on other blogs makes me smile.

Bloody Hell, It’s a Book Barrage! ~ Chartroose had me at the name.  I absolutely love it and I doubt seriously that there will ever be another blog name to replace this one in my heart.  She’s sure to review books you won’t see anywhere else.  If you can read more than a few posts without laughing, you must be in a very, very bad mood.

Don’stuff ~ Don reads, but he writes about many other topics.  There’s usually something inspirational about getting your life or finances together – even a great music video or two.  I love his lists, especially of the top X songs, bands, etc…  He knows where I stand on U2, R.E.M., and Golden Earring.  I miss him when doesn’t post.

Fyrefly’s Book Blog ~ For the life of me, I have no idea why Nikki didn’t get nominated for the most pretty blog (can’t remember the actual name of the category).  It’s what attracted me to her from the beginning.  You really should check it out if you’ve never seen it.  Beautiful.  Her reviews are interesting to read although I don’t usually read fantasy.

Kathleen’s Book Reviews ~ She hasn’t been posting much recently and I hope that she is okay.  Kathleen is not only a great book reviewer, she’s a great friend and commenter.  She has a lot of passion for her reviews and the reviews of other book bloggers.

Letters on Pages ~ Adam has a wonderful blog and I love that it focuses completely on non-fiction.  A lot of blogs that I read intermix fiction with touches of non-fiction, but he’s fully committed.  In addition to writing reviews, he posts timely commentary on what’s going on in the literary world.  He’s got big dreams and I can’t wait to see what he does in the future.

Medieval Bookworm ~ I just love Meghan and her blog.  I was so happy to see her nominated for Best History/Historical Fiction award.  I can’t wait to see where she goes from here.

Muse Book Reviews ~ Although we live on opposites side of North America, Jena and I are quickly becoming friends.  We share a similar taste in books and I love her blog.  I look forward to reading through her reading list, especially Neil Gaiman.  She’ll be the first person I contact when I finally start reading him.

My Friend Amy ~ She’s everyone’s best friend this week. Amy, we can’t thank you enough for all you’ve done for us for BBAW!

The Book Lady’s Blog ~ This blog is written by Rebecca, a fellow Virginian.  She has one of the funniest blogs going.  I love her tales from the book store floor annd her reviews are great.  Her job allows her to meet some wonderful authors, like Joshua Henkin and Elizabeth Emerson Hancock.  She’s got her finger on the pulse, so check out her blog if you haven’t already!

The Bookworm ~ What I like the best about Naida’s blog is that she mixes reading with crocheting.  I can’t crochet myself, but I used to do a lot of needlework and cross stitch before my kids were born.  I know that I would not be able to keep up with both the way that she does.  Plus, her bookworm graphic is too darn cute!

The Printed Page ~ Marcia and I have gotten to know each other through exchanging books.  She loves historical fiction like I do.  She reads interesting things and participates in several weekly memes.  There’s always something interesting to read.

There are so many others.  Let’s face it.  Each and every book blog is great.  Happy Book Blogger Appreciation Week everyone!

BBAW: Best Historical/Historical Fiction

September 14, 2008 at 8:15 pm | Posted in Books, Historical Fiction, LIfe, Reading | 6 Comments
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Historical fiction became a passion of mine almost from the second I cracked open The Other Boleyn Girl a year ago last spring.  I’m absolutely thrilled to have the honor of highlighting each of these nominees and announcing the winner on Thursday.  Each one of the following nominees helps make history come alive every day:

Books’N Border Collies ~ Lezlie has a wonderful blog that I can’t believe I haven’t explored much before.  I just read her review of The Other Queen and it’s making even harder to wait just that one more day…  On top of reading historical fiction, Lezlie writes about her dogs.  What a wonderful source!  Here is what Lezlie said about her nomination:

I have been selected as one of the finalists for “Best History/Historical Fiction Blog”!! I’m so excited!! Thank you to everyone who nominated me, and good luck to my fellow finalists!

Civil War Blog ~ This is the blog for anyone interested in the American Civil War.  The content is provided by a group of authors.  Here is how this site is described:

TOCWOC (The Order of Civil War Obsessively Compulsed) is a group Civil War blog formed in September 2007. Our purpose is to enlighten and entertain readers on every aspect of the Civil War, whether it be Social, Political, Military, or other history. TOCWOC will feature a wide variety of blog entries. Some of the proposed topics include book and game reviews, a focus on Civil War period individuals, author interviews, information on book and game publishers, battlefield trips, preservation, teaching the Civil War, and much more. All of the authors of this blog are “informed amateurs”, Civil War buffs who do not focus on the Civil War in our day jobs, though some of us are closer than others to achieving that status!

Historical-Fiction ~ Here is another blog that makes me feel like I’ve been living under a rock.  Arleigh’s love for historical fiction began with Philippa Gregory, just like me.  It prompted her to read everything she could find about the Tudors and then other historical periods.  She is expecting a baby next month, and I wish her well as she welcomes a new one to her family.  She has so much material on her site, newbies won’t miss her during her maternity leave.  It will take us that long just to catch up.  One really neat feature she has is a listing of upcoming historical fiction releases.  Check her site out!

Historical Tapestry ~ This blog is authored by several women: Ana, Kailana, Marg, and Teddy.  They read historical fiction from all eras.  This is another great resource!  I’ve known about Marg’s blog Reading Adventures for a while now, but for whatever reason I’ve missed out on this.  I’m not sure if there is a connection with the other authors, but Marg is one of the mediators on, a wonderful board I don’t spend enough time on these days.

Medieval Bookworm ~ Meghan is the author of this wonderful blog.  She is a “recent graduate of Brandeis University. I’ve been a bookworm since I was five and I now own over 1000 books, still mostly crammed into a small room in my parents’ house. I’m a LibraryThing addict. I am passionately interested in medieval English history and I intend to make studying it my life’s work. In this blog, I would like to expand on both these topics.”  Here’s what Meghan said about her nomination:

Thank you so much to all who nominated me for best history/historical fiction blog!  I know that I don’t exclusively read history or historical fiction, but they are where my heart is and where I try to focus most of my reading.  I’m just thrilled to be nominated.  I never expected it!

BBAW: Best Fantasy/Sci-fi/Horror/Spec-fic Blog

September 14, 2008 at 12:09 pm | Posted in Books, LIfe, Reading | Leave a comment
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It is somewhat ironic to me that I will be presenting the BBAW award for the Best Fantasy/Sci-fi/Horror/Spec-fic Blog.  It encompasses the genres I tend to shy away from.  Just recently through my Expand Your Horizons Challenge, I’ve begun to delve into books in these areas.  These are the five most nominated blogs in this category and they should all provide a great way to get you excited to read the books that they review:

Fantasy Book Critic ~ This blog is written by Robert, who lives in Seattle, Washington.  His history is very interesting:

After taking a break from the music industry where I was a writer (reviewed albums & concerts, conducted interviews), did publicity (promoted signed & unsigned artists), worked as an A&R scout for Warner Bros. and was the EIC of Kings of A&R, I’ve decided to embrace my other passion: books and writing. So, while Fantasy Book Critic was born as a labor of love, I hope in time that it will become something more

OCD, vampires, and amusing rants, oh my! ~ This is a fun blog for anyone who likes genre fiction such as  fantasy, science fiction, romance, horror, and “even the occasional mystery/thriller.”  It’s written by two women who describe themselves and what they do like this:

We’re two amusing chicks with more books and opinions than we know what to do with. Love to read and discuss the things you read about? Drop in and join us! Comments, questions, and friendly debates are always more than welcome.

Stainless Steel Droppings ~ Carl loves science fiction and, in fact, that is where he got the name of his blog.  He has some great pictures on his site, too.  He instituted the R.I.P. Reading Challenge, which is now going into it’s third year.  Here’s what he has to say about himself:

I’m a geek and proud of it! I love the typical geek things: science fiction/fantasy books and films, comics, computer games. I am a well-rounded geek, however. I love all kinds of music, old classic films of many genres as well as the new stuff, and even enjoy ‘chick flicks’. I enjoy sports, American Chopper, those car shows on Discovery Channel, and Extreme Home Makeover. I have a beautiful wife and wonderful daughter and a very childish elderly dog. I like to do alot of different things and am rarely if ever bored. Maybe I’m more of a Renaissance Geek..yea, that’s it…does that make me cool?

Stuff as Dreams are Made On ~ This blog, which is written by Chris, talks about “all things Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Magical, Musical, Visual, and Appealing along with interesting tidbits from everyday life.”  Here’s what Chris said when he found out he was nominated:

I actually made it into the top 5 for best sci-fi/fantasy/horror blog! I can’t believe that! It’s such an honor. What’s even more of an honor is that I’m in some amazing company including two of my best blogging friends, Carl and Nymeth.

Things Mean a Lot ~ This blog is written by Amy, who is a “big fan of fantasy, fairy tales, mythology, children’s books and comics.”  Here is what she had to say about how she started blogging:

I started without quite knowing I was starting, which would explain why I’m only writing an “About Me” page almost a year and a half later. I stumbled upon the first Once Upon a Time Challenge and needed a place to post my thoughts on the books I was going to read for it. Then I stayed for the community. I don’t have many “real” bookish friends, so I was thrilled to discover people who were as obsessed with books as I am. Not only that, but they were also friendly, open-minded, respectful of different opinions, unpretentious and enthusiastic. How could I not stick around? So, I blog because I like sharing my thoughts on whatever I read, and because it’s a great way to meet fellow readers and to discover books I probably would never hear about otherwise…

BBAW: Best Author Blog Award

September 13, 2008 at 9:28 pm | Posted in Books | Leave a comment
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Without authors, we’d all be sad sacks longing for something to read.  We love all authors and we honored them with their own category.  Here are the five most popularly nominated blogging authors”

Camy Tang ~ “Camy “writes romance with a kick of wasabi.” Her blog is entitled Camy’s Loft.

Colleen Gleason ~ Colleen is a “novelist who writes the historical vampire slayer series, The Gardella Vampire Chronicles. When I’m not working on my next book, I love to read, watch movies, and hang out with my three kids and husband.”

John Scalzi ~ John’s blog is entitled Whatever and he says, “Back in the old days we had to hand roll our HTML! In the snow! Uphill! Both ways! And we were THANKFUL.”

Meg Cabot ~ Meg is “the author of nearly fifty books for both adults and teens, selling fifteen million copies worldwide, many of which have been #1 New York Times bestsellers, most notably The Princess Diaries series, which is currently being published in over 38 countries, and was made into two hit movies by Disney.”

Neil Gaiman ~ Neil will be participating in the National Book Festival this month and I’m hoping to get a chance to meet him, too!  Check out his blog.  There’s a lot of interesting information.

BBAW: Best Community Builder Award

September 13, 2008 at 3:46 pm | Posted in LIfe, Reading | 1 Comment
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Wednesday evening at 5pm EST, I will be posting the winner of the first annual Book Blogger Appreciation Week Award for Best Community Builder.  As a book blogger and a reader of book blogs, I really do feel like I am part of a community, and these bloggers are definitely our welcoming committee! 🙂

Here are the nominees in the category of Best Community Builder:

5 Minutes for Books ~ This blog is a collaborative effort of seven women: Jennifer, Carrie, Lisa, Bev, Lauren, Melissa, and Jo-Lynne.  They review fiction for adults and children as well as non-fiction.  Here’s what Jennifer had to say about the blog’s nomination in this category:

I am so pleased about the category that we were nominated in, because this was one of my expressed goals in starting this blog — not only to point towards some great books, but to start a real community. I’ve been so pleased with the participation — through comments on our posts and our regular Tuesday features. Thank you, thank you, and thank you.

The Hidden Side of a Leaf ~ This blog is written by Dewey.  She sponsors both Weekly Geeks (which I keep meaning to join) and the Bookworms Carnival.  In addition to reviewing the books she reads, Dewey also provides interesting commentary on the reading life.

J.Kaye’s Book Blog ~ This blog is written by J. Kaye, and she must be the Queen of reading challenges.  In addition to participating in them, she hosts three of her own.  She writes interesting reviews and leaves comments all over the book blog-o-sphere.

My Friend Amy ~ What more can I say about Amy?  We wouldn’t be having this celebration were it not for her.  Her dream and her tireless effort to make Book Blogger Appreciation Week a reality.  Amy, you’re the best.  We owe you so much.

Semicolon ~ This blog is written by Sherry, a mother of eight children.  On top of homeschooling, she finds the time to read and review books.  She also hosts the awesome page called Saturday Reviews.  Here, she collects reviews written by book bloggers.  The list is separated by alphabet according to book title.  It’s quite a collection of our reviews.  You should check it out for yourself.

BBAW Award Presentation Schedule

September 13, 2008 at 1:07 pm | Posted in LIfe | 2 Comments
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My Friend Amy has posted the schedule for the BBAW Awards next week.  Keep this list handy so that you won’t miss a single one!

I will be highlighting the nominees from each one of my categories as the weekend progresses.  I’m really excited about talking about each one of those blogs.

Wednesday Morning

Age 30+: A Lifetime in Books
Best Meme/Carnival/Event
Best Commenter/Commentator

Booking Mama
Best Design
Best Book Club Blog

Wednesday Evening

Caribou’s Mom
Most Humorous Blog

My Friend Amy
Best Publishing/Industry Blog

Stephanie’s Confessions of a Book-a-holic
Best Name for a Blog
Best Challenge Host

Literate Housewife
Best Community Builder
Best Author Blog

Best Book Published in 2008

Bookroom Reviews
Best Book Community Site
Most Chatty

Most Concise
Most Extravagant Giveaways

Thursday Morning

My Friend Amy
Best General Book Blog

Stephanie’s Confessions of a Book-a-holic
Best Romance Blog
Best Kidlit Blog

Literate Housewife
Best Fantasy/Sci-fi/Horror/Spec-fic Blog
Best History/Historical Blog

Best Literary Fiction Blog
Best Cookbook Blog

Bookroom Reviews
Best YA Lit Blog

Best Thrillers/Mystery/Suspense Blog

Caribou’s Mom
Best Non-fiction Blog
Most Eclectic Taste

The Friendly Book Nook
Best Christian/Inspirational Blog

Thursday Evening

My Friend Amy
Most Altruistic Blog

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