Tag Archives: win free stuff

Win a copy of Huck!

We recently posted a review of Huck: The Remarkable True Story of How One Lost Puppy Taught a Family – and a Whole Town – About Hope and Happy Endings by Janet Elder.   I gave Huck our highest rating as a read, Highly Recommended.   This one is so good that David Letterman said, “You’ll feel better about everything after you read this.”

Now, thanks to the publisher (Broadway Books), we have three (3) copies of Huck to give away to our readers.   This trade paperback is 301 pages long – with a new Afterward – and has a retail value of $15.00.   We’re also adding two additional copies of Huck that we picked up, and a hard-to-find pre-publication galley (Advance Review Copy) that we located; the latter version runs 295 pages in length.   So, if Sasha the kitten is right – she’s counting on her paws – we’ll have not 1, 2, 3 or even 5 winners, but six (6) winners in this contest!

To enter this giveaway, tell us why you would like to win a copy of this particular story.   This is open-book, so feel free to read or re-read the review (“The Pick of the Litter”) that I posted on this site on October 30, 2011; and/or any other reviews or information that you can locate on the internet.   Post your response as a comment below including an e-mail address where you can be contacted, or send your reply as an e-mail to: Josephsreviews@gmail.com .   This will count as a first entry.

For a second entry, tell us about the most important or unique animal you’ve encountered in your life.   This can be an animal that you or your family owned, or one that was owned by a neighbor, or even one that you visited in a zoo.   What did you learn from this animal?   Again, you can post your response below or submit it as an e-mail message. In order to be eligible to enter and win this contest, you must live in the continental United States or Canada and be able to supply a residential (street) address if contacted.   Books will not be shipped to a P. O. box or business-related address.   You have until 12:00 p.m./midnight on Tuesday, December 20, 2011 to submit your entry or entries.   However, the winners may be selected and notified before then depending on the quality of the entries received – so don’t delay!  

This is it for the “complex” contest rules.   Let’s hope that you’re one of the readers that will soon be adding a copy of Huck: The Remarkable Story of… One Lost Puppy to your library!

Joseph Arellano

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Coming Up Next…

See how you can win one of several giveaway copies of Huck: The Remarkable True Story of… One Lost Puppy by Janet Elder (Broadway Books).

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Win Help! for Writers

Roy Peter Clark is vice president and senior scholar at The Poynter Institute, a highly prestigious school for journalists.   He has taught writing at every level – from schoolchildren to college students and Pulitzer Prize winners.   A writer who teaches and a teacher who writes, he has authored or edited fifteen books about writing, including Writing Tools and The Glamour of Grammar.  

In Help! for Writers: 210 Soutions to the Problems Every Writer Faces (released today), Clark presents an “owner’s manaul” for writers, outlining the seven steps of the writing process, while addressing the 21 most urgent problems that writers face.   In his engaging and entertaining style, Clark offers ten short solutions to each problem.   Out of ideas?   Read posters, billboards, and even grafitti.   Can’t bear to edit yourself?   Watch the deleted scenes of a film DVD, and ask yourself why these scenes were justifiably left on the cutting-room floor.  

Help! for Writers offers writers, new and old, young and experienced, 210 strategies for success!   Would you like to win a copy?   Thanks to the publisher (Little, Brown and Company), we’re giving 5 (five) copies away.   In order to enter this book giveaway contest, just post a comment below with your name and e-mail address, or send an e-mail message with this information to Josephsreviews@gmail.com .  (E-mail addresses will only be used to contact the winners.)   This will count as a first entry.

For a second entry, tell us exactly why you think this guidebook would be useful to you.   Is it because of the type of writing that you do?   Are you stuck in writing a novel or an article, etc.?   Let us know!  

In one way or another, we’re all writers, so this should be a useful addition to almost anyone’s library.

In order to enter this book contest, you must live in the continental U.S. or in Canada, and be able to provide a residential mailing address if you’re selected as a winner.   Books will not be shipped to a P. O. box or to a business-related address.   You have until 12:00 Midnight PST on Saturday, November 15, 2011 to submit your entry or entries, so don’t delay!

We reserve the right to change the contest rules, or submission deadline, at any point, so it’s best to enter early…   We may choose the winners at random, or simply select five early entrants; you never know.   This is it for the “complex” contest rules.   

Good luck and good reading!  

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The Author’s Perspective

Roy Peter Clark wrote the 2010 bestselling book, The Glamour of Grammar, and on September 21, 2011, his new book will be released.  The new book is entitled Help! for Writers: 210 Solutions to the Problems Every Writer Faces.   Mr. Clark joins us here for a guest post, answering a key question for us.

Joseph Arellano

JA:  Should you write the ending of your story first?  

RPC:  The paragon for this paradigm is J.K. Rowling, who has told the story many times that she began writing the seven-book Harry Potter series by writing the ending first.   Not the ending of the first book, mind you, but the ending of the seventh book!   She even teased her faithful readers with the news that the last word in the series would be “scar.”   She changed her mind.

It helped me to write to an ending for my 1999 newspaper serial novel “Ain’t Done Yet.”   The story, in 30 chapters, described a burned-out reporter hired to investigate a cult planning a terrorist attack for New Year’s Day 2000.   Max Timlin, the reporter, feared two things most of all:  lightning storms and high places.   So, of course, he would fight to the death with the villain on top of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge in a fierce storm.   Because I knew the big arc of the story, I could focus on the little arcs, those moments of surprise that reveal patterns, cliff hangers, and character.

I like the advice of a novelist (don’t remember his name) who said that writing fiction was like driving a car at night along a winding country road.   You don’t need to see all the way to your destination, as long as your headlights can illuminate a stretch of the road ahead.   In other words, if you can write your way to the end of a scene, you can build narrative momentum toward what’s coming next.

Interested in winning a copy of Help! for Writers: 210 Solutions to the Problems Every Writer Faces?   If so, just return to this site on Wednesday, September 21st to see how you can win one of five (5) copies that we’re giving away!

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Win Pinch Me: A Novel

On July 20th, we posted what we called Another Summer Reading List.   One of the 11 books on this list was Pinch Me: A Novel by Adena Halpern, which had just been released the previous day.   Here’s what we said about this unique fantasy novel:  “A young woman whose family has always warned her to stay away from perfectly handsome men receives a proposal of marriage from a man who is sadly ‘perfect’.”

Thanks to Touchstone Books, we have three (3) copies of Pinch Me to give away.   This trade paperback release has a value of $14.95.   Here is the official synopsis:

Pinch Me: A Novel, from the author of 29 (2010) and The Ten Best Days of My Life (2008), is about a woman who has the perfect life – until she discovers it has all been a dream.   Or has it?

“Never marry a man unless he’s short, bald, fat, stupid and treats you badly.”   That is the romantic advice that twenty-nine-year-old Lily Burns has heard her entire life from her grandmother, Dolly, and mother Selena.   Despite this, when she meets Gogo, the handsome, successful pediatrician who treats her like a queen, she has no choice but to let her heart take over.   When she agrees to marry him, Dolly and Selma are inconsolable.   They decide it’s time to tell her the truth: the women in her family are cursed.   If she marries for love, there will be unimaginable consequences.

Thinking she can somehow evade the curse that has plagued their lineage for generations, Lily elopes with Gogo.   Unable to believe her good fortune, she asks Gogo to pinch her to make sure this isn’t a dream.   The moment he does, Lily finds herself transported back to the house she lived in when she was single.   Gogo is gone.   It’s as if they never met.   When Lily tracks him down she finds that he’s married to someone else and has no memory of her.   In this reality, Gogo has none of his boyish charm, and instead of being a doctor, he sells drainpipes for a living.   Lily knows it’s up to her to save Gogo and return them both to the wedded bliss they were meant to have – but the only way to do that is to break the curse.

This sounds like a good one,doesn’t it?  

In order to enter this book giveaway, simply post your name and e-mail address below or send an e-mail with this information to Josephsreviews@gmail.com (e-mail addressses will only be used to contact the winners).   This will count as a first entry.   For a second entry, tell us what advice you received from your parents or family members while growing up…   Did it turn out to be good advice?

In order to be eligible for this particular contest, you must live in the continental United States, and be able to supply a residential mailing address if and when you are contacted.   Books will not be shipped to a P. O. box or to a business-related address.

You have until Midnight on Friday, August 26, 2011 to submit your entry or entries.   Be forewarned that we may decide to pull the winner’s names at random, or simply provide the books to the earliest entrants.   So much for the complex contest rules.   Good luck and good reading!  

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Coming Up Next…

See how you can win one (1) of three (3) copies of Pinch Me: A Novel by Adena Halpern.

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Win The Piano Player

On May 27, 2011 on this site we reviewed The Upright Piano Player: A Novel by David Abbott (“Lonely Days”) and we concluded that it is highly recommended.   Now, thanks to Doubleday, we’re offering you a chance to win one of two (2) copies of Piano Player, which has a value of $22.95.Here is the official synopsis of this book:

Henry Cage seems to have it all: a successful career, money, a beautiful home, and a reputation for being a just and principled man.   But public virtues can conceal private failings, and as Henry faces retirement, his well-ordered life begins to unravel.   His ex-wife is ill, his relationship with his son is strained to point of estrangement, and on the eve of the new millennium he is the victim of a random violent act which soon escalates into prolonged harassment.

As his ex-wife’s illness becomes grave, it is apparent that there is little time to redress the mistakes of the past.   But the man stalking Henry remains at large.   Who is doing this?   And why?   David Abbott brilliantly pulls this thread of tension ever tighter until the surprising and emotionally impactful conclusion.   The Upright Piano Player is a wise and acutely observed novel about the myriad ways in which life tests us – no matter how carefully we have constructed our own little fortresses.

And in a review in The Huffington Post (“Upright Piano Player is gracefully constructed”), Michelle Wiener called this: “(A) quietly devastating debut novel…  It moves slowly and deliberately in delicate prose, gracefully and wholly consuming.”

In order to enter this giveaway, just post a comment below with your name and e-mail address, or send an e-mail message with the heading Piano Player to Josephsreviews@gmail.com .   This will count as a first entry.   For a second entry, tell us when you encountered a test in your life (literal or otherwise) and how you got past it.  

In order to be eligible to enter this contest, you must live in the continental U.S. or in Canada, and be able to supply a residential address if you’re contacted as a winner.   Books will not be shipped to a P. O. box or to a business-related address.   You have until 12:00 Midnight PST on Tuesday, July 19, 2011 to submit your entry or entries.   The winners names will be drawn at random on July 20th, and those contacted by e-mail will have 72 hours within which to supply their residential mailing addresses. 

This is it for the complex contest rules.   Good luck and good reading!

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Win The Stormchasers

On April 13, 2011, we posted a review of The Stormchasers: A Novel by Jenna Blum and concluded that it is Highly recommended.   It is also a 4.5 star-rated book at Amazon, and this rating has been earned after the submission of 55 customer ratings!   So we’re pleased to announce that, thanks to Kathleen, we can offer our readers three (3) copies of the trade paperback version of The Stormchasers, the version that is being released tomorrow.   Each book has a value of $15.00.

As always, we want to keep the rules simple for this book giveaway.   In order to enter this contest, just post a comment below – with your name and e-mail address – telling us why you’d like to win a copy of this particular book.   (In other words, what is it about the story that you find to be intriguing?)   If you prefer, you can send an e-mail message with your name and e-mail address to Josephsreviews@gmail.com .   This is open book, so feel free to refer to our earlier review or any reviews or information about the novel that you may find online.

As you may remember, the protagonist in The Stormchasers is a young woman whose strongest relationship in life is with her twin brother.   For a second entry, tell us who has been the most important person in your life and why?   Post your response below or in an e-mail message to us.

In order to be eligible to win a copy of The Stormchasers, you must live in the continental United States and be able to supply a residential (street) mailing address if and when you are contacted.   Books will not be shipped to P. O. boxes or to business-related addresses.   The three winners will be picked at random and you have until 12:00 Midnight PST on Friday, May 27, 2011 to submit your entry or entries.

So much for the complex contest rules.   Good luck and good reading!

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Win here, home, hope

Kaira Rouda’s book Here, Home, Hope: A Novel will not be released until Sunday, May 1, 2011 (Greenleaf Book Group; $15.00).   But you can enter now to win one of three copies that we’re giving away!   This is a tale that will appeal to readers of popular fiction who feel like they’re ready to transition into something new in their own lives.

Here is the official synopsis of Here, Home, Hope:

Kelly Mills Johnson becomes restless in her thirty-ninth year.   An appetite for more forces her to take stock of her ordinary middle-American existence and her neighbors’ seemingly perfect lives.   Her marriage to a successful attorney has settled into a comfortable routine, and being the mother of two adorable sons has been rewarding but exhausting.   Meanwhile, Kelly’s own passions lie wasted.   She eyes with envy the lives of her two best friends, Kathyrn and Charolotte, both beautiful, successful businesswomen who seem to have it all.   Kelly takes charge of her life, devising a midlife makeover plan.

Kelly’s witty reflections, self-deprecating humor, and clever tactics in executing that plan – she places Post-It notes all over her house and car – will have readers laughing out loud.   The next instant, they might rant along with Kelly as her commitment to a sullen, anorexic teenager left on her doorstep tries her patience or as she deflects the boozy advances of a divorced neighbor.   Readers will need to keep the tissue box handy, as Kelly repairs the damage she inflicted on a high school friend; realizes how deeply her husband, Patrick, understands and loves her; and ultimately grows into a woman empowered by her own blend of home and career.

In order to enter this contest, just post a comment with your name and e-mail address below while answering the question, “Have you ever reached a point of restlessness in your own life?   If so, how did you handle it?”   This will count as a first entry.   For a second giveaway contest entry, tell us the name and location of your very  favorite bookstore in the U.S.  (Maybe Kelly will decide to pay it a visit, you never know.)

If you prefer not to post a comment here, you can send an e-mail or two to Josephsreviews@gmail.com .   In order to enter this giveaway you must live in the U.S., have a residential mailing address (books will not be shipped to P. O. boxes or business related addresses), and submit your entry or entries by Midnight PST on Monday, May 30, 2011 (Memorial Day).   The 3 winners will be drawn at random, notified by e-mail, and given 72 hours within which to provide a proper mailing address.

This is it for the complex contest rules.   As always, good luck and good reading!

Note:  Kelly Rouda will be doing a book signing and reading in Capitola, California on Monday, May 16, 2011, 7:00 p.m. at the Capitola Book Cafe (1475 41st Avenue).   She will be doing a reading and book signing in San Francisco at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 19, 2011 at Book Passage (1 Ferry Building).   For information on these events, call (831) 462-4415 or (415) 835-1020.


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Win the Life You’ve Imagined

No, we don’t have magical powers but, thanks to Avon Books/HarperCollins, we do have two (2) copies to give away of The Life You’ve Imagined: A Novel by Kristine Riggle.   This trade paperback book has a value of $13.99.   Here is an official synopsis:

Are you living the life you imagined?   Is there anything you’d have done differently if you could?   Those are the questions asked in Kristina Riggle’s unforgettable novel.

In high school, Cami and Anna were as close as they could be…  now, years later, both have returned to their hometown to face the people they had once left behind.   Anna must confront her mother, still distraught over the abandonment of her husband, and come to terms with choices she had made years before.   While Cami returns home to stay with her alcoholic father, she uncovers a secret he sought to keep which could change her life and salvage her future.   They reconnect with their classmate, Amy, who can’t understand why achieving the thin body and handsome man of her dreams hasn’t given her the happily-ever-after life she desired.

This is a novel that digs deep and touches the heart of the issues so many women face – the quest for perfection, the hope of love, the value of family and the importance of always striving for your dream.

Here are a couple of comments about this novel:

“(Riggle) explores what happens when real life diverges sharply from childhood dreams.   Her strong and complicated female characters are interesting and likable, and she ably weaves together multiple story lines.”   Booklist

“Rich, messy and real…  Kristina Riggle is going to be my official go-to for novels about the complications of everyday life.”   The Devourer of Books

In order to enter this giveaway, you should answer the key question, “Are you living the life you imagined?”   You can post your response below, or if you prefer send an e-mail with your reply to Josephsreviews@gmail.com .   This will count as a first entry.   For a second entry, post your answer to the question, “What is the one thing in your life that you absolutely would not change?”

In order to be eligible to win a book, you must live in the continental U.S. and have a residential mailing address.   Books will not be shipped to a P. O. Box or to a business-related address.   The two winners will be drawn at random by our highly experienced contest administrator, Munchy the cat.   You have until Midnight PST on Tuesday, May 10, 2011 to enter.

This is it for the highly complex contest rules.   Good luck and good reading!

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