Sunday, January 16, 2011

Grand Prize Winner!


This has been fun!

I really appreciate all of you dropping by my blog and playing in the 5th Blog-a-versary Lollapalooza.

And thank you for all the Facebook love and Tweets.

If you'll notice my BFF section (aka Followers) over on the sidebar, we're only 7 followers away from awarding the 100 FOLLOWERS PRIZE. As soon as we hit 100, I'll do the drawing! I can hear all of you jumping for joy over the possibility of winning that awesome prize!

I can also hear you saying, "Would you just get on with it already?! Who won the Grand Prize??"

Alright, already! Sheesh!!

The winner of the Grand Prize, which includes:

A $25 Gift Card from Amazon!


A Fragrance Warmer and Three Oils from Urban Botanic!


A Twilight Fragrance Spritzer from CustomScentsOnline!



and A Mystery Grab Bag of Assorted Books—from my own personal bookshelves


is
Shanda Cottam!!!

Yay!!! Shanda, send me an e-mail letting me know which color Urban Botanic warmer and which three oils you want, and which CustomScentsOnline Twilight fragrance you want! (Just click the links and pick anything that doesn't say "Sold Out".)

Day 5 Winners!

Prize #1: Dearly Departed &
name a business in Tristi's next novel

Suan Westover


Prize #2: Dean Koontz Collection
Jeri Mellor


Prize #3: Niagara Necklace
Dina Stornello


Prize #4: Spring Note Pads
Lexie Hogan


Prize #5: Office Loot Package
Debbie Cranberryfries



Prizes will be mailed on TUESDAY!
(because Monday is a holiday)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Day 4 Winners!

Prize #1: The Upside of Down by Rebecca Talley
Shari Bird


Prize #2: LDS Author Package
Gayleen Menlove


Prize #3: Rose Earrings
Kandis


Prize #4: Book Lover's Package
Stephanie Abney


Prize #5: Miscellaneous Booty Package
Leanna Morris


Prizes will be mailed at the end of the contest.

Earn a Bonus Entry!


Want to earn an extra entry
for the Awesome Grand Prize?!?


Come to Tristi's Dearly Departed Launch Party TONIGHT!

Find me

(I'll be the one with bells on!)

Introduce yourself AND
mention my blog.


I'll take down your name in my little black book (which might actually be a different color) and you'll get an extra entry for the Grand Prize—which will be awarded tomorrow!

In case you've forgotten just how awesome that Grand Prize is (and, like me, you're too lazy busy to click on the link), let me remind you:

Yep! That's what's up for grabs to one lucky contest participant.

But wait!

Karlene [you're saying] I would love to attend Tristi's Dearly Departed Launch Party TONIGHT! but I: a) live in Bora, Bora and can't get there in time; b) have no means of transportation and no friends who love me enough to drive me to the party; and/or c) am in the hospital dying of an as yet undiagnosed mystery illness.

Okay, whatever.

You can get a bonus entry too by spreading the word about Tristi's Dearly Departed Launch Party TONIGHT! Choose any or all options below:

  • Post about Tristi's Dearly Departed Launch Party TONIGHT! on your blog (Click the link and copy and paste that post verbatim OR create your own post)

  • Use Facebook, Twitter, other social media to spread the word (Either share the links about the launch from my profile or Tristi's, retweet about the launch from me or Tristi or Ida Mae, or create your own announcement about the launch. (You can use this shortened URL: http://bit.ly/dNiPRr)

  • Send e-mails, make phone calls or launch carrier pigeons to all your friends telling them about the launch.

Then come back here and tell me in the comments what you did.

Day 5: Oh the Tingle of Suspense Giveaway!


Today is the last day of my Blog-a-versary celebration and marks exactly 5 years since I started blogging. Wowza! How time does fly.

I have a very special treat for you today. My good friend Tristi Pinkston has just released her sixth novel, Dearly Departed.

And TONIGHT is her official launch party!

Dearly Departed is book #2 in the Secret Sisters series. I loved Secret Sisters (and so did my mom) — and I'm sure I'm going to love this one too.

Ida Mae Babbit has done her community service and is a reformed woman—no more law-breaking for her. But when Arlette's granddaughter Eden discovers a mystery in a fancy nursing home, Ida Maewith the perfect excuse of a broken wrist and a broken anklechecks herself into the place. After all, it is for the greater good.

Soon she's buzzing around in her motorized wheelchair, questioning the residents and swiping files from the office. She's bound and determined to get to the bottom of this case. But can she solve the mystery before she becomes the next victim?


Tristi is an author, an editor, a virtual book tour coordinator, a homeschooler, a Cubmaster, a really good taker of naps, and you can learn even more about her by visiting her blog.

Your prize will include a copy of this new release, Dearly Departed, AND...

Oh. My. Gosh. I wish I could win this...

the opportunity to create a business that will appear in her work in progress, Marigolds and Murder. You will choose what kind of business it is and give it a name.


Prize #2: Dean Koontz Collection
I like mystery and I like paranormal—I'm not a big fan of traditional horror, but I don't mind a little bit of eerie-ness every so often. My daughter, Melanie, however, loves horror. (I don't get it but whatever...) I almost always give my kids a book for Christmas and one year, she wanted horror. So I went to the bookstore and asked if there were any mildly horrific authors. (*snort!* you know what I mean.) The clerk suggested Koontz. So with trepidation, I bought one of his books and read it. It was okay. In fact, it was kind of good. I've been a fan ever since.

This package includes: Dragon Tears, Odd Hours (#4 in the Odd Thomas series) and By The Light of the Moon—all three very slightly used, and all three hardbacks.


Prize #3: Niagara Necklace
I love jewelry—especially bracelets and earrings. And I always think I love necklaces—so I buy them. But then I never wear them because I really only like the way the look and not so much the way they feel around my neck.

I picked up this beauty at Niagara Falls while on a family vacation several long years ago. Flush with adrenaline from the boat ride around the falls and a hike through mist so thick you could barely breathe, I saw this in a gift shop and was captivated! I love the daintiness of it, all the different colors of stone—and I've never worn it after trying it on in the shop. So, I'm sending it off to a hopefully loving home, where it will be cherished, and well taken care of and worn often.


Prize #4: Spring Note Pads
You know how I've said I love pens? Well, you can't fully appreciate a pen unless you have something to write on. Therefore, is it any surprise that I also love notepads? I buy gazillions of these off the Seagull Book Clearance tables or at the dollar section at Target—because they're just so stinkin' cute! But then I forget I have them.

This Spring Notepad Package contains four notepads, two with matching pens. Enjoy!


Prize #5: Office Loot Package
I work from home—and I love it! I also love office supplies. I especially love sticky notes—I use them all the time. I have stickies all over my house reminding me of things I need to do. I used to give my kids sticky notes as gifts because—well, who can have too many sticky notes? Right?

Apparently, not everyone appreciates the sticky notes as much as I do. But I know the winner of this package will love them.

The Office Loot package includes: one large sticky note pad (light yellow), three astrobright sticky note pads, a Rosehaven calculator that we gave as gifts years ago (and they're really, really cool), a 12 pack of mini pens (yes, I bought a bunch of these one time), a red glitter pen (because every office needs some bling and I love these pens), and a 3 pack of pig erasers (because every office needs some whimsy).


Day 5 Tasks
To be entered to win one of these five prizes, as well as the Grand Prize, you must first read the rules and then:
  1. Become a follower of this blog (Inksplasher) if you aren't already.

  2. Spread the word about today's giveaway via Facebook, Twitter, other social media, e-mail or phone call. (Tell me what you did and/or send link(s) if it was online.)

  3. Go visit Tristi's blog become a Follower (if you aren't already) AND leave a comment on one of her posts. (Send link in e-mail.)

  4. While there, make a note of what feathered creature is Tristi, in addition to all the other things she is? (Hint: read her blog header.)

  5. Send me an e-mail with your full name and mailing address, the links and/or answers to the above, and which of the five prizes you'd prefer to win. (You may not get your preference, but I'll accommodate, if possible.)
Remember, your e-mail must be received by midnight tonight. All of today's e-mails are automatically entered for the Grand Prize. Get an extra entry for the Grand Prize by putting my button in your sidebar!

Thanks for playing—and good luck!

P.S. Today's the last day of the Blog-a-versary Lollapalooza. Hope you've had as much fun playing as I've had planning it. I'll announce today's winners and the Grand Prize winner tomorrow!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Day 4: LDS Authors Giveaway!

*I am so, so sorry this didn't post at midnight. I guess I clicked the Save button instead of Publish. Didn't notice until just now. But you still have a full 24 hours to enter. This one contest will remain open until 8:00 A.M. Friday morning.

There are several LDS authors whom I call friends, and Rebecca Talley is one of them. She has a new book out this month!


The Upside of Down

"Hmmm," the doctor muttered.

Natalie wrinkled her forehead, almost afraid to ask, and said, "What does that mean?"


"You do know you're pregnant, right?"

Her breath caught in her throat.

"Excuse me?"


"You're pregnant."


Her heartbeat thundered in her ears. "I'm what?"



Natalie Drake certainly has her hands full raising a large family, dealing with her difficult mother, and maintaining a relationship with her rebellious teenager. Just when things seem to be going smoothly, she finds out another unexpected surprise--she's going to have a baby. Faced with so many challenges, Natalie must learn to trust in a plan that isn't what she imagined and discover that every situation has an upside.

Rebecca Talley once again carefully crafts together a touching and heartfelt story that is sure to inspire you. With true-to-life characters and situations, The Upside of Down will reignite your faith and remind you of the importance of family.


Rebecca Talley lives in rural CO with her husband, 7 of her 10 children, a dog, cats, a spoiled horse, goats, and a miniature donkey named Starla.

Besides writing she loves to date her husband, play with her kids, swim in the ocean, make jewelry, and eat chocolate. She is the author of Grasshopper Pie, Heaven Scent, and Altared Plans.

You can find her at www.rebeccatalley.com and www.rebeccatalleywrites.blogspot.com.






Prize #2: LDS Author Package
I buy a lot—and I mean, A LOT—of books by LDS authors because: 1) they are my friends, 2) I like to support the industry in which I work, 3) LDS fiction is getting better and better overall. I also enter a lot of blog contests. So sometimes I end up with extra copies of books I already own. Here are a few of my doubles—all of them I've read, and all of them I liked.

This package contains: Loyalty's Web by Joyce diPastena—"Torture, blackmail, murder, forbidden love" in the Middle Ages; The Ball's In Her Court by Heather Justesen—a woman's search for her biological family, plus a healthy dose of romance; Previously Engaged by Elodia Strain—a fun, light romance that made me LOL; The Route by Gale Sears—life-changing insights gleaned while delivering 'Meals on Wheels'.



Prize #3: Rose Earrings
These gorgeous earrings were part of a gift with purchase from Chanté's Freckled Flower Shop (which is no longer up). I thought they were bee-yoo-tiful but I never wore them because I rarely wear silver jewelry. So my loss is your gain! One pair of silver rose cut-out earrings!



Prize #4: Book Lover's Package
Reading is one of my favorite things in the world! (duh!) So this package contains items that a book lover needs. Includes: a key chain flashlight (for reading in the car at night; yes, I did that every Saturday night for years, when I took my MIL to mass); one clip-on book light for reading in bed after your spouse has gone to sleep (everyone does this, right?); one of the very last Book Bling metal, beaded bookmarks made by me; a package of string bookmarks (1 pig & 1 cat), a red bling pen (for making lists of books you want to read); and an "I Am Not a Serial Killer" button (because I like that series and it is a great conversation starter).



Prize #5: Miscellaneous Booty Package
This prize is some cool, but totally un-related stuff: 1 liquid measurement equivalent magnet (for when you're too busy reading to do the math); 1 multi-pocket zipper travel baglet (for carrying book-related items on your vacation (like, bookmarks, pens, sticky notes, notepads, etc.); 2 note pad lists (that were purchased at a bookstore once upon a time); and a 12 pack of mini colored pens (yes, I do like those pens).



Day 4 Tasks
To be entered to win one of these five prizes, as well as the Grand Prize, you must first read the rules and then:
  1. Become a follower of this blog (Inksplasher) if you aren't already.

  2. Spread the word about today's giveaway via Facebook, Twitter, other social media, e-mail or phone call. (Tell me what you did and/or send link(s) if it was online.)

  3. Go visit Rebecca's blog and become a Follower (if you aren't already) AND leave a comment on one of her posts OR sign up for her author newsletter (below her image in the sidebar).

  4. Send me an e-mail with your full name and mailing address, the links and/or answers to the above, and which of the five prizes you'd prefer to win. (You may not get your preference, but I'll accommodate, if possible.)
Remember, your e-mail must be received by midnight tonight. All of today's e-mails are automatically entered for the Grand Prize. Get an extra entry for the Grand Prize by putting my button in your sidebar!

Thanks for playing—and good luck!

Day 3 Winners!

Ah, now we're back to normal with plenty of entries for the random generator to choose from!

Day 3 winners are:

Book by Alison Palmer
Angie Lofthouse

Janette Rallison Package
Lexie Hogan

Summer In Paris Package
Alison Ng

Hannah Montana Package
Taffy Lovell

Teen Bling Package

Anna Sindt


Prizes will be mailed at the end of the contest.

Day 2 Winners!

Yesterday was Grandma Day and every time I sat down to select and post the winners for Tuesday, one of my three darling grandsons would need something!

I also need to say that something happened on Day 2 that has NEVER HAPPENED TO ME BEFORE! I had more prizes than entries!


Custom Jewelry by Sandra
Suan Westover

Rosehaven Package A
Alison Ng

Rosehaven Package B
Alison Ng

Pen-a-Palooza Package
Tristi Pinkston

Scrapbooking Package
Tristi Pinkston


Prizes will be mailed at the end of the contest!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Breaking News!

We interrupt this Blog-a-versary for a very special announcement. My dear friend, Tristi Pinkston, is having a book launch this Friday!



You are invited to the release
of Tristi Pinkston’s new novel

Dearly Departed

on Friday, January 14th,

at Pioneer Book
858 S. State, Orem

6 – 8 pm

Refreshments, prizes, and fun!



Bring a package of socks to be donated
to the homeless, and you'll be entered in an
additional drawing.


Hope to see you there!
(I'll be the one with bells on!)

We now return you to your regularly scheduled Blog-a-versary...where I will be giving away a copy of the above book on Friday!!!

Day 3: Teen Fling Giveaway!


Today's featured giveaway comes to you via one of my new BFFs, Alison Palmer. Although we've been Facebook friends for awhile and sometimes visit each other's blogs, I've just recently gotten to know her better because she's playing the Game On! challenge with me (I'm on the Gut Busters team and she's on the Turtle team).

Alison is also a writer. I lurve writers! They are my favorite people. She says about herself, "I’m a writer with many hats, writing fiction, nonfiction, technical, medical, copy and anything else you can think of. I’m also a homeschooling mom addicted to chocolate and long naps."

Alison blogs at Tangled Words and Dreams.


Today's #1 Prize is your choice of either one of Alison's books.


The Price of Gold (YA Paranormal Romance)

Met's life is filled with traditions and secrets. It’s not easy being a shape-shifter with the golden blood of the Egyptian gods running through his veins. Cassie has her own secrets. She’s just trying to protect herself and that means there are some things you don’t tell anyone. There is no room for romance when your life is consumed by secrecy, but sometimes love has a different idea of what two people need.

As we've already established, I love Young Adult and I love paranormal. If I won, this would be the book I'd choose.

If you don't win, you can get this book from Amazon—as a paperback or for the Kindle.


The Prodigal Son (LDS General Fiction)

When Sarah opens the door, the last thing she expects to find is a lost piece of her life. Fifteen years ago her hopes and dreams were shattered and she thought nothing could be worse. Now, her missing child has been found and her life is about to change again. How can she learn to love a son her heart has longed for when he seems to be completely unlovable?

The Prodigal Son introduces a modern version of the biblical parable. This engaging story represents an emotional exploration into the strength of love, the power of forgiveness, and the universal nature of the atonement. It's a story about the quest to love, forgive, break down walls, and build again, in order to save a child who doesn’t want to be saved. Its message will touch the hearts of anyone who has faced the heartbreak of a struggling and rebellious teenager.


Also available in paperback and Kindle format at Amazon.


Prize #2: Janette Rallison Package
Janette Rallison is a clean and funny writer of teen books—especially for girls. I own all of her books—and I somehow ended up with multiple copies of these three. Goody for you!

This prize package includes: Just One Wish (hardback), the story of a girl whose brother has cancer and her crazy escapades to grant his only wish; How to Take the Ex Out of Ex-Boyfriend (hardback), about a girl who decides maybe her ex isn't so bad; and It's a Mall World After All (paperback), think Clueless but without the drug jokes.


Prize #3: Summer In Paris Package
Summer In Paris by Michele Ashman Bell is a YA romance about a girl whose wealthy parents are suddenly broke and decide to ship her off to Paris...Paris, Idaho. She hates it at first, but is then drawn into the community and a mystery involving, of course, a very cute boy!

I won a giant prize package from Michele at one of her book signings (thanks, Michele). I kept a few of the items, but decided to pass the others along.

And because it's hard to see, here's a close-up of the necklace:
The Summer In Paris prize package includes the book, Summer in Paris (paperback), a Paris tote bag, and a gold-plated necklace that says "Paris" wrapped around a replica of the Eiffel Tower.


Prize #4: Hannah Montana Package
Okay, so Hannah Montana is not one of my favorite people, but my niece, Ryane, loves her. So this prize package is inspired by her. It includes a Hannah Montana bound notebook, a 2-pack of Hannah Montana sticky notes, and a 4 pack of Hannah Montana pens with ropes, so you can hang them around your neck. Because you never want to lose these pens!


Prize #5: Teen Bling Package
This package is made up of items that a teen (or tween) girl would love: A pink and black lace look change purse (from above mentioned gift package from Michele), a Skull Candy Ink'd Ear Phones, a pink glitter ink pen (think Bedazzled, but cooler), and a travel pack of playing cards in a plastic case.


Day 3 Tasks
To be entered to win one of these five prizes, as well as the Grand Prize, you must first read the rules and then:
  1. Become a follower of this blog (Inksplasher), if you aren't already.

  2. Spread the word about today's giveaway via Facebook, Twitter, other social media, e-mail or phone call. (Tell me what you did and/or send link(s) if it was online.)

  3. Go visit Tangled Words and Dreams and become a Follower of Alison's blog (if you aren't already) AND leave a comment on one of her posts. (Send link in e-mail.)

  4. Join Goodreads, if you're not already a member and friend Alison. (Friend me too, if you want—not required.) Then list Alison's two books on your "to read" list.

  5. Send me an e-mail with your full name and mailing address, the links and/or answers to the above, and which of the five prizes you'd prefer to win. (You may not get your preference, but I'll accommodate, if possible.)
Remember, your e-mail must be received by midnight tonight. All of today's e-mails are automatically entered for the Grand Prize. Get an extra entry for the Grand Prize by putting my button in your sidebar!

Thanks for playing—and good luck!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Day 1 Winners!

And the winners of the Day 1 prizes are...


Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
Gail Zuniga!

Fantasy Book Package
Lynn Parsons!

Burgunday Bracelet
Sheila Staley!

Mary Englebreit Package
Tristi Pinkston!

Twilight Collection
Taffy Lovell!


Congratulations! Those prizes will be on their way to you ASAP!

Keep playing—there's lots more to win!

Day 2: Creativity Abounds Giveaway!

Today's awesome spotlight prize comes from Sandra who blogs at The Dance. Sandra makes the most cute and clever jewelry that she sells from her etsy shop, Bangles, Beads N' Baubles. She's given me several bracelets over the years, including these four.

The black one is red on the inside—that's my Twilight bangle. Notice the pig one on the right? Yep, that was made just for me. And no, I do not usually wear them all at the same time.

And just this past Christmas, she gave me these earrings. How awesome is that!

Sandra started Bangles, Beads N' Baubles in 2009 as a creative outlet—and that's our theme for today. Creativity! Sandra's ideas and inspiration were so numerous that she could never wear everything she made. When other people began asking her to create custom pieces, she decided to open a shop and share her love of jewelry with everyone.

Sandra told me to pick my favorite item from her etsy shop to use as an image for this post—but I couldn't. There are at least a dozen bracelets and earrings that I love! So here are four to tease you. Click the image to see more—and make a note of THREE items that you really, really like.


Today's #1 Prize: Your choice of 1 piece of custom jewelry from Bangles, Beads N' Baubles or a piece made especially for you!


Prize #2: Rosehaven Package A
Rosehaven was my publishing company, once upon a time. Opened in 2000 and did really well until the end of 2006, when it closed its doors. Publishing is all about creativity—writing, typesetting, design, marketing. I loved it. (And, no, I'm not making an official announcement, but I'm working towards restructuring and relaunching sometime this year.)

This prize package includes two books that were published under the Rosehaven imprint: Sorry, The Stork Takes No Returns by Claire Bowen is a hilarious collection of short essays on being part of a family; Powerful Tips for Powerful Teachers by C.S. Bezas is a wonderful book filled with insights on working with LDS teens. It sold fairly well and can still be found in some LDS bookstores. The third book is one we distributed—Journal 10+. It's a 10 year journal especially for non-writers. Featuring only five lines per day, it goes from 2007 to 2017—and yes, that's actually 11 years, ergo the "+" part of the title. And yes, four years have already passed, but it's a really cool journal and you can always go back and fill in those missing year.


Prize #3: Rosehaven Package B
Rosehaven was also the distributor for these two books. They make great resources for college-bound kids or missionaries—or people who are setting up their own homes for the first time, regardless of their age. They contain all sorts of facts, info and how-to instructions for laundry, cooking, car care, basic home repair and other things that Mom & Dad have always done for you.


Prize #4: Pen-a-Palooza Package
I love pens. They help me to be creative. I sincerely believe that somewhere there exists the One True and Living Pen. But until I find it, I have fun with all sorts of other pens. I can't hardly go into an office supply store without getting one, and my sister is always sending me pens. In fact, I have so many that sometimes they dry out before I use them up. I have pens with pigs on them, pens that light up and make noise, pens with fuzzy hair, pens for every holiday, colored pens, sparkly pens, gel pens,...okay, you get the idea. So I'm sharing some of my pens with you.

If you win the Pen-a-Palooza package, you will receive: a 12 pack of Smartz Mini Pens in a variety of fun colors, 4 Curvy pens (the ones on the top right) with cushiony grips, a totally awesome blue Polka Dot Pen, a seriously professional Dr. Grip pen, and a 10 pack of Push Pencils—because I like pencils too!


Prize #5: Scrapbooking Package
Scrapbooking has been a huge creative outlet for me since my children were babies. I made fancy decorated photo albums with stickers and illustrations and silly comments way back before scrapbooking was cool. Lately I'm moving away from paper to digital scrapping. It's a lot easier and doesn't take up as much storage space in my house.

This prize package contains: Chicken Soup for the Scrapbooker's Soul (paperback), Mary Englebreit Brag Book for photos, a package of small journaling tags, a heart stamp, and two Creative Memories® Sticker packs—Sun & Fun and School Times.


Day 2 Tasks
To be entered to win one of these five prizes, as well as the Grand Prize, you must first read the rules and then:
  1. Become a follower of this blog (Inksplasher), if you aren't already.

  2. Spread the word about today's giveaway via Facebook, Twitter, other social media, e-mail or phone call. (Tell me what you did and/or send link(s) if it was online.)

  3. Go visit The Dance and become a Follower of Sandra's blog (if you aren't already) AND leave a comment on one of her posts. (Send link in e-mail.)

  4. Visit Bangles, Beads N' Baubles and pick three items that you really like, note their names. Then come back here and tell us what your three favs were in the comments of THIS POST.

  5. Send me an e-mail with your full name and mailing address, the links and/or answers to the above, and which of the five prizes you'd prefer to win. (You may not get your preference, but I'll accommodate, if possible.)
Remember, your e-mail must be received by midnight tonight. All of today's e-mails are automatically entered for the Grand Prize. Get an extra entry for the Grand Prize by putting my button in your sidebar!

Thanks for playing—and good luck!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Day 1: 2010 Best Book Giveaway!

It's Day #1 of my Five Year Blog-a-versary Lollapalooza—uh-huh, uh-huh—where there will be LOTS of prizes and fun and talk about some of my favorite things!

Okay. Enough of the happy dancing. We're kicking off this party with a fabulous prize donated by Suan at Life Is Good. (And if her blog still has its Christmas decorations up, that's my fault. I'm her unofficial webmaster and I've been slacking.)

For those of you who are not aware, Suan is my sister. And she's the one who talks me into a lot of the crazy things I do—like blogging Road Trips and Twilight parties. She calls herself a bag lady—because instead of wearing many hats, she carries many, many bags. She's also a purse addict. I haven't bought a purse in 30 years because I just wait for her to clean out her purse closet and use her awesome hand-me-downs!

Suan has decided to give away MY favorite book of 2010: Paranormalcy by Kiersten White. (See my other top picks HERE.)

Teaser: Evie’s always thought of herself as a normal teenager, even though she works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she’s falling for a shape-shifter, and she’s the only person who can see through paranormals’ glamours. But Evie’s about to realize that she may very well be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures.

I absolutely love well-written, clean young adult fantasy with a sense of humor—and this book fits the bill! So you'll definitely want to enter to win.


Prize #2: Fantasy Book Package
Three fantasy books:
The Sapphire Flute by Karen E. Hoover (ARC)
Fablehaven by Brandon Mull (paperback; the first book in the series)
Slathbog's Gold by M.L. Forman (hardback)



Prize #3: Burgundy Bracelet
I love bracelets. They're my favorite type of jewelry. The photo doesn't do this one justice—it has dark red/burgundy colored beads and is 8 1/2 inches long (including clasp).


Prize #4: Mary Englebreit Stationery Package
I love Mary Englebreit. I try to get her calendars every year and have several of her prints up in my office and scattered around the house. Suan loves her too—she has one whole bathroom entirely decorated a la Englebreit! And she used to do a Mary Englebreit Christmas tree until she became enamored of the Grinch.

This package includes: two Mary Englebreit magnetic list pads (the kind you can stick on the fridge and use for grocery/honey-do lists; a 2-pack of Mary Englebreit stick notes; a package of 10 Mary Englebreit note cards with envelopes; and a package of four colored gel ink pens—because you simply can not use a regular pen for Mary Englebreit stationary! It's against the laws of nature.


Prize #5: Twilight Package
In honor of the fact that Suan was the nag impetus behind last year's Chasing Twilight contest, the midnight party/sleepover for the release of Breaking Dawn, the Twilight Trivia site, Twilight Bracelets (no longer in business) and CustomScentsOnline.com Twilight-inspired fragrances, as well as any and all other Twilight related shenanigans I've done in the past—I had to do a Twilight prize package on her day.

This package includes: your choice of Twilight fragrance from CustomScentsOnline.com (not pictured), a Lion & Lamb Key/Bag Clip, Fire & Ice Sweethearts (1 each), Eclipse gum, New Moon/Forks buttons, Twilight ink pen, and two Twilight Bingo Games created by moî.

Day 1 Tasks
To be entered to win one of these five prizes, as well as the Grand Prize, you must first read the rules and then:
  1. Become a follower of this blog (Inksplasher) if you aren't already.

  2. Spread the word about today's giveaway via Facebook, Twitter, other social media, e-mail or phone call. You can use this URL: http://bit.ly/gBasQK (Tell me what you did and/or send link(s) if it was online.)

  3. Go visit Life Is Good become a Follower of her blog (if you aren't already) AND leave a comment on one of her posts. (Send link in e-mail.)

  4. Send me an e-mail with your full name and mailing address, the links and/or answers to the above, and which of the five prizes you'd prefer to win. (You may not get your preference, but I'll accommodate, if possible.) [UPDATE: Fixed the e-mail link. It works now.]
Remember, your e-mail must be received by midnight tonight. All of today's e-mails are automatically entered for the Grand Prize. Get an extra entry for the Grand Prize by putting my button in your sidebar!

Thanks for playing—and good luck!

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Welcome to Happy Blog-A-Versary to Me!


Okay, uhm. It officially starts on Monday, but I wanted to get a head start and let you know some of the things you can look forward to.

(And even though this is a looong post, be sure to read all the way down to the bottom for a jump start on entries!)

First, a description—

What: Five riotous days of bloggy giftery! Monday, January 10th through Friday, January 14th. On each of those five days, you will have a chance to win five fabulous prizes, loosely-related to one of my 'favorite things' theme.

Why: To celebrate my 5th blog-a-versary! January 14th will mark my fifth year of blogging. An event that mind-boggling needs a party!

How: The how has some details, so I shall itemize...
  • Each morning at 12:01 a.m. (MST), a new post will magically appear here on the blog. You will see photos of the prizes and detailed descriptions of their goody-goodness.

  • One of those prizes will receive a SPOTLIGHT because it will have been donated by one of my BFFs. You will be asked to perform a few simple tasks in connection with that BFF in order to be entered to win the prizes.

  • Don't worry. They will be easy tasks. No sweating involved.

  • You will have 11 hours and 59 minutes to complete the tasks for that day's prizes.

  • After you've completed those tasks, send me an e-mail by midnight that night.

    —You MUST send the e-mail. Commenting will not enter you into the contest. (But please comment anyway, because I love me some comments!)

    —Every e-mail must have your complete mailing address in it.

    —Don't worry, I'll remind you each day.

  • Winners will be chosen using Random.com.

  • It is possible to win a prize every day.

  • Entering for the daily prize automatically enters you for the Grand Prize!

The Bad News: Unfortunately, the contest must be limited to residents or those with shipping addresses within the United States. Sorry, but shipping is just too costly to other countries.

Prizes: There will be some great ones—books and jewelry and more books and other stuff and did I say books?

The Grand Prize will be:

A $25 Gift Card from Amazon!


A Fragrance Warmer and Three Oils from Urban Botanic!
(Your choice of color and oils)
(P.S. UB will be closing the end of this month)

(P.P.S. This prize is separate from THIS CONTEST,
which will hopefully be concluded soon too—
as I expect to hit the 100 mark this week!)


Twilight Fragrance Spritzer from CustomScentsOnline!
(Your choice of fragrance)
(P.S. CSO will also be closing the end of this month)


A Mystery Grab Bag of Assorted Books—from my own personal bookshelves!


And now for the promised Jump Start! Your pre-blog-a-versary task is...

Help me spread the news by doing any one or more of the following:
  • Put my CONTEST BUTTON in your blog sidebar.

  • Talk about this contest on Facebook. (Use this link: http://bit.ly/fyh8d7)

  • Twitter about this contest. (Use this link: http://bit.ly/fyh8d7)
AND

If you're not already a Follower, sign up to Follow this blog. (Far right sidebar, halfway down.) If you are a Follower, let me know in your e-mail.

AND

Send me an e-mail by midnight tonight with your full mailing address and links to whatever you did (blog, facebook, twitter). [Update: Fixed e-mail.]

That e-mail will enter you into the Grand Prize drawing! Good luck!

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

5th Blogaversary Lollapalooza Coming Soon!


Hi, friends. Yes, it's time for another lollapalooza here on Inksplasher—complete with a new blog design and regular new content and events.

It's the 5th anniversary of my blog—and I'm looking for prize donations!

Even though I've been a little sparse on the blog lately (and I'm in repentance mode), my "events" always get good hits. In addition to the blog, my posts show up on my Facebook page and I tweet about them. Good exposure for you and your prize/product.

My FIFTH Blogaversary is on January 14th. The giveaways will last for FIVE days—Monday, Jan 10th through Friday, Jan 14th. There will be FIVE prizes given away each day, for a total of 25 prizes. (And yes, contributors are eligible to win prizes.)

PLUS a Grand Prize!

Contributors will be included in the giveaways on a first respond/first on the schedule. When all 25 spots are taken, it's done—so e-mail me ASAP and I'll send the details!


Help me get the word out by grabbing a button for your sidebar. Then make sure you tell me you've added a button and send me the link to your blog. The button gives you an Extra Entry for the Grand Prize!


220 px button (for standard sidebar)


FIVE prizes a day!
Jan 10–14th




125 px button (for smaller sidebar)


FIVE prizes a day!
Jan 10–14th





To Install the Buttons on Blogger

If you have one sidebar, use the bigger button (220 px). If you have two sidebars, use the smaller button (125 px).

  1. Put your cursor in the box below the button and copy all of the code. The easiest way to do this is to place your cursor in the box, then press control + a. This highlights all the text in the box. The press control + c to copy it.

  2. Go to your blog's dashboard and click Design. This should take you to Add and Arrange Page Elements.

  3. Click on Add Gadget.

  4. Scroll down the list and find the one that says HTML/JavaScript. Click on it.

  5. Paste the code into the large Content box. You can type in a Title if you want. Click the orange Save button. If you get a message that says there are illegal characters, it means you didn't get all the code. Go back to Step 1 and recopy the code.

  6. The button will display at the top of your sidebar. While on the Page Elements page, you can drag the new gadget box to another position on your sidebar, if you want. Then click the orange Save button.
That should do it. Let me know if you have any problems.

Monday, January 03, 2011

My Top Ten 2010 Reads

I read 116 books this year — almost all of them fiction. I know I read several non-fiction books, I can think of over a dozen right off the top of my head, but I forget to add them to my reading list. Must be a mental block of some sort.

Whatever.

Anyway, inspired by the gals over at LDS Women's Book Review, I decided to do a Top 10 list of fiction books that I read in 2010 (in descending order):


10. One Door Away from Heaven by Dean Koontz

Sometimes I like Dean Koontz, sometimes I don't. This time, I definitely liked him. Part murder mystery, part suspense, part coming to terms with your life, part alien invasion—all mixed together with Koontz's wonderful story telling style.

I loved the way the various story lines, which started out all over the place, gradually wove themselves together. I loved the characters—unique, enchanting, captivating.

A little scary, some really bad guys, but not enough to keep me awake at night.

Loved it.





9. Pigs in Heaven by Barbara Kingsolver

This is a story of adoption—and all the ways it pulls on the heartstrings of everyone involved. I think it's a sequel to The Bean Trees, which I haven't read yet, but it can totally stand on its own (as evidenced by the fact that I didn't know it was a sequel until I saw it mentioned on Amazon just now.)

Taylor Greer is handed a Cherokee daughter whom she names Turtle. Taylor changes her entire life to raise Turtle and things are going great, until a Cherokee tribal lawyer shows up.

The story winds it way through various lives until coming to an ending that determines Turtle's future. I loved the depth of characterization and the intricate story. It may have ended a little to sweetly to be practical, but I loved it.




8. The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams

This is the story of a 13 year old girl who has been born and raised in a polygamist compound. It is the only life she's ever known and she loves her family. But when the Prophet decides she's to marry her uncle, she can't accept it.

This was a difficult book to read—due to some of the punishments meted out to those who don't obey the Prophet—but it's eloquently written and Kyra's character is absolutely captivating.

Some reviews have implied that the harshness of Kyra's reality has been embellished for effect, but I've talked to people who have experienced and/or witnessed events exactly as described in this book.

Highly recommended.




7. Gravity vs the Girl by Riley Noehren

Rarely does a debut, self-published novel even make it to my "for consideration" reading list—but this one did. It was wonderful! And apparently I'm not the only one who thinks so. This book won a Whitney Award last year.

Samantha Green has spent a year in her pajamas, battling her ghosts—former versions of herself. Her mental breakdown and road to recovery are very well written. I loved the quirky characters that are part of her life—both real and imaginary.

I felt strengthened and emboldened as Samantha fills the needs of her ghosts and puts them to rest. I found myself unable to put it down, eagerly wanting to see how she solved her next challenge.

A+.



6. The Forbidden Sea by Sheila A. Nielson

I am compelled to say up front that Sheila is in my writers group. I've known her for years, love her, and have watched this story unfold.

But.

I don't play favorites (as other members of my group and dear friends will tell you). Our relationship may have gotten me to read the book, but it EARNED its place on my Top 10 list.

Although this YA fantasy is filled with magic and mermaids, Adrianne (age 14) is a very practical girl and this is her story of coming to terms with her life, her family, the bratty girls from town—and falling in love. A great story!

And an awesome cover!!




5. The Dark Divine by Bree Despain

I love paranormal—it's my favorite genre. But lately, it seems they're in a contest to be gross and foul, with too much bad language and inappropriate behaviors. Way past my comfort zone.

But this one had a wonderful story, a unique twist on the werewolf tale, a mysterious past, family issues, an undeniable love attraction, great characters, plenty of action and suspense—but it's absolutely clean! I could comfortably recommend it to my mother, if she liked this kind of book. (Which she doesn't.)

If YOU like YA Paranormal, you'll want to read this book. Book two in the series just came out and I can't wait to read it!




4. The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins

Yes, these books were getting so much hype that I had to read them. If you haven't heard of them and don't know the basic plot line idea, you've been living under a rock for the past year.

Seriously. Crawl out into the light and read these books.

Yes, they are dark, harsh, and heart-breaking. But they are also an intense look into character, loyalty, courage, and kindness. They are also well-written, fascinating, intriguing, and make you think.

I would not recommend them to younger teens or sensitive readers, but they are very good books. I think they will become true modern classics, perhaps even required reading in some classes in the future. (Think Lord of the Flies, required reading when I was in high school, but not so gross and the good guys win in this series.)



3. Devil's Food Cake/Key Lime Pie by Josi S. Kilpack

Books 3 and 4 in the Sadie Hoffmiller culinary mystery series. This series is the epitome of a cozy—and my all-time favorite culinary mystery series.

Sadie is a naturally curious and kind-hearted woman. So when she stumbles across a mystery, it's just her nature to help figure it out!

If you haven't read any of this series, start with Lemon Tart. You'll love it! Promise.



2. Mr. Monster by Dan Wells

Book 2 in the John Cleaver series.

This is another difficult book. Like Hunger Games, it is dark and disturbing at times. But.

And this is a BIG but.

It is such a great examination of character; of fighting the darkness and the evil within us, as well as the evil that often surrounds us; of making choices to be better and do better, even when part of us wants to do the wrong thing. I think it, too, should be required reading for teens.

I admit, I did not like this one quite as well as the first book, I Am Not a Serial Killer, but it only pales by comparison. Obviously, I like it a lot—it's #2 on my Top 10 list. Read it.

Oh, and if you click the link, it will take you to the US version of the book, which has a different cover. But I posted this cover, because it's the one I have, the one I read, and I like it better. (This is the UK version.)



1. Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

I did mention earlier that Paranormal, particularly YA Paranormal, is my favorite genre, right? So it should be no surprise that Paranormalcy gets my #1 spot for 2010.

This books has everything that I love in it: vampires, werewolves, elves, mermaids, other weird things that no one knows what they are.

It's also got an awesome main character, Evie, age 16, who is fun and funny, lively, spirited, strong, good-hearted—and yet, still a teenager who does stupid things. There is mystery, suspense, an attempted coup, and lots of other things that keep the story moving at just the right pace.

And the only swearing is the word "bleep"—an inside joke that works perfectly! I cannot wait until the next book in the series is out!


Here are some honorable mentions, that definitely would have made the list, if I hadn't limited it to 10 (in alphabetical order):
  • Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare (steampunk, fantasy; took awhile to get into it, but by the end, I was enamored.)

  • Courting Miss Lancaster by Sarah M. Eden (token romance, but it almost made the Top 10; very, very good!)

  • Dead Pan by Gayle Trent (culinary mystery; 2nd book in series; fun and light, cozy mystery. Hoping this woman can write fast.)

  • Fablehaven 5: Keys to the Demon Prison by Brandon Mull (Middle Grade fantasy; wonderful!)

  • The Fourth Nephite by Jeffrey S. Savage (YA fantasy, LDS based. Very good.)

  • Invisible by Lorena McCourtney (Book 1 in the Ivy Malone cozy mystery series. Older MC. Very good.)

  • The Last Waltz by G.G. Vandagriff (LDS historical romance; very good.)

  • The Limit by Kristen Landon (Middle Grade dystopian fantasy; Kristen is also in my writers group and her book would have made my list if I'd expanded it to 11.)

  • Secret Sisters by Tristi Pinkston (Book 1 in cozy mystery series; LDS. Very funny.)

  • Servant of a Dark God by John Brown (Book 1, epic fantasy. Very good.)

So there you go. To see the complete list of their competition, click here.

What books made your Top Ten 2010 list?