The Kickoff of the One Million Bookprints For One Million Books Campaign From Scholastic

So, today I was watching The View and Whoopi Goldberg mentioned the One Million Bookprints For One Million Books Campaign hosted by Scholastic. Then I received an email from Scholastic telling me about it as well.

The One Million Bookprints For One Million Books Campaign is an initiative to donate one million books to kids in need through the literacy nonprofit Reach Out and Read. By joining Scholastic’s online book community, you can make a Bookprint – a list of 5 books that have shaped your life. And for every Bookprint, Scholastic Book Clubs will donate a book. It is that easy to make a difference this holiday season! People who create a bookprint can also enter a giveaway to win the same books given to the audience at The View (The Invention of Hugo Cabret, The Hunger Games, The 39 Clues: Maze of Bones, Captain Underpants, and Clifford the Champion.)

I just had to sign up for myself. Here are my five books for my personal bookprint:

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens – To my mind, the quintessential Christmas book. Everyone knows the plot, but even though I have read it almost every year since I was about eight, it always gives me a good feeling to read it around December. I have had a copy that I bought through my own Scholastic Book Club when I was in third grade. The book itself is yellowed slightly but still in relatively good condition. 🙂

The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien – Alright, so I haven’t read the Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J. R. R. Tolkien but I do have all three books hidden away somewhere and I have to dig them out and read them sometime. I have bought a new copy of The Hobbit through a Library Book Sale recently, but originally read  this in seventh grade as part of my summer reading list. At my school, on the last day of English class we were all given a three page list and told to pick three books to read over the summer. On the first day of the next grade, we were given our ultimate assignment: write up a book report on the books we’d chosen and why we’d chosen them.

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier – This book I read in the ninth grade again as part of my summer reading list. I have to say that that was the year that I procrastinated on my book choices. I had started out reading the book and wasn’t so sure that I wanted to finish it. It was somewhat “chunky” and because I hadn’t ever read Daphne du Maurier before I was unsure if I would enjoy it. I ended up loving it because it had a “ghost”. 🙂

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas – I seem to have chosen four out of five books that I read as a child, but I wouldn’t call them young adult at all. This book I read in the tenth grade, I think. I would read this aloud in my bedroom and my mother would hear me start to laugh and come in to check on me. 🙂 I would just explain to her that it was a scene in The Three Musketeers. I loved the action and adventure of this book and my favorite character was the young and brash D’Artagnan.

Tender Warrior by Linda Lang Bartell – Okay, I generally read just about anything but I never truly enjoyed historical romances that much until I read Tender Warrior by Linda Lang Bartell. Yes, it probably would be considered a cheesy romance by today’s standards – it was written in 1992 – but I was literally enthralled by the fact that the author actually had the characters speaking some French and chuckled to myself as I successfully translated what the Norman knights said to one another in my mind.

It also really sparked my interest that the lead heroine in the book was a Saxon noblewoman named Merlyn trained in the healing arts (of course) but that the Normans were generally suspicious of her and kept whispering about her being a witch (purely based on her name Merlyn, I’m sure) It took place at the time of William the Conquerer and I thought it was loads of fun to read! 🙂 I was about 18 or so at the time and this was the first adult historical romance that I read.

May you read well and often


Introducing Five Books Just Released Today

Meet Karen Charlton

Karen was born in Sheffield but grew up in Leeds. She obtained an English degree from Hull University. After a few years roaming between various jobs in Harrogate, Ripon and Scarborough she finally settled in Teesside, where she was invited to stay and improve the gene pool. It needed improving. ‘Catching the Eagle‘ is the true tale of her hubby’s notorious criminal ancestor.
Synopsis from Goodreads: Easter Monday, 1809: Kirkley Hall manor house is mysteriously burgled. When suspicion falls on Jamie Charlton, he and his family face a desperate battle to save him from the gallows.

When £1,157 rent money is stolen from Kirkley Hall, it is the biggest robbery Northumberland has ever known. The owner sends for Stephen Lavender, a principal officer with the Bow Street magistrate’s court in London, to investigate the crime. Suspicion soon falls on impoverished farm labourer, Jamie Charlton, and the unpopular steward, Michael Aynsley.

Jamie Charlton is a loving family man but he is hot-tempered and careless. As the case grows against him, it seems that only his young brother, William, can save him from an impending miscarriage of justice.

But William is struggling with demons of his own. Desperate to break free from the tangled web of family ties which bind him to their small community, he is alarmed to find that he is falling in love with Jamie’s wife. 

Set beneath the impenetrable gaze of a stray golden eagle whose fate seems to mirror that of Jamie’s, Catching the Eagle, the first novel in the Regency Reivers Series, is a fictionalised account of a trial that devastated a family and divided a community.

Meet Michael Burr
Born in Aberdeen, Scotland, Michael Burr moved to New Zealand when he was eighteen years old where he fully indulged his passion for playing rugby. He went on to train as a primary school teacher. Since 1981, he has specialized in teaching history with brief forays into educational administration, teacher training and school review.

Synopsis from Goodreads: In the dead of night, a band of Vikings ravage a lonely convent on the Brittany coast –and their fearsome leader makes a decision that will eventually lead to his downfall. 

Ranulf de Lannion is fifteen years old. Crippled, deformed and abandoned by his family to the charity of the convent, he is seized by the Vikings during a midnight raid. Contemptuously nicknamed ‘The Scraeling” by his captors, his future appears grim. 

Harald Sigurdsson, or ‘Hardrada’ as he will come to be known, is the leader of the Viking band. A violent mercenary with designs on the throne of Norway, Hardrada abducts The Scraeling on a whim. 

Ranulf grows into an invaluable asset, smoothing Hardrada’s path over their thirty-five years together from mercenary to commander of the Varangian Guard, all the way to king of Norway. 

But all is not as it seems in the heart of Ranulf de Lannion. Having sworn secret revenge upon Hardrada for the murders at the convent, he vows to end the day of the Viking forever. When the king of Norway launches an attack against the Anglo-Saxon throne of England in 1066, what role will The Scraeling play in bringing the age of the Viking to an end?

Meet James Conroy

James Conroy is a former business executive currently self-employed in logistics consulting. He also writes full-time and tutors in English literature, basic composition and creative writing. His poetry and short fiction have appeared in over one hundred internationally respected literary journals.
A collection of his poems was published in 1997 and two novels in 2001 and 2007 respectively. After living in New York and Chicago, Conroy currently resides with his wife in Newport, Rhode Island.
He is a frequent contributor to local publications and an active community volunteer.

Synopsis from Goodreads: In the midst of the Great Depression, one man must do battle against corruption with nothing but his wits and a host of great literary figures… Amos Jansen is merely a clerk. He is not a crime fighter, the next great writer, or a man of privilege. He is the humble employee of a Chicago literary society. That is, until he is arrested for murder. The scapegoat of a perfidious lieutenant, Jansen stands wrongly accused while his idols rally around him. Literary personalities the likes of Ernest Hemingway, Carl Sandburg, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Nelson Algren, and H.L. Mencken, as well as civil liberties war-horse Clarence Darrow, join Amos in his search for the real murderer of both the society’s vice-chairman and his own father. Will the pen prove mightier than the pistol? Will mercenary police, politicians and money-barons meet with justice? Or will Jansen fail to solve the mystery and wind up literally dead?

Meet Evan Ostryzniuk
Evan Ostryzniuk was born and raised in western Canada, where he attended the University of Saskatchewan. After graduating with a B.A. in History and Modern Languages and an M.A. in Modern History, Evan did post-graduate work at the University of Cambridge, concluding five years of research with a doctoral thesis on the Russian Revolution. He eventually found his way to eastern Europe, where he took up positions as a magazine editor, university lecturer and analyst in the financial services sector before finally settling on writing as a career. He currently resides in Kyiv, Ukraine. Of Faith and Fidelity: Geoffrey Hotspur and the War for St. Peter’s Throne is his first novel.

Synopsis from Goodreads: As the papal wars of the Western Schism rage across Europe, a young man takes his first step on the journey of a lifetime.

Geoffrey Hotspur dreams of knighthood. As an English orphan-squire bonded to the court of Sir John of Gaunt, uncle of the English King Richard II, his prospects are few.

An inveterate gambler already deep in debt, young Geoffrey accepts an invitation to participate in a raid on French lands. His plans go awry, however, after a deadly street brawl results in his banishment from court. As further punishment, he is ordered to join a royal commission bound for Florence.

Accompanied by Jean Lagoustine, a mysterious Frenchman whose intentions towards the young squire are not all they appear to be, the ship upon which they journey is waylaid by corsairs. Barely escaping with their lives, Geoffrey and Jean find themselves forming part of a company of Catalonian crossbowmen en route to enlist with the Roman papal army.

Intrigue and betrayal dominate the war between the two popes, and the young squire’s understanding of faith and fidelity are soon challenged. The need to do right inspires Geoffrey to take a personal stake in the outcome of the conflict. With little more than his wits and a sword, the young squire must find a way to fulfill his duty to his lord, to his faith and to himself. As the war culminates in the final battle for the throne of St. Peter, will Geoffrey find that a knighthood is worth the risk to his honor?

Meet Annmarie Banks

Annmarie Banks spent twenty years as a buyer and seller of used books. She knows firsthand the excitement of uncovering a treasure among piles of dusty old books. Her first novel, The Hermetica of Elysium, draws upon that feeling of discovery as her protagonist travels through Spain and Italy in the time of the Spanish Inquisition on the hunt for forbidden manuscripts.

She grew up all over the eastern part of the United States because her father was a search-and rescue pilot for the Coast Guard. She moved every four years to a different city along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. Because she changed schools and friends often, she was somewhat shy. When one is always the “new kid” , a lot of time is spent sitting on the sidelines at lunch and recess. She used that time to read books from the library, mostly history and natural science. By the time she graduated from college with a degree in English, she felt she wanted to spend her life with books. She promptly got a job in a bookstore and over twenty years worked her way to inventory manager.

Synopsis from Goodreads: 1494 Barcelona. As Torquemada lights the fires of religious fervor throughout the cities of Spain, accused heretics are not the only victims. Thousands of books and manuscripts are lost to the flames as the Black Friars attempt to purge Europe of the ancient secrets of the gods and the bold new ideas that are ushering in the Renaissance.

Nadira lives a dreary life as servant to a wealthy spice merchant until the night a dying scholar is brought to the merchant’s stable, beaten by mercenaries who are on the hunt for The Hermetica of Elysium. To Nadira, words are her life: she lives them as her master’s scrivener and dreams them in her mother’s poetry. She is pursued as passionately as the fabled manuscript for her rare skill as a reader of Ancient Greek, Latin, Arabic and Hebrew that makes her valuable to men who pursue the book to exploit its magic.

Kidnapped by Baron Montrose, an adventurous nobleman, she is forced to read from the Hermetica. It is soon revealed to her that ideas and words are more powerful than steel or fire for within its pages are the words that incite the Dominicans to religious fervor, give the Templars their power and reveal the lost mysteries of Elysium.
As Nadira begins her transformation from servant to sorceress, will she escape the fires of the Inquisition, the clutches of the Borgia pope, Alexander VI and the French king, Charles VIII? And will Montrose’s growing fear of her powers cause her to lose her chance for love?

These books all look so good that I don’t even know where to start! 🙂

All coming to Amazon 8 December 2011!

Introducing The Discovery of Jeanne Baret: A Story of Science, the High Seas, and the First Woman to Circumnavigate the Globe by Glynis Ridley

Meet Glynis Ridley
I’m a Brit. living and working in Louisville, KY, where I’m an English professor at the University of Louisville. My favorite period to read, teach, and write about is the eighteenth century – which is the the setting for The Discovery of Jeanne Baret.
Synopsis from Shelfari: The year was 1765. Eminent botanist Philibert Commerson had just been appointed to a grand new expedition: the first French circumnavigation of the world. As the ships’ official naturalist, Commerson would seek out resources—medicines, spices, timber, food—that could give the French an edge in the ever-accelerating race for empire. Jeanne Baret, Commerson’s young mistress and collaborator, was desperate not to be left behind. She disguised herself as a teenage boy and signed on as his assistant. The journey made the twenty-six-year-old, known to her shipmates as “Jean” rather than “Jeanne,” the first woman to ever sail around the globe. Yet so little is known about this extraordinary woman, whose accomplishments were considered to be subversive, even impossible for someone of her sex and class.
Coming to Amazon 6 December 2011!
May you read well and often

Chill Run Contest extended by the author, Russell Brooks

Hello everyone! I hope that you are all having a wonderful day today and I have a confession to make. The new book Chill Run by Russell Brooks is being released today, December 1st, 2011 on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

My confession is that I am currently reading it and I don’t think that I will be posting my review today. I want to finish the book before I write my review. 🙂 I’m sorry to all of you who might have been waiting with baited breath for my thoughts on Chill Run but please be patient for a little while longer; my thoughts on Chill Run will be along soon for your reading enjoyment.

Until then, please accept this combined Book Release and Contest Post. First of all, the Book Release part of my post:

Meet Russell Brooks:

Russell Brooks is the author of Pandora’s Succession, Unsavory Delicacies, and the mystery/thriller, Chill Run. Russell has been compared to a young Robert Ludlum in the way that he wrote Pandora’s Succession and Unsavory Delicacies.

Synopsis from Goodreads: You know a publicity stunt has backfired when someone dies. Starving author Eddie Barrow, Jr., will do anything to get a book deal with a NYC publisher. Even if it means getting caught by the media while engaging in S&M with a female celebrity as a publicity stunt.

What Eddie gets instead are details of a billion dollar fraud scheme from a suicidal client who’s fatally shot minutes later. Now on the run from the law and the killers, Eddie seeks help from two unlikely friends—an alcoholic and a dominatrix.
With few resources, Eddie races to clear his name, unveil the fraud scheme, and expose the killers before he becomes their next victim.

Coming to Amazon and Barnes and Noble on December 1, 2011!

Now on to the second part of my email: the Contest! Below is an email that I received from Mr. Brooks. In his own words:

1. Every person that leaves a comment with their email address (Important) is automatically entered in the draw. You could your email address on the current blog or on my blog If you’re not comfortable leaving your email address out in the open, then email me with “PICK ME” in the subject and I’ll respect your confidentiality.

2. To be sure the contest is fair and impartial, Clinton (my cat) will select the 10 winners for a free eBook copy of Chill Run

The contest will run from Sunday November 27, 2011 to December 1, 2011 at 9PM EST. The winners will be announced via my blog and my page on YouTube the same evening.

I wish you all luck in taking part in the Contest and stay tuned for my review of Chill Run! 🙂
May you read well and often