Returning to Blogger Celebration & Giveaway!!

So, I have some news! News that makes me extremely happy… and should, hopefully, result in some perks for my blog readers as well!

Why I’m celebrating…

I used blogger.com to host The Hiding Spot from 2007 until November/December of 2013. I always really liked using blogger (I’m not very tech savvy and blogger was super easy for me!), but then my RSS feed stopped working. And, try as I might, I could not fix it. Well, last night after an epic hours long Skype session with one of my besties, Sabrina from I Heart YA Fiction, in which I complained quite a bit about my frustration with WordPress and how much I missed Blogger, we decided to try to fix my Blogger RSS feed. When we finally gave up at 4am, we thought we’d failed. But, this morning, we discovered things were working! I’m not exactly sure what we did that worked, but, in all honesty, I don’t even care. I’m just happy my blogger blog is up and running again because I am, admittedly, extremely attached my original blog!

What happens next…

Well, I’m moving back over to Blogger. I’m hoping that those of you who have become recent followers of The Hiding Spot, those of you who found me once I switched over to WordPress, will stick with me and follow me over at my original blog. If you follow me here, you’ll have to resubscribe over at the blogger site, but I have quick links in the sidebar to follow via Bloglovin’, Email, and Networked blogs.

Why you should follow me back to blogger (aka BRIBES)…

Even though I’m extremely happy to be moving back to Blogger, I was really sad to be leaving some of you behind. I’ve met some really great bloggers during my short time using WordPress and I don’t want to lose you all! So, to sweeten the pot, I’m hosting a giveaway for some really great upcoming books from a variety of publishers:

this side of salvationmy last kissto all the boys i've loved beforeelusionhalf badkiller instinctthe nethergrimmouseheart

How to win…

Head over to my original blog HERE and fill out the rafflecopter form. The main requirement is that you subscribe to The Hiding Spot using one of the methods over at the other site. There are, as always, options to gain additional entries! There will be 4 winners total. The first winner will pick two books, the the second winner will be contacted and pick two from the remaining 6 books, etc.

Review & Giveaway: The Glass Casket by McCormick Templeman

the glass casketTitle: The Glass Casket

Author: McCormick Templeman

Publisher: Random House

Pub. Date: February 11, 2014

Genre: Young Adult

Rec. Age Level: 14+

Add to Goodreads

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Life in Nag’s End is steady and predictable for Rowan Rose and her best friend Tom Parstle, until the day five riders thunder through town bound for Begger’s Drift, a place rumored forsaken by the Goddess. The arrival and subsequent sinister disappearance of the riders mark both the arrival of beautiful and mysterious Fiona Eira and the beginning of evil’s descent upon the superstitious village of Nag’s End. Rowan’s gentle scholarly father grows suddenly cold and distant, distracted by something he keeps closely guarded in his study, and forbids Rowan from speaking to Fiona, who she discovers is her estranged cousin. When Tom first sees Fiona, he falls suddenly and irrevocably in love with the dark-haired, scarlet-lipped beauty and begs Rowan to break her father’s commandment and convince Fiona to meet with him. As the youth of Nag’s End experience first love, unexpected pain, and dream of happy endings, a dark and violent force creeps into locked rooms, leaving nightmarish scenes and death in its wake. When tragedy strikes, madness and fear reach a fever pitch among the town’s inhabitants as they seek to unmask the evil in their midst. With THE GLASS CASKET, McCormick Templeman gives readers an ominous and horrific fairy tale filled with the darkest, bloodiest bits of their nightmares.

I have very mixed feelings about McCormick Templeman’s THE GLASS CASKET. On one hand, I found it impossible to put down. I felt compelled to unravel the mystery surrounding the disturbing deaths plaguing the people of Nag’s End; the horror and mystery aspects of the novel are remarkably well done. As Templeman demonstrated with her debut novel, THE LITTLE WOODS, and proved once again with this sophomore offering, her writing is sumptuous and richly detailed. I found it easy to imagine the setting and characters of THE GLASS CASKET as I read, an aspect that made the horror elements of the novel especially frightening.

My disappointment with the novel stems from the characters. I found it impossible to connect with any of them. I, quite honestly, loathed them all… On multiple occasions, I was so frustrated that I nearly gave up on the novel. It sometimes felt that Templeman was employing character idiocy and horrible communication to further suspend the mystery, which might be fine if this tactic didn’t make the characters so unbearable. In retrospect, I realize that the characters are very much products of their upbringing within the village. They’re quick to judge, with those judgments, more often than not, grounded in superstitions and first impressions rather than careful observations and rational thought. But Rowan, the girl who dreams of escaping Nag’s End and who claims to be above this superstitious upbringing, is the worst of the lot! I might have been able to handle the others, but Rowan’s ridiculous reactions and shortsighted judgments proved too much for my patience.

Though I was extremely put off by the characters within THE GLASS CASKET, there were many elements that I appreciated, so I’m happy I read this one. I’ll definitely read Templeman’s next book, but with my fingers-crossed for characters that live nowhere near Nag’s End.

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Win It!

Open to US & Canadian mailing addresses only. Giveaway will close Friday, March 7th, 2014.

Moving back to Blogger! Enter this giveaway here!

Review: Minders by Michele Jaffe

mindersTitle: Minders

Author: Michele Jaffe

Publisher: Penguin

Pub. Date: January 30, 2014

Genre: Young Adult

Rec. Age Level: 12+

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For years, Sadie has worked with one ultimate goal in mind: being accepted into the prestigious Mind Fellowship program, a program that seeks to educate the future’s best minds. She knows little about the program, but what she does know – that the it pushes boundaries, selects only the best, and is a frontrunner in technological advancement – would make it a shining achievement on her already impressive resume. Sadie learns she will undergo a process in which her mind will connect with a randomly selected subject’s; she will see and feel everything he experiences, but he’ll have no idea she’s there. Sadie is expected to stay objective, to observe her subject without the bias of emotion, but she soon finds that task is much easier said than done. All she’s told about her subject, Ford, is that he’s on the fast track to criminality, information that immediately biases Sadie. Though privileged and sheltered, it doesn’t take long for Sadie to realize that people, even those from the wrong side of the tracks and with infuriatingly annoying tendencies, are complex… and that there’s always more than one side to every story. As the days she spends in Ford’s mind turn to weeks, she finds herself reevaluating the way she looks at the world. Pulled into his quest to solve his brother’s murder, Sadie is surprised to find herself feeling for Ford… and maybe even falling for him.

Oh, where to start with my love for this book? There’s crazy, advanced science, a mystery, dark threatening forces, gorgeous, crumbling Detroit architecture, and a complicated, swoon-worthy romance. What more could you want? Read this book!

Giveaway: Real Mermaids Don’t Sell Seashells

Win a copy of Helene Boudreau’s Real Mermaids Don’t Sell Seashells, the 4th Real Mermaids book! A copy of this book has been generously supplied by the publisher, Sourcebooks Jabberwocky! See below for more information about the book and how to enter!

About the book

Sun, surf and tropical breezes are no ‘day at the beach’ because being a teenage mermaid never takes a vacation.

With all the mers in Jade’s life now safe, happy and legit (with passports to prove it) and the underwater mer-world off the coast of Port Toulouse on the road to democracy, it’s time to relax and plan for the future. Jade can’t think of a better way to celebrate than with a tropical real mermaids don't sell seashellswedding in the Bahamas with Mom and Dad to finally make their family ‘official’.

Soon, Jade is enjoying the tropical sunshine, all-you-can-eat buffet, and island day trips. But when Jade gets lost in the island’s famous waterfront Straw Market, something doesn’t feel quite right. A body splashes into the water as a cruise ship enters the harbor and a teen boy selling conches from his boat behind the market knows more than he’s willing to admit.

With no body, no leads, and no other witnesses, though, the local police don’t seem too concerned. Maybe Jade’s imagination has been acting up on her, just like Cori said, considering everything she’s been through in the past few months.

But with Mom and Dad off on a honeymoon excursion it wouldn’t hurt to check things out, would it? Little do Jade and Cori realize, they are about to uncover more secrets about the splashing body, dangerous cruise ship cargo, and more questions than answers lurking in the nearby Caribbean waters.

Add it on Goodreads

Win it!

To enter to win a copy of this book, simply leave a comment on this post by February 25, 2014!

Gain 1 additional entry by subscribing to The Hiding Spot. Mention how you subscribe (via email, Bloglovin’, Networked Blogs, WordPress, etc) in the comments!

This giveaway is open to those with US mailing addresses only, as specified by the publisher.

Happy Release Day, Alienated + Win a Nook Simple Touch!

Today is an awesome day for two reasons: 1. Alienated by Melissa Landers hits stores today (!!) and 2. To celebrate, Melissa is giving away a Nook Simple Touch to one lucky winner! Below you’ll find an announcement from Melissa, in which she discusses her book and the generous giveaway!

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About the Author

melissa landersMelissa Landers is a former teacher who left the classroom to pursue other worlds. A proud sci-fi geek, she isn’t afraid to wear her Princess Leia costume in public—just ask her husband and three kids. She lives outside Cincinnati in the small town of Loveland, “Sweetheart of Ohio.” For more information, or just to say hello, visit www.melissa-landers.com.

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Hey, fiction lovers.

I’m author Melissa Landers, and I’m thrilled to announce that my debut YA sci-fi romance, Alienated, is finally available from Disney-Hyperion! Cue the dancers and toss the confetti, because it’s been a long wait!

In a nutshell, Alienated is the story of valedictorian Cara Sweeney, who gets more than she bargained for when she agrees to host the nation’s first intergalactic exchange student, the gorgeous but emotionally-stilted Aelyx (pronounced A-licks) from planet L’eihr. The tone is light and humorous, but I explore some deeper themes as well.

What do reviewers have to say?

alienated “The storyline is out of this world and character development paired with authentic voice is superb. Filled with intrigue and suspense, this book will appeal to both sci-fi and contemporary YA fiction fans.” –VOYA

“Interstellar relations heat up in this start to a new romantic science fiction series. Landers [explores] larger social, ecological, and ethical issues in this tense, fast-paced read.” –Booklist

“The perfect blend of sizzling romance, action, and suspense.” –#1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout

“Smart, funny, and epic. I am now awaiting contact from planet L’eihr.” Julie Cross, bestselling author of Tempest.

“Intergalactic exchange students? Yes, please! I fell in love with this story and couldn’t put it down.” Jodi Meadows, author of Incarnate.

If you like hot, swoony science fiction as much as I do, I hope you’ll give Alienated a try. It’s now available in stores and online.

Indie Bound

 Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Book Depo

(free international shipping at Book Depo)

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To celebrate my book birthday, I’m offering one lucky winner a Nook Simple Touch. I’ll even throw in a $25 gift card to Barnes & Noble so you can fill your new e-reader with whatever you want!

Now for the fine print: This giveaway is open to US residents only. (Sorry, international friends, but you need a US billing address to buy digital content on the Nook.) Due to sweepstakes laws, entrants must be 18 years or older to participate.

Best of luck, and happy reading!

To enter to win a Nook Simple Touch, go here to enter!

Must-Read-Monday (2)

Must-Read-Monday is a new feature here at The Hiding Spot. Each week I’ll feature a book that, if it isn’t already, should be on your radar!

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c23bb-themuseumofintangiblethingsThe Museum of Intangible Things by Wendy Wunder

Available April 10, 2014 from Razorbill/Penguin

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Hannah and Zoe haven’t been given much in life, except each other, and they don’t have anything particularly wonderful waiting in their future. Unless you count enrolling at the local community college, which they don’t. The only worthwhile tie the girls have to the New Jersey town they grew is Zoe’s autistic brother, who relies on Zoe and Hannah to help him navigate the world and all the intangible things within it he struggles to understand. After climbing out of a dark depression, Zoe bounds into mania, declaring that Hannah might not have the best grip on the intangibles either. Hoping to recover the real Zoe in the midst of her cycles of depression and mania, Hannah agrees to ditch New Jersey and embark on a cross country road trip in search of those difficult to understand but absolutely essential intangibles: Loyalty. Envy. Obligation. Dreams. Disappointment. Fear. Negligence. Coping. Elation. Lust. Nature. Freedom. Heartbreak. Insouciance. Audacity. Gluttony. Belief. God. Karma. Knowing what you want (there is probably a French word for it). Saying Yes. Destiny. Truth. Devotion. Forgiveness. Life. Happiness (ever after).

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Click the images below for more information.

More about Wendy Wunder:

wendy wunder

More about Wunder’s debut novel, The Probability of Miracles:

the probability of miracles

Weekly Wrap Up & Stacking the Shelves (4)

Weekly Wrap Up is a summary of the current week’s blog posts, features some of the books I received for review this week (usually those I’m most excited about!), and offers a look at what you’ll find on the blog next week!

This Week at The Hiding Spot

Must-Read-Monday (Feature)

Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee (Review)

Q&A with Karen Foxlee (Interview)

The Lost Planet by Rebecca Searles (Review)

Story Time: Essential New Picture Books (Feature)

SOLD! Recently Acquired, Forthcoming Reads for Your TBR (Feature)

Next Week

Must-Read-Monday (Feature)

Alienated by Melissa Landers (Giveaway)

Real Mermaids Don’t Sell Seashells (Giveaway)

Story Time: Great Valentine’s Day Picks (Feature)

Minders by Michelle Jaffe (Review)

The Glass Casket by McCormick Templeman (Review & Giveaway)

New for Review

This portion of Weekly Wrap Up is inspired by posts like Stacking the Shelves and In My Mailbox.

Lots of picture books this week… YAY! Plus some interesting adult fiction and new MG. I also received quite a few doubles this week – I now have three copies of Jenny Han’s TO ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE –  so stay tuned for giveaways! Unfortunately, the cover images aren’t linked to Goodreads this week.

pulled under I don't know what you know me from the heiresses the misadventures of the family fletcher death by toilet paper they all fall down remy & lulu doug unplugs on the farm flying beaver brothers eric the boy who lost his gravity all aboard does a bear does a beaver does a camel does a panda does a woodpecker okay, andy mr ball makes a to do list scribbles out of the box you can't ride a bicycle you can't taste a pickle with your ear the book of you skyraiders killer instinct the last wild mouseheart infinite sky this side of salvation the secret of the key nantucket red cupcake cousins the most magnificent thing there was an old sailer the mermaid and the shoe starring me and you jasper john dooley a fish named glub to all the boys i've loved before starters what has become of you biggest flirts grasshopper jungle mistwalker