Tag Archive: Free Book Fridays

It is time to tell you about my final giveaway. And I’ve saved the best for last: The Hunger Games.

The ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister’s place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to death before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love. (Scholastic)

I still get chills thinking about this series.

I didn’t know it was possible for a book to affect me like these books did. This book is intense. With a capital ‘I’. I was shaking when I finished the series.

Now Hunger Games allows you a little control. It makes you think that you can put it down and that you are still a functioning human being and then you read the next book. You are not in control. Suzanne Collins is in control. And you had better be ready for the ride.

Another thing that I didn’t know was that it was possible to write like she writes. I lived, I breathed that world. It was me, I was it. And that book was glued to my hand. Someday, I will have the time to reread this series, without the desperate need to know what happens, and I will be able to figure out how she did it, but I have never experienced the sensation of being unable to breath while reading a book (well, not when my asthma is under control).

You know the hype. You know it’s going to be a movie. And it is going to take the world by storm…even more so than it already has. Experience it now. Be one of those people that read the book before they saw the movie. You will experience something incredible.

To win, just comment on this blog post. Tell me about an author that took your breath away or affected you in a way that you did not expect.

Also, you can get extra entries if you do any of the three following things:

  1. Follow me on Twitter. Just make sure you leave your Twitter handle in your comment so I know to credit you.
  2. You can also comment and repost any of my blog posts for another entry. Make sure you tag me on Twitter so I know you did it, or send me the link if you choose another method.
  3. Subscribe to my blog. I will give you two entries.

Do all of this by 9 p.m. E.S.T. on September 30th. I will announce the winner on October 1st as well as draw names for any of the books that I have left.

Also, if you haven’t been convinced by my rabid fan ravings, you can check out the review here.

First off: Congratulations to last week’s winner, Mariajose. Who will be receiving her very own copy Heist Society by Ally Carter in the mail just as soon as she gets me her address.

And now, on to this week’s book: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. For those of you who’ve never heard of Percy Jackson, keep reading. If you’ve had your eye on this series for a while (or you already love the series) just skip the italic bits and get to the good stuff.

Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school…again. And that’s the least of his troubles. Lately, mythological monsters and the gods of Mount Olympus seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Percy’s Greek mythology text book and into his life. And worse, he’s angered a few of them. Zeus’ master lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect.

Now Percy and his friends have just ten days to find and return Zeus’ stolen property and bring peace to a warring Mount Olympus. But to succeed on his quest, Percy will have to do more than catch the true thief: he must come to terms with the father who abandoned him; solve the riddle of the Oracle, which warns him of betrayal by a friend; and unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves. (Disney Hyperion)

If you’ve been following my blog from the beginning…or really, for the last few months…you’re probably aware of some of the authors that I just adore: Scott Westerfeld, Lauren DeStefano, Suzanne Collins, Eoin Colfer, Cassandra Clare (oh, wait, I haven’t told you about her yet), Ally Carter. The list is rather long.

Rick Riordan is somewhere near the top. Like way high up there.

His Percy Jackson series is currently my most battered and beloved set of books. I’m addicted. I love Percy. I love Annabeth. I love Grover. I even love Clarisse on occasion.

I picked them up one January day, right before the movie came out (because, when possible, I prefer to read the book first).

And I could not put them down.

Seriously, I made a late night run to Barnes & Noble just to get The Last Olympian, because I could not stand just hanging where The Battle of the Labyrinth had left me. I was addicted. And I still am.

And thankfully, he didn’t stop with Last Olympian. Anything of Riordan’s that I can get my hands on, I devour. I’d probably show up to purchase his shopping list if he published it.

And it’s not just because his writing jives with my own sense of humor. Or that his characters are so memorable and fun. Or that his plots are not what I would expect from a borderline YA (actually, it’s more middle grade, but I don’t care). Nor is it the fact that I have loved Greek mythology since I was eight.

He has taken something that I love, something that I am utterly familiar with, and he has done more than retell the stories. He has reinvented them with the humor and the characters and the plot.

The Lightning Thief is the first book I bring up when I hear someone reads. It’s the first book that I recommend when someone is looking for something to read. It’s the book that I gave as birthday presents to my two best friends. I reread this series often, because I love it and because it just makes my day happier to dive into Percy’s world. I think, if I could live in any of the books that I have read, this is the one I would choose (unless, of course, I could be an elf in Middle-Earth).

You can bet that when Son of Neptune comes out, I will have scraped all of my pennies together and will be waiting on the sidewalk, for my Barnes & Noble to open so that I can take my copy home and read it. Or at least, I’ll go over right after work.

And this wonderful experience can be yours too. There is a copy of The Lightning Thief sitting on my bookshelf, waiting for someone to comment below and win it. Tell me about an author that you absolutely adore, or one that you’ve followed forever…but make sure you do it by 5 p.m. EST on September 22nd. And if you’d like extra entries into the contest, try one of the three ways below (all of which will get you entered into this week and next week’s drawings):

  1. Follow me on Twitter. Make sure you put your Twitter handle in your comment so that I know to give you the credit.
  2. Help spread the word. Comment on another of my blog posts and then post the link to Twitter (or facebook). Just make sure you give me the link (or tag me if you choose Twitter).
  3. Subscribe! This one will earn you not one, but two entries into the next two drawings!

As I mentioned earlier this week, this is the first in a series of weekly book giveaways. Throughout the month of September, I will give away four books that have influenced me as a writer (The list can be found here). This week the bo0k is:

Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith

It begins in a cold and shabby tower room, where young Countess Meliara swears to her dying father that she and her brother will defend their people from the growing greed of the king. That promise leads them into a war for which they are ill-prepared, a war that threatens the homes and lives of the very people they are trying to protect. But war is simple compared to what follows, when the bloody fighting is done and a fragile peace is at hand. Although she wants to turn her back on politics and the crown, Meliara is summoned to the royal palace. There, she soon discovers, friends and enemies look alike, and intrigue fills the dance halls and the drawing rooms. If she has to survive, Meliara must learn a whole new way of fighting–with wit and words and secret alliances. In war, at least, she knew whom she could trust. Now she can trust no one… (Firebird Fantasy)

Of the four books I’m giving away, this one is the only one that actually dates from my high school reading years. Which means that I first read this book (well, these books…but we’ll get to that) at least eight years ago. Wow, I just blew my own mind.

Every Friday after co-op (weekly gathering of homeschoolers for socializing, also, some teaching occurs as well), I would head across the parking lot to the public library behind the church we used. I can still close my eyes and picture Crown Duel sitting on the top shelf, a white spine mixed in with some many other darker colors—well, two white spines. Crown Duel was originally published in two volumes: Crown Duel and Court Duel. I personally, prefer the two separate titles because of the symbolism that the changing of one creates, but seeing as how I have no say in the matter… Anyways, I pulled down the books and there  she was, this girl with sword propped over her shoulder and a  nasty looking black eye. It looked exactly like my kind of book.

I believe that I mentioned in a previous post how Lord of the Rings was the book that got me writing (First person to correctly identify that post gets a double entry into this drawing). Crown Duel is the book that got me writing my own stuff. It is also the book that most heavily influenced the first drafts of the Cinderella retelling that’s sitting on my computer waiting for me to rewrite it (which will happen, just as soon as I finish with Mind Games and etc.). The only real story I had completed before then was my little LOTR-wannabe. While the idea for Shattered‘s premise was inspired by another book entirely, everything else was originally influenced by this book right here.

My copy has been read a couple of times, so it’s a little battered. It even spent a few years buried in my brother’s room because he’d been interested in it (I finally told to either find it or buy me a new one). This is one of the few books that I have been able to introduce into my circle of friend (come to think of it, all four books make that list) instead of the other way around. It has everything that I love in a book: adventure and misadventure, a smart sword-wielding heroine, mistaken identity, a dysfunctional romance (in a good way, not in a Cathy-and-Heathcliff way) and a whole lot of intrigue.

And you can get you hands on your own copy of this book (as long as I will be shipping to an address in the good ol’ U.S. of A).


Just leave me a comment between now and September 8th at noon (EST). Tell me about a book that found you. One that you weren’t really looking for, but you ended up taking home anyways. Make sure that you leave me a way to contact you (email is prefereable) should you be the lucky winner. You can also earn extra entries by completing the three options below. For each one that you do, you will get a certain number of entries into all four drawings, for a total of up to four extra entries per drawing. They are:

1. Follow me on Twitter (@TheGladElf). This is good for one entry for anyone who follows me after10 a.m. today EST. Please make sure that you put your Twitter username in your comment so I know to credit you.

2. Spread the word. Join the discussion on another blog post and then post the link through your Twitter. Make sure you tag me so that I know you’ve done it. One time use for new followers. Anyone following me before 10 a.m. today can cash in twice on this option (two separate posts, obviously)

3. Subscribe! Sign up to receive my blog posts as they come out and you’ll get not one, but two extra entries into each drawing.

The only other rule for the extra entries is that if you already own any of the books, please let me know so that I can take out your entries for that particular entry.

And now it’s your turn!

(P.S.-Here’s the original cover for Court Duel as well. I absolutely adore this cover, another reason the one volume version makes me sad despite its purse-friendly size.) —>

EDIT: The deadline has been extended until 9:00 p.m. Sept 8th.

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