Thursday, July 29, 2010

The 'Woo-Hoo, Manifest is pubbing, big YA giveaway'

In honor of the publication of Manifest: A Mystyx Novel, Kimani Tru's latest addition to their line, I am offering a very special multi-media big YA giveaway prize pack! Included in the prize pack:
*Finished copy of
Manifest totebag
*ARC of Firelight by Sophie Jordan
*ARC of Sapphique by Catherine Fisher
*MP3-CD of
Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson
Manifest coin purse & notebook/pen set (not pictured)

This contest is open internationally. To be entered, you MUST leave a comment with your email address. After that, you will accrue additional entries with every link you create to the contest whether it be via tweet (use @OnlinePublicist so I see it), on your blog, or other book related network (in these instances, please mention the publication of
Manifest so your coverage will pop up on my Google Alert and you will be credited the extra entries).

Contest will conclude at 12am CST, on Thursday, August 5, with the winner being announced Friday, August 6.
Good Luck! ;-)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Weddings & Reading!

Books, where am I with books?

is about to pub and the coverage is rolling! And there are plenty of giveaways, interviews, reviews, and other fun events surrounding that release. Keep an eye on the Manifest page and Twitter for coverage!

I have a couple more copies of To Your Dog's Health! and Questions and Answers on Life Insurance left, so check them out on the left sidebar and contact me if you'd like a copy.

As for personal reading, well, there's been a lot of acquiring going on lately. I've made a couple of trips to Boswell Books and picked up: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson, A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore (my first book by him), and The Summer Guest by Justin Cronin (I loved The Passage and am just dying to check out his earlier work!) Ever the cyclist, the boyfriend picked up a gorgeous copy of Bicycle: A History by David V. Herilhy. I've commented a dozen times on how much I love the cover.

The boyfriend and I also celebrated an anniversary this weekend and we managed to make that event booky nerdish, too! Instead of gifts, we went to an enormous used bookstore in downtown Milwaukee called Renaissance Books. It's three stories tall, dusty, crowded, and barely organized, but it's also pretty amazing. They have stacks and stacks of very old books. I love it.

We headed there with a mission: buy one another books and only spend $15. I'm so glad we did it! As I scoured the Eastern philosophy section trying what to decide what to get for the boy, I was so distracted, wondering what section he was in.
In the end, I think we both did really well!

He picked up a Jim Crace book for me (
Continent) and a fabric guide from the early 90s. The fabric info is still relavent because it describes the basic structure, weight, and components of fabric, and the bonus is that it comes complete with these incredible images of gaunt, super gelled, spiky haired models with linebacker shoulder pads. Straight out of a Robert Palmer video.

And he was given a copy of a book on Tolkien characters and...a book that requires further research. It seems to be a rare, independently published book of Buddhist thought from the 70s that may have been compiled by a lama...or a quack. We're not sure, yet. But it's full of sketches and isms that are pretty bizarre. One prominently features an ice cream cone in the sky. It's pretty incredible.

I'm sure by now everyone knows this was a pretty wedding-tastic summer for me. I chatted via Twitter about them often and blamed them for falling behind at times. And below are some pics from those. I haven't gotten any pics from the photogs yet, so these are just the ones I took with my camera, which is why I'm only in one of them!

First up: my brother's wedding!

My brother and his wife

hands and rings

Next up, my friend Kristen from college:

(l-r: Shelly, Bridget, Kristen, Jacque & me!)

Her dress was so vintage fantastic, I had to take some vamp pics!

I'm still playing with the colors and contrasts, so let me know what you think!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Rain Stories and Giveaway Winner!

Greetings, fellow book lovers! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. It was still a little messy here in Milwaukee as we recovered from the wicked storms of last Thursday. We made it out ok, but some people weren't so lucky, having basements and yards completely washed away by all the rain. The airport was flooded and shutdown and underground parking structures became vehicle graveyards.

A giant sinkhole sucked up an Escalade (the driver was rescued) and they were using snowblowers to try and clear the water off the runways at the airport. A lot of insurance claims are being filed this week! (click on the images for full story)

We didn't have power for a while and for a while I was running around trying to catch water that was making it's way into the house. So I owe you things!

First things first, the winner of the finished copy of Manifest and the super cute totebag was: mbreakfield who chose to be a 'white tiger shifter named Sorsha'. I have already sent an email requesting a mailing address. If I don't hear back in a couple of days, I will choose who was next on the list. A huge thanks to all who participated. I loved reading everyone's names and choice of powers. Very creative stuff!

Tomorrow I will have a post up with some pics from the weddings I stood up in recently. And on Wednesday, I will have a brand new giveaway for you! Stay tuned...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Thoughts on The Passage

I've been working in some personal reading and recently finished The Passage by Justin Cronin. I think it was uh-mazing. And I'm still in awe that I got through an 800 page book. It was all thanks to the encouragement of a couple of bloggers who challenged me to give it a shot and I'm so thrilled I did!

I've read some other reviews on Amazon and some folks really did not enjoy it, which baffled me. They spoke of how they expected it to end, how it should have wrapped up, and what they wanted out of it. But that's not at all how I read, so maybe that's why it worked for me. I read to take in what the writer has laid out for me, with no judgments or preconceived ideas of where I need it to take me. I understand some people need that, and for those folks, I always ask them how they want to feel at the end of reading a book.

So, if you want to feel hope, if you believe in both the beauty of life as well as the evil of the world, if you don't need everything tied up in a neat little all-questions-answered-bow, and you
have faith in humanity's ability to overcome impossible odds, then this book is for you.

As for my thoughts, well, I'm pretty terrible at reviewing books, which is why I leave it to all of you! I always worry that I will give something away that would have been better discovered through your own reading. Some nuance, thought, description, or segue that would tickle your nerve endings and enrich your reading experience. If I'm among a group where I know everyone has read it, I'll talk about it all day! But when I'm not sure, I keep pretty tight lipped.

With that in mind, instead of giving you a synopsis, I would like to share a few of the many beautiful descriptions that moved me while reading. I dog-eared a number of pages (don't hate me, purists! It's an ARC!). Cronin's grace at crafting descriptions absolutely takes my breath away. Out of context, these sentences may evoke nothing, but I assure you, when read in the story, they're powerful. If nothing else, it might encourage you to pick up a copy of the book and find your own favorites. ;-) I also placed them out of order so they don't offer any sort of chronological order to the story.


The buildings were larger now, monumental in scope, towering above the roadway with their great ruined faces. Some were burned, empty cages of steel girders, others half-collapsed, their facades fallen away to reveal the honeycombed compartments within, dressed with dripping gardens of wire and cable.

What were the living dead, Wolgast thought, but a metaphor for the misbegotten march of middle age? were running past her, yelling and shooting and dying, their fates already written when the world began...All his pain and puzzlement, and the long sad story of who he was. The bed of rags and bundles under the roadway, and the sweat and soil of his skin and of his long journey; the great gleaming car stopping beside him with its grille of jeweled teeth, and the voice of the woman, calling out to him over the dirty roar of the world; the sweetness of mown grass and the sweating coolness of a glass of ice tea...

So maybe that's what his father had been doing all along, on the Long Rides. He'd been trying to remember the world.

It was just another case of the body's unreasonable demands upon the mind, and his dreams, when he cared to remember them, all seemed to be lightly retooled versions of his waking state--full of circuits and breakers and relays, a thousand problems to be solved, and he would waken feeling less restored than rudely shot forward in time, with no discernible accomplishments to show for those lost hours.

Then, just like that, the pressure on Theo's hand released--an absence of torment so abrupt it was like pleasure.

The rusting ribs of the great ships, stretching as far as the eye could see. Never had he thought to wonder how this had come about. He had lived in a world without history, without cause, a world where things just were what they were. looking at lines on a page and suddenly seeing words written there.

A huge greasy bulk, connected by long trailing hoses to a pair of bulging fuel tanks, weeping with rust.

...and before long you didn't know which was which, if you were awake or asleep. Everything got blended together. A sensation like pain--only worse, because it wasn't a pain in your body; the pain was your mind and your mind was you. You were pain itself.

Have you read it? What did you think?

court room exploits & a giveaway

I have a lot of catching up to do with everyone! I've had several short work weeks and I'm working hard to get back on track.

Last week, a friend had a court date for a speeding ticket and I went with him. I'm pretty fascinated with how things work behind the marble walls of our enormous courthouse and he promised to show me where I would need to go for my forthcoming stint with jury duty. It turned out to be pretty anticlimactic, with ticket reductions flying out the door, into the hallway I was waiting in.
The reason I was waiting in the hall? This: NO READING MATERIALS? Those damn readers getting all distracted and invested in their books, completely ignoring the grueling amount of time being spent in a tiny, stuffy room surrounded by disgruntled drivers. Yeah. That'll learn em not to speed!

But the flip side was the enormous amount of reading time I was granted during jury duty and how much I despised it. Not 'despised' so much, but the whole experience in general was frustrating. Trapped in a room with 50 other people for two days, told when to take breaks and eat lunch, shuffled around the courthouse, only to be sent back to 'the room' after a couple of hours of was just tiring. And I prefer to read in my comfy chairs.

Overall, I'm just sort of confused with how the whole operation worked. They were calling alternate jurors in as they were sending 30 of us to court, only to have 17 of us come back and spend the next day in 'the room' again. Then we were sent home.

Alright, then. So now I'm going to host a giveaway so I can spend the rest of the day working and going through mail. Up for grabs is a finished copy of Manifest and a totebag!

Apologies for the quality, I snapped it with my cell phone. All you need to do to be entered is answer this question:
You're a character in a YA paranormal novel. Comment with your character name and/or power.

That's it! Contest is open internationally and will run until a week from today: July 21. Good luck!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Guest Post & Giveaway Winner Announced!

I hope all my fellow Americans are happy and well-rested after the holiday weekend. I was in my second wedding in as many weeks, so I'm still trying to get back into the groove of things. Can't wait to share some pics with you once I get them!

To kick off my 'get caught up' week, I'm pleased to share with you a guest post provided by Miss Attitude of the blog
Reading In Color. I love her blog and was thrilled when I was able to offer her Manifest for review on her blog.

About the blog:
Reading in Color is a book blog that reviews YA/MG books about people of color (poc). There is a serious lack of books being reviewed by teens that are YA/MG about people of color, I hope my blog is one step closer to filling in this void.

I think Reading in Color is amazing and I recommend you check it out! And since I'm endlessly interested in childhood reading experiences, I asked Miss Attitude to share her thoughts on reading as a young Brown girl. Were books featuring POC available? More so then than now or is it the other way around?

I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I did and stay tuned after the post to find out the winner of the Manifest tote giveaway from the Artist Arthur Community Interview event!

Bright Eyes, Brown Skin

Animals and Dr. Seuss. This is what stands out to me from my early childhood reading. I was doing some “research” for a post that I had planned for father’s day. The “research” consisted of looking at some of my favorite books from childhood and re-reading them. Deep stuff.

I noticed something though; the majority of the books that we have from when I was in the baby/toddler stage are by Dr. Seuss or feature animals. My parents tell me that Marvin K. Mooney will You Please Go Now was a particular favorite of mine, but we own many other Dr. Seuss books as well. I also looked at Guess How Much I Love You, Can’t You Sleep Little Bear? and The Kissing Hand. These books all feature animals as the main characters; rabbits, bears and raccoons. I also have some books with more bears, lions, foxes and other zoo animals. I didn’t ask my parents about the lack of human main characters in my childhood library, but I can’t help but wonder; was a part of this because of the lack of books for Brown babies and toddlers? Did my parents seek to protect me by not having me read the books that showed that little Black boys and girls don’t exist as far as children’s literature is concerned? Did they not want the idea of white superiority reinforced in my mind?

Of course, the white superiority wasn’t blatant, but when the number of books about kids of color doesn’t even come close to the large numbers of books about white kids of color, the subtle message is that Brown kids don’t matter. I have some books with white main characters (The Napping House is a particular favorite that comes to mind) but the number of books I have about animals (or made up characters a la Dr. Seuss) far outweigh the number of books I have about humans, especially books that focus on white children.

I titled this post Bright Eyes, Brown Skin because it’s the main book that is about African American children that I can vividly remembering reading as a toddler. I can practically quote it just by looking at the cover. I’ve been blogging for almost a year now and while I don’t review picture books, something I’ve noticed is that young children today have so many more options than I did growing up.

For example, a book I would have gobbled up as a child is Dancing in the Wings by Debbie Allen. It’s about a Black ballerina, which is what I aspired to be. Eventually I ended up leaving dance after ten years and it wasn’t until I was about eleven or so that I saw Alvin Ailey and learned that Black ballet dancers existed. It came out in 2000, I was born in 1993. I technically could have read it, it’s described as being for kids ages 4-8 and I would have been eight at the time, but by the second grade, I was past picture books, reading instead Beverly Clearly and the Royal Diaries series (for the record I hated the Sweet Valley High series but I did like the Babysitter’s Club).

I don’t think I noticed the lack of picture books about people of color, but then again, right before my pre teen years, I wanted to be white. Maybe the two are connected, I don’t know. It’s a period of my life that I struggle with so I don’t think about it much.

The Internet would have been a huge help to my parents and other parents raising kids my age, now there are lots of websites and blogs dedicated exclusively to promoting multicultural children’s books. It’s amazing and I’m so glad things have changed. I can walk down the children’s section at Borders (sadly my indie bookstore doesn’t have much diversity. I’m working on them!) and I will see Brown faces on the covers of picture books.

I don’t see as much change occurring in literature for older readers, those in middle school and high school. So that’s what I focus on, promoting YA/MG books about people of color. The most crucial years for a child’s development are the early years and if I had to choose, I would rather have multicultural books for babies and toddlers than books for pre teens and teens. But guess what? I don’t have to choose, we can (and should) have both.

A big thanks to those who participated in the Artist Arthur Community Interview! I will send all the questions along to Artist and will send her response to each out to everyone who contributed. I'm so pleased with the questions asked! I entered 27 into the True Random Number Generator at, was given 24 (I still can't figure out how to post that box from their site), and the winner of the autographed Manifest totebag is.....
iluvhersheys_andbooks, aka, Chioma of Black and Blue Ink! Please email me at onlinepublicist [AT] gmail [DOT] com with your mailing address to claim your prize. ;-)

Thank you again, Miss Attitude, of Reading In Color for sharing her story! Is there a children's book with characters of color that comes to your mind?

Artist Arthur Community Interview!


Here it is! The Artist Arthur Community Interview I've been promising you!

So many people have been really excited about the upcoming release of Manifest: A Mystyx Novel by Artist Arthur. In fact, a lot of folks have wanted to conduct interviews with the author. This is a huge project with over one hundred people reviewing and participating in the campaign.

I thought a community interview would be a fun way to give everyone an opportunity to interact with Artist, while providing all who are interested with an interview. I also don't want to overwhlem her. We need her to get working on the next books in the series so we can find out what happens to Krystal and her new friends who all share the same 'M' shaped birthmark as well as supernatural powers.

From Artist: "I'm amazed at the tremendous response to Manifest and would like to sincerely thank every one of you for your support and participation."

And here's how it works:
*Submit one question in the comments section.
*All questions will be submitted to Artist. She will answer them all. I will compile them and send them out to everyone who contributed. That way, you can pick and choose the questions/responses you would like to feature for a customized interview post.

**Please read through the comments! Repeat questions will be discarded.** This is your opportunity to be creative and ask that burning question you just need to know! Remember, this is Artist's debut YA novel. She previously published romance. There may be a question or two in that alone! If you haven't had a chance to read the book yet and would like a synopsis, please visit my Manifest page where you will find a book trailer, description, and excerpt.

And did I mention the swag?? Aritst is generously offering a signed Manifest tote bag to one lucky contrbutor!

You have two weeks from today to get your question in. Comments will close on Friday, July 2, with the winner of the tote bag being announced on Tuesday, July 6. Good Luck!