Blog Schedule

I post on Monday with an occasional random blog thrown in for good measure. I do my best to answer all comments via email and visit around on the days I post.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Blogtoberfest! - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more
(Notice new header picture.)

It's my Second Annual BlogtoberFest!
AND it's the first day of National Book Month
So what could be better than a book give-away to celebrate FIVE years of blogging and say THANK YOU to all my Random Followers?

That's right, five years! Who could have known I'd still be at it? Certainly not me.

To celebrate I've got a BIG give-away going on. Not just one, not just two, but FIVE prizes.

The rules are simple.

To win, all YOU have to do is leave a comment and tell me which ONE of the prizes you would like. That's it. AND you can enter as many times as you like, as long as you let me know in your comment which ONE of the prizes you would like.

Did I mention, you can only pick ONE prize at a time?

How's that for simple?

There's just ONE draw-back, this is only open to people living in the United States. (Sorry...)

So what are you going for?

Moon Over Manifest
by Clare Vanderpool
Abilene Tucker feels abandoned. Her father has put her on a train, sending her off to live with an old friend for the summer while he works a railroad job. Armed only with a few possessions and her list of universals, Abilene jumps off the train in Manifest, Kansas, aiming to learn about the boy her father once was.

Having heard stories about Manifest, Abilene is disappointed to find that it’s just a dried-up, worn-out old town. But her disappointment quickly turns to excitement when she discovers a hidden cigar box full of mementos, including some old letters that mention a spy known as the Rattler. These mysterious letters send Abilene and her new friends, Lettie and Ruthanne, on an honest-to-goodness spy hunt, even though they are warned to “Leave Well Enough Alone.”

Abilene throws all caution aside when she heads down the mysterious Path to Perdition to pay a debt to the reclusive Miss Sadie, a diviner who only tells stories from the past. It seems that Manifest’s history is full of colorful and shadowy characters—and long-held secrets. The more Abilene hears, the more determined she is to learn just what role her father played in that history. And as Manifest’s secrets are laid bare one by one, Abilene begins to weave her own story into the fabric of the town.

Island of the Aunts
 by Eva Ibbotson AND
Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry 
by Mildred D. Taylor

When the kindly old aunts decide that they need help caring for creatures who live on their hidden island, they know that adults can't be trusted. What they need are a few special children who can keep a secret - a secret as big as a magical island. And what better way to get children who can keep really big secrets, than to kidnap them! (After all, some children just plain need to be kidnapped.) Don't miss this wildly inventive and funny read from master storyteller Eva Ibbotson. 


Why is the land so important to Cassie's family? It takes the events of one turbulent year - the year of the night riders and the burnings, the year a white girl humiliates Cassie in public simply because she is black - to show Cassie that having a place of their own is the Logan family's lifeblood. It is the land that gives the Logans their courage and pride, for no matter how others may degrade them, the Logans possess something no one can take away.

The Grim and Grimmer trilogy 
by Ian Irvine each book signed by the author!

The Fey Queen, Emajicka, is stealing the children of Grimmery for her Collection. She bathes in their nightmares to relieve her own. There is one nightmare she wants most of all.

If Ike had stayed home that Tuesday, he would not have betrayed a princess or robbed a murderous queen. He would not have been tied to an insane imp desperate to eat his liver. He certainly would not have floated across a strange land on an impossible rescue mission, powered by exploding manure. Nor would he have tried to escape via that disastrous troll-bum door...

But can he ever escape the Nightmare Queen?

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon
by Grace Lin
In the valley of Fruitless Mountain, a young girl named Minli lives in a ramshackle hut with her parents. In the evenings, her father regales her with old folktales of the Jade Dragon and the Old Man on the Moon, who knows the answers to all of life's questions. Inspired by these stories, Minli sets off on an extraordinary journey to find the Old Man on the Moon to ask him how she can change her family's fortune. She encounters an assorted cast of characters and magical creatures along the way, including a dragon who accompanies her on her quest for the ultimate answer. 

Grace Lin, author of the beloved Year of the Dog and Year of the Rat, returns with a wondrous story of adventure, faith, and friendship. A fantasy crossed with Chinese folklore, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon is a timeless story reminiscent of The Wizard of Oz. Her beautiful illustrations, printed in full-color, accompany the text throughout. Once again, she has created a charming, engaging book for young readers.

The Heart of a Samurai
by Margi Preus

In 1841 a Japanese fishing vessel sinks. Its crew is forced to swim to a small, unknown island, where they are rescued by a passing American ship. Japan’s borders remain closed to all Western nations, so the crew sets off to America, learning English on the way.

Manjiro, a 14-year-old boy, is curious and eager to learn everything he can about this new culture. Eventually the captain adopts Manjiro and takes him to his home in New England. The boy lives there for some time and then heads to San Francisco to pan for gold. After many years, he makes it back to Japan, only to be imprisoned as an outsider. With his hard-won knowledge of the West, Manjiro is in a unique position to persuade the emperor to ease open the boundaries around Japan; he may even achieve his unlikely dream of becoming a samurai.


Each prize will be accompanied by a tatted bookworm bookmark (though not necessarily the one you see here.)

Winners will be announced on Monday, October 29th, the actual anniversary day.

Come one, come all. I'd be thrilled if you spread the word because as with any party, the more the merrier!


  1. I am not eligible but I can still wish you good luck with your Octoberfest and congrats on 5 years!

  2. Okay -- FIVE years!!! That's amazing. Although I think this month marks my 4th year. Could be 3 but who's counting. Feels like forever.

    Count me in for Moon over Manifest. Sounds like fun. something the Monster would like.

  3. What a milestone! Wow!

    And what tremendous prizes. Moon Over Manifest is on my favorites list. Just love that story. As I do Roll of Thunder and Heart of a Samurai. But for my pick (because I have the three I mentioned), I'll go with Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. I haven't yet read it, and my daughter keeps insisting that I need to.

  4. Five years - congratulations! I'd be happy to mention it in the Ninja News for you.

  5. Congrats! Five years is a long time in the blogging world.

  6. Hey! Happy bloggy birthday! Five years. Good stuff.

    And what cool prizes! I guess Moon Over Manifest or either the Lin or Preus book looks awesome!

    Best to you~ :o) <3

  7. Wow! 5 years? How can that be? Congratulations on a wonderful blogging record. You always post such interesting stories that I look forward to reading them every week.

    And what a generous giveaway! You're amazing.

  8. Wow, five years! I would love Moon Over Manifest. It sounds like the adventures my friends and I pretended to have when we were little.

  9. Congrats on five years, Bish! Heart of a Samurai sounds like something my boys would like. :)

  10. Hi, Bish! CONGRATS on 5 years of blogging!

    My choice is Moon Over Manifest.

  11. Wow, what a generous giveaway, Bish! Happy 5 Year Blogiversary!! It's been a pleasure reading your posts and I'm glad to know you through the blogosphere!

    Where the Mountain Meets the Moon is my pick if I win!!! :)

  12. FIVE YEARS!!! That's fantastic. Look at your following?

    Thanks for such a generous giveaway. Hmmm, what to pick? I'll go head to head with Rena for Grace Lin's book! But I've not read the Island of the Aunts. Sounds great.

  13. Five years! Maybe you set a record :)

  14. Congrats on your blogging birthday, Bish. And here's to many more. :D

  15. Congratulations on 5 years! WOW!! I love your blog and am happy that you are still blogginf. Thanks for the amazing giveaways!

    Plese put me in for Moon over Manifest- it sounds fabulous and I have been wanting to read it.

  16. Okay- it says we can enter more than once and for different prizes- I am now entering for the Grimm pack! Thanks!

  17. Entering for Island of the Aunts because I haven't read anything by that author- but I have heard great things about her books. Also, Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry was one of my favorite books growing up. :)

  18. I haven't read Heart of a Samurai- but I would love to win it! It sounds so interesting. Thanks!
    P.S. The bookmark tattoo idea is so cool!

  19. I tweeted about the giveaway and posted it to I Love Books facebook (I am an admin there). :) Thanks again!

  20. Congrats on five years! My choice would be Grim and Grimmer.

  21. Wish I was in the US now :P Congratulations on your blog's fifth birthday. Very generous giveaway :)

  22. Congrats! I hit 7 years last spring and completely forgot.

    Where the Mountain Meets the Moon sounds cute.

  23. Congrats Bish! Five years! and what an awesome giveaway. Would sure love to win any of these books :)


  24. Grim and Grimmer trilogy looks cool.:)

  25. Thanks to everyone who's signed up. I wish ALL of you could win.

    Keep 'em coming. We've got til the 29th.

  26. The Grim & Grimmer series looks awesome.

    Five years is amazing. I'm so glad to be a follower. I always enjoy your posts.

  27. Congratulations Bish! What an accomplishment! I so enjoy reading your posts about St. John...and Texas. It allows me to visit places I've never been (well, unless you count a re-route to the Dallas Airport!) I'd love to read Moon over Manifest! Best wishes!

  28. WOO HOO to you! Five years at this craziness!

    Since I technically don't live in the US (STX), but I am serviced by the USPS, I'm going to give you my preference,just in case.

    'Where the Mountain Meets the Moon'

    Keep up the good work and here's to another five years, at least.

  29. Bish, this is so generous of you. I am NOT entering, as I've won your lovely tatting before and I tend to win things fairly often, actually. (Ha, if only I could get published that easily.) It's time for others to win. So good luck to all!

  30. Congrats on your Blogaversary! What great looking books! I would like to win the first one, Moon Over Manifest, and only because I love the cover! Didn't even read what it's about!

  31. Five years, wow! Congrats, Bish! I would love to win The Heart of a Samurai. What a wonderful giveaway! I remember your BlogtoberFest last year, and I signed up for it and then my hard drive crashed. :( That wasn't fun, and I missed your celebration. Your actual anniversary date is my mom's birthday!

  32. P.S. Those tatted bookworm bookmarks look really cool. Handmade by you?

  33. The Grim series sounds great! And what a cute bookmark. Congratulations on five years, wow! I've only been at it about a year-and-a half, I think.

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse

  34. Interesting book recommendations.
    Congrats on the five years :)


  35. Wow! Five years!!! Congrats, Bish! What a great giveaway!

  36. Looking through this again, I'm pretty sure my granddaughter would love all of these. She is 7 (8 on Thanksgiving). If I were to win one, what would you recommend for her age?

    She loves reading.



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