Monday, October 12, 2009

"Sunday Scoop" The Gang's Weekly Column


Please check out the post right before the Scoop, an interview with illustrator "Brandon Dorman."  Anyone who has read any YA/Middle Grade/Fic books will recognize his work.

This past week brought bittersweet times for us.  First Lauryn came down with a virus, gave it to Dave, who gave it to Mara, who gave it to Sami, who went full cycle and gave it back to Lauryn. (a mouthful, we know!)  On Thursday, Dave got his wish and we were all home for Mara's birthday, even if most of the day was spent with the 4 of us laying down resting.  The sweet part of the bittersweet was we decided that we would celebrate Mara's birthday from Thursday evening through tonight and make it a loooong birthday weekend.  We went to "Delicious Orchards" and went shopping around for some fresh baked pies, fresh fruit, and home made apple cider (yummmy!).  We also went out for a birthday breakfast one day and a birthday dinner the next.  Here are some pics we took along the way.

This coming week should be fun.  On Wednesday, our local Barnes and Noble is having a book signing with John Hulme and Michael Wexler, authors of "The Seems" series.  They will be promoting their new book "The Seems: The Lost Train of Thoughts".  

On Thursday is the day we have been waiting for!  We will be heading out to New York City to finally meet James Dashner, the author of "The Maze Runner."  If you have EVER taken 2 minutes to look around our site, then you know about James and Maze.  A pleasant surprise, we found out this week that the awesome Scott Westerfeld, promoting his new book "Leviathan" will be at the same signing.  A double whammy!  Dave already started reading "Leviathan" and had recently finished and reviewed "Uglies."  Yes, we are excited to meet Scott, but the trip into NYC is for Dashner.

Speaking of exciting, here is a reminder of the "Mega Contest" that we will be holding soon to mark the re launch of our site.  Really, we are just going to give the site a new look, but hey, any excuse to have a cool contest for you guys is fine with us.  In the mean time, we might just change around the colors of the site this week for fun.  Possibly even to get into the spirit of Halloween.  THE COLOR CHANGE WILL NOT BE OUR OFFICIAL "NEW LOOK."  Just thought we would throw that in so we do not confuse anyone.

So far, as a reminder, we have commitments from Sourcebook, Scholastic, Random House, and Harper Collins for prize packs.  We are still waiting to find out what they plan to include, and once we do, we will launch the contest.  We still have not heard back from Penguin  :o(  but we will keep our fingers crossed that they respond.  As far as the $200 Apple gift card, some of you have emailed us about it.  Here's the deal....Lauryn wanted an IPOD for her birthday, so she asked EVERYONE to give her gift cards to the apple store.  Well, EVERYONE listened to her and she got her wish, a new ipod.  For the last 3 months she has had a balance on her gift card of somewhere in the neighborhood of $125, and nothing to use it on.  Mara and Dave decided to "buy" it from her, go back to the store, and add $75 to it making it $200.  We decided on $200 as it would be just around the right amount to get yourself a cool ipod touch or a regular ipod, whichever you choose.  

Anyway, we will post more about the contest as soon as we know what we will be giving away.  It will probably last about 4 weeks as it is a "Mega Contest."  That would give us time to finalize our site's new look and give you guys a chance to get plenty of entries. We have been talking about the rules and they will be pretty easy and not too much different than our other contests.

Ah, other contests....we are excited to announce that we will be interviewing National Best Selling author Angie Sage, author of the "Septimus Heap" series.  Of course we have a brand new copy of  "Syren", the new 5th book in the series.  As Angie is on tour, we are working with her publicist and do not have a time frame for the interview yet other than as soon as we can.  Hopefully we have some "Heap" fans out there.  If you have read any of the "Septimus Heap" books, let us know how you liked them.  We are psyched to be able to give that one away!

Keeping in mind that the ENTIRE Gang was sick this past week, we didn't get much of anything done, let alone reading. Dave is still working on his "Secret" book as well as reading "The Seems" AND "Leviathan" all at once.  Mara is still working on "The Accidental Billionaire" and got a bunch of cook books from Harper Collins this past week that she plans to review AFTER she uses them to cook dinner this week!  Lauryn finished "The Maze Runner" as her book report is due soon and she wanted to have it done before we went to visit James this week.  Lastly, Sami, who was really laid up hard with a high fever, didn't get much reading in and is still working on the same book as last week.  That might come to a temporary halt as the new "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" comes out tomorrow.  Although we are waiting for a review copy to come, she does not want to wait.  More reviews are on their way though, don't worry.  We should be receiving our review copy of J. Scott Savage's "Farworld: Land Keep" this week.  Once we do, Dave will read it (since he absolutely loved book 1 in the series, Water Keep which he also recently reviewed) and post his review along with an interview he did with Scott this weekend.  Thanks for all your time Scott, it is greatly appreciated.  Also, we have a few more interviews coming your way.  To name a few, we have Sheila, master book blogger (who we did not forget about) and Mark Forman, author of "Adventurers Wanted: Slathbog's Gold" which was recently reviewed on the site.

In just about 5 days, we will let one lucky winner choose whether they want to receive the ARC or hard copy of Suzanne Collins "Catching Fire" as our contest comes to an end soon.  If you haven't entered, haven't read the reviews for extra entries, or haven't posted about it on your site, time is running out.  For the last 5 days, and as a token of our appreciation for reading the "Scoop", we will add another quick, easy way for you to get entries.  If you somehow can get other people to come to our site, (be creative) enter the contest, and tell us that you sent them, you will receive 2 (YES 2!) extra entries to the contest PER person that mentions you.  Just remind them to read the rules before they enter.  Some people have been entering WITHOUT actually "following" our site.  As it is a requirement for entry, we will discard any entries from people who are not followers.  For those of you who can pay attention and follow rules, we thank you and you have nothing to worry about.

Well, since this "Sunday Scoop" has turned into a sort of late night Sunday, early morning Monday post, it is about time we wrap it up.  As always, feel free to email us with any questions, comments, concerns, or if you just want to say hi!  You can get any of us at our email address, and we will be sure to get back to you asap.  We hope to post pics of our signing that we are going to later in the week.  

To conclude our "Sunday Scoop" we are very excited that our boys in pinstripes SWEPT the Twins under the rug.  Even more exciting is that the Angels made a laughing stock of the Redsox, cleaning their clocks in 3 straight! Philly is leading 2 games to 1 over the Rockies with game 4 tomorrow night.  The Dodgers also swept the Cards in 3.  Now, wouldn't it be cool to see Torre (yes, we still love him no matter where he manages) and the Dodgers face the Yanks in the series??  We shall see.  Until next week, thanks to you all for staying loyal and for being a part of our passion.

Dave, Mara, Lauryn, and Sami



  1. Wow gang, glad everyone is feeling better for your trip to NY. Happy Belated birthday Mara, looks like you have a great day. Have a great week and happy reading!

  2. Sickness stinks! Glad you all are coming around.

    I LOVE the Septimue Heap series. I ,too, got a copy of Syren and am excited to read it.

    Enjoy your trip to NYC. Haven't read Maze Runner but loved the Uglies series.

    Take care,

  3. Super cute pictures! It sounds like we're going to be hearing about a lot of great books really soon. Have fun in NY!

  4. Too bad you guys were sick, and on Mara's birthday, too. Oh well, you seem like you managed to have a good time. ^_^ The pictures are awesome! Lauryn and Sami are adorable.

    Bet you can't wait for Thursday. You make sure to take some pics there, too, 'kay? (Did you check out my Dash interview yet, btw?)

    Thanks for the updates on the mega contest and stuff. Nice story about how the $200 card prize came about, too. I've read the Heap series. All those other interviews and contests sound really cool. Looking forward to them.

    I liked that Brandon Dorman interview. I'm going to comment about it there right now.

  5. what a unique idea! Im new to this site, and I love how the entire family reads. I hope you are all feeling better, and have sprayed your house with Lysol and opened all the windows! LOL

  6. Aww sorry to hear you all were sick! That's not fun.

    But hope you all have a fantastic trip to NEW YORK! I've never been to a book signing, but one of these days I will. :)

    Can't wait for the mega contest, and to see what your site makeover will look like! :)

  7. Sorry to hear that you were all sick. But you still managed to fit a whole lot into your weekend despite being under the weather! Loved the pictures!

    Glad you are all feeling better now. And have fun when you meet James! Wish I could join you, but will have to settle for your posting. Enjoy! :)