Monday, August 30, 2010

CONTEST! Giveaway of a brand new copy of Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins


Alrighty guys and gals, here it is!  Only like the #1 Bestseller.  Ah, who really cares about the Hunger Games???  Oh, you do....  Why didn't you say so????  What was that? You would LOVE to win a copy of Mockingjay??  Ok, well tell ya what, we got one for ya right here.  The day I went out and bought a copy for myself, a nice, shiny one was waiting for me at my door for review.  That means I have an extra copy, and one of you will happily take it off my hands for me.

PLEASE read the entire contest post (oh come on, it's not that long)

The contest will end at 11:59pm on Sunday, October 3rd.  It's not too bad and the reason I picked that date is we are moving (yeah!) and that will be the first weekend in our new home.  I think it will be fun to kick off our new home by giving something away. 

It's pretty simple but you MUST follow our rules.  The first and most important one is that you MUST be a follower of our site.  To clarify a "follower" you must be a signed up member through google friend connect.  It is located on the right side bar of our site and it says "Follow" where you need to click if you are not already following.  When I pick a winner, I will verify you are following and if you are not, I will pick another winner.  Rule 2- I need your email address.  Please either leave it in your entry or if you prefer, you can email it to me directly at  Rule 3- tell me what country you are in because I am making this open to anyone with an address anywhere! Pretty easy, right?

Here's how you get your entries:

+2 if you are an existing follower

+1 if you are a new follower

+5 if you blog, tweet, facebook a link, charter a plane to fly a banner up and down your street, etc. about the contest.  AND link back to it in your entry

+5 for FOR YOU for EACH person that signs up as a new follower, enters the contest, and says in their entry that you sent them (Time to call in that favor they owe you!)


+5 for guessing correctly which YA, fairly new series (a yearish old) I have left a clue for somewhere in this posting.  PLEASE do not say what the clue is. Just tell me the author's name and any of the books in the series and for everyone who is correct I will personally add the +2 on when I am tallying up the entries for

There are your ways to enter.  I just wanna tell you shanks why I am such a stickler with the whole "following" thing.  Many of my review copies and most of my giveaway copies of the book I get are provided by publishers to me.  The more people following our site, the more they send, the more I can do for you guys as far as reviews, contests, etc.  It's  really marketing for these publishers and that's fine, it a business world out there.  So, it would help me out a lot if you guys followed (and help you out too if you are the winner!)  I did decide that I am going to review Mockingjay in a few weeks.  I read it right away of course and loved it.  I just think it will be nice for me to put a review up for you guys in a few weeks.  For making you guys wait until Oct 3rd for the contest to be over, I have a  surprise.  Scholastic is supposed to be sending me a bunch of Mockingjay swag.  If they do, I will randomly choose people to win throughout the contest.  I will email you if you are chosen (hence leaving the email in the entry).  Lastly, I pick the contest winner by using as always.

As always, feel free to contact me if you have any questions, concerns, or just to shoot the breeze at

**UPDATE- Tues 8/31**

Today I received a bag of (Hunger Games Series) pins and tattoos as well as a copy of Mockingjay from Scholastic for the giveaway.  So, just a quick update, the giveaway copy of Mockingjay is provided by Scholastic and I received no monetary compensation for the contest, promoting the book, or reviewing it.  Also, for the few of you who already entered, I added another opportunity to gain 2 extra entries above.  For those of you who entered prior to the update, ending with "Susan" at 11:40am on August 31st, 2010 I will automatically give you each the +2.

Good Luck!!


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Scorch Trials Contest is Over! Who Won, and What Contest is Next??

We have some really good news for you!  Besides announcing the winner for our own ARC of James Dashner's Scorch Trials, we have another contest that will be launched either today or tomorrow.  Now there are a lot of great books out there that many of you want to read.  However, there are few that you ALL want to read.  For that reason, we have decided to give away a brand new copy of " Mockingjay " by Suzanne Collins! 

That's right, at least 1 copy will be given away if not more.  I went out yesterday to purchase my copy, and when I arrived home with it fresh in the Barnes and Noble bag, there was a nice package waiting for me from Scholastic with the Hunger Games symbol on the envelope.  They sent me a review copy! My misfortune turned into your fortune!  Also, I have bothered my friends at Scholastic to see if they are able to kick in another copy and maybe some swag.  So, not 100% sure about the additional copies, etc. but I definitely have 1 copy to give away.  I will make the contest rules up and have them posted shortly.  I guess at this point, you would like to know who won The Scorch Trials, huh???  I used to pick the winner and  well, the lucky winner of my very own ARC of James Dashner's Scorch Trials is......

Steve D

I will send you out an email to get your address or you can just email it to me at if you read this post first.

Thank you all very much for entering.  I wish I had a copy for each and every one of you.  Remember to check back in a day for the contest for Mockingjay.  Again, I have at least 1 copy (hardcover) to give away and hopefully more by the time I post the contest.

Thanks all!


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Book Review: " The Scorch Trials " by James Dashner

My Review

I decided to skip the intro here because I posted it in the contest opening.  This was a really tough book for me to review only because it is difficult to discuss much without giving too much away.  With that said, I hope you will enjoy what I have to say and hopefully it will just get you that much more excited to tear through this!

I stayed home from work today because I woke up feeling horrible.  Since I have been laying in bed all day resting, I was able to really think about the Scorch Trials and what's going on from a macro point of view.  I believe that many authors/people have this vision of the world being faced with some sort of mass scaled destruction one day.  I do have to say, James has gotten very creative in his vision.  

In the Scorch Trials, all of the Gladers that have made it through the Maze have a terrible next "phase" of the Trials where they are faced with the Scorch.  It is a large, desert like area of land that is inhabited by people who have this disease called the Flare.  These people are very dangerous, and with the heat reaching ridiculously high degrees in the Scorch, the Gladers have a tough task ahead of them.  The actual task sounds easy- get to a safe haven 100 miles north of where the Gladers are dropped in the Scorch in 2 weeks flat.  Yeah, good luck with that one!

The characters in The Scorch Trials are your old group plus a whole slew of new people that we are introduced to.  There are others who can speak with their mind, others who are just as strong as the Gladers, just as dangerous if not more, and even a love triangle/quadrangle/who knows what angle goin on!  Besides some of your favorites like Thomas, Minho, Frypan, Teresa, you have some new people you have to look forward to- Aris, Jorge, Brenda, and Group B (yeah, the infamous Group B!).  Jorge is a somewhat leader of a group of peeps with the Flare (The Cranks) that Thomas and the gang spend some quality time with and go through a lot with.  Now, Aris and Brenda... oh boy, I am not going to say much about these 2 because they are HUGE in Scorch.  By the end of the book, I had been through a few cycles of liking/disliking these 2.  Excellent character playing here Dashner!

Ok so, WICKED.  Well, a TON is learned about their purpose and their experiment with the Gladers.  What was interesting is that as much as I learned about them, I ended up having twice as many new questions about them by the time the book was over.  This is cool, trust me.  What  I will tell you about WICKED is that they are powerful, rich, and basically have unlimited resources for their purpose.  Dashner shows us this with their advanced technology (LOVE THE FLAT TRANS!) to their ability to create this experiment in its entirety!  These people are no joke.  They have the ability to create the most gruesome lightning storms that made me feel like I needed to take cover! Cool stuff.  I was left with many thought about WICKED and most of all I was left wondering exactly what function Thomas and Teresa serve with them.  This is not a spoiler at all because you will not know why I think this and it is just my opinion (for now)- Dashner made me wonder if Thomas and Teresa were actually in charge of WICKED and put themselves in this experiment in order to achieve maximum results.  I almost felt like they did this whole thing to themselves, which is either really crazy or it is the maximum sacrifice for all of man kind.  Weird thought but it has crossed my mind several times.  Hmmm.  

Anyway, back to my review....  Scorch Trials is really about everything I mentioned above tied up in to this 2 week journey.  There are endless tunnels, high tech transport devices, some strange dudes, and an awful place Dashner creates in our minds.  Have no fear, just when you are wondering where the next set of horrible thig-a-ma-jigs like the Grievers are, BAM- Dashner's new set of evil monsters come at you from all angles.  

There was one part of the book that I am going to tell you about that I thought was a totally great twister and has stuck in my mind as a really cool scene.  It won't mean anything to you until you read the book but may leave you with something to think about....  At one part in the book Thomas gets hurt. (not telling you how or what is wrong with him)  Now keep in mind that people have been killed before in the book and many have been hurt to some extent, including Thomas and it is what it is, right?  Ok, so Thomas gets hurt and it seems like it could be dangerously fatal or at the least, slow him down a bit.  Out of nowhere, WICKED kind of like puts the experiment on pause, goes and grabs Thomas from the Scorch (how they get him is classic!), and take him somewhere and quickly make him better.  They totally heal him and dump him back in the Scorch as if nothing had changed.  I don't know... to me that was totally cool.  It was like something unexpected, an uncalculated error had occurred and WICKED had to quickly fix it.  What it showed me was that WICKED was 1000% in control.  Considering that The Maze Runner and The Scorch Trials are part of this huge scenario, it amazed me how easily they were able to manipulate things.  Again, these people are NO joke and I totally can not wait till book 3, The Death Cure to hopefully (and finally!) find out what they are all about.

Alright, so there was a quick review of Scorch with a few little previews of what you have to look forward to.  Trust me, what I wrote about above was almost nothing compared to the whole story.  The book is a non stop reader and even a re-reader.  If Dashner can WOW us with The Death Cure, I definitely feel like he will have created a new legacy in the sci-fi arena.  His writing was fantastic, tight, and pure.  Just think, if he wasn't writing The Maze Runner series, this guy would actually be practicing accounting!  JAMES- THANK YOU for realizing what your purpose was.  Thank you from all of us!


Wednesday, August 11, 2010


(Open to anyone, anywhere who has a mailing address)

So I was planning to hold the contest until a few days after I read the book, and Mara says to me, "you are going to have plenty of time to read it while the contest is open for entry so duh, put up the contest now!"  And, here it is.  I'll tell you, I do not know what I would do in life without her.  I am thankful for my lovely wife every single day.  Ok, so enough of the mushy stuff and let's get to the gooood stuff.

Before we go over the rules for entry, I want to give you guys the synopsis/preview which is on the back of the ARC and I a pretty sure I have not seen this anywhere.  COnsider it a little contest warming present from me to you:


Solving the Maze was supposed to be the end.  No more puzzles.  No more variables. And no more running.  Thomas was sure that escape meant he and the Gladers would get their lives back.  But no one really knew what sort of life they were going back to.

In the Maze, life was easy.  They had food, and shelter, and safety... until Teresa triggered the end.  In the world outside the Maze, however, the end was triggered long ago.

Burned by sun flares and baked by a new, brutal climate, the Earth is a wasteland.  Government has disintegrated- and with it, order-and now Cranks, people covered in festering wounds and driven to murderous insanity by the infectious disease known as the Flare, roam the crumbling cities hunting for their next victim... and meal.

The Gladers are far from done running.  Instead of freedom, they find themselves faced with another trial.  They must cross the Scorch, the most burned-out section of the world, and arrive at a safe haven in two weeks.  And WICKED has made sure to adjust the variables and stack the odds against them.

Thomas can only wonder- does he hold the secret of freedom somewhere in his mind?  Or will he forever be at the mercy of WICKED?


WOWZERS!!! So, I am on page 80 of 360 and Dashner has followed through and absolutely NOT failed me.  Seriously man, where did you come from?!?!  Dashner, YOU DA MAN!

Ok, so you want to win yourself my treasured ARC of The Scorch Trials, do ya??  My objective is to make this both fun and easy.  There will be a main entry requirement and then a few different ways you faithful Duders can earn some extra entries and increase you chances of winning. (10 total possible entries per person) I will use at the contests conclusion to pick the winner.  All I ask is that you guys follow my rules as many of my followers know I take very seriously and will hold you to them.  It's not that I am being difficult, it's just that a contest is difficult to run in it's entirety and I am more than happy to do it so I just ask for a little cooperation.  Now, with that out of the way, here are the rules and ways to enter:

You must, 100% be an official follower of our site.  This is extremely important and you will be disqualified if you are not a follower if you are picked. I will check and see if the winner is a follower before announcing it. If you don't know how to do this, on the right side bar of my site there is a "follow" button that says "with google friend connect" right underneath it.  Just follow the instructions and you will be good to go.


 For simply leaving a comment and your email address in the comments section.  Remember you MUST be a follower.  If you do not want to leave your email address, make sure you email me directly with the name you entered under AND your email address


If you write in your comment what you think is going down in "The Scorch Trials." It is just fun for everyone to see where you think Dashner's mind is, or perhaps where you would like it to be!

If you blog on your site/tweet/facebook, etc. about this contest AND put the link back to it in your entry.


If you read through and comment on my last 2 book reviews, "Z" and "I Am Number Four" you can add +1 for each of those.  ALSO, any reviews that go up between now and the contest end is worth +1 also for each one you read and comment on!

To celebrate the release of the paperback version of "The Maze Runner," the contest will end at exactly 11:59 p.m. EST on Tuesday, August 24th, 2010.

I think the rules are pretty simple.  I am really excited to give this away to one of you guys or gals.  As always, if you have any questions regarding the contest you can feel free to email me at and just because the "law" says I have to write this, this ARC was provided to me by Random House to review here on my blog site. (which I was VERY appreciative of!)

Thanks all and Good Luck!!


" The Scorch Trials " ARC by James Dashner- Preview and Giveaway Contest Information!




As many of you know, I am a HUGE Dashner/Maze Runner fan.  After countless hours/days/nights/weeks/months of waiting for it, I finally got what I was waiting for!  A little birdie (the Fed Ex guy) left this at my door today.  Now the only thing standing between me and The Scorch Trials is that inconvenient thing called WORK!

Ok, so here is the deal- I am going to do my absolute best to have this finished before I go to bed tonight and I want to make something very clear to you guys....  I will be reviewing it as soon as I finish BUT as many of you know my style already, I will NOT and I repeat NOT give ANY spoilers away in my review.  I have gotten really good at giving you guys a review of something like this without really giving anything away.  To those of you who know me, you will know that is 100% true.  To those of you who do not, you will have to trust me.  My review will be spoiler proof, that I can assure you.

Why should any of you care??  Good question.  Well, obviously I checked with Dash first and he thought it would be a cool idea for me to give away my ARC of The Scorch Trials.  You heard me correctly.  Shortly after I read it (and Lauryn reads it too of course!) we will be having a contest to give away my ARC of The Scorch Trials.  Now this is probably going to be one of the hardest things I have ever done, but I am 99.9% positive that it would be the right thing to do and share the wealth with other Dashner fans.  The other .01% is me telling myself that I am crazy and have waited forever for this and I want it all to myself!!!! Ok, got that out of my system.  So, keep your eyes peeled for the review real soon and then even more so, keep your eyes open for a giveaway here. Once the contest goes live, and I honestly do not know when that will be (it will be soon, but I might want to read it twice first) you will see it here on our site and I believe Dash is going to post and tweet about it too.  Anyway, I hope you are all doing well and I look forward to sharing Scorch Trials with you guys!!  One more time- YAAAYYYYY!!!


Monday, August 2, 2010

Book Review: " Z " by Michael Thomas Ford


Josh is by far the best zombie Torcher around.  At least, he is in his virtual-reality zombie-hunting game.  Zombies haven't existed in the real world in more than 15 years, and the battle to defeat the devastating zombie epidemic is now the stuff of history lessons.  Or so it seems.

When Josh accepts a coveted invitation to join an underground gaming league in the dark, forgotten, tunnels of the city, he soon realizes that hunting zombies is not all fun and games.  Real blood is spilling, members of the team are disappearing, and the zombies in the game are acting strange.  And then there's the matter of a mysterious drug called Z.....


Alright, well I got this ARC from Harper Collins and to be honest, I kind of put it aside for a little while as I usually have zero interest in Zombie books.  I don't know what it is but I just never got into them.  The typical "story" of zombies is kind of boring.  I mean, they're just dead, ugly, things that walk around and moan all the time, right??  Anyway, I happen to pick this up one day to just test the waters.  I actually liked it a lot because it wasn't your typical Zombie book.  That said, I thought it was pretty cool.  

Josh is the main man here who sort of is addicted to this zombie video game.  He plays all the time with his good friend from school, firecracker.  What is hysterical (and kind of pointless) is that they refer to the zombies they kill in the game as meatbags.  Sorry, had to tell you.  Anyway, Josh is really good at the game and end up gets recruited by Charlie, who happens to be like the best online player Josh has ever seen.  Charlie recruits Josh to the underground zombie fighting game which is supposed to be simulated and created by this tech junkie named Clatter (he wears a long coat and keeps keys to just about everything in his coat, hence Clatter).

In this "simulated" game, Josh and a group of existing team members have to go around cool, desolated areas of the city to mach playing zones and torch the zombies.  The zombies are nothing more than mechanical targets (walking and moaning) that clatter has created.  The deal is rich people come and bet on the torchers to see who can get the most kills, etc.  

Strange things seem to happen to Josh's team mates while playing the game.  It appears some get bit by these fake zombies and for one reason or another get hurt and need to take a break from playing.  Something that Charlie introduces Josh to is a drug called Z.  Z takes your mental status and sort of makes you think, act and behave like a zombie in order to heighten your senses for the game.  The questions is, what is Z?  What's up with the "dummy" zombies?  They act awfully weird.  Where do all of Josh's teammates disappear to? What is so weird about the torcher's torch shooting real fire out of it and torching the simulated zombies?  Ok, so that was a bunch of questions, but the good news is that the answers to all of them are in the book and they will not disappoint you!  

Again, I am NOT a fan of zombie books and there is a good chance that unless there is a part 2 to this series, which I believe there will be, I don't think I will be reading too many other zombie books.  So, if you are looking for a fun new read that is actually different from the usual, give this one a shot when it comes out.  I believe it's due out in Sept of 2010, which is right around the corner!



BTW, had to sneak it in, but I believe ARC's of James Dashner's " The Scorch Trials " are in the mail!!! WOO HOO, GO DASH!  I can't wait!  So many !!!!!!!  Am I excited about this?  Naa, not that much...  cough cough (chokin on my words!)