Category: Giveaways

Mar 17

Locally Laid by Lucie B Amundsen Review and Giveaway

Giveaways, Memoirs 8

Greetings Bookworms!

The Easter season is upon us, and regardless of whether or not you celebrate, eggs and bunnies have a way of infiltrating all the things. Also, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups actually taste better when they’re shaped like eggs. I’d argue it’s been empirically proven, but I simply don’t have the data to back that up. Seriously though, is there a better time of year to talk about eggs? It’s just the happiest of coincidences that today I get to tell you all about Lucie B Amundsen’s memoir about her family’s adventures in starting a pasture-raised egg farm. *I received a complimentary copy of Locally Laid: How We Built a Plucky, Industry-changing Egg Farm – from Scratch from the publisher for review consideration. It didn’t take long for me to accept after reading the title. I love a good double entendre.*

locallylaidOne evening over dinner in a Mexican restaurant, Lucie Amundsen’s husband Jason casually drops the bomb that he’d like to leave Corporate America behind and become an egg farmer. A locally sourced, pasture raised, foray into agriculture. Her reaction is essentially what mine would be: shock, hysterical crying, and the desperate hope that she was being punked.

As it turns out, Locally Laid was no joke. Hilariously cheeky brand name aside, the process of acquiring a few thousand laying hens was no easy feat. And since the hens they did acquire had been raised in an industrial manner, Jason and Lucie not only had to learn how to farm, but also learn how to teach chickens act like chickens. With antique machinery and a heck of a lot of gumption, they set off on the adventure of a lifetime. There’s a steep learning curve when it comes to farming as you may well imagine, but chicken farming in Duluth, Minnesota? WINTER IS COMING. The story is funny, smart, informative, devastating, and heartwarming. Plus it’s got a whole lot of chickens named LoLa.

I learned so much about agriculture in the US as a result of reading this book, which, frankly, is not a not a thing I’d have expected to find interesting. (I also learned a lot about chicken butts which is a thing I WOULD HAVE expected to find interesting. I’m just mentioning it because chicken butts.) I’m not a foodie, okay? I don’t get excited about artisanal cheeses or organic kale. I’m sure they’re awesome, but I was under the impression that local food was the exclusive domain of the foodie class. One of the things I loved so much about Amundsen’s book (aside from her killer sense of humor, because I would not turn down a beer with this lady) was that she made the whole concept of locally produced food seem accessible. She did a really great job of advocating for small and middle ag without making me feel like a complete jerk for my earlier willful ignorance. Does this mean I’m going to start getting up early and frequenting farmer’s markets? Probably not. BUT I plan to pay a little more attention in the grocery store. And maybe try my hand at a vegetable garden this spring. That’s a pretty awesome result for a plucky little book about chickens, no?

You want to read this now, don’t you? Today is your lucky day because the folks at Avery have provided a giveaway copy of Locally Laid for you! (And by “the folks at Avery” I mean Farin. Thanks for hooking us up, girl!)

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*If you make a purchase through a link on this site I may receive a commission. It depends on the link. But full disclosure and all that.*

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Dec 07

The Further Adventures of Ebenezer Scrooge by Charlie Lovett: Review & GIVEAWAY!

Classics, Giveaways 8

Haul Out the Holly, Bookworms!

Nothing gets me in the holiday spirit faster than a viewing of The Muppet Christmas Carol, cinematic gem that it is. Perhaps the only thing I’ve found to rival Gonzo as Dickens is the latest book by Charlie Lovett. I’ve discussed my adoration for the Dickens classic A Christmas Carol (here!) and my enthusiasm never wanes (although my greatest wish is that I could locate photographic evidence of myself in my Ghost of Christmas Present costume from my 4th grade production. SANTA, hook a girl up! Or, you know, anyone from Mrs. Wilson’s 4th grade class.) *I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for review consideration. This in no way affects the integrity of my review. The fact that I would prefer not to be visited by three ghosts, however…*

furtheradventuresofebenezerscroogeThe Further Adventures of Ebenezer Scrooge by Charlie Lovett picks up 20 years after our dear Ebenezer has his change of heart. The metamorphosis from vile curmudgeon to lovable eccentric is complete and true to his word, he’s spreading Christmas cheer all year long. Literally. Like, it’s hot and June and he’s talking about figgy pudding. In fact, it’s long since started getting on the nerves of his nearest and dearest. Fred, Bob Crachit, and his solicitor colleagues are kind of over his whole transformation. However, when Scrooge is visited by his old pal Jacob Marley (as he is periodically) he sets off on a mission to help him shed his chains a bit more quickly. He enlists the help of the three spirits who visited him so long ago, and by then end have spread all sorts of seasonally inappropriate Christmas cheer. It is nothing short of adorable and heartwarming, and the perfect holiday read.

Which brings me to the EXCITING part! The good folks at Viking/Penguin are sponsoring a GIVEAWAY. Not only will you receive a copy of The Further Adventures of Ebenezer Scroogeyou’ll also receive a gorgeous Penguin Hardcover Classic edition of A Christmas Carol.  Is there any better way to kick off your holiday season? I think not! Enter below!

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*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

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Nov 02

Speed Kings by Andy Bull: Review and Giveaway!

Giveaways, Non Fiction 6

Happy Monday Bookworms!

Let me tell you a story about bobsledding. No, not THAT story about bobsledding (I’m assuming you immediately thought of the classic and heartwarming film, Cool Runnings. That’s where my head went, anyway.) But I’m talking old school bobsledding. Back when it was all sexy and dangerous. Oh yeah, you didn’t know that bobsledding was sexy and dangerous? Well you WOULD know that if you’d read Speed Kings: The 1932 Winter Olympics and the Fastest Men in the World by Andy Bull! *I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for review consideration. You needn’t worry about a biased review though. I never, ever lie about bobsledding. Ever.*

coolrunnings

That leaning is super important for SPEED!

Whenever I think of Olympic athletes, I think of people who have trained since childhood in their given sport. I think of athletes so focused on the quest for the gold medal that they forgo traditional schooling and miss their proms in exchange for private tutoring on planes between competitions. The team that would eventually become gold medalists at the 1928 and 1932 Winter Olympic games in bobsledding were anything BUT the athletes I imagined. They were, in the immortal words of Maya Rudolph’s character in Bridesmaids “a stone cold pack of weirdos.” Here’s what the Goodreads synopsis had to say: “There was Jay O’Brien, the high-society playboy; Tippy Grey, a scandal-prone Hollywood has-been; Eddie Eagan, world champion heavyweight boxer and Rhodes Scholar; and the charismatic Billy Fiske, the true heart of the team, despite being barely out of his teens.” As you can imagine, bobsledding is a mere sliver of the story surrounding this charismatic crew.

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So, Katie, what did you think of Speed Kings: The 1932 Winter Olympics and the Fastest Men in the World? Thoughtful of you to ask, Katie! It took me longer to read than I expected, but that’s virtually always the case when I read non-fiction, no matter how interesting the subject matter. This book wasn’t what I expected at all, but it was pretty awesome. I mean, do you have any idea how dangerous bobsledding can be? Or that Hollywood has been a crazy bag of scandal since the dawn of time? Or that the dude who invented the Dewey decimal system was kind of a horrible human being? All sorts of craziness goes down in this book. But you don’t have to just take my word for it. The awesome folks at Avery Books are sponsoring a giveaway! Enter below to win!

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*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

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Aug 12

Three Year Blogiversary Giveaway!

Blogging, Giveaways 43

Holy Smokes, Bookworms!

It’s been THREE YEARS since I started Words for Worms. THREE YEARS! They’ve been years full of books, reviews, and zillions of weird lists. Also penguins. Oh my gosh I love this corner of the internet so so so so so much! To thank all of you awesome readers I’m going to do a giveaway so you can win cool stuff. I thought about compiling a box of weird fun things (socks with donuts on them, random excellent books, miscellaneous weirdness) but I realized that would discourage international readers because shipping miscellaneous weirdness overseas is very expensive. So. I’m going to give the winner an option. They can choose $25 to spend at Amazon (or other book retailer of winner’s choice because I am sensitive to the fact that not everyone is on board with Amazon) OR if the winner is a US resident and decides they want a box of crazy, I will compile something exceptionally fun and SURPRISE-Y for the winner worth at least $25. (I tend to go overboard with oddball merch if that influences your decision.) So, enter below. And thank you for three fun and fabulous years. High five!

blogiversary

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Mar 31

Gone Reading Giveaway!

Giveaways 33

Howdy Bookworms!

As you know, I’m a sucker for bookish swag. I work nerdy bookish accessories into my life and wardrobe like it’s my job, y’all. Lucky for me, there are some amazingly cool sites out there like Gone Reading. I LOVE  Gone Reading, you guys. They have a ton of cool stuff AND they donate all their profits to charities that promote literacy initiatives in the developing world. There goes all your guilt about “wasting” money on “non-essential” items. IT’S FOR CHARITY!

Brad at Gone Reading contacted me recently to see if I’d like to host a giveaway for my readers and/or review a product. Because they are AMAZING, I am now the proud owner of five literary finger puppets (a video puppet show is in the works, my pretties. I wanted to have it done by now, but you simply cannot rush the creative process… Or the husband who happens to double as your camera man.) In any case, I’ve for a $40 gift certificate to give away to one of YOU to shop at Gone Reading and buy yourself some sweet bookish stuff. Enter below!

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Emily Dickinson, Mark Twain, Oscar Wilde, Jane Austen, and my man Willy Shakes. He asked me to call him that.

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Dec 03

Mail Call!!!

Blogging, Giveaways 12

Hey Bookworms!

I know you’re SHOCKED to see me posting on a Wednesday. I am, too! Last year about this time, I offered to send REAL MAIL to any reader of my blog who wanted a holiday card and Words for Worms bookmark. I was thrilled by the response, so I thought I’d make the offer again.

Now. The bookmarks haven’t changed at all, BUT. I will put a weird sticker on each of them to make them slightly different than last year, and 100% unique. I mean, I have a lot of bizarre stickers. Robots, monkeys, blimps, you really have no idea what you’ll get. So. If you want mail (and who doesn’t?!) fill out the form. (I’ve never made a google form below, but I THINK I did it right!)

Happy Holidays, Y’all!

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Nov 10

First Impressions by Charlie Lovett & GIVEAWAY!

Contemporary Fiction, Giveaways, Historical Fiction 32

Dearest Bookworms,

You’d think I’d be tired of Jane Austen tributes and spinoffs at this point in my reading career… But you’d think wrong. When I was contacted by the publishers of Charlie Lovett’s new novel, First Impressions: A Novel of Old Books, Unexpected Love, and Jane Austen I was really excited. Not only do I love Jane Austen, but I also enjoyed Charlie Lovett’s last novel, The Bookman’s Tale: A Novel of Obsession (review). Everybody loves a subtitle, no? *I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for review consideration. I swear on the grave of Jane Austen than the following review will be truthful.*

first impressionsFirst Impressions is told in a dual narrative ping-ponging between the life of modern day Sophie Collingwood and the life and creative process of one Jane Austen. Sophie has recently finished her master’s degree and is feeling rather shiftless. She takes a job in an antiquarian bookshop until she gets things figured out, only to receive two requests for the same extremely obscure book in rapid succession. In researching the book, Sophie is drawn into a scandal that calls into question the authorship of Pride and Prejudice… And it might get her killed. Book enthusiasts can be intense, yo.

Throughout the narrative we’re brought back in time to see Jane Austen forming a close friendship with her elderly neighbor Richard Mansfield. The two have a bond that undeniably shapes Austen’s work, but just how much of an influence was Mansfield?

Back in the present, Sophie’s got mysteries to solve, not the least of which revolves around a pair of suitors. Sophie must channel her inner Elizabeth Bennet to figure things out and live to tell the tale.

And now I shall share my impressions of First Impressions, because it’s what I do and I wanted to smush the word “impressions” into a sentence thrice. (Ha! I win!) I typically enjoy dual narratives, and I liked Lovett’s take on Jane Austen’s life and writing process. I found Sophie to be a spunky heroine, though I will admit I found Sophie’s love life full of rather heavy handed Pride and Prejudice parallels. However, considering the whole book is awash in Austen fandom, it seemed fitting. (Also, never trust a dude whose name starts with a “W.” Scoundrels, the lot of them!) As in The Bookman’s Tale, I loved the peek into the antique book world that Lovett provides. As a person who has always focused on the content rather than the medium, it’s a glimpse into another delightful corner of bibliophilia. I doubt I’ll ever be the sort of person who seeks out first editions, but I can (and do!) appreciate historical objects. (Seriously, you should have seen me flipping out over the copy of the Magna Carta I saw at Salisbury Cathedral. I practically had to bust out the smelling salts. Oh, the vapors!)

As an extra special treat for all my favorite book nerds, the awesome folks at Viking/Penguin have sponsored a GIVEAWAY of BOTH First Impressions AND a gorgeous Penguin Classics hardcover edition of Pride and PrejudiceThis giveaway is open to residents of the US and Canada only. Check out the Rafflecopter goodness below to enter!
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Nov 01

It’s TOTES Time for a GIVEAWAY!

Giveaways 7

Howdy Howdy, Bookworms!

It’s that time again! The Literary Blog Hop (hosted by the lovely Judith of Leeswames’ Blog) is upon us and I have some AWESOME free stuff for you to win… If you live in the US. (Sorry, internationals, shipping is evil. Next time I promise I’ll do an international giveaway, k? There are still tons of international giveaways in the blog hop though, so be sure to scroll down and do some clicking!)

literarybloghopnovember14

On offer today is this SWEET tote bag featuring the cutest penguin on the internet! You’ll also get a *very* gently used hardcover copy of Anthony Breznican’s novel Brutal Youth (review). Are you excited?! I know I am!

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Check out all the other giveaways HERE!

  1. Leeswammes
  2. Read Her Like an Open Book (US/CA)
  3. My Book Self (N. Am.)
  4. The Book Stop
  5. My Book Retreat (US)
  6. Books in the Burbs (US)
  7. Guiltless Reading
  8. Word by Word
  9. Juliet Greenwood
  10. BooksandLiliane
  11. Words for Worms (US)
  12. The Relentless Reader
  13. The Misfortune of Knowing
  14. The Friday Morning Bookclub (US)
  15. Readerbuzz
  16. Lavender Likes, Loves, Finds and Dreams
  17. The Emerald City Book Review
  18. Wensend
  1. Laurie Here
  2. A Cup Of Tea, A Friend, And A Book (US)
  3. Moon Shine Art Spot (US)
  4. I’d Rather Be Reading At The Beach (US)
  5. Lost Generation Reader
  6. Books Speak Volumes
  7. Mom’s Small Victories (US)
  8. Books on the Table (US)
  9. Orange Pekoe Reviews
  10. Lavender Likes, Loves, Finds and Dreams
  11. Words And Peace (US)
  12. Booklover Book Reviews
  13. Inside the Secret World of Allison Bruning (US)

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

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Aug 05

Sinful Folk by Ned Hayes: A TLC Book Tour & GIVEAWAY

Giveaways, Historical Fiction 15

Good Morrow Bookworms,

Today we’re heading back to a time before indoor plumbing, personal hygiene, and standardized spelling. The Mydle Ayges! (That’s probably how Chaucer would have spelled it. Dude was fond of random “y”s.) *I received a complimentary copy of Sinful Folk by Ned Hayes for review consideration from TLC Book Tours. May I be struck down with bubonic plague if the following review contains anything but my honest opinion.*

tlcsinfulfolkSinful Folk starts on a somber note. It’s 1377 in a small village in England when one night four children are burned to death in a fire under some rather suspicious circumstances. One of the children belongs to Mear, the village mute who works for the blacksmith. Everyone in the village things Mear is a man, because, well, when everybody is filthy and wearing robes, it’s easy to hide your lady-ness. She’s not mute either, but it’s easier to pretend that she is than risk revealing her life story (which is really quite juicy and scandalous.)

Mear sets out with a delegation from the village including the fathers of the other fallen boys. They’re on a quest to take their poor children’s bodies to London in order to receive the King’s justice for their loss. Lemme take a minute to school you on the whole serf situation, k? It’s illegal for these normal everyday folks to take to the road without permission (and, apparently, a tunic) from their liege lord. It’s also crazy dangerous. There are bandits all up in those forests and there’s always the PLAGUE to contend with. Oh, and you better not be Jewish, because you might get burned at the stake. Makes you want to load a cart full of charred child corpses and take a hike, right? Bring out your dead!

I really dug this book, guys. I love when historical fiction doesn’t shy away from dirty details, and the Middle Ages were so friggin grim. To add to the intrigue, this book is loosely based in historical FACT. The charred child corpses traipsing through the snow TOTALLY HAPPENED. Plus, there were Chaucer references all over the place, and it was the first time I found it useful to have read The Canterbury Tales in Middle English. (Thanks, college!) If you enjoy books like The Pillars of the Earth (review), its sequel World Without End, or the phenomenal Pope Joan (review), you need to pick up Sinful Folk. Trust me on this one.  If you still don’t believe me (even under penalty of plague) feel free to check out the other stops on the tour.

Tell me something, Bookworms. How far would you go to seek justice? 

****UPDATE*****

I just found out I get to give y’all a free AUTOGRAPHED copy of this book! Enter! (US Only, please. Sorry internationals, you know I still love you!)
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*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

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Jul 25

My Very First Author Event: Jo Baker

Author Events, Giveaways 13

Happy Friday Bookworms!

You’ll recall that last week I was raving about Longbourn by Jo Baker (review). It’s essentially Pride and Prejudice from the servants’ perspective, and it’s pretty great. A couple of months ago, I was hunting down digital books on my library’s website (as I am wont to do) and I saw that we were having an author event. With JO BAKER. In my town! I live in the middle of Illinois, y’all. We’re halfway between Chicago and St. Louis, which seriously limits our chances of being a book tour stop. I mean, who’s going to come to Peoria when CHICAGO and ST. LOUIS exist? Actually, my erroneous assumption that nobody cool ever came through Peoria kept me from monitoring these things. No more, I tell you. High five to the Peoria Public Library!

I was SUPER excited, as I’ve never been to an author event before. I was also rather nervous, because I loved the book and, well, I’m not very good at playing it cool. At all. I vacillate wildly between tongue tied silence and giddy over-enthusiasm in such situations. Neither is a particularly attractive reaction, believe you me. Giddy enthusiasm won the night, as I wasn’t a few feet in the door before asking a costumed member of the Jane Austen Society of Chicago to pose for a photo with me.

I'm not pregnant, just a bit on the chubby side. Actually, I'm going to blame the camera angle.

I’m going to blame an unflattering camera angle for my gut, not my sweet tooth.

I managed to talk a friend into joining me at the event, and we were easily among the youngest attendees, which surprised the heck out of me. I guess I’m too used to my internet bookish peer group and expected a room full of 20 and 30 somethings, as opposed to the bus load of senior citizens from a local assisted living facility. (Not that I don’t adore any of my readers who are out of their 30s. I mean, certainly I wouldn’t have known, you all look so YOUNG, you gorgeous bookworms, you!) It was kind of funny though, when Jo Baker took the stage, I heard several people around me muttering “that can’t be her, she’s too young!”

I’m not sure how old Ms. Baker is, but she is quite adorable. An Austen fan to the core, Ms. Baker always loved the world of Georgian balls and social events, but felt a disconnect. She understood that if she’d been born in that time period, she’d have been far more likely to have been washing the Bennets’ underthings than dancing and cavorting at a ball. I struggle with this ALL THE TIME when reading historical fiction! Much of what I read focuses on the wealthy or the ultra wealthy or friggin royalty. I’m with Lorde, here, y’all, I’ll never be royal. Extra fun tidbit? While researching the book, Ms. Baker tested out some old school cleaning method. Turns out cold tea is excellent for cleaning wood floors. The more you know.

Immediately after the talk, I got in line to have two books signed. One was the galley I received (thanks Kelly!) and one I bought at the event so I could get a present for YOU! When I got up to the table, I stammered out some ridiculousness about being a book blogger, handing Jo Baker a Words for Worms bookmark, and asked if she’d pose for a photo. Even though she claimed that she typically looks like “a gargoyle” in photos, she gamely posed. I think she found me amusing. At least I hope she did…

It's a look that says either "I'm amused" or "I'm glad I live on another continent."

It’s a look that says either “I’m amused” or “I’m glad I live on another continent.” Possibly both.

Definitely NOT the face of a gargoyle!

Definitely NOT the face of a gargoyle!

All in all, I had THE MOST FUN! Austen enthusiasts in full costume? Authors who don’t call security on me? Brilliant! Ah, but you’ve heard already that I didn’t forget about you. Someone out there is going to WIN an AUTOGRAPHED copy of Longbourn!!! The only rule is that you have to live in the continental US to win, because shipping costs. Yikes. You want to win and have a US address for me to mail your winnings to? Enter here!

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*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

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