Monday, January 6, 2014

New Year Giveaway #1

Happy 2014!

Here at the Cabinet, we have been having late night email conversations about the future of this group blog and have concluded that, as difficult as we each find it to get here, we aren't ready to give up on something we love so much. There are behind-the-scenes maneuverings taking place, but we want to set off the new year with a bang and have Four Mondays in a Row of Book Giveaways!

Since I (Laura) was a December slacker and didn't share my favorite 2013 reads, I'm going first.

(True confession time: I sometimes feel like the odd writer out on this blog, since I am the only one not writing for some range of the children's/young adult market. Which makes me all nervous and twitchy when it comes to things like recommending and/or giving away books.)

Despite those nerves, I did want to let you know about a few of my favorite 2013 reads. In no particular order:

ELEANOR AND PARK & FANGIRL by Rainbow Rowell--since Pat already gushed about these two, I'll simply add that I am a smitten kitten fangirl of Rainbow Rowell now. When not writing, you might find me stalking her online or deciphering her books to see just how she weaves her magic.

KING HEREAFTER by Dorothy Dunnett--this is a dense, rich, addictive historical fiction standalone about Thorfinn, Earl of the Orkney Islands in the half-barbaric world of the mid-11th century. Thorfinn must navigate his way between the competing powers of Norway and an England growingly increasingly consolidated. Chance and his own skills bring Thorfinn to a tipping point in history, welding Scotland into a single nation. Oh, and because Thorfinn must deal with English and continental Christians, he is sometimes known to history by his Christian baptismal name . . . Macbeth. Trust me, this is not Shakespeare's Macbeth. When you read this novel, I defy you not to root for Thorfinn and his lady wife, Groa.

UNSPOKEN by Sarah Rees Brennan & THE NAME OF THE STAR by Maureen Johnson--two writers I discovered on Twitter and promptly decided that if their books were half as funny as they themselves were, I wanted to read them. UNSPOKEN is an updated Gothic about Kami Glass, who has lived all her life with a voice in her head known as Jared. But Kami is no moonstruck girl--she's an intrepid high school reporter who wants to know why the Lynburn family have returned to their enormous mansion overlooking the town. And when she discovers that Jared is more than just a voice, Kami has to deal with the physical realities of a boy who doesn't seem too thrilled that she exists. THE NAME OF THE STAR is the story of American teen Rory who comes to boarding school in London and promptly gets caught up in a Jack the Ripper copycat killing spree. But there's more to these murders than Rory thinks, especially when she finds out that not everyone she's talking to at her new school is still alive. Both writers deliver suspenseful, romantic, unexpected, and often laugh-out-loud funny books that I highly recommend.

Must. Stop. Now. Before I get completely carried away. (I'm a fairly easy-to-please reader. I open every book WANTING to fall in love with it.)

For the first giveaway of January, I'm going to offer KING HEREAFTER, even though it's nowhere near YA, because it was simply my favorite book of the year. But I'll throw in UNSPOKEN as well, if only because I want more people to read lines like the following: "Some people, Kami knew, had bedroom eyes. Jared, she was sad to have to admit, had filthy-alleway eyes . . . 'For killing people in!'"

To win these two books, simply leave a comment with your favorite read of the year . . . or the book you're most looking forward to reading in 2014 . . . or your favorite color . . . or simply say hello. Did I mention I'm easy? ;)

ETA: This giveaway will run all week, until midnight Sunday, January 12th!


  1. I'm most looking forward to reading _The Boleyn Reckoning_! I must know how things end up for Dominic and Minuette. And how Elizabeth finally becomes queen!

  2. I just wanted to second your great reading taste, Laura. Wonderful choices.

  3. Definitely looking forward to The Boleyn Reckoning. And Hello and my favorite color is red

  4. I would say THE BOLEYN DECEIT was my favorite read of the year, and I am looking forward to the last book in the trilogy. My favorite color is teal blue - like the ocean in Miami - wish I was there right now... And I third your great reading taste - love Dorothy Dunnett's style.

  5. Here Be Dragons by Sharon Kay Penman ;) Seriously. It is the first book that comes to mind whenever anyone askes what my favorite was...the characters, the drama, WALES, basically everything!

  6. Is it too late? Sadly I didn't finish many books in 2013. Except for yours! Can't wait to finish the story. :)

  7. Love that line about eyes! My fav book of 2013 was The Caged Graves by Dianne Salerni, a YA historical. As for 2014 I can't wait for the next Raven Boys book by Stiefvater. Thx for the giveaway!

  8. My fav color is light purple. The book I'm reading now, (that I do like) is Love Is Murder. It's a humorous, mystery book.
    Thanks for doing a giveaway my email Jolynn_Reads at yahoo dot com

  9. Wow, great recommends, I have to read them all! Favorite book this year (beyond the one I'm writing, lol--hey, you have to love it enough you're going to write it, right?--which I think you show deliciously in your books) was Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus. Beautifully written. Also enjoyed Jenna Burtenshaw's YA Wintercraft series, the third one finally came to the US!

  10. Okay, I'm trying this again. I tried to leave a mssg. days ago, but it is not here!
    My fave read for 2013 was a very short book of short, spunky, funny stories by David Sedaris. I bought it when we were away over Christmas. I read it in a day or two, and laughed my rear end off. It was Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary. Hysterically, extremely insightful shorts. Loved it.

  11. I have to say, I read a lot, but most of it is frivolous and not hard to read. I enjoy mysteries, and fiction. One of the best books I read was "Olivia's Tree". Loved the story.

    1. I don't know why it posted that way - my name is Pat Fleming

  12. My name is Amber,
    My favorite book this year was Boundless by Cynthia Hand.