Friday, February 15, 2013

Splendors and Glooms

I've had a great week. I won a prize over on a group I belong to on Goodreads. It's called Great Middle Grade Reads, and they devised a giveaway and contest that was quite brilliant.

Several of the authors, I believe it was fourteen, joined together and compiled excerpts from one of their works. Just a chapter or two, or a shorter snippet, to give the reader a taste of their style and voice. Then one awesome member formatted them all together into book form, and offered it free for several days. I actually paid 99 cents for a copy of it before the giveaway, simply because I was impatient to begin reading.

Along with the book giveaway, they also hosted a contest through Rafflecopter and gave away some wonderful prizes. The top prize was a Kindle, I believe, but they also gave away gift cards and full copies of each of the novels included in the compilation. I won a copy of Gasparilla's Treasure, but I'd already read it, so they've offered me an optional prize instead. Is that awesome, or what?

I think this was a fantastic idea and hopefully a great marketing strategy. It brought traffic to blogs and an awareness to new authors that might pique your interest. Good for you, all involved.

Aside from winning a new book to read, I had a lovely Valentine's Day with my family, received some lovely mementos for the day, and went shopping with my granddaughter. She ended up making a killing, while Nana came home with nothing. Literally. 

But we did stop off at the library on the way home and I picked up some books I'd been wanting to read. I started Splendors and Glooms by Newbery Award winner Laura Amy Schlitz.

I've not read any of Ms. Schlitz' other works, but this book is terrifying. It's an MG read, and it is definitely an MG voice, but it left me with strange dreams last night!

I knew from the very early stages that there was something very weird going on in this story. Something about Clara made me feel that she was either a totally evil child, or else something totally evil was going to happen to her. Well, I wasn't wrong.

But I'm not going to tell you which it is. First, I don't know yet, because I'm not quite halfway through the book. (It's so good I had trouble putting it down).

Second, I try to make it a habit not to put spoilers in my posts. It isn't fair to either the readers or the authors to give away their secrets. 

So go to the store, or the library, or download your ereader, and check out this tale. If I change my mind by the time I reach the end, I'll be sure to come back and let you know, but I think this one is a winner.

Happy Reading!

Cordelia Dinsmore


Sharon Ledwith said...

Hmm, sounds like Splenders and Gloom is an awesome read, Cordelia. I'm reading The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, which is kind of creepy for an MG read too. So far it's great, he has a style all his own. Congrats on your win, you deserve it! Cheers!

Cordelia Dinsmore said...

I read that one some time ago, and enjoyed it. I need to quit reading so much and get back to my own writing, though. Seems all I do anymore is let other authors suck me into their worlds. Need to find a happy medium.

S.W. Lothian said...

Hi Cordelia,
Thanks so much for mentioning our Love Middle Grade Actually project, and the Great Middle Grade Reads group.
I was one of the authors involved and found it to be a great fun experience. Hopefully the oodles of downloaders will have found some new books to add to their to-read lists (even if they weren't lucky enough to win a prize like you)
In case anyone is keen, the book is still available at Amazon for 0.99 (no more prizes though) until at least the end of February. Here is the link
We will soon decide on whether to continue to make the book available after that.

Cordelia Dinsmore said...

Hey, S.W. Thanks so much for stopping by!

The contest was brilliant, as far as I'm concerned. I think you'll see this type of thing happening more often now - maybe it's been happening in other genres and I just haven't seen it yet. But what a great way to sample some books from home to see if you enjoy a writer's style. And I loved the hidden code idea. Of course, now that I've found the code I have to go back and finish reading each sample.

Stanley and Katrina said...


Thank you so much for the Love Middle Grade Actually shout out. We were thrilled to be included in the promotion and excited to meet so many wonderful people through the project - like you!

Congratulations on winning a prize!

Stanley & Katrina von Cat the Master of Wisdom and Knowledge :)

Cordelia Dinsmore said...

Stanley & Katrina - thanks for stopping by and thanks for the kind words. I thought your book form (letters between the two of you) was quite a lot of fun.

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