New release + giveaway: Board Stiff by Piers Anthony

I’m delighted to share the cover and synopsis of the newest fantasy novel from Piers Anthony:

Board Stiff cover

The 38th installment of the Xanth fantasy series will delight fans of the witty and comical style that only Piers Anthony can deliver.  Best known for his Xanth series, Anthony is the author of over 100 books and has had more than twenty-one novels hit the best-seller list.

Be careful what you wish for…

“I’m actually a smart girl who would make any man an excellent wife. But no man sees that. No man is interested in my mind or personality, just my whatevers. So here is my wish: I’m board stiff. I want Adventure, Excitement, and Romance.”

So begins Piers Anthony’s 38th Xanth novel, in which Irrelevant Candy, looks at her reflection in the water of the shallow well and sees luxuriant midnight black hair to her breathtakingly slender waist, matching dark eyes in a lovely face. A torso coming yea-close to absolute perfection. She was man’s desire. That was part of the problem.

And in the shallow magic of a wishing well, she asks her wish to be granted. Something happens. A sudden whirlwind surrounds her, lifting her up and ripping off her clothing. She is changing, somehow. Then she falls flat on the ground.

Literally. She has been transformed into a flat, stiff board with two knotholes for eyes.

What fun! If you’re a fan of fantasy, be sure to enter to win a print copy of Board Stiff! (Giveaway available to US residents only… sorry!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Roomies: Share your roomie stories… plus, a giveaway!

RoomiesBack in December, I posted my review of the wonderful new novel Roomies by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando. Roomies is funny, touching, surprising, and feels just so real… and now you get a chance to win a copy!

We all have a roomie story, right? Whether good or bad — or truly the roommate from hell — it seems like nothing is quite so memorable as trying to live with a randomly assigned stranger.

For me, my freshman roommate is a distant memory, someone I never saw again after we moved out of our teeny, tiny dorm room at the end of the year. I wrote a little bit about her already in my Roomies review, but here are a couple more nightmarish moments from my early college days:

  • Joanne was a super thin and very stylish girl who dreamed of becoming a model. And yet, despite being tiny, she insisted on buying jeans that were a size smaller than what she needed. One day I came back to the room to grab a textbook and she yelled, “Wait! I need your help!” She then lay down on my bed, since the zipper of her super-tight jeans would only budge if she was horizontal, and begged me to zip her jeans for her.
  • Joanne attracted boys like a magnet… and collected them as well. In each of her classes, she would zero in on some ultra-smart boy, flirt enough to get him interested, and then keep them around like her own personal puppy dog. We had a non-stop stream of nerdy boys who would show up in our room whenever Joanne needed help with studying or an assignment — her own private army of personal tutors/devoted slaves.
  • Joanne used our landline phone to call her boyfriend long-distance at all hours of the night or day… and then when the phone bill came, said she couldn’t afford her share, refused to ask her father (a cardiologist) for money because he’d yell at her, and then blamed me when our phone service got cut off because I wouldn’t pay her bill.

Those are my top roomie-from-hell stories. Fortunately, after freshman year, I moved in with the best bunch of people ever and made life-long friends who I’ll love forever! Don’t you love a happy ending?


Little, Brown is offering a copy of Roomies to one lucky winner (US residents only). Just click on the link to enter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

AND, by offering this giveaway, I’m entered in a “Win One for You and Your Reader” sweepstakes! The prize is a Roomie survival kit/gift pack including earplugs, home spa essentials, a signed copy of the book, a special note from the authors, and other fun things—all packed in a shower caddy— one for me and one for one of my blog readers. Sounds amazing, right? Wish us all good luck!

Be sure to check out Sara and Tara’s appearances on their book tour starting next week:

  • January 12, 2014 – New York, NY: McNally Jackson [venue link]
  • January 15, 2014 – Salt Lake City, UT: The King’s English [venue link]
  • January 16, 2014 – Provo, UT: Provo Library [venue link]
  • February 4, 2014 – San Francisco, CA: Books Inc, Opera Plaza [venue link]
  • February 5, 2015 – Petaluma, CA: Copperfield’s Books [venue link]

What’s your best or worst roomie story? Share your tales of woe or joy in the comments!

Pre-Order RACING SAVANNAH by Miranda Kenneally & get a cool gift!

Hi all – I couldn’t pass up this opportunity to highlight an upcoming new YA release AND pass along a great gift offer! Read on for the details, courtesy of Sourcebooks!


From Sourcebooks….

They’re from two different worlds, but Savannah isn’t exactly one to follow the rules. . . get the next contemporary novel from blockbuster YA novelist Miranda Kenneally: RACING SAVANNAH!

Right before her senior year, Savannah’s father whisks the family off to Tennessee to work as head groom at fancy Cedar Hill Farms. Savannah finally sees it as the perfect opportunity to earn extra money as an exercise rider—no matter how many others don’t want a girl around the barn.  But she’s also caught the eye of Jack Goodwin, the owner’s son. She knows the rules: no mixing between the staff and the Goodwin family. But Jack has no such boundaries. With her dream of becoming a jockey, Savannah is not going to let someone tell her a girl isn’t tough enough to race. Sure, it’s dangerous. Then again, so is dating Jack.

We’ve put together a fun campaign to thank readers for pre-ordering: send us your proof of pre-order and we’ll send you this fabulous horseshoe key chain!


A Gift for You, for Pre-Ordering RACING SAVANNAH by Miranda Kenneally

We have a special offer for U.S. and Canada YA fans for the release of RACING SAVANNAH by Miranda Kenneally in stores in a little over three weeks! If you pre-order the book, we will send you an exclusive horseshoe key chain—perfect for any busy teen on the go! You have until December 2 or until quantities run out.

Here’s how to get your charm:
1. Pre-order the book (print or eBook) through any retailer (Barnes & Noble, Amazon, your local independent bookseller/Indiebound, Books-A-Million, Hastings, etc.)

2. Email your proof of purchase (receipt or picture of the receipt) to Put “Racing Savannah Pre-Order” in the subject line. Don’t forget to include your home address (US & Canada only please) so we can send you the horseshoe key chain! If you’ve already pre-ordered this book—not a problem! Send us your receipt!

3. You will get an email back confirming when the items have been sent out.

4. Enjoy Racing Savannah when it comes out in December!

Optional: take a pic of you and your horseshoe key chain and share it with Miranda Kenneally or Sourcebooks Fire on Twitter! You can find Miranda @mirandakennealy and Sourcebooks Fire @sourcebooksfire.

What I did on my summer vacation

Warning: A non-bookish post!

I took time away from Bookshelf Fantasies at the end of June to go on a 10-day vacation to Costa Rica. I had mentioned my plans here in the context of picking out my vacation reading (thanks for your help with that!), but since then I’ve had several blog readers ask me how the trip was and asking to see pictures. So, begging your indulgence, here’s a smattering of my favorite Costa Rica pictures. Bottom line: Big iguanas, lots of rain, howler monkeys in trees, terrific scenery, beautiful plants and growing things, plenty o’ birds, and even some crocodiles!

If you love YA like I love YA…

… check out this fantastic infographic flow chart, courtesy of the Lawrence, Kansas public library teen staff:

You can check out the full chart here. Thank you, Lawrence Public Library!

A few quick glimpses of their fabulous work:

Go visit the library site to see more. It’ll make you smile, I promise.