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Black Flies and Life After Genius Winners!

Out of 53 entries, the random number selected was 26! The winner of Black Flies by Shannon Burke is Ann from BookLorn!

I’ve emailed you to get your address.

Of the 34 entrants for the U.S./Canada drawing of Life After Genius by M. Ann Jacoby, the random number selected by Randomizer.org was 17! The Winner of Life After Genius is Kamewh of Blueberries & Peanut Butter!

Out of the only 3 entrants into the International portion of the contest, the random number selected was 1. The winner of the second copy of Life After Genius is RB of Random Random!

I’ve emailed the winners to get their addresses, feel free to send them to savvyverseandwit AT gmail DOT com.

***Reminder***

If you want to win Lydia Bennet’s Story by Jane Odiwe, the deadline is Nov. 7.

If you want to win an audiobook by Christopher Moore, the deadline is Nov. 8.

Book Giveaway Carnival

As part of BookRoomReviews’ Book Giveaway Carnival and because of the interest generated by my latest Christopher Moore audiobook post on The Stupidest Angel, I am going to give away 2 copies of a Moore audiobook; it will be winners’ choice (if they are available on iTunes, I will send it to you as a gift, electronically). Remember there will be 2 winners! Here’s the list of available titles, I’ve been able to find for the audiobooks:

A Dirty Job
The Stupidest Angel
You Suck
Lamb (I have not listened to or read this)
Fluke (I have not listened to or read this)
Fool (due out Feb. 2009)

DEADLINE to Enter is November 8th, Midnight EST

Additionally, my other giveaways for Life After Genius by M. Ann Jacoby and Black Flies by Shannon Burke end TODAY Nov. 5, so you will have to hurry to enter before Midnight EST. Winners will be announced TOMORROW, Nov. 6.

If you want to win Lydia Bennet’s Story by Jane Odiwe, the deadline is Nov. 7.

Stupidest Angel by Christopher Moore

Christopher Moore’s The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror is another audiobook to entertain, even at 5 A.M. on the commute into the city. My husband and I have gotten into a habit of listening to audiobooks in the car when we travel to and from work, and when we take little road trips.

Christopher Moore’s books seem to be the most addictive for us even with the sometimes dark humor and harsh content. The Stupidest Angel is no exception.

The book is set in Pine Cove, Calif., where the Archangel Raziel is set upon Earth to grant a Christmas wish to one child. That child is Josh Barker. Unfortunately, Josh has no idea what is in store when he asks the angel to bring Santa Claus back to life.

With characters like a Warrior babe named Molly, a pot-smoking constable–her husband, a DEA helicopter pilot, and a evil developer, among others, there was nothing to do but sit back and laugh at the follies, misunderstandings, and interactions between these characters. Of course, there had to be a speaking, sunglasses wearing, fruit bat named Roberto! These characters stumble around in their relationships with one another, insulting their spouses and their friends, only to make up in the end, but the ride is raucous.

It gets even crazier in Pine Cover when Molly goes off her medications and starts hearing the narrator in her head, giving her direction. She wonders off into the woods naked and carrying a Japanese sword where she meets Raziel who only wants to eat the marshmallows out of the cocoa packets. Meanwhile, zombies are raging war against the townspeople at the Lonesome Christmas celebration in the local church. The resolution to this story is truly in the Christmas spirit, but the ride to its conclusion is hilarious and action-packed.

Also Reviewed By:
Firefly’s Book Blog
SomeReads
Books I Done Read

Interview with Poet Nikki Giovanni

Welcome Nikki Giovanni, a poet and author, to Savvy Verse & Wit. She was gracious enough to take time out of her busy touring schedule for Hip Hop Speaks to Children to answer some questions about her writing process, the book, and poetry. Thanks to Sourcebooks for sending Hip Hop Speaks to Children to me for review, which you can read here.

1. What prompted you to become involved with the Hip Hop Speaks to Children? And do you think poetry is important for children and adults and why?

I became interested a long, long time ago because my son listened to hip hop. I began even then to try to learn where this “new sound” was coming from since I well know everything old is new again, as the expression goes.

2. Poetry and music seem very akin to one another; do you feel that other genres can apply the rhythm of Hip Hop and other styles to generate passion among children, such as a passion for reading?

I think there is an ebb and flow to everything; there is a rhythm to all speech whether spoken or written. The most important sound is always silence. It is the pauses that make up the meaning. I wanted to give some sense of that rhythm to young people as well as a bit of history.

3. Do you believe that writing is an equalizer that can help humanity become more tolerant and collaborative?

Writing is an equalizer only in so far as what is being written is truthful. Written lies promote hatred and we’ve seen a lot of that lately. Writing is only a tool of the truth, and we who believe in a more tolerant world need to keep putting that truth out.

4. Do you see spoken word, performance poetry, or written poetry as more powerful or powerful in different ways and why?

I think all art has its moments and reasons. I don’t see any special reason to rank effectiveness since we all cross over and learn from each genre. (Well said!)

5. Do you have a set writing routine? Do you get up early and start writing or do you write when the mood hits?

I am a early morning or late night writer. I am more comfortable when I know I will not be disturbed. I must say that mood has nothing to do with professionalism. All writers study all the time; learning something all the time; looking at things differently all the time. That’s what is important.

6. Can you describe your writing space?

I write in essentially a tight space. It is a small room with lots of books, a CD player, some photos, and my computer. I have a phone in here but it seldom rings. Also my fax and xerox machine. I sit on a rocker.

7.
Do you have any advice for writers/poets just starting out?

The only advice I have is you, the young writer, should always be reading something. A book, a magazine, a newspaper, anything. A writer who is not reading isn’t doing her homework.

Thanks again to Nikki Giovanni for sharing her unique perspective with us.

Also, here are some reminders about the latest Savvy Verse & Wit Contests:
(Deadlines are Nov. 5)

1. Win a copy of Black Flies by Shannon Burke

2. Win a copy of Life After Genius by M. Ann Jacoby

3. Win a copy of Lydia Bennet’s Story by Jane Odiwe

My Second Mailbox Monday


Mailbox Monday is sponsored by The Printed Page’s Marcia. Boy, do I have a big list this week!

1. My spoils are still coming in from BBAW
I received Fixing Hell by Col. (Ret.) Larry C. James

2. From Iliana at Bookgirl’s Nightstand
I received Society of S by Susan Hubbard

3. From Borders and Amazon.com I purchased Vampires & Vampirism by Montague Summers and one by Dudley Wright as part of my novel research for NaNoWriMo

4. From Pump Up Your Book Promotion Grit for Oyster by Suzanne Woods Fisher, Debora M. Coty, Faith Tibbetts McDonald, and Joanna Bloss

5. From TLC Book Tours, I received You Lost Him at Hello by Jess McCann

6. I also received a box of election books from Trish at Hey Lady! Whatcha Readin’?
Here’s the contents of that box:

1. Mike’s Election Guide By Michael Moore
It’s a great year to be an American and a voter. Don’t miss out on MIKE’S ELECTION GUIDE – the indispensable book that belongs in every American’s back pocket this season.
– Also available as audio book
ISBN: 9780446546270

2. The Preacher and the Presidents By Nancy Gibbs
Also by Michael Duffy. Reveals how the world’s most powerful men and world’s most famous evangelist, Billy Graham, knit faith and politics together.
– Also available as audio book
ISBN: 9781599951041

3. Hard Call By John McCain
In Hard Call, acclaimed authors John McCain and Mark Salter describe the anatomy of great decisions in history by telling the remarkable stories of men and women who have exemplified composure, wisdom, and intellect in the face of life’s toughest decisions.
– Also available as audio book
ISBN: 9780446699112

4. The American Journey of Barack Obama By The Editors of Life Magazine
Covers the candidate Barack Obama from his childhood and adolescence to his time as editor of The Harvard Law Review and his Chicago activist years, culminating with the excitement and fervor of the historic 2008 Democratic National Convention.
ISBN: 9780316045605

5. Goodnight Bush By Erich Origen
Also by Gan Golan. A hilarious and poignant visual requiem for the Bush administration.
ISBN: 9780316040419

6. Takeover By Charlie Savage
Takeover tells the story of how a group of true believers, led by VP Cheney, set out to establish near-monarchical executive powers that, in the words of one conservative critic, “will lie around like a loaded weapon” for any future president.
ISBN: 9780316118057

7. Her Way By Jeff Gerth
Also by Don Van Natta Jr. The first truly balanced investigation into the life and career of Hillary Rodham Clinton, Jeff Gerth and Don Van Natta Jr.’s masterful biography.
– Also available as audio book
ISBN: 9780316017435

8. Dream in Color By Congresswoman Linda Sánchez
Also by Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez. Often considered Congress’s Odd Couple, these warm witty sisters are not only perfect role models for young Latinas in the US, but for all young women looking to break out and create a brighter future for themselves.
ISBN: 9780446508049

9. From Hope to Higher Ground By Mike Huckabee
In his insightful and plainspoken manner, Mike Huckabee carries hope to Americans and provides practical solutions to current problems in our nation.
ISBN: 9781599951553

10. The Revolution By Ron Paul
In this book, Texas congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul provides answers to questions that few even dare to ask.
ISBN: 9780446537513
– Also available as audio book

11. What You Should Know About Politics . . . But Don’t
A Nonpartisan Guide to the Issues
Jessamyn Conrad
The first and only issue-based nonpartisan guide to contemporary American politics.

What did you get in your mailbox?

Sunday’s 7 Random Bookish Things Tag

Wendi over at Wendi’s Book Corner tagged me for the 7 Random Bookish Things Tag. So first I will give you the rules:

1. Link to the person who tagged you, and post the rules on your blog
2. Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself
3. Tag 7 random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs
4. Let each person know that they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog!

Seven Bookish Things About Me:

1. I read almost all of my text books in college completely, even though some of them were very painful; The most memorable of the ones I didn’t read was “The Heart of Darkness” by Joseph Conrad; Anna at Diary of an Eccentric thought that if we read it out loud we could get through it together–no such luck.

2. I recently discovered Christopher Moore and just love his books. I’m on a mission to read them all.

3. One of my deepest obsessions is with The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux and all of its incarnations–movies and book spinoffs alike.

4. I really enjoy audio books on that early morning commute with my husband, especially books that have us laughing at 5 AM.

5. I became a book reviewed by chance and find myself more engrossed than ever; now if only I could get paid to do what I love.

6. I collect writing books that provide inspiration and guidance in the hope that I’ve missed something when tackling the novel, but I’m beginning to think the books are not going to help me much if I don’t sit down and write something.

7. I love to make sure my books look well read, though not on the first read and not if I plan on giving them away as prizes on my blog…and especially if I borrow them from Anna or anyone else.

Ok, Who am I tagging? Here’s the list of seven:

1. Anna at Diary of an Eccentric
2. Marvin at Free Spirit
3. Shana at Literarily
4. Naida at The Bookworm
5. Dar at Peeking Between the Pages
6. Rachel at Bitten by Books
7. Janel of Janel’s Jumble

Also, here are some reminders about the latest Savvy Verse & Wit Contests:
(Deadlines are Nov. 5)

1. Win a copy of Black Flies by Shannon Burke

2. Win a copy of Life After Genius by M. Ann Jacoby

3. Win a copy of Lydia Bennet’s Story by Jane Odiwe

Stay Tuned Tomorrow for my Interview with Nikki Giovanni, author and editor of Hip Hop Speaks to Children.

Jane Odiwe & Lydia Bennet’s Take on Halloween Fun



Hello everyone,

I’d like to thank Serena of Savvy Verse & Wit very much for asking me as a guest on her blog. I’m going to tell you about how I developed Lydia’s character in Lydia Bennet’s Story and…

“La! How dull would that be?”

Excuse me, Lydia…as I was saying…

“No one wants to hear what you have to say, Jane, they’d much rather hear about the night of mischief and fun that Kitty and I had on Hallowe’en.”

I’ve been asked to talk about my book…

“Dearest Jane, I think I hear the doorbell … oh good, that got rid of her, she’s gone! Halloo! It’s Lydia Bennet from Longbourn here with a tale for all you young ladies out there.”

“I’ll bet you’ll see your true love by midnight,” said our maid Mary, and she looked so mysterious and meaningful that we took her at her word and arrived at the kitchen door as late as we dared. It was very quiet and I was all for bursting in at the door but Kitty was already nervous on account of being told to come without candle or lantern. At her timid knock, the door was suddenly thrown back and the vision that greeted us was so terrifying that Kitty let out the most bloodcurdling scream you have ever heard. When we realised it was Mary with a hollowed turnip candle held under her chin we laughed so hard, I thought I might be ill.

The kitchen was very dark but for the glow of turnip candles on every surface illuminating several strings of apples suspended from the ceiling. A large bowl of water with more apples floating atop was set before a looking glass, which strangely resembled the one from my bedchamber.

“We’ll have snap apple and bobbing for apples later but first there is a tradition that all young ladies must perform. You must stand before the glass, quite alone in the dark, and a vision of the man you are to marry will appear within, before the bewitching hour,” said Mary.

“I will not,” cried Kitty, “No fear, I’m not standing here in this horrid, dark place for anything, even if Prince George himself was to appear.”

“Lord!” said I, “There’s nothing to it, Kitty, but I warn you, if I see Prince George, I’ll slit my throat. Ugh, can you think of anything more disagreeable than marrying that oaf!”

I must admit I felt a slight apprehension when they’d extinguished every candle before leaving me, and the hairs on my arms and legs prickled up at the unfamiliar sounds in the cold kitchen. There was a scuffle in the corner and the thought of a mouse nearly had me running for the door.

I stood before the glass and soon became quite engrossed with my own reflection which it has to be said looked most becoming by the soft bars of moonlight creeping through the window.

It was then that I thought I heard breathing. I looked behind me but there was no one there. I turned back to the glass and caught sight of a glimmering light in the background, so I spun round again only to find it had disappeared. I wheeled back to the glass once more determined to catch sight of whatever apparition was about to materialize when I got the fright of my life. A phantom in white, and not at all my impression of a handsome beau was leering at me in the dark, with hideous, grinning teeth. I screamed and fainted into the arms of the horrible ghoul!

The door burst open and there, holding onto their sides, falling upon themselves with laughter, were Kitty and Mary. My assailant had me blindfolded before I could protest further and in a soft voice not in the least unbecoming, begged for a kiss from his future wife. What else could a girl do in the dark, I ask you, other than oblige? In any case, I had guessed from his delicious smell that it was Mr Edwards, who it is well known has something of a passion for me and, indeed, is quite the best-looking young man of my acquaintance!

Of course, I protested loudly through the whole sordid exhibition and it was only when we went to bed that I admitted to Kitty, that although I do not think I found my husband on All Hallows Eve, I certainly enjoyed my adventure!

As an after thought, I must just add that, whatever you may have read about Jane Odiwe’s influence over me and the development of my character in her ‘novel’, Lydia Bennet’s Story, she had nothing whatsoever to do with it – I am entirely my own wonderful person – perfection can never be imitated, improved or further developed!

Lydia Bennet

***Want to win a copy of Lydia Bennet’s Story by Jane Odiwe? I have one copy for one U.S./Canada winner (sorry no P.O. boxes) and one copy for an international winner.

Here’s what you do: (Remember to leave me an email address or blog link so I can contact you!)

1. Leave a comment on this post, telling me what your favorite Jane Austen novel is or what novel you would like to read (if heaven forbid, you haven’t read Jane Austen yet!) for one entry.

2. Leave a comment on my Lydia Bennet’s Story review post, here, for a second entry.

3. For a third entry, spread the word about this contest on your blog and leave me the link here or if you don’t have a blog, email 5 friends and cc savvyverseandwit AT gmail DOT com

Deadline is November 7 at Midnight EST.

Other Contests from Savvy Verse & Wit: (Deadlines are Nov. 5)

1. Win a copy of Black Flies by Shannon Burke

2. Win a copy of Life After Genius by M. Ann Jacoby

Vampire Thursday

My Friend Amy has declared this Vampire Thursday! How did she know that vampires are my favorite topic and often a subject of my short stories and novels. . . at least since I started watching Blood Ties and Moonlight, which have sadly come to an end.

Moonlight is coming out on DVD in January 2009, and you can be sure that it is on the top of my list. Want to see why? Here’s a couple of yummy photos of the lead Vamp–Alex O’Loughlin, who portrays Mick St. John, a private investigator.

This is a behind the scenes photo I found of Alex O’Loughlin online. He’s a hot Aussie! I do have another image from the show where he is vamped out. Yeah, you have to love a hot looking vampire.

Ok, so why are all the vampires on these television shows so hot? I guess when you are turned you are no longer ugly or average. Things certainly improve when you become a vampire.

As for my other vampire television show, Blood Ties, which is based upon a vampire series by Tanya Huff, the DVD release date is unknown. I hope the powers that be will release this other show as well. I do have a few images to share with you. Check out the lead vamp–Kyle Schmid, who portrays Henry Fitzroy, the bastard son of Henry VIII. Vicki Nelson, Christina Cox, is a private investigator with a degenerative eye disease, and Henry Fitzroy is a graphic novelist at least in the present day.

Have you had enough of my vampire television shows yet? I could go on and on…Another of my favorites is Forever Knight, with a lead vampire cop, Nick Knight, who only worked the graveyard shift and fell in love with the coroner.

Check out the video from the show.

I hope you enjoyed my vampire post today; I figured that many other bloggers would be talking books. One of my favorite vampire shows is based on a set of books, that counts right?! Have a great Halloween everyone!

Don’t forget:

1 copy of Black Flies by Shannon Burke; Deadline is Nov. 5–check out my review.

2 copies (one for a U.S./Canada and one for an international winner) of Life After Genius by M. Ann Jacoby; Deadline is Nov. 5, check out the review and interview in the contest link.

2 copies (one for U.S./Canada and one for an international winner) of Lydia Bennet’s Story by Jane Odiwe, check out the post for the contest and a guest post from Jane Odiwe tomorrow, Oct. 31; Happy Halloween. Deadline for that contest is Nov. 7.

Winner of The Safety of Secrets


After a long list of contestants, 32 to be exact, we have a winner:

MommyJen99 of Simply Me!

Congrats to you!

And don’t forget about the other giveaways on Savvy Verse & Wit:

1 copy of Black Flies by Shannon Burke; Deadline is Nov. 5–check out my review.

2 copies (one for a U.S./Canada and one for an international winner) of Life After Genius by M. Ann Jacoby; Deadline is Nov. 5, check out the review and interview in the contest link.

2 copies (one for U.S./Canada and one for an international winner) of Lydia Bennet’s Story by Jane Odiwe, check out the post for the contest and a guest post from Jane Odiwe tomorrow, Oct. 31; Happy Halloween. Deadline for that contest is Nov. 7.

Lydia Bennet’s Story by Jane Odiwe

Lydia Bennet’s Story by Jane Odiwe is a different type of sequel to Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice; it does not retell the lives of Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy, their children, or modernize their story as a 20th century romance. Lydia Bennet’s Story transports the reader back to 19th Century England to tell Lydia’s woeful and headstrong tail of romance and intrigue, rather than the tales woven by Jane Austen for Lizzy and Jane Bennet.

We join Lydia on her journey from the balls at the Assembly in Hertfordshire, England, through Brighton, and Newcastle. Headstrong and willy-nilly Lydia is just as vivid in these pages as she is in Jane Austen’s novel. Although her character plays a minor role in Austen’s novel, she takes center stage in Odiwe’s, but with journal entries sprinkled amidst the storyline, the reader begins to see what motivates Lydia to act as she does in public and with the soldiers. As the youngest daughter in the Bennet family, she seeks acceptance and love in all the wrong places.

Once in Brighton, Lydia is shameless in her pursuit of a husband and begins lavishing her affections on George Wickham. Despite his declarations that he can love no one, Lydia will have none of it, shunning Captain Trayton-Camfield, who seems to truly care for her. Lydia and Wickham run off to London together, and she expects them to get married, though it only materializes when Wickham is pressured by none-other-than Mr. Darcy. This is where Austen’s Pride & Prejudice leaves Lydia.

Lydia Bennet’s Story does not miss a beat, Odiwe has a strong command of Austen’s language, style, and characters, but she puts her own flare on the wild maven that is Lydia. Despite winning her prize–Mr. Wickham–Lydia soon realizes married life to her charming soldier is not all she expected it to be as his gambling and womanizing continue. In a way, Odiwe’s Lydia continues to fool herself that Wickham’s character is merely misunderstood, but soon his character is undeniable, and she is forced to not only deal with her loveless marriage, but their poor station in life.

Here’s one of my favorite quotes from Lydia is on page 290:

“Even in my reckless alliance, I believed I was in love and yes, a state of confusion it might be, but I submitted to it and felt my regard most wholeheartedly. And though I now believe my love was not truly returned, that I was mislead, I still believe in the power of true love.

Here Lydia expresses the evolution of her character and highlights how she has matured on this journey of love, hardship, and growth. She is no longer the silly, younger sister of Lizzy and Jane, but her own mature woman, though more bold than conventions are prepared to handle.

Readers of Jane Austen and Austen enthusiasts will enjoy this novel, but even those readers looking for a fast-paced “romance” will enjoy Lydia Bennet’s Story.

About the Author:

Jane Odiwe is an artist and author. She is an avid fan of all things Austen and is the author and illustrator of Effusions of Fancy, consisting of annotated sketches from the life of Jane Austen. She lives with her husband and three children in North London.

Check out Jane Odiwe’s blog here.

Thank you to Danielle Jackson at Sourcebooks for sending Odiwe’s Lydia Bennet’s Story along for me to review, and stay tuned for a guest post from Jane Odiwe on Oct. 31. See what she and Lydia have to say about Halloween!

Want to win a copy of Jane Odiwe’s Lydia Bennet’s Story, check out the guest post tomorrow to learn how.

Also Reviewed By:
Diary of an Eccentric
A Book Blogger’s Diary
Austenprose
Becky’s Book Reviews
The Book Zombie
Library Queue

***Contest Reminders for Readers:

A copy of Black Flies by Shannon Burke is up for grabs until Nov. 5

A copy of Life After Genius by M. Ann Jacoby is up for grabs until Nov. 5