Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Secrets of the Magic Ring book giveaway!

It's always a happy day when I get the ARCs (advance reading copies) of a new book, as was the case recently when I received a box filled with copies of Secrets of the Magic Ring. This is how it usually works: the doorbell rings and I go to the front door just in time to see the UPS driver sprint back to the truck after leaving a box on the front stoop. I look down at the address label and realizing what it is, my heart fills with joy. And when I open the box and actually hold a book in my hand? Oh my word. I'm impossible to be around. Everyone who comes by the house has to look at the books and sufficiently admire them. Luckily for my family, this phase passes fairly quickly.

This time around, the experience was tinged with a teeny, tiny bit of disappointment because the timing didn't work out to include the illustrations in the ARCs. Bummer. (<--does anyone say "bummer" anymore? I just looked at that and realized I hadn't heard it in like forever).

The book is so beautiful that I can't really complain, although I guess I just did. The good thing is that when the book is released on November 8th, it will have all fifteen of Vincent Desjardins' beautiful illustrations. And I mean beautiful. When I was a kid I loved poring over the illustrations in chapter books. I can still vividly recall the black and white drawings in the Little House books and Charlotte's Web and (my personal favorites) the books by Edward Eager.

I was at the bookstore recently, looking at some of the newer releases and realized that very few middle grade novels are illustrated anymore. Publishers are cutting costs, obviously, which is a shame because I think artwork enhances a book in a big way. I'm a grown-up and even I like photos, maps, and drawings in books. The truth is that our society has become increasingly more reliant on the visual as people read the news online etc. Illustrations in a kids' book seems like an obvious solution for reaching reluctant readers. I'm fortunate that my publisher was on board with the extra expense for this book.



As I page through the advance copy of the book, the spaces where the illustrations eventually will be are marked with captions and the phrase "Picture to Follow." A promise of things to come. I've already seen the artwork, so when I read "Jasmine watches the party from a tree" on page 52, I can imagine this:





 Isn't she pretty? And look how well she blends in with the tree! No wonder there are so few fairy sightings. They're like chameleons.

In honor of the delivery of the ARCs, I'm hosting a free book giveaway. The same rules apply as in the past.

1) Leave a comment at the end of this blog post. Any nice comment will do. Also leave a way I can reach you in the event that you win. 

2) In one week's time I will do a random drawing and three people will be chosen to receive a paperback copy of Secrets of the Magic Ring.

3) You can live anywhere in the world and still enter.

4) Previous winners of my contests are welcome to enter this one.

That's all there is to it!

I'll be offline for the next few days, working feverishly on my novel, so I may not comment right away, but I will be back.

Later,

Karen

31 comments:

Coleslaw said...

I still say "bummer", but I am not the model of All Things Current. I've been known to say "Far out!" on occasion, although modified as "Far out, as we used to say in the 60's". So I guess you could say, "Bummer, as we used to say in the 70"s" (It was the 70's?)

Bill B said...

Man, I totally dig that illustration of Jasmine! Cosmic!

Therese said...

You know I am in!!! And I think you know how to find me... ;)

Therese said...

OOOPS! I used the wrong profile...you still know where I am! ;)

Rex Kusler said...

I'm so inspired by your blog, Karen, that I restarted mine for the fifth time this year. I'm always afraid I'll put something in my blog that I'd like to use in one of my novels, and can't because it's already out there in my blog.

http://rexkusler.blogspot.com/

HS said...

Wow, the book looks wonderful! Congratulations!

Karen McQuestion said...

Hey everyone, thanks for leaving comments!

Coleslaw, I think it was the 70s, sad to say. Your "far out" is only exceeded by Bill's "cosmic," which I think is his own creation. If not, it's new to me.

Rex, I'm glad to see you're blogging again!

Dave Thome said...

The illustration is groovy, your enthusiasm gnarly. You go girl. (BTW, my verification word was "haingsta." No kidding.)

Karen McQuestion said...

Oh Dave...I really don't know what to say to that...

Sean McCartney said...

Karen,

That is awesome and you ar eright the art work is great! My daughter is looking forward to the sequel as am I. I wish I said "bummer" but I find myself saying "worse" things :)

Sean

Karen McQuestion said...

Sean, I'm sure you're exaggerating about saying "worse things." I heard that school teachers never curse.

Also, your daughter sounds wonderful!

Sean McCartney said...

Karen,

We never do...out loud. :) Thanks for the compliment about my daughter.

Sean

PS-Had a signing for second book and went well and sold about 20. Not as good as I did last year, 55, but not bad.

Karen McQuestion said...

Not bad at all!

Mrsmommybooknerd said...

love your stuff!

elewis1010@new.rr.com

Emily Lewis

Linda Pischke said...

Karen, I love the cover. Here's hoping I win one for Sierra. She would be so excited.
Linda P.

Karen McQuestion said...

Emily, your "Mrsmommybooknerd" moniker is awesome!

Linda, even if you don't win, I'll see if I can drum one up for Sierra. :)

Kathleenshoop said...

The book is stunning. I love that your book will have the added art feature. I can't remember the last time I saw a book like that! Can't wait to read it.
Kathleenshoop@gmail.com

Karen McQuestion said...

Thanks, Kathleen! I know I'm biased, but I think Vincent Desjardins' illustrations transform the book from a basic story to a masterpiece.

Kippoe said...

The new book looks great congrats :)

Karen McQuestion said...

Thank you, Kipp Poe! Kind of you to say so.

Peter S. Hart said...

I want to read that book, even if I have to buy it.

Stephen T. Harper said...

As someone else who writes magic ring books, I had to comment on this post. Your book looks gorgeous, Ms McQuestion. Congratulations. Prepare to be tweeted.

And my wv is buslorc.

Karen McQuestion said...

Peter, that's the kind of thing I like to hear. Thank you!

Stephen, another magic ring book? I'll definitely check it out. :)

Helen Smith said...

The cover's gorgeous. Good luck!

Stephen T. Harper said...

KM, yep, a magic ring, but not for middle grade. It's a thriller.

I love how you are mixing the genres you write. Variety makes it more fun, yes? Good luck with the new book!

Karen McQuestion said...

Thanks, Helen!

Stephen, if you ever leave a comment here again, feel free to include a link. Thriller fans would want to check your book out, I'm sure.

Stephen T. Harper said...

Thanks very much Karen. I just joined your blog this morning so I'm sure I'll be back, but I'll certainly take you up on the offer.

The series (and the "magic ring" mentioned above) is called King's X.

Long ago the King's X was stolen, and with it a great and terrible secret. No one really dies. At least not permanently. We all come back over and over. You and I are prevented from remembering, now the thief can never forget.

From lifetime to lifetime she flees with the King's X from its mysterious makers. They will stop at nothing to keep our true nature hidden, and now they've picked up the scent again... in Los Angeles.

Here's the website - www.Kingsxbooks.com Hyperlink Code

Thanks again Karen! Very kind of you.

Stephen.

Karen McQuestion said...

Stephen, you are welcome! When you're a rich and famous author don't forget those who helped you out in the early days...

joannie said...

i do't know if its to late to enter but i just found you through Helen Smith. Books sounds neat. Oh well do people still say that lol thanks Joannie jscddmj at aol dot com

Karen McQuestion said...

Hi Joannie, you slipped in under the wire. :) I was going to do this yesterday, but got sidetracked. Lately that seems to happen a lot.

Anyway, I'll be drawing names later today and yours will definitely be thrown in the pot.

Stephen T. Harper said...

Thanks Karen. And Joanie... I see that in the next post that you won! Congrats!