Welcome to Literary Rambles! While you’re rambling around and exploring the site enter for a chance to win:

JUST A DROP OF WATER through September 20th

FALLS THE SHADOW through September 20th

TUT through September 27th

SURVIVAL COLONY 9 through October 4th

CINDER, THE DAUGHTER OF SMOKE & BONE, & A MILLION SUNS GIVEAWAY AND ASK THE EXPERT HIGH SCHOOL PANEL

First in case you missed our awesome news on Thursday, Literary Rambles made the Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites for Writers in the May/June issue! We're Number 13 under "Everything Agents."

We're so excited especially since we had no idea we were nominated or on the list until our wonderful follower Angela Ackerman of The Bookshelf Muse told us about it. Thank you all for your kind words on Thursday, our loyal followers, whoever nominated us, and Write'rs Digest. And congrats to all the others on the list.

Now onto the winner of THE FALSE PRINCE. I love this book so much that I decided to keep my copy and buy the winner one too. The very lucky winner is:

LEXI@BOOKBUG!

Congrats! E-mail me your address so I can send you your book.  

Today I'm excited to have a panel of 9th grade high school students with us to share their advice. I know their language arts teacher, who is very passionate about books. I'm glad my daughter's in her class, though she isn't on this panel.

Hi everyone. Thanks so much for joining us.

1. Please tell us a little bit about yourself, your school, and what you like to read.

Nadia- I enjoy music, particularly jazz, and play the clarinet. My school is supporting and full of great kids. My favorite books are ones of adventure, mystery, and humor. Personally, I prefer anything nonfiction- it gives a greater range to the book’s potential.

Anzhu- I really like to draw and play computer games, I’m a pretty lazy guy who is part nerd. My main interests in books are sci-fi or historical fiction. The people at Huron have been very kind and nice to me, although the facilities clearly lack funds here, it’s an OK school.

Rosa- I really like playing and listening to music, I listen to mainly Indie and Alternative rock, and I play the flute and acoustic guitar. My favourite books are The Perk of Being a Wallflower and Looking for Alaska. I think Huron is alright, the people are usually pretty nice and I’ve learned a lot.

Karn- I like, Anzhu, like to draw and play computer games. I too play the clarinet and I often listen to Techno, Doo-Wop, and Classical music. My school is filled with a variety of different people and can be somewhat hard to find the right people you can click with. The books I enjoy reading are Mystery involving detectives books as well as Action books involving spies or soldiers.

2. Sounds like you are all artistic and/or into music. And yes, one of the great things about Huron is the diversity. How do you find out about the books you read? What about new books coming out?

Nadia- Usually from teacher and friend, I hate searching through the entire library for a good book. (Same thing with new books)

Anzhu- The saying goes you “shouldn’t judge a book by its cover” but that’s exactly what I do. If the cover is eye catching I’d go in and read the overall blurb and intro to get a good preview of it. New books usually have nice covers and all catch my eye one way or the other, but almost always they are a trilogy that continues from the original, I’d rather avoid them.

Rosa- Sometimes I find out about books from my friends or siblings, but I usually just find a book that looks interesting from the cover and if the description on the back sounds good I read it.

Karn- Usually, when I pick a book, it is most likely I hear about what everybody else is reading and I check it out for myself. On some occasions though I twill go to the library and look for a title or book cover that catches my eye. When I do find one, I usually just read the back of the book for a short summary and decide whether I’m going to read it or not.

3. Anzhu & Rosa, I don't think you're alone in being drawn to books by the cover. Me too. And Nadia & Karn, word of mouth is how I find out about books too. What are you reading now? What books are you waiting to be released?

Nadia- Snow Falling On Cedars. It is not my norm purposely, my teacher suggested to stray from my norm. I am not waiting for any new books.

Anzhu- Right now I’m just reading what I pick up, I’ve just started on another star wars the old republic book and ‘The call of the Wild’ seems very interesting, I’m not waiting for anything to be released, but it would be nice to get my hands on some books that didn’t have 50 holds on it or costs 30$ to buy

Rosa- I’m reading If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things by Jon McGregor. I just found it sitting around my house, but it’s a good book. I’m not waiting for anything to be released.

Karn- Right now I am reading The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan. So far I’m waiting to buy the sequel to the book, The Mark of Athena, so I can start it after I finish with The Son of Neptune.

4. Karn, I'm reading The Son of Neptune too, but in the audio version. And yeah, I hate when there's a long line of people ahead of me when I put books on hold. Here's what I do if I really want a book at the library. A few weeks before it's going to be out I check almost daily to see if I can put it on hold. And it works. 

Do you buy most of your book or get them at the library? How often do go to a bookstore?

Nadia- I go to the library almost always, unless I need to buy a book for school use.

Anzhu- Library all the way, if I want a new book I’ll just forget about it for 6 months, until it becomes available, I’d rather do that then blow 20 bucks on something that I’m gonna spend 2 days on and then leave on my bookshelf for the next five years.

Rosa- I get most of my books from the library and I rarely go to bookstores.

Karn- I usually buy my books, but usually from Target, Meijer, and Sam’s Club. Once in a while I will see a good book in the library and read it.

5. I love the library too. Though now I'm getting a lot of ARCs. Do you read any teen book blogs, author blogs, or author or publisher websites? Become a fan of an author on Facebook? Why?

Nadia- No. I dislike the internet

Anzhu- Nope, the internet to me is a big game station and toolbox. I’m not interested in the authors, I’m interested in what they write. I’ve never really put two thoughts into what the author who the author was, unless the book is nonfiction or a biography, then I’m curious. The closest I came to being curious is reading a book by Leonard Susskind about blackholes.

Rosa- No, I mean I have read a teen book blog before but that was just because I was bored and they topic kinda related to me. I care about the authors, but not enough to research them on the internet.

Karn- Not really- I mean I do drift onto an authors website once in a while to check for book information and releases.

6. Seeing how much homework you guys have, I can't see how you'd have much time for checking out websites or blogs. Has your teacher recommended any blogs or websites to your class or to you?

Nadia- yes- SAT website

Anzhu – not that I recall, does the SAT website count?

Rosa- Sparknotes and a SAT study website

Karn- The SAT website.

7. Yes, the SAT sites are very important seeings how you'll be taking the SAT in a few years. Are there things your favorite authors could do that would make you more likely to visit their website, their blog, or become a fan on Facebook?

Nadia- have online games!

Anzhu- no, if they add some cool concept art of the book they wrote or something similar to that it might get me interested enough to close down my online game and visit their site.

Rosa- Maybe if they put the link for their website on their books

Karn- The writer(s) can add fan artwork or some fun activities relating to the book.

8. Fun activities or games are a great idea. Have any authors visited your school? Who? Is there anything you’d recommend that an author do to make their presentation more interesting to you and other kids at your school?

Nadia- yes, but I didn’t go to it because it was during my math class (toughest class)

Nadia, my daughter thinks math is her hardest class too. So do I. Thanks Nadia, Anzhu, Rosa, and Karn for taking time out of your busy day to share your great advice.

Now I'm going to share about the books I'm offering for a giveaway this week. I've been winning a lot of books lately so I'm giving away three because I want to pass them on. I joked with Casey that I wish my luck would carry over to the lotto. Not yet. But I love books, so it's okay.

For a description of the books, click on the book title.

First up is CINDER.

I was curious about whether Marissa Meyer could put a new spin on a Cinderella retelling. I’m happy to say yes, this was unique.

First of all, Cinder is a cyborg, a part human, part metal being looked down upon in her society. Yet, she’s found a niche for herself, being the best mechanic in New Beijing. Of course that’s how Prince Kai meets her when he seeks her out to repair his robot.

But this isn’t a story about a girl trying to get to the ball. Instead there’s a terrible plague that’s claiming New Beijing’s population and also claims Cinder’s step-sister Peony, her only friend. This leads to hard choices for Cinder and for Prince Kai as he tries to save his country. Both face treachery, Cinder from her evil step-mother and Prince Kai from Queen Lavana from the Lunars. I loved this science fiction twist to the story.

While I could guess at a few of the plot points, the dystopian world mixed with science fiction, the political intrigue, and wanting to know more about Cinder and her growing relationship with Kai kept me reading. And I did not expect the ending.

A MILLION SUNS

I often wonder when I read a sequel if I’ll be disappointed because the first book is so good. Not so with A Million Suns. There’s no middle sag here.

Amy is coming to grips with the fact that she’s stuck on Godspeed probably for the rest of her life. With her parents frozen. What torture is that!

And Elder assumes the role of being leader. Only it’s not so easy since everyone’s off Phydus. While Elder’s busy trying to get control of the ship, Amy’s discovering clues Orion left for her. And then she and Elder must put together the puzzle together to figure out the truth about Godspeed.

All I’m going to say is Wow! Beth does a fantastic job of weaving in what we know from Across the Universe while leading us on a path of exciting plot twists to the truth. If anything, I had a harder time putting A Million Suns down.
 
DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE

Laini Taylor has crafted a unique paranormal story set in the fascinating world of Prague. Karou, the main character, is a blue-haired artist who lives in two worlds—the human world and going through magic portals to other worlds where she goes on missions to collect human bones for Brimstone, the only father figure she’s known. She’s desperately trying to figure out who really is and why her missions are so important.

As Karou’s world starts to crumble, she meets Akiva, another warrior. They start out with a love-hate relationship that grows into something else that feels really natural. And no love triangles. Laini Taylor is an amazing storyteller, building a fascinating world and a mystery that like Karou, we the readers, are dying to figure out.




So there will be three winners. To enter, all you need to do is be a follower (just click the follow button if you’re not a follower) and leave a comment on the panel discussion by midnight on May 5th. If you have a preference on what book you'd like, leave that in the comment too. I’ll announce the winner on May 7th. If your e-mail is not on Blogger, please list it in your comment. International entries are welcome.

Here's what's coming up. On Wednesday Casey is interviewing Jenny Sanchez-Torrez and giving away an ARC of THE DOWNSIDE OF BEING CHARLIE. Then the next Monday I'm interviewing Tracey Bilen and giving away a copy of her debut book WHAT SHE LEFT BEHIND. I still haven't got the ARC and I'm seriously dying to read her book. Then the following Monday I'm participating in the Children's Week Holiday Hop. I can't wait to share all the awesome YA books I've chosen for the giveaway.

Hope to see you on Monday!

58 comments:

  1. So awesome for you all to share! Loved hearing you chat. And I shiver at the initials SAT. ;D

    (Oh, Natalie and Casey...I've yet to pick up Cinder. So want that books! On my TBR list.)

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  2. As a new Scottish tween author, I was fascinated to read the great insights of the students. Good to know you all still love the library!

    And congrats for the top blog listing, Literary Rambles.

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  3. Great interview! Thanks Casey and Natalie! I hope I win a giveaway. Cinder looks great, and so does a Million Suns. :)

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  4. Eek! I was so excited to see this post show up in my greader. *bounces back and forth on preferences* I'd have to say Cinder. I need to read AtU before getting AMS.

    giveaways at fb dot pierian dash spring dot net

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  5. Congratulations on making the list! I missed Thursday's post, so I'm glad you shared that news again!

    And great interview!

    I would love to win Cinder!

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  6. Congrats on the award! Its well deserved. :)

    I would love a copy of Cinder or Daughter of Smoke and Bone

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  7. I read Daughter of Smoke and Bone...uh, I loved the heck out of that one! But I want the two others fo' sho'. Thanks for the fun teen panel. I never get to talk to teenagers, all my kids are barely out of diapers :).

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  8. Loved learning about these ninth graders and their interests! Interesting how little time they actually spend on the internet and what draws them to books. Congrats to all of you on a job well done with Writer's Digest! That's awesome! Count me in the running for these books!

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  9. SAT *shudder*

    I would love to win Cinder!

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  10. All four of your panelists were very interesting! I appreciate Anzhu's comment about good books having "50 holds" in libraries--I was just in the YA room with my kids last week and I was amazed how common that is! (And what a pain.)
    I also appreciated their candor on judging books by their covers. Important for everyone to keep in mind.
    Natalie and Casey, I am not AT ALL surprised you were mentioned in Writers' Digest! I come here all the time! I may not comment that much because mostly I'm researching and the posts I'm reading aren't too current, but I am slowly making my way through your agent list and other posts. It is SO helpful! I love you guys!
    Congratulations :)
    OH, BTW, I saw Alvina Ling speak at NYSCBWI and she talked about Daughter of Smoke and Bone. I'd love to win that one!

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  11. I loved the interviews. I was pleasently surprised to see how well rounded the kids were and how much they enjoyed reading. The idea of having a game on your website that relates to your book is a great idea to bring in more teens!!

    And as far as the books, well, Cinder and Daughter of Smoke and Bone were going to be my next two reads after I finish 2 beta reads, so either of those would be wonderful and save me a few dollars :)

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  12. Congrats on your mention in writers digest!
    I'd love to win Cinder or Daughter of Smoke and Bone.

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  13. Wonderful interview!!! It was so great to really see into their heads. Some answers were surprising while others weren't. I'd love to be entered in for A Million Suns and Daughter of Smoke and Bone.

    Congrats again!
    GFC: Vivien
    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

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  14. I'm a huge fan of the library too! There are so many books to buy, and I certainly can't have them all. I love the panelists honesty about authors and their websites--it really says that it all comes down to the story.

    Thank you for the giveaways. No preference here.

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  15. What a great idea! I think it is interesting how they don't seem very interested in the internet. I wonder how much that will change over the next five years... No preference they all sound delightful and are on my TBR. Thanks!

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  16. Great interview idea. I loved reading it. As for the giveaway, I'm really excited to read all of these books. They've been on my to-read list for a while.

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  17. I'd like A Million Suns.
    :)
    Thanks for the giveaway.
    Becky01x@gmail.com

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  18. Congrats to Lexi. I can't wait to read A Million Suns.

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  19. Thanks to the students for sharing their book-reading experience. Daughter of Smoke and Bone blew me away - looking forward to meeting Laini Taylor at a conference next month!

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  20. I've heard great things about Cinder--and thanks for helping us get into the minds of 9th graders!

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  21. Thanks Nadia, Anzhu, Rosa & Karn for sharing all your great advice. It's always so interesting to learn how kids find out about books.

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  22. Ohh, loves this :D I loved Cinder so so so much. <3 One of my favorite books :) As is A Million Suns. Have not read Daughter of Smoke and Bone; so would love to win that one :D Thank you for the chance :)
    Love, Carina

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  23. Congratulations - Casey and Natalie - on the Reader's Digest Award. You are definitely my #1 resource for tips, agent information, and news. Thank you!

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  24. I thought I left a comment on your Writer's Digest post, but I guess it didn't go through. Congratulations on making the list! If it were up to me, I'd vote you all number one.

    Awesome giveaways. I'd love to win The Daughter of Smoke and Bone, but I'd love to read Cinder too. I still have to get to Across the Universe before I read A Million Suns.

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  25. Congratulations to LEXI@BOOKBUG!

    What a great giveaway. If I win, I'd love to have A Million Suns.

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  26. May I say that I LOVE this interview. It's great to hear what the teens have to say. It's a great reality check. :D

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  27. I really enjoyed this interview. I found it interesting that 2 of the 3 used the library for the majority of their reading. I too am a big-time library user. Even though I'm constantly reading, I own very few books. Just not enough money to buy them when the library is free! Plus my library usually has all of the new releases and I don't ever have a long wait. That being said, I'd love to win and grow my small collection of books! Thanks for the giveaway!

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  28. Congratulations on making the Best Websites list! Well deserved! (Thanks for sharing the news again; I missed it last week.)

    The panel discussion was fantastic (please do more of these!). I especially enjoyed the insight on how they hear about books, and where they go to get them. I thought it was interesting that e-books weren't mentioned...

    Thanks for the giveaway opportunity! I would be delighted with any of those books.

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  29. Three Cheers for the Best Website star. I can say that when I get ready to begin my query, Literary Rambles will be one of my top choices.

    I'd love to win any of the three books you are giving away, so thanks for having this.

    I have to say thank you for the expert panel. We often wonder some of the very things asked about here. Even though this may not be the case for every single youngster, the answers provided probably speak on a wider scale than we writers realize. Thank you all so much for sharing your thoughts.

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  30. Well done on the award... thanks for celebrating with the awesome prizes:)

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  31. Congrats on the Best Websites list!

    I would love to win Daughter of Smoke and Bone or A Million Suns. Thanks for the giveaway!!

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  32. Congrats on the award and thanks for the awesome giveaway!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

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  33. How exciting! An Award! Congrats!

    Playing for Cinder or Daughter of Smoke and Bone please.

    lesly7ch(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  34. Congrats with the award! And thanks for the awesome giveaway :D
    I would love to win Daughter of Smoke and Bone or Cinder :)

    Thildeespensen(at)live(dot)dk

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  35. I really, really, REALLY want to read Cinder. I've been hearing about it for a while now and it sounds great.

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  37. Why everytime I read SAT I feel the urge to go back to school in the US and take this exam? I love SAT websites (sorry, I know something is totally wrong with me).

    Anyway, cool interview. I'd love to read A million suns (already read and loved the other two!)

    aliasgirl at libero dot it

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  38. Great chat! I really liked Anzhu answers. I pick my books because of the covers as well :)
    I'd love to win A Million Suns. Thanks a lot for the giveaway!

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  39. Congrats to the award!!
    Awesome book prizes! I would like to win the most Daughter of Smoke and Bone, but either of them would be awesome!
    GFC (as Veronika) and email follower.

    verusbognar (at) gmail (dot) com

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  40. Great books- Daughter of Smoke and Bone would be my choice- katebrauning(at)gmail(dot)com

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  41. I never thought I would hear "I dislike the internet" come out of a 9th graders mouth...
    and the SAT website...I remember my high school, SAT studying days..which was literally only a few years back. I even had a gigantic SAT study guide..that I don't think helped me at all.

    I would love to win a book! *Crosses fingers*

    lilianxchengATgmailDOTcom
    Lilian @ A Novel Toybox

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  42. I don't think they had SAT sites when I was in school... Of course, that was back when the Internet was brand new=)

    If I win, I would love to get A Million Suns! Thank you so much for sharing such awesome books with your followers!

    My email is on blogger.

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  43. congrats on getting the award!

    this interview is interesting. i think, i'd make a good friend of Rosa! LOL! we have some similarities :)

    ah library. too bad, my local (& a huge one) library offer less YA books TAT

    Thanks for the giveaway, i'd love to get A Million Suns!

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  44. Wow, awesome books! Hard to choose, but I'd love Cinder or Daughter of Smoke & Bone.

    Thanks for the great giveaway!!

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  45. I would L-O-V-E to win daughter of Smoke and Bone. Believe it or not, I don't have that one yet. :)

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  46. I would L-O-V-E to win daughter of Smoke and Bone. Believe it or not, I don't have that one yet. :)

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  47. I would like to read Cinder and Daughter of Smoke, I find both boks very interresting so I hope I win. I´m follwer. You´re so lucky, you´re winning a lot. :]
    GFC: maly
    Email: msbookworm22(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  48. I would totally skip math class to hang out with an author. But you probably made the wiser decision. :-p

    I would want Cinder!

    GFC: Christina Franke
    cynicalsapphire at gmail dot com

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  49. Congratulations to the award! Very very beautiful interview. Thank you for the giveaway and I would love Cinder.
    GFC follower as Diana

    artgiote at gmail dot com

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  50. Wish I could read all the three books. They sound super!

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  51. Love the interview and would love ANY of those three books...they're all on my TBR list.

    thanks!

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  52. I love this panel (and I'm surprised how everyone is actually checking out the SAT website - when I was in high school, no one really did). I buy my books if I've heard they're amazing or it's written by an author I trust, but I usually just utilize the library. I don't really like reading reviews of books I'm going to read either, but I do like reading them after I've already read them because sometimes people's thoughts provide me with great insight, and some times they recommend great books based on their feelings about that one.

    Anyway, I'd love to enter this giveaway! I'm dying to read Daughter of Smoke and Bone.

    Munnaza
    infalliblyyours@gmail.com

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  53. I love all the answers, it's nice to see how things work for kids today. And congrats on the award for Literary Rambles!

    I am all about free books so I would take any of them, however Cinder and Daughter of Smoke and Bone are on my STBBBOMBF list (Soon-to-be-broke-because-of-my-book-fetish):)

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  54. A wonderful selection of books. I'd love to win DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE, please :) Thanks

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  55. Thanks for hosting the giveaway.
    I'd absolutely love to win a copy of Cinder.

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