Google+ YA Romantics: November 2011

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I Just Finished ... Scorpio Races

I wasn't sure what to expect from this book. The blurb was a little cryptic. Now that I read the book, I understand why. The book is a little hard to sum up. Her's my best one sentence attempt: on the island of Thisby, carnivorous wild horses come out of the ocean, and the bravest of the island residents race them on the beach.

I really enjoyed the book. Maggie Stiefvater's writing is beautiful. The story had a mythical, fairy tale quality. The setting is evocatively described. The pacing is slow but deliberate. Bit by bit, the book drew me in. But by the climactic race scene, I was holding my breath.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I Think Someone's Following Me...

I've been reading some of the reactions to the fact that Google recently announced that it is "retiring" GFC (Google Friend Connect) for all non-Blogger blogs as of March 1, 2012. If you missed that, you can read more here at Googleblog.

I use Blogger, so Google's decision doesn't affect my blog, but it will change the way I follow other blogs. And it has sparked some interesting discussions on blog following and follower stats in general.

For instance, how does a blog's GFC count compare to other stats, like page views or bounce rate? I didn't know there was a way to measure your blog's bounciness until recently. There's an explanation of it here at Daily Blog Tips.

I'm kind of a research nerd, so I love learning new things. But I'm not super-techy, so sometimes I feel like my head might explode.

If you have thoughts on this, I'd love to hear them!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Blog Hop!


My giveaway meant that I discovered a whole bunch of great new blogs. I tried to follow everyone back. If I missed your blog it might mean that you need to update your Google profile. Or it might mean that I just messed up. So if I missed your blog, please tweet its url to me here @JenRyland.

Now that my giveaway prize is mailed out, I'm going to hop around for a bit and see what everyone's up to...

Amanda at Book Love is trying to lobby for Emerson from Hourglass in the Tournament of Heroines over at YA Sisterhood. If you haven't voted for your favorite heroine, get over there!

Arianne is telling me What I Don't Like About Your Blog. As a relatively new blogger, I really appreciate all the feedback and advice that other bloggers have offered. Thanks!

JJ Reads is doing the Sophomore Reading Challenge. Me too! Join us if you haven't signed on. I mean, you were planning to read most of the books already. So why not feel a sense of accomplishment about having completed a challenge? You can find my list here on my Challenges page
The official Goodreads list for the challenge is here

WINNER of Legend by Marie Lu


Thanks so much to everyone who entered the giveaway.
There were a total of 230 entries, including the multiple chances for blog follows and tweets.

I just used to generate the winning entry number:

True Random Number Generator
Powered by RANDOM.ORG

Okay, now to figure out who that is...

Christina Madison

Off to email you now...

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Great Giveaway! New YA dystopian -- Legend!

Happy Thanksgiving! I'm participating in the Black Friday Bonanza. My prize is a finished copy of a fantastic new dystopian YA: Legend, by Marie Lu. The giveaway begins 12:01 am on Friday November 25 and ends at midnight on Sunday November 27.

A finished copy of the book will be mailed to the lucky winner anywhere in the U.S. by Priority Mail. will be used to pick the winning entry and I will contact the winner between
8-9 am EST on Monday, November 28.
I'll mail the book out as soon as the winner sends me a mailing address.

To enter, just fill out the Google Doc below. You can get two extra entries, one for following this blog (just click on the blue Follow bar on the right) and another for tweeting about the contest.

To find the list of the other great blogs participating in the hop, just click on the Black Friday Bonanza logo at the top of this post.

Thanks so much for entering and good luck. I hope you'll consider following, because I have lots of great giveaways planned for 2012!

This giveaway has ended!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


I just did the randomizer -- everyone got two chances; thanks so much for tweeting!

The Randomizer picked ... Arianne.

And I said: "Seriously, Randomizer?" Arianne was trying to teach me to make the Google Doc pink and I couldn't figure it out so I told her if she won I would wrap the book up in pink paper. Now I have to find some :)
Congrats, Arianne! I'm going to tweet/email you now.

If you didn't win, I have one more GREAT giveaway before I take a little breather for the holidays. I'm participating in the Black Friday Giveaway. My official announcement can't go up until Friday, but I'll give you 3 clues:

Book is a YA dystopian being published Nov 29.
I'm giving away a finished copy -- it will be mailed Nov 28 by Priority Mail if I get your addy in time. Media Mail has been taking forever, what with the holidays.
Author's last name has two letters.
The book is really good.
Oops, that's four clues...

Monday, November 21, 2011

Win an ARC of SHATTER ME by Tahereh Mafi is OVER

This is the book everyone seems to be talking about. If you haven't managed to get your hands on a copy, here's your chance.

Brief rules (more fine print in the sidebar under Giveaway)

13 or older, US only. I'd really appreciate it if you followed the blog! Just click the blue button directly to the right of this post >

You can have up to two entries. You can get an entry by:

1) Answering the question below in the comments
2) Tweeting about the contest (please include link to blog)

Then fill out the Google Doc below to let me know how many entry chances you earned and how to get in touch with you. I'll close the contest and email the winner around 9 am EST on Wednesday, Nov 23. I'll mail the book out that day if you get back to me by 3 pm EST with a mailing address.

In the book, they eat little cubes of what Juliette calls "fake food." Ugh! I love thinking about (real) food, discussing it, and eating it. Tell me about your favorite dish for family gatherings. It could be your favorite Thanksgiving dish, or just anything that you associate with happy family food memories!

Winners-- Last ARC Grab bag of 2011


Sorry - I did say I would tell you what everyone picked.

Kristi picked Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
Aurora Celeste picked All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin
Arianne picked Spellbound by Cara Lynn Shultz
Elin picked Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan
Cristina picked Frost by Wendy Delsol
Emilia picked Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton
Sniffly Kitty picked The Beginning of After by Jennifer Castle
And Lena got put last by the Randomizer. She passed.

Friday, November 18, 2011

More Winners!


Kristi picked ... The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

I loved the Blue Envelope series. This book was completely different and I loved it too!

I really want to get these 2011 ARCs out because I have a growing stack of 2012 ones.

So... I'm going to go through all this round's entrants in the order that the randomizer put you. If there's an ARC you want when I get to your name, it's yours. If you want to pass, I won't be offended!

Watch your email/Twitter!



I just randomized all the names of the entrants, both on the blog and on Twitter!
The winner of this round is ... Kristi

Congratulations, Kristi! I'm going to tweet you now.

I have to be away from my computer for a few hours but I might have a surprise when I get back!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

ARC Grab Bag -- Round now over.


Let's play! Today November 17 1:30 pm EST through November 18 at 9:00 am.

If you're new, welcome! It's easy.

1. Answer the question in the comments. You don't have to provide an email. If we follow each other on Twitter or are Goodreads friends, I'll find you.

2. You can get a bonus entry by Tweeting about the contest and including my blog address.

3. US residents only until I get to 100 followers. I'd also really appreciate it if you follow the blog. It's easy and ... just good karma :)

4. I randomize all the names. Then I send the winner a list of ARCs and you pick your prize!

TODAY'S QUESTION: I was shocked to discover that there are people who don't re-read their books. While I do understand the "so many books, so little time" mentality, certain books are like comfort food to me.

Are you a re-reader? If so, tell me about a book that struck such a chord in you that it will never come off your keeper shelf.

I have a couple of dogeared books. One is Pride and Prejudice. I take it out every couple of years. I think I'll need a new copy soon. Another is This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen. I just love Remy and Dexter. Re-reading their story is like visiting old friends.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Another ARC Grab Bag Winner!


The handy list generator shuffled all the blog entries and the Twitter entries and picked....


The ARC she picked: Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson.

I don't read that much fantasy but I really liked this book. Loved the desert setting, the court intrigue, and the development of the main character from a sheltered princess into a real leader.

Stay tuned because I want to get a few more rounds in before Thanksgiving. I'm participating in the Black Friday Giveaway Hop and I'm so excited about the great prize I have...

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

YA ARC grab bag -- Round over.


I want to do a round for people who might not be at their computers during the day. This round will start now -- 3 p.m. EST today, November 15 and end tomorrow morning, November 16, at 9 a.m.**

Reminders: US only.
You can enter once by answering the question in comments below AND once for tweeting about the contest. You'll get one entry for each.

I'll make the question easy:
As a reader, which do you prefer: love triangle or one true love?

My answer? Tough call. While I really do appreciate the tension that the love triangle creates ... I'm a romantic at heart. I'm going to vote for true love!

**My dog insists that I be a morning person, so I won't be responding to middle of the night comments. I'll get to them tomorrow -- I promise :)

Monday, November 14, 2011

ARC Grab Bag Winner!


Just used the list randomizer and it picked...

Coranne! Going to email you now...

If you didn't win -- stay tuned. We'll be playing again soon.

UPDATE: Coranne chose:

Love Story by Jennifer Echols! Great choice. And there are still 13 ARCs left!

YA ARC Grab Bag -- Round Over.


I need to get these ARCs out and I need your help!
Playing today, Monday November 14 from 9 am to 3 pm EST

Brief reminder of rules*

1. US residents only (If I get to 100 followers I'll do a giveaway with expanded geographic parameters.) I would really appreciate it if you would follow the blog.

2. You can enter twice: once in comments below this post and once on Twitter. In comments, you DON'T have to put your email address if you prefer not to. I'll find you! For Twitter, can you please mention ARC grab bag and my blog -- you probably won't have room to answer the question.

QUESTION: Who is your favorite YA sidekick character? Can be a villainous sidekick, a funny one, any character you think deserves a book of his or her own.

My answer? Kenji from Shatter Me. I love a suspenseful book with some comic relief and he had me laughing out loud.

*Complete long version of rules in sidebar under "Giveaway Details"

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

And she chose...


I love it when people surprise me!
I expected Jennifer to go for a paranormal, but the ARC she picked was:

What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen

Excellent choice! I'm a huge Sarah Dessen fan and I liked this book a lot.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011



Since there were blog entries and Twitter entries, I used the handy list randomizer on and the winner of this round of ARC Grab Bag is.....

Beesha1 (who I believe is also known as Jennifer)

Beesha, I'm going to tweet you and we can figure out how I can give you the list of choices and then I'll announce what you picked.

Congratulations! Thanks to everyone who played -- I absolutely loved getting your book/author recommendations. We'll do another round soon!



Okay, let's get started!

Game open today, November 8 from 10:15 am to 9:00 p.m. EST
The game is a thank you for blog followers -- so please follow!
Sorry, US mailing addresses only. But when I get to 75 followers, I'll hold a game open to US and Canada!

You can enter one of two ways. You 'll get one entry for each.
1. Answer today's question in the comments on this post
2. Tweet your answer to me. Please tweet to @jenryland and include hashtag #yaarcgrabbag

QUESTION: Who is your favorite new YA author of 2011? The author can be a debut author, or an author you've discovered over the past year.

At 9:00 pm I'll close the game, use to pick the winner and post/tweet that person's first name or nickname on the blog. I assume I'll be able to get in touch with the winner through Twitter, their Google profile, and/or Goodreads. I don't like asking people to post their email address in blog comments.

Then we'll all find out which ARC they picked!

This game is new so I may have to tweak it between rounds. Please give me feedback if something isn't working for you!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Getting Ready for ARC Grab Bag


Got my first badge made :) It's not the most beautiful badge ever, but I did it. If you want to put it on your blog, you can try my grab box (on the right hand side.)

I'm still researching a few last details, like how much it costs to ship a book to Canada???
I also have a horrible cold and a weekend full of family gatherings.

So the first grab bag will be early next week. Maybe Tuesday?

Off to invite a few more people to join in. See you soon!

Thursday, November 3, 2011


I'm starting up a new game for November.
When the mood strikes, I'll announce that I'm getting ready to open ...
the ARC Grab Bag!!

To play, all you have to do is 1) be a blog follower who is over 13 years old and lives in the US and 2) post a comment answering the question on the announcement post within the time limit. Each round will be short -- only an hour to a few hours.
When time's up, I'll use the randomizer to pick a winner, then reveal to the winner what is in the Grab Bag.
What will be in the bag? At least a half-dozen different ARCs and/or finished copies, all from 2010-11.
The winner can pick one prize, and I'll mail it out right away. Instant Gratification!

You don't have to follow me on Twitter to win, but I'll also be tweeting when the game is going on, so you might want to follow there too.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


I got 35 entries, including the bonus entries, and the winner of the ARC, as selected by is....

Entry # 28! Anki!

I'm going to email/tweet her now and tell her the good news.

Soon I'll announce my new, fun contest for November.
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