Ring out the old, ring in the new – Celebration and giveaway

Dear friends, it’s almost time to say goodbye to The Emerald City Book Review. I invite you all to join me in the New Year over at my other blog, Entering the Enchanted Castle. I’ll be moving all my book blogging activity over there, along with sharing thoughts about life, language, and other magical things.

It’s been absolutely wonderful to share this seven-year journey with you, and I want to thank everyone for making it such a joy.

This blog and its archives and old posts will remain up for at least six months, so don’t worry if there’s something you still want to read. And I hope to create an archive version of the site, for future reference.

I’ve also compiled some of my personal favorite posts in book form as The Best of the Emerald City Book Review. See the Rafflecopter widget below for a chance to win a copy, through January 6.

In addition, sign up for my email list at Entering the Enchanted Castle to get an extra chance in the giveaway. Until January 1 you will also receive a free PDF proof copy of the book. Don’t forget to confirm your subscription to complete your registration.

To stay connected, be sure to follow enterenchanted.com using your favorite method. My Facebook and Twitter accounts will stay the same, and I will try to transfer over WordPress and Bloglovin’ followers, but if that doesn’t work, or if you use another method, you will need to sign up again.

Once more, thank you for being here, and I hope to see you soon over at the Castle.

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A blog celebration with Make Me Read It Giveaway

Let’s have a Twelfth Night party like these jolly Breughel peasants, only with less drinking and more reading!

Happy New Year, everyone! It’s been just over four years since I started this blog on January 1, 2014, and I’d love to celebrate with you.

Stealing a fun idea from Nicole of Feed Your Fiction Addiction, I’m posting a list of 20 books on my TBR pile. If you win, you get to pick one and and I’ll send you your very own copy. Depending on price and availability the book sent may be used (good condition) or new; I will send via Book Depository if international. I can also send an ebook if you prefer and if it’s available.

I then solemnly vow and promise to read and review my copy within a month; it would be great if you would read along with me, but I won’t hold you to it. Please peruse the list, and then if you’d like to participate, use the Rafflecopter widget below. I hope there’s enough variety to give you all something that might interest you! Links are to Goodreads.

I would hereby like to acknowledge and thank my top commenters, and give you an extra boost in the giveaway — please identify yourself via Rafflecopter, and you will get five extra entries!

  • Chris of Calmgrove
  • Laurie of Relevant Obscurity
  • Brian of Babbling Books
  • Erica of Erica Robyn Reads
  • Katie of Doing Dewey
  • Jessica of The Bookworm Chronicles


Thank you all so much for being with me through these four years, or for stopping by if you’re a new visitor. And now for the book list:

  1. The Art Forger – B. A. Shapiro (Contemporary fiction about the Gardner Museum heist)
  2. Before the Feast – Sasa Stanisic (novel in translation about a German village steeped in myth and folklore)
  3. The Blood of the Martyrs Naomi Mitchison (historical novel about early Christians)
  4. The Blue Flower – Penelope Fitzgerald (lyrical historical fiction about the German poet Novalis)
  5. The Butterfly Mosque – G. Willow Wilson (memoir of the author’s conversion to Islam and life in Cairo)
  6. The Country Child – Alison Uttley (autobiographical fiction of an English childhood)
  7. A Different Kind of Daughter – Maria Toorpakai (nonfiction about a sport-loving Pakistani girl who passed as a boy)
  8. Dream Days – Kenneth Grahame (classic essays and stories by the author of The Wind in the Willows)
  9. The Edge of the World – Michael Pye (nonfiction about the cultural importance of the North Sea region)
  10. The Ghost of Thomas Kempe – Penelope Lively (Carnegie-medal-winning ghost story)
  11. The Infinite Air – Fiona Kidman (historical bio-fiction about a New Zealand woman aviator)
  12. Jude The Obscure Thomas Hardy (ultimate depressing Hardy novel)
  13. A London Child of the 1870s – Molly Hughes (memoir of a London childhood)
  14. Love – Elizabeth von Arnim (semi-autobiographical romance between an older woman and a younger man)
  15. Love in a Fallen city Eileen Chang (stories in translation from one of the great writers of contemporary China)
  16. Marmee and Louisa – Eve LaPlante (biography of Louisa May Alcott and her mother)
  17. Notes on a Cowardly Lion – John Lahr (biography of Vaudevillian Bert Lahr)
  18. The Owl Service – Alan Garner (classic YA fantasy based on Welsh myth)
  19. The Path – Michael Puett (based on a popular Harvard class on Chinese philosophy)
  20. The Spire – William Golding (historical fiction about the building of an English cathedral)

Congratulations to R-J, who won the Make Me Read It giveaway and chose The Art Forger from my TBR list. I’ll be sending her a copy, and reading mine ASAP!


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Witch Week Day Two: Giveaway Day

This year, I’m excited to present a double giveaway — two books, in two different formats, thanks to Tachyon Publications.

The Emerald Circus by Jane Yolen, due to be released next week, is a master storyteller’s riff on various well-known tales including The Wizard of Oz, Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, and of course the Arthurian legend. Three Arthurian stories are included, of which my favorite is the novella Evian Steel, a striking re-imagining of the forging of Arthur’s sword in connection with the power of women’s magic. If only Yolen had been able to fulfill her intention of making this the central portion of a novel … perhaps one day she will?

A new introduction by Holly Black gives a tribute to Yolen by the next generation of fantasy writers, and each story has an endnote about its creation and original publication, paired with a thematically related poem — quite a unique feature!

As if this weren’t enough, the lucky winner will also receive a copy of The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia McKillip, a fantasy classic in a lovely new edition (click on the link for my recent review).

To enter to win one of each of these magical books, please use the Rafflecopter widgets below, with options for paperback copies (US only) and e-book versions (International).

US entrants may enter both giveaways but cannot win both. The winner for the paperback giveaway will be drawn first, and will be disqualified for the e-book giveaway.

Good luck!


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Reading New England Giveaway

Reading New England

Reading New England

As 2016 draws to an end, it’s time for the Reading New England giveaway, celebrating a wonderful year of reading and discussing the literature of this region — which was also my third full year of blogging. It’s been so much fun to share it with you!

The giveaway winner can choose a book or books from all the titles I’ve read this year — see my wrap-up post for that list. Note that this includes ALL the books I read, whether I reviewed them or not.

You do not have to be participating in the challenge to enter, but here’s the incentive for participants:

  • If you win and have linked up 0-2 reviews, you can choose ONE book from my list.
  • If you’ve linked up 3-8 reviews, you can chose TWO books.
  • If you’ve linked up 9-12 reviews, you can choose THREE books.


Visiting and commenting on other posts will also earn you extra entries, so be sure to check out the Genre Post and State Post linkup pages. From Alcott to Updike, Wharton to Tartt, Lovecraft to Jackson, there are so many famous books and authors to explore — as well as new and lesser-known gems.

This giveaway is international (to countries served by Book Depository), and as always, void where prohibited by law. Books may be in new or lightly used condition, but will be finished copies (not ARCs). Good luck to all!

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Witch Week Day Three: Giveaway Day

WITCH WEEK 2016-200

What would Witch Week be without a great giveaway? This year, I have two fabulous sets of books that you can enter to win, all in keeping with the Made in America theme. And one giveaway is international – so read on!

US entrants can win three gorgeous hardcovers from some of the most exciting new voices in American fantasy and science fiction: Roses and Rot by Kat Howard, a variation on Tam Lin set in a New Hampshire artists’ colony; All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders, in which a scientific genius and a magical prodigy get together in San Francisco to save the world; and Radiance by Catherynne M. Valente, an alternate-history space-opera mystery that takes us from Hollywood to the moon, and beyond.



And everyone, regardless of location, can enter to win a set of three e-books from the sublimely quirky New England publisher Small Beer Press: Stranger Things Happen by the modern queen of weird stories, Kelly Link; The Fires Beneath the Sea by Lydia Millet, first in a trilogy of Cape Cod environmental fantasies; and Couch by Benjamin Parzybok, about a magical piece of furniture in Portland, Oregon (where else?) These e-books are DRM-free, and will be sent in your choice of EPUB or MOBI format.


Use the two separate Rafflecopter widgets below to enter. You can enter either or both, as determined by your geographical location. Good luck!

For the Witch Week schedule and linkup, see the Master Post.

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Ten new/forthcoming New England books (with giveaway!)


Over at the Broke and the Bookish, the Top Ten Tuesday topic is “Books you picked up on a whim,” but I’m twisting that slightly to feature new and forthcoming books that fit into my Reading New England challenge. Suddenly, there seem to be tons of fantastic New England books coming out, and I want to read them all! I might not have noticed them if not for the challenge, so that’s sort of a whim, right?

As a special bonus, I’m pleased to announce that I’m able to offer a giveaway (US-only) of this month’s release, The Children by Ann Leary. Many thanks to the publisher, St. Martin’s Press, for their generosity. It sounds like a great read, and I hope you all will be as excited about it as I am. Scroll down to the bottom of the post for the entry widget, and good luck!



StudyCharlotte   MaybeFox   DeliveringTruth   Children   HeresToUs

A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro (March) – A YA mystery that has teenage descendants of Holmes and Watson meeting each other in a Connecticut prep school.

Maybe a Fox by Kathi Appelt and Alison McGhee (March) – A sad but powerful tale of grief and healing, centered around two young sisters in Vermont.

Delivering the Truth by Edith Maxwell (April) – First in a series of historical mysteries in which a Quaker midwife attends births — and encounters deadly secrets — in a Massachusetts mill town.

The Children by Ann Leary (May) – As a wedding draws near in a wealthy, unconventional Connecticut family, hidden resentments and unfortunate truths come to the surface. Enter the giveaway below!

Here’s to Us by Elin Hildebrand (June) – Three women gather in a Nantucket cottage after the death of the man they all loved.

Whale   NewEnglandBound   LucyPear   GhostlyEchoes   EvilWizardSmallbone

The Whale: A Love Story by Mark Beauregard (June) – In the literary society of 1850s New England, authors Herman Melville and Nathaniel Hawthorne develop a remarkable bond.

New England Bound: Slavery and Colonization in Early America by Wendy Warren (June) – A searing examination of how the institution of slavery was woven into the origins of our nation — north as well as south.

Leaving Lucy Pear by Anna Solomon (July) – The entangled lives of two women in 1920s New England, both mother to one extraordinary girl.

Ghostly Echoes by William Ritter (August) – Third in the popular “Jackaby” series of YA supernatural mysteries, set in nineteenth century New England.

The Evil Wizard Smallbone by Delia Sherman (September) – A middle grade fantasy set in a “perfect” Maine village that turns out to be even more magical than it seems.
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ECBR Turns Two: Celebration and Giveaway

Birthday by Marc Chagall – Source

It’s been two years now since I published my first real review (of The Miss Buncle Books — my earlier posts were drawn from reviews I’d done for the Green Man Review). I’ve learned so much, met so many wonderful people, and enjoyed so many great books that I wouldn’t have discovered without this blogging community. It’s time to say thank you!

Below are cover snippets from five of the books I reviewed in 2015, in order according to when they appeared on the blog. Appropriately enough, all draw on older stories or other writings in some way, or involve authors and creators of literature. The following descriptions might help you identify them:

  • 1. A mind-bending foray into the ancient world, playing on one of the most famous texts of all time.
  • 2. A delicious mystery inspired by a collection of old recipes.
  • 3. A very adult re-imagining of an immortal children’s story.
  • 4. A lush, multi-layered historical novel about fairy tales and their tellers.
  • 5. A romantic story of a great American author and the woman he loved.


1JustCity copy   2AppetiteViolets copy   3AliasHook copy   4BitterGreens copy   HouseofHawthorne copy


Using the Rafflecopter form, enter to win a hardcover (US) or paperback (International) copy of your choice of one of these books. (For international entrants, only numbers 1-4 may be chosen, to be shipped through Book Depository). You can earn extra points by guessing the book titles; enter your guesses in the Rafflecopter form, but PLEASE don’t give them away in the comments!

I’d like to thank Kay of It’s a Book Life for the fun guessing game idea. And thanks to all of you for being here, whether it’s been for the whole two years or a shorter time. I’m so looking forward to another year of reading with you.

Congratulations to Kristia, who won the giveaway and also guessed all the titles correctly! In case you’re curious, here they are:

  1. The Just City by Jo Walton
  2. An Appetite for Violets by Martine Bailey
  3. Alias Hook by Lisa Jensen
  4. Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth
  5. The House of Hawthorne by Erika Robuck

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Review and Giveaway: The Folio Book of Ghost Stories

Congratulations to the winners of the Witch Week giveaway, Nicole (Bitter Greens) and Fadi (The Bloody Chamber)! I know you will love these wonderful books and am so grateful to the publishers for making it possible to send them to you.

Illustration from The Folio Book of Ghost Stories © David McConochie 2015

And I’m even more grateful that The Folio Society is making it possible for me to offer another giveaway of one of their gorgeous editions, this time open internationally. The Folio Book of Ghost Stories is a very appropriate choice for this time of year; as the light wanes and the night deepens, it’s a traditional time to tell stories of ghosts and supernatural visitations. Folio has gathered nineteen classic and contemporary stories and added atmopsheric illustrations by David McConochie, creating a collection that will delight any aficionado of creepy fiction, as well as lovers of beautiful design and typography.

Seldom do we get to see a book that is so meticulously designed in accord with its contents. From the haunting image on the cover, to the subtly off-kilter type on the spine, to the iridescent green endpapers, to the faint smudges on the binding, it shows us what to expect within: stories about what lies the edge of our perception, discomforting and sometimes terrifying.

I especially love the font choices — a vertically elongated display font with calligraphic touches that manages to give a faint sense of unease, and a classic yet slightly spiky serif font for text, which adds an undercurrent of menace. Setting the author names in small caps is also effective, just as a whisper can be louder than a shout.

Illustration from The Folio Book of Ghost Stories © David McConochie 2015

The actual contents of the stories are no less stellar. Great writers including Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Bowen, Vladimir Nabokov, and A.S. Byatt are represented, along with lesser known masters of the genre. The stories are arranged mostly in chronological order, and if read straight through show a development from artfully rendered yet fairly straightforward thrills in the Victorian tales, to greater psychological complexity in the modern stories.

Or you can just skip around and pick and choose your favorites. Mine would include the classic “Be careful what you wish for” tale “The Monkey’s Paw,” Edith Wharton’s slow-burning suspense story of a country house with a mysterious guardian, “Mr. Jones,” and Shirley Jackson’s relentlessly disorienting account of another house and its residents in “A Visit.”

The mixed-media illustrations, which come from the winner of an annual competition sponsored by The Folio Society and The House of Illustration, give us glimpses of things half-seen, beautiful landscapes that contain a twist of something not quite right, monsters that can’t be fully grasped with the senses. And as if all this weren’t enough, a brief but insightful introduction by journalist and historian Kathryn Hughes helps to orient us within the literary tradition.

I do hope I’ve enticed you to want this book in your hands, with all its deliciously spooky pleasures. Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below…if you dare.

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Witch Week 2015 Giveaway

This post is part of Witch Week, an annual celebration of fantasy books and authors. This year’s theme is New Tales from Old, focusing on fiction based in fairy tale, folklore, and myth. For more about Witch Week, see the Master Post.

Welcome, Witch Week participants! I’m SO thrilled to have two wonderful books to offer this year, thanks to the generosity of their publishers.

BitterGreens smallBitter Greens by Kate Forsyth was one of my favorite reads in 2015, a lush, opulent retelling of the Rapunzel story that also illuminates the life of a long-forgotten storyteller, Charlotte-Rose de la Force. I loved how Forsyth intertwined history and legend together in such a compelling and dramatic way, and I hope you will too. Thanks to Thomas Dunne Books for offering a paperback copy to one lucky entrant, and to Kate Forsyth for kindly answering some questions about her books and writing process. The interview will appear on November 4. This giveaway is international (Book Depository must ship to your country).

BloodyCFolioThe Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter is our reader-chosen readalong book this year, a dark and sensuous retelling of traditional tales that influenced many later writers. The Folio Society, publishers of beautiful illustrated editions of classic and contemporary literature, is offering their gorgeous version illustrated by Igor Karash and introduced by Marina Warner. This copy is also signed by the award-winning illustrator! Please check out more images from the book at the link, and peruse the Folio catalog while you’re at it. Don’t forget to come back for the readalong on November 5, though. This giveaway is US only.

If you have a US address, you may enter one or both of the giveaways. Two different winners will be chosen. Both giveaways will close at 12 a.m. Eastern Time on November 8. Good luck!

Bitter Greens cover courtesy of Thomas Dunne Books
Bloody Chamber cover courtesy of the Folio Society, copyright 2012 by Igor Karash

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September Wrap-Up Round-Up Giveaway

Welcome to the September Wrap-Up Round-Up Giveaway! If you haven’t already, go visit the monthly wrap-up post linkup hosted by Feed Your Fiction Addiction, and then come back here for a chance to win some of my favorite accessories that keep your books “wrapped up” in style. The picture below will show you what I mean…

IMG_0029 copy

A couple of years ago I went looking for some durable, attractive cloth covers to help protect my books from bumps and stains, since I carry them everywhere inside and outside the house. I came across Gotcha Covered (clothbookcovers.com) and decided to buy a set of three of Cathy Holberg’s beautiful handmade covers in various sizes. I liked them so much I bought another set! I use them all the time, and appreciate how they keep my books in great shape, while pleasing my eyes with their colorful fabric patterns, and even keeping my place with a built-in bookmark.

IMG_0029 IMG_0033 IMG_0035

When the chance came to sponsor this giveaway, I immediately thought of Cathy’s covers and asked her if she’d like to offer a set. I was delighted that she said yes, and even more delighted that she has generously offered three different sets, which you can see above. All of the covers are the Small size (10 inches by 7.25 inches, flat) and will fit most small standard paperbacks. Note that the cotton material does not stretch, so it shouldn’t be forced to fit books that are too large.

Gotcha Covered products are made by hand with great care here in the US. Browse clothbookcovers.com to see the other sizes and fabric patterns on offer; there’s even a cover for your e-reader! They make great gifts too. So now that I’ve whetted your appetite for these lovely covers, here are some rules:

  • Due to shipping costs, this giveaway is limited to US and Canada addresses only.
  • Anyone age 18 and older can enter; you do not need to have a post linked in the monthly Wrap-Up Round-Up.
  • Visit and comment on posts in the link-up to earn more entries. You can do this once per day, as long as you visit a different post each time.
  • Three different winners will be chosen and will each receive one of the book cover sets pictured above (which set will be chosen at random).
  • The giveaway will close at midnight on October 13. Winners will be contacted by email and must respond within 48 hours or another winner will be chosen.

To enter, just fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck!

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