Saturday, December 3, 2016

The Firebug of Balrog County Giveaway Winners

The Firebug of Balrog County Giveaway Winners

David Oppegaard was the October, Minnesota Author in the Spotlight on Booksnob and he is giving away 3 copies of his awesome Young Adult novel, The Firebug of Balrog County to three lucky winners.

And the winners are...

Rachel from Minnesota
Courtney from Alabama
Lauren from New York


Congratulations Ladies.  I hope you enjoy your new book.

Here is an excerpt from my book review:

The Firebug of Balrog County is a well-written novel that was a finalist for the Minnesota Book Award in 2016.  The story is told in short chapter bursts and full of wry wit and angsty humor.  You will fall in love with the main character and his family and even the small town. I was laughing and crying and rooting for Mack with all my heart.  Mack is charming and quirky and never been kissed and in desperate need of a girlfriend. In some ways Mack reminds me of Duckie form Pretty in Pink and David Oppegaard reminds me of a modern John Hughes.


Friday, December 2, 2016

Beth Dooley Guest Post + Giveaway

Beth Dooley Guest Post + Giveaway

Beth Dooley is the November, Minnesota Author in the Spotlight here on Booksnob. She is a foodie and has written several cookbooks and she has written a guest post about two books she could not live without.
Read on to find out more.

Tender: A Cook and His Vegetable Patch and Ripe: A Cook in the Orchard, by Nigel Slater (Ten Speed Press)

If my kitchen caught fire, Nigel Slater’s two volumes – Tender and Ripe – are the books I’d grab exiting the backdoor. These hefty, beautiful volumes are written in a quiet and deeply personal voice, and the prose is as sumptuous as are his recipes. The photos alone are worth the price. In each short chapter, Slater relays, in great detail, the pleasure he takes in tending the small garden of his London home. He shares memories, a little food history, and provides practical information about planting and harvesting the vegetables and fruits. As he moves into the kitchen, his advice is whimsical and engaging with suggestions for flavor pairings, quick preparation tips, and simple, homey recipes.
Never self-righteous or preachy, Slater’s love of our earth’s bounty and it’s benefit to our health and environmental shine through. His ascetic is comforting and inspiring and these pages transport me to
a gentler time and more civilized place.

If you would like to enter to win a copy of Beth's book, In Winter's Kitchen please click here:

In Winter's Kitchen

Good Luck!

Thanks Beth!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

In Winter's Kitchen Giveaway

In Winter's Kitchen Giveaway

In Winter's Kitchen is one of the best books to read this Holiday season and Beth Dooley and Milkweed Press are giving away two copies of her delicious foodie memoir, In Winter's Kitchen, Growing Roots and Breaking Bread in the Northern Heartland.
Beth is the November Minnesota Author in the Spotlight here on BookSnob so check back for a guest post and author interview as well as a book review, later this month.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

The explosive growth of the local food movement is hardly news: Michael Pollan’s books sell millions and the spread of farm-to-table restaurants is practically viral. But calls for a “food revolution” come most often from a region where the temperature rarely varies more than a few degrees. In the national conversation about developing a sustainable and equitable food tradition, the huge portion of our population who live where the soil freezes hard for months of the year feel like they're left out in the cold.

In Winter’s Kitchen reveals how a food movement with deep roots in the Heartland—our first food co-ops, most productive farmland, and the most storied agricultural scientists hail from the region—isn't only thriving, it's presenting solutions that could feed a country, rather than just a smattering of neighborhoods and restaurants. Using the story of one thanksgiving meal, Dooley discovers that a locally-sourced winter diet is more than a possibility: it can be delicious.

Giveaway Rules:
Enter on the from
U.S./Canada residents only
Ends Dec 19th at midnight
Good Luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Friday, November 18, 2016

The Firebug of Balrog County by David Oppegaard

The Firebug of Balrog County by David Oppegaard

I'm in love with a firebug. David Oppegaard's novel is set in a fictional small town in Minnesota. The main character is a high school senior named Mack who is grieving the loss of his mother to cancer. He feels the need to start fires and at first he starts out small but then things spiral out of control quickly like a rapid burning flame.  Mack has a great family and a interesting set of grandparents, all who are wounded and grieving. His grandpa is the mayor who is trying to catch the culprit who is setting fires and begins a cat and mouse game between the two of them.

The Firebug of Balrog County is a well-written novel that was a finalist for the Minnesota Book Award in 2016.  The story is told in short chapter bursts and full of wry wit and angsty humor.  You will fall in love with the main character and his family and even the small town. I was laughing and crying and rooting for Mack with all my heart.  Mack is charming and quirky and never been kissed and in desperate need of a girlfriend. In some ways Mack reminds me of Duckie form Pretty in Pink and David Oppegaard reminds me of a modern John Hughes.

The Firebug of Balrog County needs to get into the hands of teenage boys.
I would pair The Firebug with A.S. King's- Everybody Sees the Ants.


Go Beyond the book with this link:

Listen to a 4 min interview on Minnesota Public Radio of author, David Oppegaard.
https://www.mprnews.org/story/2015/10/01/books-thread-david-oppegaard




Thursday, November 10, 2016

David Oppegaard Author Interview + Giveaway


Author Interview with David Oppegaard + Giveaway

David is the Minnesota Author in the Spotlight here on Booksnob for the month of October. I had a chance to ask him some questions about his Young Adult novel, The Firebug of Balrog County.  I want you to know that I'm in love with the firebug.  Read on to find out more from David about his inspiration, what he's reading right now and what he recommends to read post election.  Enjoy.

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I live in St. Paul with my cat, Frenchie. I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was about seven years old, when I started writing little stories about aliens and ninjas. I’ve published four novels but I’ve actually written sixteen, going on seventeen. I write in multiple genres including horror, fantasy, sci-fi, and literary. Most things I do are motivated by an urge to A) feel like I earned the whiskey, beer, and cheese I consume and B) not be bored.

2. What is the inspiration behind The Firebug of Balrog County?

My mother passed away from complications related to cancer in October of 2000. Firebug is my attempt to address that loss and come to terms with it while using a proper balance of humor and swear words. It didn’t take long to actually sit down and write because the mental process behind it took thirteen years.

3. Usually an author puts some of his own life experiences in the book.  Did you do that in
Firebug?  Do you have anything in common with your characters?

Autobiography is all over FIREBUG. The setting, the story of the mother. The cranky war vet mayor. The main character, Mack, is a lot like an eighteen-year-old version of myself, except I was never that into starting fires and was generally law abiding.

4.  Can you tell us about your previous books?

I‘ll stick to the published titles: The Suicide Collectors is post-apocalyptic speculative fiction about a suicide plague and a group of survivors searching for a cure. It was nominated for a Bram Stoker Award and blurbed by Stan Lee. Wormwood, Nevada is about a meteorite upending a small Nevada town and the lives of its citizens. And the Hills Opened Up is an old-school horror-western about a copper mining town that’s set upon by a murderous creature called The Charred Man.

5.  Do you like to read?  What are some of your favorite books and authors?

I’m always churning over a stack of books on my night stand. I’m a big fan of Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s complete works and Don Quixote. Right now I’m reading Mindy Kaling’s amusing autobiography Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?.

6.  Name one book that you think is a must read for everyone and tell us why?
Post-election, I suppose I’d choose 1984 by George Orwell or Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury for their frightening portrayal of oppressive regimes opposed to knowledge, though I guess the fat orange cat’s out of the bag now, isn’t it?

7.  How do you carve time out of your busy day to write?  Do you write full-time or do you also have a “day” job?
I work full time at the University of Minnesota as a staff member. I take a nap when I get home, make dinner, go for a run, then I usually write from 9-11 PM.

8.  Did you choose the title and cover for the book?  How did you come up with Balrog County?  Is it the name of a real place?

The title is mine and I was given two covers to choose from as well as feedback on the color scheme. Lisa Novak was the cover designer and she did a smashing job. Best cover ever.
Balrog County is a vague allusion to Blue Earth County in MN, though the book could be set in any Midwestern state.

9.  Have you begun working on a new book?  Can you tell us about it?
Since FIREBUG came out I’ve been working on three books. The newest one still in progress is called SUNDOWNING. It’s about a retired rancher in Montana and his family as they deal with the rancher succumbing to Alzheimer’s.

10.  In one sentence tell readers why they should read, The Firebug of Balrog County?
It’s funny as hell and there’s a dog in it named Chompy.

Thanks, David!!

If you want to win one of three copies of his book The Firebug of Balrog County, click here;
The Firebug of Balrog County Giveaway

You can find David on his website at:  https://davidoppegaard.com/ 


Saturday, November 5, 2016

The Inflatable Woman by Rachael Ball

The Inflatable Woman by Rachael Ball
A Short Review.

Amazing graphic novel about one woman's journey through breast cancer and trying to find someone to love. The artwork is phenomenal, the storyline creative and heartfelt and imaginative. I can't imagine going through something like this and Iris's story is probably similar to the story of many woman who are shocked to find a lump in their breast in their 40's. The art is done in stark black and white with minimal panels or one panel per page. This book is full of dreams, magic, poetry and medical procedures. I highly recommend. I'm so glad this book found me.

Rachael Ball is herself a survivor of cancer.  The Inflatable woman is a fictionalized story about a woman named Iris who is looking for love through online chats and wakes up from a bad dream, with a lump in her breast.  

I love, love, love this huggable book.

Rachael appears at the Standard Issue UK to talk about cancer, anxiety, trauma, laughter and other cancer side effects.
http://standardissuemagazine.com/arts/blowing-up-cancer/utm_content=bufferb4830&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Book Review by the Irish Times:
http://www.irishtimes.com/culture/books/book-review-the-inflatable-woman-by-rachael-ball-1.2411452

Rachael's tumblr page:  http://rachaelball.tumblr.com/


Friday, November 4, 2016

Announcing November Author in the Spotlight

Announcing November Author in the Spotlight

Happy November!
My flowers are still blooming in Minnesota and we haven't had a freeze here yet, which is strange.  My sweet dog, Titus, had a lumpectomy yesterday and we are waiting for the results.  So I took him to school with me today as we had a grading day for the end of quarter one.

October was a great month and I took some time to do some blogger soul searching, wondering how I wanted to continue this blog, knowing it needed a change.  So I decided I still wanted to feature the many amazing Minnesota authors I have met and whose books I enjoy. I then made a posting schedule and with a plan to move this blog towards short reviews, poetry, my own writing struggles and successes and more thematic posts.  I hope you will like the change and see an increase in posting.

I would like to introduce you to this month's author, Beth Dooley.  Beth Dooley is a foodie and so am I.  I met Beth at the Twin Cities Book Fair where she was signing copies of her book at Milkweed Press, which is one of my favorite presses.  I am super excited to read her book, In Winter's Kitchen. Growing Roots and Breaking Bread in the Northern Heartland.  I think it is the perfect time of year to feature Beth and her book, which has just been released in paperback.  I'm hoping to find some new recipes to use this winter in my kitchen and to put on my Thanksgiving Table.

This month you can expect a book review, an author interview, a giveaway and possibly a guest post.

Here is a synopsis from Goodreads:

In Winter's Kitchen
The explosive growth of the local food movement is hardly news: Michael Pollan’s books sell millions and the spread of farm-to-table restaurants is practically viral. But calls for a “food revolution” come most often from a region where the temperature rarely varies more than a few degrees. In the national conversation about developing a sustainable and equitable food tradition, the huge portion of our population who live where the soil freezes hard for months of the year feel like they're left out in the cold.

In Winter’s Kitchen reveals how a food movement with deep roots in the Heartland—our first food co-ops, most productive farmland, and the most storied agricultural scientists hail from the region—isn't only thriving, it's presenting solutions that could feed a country, rather than just a smattering of neighborhoods and restaurants. Using the story of one thanksgiving meal, Dooley discovers that a locally-sourced winter diet is more than a possibility: it can be delicious.

The Northern Heartland Kitchen
The Northern Heartland is governed by the seasons. The long and cold winter, bright and warm summer, and crisp and refreshing spring and fall shape our physical and emotional landscape. Shouldn’t the seasons and their harvests also shape the way we eat?

Beth Dooley’s The Northern Heartland Kitchen presents delicious and practical solutions to the challenge of eating locally in the upper Midwest. Celebrating the region’s chefs, farmers, ranchers, gardeners, and home cooks, this is the essential guide to eating with the year’s local rhythms. Recipes are organized by season: fall and winter inspire Chestnut Soup and Venison Medallions with Juniper and Gin, while summer harvests contribute the ingredients for Watermelon Gazpacho and Grilled Trout with Warm Tomato Vinaigrette. Other chapters provide instructions on pickling and preserving food, as well as tips on growing your own food and getting the most out of your CSA or farmers’ market. There are also profiles of local farmers, butchers, and chefs who are using new technologies—as well as rediscovering heritage practices—to enrich regional selections.

Dooley shows that far from being a sacrifice, eating in season and locally is a tribute to the year’s changing riches—encouraging an appreciation for the unmatched flavor of a juicy July tomato or a crisp October apple with garden salads, soups and stews, free-range meats and poultry, fish and game, farmstead cheeses, wholesome breads, pastries and fruit pies. The Northern Heartland Kitchen presents delicious recipes alongside the stories and compelling research that illustrate how eating well and eating locally are truly one and the same.

Beth Dooley was recently on the The Splendid Table podcast and you can listen here:
http://splendidtable.org/story/beth-dooley-on-the-joy-of-cooking-and-the-future-of-wheat

Find Beth, her books, delicious recipes and more on her website:  http://www.bethdooleyskitchen.com/

Happy Reading!


Monday, October 31, 2016

Dreamers Often Lie Giveaway Winner!

Dreamers Often Lie Giveaway Winner!

Jacqueline West was the August Minnesota Author in the Spotlight on BookSnob and she is graciously giving away one copy of her fabulous Young Adult novel, Dreamers Often Lie. I'm thrilled to say we finally have a winner!  Several people did not respond to their emails unfortunately and so it took awhile to get that one special winner.

Anne B of New Mexico is the winner!

Congrats Anne.  Enjoy your new book.

Here is an excerpt from my book review:

The story is full of action and twisted plots and creative characters.  There is anger and intrigue and love triangles. Dreamers Often Lie is a quote from Romeo and Juliet as well as this awesome, page-turning novel.  This is a smart book and Jacqueline West conquers serious issues and situations with ease.
I was spellbound until the very last page.







Sunday, October 30, 2016

Poem in My Post- Love and Other Hand Grenades by Danielle DeTiberus

Poem in My Post- Love and Other Hand Grenades by Danielle DeTiberus

I love poetry. Don't you?
I chose to feature a poem by Danielle DeTiberus today because I fell in love with her poem In A Black Tank Top.  I wasn't able to post it on my blog but you can read it here:  http://www.rattle.com/in-a-black-tank-top-by-danielle-detiberus/  Instead I chose this amazing poem called Love and Other Hand Grenades which won the Jane Moran Prize in 2012.  She will WOW you with this poem.

Danielle also has a great article on On Being about racism and segregation. You should seriously read it. Sooo good.  http://www.onbeing.org/blog/holding-a-sacred-space-of-many-silences/7722

You can find Danielle on her website: http://www.danielledetiberus.com./about/


Love and Other Hand Grenades

Love’s mess is as explosive as
survival—spark violent as ripe
pomegranates bursting seeds in fall.
Some days I hate that I love you
this much. It’d be easier, prettier if I could
pack up my books, leave
the cats and cast iron pans behind.
Stuck to the fridge a note without
punctuation about traveling on. How would I
look as a wanderer? My hair long,
smelling of someone else’s musk. The girl
with a hundred lovers: a brunette Joni Mitchell
without the dulcimer. The lives
we have to murder for each choice. Or
imagine we must because there’s no way to know
otherwise. Each day a fuse
sizzling towards detonation. We throw
sparks to one another like flirtations, like
dares. Save the biggest blasts
for the ones we know will put us back
together again. This is why we’re so
fragmented. Why it’s so exhausting to stay
in love. The real thing—not
the passion of battle. But the bandaging, the salve.
To love you this way is to keep our wounds
fresh. To toss our fragile shells
back and forth, like mistaking
a grenade for a hot potato. No surprise that
we long for the same feeling we run from.
Here are my insides, love. Promise to make me
whole. I am the wounded that needs to be
fixed. You are both doctor and enemy.
You’ve seen the places I cannot look.
It is hardest to be loved this way—and to love as if
there were no end. A gesture against extinction:
a hand bearing fruit, sowing fire in the holes.

©2012 Danielle DeTiberus




Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Firebug of Balrog County Giveaway

The Firebug of Balrog County Giveaway

David Oppegaard is the Minnesota Author in the Spotlight here on Booksnob for the scary month of October.  He is giving away 3 signed copies of his YA novel, The Firebug of Balrog County to U.S. followers.  I'm in the middle of reading it and loving it so far.  You will want to win this book!

Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:

A firebug has woken inside my heart.

Dark times have fallen on remote Balrog County, and Mack Druneswald, a high school senior with a love of clandestine arson, is doing his best to deal. While his family is haunted by his mother’s recent death, Mack spends his nights roaming the countryside, looking for something new to burn. When he encounters Katrina, a college girl with her own baggage, Mack sets out on a path of pyromania the likes of which sleepy Balrog County has never seen before.

A darkly comic tour-de-force, The Firebug of Balrog County is about legend, small towns, and the fire that binds.

Giveaway Rules:
Enter on the form
U.S. residents only
Ends November 23rd at midnight
Good Luck!!


a Rafflecopter giveaway