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Banned Books Week Giveaway Hop (Sept. 24-Oct 1)

23 Sep

{Click here for full list of blogs hosting giveaways!}

I hereby interrupt my “blogging break” for the Banned Books Week Giveaway Hop.  I mean, Banned Books Week only happens once year, right?

What’s my opinion of banned books?  I think it really depends on the book and *WHY* it’s being banned and from where the banning is taking place.  Honestly, there are some books that I think shouldn’t be in a school library, a public library, or even a church library (like anything by Joel Osteen.  Actually, his books are should be banned from society).  Of course, these books are based on *MY* opinions and how I view the world and society in general.

As a teen, I tried to read as many “banned” books as possible (with the blessing of educators), particularly if they were classics like Catcher in the Rye.  The best way to get someone to read a book is to ban it.

For my INTERNATIONAL (to where The Book Depository ships) giveaway, I’m going you can choose ONE of the following books chosen because it was banned or challenged for a funny reason…

*The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins for giving an 11 year-old nightmares. (You can also choose Catching Fire or Mockingjay, which are as equally “nightmarish”!)

*Brave New World by Aldous Huxley for being a repeat offender year after year.

*Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson for “glorifying sex.”  The book is about a girl dealing with her rape–not so glorifying!  This is a really good book about a terrible topic.

*The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien for being burned by a church and labelled as “satanic.” (Your choice of any ONE  book in the trilogy–The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, or Return of the King OR the ever “satanic” book, The Hobbit.)

*The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger for being the most banned book of all time!!!

*To Kill a Mockingbird  by Harper Lee for being a classic banned book!

*The Lord of the Flies by William Golding for a slew of reasons.  I happen to think it’s a great book.

*1984 by George Orwell for being “pro-communist.”

*Animal Farm by George Orwell for “indecent images of alcoholic pigs.”  A fave book of mine!

*The Bible, particularly Song of Solomon, for its “sexual imagery.”  (If you choose the Bible, it *must* be $15 or under…and please only choose this if you want the Bible!  This one is nice, despite being $15.69.  You can totally choose it.)


To enter, simply fill out


THE DEETS:  The giveaway runs until 11:59 PM EST on October 1.  After the winner is confirmed (via email) he or she will be announced on Backseat Writer, Twitter, and via White House Press Conference.  This giveaway is ONLY open to residents of planet Earth. Sorry, but the cost of shipping books to Pluto is just getting out of control. (Psst! That means it’s a international party, kids!)  I am not responsible for prizes that mysteriously disappear in the postal system.  You can leave a comment about a book that you *wish* was banned and why.  You won’t get any extra points, but it might make me laugh!

Thanks to I Read Banned Books and I Am a Reader, Not a Writer for organizing this fab giveaway hop! 

Back to the Books Giveaway Hop (Ended)

31 Aug

{Click here for a FULL LIST of all the participants!}

Congrats to winner Ricki @ Reading Challenged!

I am a life long lover of learning, so it is with great sadness that I pass the back-to-school section on my shopping trips.  I want a reason to buy a bunch of Crayola crayons for 25 cents, packs of highlighters for 50 cents, and folders with the cast of “Glee” for a $1.50.  But, alas, my days of school, college, and graduate studies are over…unless I go for a doctorate.  Though I think my fellow students would frown upon a “Spider-Man” lunch box.

OK, so maybe I’m not going back to school, but there are plenty of lucky kids hitting the books, going off to college, and there’s the rest of us–who have kids going to school (chorus of hallelujahs from parents everywhere) or who, like me,  get really psyched by the low cost of pens, paper, highlighters, and other office supplies.  Whatever your stage in life, you didn’t stop by for me to blather on about my old school days–you want to enter my giveaway!!!

Sometimes I accidentally [sometimes on purpose] acquire more than one copy of a book, and it seems a bit silly to keep TWO or more copies of the same book lying around, so ONE winner will get his or her choice of ONE of the following books from my “doubles” collection…

Marley & Me by John Grogan

(One of my all-time fave books! Used hardcover from a library sale.)

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soilder by Ishmael Beah

(Another incredible read! Used paperback from a library sale.  It even has “Emmaus Public Library” stamps in it!   Only the best for my readers.)

Love Story by Jennifer Echols

(Brand-new paperback.  Won one in a giveaway & somehow got two!)

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

(Brand-new paperback.  Won one in a giveaway & somehow got three!)

To enter, all you have to do is…

Fill out “THE FORM.”

THE DEETS:  The giveaway runs until 11:59 PM EST on September 7.  After the winner is confirmed (via email) he or she will be announced on Backseat Writer, Twitter, and via White House Press Conference.  This giveaway is ONLY open to residents of planet Earth. Sorry, but the cost of shipping books to Pluto is just getting out of control. (Psst! That means it’s a international party, kids!)  I am not responsible for prizes that mysteriously disappear in the postal system.

EXTRA ENTRIES:  For TWO extra puntos, tell me the name of ONE (or two or three) book(s) that you were introduced to by a teacher and still count among your favorites!   Leave your answer in the “comments” section and make sure you the name you commented with on “THE FORM” or your comment, though very much appreciated, will not count as an extra entry.  (Also, if you leave a comment, but don’t actually name a book, then no extra points!  It *is* extra, and you don’t *have* to do it.)

For those hosting BACK TO THE BOOKS GIVEAWAY HOP giveaways, give yourself ONE extra punto on “THE FORM” with a link to your giveaway. 

Thank you to the fine folks at I Am a Reader, Not a Writer and Buried in Books for organizing this blog hop!

Thanks for stopping by my little corner of cyberspace! 

Friday Faves: Werewolf Attack Edition

5 Aug

I’m ba-ack!  Clearly, I’ve been “back” for over a week now, but I think I missed “Friday Faves” the most during my mini-vacation and blogging break.  For more deets on my adventures, check out my post on Backseat Reader, “Where She (Me) Went,” which also includes links to a ton of giveaways!

Now on to new business…I have survived a vicious attack by a [Boston terrier mix] werewolf named Bloodthirsty One [Buddy].  What, you ask?!  Werewolves in Macungie?!   Yes, friends, they’re not just in London anymore.  I suspect by the next full moon I will be howling at the sky, joining a pack of hairy dudes, and maybe getting a T.V. show of my very own called “30ish Wolf”, that won’t be nearly as awesome as the original movie starring Michael J. Fox.  I would show you a picture of the injury I sustained, but I fear the pictures are far too horrible to publish on the Interwebs.  Suffice to say, I had to get the BIG band-aids at Target, and yes, I did cry.

Not the werewolf who attacked me.

Fortunately, Bloodthirsty One [Buddy] doesn’t seem be accepting any new members into his werewolf pack  [is up-to-date on his shots],  only maimed me for life [my injury isn’t serious], and didn’t steal a bit of my soul [all my flanges are intact].  However, due to his heinous behavior,  I will not be reading any werewolf novels for a very long time.  I’m sorry, Andrea Cremer, author of Nightshade and Wolfsbane, but I can’t read your books now after what Bloodthirsty One [ Buddy] did to me.

Also not the werewolf who bite me. *Sad*

I won’t [will] relent, not even [especially]  if you, Andrea Cremer, personally send me autographed copies [or even random used ARCs] of your fascinating books.  Someone’s got to take a stand against these werewolves or we’re going to turn into that town on the Red Riding Hood movie starring Lehigh Valley native Amanda Seyfried.  I don’t care if her werewolf-boyfriend *is* hot; we can’t let these beasties push us around anymore.  Well, maybe the hot ones can take a little nibble…

Enough of this werewolf talk!  I have a lot of faves to share with you and anti-werewolf legislation to draft, so on with the show…

*Currently the Summer Giveaway Hop is in full swing!  Around 300 bloggers are giving away bookish goodies, including me!  Right here at Backseat Writer, you can win a copy of the book that “ruined me”Passport Through Darkness by Kimberly L. Smith (read review)!  The giveaways end on August 7, so get enterin’!

Munch Munch is available for adoption from Prarie's Edge Human Society

*Know what makes a great pet? (Not wanna-be werewolf Boston terrier mixes, that’s for sure!)  Guinea pigs!  In fact, my first pet was a lovely brown and white guinea pig I named Darcy.  I was a mere 6 years-old, but I was ready for the responsibility of caring for my guinea pig (my dad changed her stinky cage), feeding her healthy food (let’s just forget about that time I almost poisoned her with grass doused in weed killer), and of course, dressing her up in little outfits and carting her around in a toy baby carriage.  Come on, what girl doesn’t take her guinea pig for a stroll around the block?  When I saw PetFinder’s information on guinea pig adoption, I felt a little nostalgic about my ol’ guinea pig, Darcy.  Then I remembered Vanessa, Gwynne, Mya, Harry, and Abigail (R.I.P. one and all!) and decided that I should leave some GP’s alive for the rest of y’all.  Still, guinea pig adoption–what a great idea!

*You may think I only love Jonalyn Grace Fincher’s book, Ruby Slippers: How the Soul of a Woman Brings Her Home, because of its pretty sparkly cover.  While I admit Jonalyn’s book cover does start me into a Wicked sing-a-long, Ruby Slippers offers freedom for women who have long felt out of place in a patriarchal church society.  Similarly, Jonalyn continues the work she started in her book on her Soulation blog.  Recently, Jonalyn posted an intelligent response to Mark Driscoll’s “opinions” of gender roles.  I’m not going to lie; Mark Driscoll scares me.  Jonalyn, however, doesn’t back away from stating her opinion, even using *gasp* the Bible.  Here’s one of my favorite quotes from Jonalyn’s post: “Mr. Driscoll is another unfortunate example of theology that justifies strict gender roles wedded to a fallen male-driven honor culture. The mixture is toxic, not just for women, but for the men who must now take all responsibility for success or failure. Not even God thought Adam should handle all that.”  To read more of Jonalyn’s excellent insights, visit her at  You will love her, be challenged by her, and most of all, you will find unwavering honesty in Jonalyn Fincher.  (Her husband, Dale, is pretty special, too!)

*Maybe the video’s been posted on YouTube since May, maybe I told Bebo’s publicist that I would post this video 2 or 3 months ago. Maybe.  After the stress of my recent werewolf attack, I can’t be sure about anything.  And isn’t the important thing that I’m posting it now?!   The song is called “God of My Everything” and it is from Bebo Norman’s latest album, Ocean (Read interview.) I have a very special post about Bebo coming up in the next week or two (it’s heart-warming!), but until then, just watch this video repeatedly.  After all, Bebo Norman is my absolute favorite singer/songwriter on the planet.

*Finally, Crystal at SoulMunchies mentioned on Google+ that she started reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp, and I said, “Crystal, what are you doing?  We need to read that together!”  Well, Crystal told me that she isn’t that far along and with my awesome reading skills, I’d be able to catch up to her in no time!  Without Crystal’s approval or knowledge, I invited other people to join us in reading the book, and I guess Crystal was OK with it since she ReTweeted it on Twitter.  Anyway, so if you want to read the book with us, let me know!  I have no idea what it means to read the book with us, but I’m sure it will be fun and glitter will be involved!  While I’m on the topic of glitter, I mean Crystal, I’d love for you to check out a wonderful post she wrote this week on called, “I Will Not Leave You Orphaned.”  And it’s not a big advert for adoption either.  Read it, think on it, pray over it.  Thank you, Crystal, for your beautiful writing!

And, thank you, lovely reader, for supporting, reading, commenting, and subscribing to Backseat Writer!  A lot of writers say they write for the pure joy of writing, and while that’s why I write in my journal, Backseat Writer is all about reaching out to you!  So if you’re reading this, then I want to let you know how much I value you and thank you for being a part of Backseat Writer.  Have a wonderful weekend!

So…do you like or dislike werewolves?  What about Michael J. Fox–do you like him? What do you think his best T.V. or movie role was?  What was your first pet?  Are you thinking about adopting a guinea pig?  If so, what will you name him or her?  What did you think of Bebo Norman’s “God of My Everything” music video?  Did you enter my giveaway?  Want to read One Thousand Gifts with Crystal and me? Do you think I need to talk about more manly topics to get in touch with my male readers?  Doesn’t Jonalyn have beautiful hair?  I mean, doesn’t Jonalyn have a beautiful style of writing?

Summer Giveaway Hop (August 1-7) {Closed}

31 Jul

Congratulations to BSW’s Summer Giveaway Hop winner, Sarah Sparks!

{Click here for a FULL LIST of all the participants!}

Well, howdy!  Welcome to another lovely bookish giveaway hop hosted by Kathy at I Am A Reader, Not a Writer and Mary at Bookhounds.  Don’t our hostesses always do such a great job organizing these hops?  Yes, they do! (And, yes, I do like to answer rhetorical questions.)

Anyway, those of you who have previously visited Backseat Writer know that usually I babble on about something, give you outrageous entry options, and we all have a jolly good laugh together.  I hope that continues to be the case.  However, instead of my usual $10 gift card to Amazon or The Book Depository, you have a chance to win something *really* special—Passport Through Darkness by Kimberly L. Smith, which is a breathtaking memoir about one woman’s efforts to end human trafficking.  (Read my review.)

Like I said in my review, which I am sure you read, commented on, and are sharing with all of your friends, family, and wanna-be friends, this book ruined me, my idea of “missionaries,” and challenged me to not be so comfortable.  But only enter to win this book if you want your world rocked…because personal examination is part of your journey when reading Passport Through Darkness.

To enter, all you have to do is fill out *THE FORM* with your name and a valid email address.  That’s it!

For an TWO extra entries, check out Kimberly’s site, and tell me ONE THING you learned about human trafficking, about Kimberly, and/or about the organization.  (You must post your ONE THING in the comments section.  You MUST provide the name that you commented with on the *THE FORM* to earn the extra puntos.)

If you are hosting a giveaway as part of the SUMMER GIVEAWAY HOP, then you are ALSO eligible for ONE extra entry.  Just leave a link to your giveaway in the specified area on *THE FORM*.  You deserve a bonus just for being awesome! (Feel free to leave links to your SUMMER GIVEAWAY HOP post in the comments section, too.  Not required, but why not promote yourself?  All nonsensical or non-PG linkage will be deleted, spammed, and thrown to the cyber-hounds.)


Remember, you must enter via *THE FORM**THE FORM* is your friend and your ticket to winning.  The giveaway ends at 11: 59 PM on August 8.  The winner will be notified by email and upon confirmation, will be announced via Facebook, Twitter, and as part of a “Friday Faves” blog post.  The book will be shipped by the author and Backseat Writer is not responsible for missing and or lost prizes, but it will make me very sad.  Yes, this giveaway *IS* international.

Thanks for stopping by and feel free to leave a comment or linkage to your Summer Giveaway Hop post.  While it’s not required, it’s always nice to hear from you guys. And if you tell me what you learned about on, you can earn yourself an TWO extra entries (and ONE extra entry for those of you hosting Summer Giveaway Hop giveaways).  Happy summer!


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