What To Do When It’s Your Turn by Seth Godin

I have yet to read anything by Seth Godin that I don’t love. His most recent book, What To Do When It’s Your Turn, is nothing short but amazing.

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As much I believe that reading is essential to growing as a human being, I also believe in the power of sharing and connecting what we are learning.

I am trying something new. I want to share this book with you. All you have to do is reach out to me letting me know you are interested.

Once we connect here is what will happen.

1. I will mail you the book and the Muji notebook. All I ask is that you cover shipping costs which will be quite minimal.

2. Read the book, highlight, write your ideas in the book and the notebook, and share with instructions provided.

3. When finished reading either send the book to the next person or back to me to get ready for the next reader.

4. If the book was of any value all I ask is that you donate what you like(it can be zero if you wish) to my Pencils of Promise campaign to build a school.

In the end a lot of people will benefit from YOU trying to enhance your learning and thinking. It is a win win for everyone.

Check out the video for more information. I am looking forward to sending this book off to the first person.

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Dark Eden by Parick Carman Book Promotion

I received this very cool box yesterday that contained some great book promotion materials for Dark Eden by Patrick Carman that comes out on Halloween. I am super excited for this book. I remember book talking Skeleton Creek many years back and showing the first video to 300+ 6th graders and watching them become instantly hooked.

Skeleton Creek has been done to death in my building and I am in need of something new that follows the same type of format. I read about Dark Eden and instantly pre-ordered the book for the Kindle. I have great hope that this book is going to scare the pants right off of me.

Anyways, I contacted the publisher and they delivered some great promotional goodies. I am going to give it all away to hopefully generate some interest in this new book.

I have two shirts – one black and one white – that I will be giving away along with 5 lanyards.

FEAR IS THE CURE T-SHIRT is what I am giving away

Here is how you can apply to enter for the two shirts and/or one of the five lanyards

1. Follow my blog and leave a comment that you wish to enter.
2. Take one of the 20 FEAR TEST cd’s, take the test and then return the cd to me with your results. I am going to poll all the results to see what our fears are. If you don’t want to wait for the cd, then go the website http://enterdarkeden.com/the-fear-test/ and take the test. Make sure to send me your results.
3. Come up with something more clever and convince me it is worthy of an entry.

How I felt while taking the test!!!!

I will be giving away the goodies on November 3rd.

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40 Book Give Away Winner(s) – Everyone Wins!!!

Yesterday I was supposed to announce the winner of my 40 Book Give Away Contest.

That did not happen yesterday as I was confused. I needed to find a way to make this contest end on a good note.

See the problem is that I had four entries. That is small(which is not the problem), but I felt bad trying to declare only one winner out of four.

I sorted the books. I organized. I pondered.

I have decided to make them all winners. After all these students found time at the end of the school year when their brains shut down, the thoughts turn to mush, and it is like squeezing blood out of a turnip to get much from them with only a week to go in the school year.

The top three will all receive the same 40 books. The fourth place winner will receive 37 books as I am short on three copies. Regardless they still are earning a hefty prize.

Nothing makes me feel better than delivering 157 books to four outstanding students.

I hope they read and spread the books around so others can enjoy.

Here are the winners and their stories. I would love it if you would take time to read their stories and leave some comments for them. Nothing is better than being appreciated for your work. Especially when you are middle school student who is just begging for summer to begin.

1. Frankie

Title of Story – Idea Room

Four walls. One floor. One hundred and forty-four square feet.

It was a small room containing so much inspiration.

This was where all the ideas came into being. Where all the rampant thoughts arranged themselves into a line; where they aligned. This was the place where the magical contents of a book were created.

This charming, homely place of mystery, where the stars fell from the sapphire sky when it was cold enough. Because of the lack of ceiling, they landed right in the palm of her hand. She would put them in her eyes and bite her lip because it hurt at first. Then, the pain would subside, and she would see the room in a new light. She could see the airplanes passing overhead through her new makeshift spyglasses. The passengers seemed mystified by the spectacle all those miles below. She smiled at them and waved, though they couldn’t see her, only the white, topless box in the middle of nowhere.

When they passed, she would blink the stars from her eyes, and dance around the room in a mask. Sometimes it was smiling, if by chance one of the travelers saw her and waved back, but most often it was frowning, for no one knew that she was down here, all alone.

Beside the fishbowl on the table, there was a magnifying glass. This was the only trinket that she had with her when she came to this land of divine guidance. She often looked at her hands through this glass, studying the minuscule crevices and the perplexing shadows. After the stars fell from her eyes, the chill would still linger, and her breath would fog up the lens so she could not see her skin.

The stars would decay when the sun receded into the horizon. They traveled, invisible, back to the moon and left her until the next frost night.

Without the glow from her small tokens, she would have to pull the beaded chain, turning on the series of light bulbs around the room. The white room was illuminated by yellow, and for a moment, all was scared away by the industrial lighting. She would have to lay still, because the ideas were not flooding in anymore. Then, they would pick up as she got used to the light, and she would dance around some more.

Eventually, the lights would wear themselves out. They would begin to dim, and she would steadily stop dancing. She would sink below the table and curl in on herself. The scales on the other side of the room, eternally lopsided and perpetually empty, watched over her with their nonexistence. She would lay in the dark for hours, counting sheep until she ran out. Her humanity got the better of her, and her eyes would shut. She would dream of all the ideas of the patrons of the world, whom she had never met and never would. She dreamt of them living by the mountain that looked like four men, whom many thought about. The Mountain of Rushmore, she thought it was called. She dreamt of them in the land where the Tower of Eiffel stood. All the lovers sent her hopes of going there with someone special. She dreamt of the land lost in time and sand, where the Pyramids of Giza stood, guarded by a creature with the face of a man and the body of a cat. It was all so spectacular that she could hardly stand it, and would wake up almost immediately. The sun would be coming up again. She bid the stars farewell and repeated the cycle like she had since the beginning of time.

2. Olivia

Fred the Sheep

Once upon a time, there was an extremely intellectual sheep named Fred. Fred lived in a magical place named Ontario. Fred loved it in Ontario, but he felt like something was missing. “What is it?” Fred would wonder, “Why do I feel so lonely and incomplete? I live in a wonderful place, with wonderful friends!” Soon, Fred fell into a deep depression. Al l that he was could do was watch Law and Order: SVU (his favorite show) and eat Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. His friends, quickly realizing this obesity-inducing behavior, immediately started him on some anti-depression medication. This made him quit his B&J binge, but he still was in love SVU. Refusing to give it up, his mother confiscated his T.V. Unluckily for Fred, he was still at work being a judge for a local reality show, and his mom also took a sledge hammer to it. Upon arriving at home, Fred discovered his television in ruins and his TiVo deleted. Anger induced Fred as he frantically transformed into a child and threw a fit. His mother, who got tired of fits when he was a toddler, sarcastically mentioned that he should go on Broadway. “Maybe then,” she shrieked, “you can put this diva behavior to good use!” Well, that just sparked and idea in Fred’s simple and little sheep mind. He immediately went on Google and bought some acting books from eBay. He also went out and bought a toupee to cover up the spot of wool that was quickly disappearing from the back of his head. After getting his bags packed and his toupee pinned on, Fred rode his bike to the airport and bought a ticket. A ticket to Los Angeles, that is.

The plane ride to L.A. was uneventful, besides Fred making good use of the vomit bag, and soon the trip was over. As Fred dragged his five duffel bags through LAX, he had stars in his eyes. Literally. Someone had thrown a fistful of glitter in his face, and he glanced over to see who it was. Naturally, the glitter-thrower was Lady Gaga. He should have known by the click-clacking of her seventeen inch heels on the tile flooring. Shooting her a dirty look, Fred dusted his wool off, and was on his way out the door. Heat blasted his face as he squinted his eyes against the smog; it was thick enough to give Fred the image that people were actually walking on clouds. “Wow. They know how to roll in L.A.” he muttered to himself as he strolled to the nearest cab. But confusion overtook him as he tried to tell the cabbie where to go. The driver seemed to have trouble with is Canadian terminology. “I don’t know how far ‘Aboot’ is!” he shouted. Then, as they do in the land of catfights, the rude cabbie pushed Fred out of the cab. As Fred rolled down the highway towards The Hills, he scratched his head in confusion. It was going to be a long vacation if no one understands him. He came to a stop, after bouncing off of a building. Standing up, Fred looked up at the sign. MapleLeaf Acting. Just what he needed; a room full of people with just as nauseating accents as him. Fred skipped through the door and took a seat. After receiving a boat load of paperwork, Fred tackled the mystery of remembering his new Social Security number. Luckily for him, lots of people were eager to get him signed, and the paperwork was soon tossed.

Fred fell in love with the acting business, and was quickly devoted to it. He took every job he could; he even took a job as a backup dancer for the “Walk like an Egyptian” music video. It was a good job, which made every producer in town want Fred. He soon became rich, and proceeded to buy the Justin Bieber franchise. Now, Fred lives happily in his million-dollar home with Megan Fox. He has everything he wants, including the ShakeWeight for Men that he had been lusting over back in Canada. Fred loves his life, and constantly gloats to his ex-friends in Ontario. Now he can eat all the Ben and Jerry’s he wants.

3. Katherine

Jojo the lamb was a very happy lamb. He lived in Egypt by the pyramids. Jojo was tired of life as a boring lamb. He had an idea to do something be big, he wanted to be an actor. So, he flew in a plane to California. He went to Hollywood and found a mystery that he wanted to tried out for. He loved the script, it was based off a Nancy Drew book. Jojo had the acting skill he needed, but he had to be very light. So, he was weighed on a scale and was light enough. Jojo was so happy. To get into character, he carried around a magnifying glass. Jojo was great in the movie and became a world famous movie star.

4. Sami

The burglars were ready to enter the pyramid. They put on their masks and started to sneak over to the pyramid. They went past a flock of sheep, up a mountain, then down a hill. The burglars were about out of breath when they reached they entered the gigantic building. They found some hieroglyphics on the wall, pulled out their magnifying glasses, and translated from their book. ”It said follow the stars!” So they had to get plane tickets. As their bags got weighed on the scale their bags were examined and gold was found so the warning light bulb went off and they were taken to jail. The treasure was never found.

The End ( :

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“What is your favorite literary character of all time?” – Giveaway

This is so not my original idea or thought, but one that I have always wanted to do. I just signed up for a book giveaway that posed this question and I spent too much time going through the comments making notes of books and characters to add to my TBR pile which is rather ridiculous at this point.

I thought I would ask the same question to spur some excitement over here on my blog. I have tons of books to giveaway so this giveaway will be for three lucky winners.

All you have to do is answer the question.

“What is your favorite literary character of all time?”

Leave a comment with your answer along with the book series and why you like that person so much.

Don’t forget to leave an email for me to contact you at in case you win.

Feel free to spread the word on Twitter, FB, and any other place.

Here is the list of books for you to choose 3 books from if you win. Three winners will choose three books each.

For me here is what I would choose:

I am going to go with Kilgore Trout even though it was tough with some John Green characters and maybe even the dreaded Henry Chinaski of Charles Bukowski novels.

*This is all due to change upon completion of Game of Thrones*

I will choose three lucky winners on June 1st

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Biggest Book Giveawy EVER!!!!

Coffeechug is going big. I am going HUGE. I am giving one lucky winner a copy of ALL of the following books – 44 in total

Maze Runner

Red Kayak




Thirteen Reasons Why

Power of Un

Lost Hero

Notes From a Midnight Driver

Waiting For Normal

Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian


Escape From Memory

Side Effects

Bag of Marbles

Phantom Tollbooth

Angel Experiment

Hurt Go Happy


Black and White

Report Card

Dead and Gone


Lock and Key

Gym Candy

Art of Racing in the Rain

Life As We Knew It

How To Steal A Dog


Sunrise Over Fallujah

Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes


Hattie Big Sky

Fallen Angels

Forest of Hands and Teeth



Dead Tossed Waves

If I Stay

Where The Red Fern Grows

Soldier Boys

Kissing Doorknobs



Stuck in Neutral

How do you enter?

Simple. I bought some Rory’s Story Cubes the other day to do a game review on(review coming later). I have rolled all the dice and now it is up to you to write a story based on the images. I don’t care how you arrange the images. I don’t care what your story is about. I only care that you write a good story. Spelling and grammar are important if you wish to earn votes for your story.

I will accept stories until May 15th.

Your story must use all 9 images.

Send your stories to me at aarmau@gmail.com

Starting May 16th I will share all stories and all the viewers of this blog to vote for their favorite story. The story with the most votes wins.

This contest is open to students and staff and anyone else who can manage to pick up the books. I will not be able to mail this large collection as I cannot afford the shipping. If you would like to pay for the shipping, then by all means enter the contest.

I look forward to some interesting stories.

When you submit your story please include

1. Your name
2. Grade level if you go to my school
3. Your story
4. Contact info in case you win

Good luck to everyone!

Here are the images for you to use:

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Book Review and Giveaway: I Lost My Mobile At The Mall

Title: I Lost My Mobile At The Mall: Teenages on the Edge of Technological Breakdown
Author: Wendy Harmer
Pages: 262
To Be Released on March 1st, 2011
Book Website: http://www.mobileatthemall.com/

Kane Miller, A Division of EDC Publishing, is the US publisher of the book 

from http://www.girl.com.au/i-lost-my-mobile-at-the-mall.htm

I Lost my Mobile at the Mall

Teenager on the edge of a technological breakdown.

Australian comedienne Wendy Harmer needs no introduction. A playwright, TV presenter, radio personality, author, mother and staunch supporter of Manly Warringah Sea Eagles, she has just turned her hand to writing her first novel for teenagers. I Lost My Mobile at the Mall is fantastic, utterly believable story that has lots of laughs and surprising depth.

The novel stars fifteen-year-old Elly Pickering. After losing her mobile, Elly feels she is facing certain social death. Her best friend has moved hundreds of kilometers away, her other best friend is acting stranger than usual and her parents are distracted by ‘the Global Financial Crisis’… and everything’ To top it all off, Elly’s boyfriend is giving her the silent treatment and there are embarrassing photos of her on the web-which she can’t see for herself, as she can’t get to the computer either.

I Lost My Mobile at the Mall present topical issues such as cyber-bullying, peer pressure and finding your voice and your beliefs in a fun way. Random House Australia is also offering teens an exciting new way to extend the book experience via dedicated website designed especially to be viewed on mobile phones. In an Australia publishing industry first, readers can access the site via scanning the QR code published on the back cover of the book. This allows potential readers while browsing in a bookstore to enter competition, watch a video from Wendy, access social networking sites and read what others thought of the book- all before buying a copy.

My Thoughts

This is the perfect book for teenage girls. That is all I kept thinking about while reading this novel. I told my daughter if you were a teenager this would be the book for you. Elly, the main character cracks me up. She is real, she is authentic. What I liked about her was the fact that you gained the sense of drama that comes with growing up, but it was not whiny drama. She is in love, she has friends, she wants to fit in, but when her phones turns up lost everything falls apart. 

I found this to be quite a humorous story. I laughed quite a few times throughout the story. I also liked the message of the story. It opened up my eyes when I started to think about how kids today probably don’t have letters that they write back and forth anymore like we used to. They don’t write letters and send in the mail. There is something so personal and powerful in receiving a letter that these kids are missing out on. It has caused me to think about writing more letters from now on.

I hope to read more from this author as I think she has done a good job with her novel. Being that it was written in Australia I learned a few things. One, they don’t call 911 for an emergency, but they dial 000. That is crazy! I also learned a whole new language of text messages. Some of the phrases I had to look up to see what they stood for. Another sign I am getting old.

This book contains a great message, how to cope without technology. It addresses the realistic thoughts of a teenagers as their brains are filled with ADHD as they bounce around from being mad at mom, to sarcastic remarks, feeling hunger, and then wondering about the weather all at the same time.

Giveaway Details

I am going to give this book away to one lucky winner. It needs to be shared and spread around here in the US. So, here is how you can enter to the giveaway.

Leave a comment with the following information

1. Your email for me to contact you in case you win 
2. Become a follower +1
3. Share this on the web via Twitter, other sites, Facebook, etc. +1 for each one(please share links)
4. One of your favorite quotes +1

I will declare a winner on March 2nd

Good luck!

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And The Winner of the Bellyache Giveaway is……..

Bellyache: A Delicious Tale

I have entered all the names using the site http://www.random.org/

I appreciate the all of you who participated. I actually learned and had to go out and sample some new candy I had not previously heard of before.

Anyways the winner of the book goes to Mona Garg who loves the following candy: Reeses Peanut Butter Cups,Mounds,Almond Joy,Peanut/Almond M&M’s,Snickers,Hershey’s Special Dark

Mona has been contacted.

Stay alert as I am compiling several massive book giveaways coming up the next few weeks once things slow down a little bit.

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Author Interview and Book Giveaway – Crystal Marcos and her novel Bellyache

I have not actually done an author interview in quite some time. I was all over the interviews last year and this year time keeps escaping. I need more than 24 hours in my day to get everything done that I want to get accomplished.

However, I am back on track and with a wonderful and amazing author Crystal Marcos. I read her novel, Bellyache, back during the Cybils. It is a very fun and entertaining story dealing with candy. You can check my book review here.

In the meantime, Crystal has been so nice to answer a wide range of questions for you guys. Go ahead and check out the interview below.

Additionally, I am giving away a copy of the book along with a bookmark. I want to be able to her out as she is a great person. 

To enter for the giveaway all you have to do is the following:

You have to be a follower in order to win!!!!

Leave a comment with any of the following
1. An email address for me to contact you if you win. +1
2. A list of your favorite candy. +1
3. Any spread of word of the interview and giveaway. +1 for each one such as Twitter, Facebook, blog, etc.
4. Anything else that you think I would enjoy and if I do I will give you some more votes. 

The winner will be announced on Valentine’s Day, February 14th.

Here is the interview. Enjoy!

1. Growing up, when I was reading books I never really even considered authors to be human. I never gave a thought to actually talking to them or sending them letters. Now authors do interviews (like this), Skype conferences, blogs, email, etc. How does the utilization of all the latest technology and internet help you as a writer?

 I really love it! It means more exposure and awareness of my books. It also helps people to get some insight on who I am.

Do you think it helps you or is it more of problem trying to fit it all in?

It definitely helps, although finding the time to do it all is challenging. As long as it doesn’t interfere with me raising my 19 month old, I am fine with it. I do much of my work after she is asleep for the night.

2. Bellyache is a fun and entertaining read. How did you come up with this idea?

I thought about what books I really enjoyed and which ones stuck in my mind from childhood. Oddly enough, all those books featured food and treats. Naturally, I had to go with my sweet tooth. I mean heart.

3. I loved the twist of the story with the candy and vegetable. How did you decided which candy to use? Was it random or a combo of your favorites?

A bit of both really, sometimes I used what I thought would fit best.

5. Looking at your website I read that you like to sing and dance. What songs do you like to dance to and/or sing to?

When music is on, I move. I can’t sit still. I sometimes make up my own little songs. When I was younger, I use to write songs. I still sing some of those today. Now my daughter and I sing and dance together, so I don’t have to do it alone. =)

6. What surprised you most as you were writing this novel?

People have told me I have a vivid imagination, when I was writing this book it occurred to me that I really did.

7. What is your favorite aspect to being a writer? 

If I can touch just one person’s life, that to me is amazing!

8. I recently read a book title, Six Word Memoirs, which has a website. If you had to write your memoir in six words, what would you write?

Never tells a long story short.

10. Do you listen to music when write? If so, what would be a playlist on your ipod?

I can’t listen to music while I am writing. It is too distracting to me. As I had mentioned earlier, I can’t sit still if I hear music.

11. What other books would you recommend young adults to read besides your own?

There are so many wonderful books out there. I say any children’s book that sparks a child’s interest, they should read it!

12. I have a few students who are into writing – any ideas or suggestions for them?

I would suggest reading just as much as you write. Read the type of writing you want to create. Keep writing fun by finding writing activities or make some up yourself. I have some activities on my website that students and teachers like to use. www.CrystalMarcos.com  under the “Treats” section.

Here are some additional random questions that you could answer if you feel like it (though not really necessary, but students always want me to add when I interview authors). These are just a bunch of fun random questions that kids love to read.

3. Favorite Holiday movie or tv special? I love just about all Holiday movies.

4. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Water, I drink water all day long.

5. Can you do push ups? If yes, how many? Yes, only a few.

6. Favorite hobby? Writing and reading.

8. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment? This interview is fun. What time is it? I am kind of hungry.

10. Dum da dum dummmm what is that? Is that a cell phone ring tone? =)

11. Where would you like to go? Someday, I would love to go to Europe and stay in a castle!

12. Do you own slippers? Yes, but I don’t really wear them I run around in my socks.

13. What color shirt are you wearing right now? Blue.

14. Can you whistle? Yes, but I am not very good at it.

15. Favorite color? Red.

16. Would you be a pirate? I was for Halloween two years ago. We always have a themed haunted garage at our house every year. It is so much fun!

17. What was the last song that was stuck in your head? My daughter’s favorite show is Yo Gabba Gabba. There is this song called, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” It is very catchy.

18. What’s in your pocket right now? Don’t have any pockets.

20. What is your favorite candy? I pretty much like anything covered in chocolate!

22. What are you currently reading? I am currently reading a large amount of picture books with my little girl. I am also finishing out the Percy Jackson series.

23. What is your favorite book of all time? Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

24. If you could meet anyone living or dead who would it be and why? I would love to meet Roald Dahl. It would be fun to talk children’s books with him.

25. What would we find in your refrigerator right now? Tonight’s leftovers, Spaghetti.

26. What is one fact that readers would not know about you prior to asking this question? I grew 6 inches in one summer when I was 12.

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And The Winner Is…..

Sorry, for some reason this did not post yesterday as I had promised. Without further delay, the winner of the Room Audio Book is….

Anne Marie
She had almost a 50/50 shot of winning and it paid off. Anne Marie just shoot me an email with your address and in the mail it goes. 
Thanks to everyone who entered. Another giveaway will happen next week!
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