First Contest Ever! Win Jen Merrill’s Awesome “If This is a Gift, Can I Send it Back?” (“ITiaG,CISiB?:SitLotGaTE”)

Welcome to Delicious Minutiae’s first ever contest!  I’m giving away copies of Jen Merrill’s book, “If This is a Gift, Can I Send it Back?: Surviving in the Land of the Gifted and Twice-Exceptional”, but I’m torn.  I want this to be about supporting her…but I’m also feeling a little selfish and want it to be about me too.  Hopefully this will be a mix of both…  My review of the book, which I loved to itty-bitty pieces, will come in a couple of days.

So, here’s how to win your own copy (comments can also be about other people’s kids, btw):


1.  Like my blog on Facebook = 2 entries (everyone who already likes my blog is already in!)


2. Share my blog from the Delicious Minutiae Facebook page = 5 entries (selfish, selfish)

3. Leave a comment on my blog (doesn’t matter which post) = 1 entry per comment (new posts only)

4. Leave a comment (on this post) inspired by one of the chapters in Jen’s book: = 1 entry per comment

Chapter 1: Connecting the Dots (how and when did you know your kid was gifted?)

Chapter 2:  One Heck of a Ride (suggestions for how to relax and pamper yourself when the kids are making you crazy)

Chapter 3:  Taking the Leap (if you homeschool, how did you make the choice?)

Chapter 4:  Our Grand Homeschooling Adventure (so, how’s that working out for you?)

Chapter 5:  Living My Walter Mitty Fantasy (go with it…make something up…use your wildest, most fantastical skills…or whatever!)

5.  Post a picture of the loads of books you buy and don’t read, or your TBR pile, or overflowing nightstand…or your piles of papers and clutter.  Show me you’re my people! = 2 entries (bonus for bravery)

6.  Make something up.  Make it obvious it’s a contest entry; I’m kinda slow. = 1 entry

7.  Send me $6 and you are an instant winner of a signed copy of Jen’s book! = instant winner!

8.  Leave a comment on my blog that you want to enter this here contest, but don’t like leaving comments and are too lazy to post personal pics in public. = 1 entry

I will randomly pull 15 names out of a hat on August 23.  If you are one of the lucky winners, I will send you a signed copy of Jen’s “ITiaG,CISiB?:SitLotGaTE”…unless you’re local, in which case I’ll drive slowly by your house and fling it at your front door.  I might also deliver to Ohio residents, if they are really nice to me.

If you win and are no longer in the US, like, say, you just moved to JORDAN (wah!), I will send you a Kindle or Nook copy via the interwebs.

Okay, this was more about me than Jen, so: 9. post a comment about how awesome you think Jen Merrill is and get another shot at winning a signed copy of her book.  🙂

10.  Stay tuned for the Chicago Gifted Community Center’s 15 book giveaway.  Jen’s on the board.  So am I.

Get over yourself. Everyone gets a rash some time… Enter this contest and be a WINNER!

Disclaimer: 1 winning entry per person, void where prohibited by law, etc.  Participating in this contest, Delicious Minutiae’s First Ever!, may cause some or all of the following side effects:  migraines, explosive diarrhea, vomiting, blurred vision, rashes in private places, loss of your eyebrows and eyelashes, and maybe even sudden death.  Delicious Minutiae cannot be held responsible for your explosive diarrhea, or any other side effects from participating in Jen Merril’s “ITiaG,CISiB?:SitLotGaTE” book giveaway.

Peace out, bitches.


My Frickin’ Awesome First Book Review: Scourge of the Betrayer

I’ve never written a review before, and Jeff Salyards has never published a book before.  We’re even.  Somehow, I think my review is going to be more awesome.  Anyone can publish a book, right?  You know, like hundreds of pages in a row, with character, plot, and all those other literary terms driving a story.  Agent, editor, illustrator, publisher (other people helping).  That sort of thing.

Publishing is a team sport.

I’m doing this review of Scourge of the Betrayer all by myself.  Consider that.

Book Review Blogging. Alone.

I started reading Scourge with an open mind.  My friend, Dawn, had invited me to the book signing last week.  It was compelling to listen to Salyards talk about his process of writing, and what it took to get this debut of his onto the shelves.  I’d heard it was a great read, but I was worried I wasn’t going to like it.  I’d have to tell my friend it sucked, or lie; neither outcome so comfortable.

Quite the opposite!  I believe my reaction was “Holy shit, he can write!”

All Empires crumble.
All Kingdoms die.
Bloodsounder’s Arc Book One

I delved into the first couple of pages and dropped right into the story, captivated by the turns of phrase, descriptions, dialogue, and entertaining characters.  Those are the elements that are most important to me, so I’m not asking for much.  I mean, I’d previously read a few sci-fi/fantasy efforts that were just ridiculous, like the author felt he or she had to recreate the entire world or it didn’t count.  Binstavalerd is chair, and mugstobbabeast is horse.  Plus no one has a mouth and everyone talks and eats through their belly buttons…AKA umbillipieholes.  Sort of similar to going to IKEA, but no cheap bookcases.

Salyards, on the other hand, immediately drew me in with the opening sentence’s description of Captain Braylar Killcoin, as seen by our narrator, Arkamondos: “dark hair slicked back like wet otter fur…”  I know exactly what that looks like.  And hey, I like otters.

Wet otter fur, yo.

Arki is a young scribe hired to take us on a mysterious journey, recording the deeds and misdeeds of the Syldoon soldiers.  We don’t know much because Arki doesn’t know much.  We listen, observe, and get a feel for place and personality.  We learn as he learns.  I wasn’t overwhelmed with epic worldbuilding, or turned off by a bunch of weird crap thrown in for effect.

Another description, besides wet otter fur, that captured my imagination introduces Glesswik (pg. 3): “a long face, splotchy and deeply pocked as if it had been set on fire and put out with a pickaxe.”

Getting ready to put out a fire…on your face!

You’re thinking about that right now, aren’t you?  How could you not?  It’s brilliant.  And funny.  There’s a lot of unexpected humor throughout the book, though it’s certainly not a comedy.

So, through Arki’s narration, we get to know this small band of soldiers, the merciless Syldoon, that are on a questionable mission.  There’s a package.  What’s in the package?  Where are they going?  Why?  I was antsy to know, and pulled along by the easy flow of a natural storyteller.  The characters really struck me, especially Lloi, Arki, Braylar and super crass Mulldoos.  The economy of words and characters really impressed me; it was all sculpted precisely down and no blathering on about nonsense.  There was a lot of violence, foul language, gallows humor, and even some supernatural in there to keep it lively.

Braylar’s flail is badass, for sure, and I’m looking forward to learning more about it in the next book, as well as Braylar’s relationship to it.

(Am I the first person to notice the possessive “Braylar’s” has almost identical letters as Salyards?  Salyarbs, or Draylar’s would be cleaner.  I digress.)

As the story unfolds, it also gains focus and intensity.  We gain a clearer picture of Braylar’s path; we see Arki grow and evolve.  There are emotional twists that paint the world through showing, not telling, and which flesh out the characters richly.

When it was done, I was already looking forward to the second installment, which is bothersome because it won’t be out for another year.  Write faster, Salyards.  No pressure.

I highly recommend Scourge of the Betrayer to others.  I enjoyed it thoroughly.

Here is a fantastic guest blog by Jeff Salyards.