Category Archives: Book Giveaway

Goodreads No Social Media Time Suck

Are you a reader? I suspect if you’re a blog reader then you do consider yourself to be a reader.

And if you’re a reader, are you on Goodreads? If you are, great. If you haven’t done so already, FRIEND me here:

Then read the list below and tell me what else I missed that Goodreads offers to readers.

If you’re not yet on Goodreads, let me tell you what I like about it. It can be a very social media. You can choose to join lots of groups and chat about all kinds of books and book issues.  If you don’t find the group you want, you can create and moderate one.

But if you don’t want to be that social, you can choose your comfort level—anywhere from social butterfly to recluse.

What else can you do on Goodreads

  • When you hear about a book you want to read in the future, you can add it to your to-read list.
  • Your own personal reading lists will keep you organized. At any time, you can look up what you have already read and see which books you are “currently reading,” but have forgotten about (I’ve misplaced the book or forgotten I was in the middle of one on Kindle—don’t ask). Organization can be by genre.
  • Book reviews by other Goodreads readers will give you an idea if you want to read a book or not.
  • Your own book reviews will remind you later of what you liked or didn’t like—and allow you to interact with others about any book you choose. They will also reward a writer whose book you really appreciated. If you already leave book reviews on Amazon, you can post the exact same review both places.
  • Friends will send you book recommendations.
  • Take a reading challenge.
  • Follow your favorite blogs through Goodreads.
  • When you’re busy, you can just ignore Goodreads; it won’t mind.
  • Book giveaways are super easy to enter, and you have a good chance of winning. How do I know? I have won!
  • You can follow or friend writers and correspond with them through public questions or personal messages.
  • Occasionally there are book-related gigs available.
  • Need a quote? Find them here.
  • Quizzes, author pages, and creative writing opportunities are on Goodreads.

Those of you already on the site, what do you like best about Goodreads?

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Kin Types had an original release date of June 23, 2017, but I got an email from the publisher. They are running five weeks behind. So don’t look for your copy until the end of July or first week of August! I’m so sorry for the delay. !@#$%^&*()

In the better news category, Doll God was reviewed by an academic critic in a print journal Pleiades Book Review 14:2.

Christine Butterworth-McDermott:  “Dolls, Freaks, Art: American Poets Creating a New Mythology.”

Butterworth-McDermott’s article is a feminist reading of Doll God. I love how she connected with the doll and fairy tale poems in the book. She also reviews two other books, by Susan Swartwout and Denise Alvarez, in the same piece. At the end, she says, “Readers should read and reread the works of Castle, Swartwout, and Alvarez, finding new ways of looking at the world each time.”

Since I haven’t been writing lately I started Diane Lockward’s poetry craft book, The Crafty Poet III am writing a few very rough drafts based on exercises in the book. It’s a good way to get started again.

I like my books and flowers in large quantity!

 

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Filed under Book Giveaway, Book Review, Books, Kin Types, Publishing, Reading, Writing

Enter to Win a FREE COPY of DOLL GOD and The Little Free Library with Dogs

What to win a free copy of Doll God?

Enter the Goodreads Giveaway. If you’re not on Goodreads, it is easy to sign up–and it costs nothing to enter to WIN A FREE COPY OF DOLL GOD.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Doll God by Luanne Castle

Doll God

by Luanne Castle

Released January 10 2015

Enter Giveaway

Remember the little free library?

One of the books I bought at the used bookstore was The Girl on the Train. It was a fairly suspenseful thriller, but it had some pretty big flaws. For one, a lot of the book is taken up by holding the main character’s hand while she drinks. Yeah, she’s a very tedious alcoholic. Boring. Then I figured out the solution to the mystery by the middle of the book, so the ending was a big letdown. None of the characters were likable.

Strangely, the book felt like it was written by Paul (not Paula) Hawkins. This is not meant as a negative about books by men or anything like that. And I’ve never really thought to myself about whether a book was written by a man or woman–I never cared. But I was haunted by the feeling that a woman couldn’t have written this book. It was kind of odd.

All that said, I read the book in one day, so it was a suspenseful read.

I went to California and thought I’d visit the little free library. Since I had just finished reading The Girl on the Train and didn’t have anybody I wanted to subject give it to, I thought I’d walk there and do a switch. When I arrived at the house with the little library, I noticed that the front door was open and a little wire-haired cutie (dog) was walking down the front yard. I kept approaching the library, wondering if the dog was supposed to be outside as he/she wasn’t wearing a collar. Just then a yellow lab came running out of that open door. The lab was not happy with me and ran toward me, growling in an aggressive manner. I walked across the street and turned back in the direction I came from. That was disappointing, considering I like being able to walk to a little library. And I couldn’t help but think of the children’s books in the library and what could have happened if a child had been walking there at that moment.

Later, the gardener drove me over there and I did the swap. I ended up with a book called Earnest about . . . (get this) a yellow lab.

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Filed under Book Giveaway, Book promotion, Book Review, Books, California, Doll God, poems about dolls, Poetry, Poetry book, Poetry Collection, Writing

A Good Book, A Beautiful Gift, and Help the Shelter Animals with One Click!

RE-POSTING BECAUSE THERE ARE STILL SOME BOOKS AND CHARMS LEFT! DO YOU HAVE $10 TO HELP THE ANIMALS AND GET ALL THIS?

 

I’ve rambled on plenty about the no-kill animal shelter where I volunteer. It’s in Phoenix, and they do a fabulous job with the dogs and cats. Hundreds of animals find their forever homes thanks to Home Fur Good.

If you have a heart for the animals OR like pretty gifts OR want to get a copy of Doll God, my award-winning poetry collection, you can do all three of those things and get free shipping to boot!!!

To raise some funds for the shelter and to promote my book I have planned a treat.

First, I have 12 copies of Doll God that can be signed and personalized, if you like.

Then I ordered 12 purse/briefcase charms from a Home Fur Good volunteer who makes them. Each one costs me $5, and each $5 is donated to the shelter!

 

Some charms have a cat (duh) and some have an elephant (which you know I respect).

You will receive a signed copy of my book and a charm (tell me whether you prefer a cat or elephant, and I will send you your preference if I have one available–otherwise I will send the other) with free shipping all for one lil ole donation to HOME FUR GOOD.

My book is valued at $14 and the charm at $5, plus I am picking up the shipping myself. All I am asking is that you donate a minimum of $10 (for shipping to US address) or $15 (for international shipping)!!! Feel free to donate more if you can, but only one package deal per person, please.

$10.00 donation for U.S. shipping

$15 donation for international shipping

Value $19 + free shipping (and you get a tax write-off via HFG)

CLICK HERE TO DONATE

How can you BEAT that? No more excuses that you can’t spend $14 on a poetry book!!! I’m making it really easy for you ;). Just email me either the email you get from HFG verifying your donation or a little screen shot of a non-private part of your donation. Also send your mailing address and full name to writersite.wordpress[at]gmail[dot]com.

If you already have Doll God (thank you thank you thank you), please think of it for gift-giving!!! How can you go wrong with this deal? If you don’t have a purse or briefcase, I’m pretty sure you know somebody who does who would love a pretty charm.

Thank you so much for helping out the cats and dogs!!!

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Filed under #AmWriting, Book Giveaway, Book promotion, Books, Cats and Other Animals, Doll God, poems about dolls, Poetry, Poetry book, Poetry Collection, Writing

A Good Book, A Beautiful Gift, and Help the Shelter Animals with One Click!

 

I’ve rambled on plenty about the no-kill animal shelter where I volunteer. It’s in Phoenix, and they do a fabulous job with the dogs and cats. Hundreds of animals find their forever homes thanks to Home Fur Good.

If you have a heart for the animals OR like pretty gifts OR want to get a copy of Doll God, my award-winning poetry collection, you can do all three of those things and get free shipping to boot!!!

To raise some funds for the shelter and to promote my book I have planned a treat.

First, I have 12 copies of Doll God that can be signed and personalized, if you like.

Then I ordered 12 purse/briefcase charms from a Home Fur Good volunteer who makes them. Each one costs me $5, and each $5 is donated to the shelter!

 

Some charms have a cat (duh) and some have an elephant (which you know I respect).

You will receive a signed copy of my book and a charm (tell me whether you prefer a cat or elephant, and I will send you your preference if I have one available–otherwise I will send the other) with free shipping all for one lil ole donation to HOME FUR GOOD.

My book is valued at $14 and the charm at $5, plus I am picking up the shipping myself. All I am asking is that you donate a minimum of $10 (for shipping to US address) or $15 (for international shipping)!!! Feel free to donate more if you can, but only one package deal per person, please.

$10.00 donation for U.S. shipping

$15 donation for international shipping

Value $19 + free shipping (and you get a tax write-off via HFG)

CLICK HERE TO DONATE

How can you BEAT that? No more excuses that you can’t spend $14 on a poetry book!!! I’m making it really easy for you ;). Just email me either the email you get from HFG verifying your donation or a little screen shot of a non-private part of your donation. Also send your mailing address and full name to writersite.wordpress[at]gmail[dot]com.

If you already have Doll God (thank you thank you thank you), please think of it for gift-giving!!! How can you go wrong with this deal? If you don’t have a purse or briefcase, I’m pretty sure you know somebody who does who would love a pretty charm.

Hurry now, before the dozen books and charms are gone! Thank you so much for helping out the cats and dogs!!!

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Filed under #AmWriting, Book Giveaway, Book promotion, Books, Cats and Other Animals, Doll God, poems about dolls, Poetry, Poetry book, Poetry Collection, Writing

The Doll Lady

The Doll Lady had a storefront business selling and repairing dolls, but a few years ago she moved her dolls into her house and closed her store. Now her living room is heavily populated with dolls and headless doll torsos. Even her kitchen has curio cabinets stocked with dolls.

Last September I dropped off my grandmother’s German Kestner doll for The Doll Lady to repair the holes in her kid (a type of leather) body where sawdust was coming out. She said she could re-set her wig, as well. That was, as I said, September.

I started getting anxious by February. I began to request to pick up my doll every couple of weeks, but The Doll Lady couldn’t seem to understand why I wanted her back now, finished or not. When my dad’s illness was diagnosed as terminal I became even more agitated that I might never get my doll back.

She had been my dad’s mother’s doll for decades–and my father gave her to me several years ago, as well as some clothing my grandmother had made for her. I’d admired her for much of my life, and it was thrilling to receive her, another link between my grandmother, my father, and me.

I wrote before about my grandmother’s doll and her beautiful clothes here. When I left her with The Doll Lady, I left her without clothing so that they wouldn’t get damaged. Finally, I was able to retrieve my doll on Sunday. Here she is with her new ringlets and same vintage steel hairpins. And the patches below her knees. What a beauty.

image

 

And here is the “reverse” view:

image

This doll is over 100 years ago. She might be from the 1890s.

As I waited in the living room of The Doll Lady for the paperwork to be completed I looking around and wondered how her husband enjoys living amongst all those dolls. I know that some people don’t even like to stay in my guest room where I keep my dolls because they don’t like all those eyes upon them. But how would it be to live  right in the midst of the dolls?

Does her identity slip away or does she feel like a Doll God?

 

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Filed under Arizona, Book Giveaway, Doll God, Dolls, Memoir, Nonfiction, Writing

Bordering on Geek

Saturday night hubby and I went to see the musical Oliver, which was a collaboration between the Phoenix Symphony and Phoenix Theatre. I’d forgotten how much I love that show and how much I miss reading 19th century British literature like Charles Dickens novels.  What a treat. Acting, singing, and music were all fabulous.

But to get to Symphony Hall, we had to make our way through streets peopled by the denizens of Comicon. Think of it as a place, not an event that occurs inside the convention center and spills out onto the surrounding streets. Particularly, think of it as a place in the minds of these people.

Sometimes I think I would have more fun if I were more geeky than I am. I know I am more geeky than hubby. So maybe he’s the one holding me back. He would never appear in public in a costume, for instance. I have a Renaissance Faire outfit all ready to go, but I haven’t actually worn it because he would be embarrassed.

In fact, I wouldn’t have minded dressing up as a character out of Oliver.

But I know I am not as geeky as the people who seem to be having a lot of fun at Comicon. From the deck of Symphony Hall I took a few pics. They aren’t very good because the angle was wrong and the tree was in the way.

Just before dark when things started happening

Just before dark when things started happening

Wait, is this Mimi from the Drew Carey show? Or is it some character I’ve never heard of?

Mimi

Here are some others:

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My favorite costume was that of Daenerys Targaryen, Mother of Dragons (Game of Thrones). Oops, yes, I am a Game of Thrones geek. I loved seeing young women in strong, beautiful costumes like Daenerys.

However, I did notice quite a few groups of young females in costume (mainly long princessy gowns) who had frustrated and longing expressions on their faces. I suspect that they weren’t having any better time than when they go out en masse to a local club.

As my kids were growing up, they wore their share of costumes for school events. My daughter wore plenty of dance costumes and, later, play costumes (and still does). I dressed up sometimes for Halloween to pass out candy.

The last year I was allowed to Trick-or Treat (Mom thought kids got too big for going out begging for candy) I wore a real 1920s Flapper dress–silk with beading–that had belonged to an elderly relative. Of course, the dress was ruined by wearing it out like that–the fabric was 40 years old and very fragile. And I couldn’t think of anything to wear under the transparent dress but a PRINT shorts outfit my grandmother had sewn for me. Luanne Oct 31, 1967 last Halloween treat or treatTherese dress

The purse was also vintage, and I made the headband. Not sure about the earrings, but I know I loved them. I always loved long dangly earrings. Looking at this pic, I’m wondering how I ended up with a cool husband when I have always bordered on geek.

Are you a geek or are you cool?

***

I have a DOLL GOD Giveaway going on at Goodreads until June 7. Hop on over there and sign up if you want to win a free copy!

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR A FREE COPY OF DOLL GOD

 

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Filed under Arizona, Art and Music, Book Giveaway, Doll God, Lifestyle, Nonfiction, Photographs, Vintage American culture, Writing

New Poems and Old Ancestors

Although I haven’t been writing this spring–on purpose, I might add–when I started my new poetry project last fall I focused on creating poems out of the genealogical research that I do for my family history blog The Family Kalamazoo. It makes sense to narrow in this way, as I am always spreading out in too many directions. However, it’s difficult to write poems about a subject that is so personal to my family. It makes sense to write a poem about a maple tree or a new baby because these subjects are universal, but what makes someone else’s dead ancestors interesting to readers? That is a difficulty.

So far I’ve had one poem from this small grouping published, and that was in December. It was in the online journal Blast Furnacebut here is the poem, a prose poem:

When Your Grandfather Shows You Photographs of His Mother

You identify yourself in the antique image. Long slender neck, narrow torso, your face tipped to avoid the light. Your hands rest in the valley between your thighs sharp under yards of stiff calico. Your face long, well-sculpted by a lean diet and youth, nearly but not ascetic. Blue veins clutch the temples under translucent skin, a milky film that just contains you. In the next photograph your black dog Carlo poses at your side.

But Carlo isn’t your dog. Three degrees separate you across the time dimension. You never beat a man with his horse-whip for using it on his horse, though you wish you had that sort of courage and that sort of hands-on life, or burned all the books except the family Bible, praise her lord. And yet you hold your bodies as both shields and thresholds.

Because a face never reflects the same, every photo sees something else. You’re your father under the red star and your mother’s grandmother in the morning sun. But not your mother who is the image of her aunt. You never did let her kiss you. You see Carlo and his mistress in another photograph, and her smile is so familiar. Now the gauzy mask of your mother’s face floats across her-your features. Another light source and hour. Another shift of the hologram that is you.

If you happen to be one of the three people who read this blog from the first post you might find the subject recognizable. I rewrote that first blog post into this prose poem. I am fascinated with how we look like our ancestors and relatives, but in some lights, various shadows, or on different days, we might look like a completely different person–or share his features. It’s as if our general counteance is always shifting.

This is the great-grandmother I wrote about in the poem. Even I find our resemblance (when I was younger, of course) astonishing. The black dog in the one photo is Carlo.

My idea with the poems is to create a chapbook–a publishable collection that is smaller than a full-length poetry collection. Maybe around 20-25 poems. And I want to focus on my female ancestors. These are the people difficult to research because they don’t show up in old documents and newspapers as shopkeepers, dog breeders, or politicians. What was the day-to-day of their lives really like? I am trying to find out by researching and then allowing the material to develop into poems. At the moment a poem is completed, I feel that I have brought to life the experience of one woman.

It’s difficult to find literary magazines to send individual poems to because the subject matter is not contemporary and only universal in the notion of the project as excavating the lives of generations of women. In other words, I need to find places that specialize in or are sensitive to the intersection of history and poetry.

Are you interested in two unrelated subjects that you have been able to connect in your own life?

In case you are wondering why I am not writing on purpose, it’s because I was writing so much for so long that I knew I needed a period where I don’t take on any old or new projects. I’m resting my brain. Except for blogging, of course, dear peeps.

***

I have a DOLL GOD Giveaway going on at Goodreads right now. Hop on over there and sign up if you want to win a free copy!

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR A FREE COPY OF DOLL GOD

 

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Filed under Book Giveaway, Memoir, Photographs, Poetry, Poetry Collection, Research and prep for writing, Vintage American culture, Writing, Writing goals

Book Giveaway: Win a Free Copy of Doll God!

TODAY!!! A free copy of Doll God awaits the first 3 people!

This is just a quick “stop by” during my break to announce that MaryGold’s four adventures have been posted on my Facebook page and on Twitter.

They were announced on March 13, 17, 20, and yesterday (25).

Write to me at writersitewordpress[at]gmail.com and tell me what her 4 adventures are to win a free book!!

I will be back next week. I’m missing y’all and can’t wait to be back!!!!

 

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Filed under Book contest, Book Giveaway, Books, Poetry, Poetry book, Poetry Collection

Follow MaryGold and Not Me Next Week!

Just a little note to say I will be on hiatus through next week.

MaryGold’s adventures will continue. Adventure #3 posted on my Facebook page and on Twitter today.  The 4th adventure will post on social media at some point on Tuesday–or perhaps late Monday. Watch for it.

Instead of a quiz, just write me at writersite.wordpress[at]gmail.com and tell me where MaryGold went on all four adventures. The first three people who email the correct answers will receive books.

If I’m behind responding to comments on previous posts, know that I have read your delightful comments and will respond when I return to Casa WordPress.

Hope your spring is off to a great start! And I also hope you win a copy of Doll God!

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Filed under Blogging, Book Giveaway, Books, Doll God, Dolls, Poetry, Poetry book, Poetry Collection

A Different Kind of Book Review: Doll God by Luanne Castle #MondayBlogs #bookreview #poetry

Marie Ann Bailey has written a beautiful story about Doll God–that also happens to be a review! The special nature of this story really touched my heart. Thank you so much, Marie!

Read and enjoy . . . .

Don’t forget that MaryGold’s 2nd adventure is posted today on my Facebook page and on Twitter

Facebook page and on Twitter! Remember to see where she went on her first and second adventures and jot down the information!

1WriteWay

doll-god-book-cover-preview

Mary closed the slim volume of poetry and leaned back against the stiff cushions of her couch.  She never was one to read much poetry, except occasionally Emily Dickinson and Shakespeare, whose works had stayed with her all these years since high school.  What was it Dickinson once wrote in a letter?  “If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry.”  And that was how Mary felt after reading Doll God by Luanne Castle.

Mary gazed at the cover, an antique doll, face down amongst some weedy flowers, as if it had been tossed by a child and then forgotten.  Maggie, her cousin and a former English major, had given Mary the book that afternoon.  “Take your time with these poems,” she had cautioned.  “Some of them make you feel like you’re falling. There’s a sadness in them, but like…

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Filed under Book Giveaway, Book Review, Books, Doll God, Dolls, Nonfiction, poems about dolls, Poetry, Poetry book, Poetry Collection, Writing