Archive for the ‘Giveaways’ Category:

Armchair BEA 2015: $10 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

armchairbeaI hope everyone has enjoyed Armchair BEA this year! Christina and I certainly did! It was great connecting with you all and it helped take out some of the sting of not being able to go the real thing in NYC. Next year it’s in Chicago, which will actually make it more difficult for us to attend, but we’ll continue hoping that the stars will align!

While the pile of books that I’d love to share with you is quite large, I wanted to make a giveaway that was open internationally and allow you to perhaps preorder some of the pretty books that have been displayed at BEA this year. I know that there was quite the buzz about Truthwitch and Six of Crows this year! There were some others that definitely caught my eye and I look forward to their release dates to explore them more!

So without further ado, here are the details regarding the giveaway!

  • Open from May 30, 2015, ending 12:00am EST June 6, 2015.
  • Enter using the rafflecopter below. All entries are optional.
  • Please no exploiting rafflecopter/entering with different accounts.
  • Prize is a $10 Amazon gift card to be delivered via email.
  • This giveaway is open internationally.

If you have any other questions, definitely let me know.

Thanks again and look forward to continuing to engage you all in bookish love!

Michelle & Christina

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Playing Jokers is Two Years Old!

Can you believe it? I barely can.

Two years ago, I was bored with only having work and no school (oh those were the days!) and I wanted something to do in my free time. And so I embarked on this journey that has led to so many opportunities. In particular, I’d like to think that this year I have made closer connections to others in this reading and blogging community than I made the year before. I feel like I have real friends in this community now and it’s wonderful.

This year brought us a new layout, a new co-blogger, and a new contributor! I started graduate school and dealt with some reading slumps. I craved a good series and discussed how I always bring a book with me.

I got to moderate two panels at the Northern Virginia Teen Book Festival and meet with some lovely authors, like Marie Rutkowski and Kristen Simmons.

A photo posted by Michelle (@deckfullojokers) on

And what’s been the best is all the comments and  conversations across the blog and the web.

So to celebrate, I’m hosting giveaways across all platforms throughout the week!

The first one went up last night on Instagram…check it out below:

So the next one is obviously the one for this right here, the blog! (Twitter and Facebook will each have their own as well!)


So for the blog-proper giveaway, one follower can win:


The Roving Party by Rohan Wilson
The Twistrose Key (ARC) by Tone Almhjell
Randi Rhodes Ninja Detective Book 1: The Case of the Time-Capsule Bandit (ARC) by Octavia Spencer
A Wounded Name (AudioCDs) by Dot Hutchison
The Red Dragon (AudioCDs) by L. Ron Hubbard

To enter, please follow Playing Jokers (the blog) on Bloglovin’, Networked Blogs, or by email (or any other format I’m not currently aware of) and comment below with which platform you follow on. This giveaway is open to the US only and ends on Tuesday, March 24 at 11:59pm.

Good luck and most importantly, thank you.

Michelle, Christina, Ellen, and Calvert

Guest Post: Sunset Rising by S.M. McEachern


Sunset Rising by S.M. McEachernsunset2-3

Series: Sunset Rising #1
Publication date: November 12th 2013
Genres: Dystopia, Young Adult
Buy It: Amazon


February 2024: Desperate to find refuge from the nuclear storm, a group of civilians discover a secret government bio-dome. Greeted by a hail of bullets and told to turn back, the frantic refugees stand their ground and are grudgingly permitted entry. But the price of admission is high.

283 years later… Life as a slave in the Pit had never been easy, but for seventeen-year-old Sunny O’Donnell it was quickly careening out of control. Her mother was killed in the annual spring Cull, leaving her alone with a father who decided to give up on life.  It’s not that she blamed him for grieving, but if they didn’t earn enough credits to keep their place inside the Pit, they would be kicked out into a world still teeming with radiation. That left her to earn the credits for both of them.  It didn’t help that her boyfriend, Reyes Crowe, was pressuring her to get married and abandon her father.

Sunny didn’t think life could get any worse, until she was forced upstairs to the Dome to serve and entertain the elite at a bachelor party. That’s where she met Leisel Holt, the president’s daughter, and her fiancé, Jack Kenner. Now Sunny is wanted for treason. If they catch her, she’ll be executed.

She thought Leisel’s betrayal was the end for her…but it turns out it was just the beginning.

Guest Post: Internet Etiquette: My Mother had a Point

My mother always told me, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” In fact, she used to say it repeatedly because I had four sisters and we tended to…um…disagree a lot. There were times the pure-sheer frustration of not being able to speak my mind—to right the injustices caused by my sisters or some kid at school—made me feel like I was going to self-implode. My mother obviously didn’t understand or else she’d let me have my say…because if she would do that, she would see that I was right and the other person was, quite simply, wrong. But she wouldn’t let me speak when I didn’t have anything nice to say.

Instead of self-imploding, I’d write. I’d pick up a pencil, have an eraser handy, and write a long letter to whoever was the object of my anger, explaining why I was sooo right and they were sooo completely wrong. The letter was often punctuated with angry words—words I wasn’t allowed to say at home. I would empty my rage onto that piece of paper, and by the end I felt like I finally had my say. I was vindicated. It felt good. All that was left to do was get it to the person I wrote it for.

I’d never give a letter to one of my sisters. They’d just give it to our mom and I’d get smacked upside the head. If it was meant for someone at school, I could mail it…but I’d have to ask my mom for a stamp and she’d want to know why I needed a stamp and then she’d find out about the letter and I’d get smacked upside the head. That left me with only one option; to physically hand the envelope containing my personal brand of justice to the person it was meant for. This, of course, would require me to look that person in the eye and take personal responsibility for every word I wrote. I always chickened out. Besides, she’d just go home and give the letter to her mother, and her mother would call my mother, and I’d get smacked upside the head. So in the end, any letter I wrote in anger died along with my rage.

But that was then. Now I have a computer and an iPhone, both equipped with this convenient little “Send” button. I don’t have to worry about finding a stamp to snail mail my anger, and I certainly don’t have to put myself through the discomfort of looking someone in the eye when I tell them off. Heck, I don’t even need to take the time out to write a long letter explaining in detail why I’m mad—I can just send a few expletives in seconds! Anytime. Anywhere. No need for me to endure minutes, perhaps even hours, of pointless frustration. I can instantly vindicate myself.

The question is, should I?

That simple rule my mother drilled into my head has trained me to do one important thing: don’t act in anger. Whatever I write and post online is not a reflection of the person who caused my ire—it’s a reflection of me. So I walk away. Scream into a pillow. Write a letter I’ll never send.

When I read about how many reputations—how many lives—have been ruined online, I realize how privileged I was to have grown up during the pre-Internet era. I learned the easy way that if I don’t have anything nice to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all.

Author Page 2About the Author:

S.M. McEachern (also known as Susan) comes from the rocky shores of Canada’s East Coast.  As a resident of Halifax during her early adult years, she attended Dalhousie University and earned an Honors Degree in International Development Studies with a focus on ocean development.  Throughout her academic studies and early career, Susan had the privilege to work with many developing countries on resource management projects.

Becoming an author has been a lifelong dream for Susan. “Sunset Rising” is her debut novel and the first of many she plans to write.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads


Open internationally, you can win a $30 Amazon gift card. Just enter by going to this rafflecopter. Good luck!

Playing Jokers’ One Year Blogoversary & Giveaway!

Playing Jokers' One Year Blogoversary

 Playing Jokers’ One Year Blogoversary!

(Blogoversary is a weird word. Am I even spelling it right?)

Congratulations to me for making it a whole year! This day, last year, on a Sunday night, I decided that I would create a book blog to address the sudden influx of review copies I had won from LibraryThing. I had spent maybe a week deciding a name that would relate to my Twitter handle and wanted something that did not involve the words “book”, “page”, “reading”, or apparently any word that made it instantly distinguishable for what it is. I wanted a name that would be clearly descriptive that I may not always review the same types of books. I also wasn’t even sure if I would stick to books or widen its scope to other topics. I played around with WordPress for way too many hours late at night before finally posting the first post, a review of Orleans.

It has definitely been a learning experience, starting from the first week to even this month. I have gained the lovely assistance of contributors Christina and Calvert, and have evolved the type of posts I write. I went to Book Expo America, went to a lot of different local author events, and met with some lovely book lovers in the DC area. I participated in the Book Blogger Love-a-thon, The Book Blogger Challenge, and have also been a member of a book club. I have read some books that I loved like Foreign Gods, Inc and some other books I wasn’t a fan of like The Transplant. I’ve offered my thoughts on Goodreads and on blog tours. I could go into how my blog is doing statistics-wise, but that’s boring and really not that impressive. Instead, I’m happy to see that I have stuck to a hobby for a year and now have quite the record of my year in reading and books. It’s been a great time and I’m looking forward to what I end up getting into this year!


To celebrate, I’m offering big giveaway, with two different prize packs for two winners! One focuses on adult-level reads and the other focuses on young adult-level reads, with all types of genres, as per usual for Playing Jokers! Each giveaway has its own rafflecopter, so make sure to enter each of them if you want to a chance to win either pack! This giveaway is only open to the US due to the size. It will end on March 31. Good luck!

Prize Pack #1: The Adult Reads


To enter to win this prize pack, head on over to this rafflecopter!

Prize Pack #2: Signed Young Adult Reads


To enter to win this prize pack, head on over to this rafflecopter!

Thank you everyone for your support this past year and looking forward to the next year of Playing Jokers!


Midwinter’s Eve Giveaway Hop



This giveaway hop is hosted by Bookhounds and I am a Reader, Not a Writer. To view the other blogs participating in this hop, check out this list.

Is it already “midwinter”? That seems pretty nuts. But I think it’s safe to say that it will stay cold for longer than it has been.

Anyways, the rules for the giveaway are:

  • The only way to enter is through the rafflecopter.
  • You should be over 13 years of age or have parental consent.
  • This is for US addresses only.
  • There will be 2 winners, each with 2 prizes, one primary prize and one secondary prize.

The primary prizes:

  1. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead by Tom Stoppard – Paperback copy
  2. Reality Sandwiches by Allen Ginsberg – Paperback copy

The secondary prizes:

  1. The Two Domains by Albert Goldbarth – a chap book of poetry
  2. The Velvet Sky by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa – signed screenplay

This giveaway will end on New Year’s Eve, December 31st. Again, check out the rest of the blogs in this hop! And enter here, only at the rafflecopter.

Best of 2013 Giveaway Hop

best2013This giveaway hop is hosted by I am a Reader, Not a Writer & Bookhounds

In case you couldn’t figure from the giveaway hop after giveaway hop, I’m moving and want to thin out some of my books. It’s kind of a strategy of mine; a way to both thin my bookshelf AND thank you all for being great and hanging in there with me.

For this giveaway:

I’m giving away:


The Transplant by Alexandra Ulysses

Published: November 6th 2012 by United Arts Media, llc, (I read it in 2013)
Format: Hardcover


The Transplant offers an insightful account of two young people living in United States illegally. Witty and tragic, it portrays their endless and fruitless pursuit of legalization. Agata, a young Polish au-pair who arrives in the United States in the late 1990’s, strives to maintain her legal status through hard work but, due to a fateful event, finds herself unable to do so. Faced with dangerous circumstances and few if any options, she flees from her host family only to find herself living and working illegally. Eventually she meets Mario. His single minded devotion to his ailing mother led him to risk his life and cross the border so that he could earn enough money to pay for the kidney transplant that would save her life. With the birth of their daughter Adriana and the need to ensure that their family stay intact, Agata and Mario become painfully aware of the need for legalization and attempt to gain legal status by any means.

And a random L. Ron Hubbard audioCD, released in 2013.

Again to enter, head on over to the rafflecopter, and be sure to check out the other blogs in the hop.

Debut Author Giveaway Hop


Hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer & Bookhounds
December 4th to 11th 
Featuring books released in 2013 by Debut Authors (First Time Authors)

Another giveaway!

As usual, here are the rules:

– US only- for those 13+ years old
– to enter, go to this rafflecopter
check out the rest of the blogs on this hop

The prize:


Tumble & Fall by Alexandra Coutts

Published: September 17th 2013 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Format: Paperback ARC


A novel about the end of days full of surprising beginnings 

The world is living in the shadow of oncoming disaster. An asteroid is set to strike the earth in just one week’s time; catastrophe is unavoidable. The question isn’t how to save the world—the question is, what to do with the time that’s left? Against this stark backdrop, three island teens wrestle with intertwining stories of love, friendship and family—all with the ultimate stakes at hand.

Alexandra Coutts’s TUMBLE & FALL is a powerful story of courage, love, and hope at the end of the world.

Again, to enter, go to this rafflecopter. Good luck!

Gratitude Giveaway Hop

gratitude 2013

I don’t think I can understate how grateful I am for whatever followers I have. Things have been absolutely crazy the past month, and I know I have failed in the blogging category lately. So I am definitely grateful to be participating in this giveaway hop.

As usual, this hop is being organized by I am a Reader. Please check out the rest of the amazing blogs that are all participating this hop!

The typical rules apply: This hop is open to anyone 13+ y/o. This giveaway will end on November 30th. To enter, please go to this rafflecopter. Entering through the rafflecopter is the only way to enter.

One winner will be getting TWO prizes:


The Book of Madness and Cures by Regina O’Melveny

Published June 18th 2013 by Back Bay Books

Paperback copy

A brilliant debut about a woman doctor in Renaissance Venice, forced to cross Europe in search of her father.
Gabriella Mondini is a rarity in 16th century Venice: a woman who practices medicine. Her father, a renowned physician, has provided her entrée to this all-male profession, and inspired her at every turn. Then her father disappears and Gabriella faces a crisis: she is no longer permitted to treat her patients without her father’s patronage. She sets out across Europe to find where-and why-he has gone. Following clues from his occasional enigmatic letters, Gabriella crosses border after border, probing the mystery of her father’s flight, and opening new mysteries of her own. Not just mysteries of ailments and treatments, but ultimate mysteries of mortality, love, and the timeless human spirit.


And 1 (to be determined) L. Rob Hubbard audio CD.

Again to enter, please go to this rafflecopter. Good luck!

Staying Warm or Keeping Cold Giveaway Hop: The Golden Spark

This hop is hosted by Reading in Twilight & I Am A Reader, Not A Writer.

For those of you up north it’s getting colder! For this hop, we are to choose a book that you would love to sit by the fire, drink hot chocolate (or any other hot beverage) and read on cold nights. For those of you down south, it’s still really warm for we are choosing a book you want to read inside an air conditioned room.

So for my stop, here’s a book with a warm sounding name, The Golden Spark. This is a giveaway only for those in the US. To enter, please go to this rafflecopter! Good luck!

9776934The Golden Spark by John Allen Royce, Jr.

Published: January 15th 2011 by Micron Press

A modern teenager is carried back into history by her Great Horse of legend, and uses her knowledge of horsemanship to survive humanity’s past. Engaging and fast-paced adventure entertains with excitement, humor and a colorful cast of accurately-portrayed historical characters from the European Renaissance.


Spooktacular Giveaway Hop! Three Books for the Taking


The Spooktacular Giveaway Hop is hosted by I am a Reader, Not a Writer. Check out the rest of the over 350 blogs and their associated giveaways here!


I’ve been reading some spooky stories and thrilling mysteries for October, and now I’m giving away three different books to get others in the mood too!

So for the ground rules:

  • As per usual, I’d prefer if only those 13+ entered, just to alleviate any fears of corrupting the youth, or whatever.
  • This giveaway is open to those in the US/Canada only. My apologies those who are international!
  • There will be TWO winners: the main winner will get to pick TWO of the three books listed, the second winner will receive the third.
  • The ONLY way to enter is by entering through the rafflecopter. I will not accept any comment-based entries. Sorry, but they spam my email!
  • If selected as the winner, you have 48 hours to respond with your shipping address (and your choices if you are the main winner) before I select different winner.
  • The giveaway ends on Nov. 1 at 12:00 am.

Good luck!

Choice 1:


Blood Song by Cat Adams (Paperback ARC)

Blood Song is the first book in a fantastic urban fantasy series by bestselling author Cat Adams.

Bodyguard Celia Graves has definitely accepted her share of weird assignments, both human and supernatural. But her newest job takes the cake. Guarding a Prince from terrorists and religious fundamentalists is hard enough, but it seems like the entire supernatural world is after this guy too. When she is betrayed by those she is employed to help, and everything goes horribly wrong, Celia wakes to find herself transformed.

Neither human nor vampire, Celia has become an Abomination—something that should not exist—and now both human and supernatural alike want her dead. With the help of a few loyal friends—a sexy mage, a powerful werewolf, and a psychic cop—Celia does her best to stay alive. On the run from her enemies, Celia must try to discover who is behind her transformation…before it’s too late.

Choice 2:


Life Expectancy by Dean Koontz (Paperback)

Jimmy Tock comes into the world on the very night his grandfather leaves it. As a violent storm rages outside the hospital, Rudy Tock spends long hours walking the corridors between the expectant fathers’ waiting room and his dying father’s bedside. It’s a strange vigil made all the stranger when, at the very height of the storm’s fury, Josef Tock suddenly sits up in bed and speaks coherently for the frist and last time since his stroke.

What he says before he dies is that there will be five dark days in the life of his grandson—five dates whose terrible events Jimmy will have to prepare himself to face. The first is to occur in his twentieth year; the second in his twent-third year; the third in his twenty-eighth; the fourth in his twenty-ninth; the fifth in his thirtieth.

Rudy is all too ready to discount his father’s last words as a dying man’s delusional rambling. But then he discovers that Josef also predicted the time of his grandson’s birth to the minute, as well as his exact height and weight, and the fact that Jimmy would be born with syndactyly—the unexplained anomal of fused digits—on his left foot. Suddenly the old man’s predictions take on a chilling significance.

What terrifying events await Jimmy on these five dark days? What nightmares will he face? What challenges must he survive? As the novel unfolds, picking up Jimmy’s story at each of these crisis points, the path he must follow will defy every expectation. And with each crisis he faces, he will move closer to a fate he could never have imagined. For who Jimmy Tock is and what he must accomplish on the five days when his world turns is a mystery as dangerous as it is wondrous—a struggle against an evil so dark and pervasive, only the most extraordinary of human spirits can shine through.

Choice 3:


Cross Country by James Patterson (Paperback)

When the home of Alex Cross’s longtime friend, Ellie Cox, is turned into the worst murder scene Alex has ever seen, he is devastated. The destruction leads him to believe that he’s chasing a horrible new breed of killer. As Alex and his girlfriend Brianna Stone begin the hunt for the villain responsible for the killings, they quickly find themselves entangeled in the deadly Nigerian underworld of Washington D.C.. What they discover is shocking: a strongly organized gang of teenage thugs headed by a powerful, diabolical man-The Tiger.

As the killing spree escalates, Alex and Brianna realize they are not dealing with any ordinary killer, but one who has brought his personal war of vengeance to America’s capital. But just when the detectives think they’re closing in on the elusive murderer, the Tiger disappears into thin air. Unable to let the killer get away with this narrow escape, Alex makes it his duty to bring the brutal butcher to justice. He knows that he must follow The Tiger. Alone.

When Alex arrives in Nigeria, he discovers a world where justice is as foreign as he is. Unprotected and alone in a strange country, bombarded on all sides by the murderous threats of The Tiger, Alex must draw on his fiercest instincts just to survive in a lawless world.
From the author Time magazine has called “the man who can’t miss,” Cross Country is the most breathtaking, heart-stopping, electrifing Alex Cross thriller yet.

Good luck! Remember, to enter the giveaway go to this rafflecopter. And also check out all those other giveaways!