Some fun on the blog this week!

In honor of the approaching thankful season, I thought it would be all kinds of awesome to do a giveaway here at swirl and spark. And since one of the things I am so very thankful for is all of you, I want to give you an opportunity to share something you’re thankful for and… a chance to win an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) of the new middle grade novel by debut author, Beth Hautala—WAITING FOR UNICORNS!

Here’s a peak at Beth with her soon to be released treasure…


How seriously great is this picture??

Here’s the blurb from the publisher:


Coming to a bookshelf near you January 22, 2015 Middle Grade Fiction (ages 10 and up) Philomel/Penguin (US) 

Talia McQuinn is much too old to believe in magic, yet she keeps a jar of wishes under her bed. When her whale-researcher father drags Tal to the arctic for the summer following her mother’s death, she brings the jar along. During her stay, Tal learns the ancient Inuit legend of the narwhal whale—the unicorn of the sea—and she forms a plan to make the biggest wish of her life. When the entire population of whales in the Hudson Bay mysteriously disappears, and an accident endangers the life of her new friend, Tal must confront the truth: no wish on earth can grant escape from her heartache, or bring her mother back. But sometimes, the release of one wish makes way for the granting of another.

Sounds amazing, right?? (Well, it is!!)

Here’s the scoop on how to win a copy:

All you have to do is comment on this post. Share with us one (or more) things you’re thankful for. It can be writing related, book related, or something completely different like congratulations to Beth or something!! Then next week I’ll draw two names from the comment box. Each person will receive a free advanced copy of Beth’s book which will be released in January 22, 2015!

Beth was sweet enough to send a copy to me and two extra copies to give away on my blog. For those of you who don’t know, an Advanced Reader Copy is the copy from the publisher in the very last stage before it’s about to published for its release date. It looks exactly like the real book will look except for any last minute typos the editor will catch right before final printing.

The day I received the package in the mail, I ripped it open like a little kid on Christmas. And oh my, was it a gift. I held the book in my hand, like it was fragile, like it was priceless—and in a way it was (and is) to me. It’s the very first ARC I’ve received from a soon to be published author. That in itself is special. But knowing the person who wrote the story that has now been turned into an actual real life book makes it even more amazing! So thank you, Beth. It has been a privilege to read your story, and see the gorgeous cover in person, with your name on it! Wow. 🙂

Here’s my review of WAITING FOR UNICORNS by the talented debut author, Beth Hautala:

I came across the first 250 words of WAITING FOR UNICORNS in 2010 as an entry in the Bakers Dozen Agent Auction on Miss Snark’s First Victim’s blog. Beth’s lyrical writing pulled at me immediately, lulling me into a world she created so beautifully. I knew with certainty that I would see this book in print someday. I didn’t know Beth at the time, but I knew that her book was special. Now that I’ve read the entire story, I can tell you with even more certainty this is a book I will never forget.

Talia is a character readers will be drawn to from the start, maybe because of her circumstances—she has experienced a loss no child should ever have to, but more likely because she is full of hope even when she feels there is no more to be had. She is full of wonder, even though her new world feels unfamiliar and strange.

And she isn’t afraid to wish. And wish she does, with the help of her wish jar, a few new friends, and some very difficult to find unicorns.

WAITING FOR UNICORNS is an uplifting adventure that takes readers on a sweet journey to the arctic where the descriptions are so vivid, they may just need to wear their own wool hat and mittens. The characters are refreshing and real. Readers will root for Talia on each page as she searches for her unicorn and tries to piece together her broken heart.

Several things stood out to me as I read this book. Beth Hautala writes with such amazing beauty and grace, it’s as if she spent a lifetime choosing each and every word, precisely for this story. She has developed a world so splendid and different from what most of us know. I felt grateful to have experienced all that she exposed me to. And she created characters so real and a story so relatable that I just may feel a long lasting connection to both.  

For more information on Beth and her book go to www.bethhautalabooks.com

To enter for a chance to win one of the two ARCs, please leave your comment below. I’ll take comments until Tuesday at midnight EST and post the winners next Wednesday. In one of my future posts, I’ll have an interview with Beth to share with all of you too, so yes… more great WAITING FOR UNICORNS fun to come!!

3 thoughts on “ARC Giveaway: WAITING FOR UNICORNS!”

  1. This one sounds absolutely gorgeous– and I’m not only talking about the cover! Love the fact that it’s got Inuit legends and traditions (by the sound of it with the Narwhal), something that isn’t unfortunately covered enough in Middle Grade or Young Adult fiction. Books like these really make me thankful for authors who are looking to tell stories of diversity 😀 I’m really looking forward to this one, and thanks for the fabulous giveaway!

    iliveforreading AT hotmail DOT com

  2. Oh! This sounds so amazing!! Congratulations, Beth! What a great shot of a dream come to life!! I’d love to read this!! I can’t even imagine how thrilled you are to finally hold those words in your hands! So awesome!!

    I’m thankful for so many things! I’m sure the comment box would cut me off if I listed them all, but it definitely Includes YOU, Jackie! A fantastic CP and writing buddy is something I don’t take for granted. (-: And plus it makes this journey so much more fun when you can share it with someone who “gets it” all the way! (-:

    *drops my name in twice and hope nobody notices*

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