Best of 2012 Giveaway Hop ~ Alligators Overhead ~ 2012 holiday & giveaways!!

PhotobucketHello again everyone, Paul here today. I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and the holiday season finds you happy and healthy. Don’t forget to enter the Mid-Winter’s Eve Blog Hop giveaway for an ebook copy of Free Souls or Open Minds or Closed Hearts in the Mindjacker Novel Trilogy, or the Mindjack Origins collection of novellas. Many thanks to Kathy at I Am a Reader Not a Writer and Oasis for YA for hosting.  Another quick note ~ This just in ~ Hugo’s Cat Circus by author Julia Dweck is FREE today (12/26). Julia has been a guest here in the past and her children’s books are wonderful. Pick up your copy today.

Today I get the great pleasure of kicking off the Best of 2012 Giveaway Hop hosted by Kathy at I Am A Reader Not A Writer. The best book I read in 2012 is definitely Alligators Overhead by C. Lee McKenzie. Click on any of the titles to go to Amazon to purchase the ebook, or click on the image to purchase the paperback.

You probably already know this, but I love middle grade books. A really good MG book is something a person of any age can sit down and read. The story and plot are written simple enough for young readers to understand, yet the character development and nuances are such that an adult reader will be entertained as well. Alligators Overhead fits that description perfectly. In case you missed my thoughts on it you can read my review here.

The book starts and ends with a great main character, Pete Riley. He is complex and the reader feels bad for him, but he is also human and certainly not perfect. It is a joy to follow Pete on his journey through this story. The plot is great as it is action filled and exciting. The great names and dialogue are my favorite parts. The weaving in of  phrases like peculiar-odd and nervous-scared are not only entertaining but create a nice cadence for reading. I think this book would be an excellent book for read alouds at home, school, or at libraries.

Ms. McKenzie was kind enough to write a guest post for us when I reviewed her book, and if you haven’t read it I recommend  you do. It is a wonderful piece about developing characters. You can read How Do You Find All These Messed Up People? here.


I couldn’t be happier to announce Alligators Overhead as the best book I read in 2012. I recently contacted Ms. McKenzie to tell her and felt the need to ask her if she had a sequel in the works. She responded, ” I haven’t started a sequel, but I have been thinking about it–interesting that you should ask because someone else just asked me that same question. ” Sounds like her fans are clamoring for more. Ms. McKenzie has been kind enough to provide three paperbacks to three lucky winners (US only), so be sure to enter the Rafflecopter below, because I promise you won’t be disappointed!

More information about C. Lee McKenzie and her works can be found here.

Twitter: @cleemckenzie
Amazon Author Page:

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Share A Heart

Indie author-friendly freelance editor, children's book blogger for picture books through YA, kid lit, SF/fantasy lover with special fondness for middle grade, pun-loving SCBWI member, meter-maid for poetry and rhyming picture books.


  1. Oooh I want an autographed copy. I’d better sign up.

    • Hi Michael!
      Thanks for stopping by & commenting! It is a real treat to have Ms. McKenzie offer up 3 autographed copies to readers, Good Luck! Have a great day.

      Paul R. Hewlett

  2. This is such a great present to find, Paul. Thanks for the shout out. And here’s an amazing coincidence . . .I just downloaded Slipstream by Michael Offutt. It’s on my Kindle right now.

  3. Hi Lee! You’re welcome, it’s my pleasure. I love Alligators Overhead so much I want to share it with as many people as possible. There must be something in the air for you two to connect here πŸ™‚ Have a great holiday season!

    Paul R. Hewlett

  4. Ooh, C.Lee is fabulous!! I’ve been working with her over on YALitchat for over two years now. Just love her and her work. She’s been a CP for me and had amazing advice.

    As far as the BEST book I’ve read this year…that is very hard to say. I’ll give you two of the best ones I’ve read: SANCTUM by Sarah Fine and BROKEN by AE Rought – one of my teammates over on Oasis for YA!

    • Wow, you have given me a treasure of info, thank you! I must check out YA litchat, Oasis for YA, Sanctum, and Broken. Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing. I love C.Lee and have so enjoyed working with her. It was truly an honor and a pleasure to be able to read and review Alligators Overhead and to get to know her a bit. Have a great day!

      Paul R. Hewlett

  5. My favorite book of 2012 so far is Prossia by Raphyel Jordan.

    GFC follower VettekLisa

    • Hi Lisa,
      Thanks for stopping & sharing. I am going to have to have my notepad handy I see. So many wonderful suggestions on books I’m not familiar with. I love this type of topic. Have a happy holiday season!

      Paul R. Hewlett

  6. Great to get a fresh list of favorite books to start 2013!

  7. I posted my “12 Unmissable YA Books of 2012” on BooksYALove recently: Since I concentrate on debut authors and smaller presses, you’ll always find nifty YA books beyond the bestsellers on my blog.

    Hoping for some Alligators in the New Year!
    **Katy Manck

  8. Hi Katy,
    Thanks for the heads up for some more wonderful YA books, never enough books. Make sure you come back & enter to win. Maybe you’ll get your wish and an autographed Alligator will be on it’s way to you. Thanks for stopping & Happy New Year!

    Paul R. Hewlett

  9. I loved Cinder by Marissa Meyer.
    Thanks for the giveaway!

    • Hi Valette,
      Your welcome. Ms. McKenzie was very kind. I am not familiar with Cinder, but I will add it to my list, as Ms. McKenzie herself said above,it’s great to get a fresh list of favorite books to start the new year. Thanks for stopping by.

      Paul R. Hewlett

    • Oh yes. I’ve seen that cover. I loved it. Will put it down as TBR in 2013. Thanks.

  10. The Fault in Our Stars and Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend
    crystaley73 at yahoo dot com

  11. Hi Crystaley73
    Thanks for stopping by & sharing. I have another book to add to my “to read” list for 2013. Thanks again. Good luck and have a Happy New Year!

    Paul R. Hewlett

  12. Hi Vickey,
    Thanks for stopping by & sharing.Another book to add to my list for 2013. I hope are having a happy holiday season.

    Paul R. Hewlett

  13. One of my favorites is Middle Ground by Katie Kacvinsky! πŸ˜€

  14. Sins of the Fallen by Daniele Lanzarotta

  15. Black City by Elizabeth Richards! πŸ˜€

  16. This comment has been removed by the author.

  17. I read a lot of good books in 2012 so it’s hard to pick just one, but I think the one that stands out the most is,” The Crimson League (The Herezoth Trilogy)”, by Victoria Grefer . I wasn’t expecting it to be nearly as good as it was but when I read it, I was so surprised as it turned out to be completely brilliant as she brought an entire world to life. I loved it. (sorry for deleting the previous comment, I crazy clicked and hit the wrong button 😐 )

    • Hi Shelly,
      No problem, I hit wrong buttons all the time πŸ™‚ I must read The Crimson League now. Sounds like a great book. Thanks so much for stopping by & sharing your thoughts.

      Paul R. Hewlett

  18. i have to say one of my favorite reads of this is actually a prequel for a series that is coming out in 2013. it was called the embattled road by. j.m madden

    • Hi Jeanette,
      Thank you for stopping by & sharing. I will have to look into that book & series. So many great suggestions I’m not familiar with. I love this!

      Paul R. Hewlett

  19. lover reborn by JR Ward

  20. I really love the Rachel Morgan series and the latest installment A Perfect Blood was great. I have to say having answered the question, what a marvelous trailer. Alligators Overhead looks fantastic and I am looking forward to the read. Thank you for your generous participation in this fun hop. (GFC Denise Zaky)

    • Hi Denise,
      Thanks for stopping by and sharing. I agree about the trailer, it is wonderful & so is the book (but I suppose you know what I think, this is my favorite book of 2012 after all). I am adding all these wonderful suggestions to my list.

      Paul R. Hewlett

  21. I’ve never heard of Alligators Overhead before today! Thank you for the recommendation! *adds it to my TBR*

    My favorite read this year…Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. It might not be the most literary, nor is it the most thought-provoking book I’ve read this year, but it was definitely the most fun I’ve had with a book in a long while.

    Lilian @ A Novel Toybox

    • Lilian,
      I know the feeling, I am almost ashamed to admit that I have heard of very few of everyone’s suggestion. But I am very happy for all these wonderful books to read. Thanks so much for stopping by & sharing.

      Paul R. Hewlett

  22. My faves of 2012 were Cast In Peril by Michelle Sagara, Trapped by Kevin Hearne & Chasing Magic by Stacia Kane.

    Happy Holidays & thanks for the amazing giveaway!
    elizabeth @ bookattict . com
    Rafflecopter: Elizabeth Kotkiewicz Hyatt

    • Hi Elizabeth,
      Thanks for the wonderful suggestions & you’re welcome for the giveaway. Ms. McKenzie has been very gracious, we’re fortunate to be able to have her on our blog. Thanks so much for stopping by.

      Paul R. Hewlett

  23. After reading all the comments, I realized I had never seen the trailer. It’s very enticing.

    I also want to add my two cents for favorite books this year. First is Susan Kaye Quinn’s Free Souls. The whole trilogy was awesome. Then Space Orville by Jeff Whelan, very entertaining SF, and The Moon Coin, inventive fantasy by Richard Due.

    • Hi Sher!
      Thanks for dropping by. I have to read Susan Kaye Quinn’s books, Space Orville, and The Moon Coin (I love that cover!). The list is growing, growing, growing πŸ™‚

  24. The Fault in Our Stars
    GFC Tia

  25. cherish your name by mary calmes

  26. I really enjoyed The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling


    • Hi Jenny,
      Thanks for stopping by & sharing. Now that’s an interesting one. I haven’t really heard much about that book after all the hoopla pre-release. I am interested and inclined to check it out. Happy Holidays!

      Paul R. Hewlett

  27. I enjoyed Wife22

    mmc123456 at yahoo dot com

    • Hi Stacey,
      Thanks so much for stopping by & sharing. I will have to look up Wife22, I’m not familiar with it. I hope you have a Happy New Year.

      Paul R. Hewlett

  28. Loved Dorothy Gale Vampire Hunter and Daughters of Jaguars: Broken

    GFC Seyma S.

  29. Pushing the Limits. Also, very excited
    for book #2 in 2013!
    Just want to also say that the *Alligators Overhead* trailer makes the book sound amazing. Now, I would love to read it.
    GFC: Holly Letson

    • Hi Holly,
      I agree about the trailer. What a wonderfully done trailer! Thanks so much for stopping by & sharing. I will certainly have to check out Pushing the Limits.

      Paul R. Hewlett

  30. My favorite read was The Immortal Rules. Entry id: Kt Amanda. Thanks for participating!

    • Hi Katie,
      Thanks so much for stopping by & sharing your favorite book with us. I’ll have to research Immortal Rules, wow, what great suggestions I’m getting. Thanks again. Happy New Year!

      Paul R. Hewlett

  31. Shatter Me was one of my favorites! πŸ™‚

  32. Cinder and The Immortal Rules were tops on my list

    • Hi Lisa,
      That’s the first time I’ve seen a book repeated. I think both of those books have been mentioned. Thanks so much for stopping by & sharing.

      Paul R. Hewlett

  33. Lover Reborn by J R Ward
    Gale Nelson gfc

    • Hi Gale,
      Thanks so much for stopping by & sharing you favorite book of 2012 with us. I haven’t heard of Lover Reborn, so I’ll have to look it up πŸ™‚

      Paul R. Hewlett

  34. Hmm, I think Touch of Power by Maria V Snyder!
    gfc: caitlin

  35. I loved Slammed and Point of Retreat. They made me both laugh and cry.
    Bonnie Hilligoss/

  36. I loved Abraham Lincoln the Vampire Hunter
    gfc: MeganP

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    All content is copyrighted and may not be used in any form without proper credit and links. For purposes other than charity or education, printed materials require prior written consent. Disclaimer: Most books were provided free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.