The blogosphere is a busy place this summer, full of giveaways and contests. If you don’t win a book this summer, then honestly, you must not be trying!

Some of the contests are rather serious in nature, such as the one taking place over at Candyland. In her usual generous and big-hearted way, Candyland is sponsoring a contest to benefit Joy 2 the World, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life in Ghana, West Africa, as well as providing micro-credit loans to women in that country. Donations all go to a worthy cause, and the prizes are phenomenal – phone calls with agents and manuscript line editing, just to name a couple! Please check it out.

Of course, once you’ve done your part to help the world, you can score yourself a book by participating in Teen Fire’s Help Us Choose a Cover contest. Apparently, the design team at Sourcebooks Fire has been having a small, internal debate over the cover of the upcoming dystopian novel Water Wars (ie: Arm wrestling, throwing shoes, and spitballs have apparently not been able to settle it). Post a comment to help select a cover – or write a short story based on one of the covers in order to win an advance copy. Learn more about Water Wars by checking out my interview with Cameron Stracher.

Who here has read Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon? Maybe better to ask who hasn’t? You may not know that Zafon started out as a YA author and that his newest book (actually the first one he ever wrote) is a haunting YA mystery set in the 1940’s which involves a mysterious house, a shipwreck, and a sinister statue. Wisteria over at The Bookworm’s Dinner has 4 copies of The Prince of Mist to give away. In logic that only makes sense in the blogosphere, I get more chances at winning by telling you about the contest – thereby ensuring that some of you will enter and reduce my chances of winning. Does that make sense? Probably not, but I’ll play along!

Finally, as my blog membership slowly creeps toward 100, I realize I need to plan some kind of celebration here at In High Spirits. What to do, what to do?? Bring me a few more followers, and I’ll come up with something!