Celebrating My Love

Happy Birthday Love Heart

Image by Status Frustration via Flickr

Tomorrow is my dear husband’s birthday, and, in honor of The Hubs, and the fact that I love him and all that 😉 , I’m giving away a copy of Ally Condie’s Matched and Lauren Oliver’s Delirium.

The Books

First, a little bit about these books…

Matched, from Goodreads:

“Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander’s face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate . . . until she sees Ky Markham’s face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.

The Society tells her it’s a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she’s destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can’t stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society’s infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.”

Delirium, from Goodreads:

“Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that once love — the deliria — blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the governments demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holoway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy.

But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love.”

Now, I know that both of these books are set in dystopian worlds with authoritative governments that divine a citizen’s life partner.  But, let’s focus on the fact that each main character CHOOSES whom she loves, and draw the parallel from there. 😉

The Rules*

So, the giveaway will be pretty straightforward.

It’s open from now till Saturday, April 9, 2011, 11:59PM EST, and I will ship to addresses within the continental US to wherever the Book Depository ships (please see if your country is listed here).

There will be two winners.  The first winner gets first choice of either book; the second winner will get the other one.

Whoever wants to participate, leave me a comment (one entry/comment per person, please).  (For bonus entries, stay tuned for tomorrow’s blog post.)

I will pick the two winners via random.org (unless some bonus entries sway my secret panel of judges otherwise).  Obviously, it’s important that I know your email, or other reliable way to contact you.  If I can’t get a hold of you within 24 hours, I will choose someone else.

That’s it!

If you don’t want to participate in the giveaway, but just want to say hi and wish my husband a happy birthday, feel free to do so as well! 😉

Thank you for celebrating with me, and good luck!

*Any questions about rule details, please contact me to let me know!

Across the Universe: A Gift For Me, A Gift For You

A Gift for Me.

My birthday is next week.

For at least a decade, I have celebrated a birthday week  or month.  This year, I am very honored to share a Birthday Season with Kayla Olson (Happy Birthday Season!! *glitter shower*), AND with Beth Revis’s debut novel, Across the Universe.

“Nothing’s going to change my world…” Across the Universe, The Beatles

This past November, I had the privilege of reading the ARC of Across the Universe, thanks to Melissa and Kayla’s thoughtfulness.  I remember my delight when my mail-(wo)man hand-delivered the packaged ARC because she didn’t want to scrunch it in my mailbox.  I tore that priority mail envelope open, took a picture, had dinner with The Hubs, and then  proceeded to read that story that night (and into the next day).  I was behind about 5,000 words for NaNoWriMo at that point, but believe me, the lack of sleep, and adding an extra kamikaze do-or-die writing day for NaNoWriMo, was worth it.

(To see how The Want started, read this post by Melissa; The Want intensified after seeing this tribute by Kayla.  Also, see the aftermath of the time I totally made the universe give Melissa an ARC here.  I have actual magical powers.)

In a word, Across the Universe is luminous.  It is an absolute pleasure to read.  Everything about it appeals to me, from the beautiful (purple-y!) cover, to the Firefly influences, to the fact that it is set to launch 1.11.11.  All these things (and more) made this book the perfect 2011 birthday present to myself.

Since I can’t seem to post a non-spoiler review, I invite you to click here to read the summary of the book on Beth’s site. And, you can read chapter one here, and judge for yourself the buzz worthiness of this book.

Sidenote:

Admittedly, I have come across a lot of fabulous books throughout my reading career.  But, the tipping point for me in supporting this book is the author herself, Beth RevisShe is a fantastic author role model, and constantly engages with her readers through social networks.  Also, reading about her career transition from full-time teacher to full-time novelist earned her my undying loyalty, respect and admiration. Read about it here.

A Gift For You.

So, in honor of Happy Birthday Season (*confetti*), and because I love Across The Universe, and admire Beth so much, I will run my blog’s VERY FIRST GIVEAWAY.

The prize?  A copy of Across the Universe. (have you seen the reversible cover??)

Amy's or Elder's perspective...you decide!

Because this is my VERY FIRST GIVEAWAY and since it’s Happy Birthday Season, I am opening this GIVEAWAY to international readers, too. *waves to international readers* *I wish I were multilingual*

Rules (because they’re fun!):

To enter this GIVEAWAY for a chance to receive your very own copy of Across the Universe, simply subscribe to this blog using that “subscribe me” button to the right, AND leave me a comment below!  That’s it!  You will be entered into the drawing.  (Previously subscribed blog friends are of course eligible, too! Just leave me a comment below to let me know you want to be entered into the fun!)

I will begin counting entries TODAY Monday, January 10, 2011 12:00 AM EST until January 17, 2011 11:59 PM EST (My birthday, whatwhat!)

You MUST be subscribed to this blog and comment below to enter this contest.

(Please make sure your email address is correct.  If I don’t get a reply within 24 hours of contacting you, I will move on to the next winner.  I want to send out the book to the winner no later than Wednesday, January 19, 2011, so PLEASE ensure I can contact you!)

You can earn SIX ADDITIONAL entries* by:

1. Following me on Twitter

2. Following Beth Revis on Twitter

3. Tweeting about this contest

4. “Like”-ing Across the Universe on Facebook

5. Blogging about this contest (worth 2 entries)

Maximum entries: SEVEN

*This is on you honor.  Just leave a comment below for every entry you’ve earned.  (For example, if you “Like”-d Across the Universe on Facebook, followed Beth on Twitter, and blogged about this contest, you would leave four separate comments in addition to the one telling me that you are subscribed to this blog and want to be entered into the contest.  So, in this example, you would have earned five entries, so you would enter a total of five separate comments.)

** Previous Twitter followers and Facebook likers are also eligible for your extra entries!  Just leave me a comment per entry on this post!

The winner will be chosen via random.org (which is why you should ensure that each entry is in its own comment box.)

Gratitude

Thank you for celebrating Birthday Week with me (and Kayla and Across the Universe!).  It gives me great joy and happiness to be able to give what little I can back to the reading world that has nurtured me for so long.

And, depending on the level of participation I get here, I will do more giveaways like this in the future.

Tell Me: What upcoming releases are YOU looking forward to THIS year? (I may include it in future giveaways! :D)

Huzzah, and the Magic of Being in My Pretty Purple Robe!

I had a cute little conversation this morning with another Tweep, and she convinced me that my pretty purple robe definitely qualified as a swirly cape.  I promptly replied that I was so happy that I can now swagger around my house and declare, “Huzah!” at inanimate objects, and they must obey me!  First up, my coffeemaker!  (Didn’t I warn you that I’m a little goofy in the morning?)

So, I know that I’ve said maybe once or twice that I want to be a full-time-writer-specifically-novelist.  But, I wanted to step back and acknowledge the fact that I am in a position at my paythebills job that allows me to be in my pretty purple robe on most (90%) mornings, and considering all the jobs that I could have had to pay my bills, I am extremely thankful.  I recognize that I have a perfect situation to write before and after The Job, giving me literally hours to work on The Novel in my pretty purple robe. (coughcoughwhenidon’tturnonsocialmediacoughcough)

Among other things I get to do in my pretty purple robe is read through other authors’ journeys and get a “second wind” whenever I feel a little tired of this effort.  I can see the obstacles they’ve gone through (mostly, mental and emotional obstacles, huh, imagine that), and see that the only difference between a published, full-time writer and an unpublished part-time writer (or, full-time scribbler) is the discipline and persistence of staying in The Novel and getting that Bad Boy DONE!

So, with 75 days till the end of November, I am committing this blog to my Novel’s journey, and making myself accountable to its progress.

In 75 days, I will hold a finished rough draft with all its flaws and imperfections and declare it beautiful and glorious.  I am proud of it, and of myself for finishing and accomplishing my goal.  I am also looking forward to the next phase of revisions and polishing and otherwise prettying it up for submission.

“Huzzah!” I say, and it was so.

Technically, it's metallic lilac 😉 If you were curious, I bought it 5 years ago, at Victoria's Secret: a satin-y, ankle-length, belted robe with flannel lining. Pretty much perfect.