Tag Archives: novels

Book Giveaway Winners Announced!


Thanks to the kind and generous author Catherine Ryan Hyde, I get to announce SIX giveaway winners today!  Woo hoo!  Ms. Hyde has signed all six of these hardcover books, and I sincerely thank her for such a generous gift to my blog and to my readers!  In this case talent and generosity go hand in hand.

Once again, here are the book titles:

Chasing Windmills
Electric God
Walter’s Purple Heart
Funerals for Horses
Love in the Present Tense
Earthquake Weather (short story collection)

And here are the six giveaway winners:
K. Regier
D. Chen
T. Laycook
D. Lawyer
B. Nielsen
J. Santini

Congratulations to those who’ve won!  I’ll be contacting you today via email to get your mailing addresses.

I hope you’re all having a great week thus far, dear readers.  Please keep an eye out for details about my next giveaway, which will be revealed in the next week or two.  Coming this Thursday: a post on beautiful Cambria, California!

Warm regards,

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April Giveaway: 6 books by award-winning author Catherine Ryan Hyde!


I had the pleasure of meeting Catherine Ryan Hyde in person last week.  You know, the incredibly talented author who’s written and published 15 books, including the world-changing novel Pay It Forward.  I became friends with Catherine through Twitter and Facebook, and interviewed her on the topic of rewriting and draft revision.  (You can read that interview here.)  Catherine lives in Cambria, CA, and since I was in Cambria last week, I suggest a meet up.  It was wonderful to meet her – and her canine sidekick, Ella – in person!

Literary Goodies for My Readers!

Catherine was kind enough to give me copies of some of her books for a giveaway here on my blog.  Thank you, Catherine!  These are the titles included in the giveaway:

Chasing Windmills
Electric God
Walter’s Purple Heart
Funerals for Horses
Love in the Present Tense
Earthquake Weather
(short story collection)

All six of these hardcover books have been signed by Catherine Ryan Hyde – even better!


Giveaway Details – How to Enter


Three books will be given away to folks on my blog’s subscriber list, so please subscribe today if you’re not already signed up!  It’s quick and easy to subscribe – and you’ll be eligible for all my future subscriber-only drawings.

The other three books will be given to folks who email me via my website’s contact page.  That means that folks following my blog via an RSS reader instead of a subscription can get in on the fun too, as well as folks who follow me on Twitter or just happen to stumble upon my site.

It also means that folks who subscribe AND send me an email via the contact page have an even better chance of winning!  One email/contact page entry per person, please.  Multiple contact page entries won’t increase your odds of winning – only the combination of an active subscription and one contact page entry will.

The drawing is on April 26th!

I’ll be drawing six names on Tuesday, April 26, 2011, so be sure to enter by Monday April 25, 2011.  Good luck, everyone!

Big thanks – again – to Catherine Ryan Hyde.  It was a pleasure to meet you in person, and it’s such a treat to be able to share these books with my readers!

Warm regards,

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My Literary Addiction


You’ve found me out, dear readers.  I’m addicted to books!  I’ve been addicted to the written word since I was in elementary school, when my mom used to take me to the public library.  I’d check out a big stack of books, devour them, and head back for more.  I read voraciously as a teenager too, and I sometimes read novels during class when I was supposed to be paying attention to something else entirely.  Though I don’t sneak my reading anymore, my book-junkie ways have continued, unabated, into adulthood.

The Great Escape

When I read I’m transported to another world, and often fail to hear my name being called though the person calling me might be a few feet away.  If the book is good, I’m completely engrossed and some of my senses take their leave.  I guess the best example of both my general dorkiness and my rabid book consumption dates back to my junior high school years.  After school I would walk from the back of the school to the front via the long driveway on one side and on this particular day I had a small, paperback Young Adult novel clutched in my hand.  A straight shot, it was fairly easy to navigate without looking up, so I walked and read.  I finally noticed something looming in front of me, and discovered a story-high, bright yellow school bus parked in front of me.  I was so far removed from my surroundings I’d nearly walked right into it!  And though I’ll always succumb to the siren call of books, I’ve tried to be more careful after that when mobile.

Many consider movies a form of escapism – a way to immerse to leave their lives for a bit, and experience something else.  I really enjoy movies, too, love them in fact – but when it comes to getting away and escaping my from my own head, so to speak, there’s nothing like reading.  I find it’s a great way to redirect my busy mind, and I think needing to imagine what’s going on (instead of just seeing it on a screen) engages my mind to its fullest.  Other perks include learning things (even when reading fiction) and expanding one’s vocabulary.  I know all the reading I’ve done over the years has greatly influenced my writing.

A Tally and Some Favorites

I’ve often wondered how many books I’ve read in my lifetime, and I really wish I had the actual number!  Hundreds of books, certainly.  Over a thousand?  Possibly.  To try satisfy this curiosity in a small – if incomplete – way, I’m keeping track of how many books I read this year.  Thus far my total is 33.  I’ve been slowed by some non-fiction research of publishing and blogging (and not having an adequate reading lamp during the month of May!), but am still moving along at a pretty quick clip.

Some of my favorite books from this year include:

The Host – This book by Stephenie Meyer (of Twilight Saga fame) was a real page turner.  I’m looking forward to the sequel that’s supposed to be coming.

Wesley the Owl – This memoir by Stacy O’Brien was both touching and fascinating, and was – at times – laugh-out-loud funny!  My grandma loved owls, and now I do to, so this was a must-read for sentimental reasons and was well worth my time.

Letters of a Woman Homesteader – Written by a modestly-educated woman in the early 1900’s, I was captivated by her beautiful, vivid descriptions – and by the insight into daily life at and around her homestead.

The Book Thief – Set in Nazi Germany, this story’s narrator was rather unique and the author’s use of language was exceptional.  I’ll be going back and studying the sentences and phrases carefully.

I’ll post my year-end “books consumed in 2010“ total in early 2011, in case you’re curious what the final number will be, too.  In the meantime, I wish us all happy reading!

Warm regards,

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