Monday, June 13, 2011

Why I'm Going to Buy a Lottery Ticket (um...Today) AND an Amazing Giveaway for YOU

Three reasons why everyone should enter contests:

1) They're FUN!!!

2) They support someone, somewhere, in some way. It might be a contest to support a cause or a book. The contest might encourage people to follow an already amazing blog. Perhaps it's to celebrate success. Or to help someone grow as a writer.

3)And finally...everyone should enter contests because

You just might win.

I've entered some pretty fabulistic contests this year, and just within the past two months, I've won six books and two writing contests. And...AND met some pretty awesome people and had a chance to participate in some pretty amazing things.

The six books I won (aka my super-duper beach reads) arrived on my doorstep courtesy of these fabulous wonderfuls. Jennifer Hoffine, Melissa Dean, and Lisa Potts. They are amazing people who are going to be ridiculously successful in the writing world, and you should totally check them out.

The writing contests...

Do you remember a couple weeks back I shared my first page for critique purposes? (awesome feedback, thank you!) Well, I made changes, cut my 295 down to 250. Then I entered Shelley Watters Contest of Awesome.

And I won.

Super fab agent Judith Engracia selected three winners in all. You can check out my entry here and those of the other two winners.(THEY are going to be insanely successful!) And I'm sharing this so I can thank you. Yes, YOU. My faithful blog readers. You see - I won - but it was YOU who helped me get there. My CPs, other contest entrants, my friends - ANYONE who read my excerpt and commented - thank you, thank you, thank you. Thanks to you I will receive a ten-page critique and a full manuscript request. I wanted you to know that your efforts paid off.

PS - Shelley is hosting another hot, hot first page contest on her blog. If you've got a manuscript ready to go, check it out!!!

So, yeah. Definitely worth it to enter some contests.

Speaking of...I have one for you! A super-duper omg fantabulous one originated by Casey McCormick. It's a pay-it-forward contest (totally stealing this idea, PS) for one of the most amazing books out there. Seriously. Uh-mazing.

Here's zee blurb...

Seventeen-year-old Lennie Walker, bookworm and band geek, plays second clarinet and spends her time tucked safely and happily in the shadow of her fiery older sister, Bailey. But when Bailey dies abruptly, Lennie is catapulted to center stage of her own life—and, despite her nonexistent history with boys, suddenly finds herself struggling to balance two. Toby was Bailey's boyfriend; his grief mirrors Lennie's own. Joe is the new boy in town, a transplant from Paris whose nearly magical grin is matched only by his musical talent. For Lennie, they're the sun and the moon; one boy takes her out of her sorrow, the other comforts her in it. But just like their celestial counterparts, they can't collide without the whole wide world exploding.

One of my CPs recommended this book to me over nine months ago. I was in the middle of editing Envious, and my novel contains similar elements to The Sky is Everywhere—seventeen-year old grieving over the sudden loss of a friend, flashbacks, the struggle to move on. My CP knew this and on several occasions she bullied encouraged me with, "You need to read this book."

Okay. Whatever. I'll put it on my TBR list and get to it eventually. It was probably a good three months before I saw it at Books-a-Million and thought, Eh. Why not?

So I bought the book.

Two weeks later I read it.

When I finished (in two days), I couldn’t stop thinking about it for the next week.

And the week after that.

And the month after that.

Don't do what I did, people. Read this book, uh…now.

Here’s why.

As stated, I’ve already read this book, but I HAD to be a part of this pay-it-forward contest just so I could tell the world about one of my top five favoritest books I've ever read. It's that amazing, and Jandy Nelson is a BRILLIANT writer. I never laughed and cried so much with one book. It's intense, then light, then heart-wrenching intense, then omg so LOL hilarious. I was thrown into Lennie's despair, so much my own chest hurt. The pain was real. The humor was genuine. And...AND the writing, the poetry—freaking brilliant. You will identify with Lennie, cry with her, and root for her as she makes her first steps towards healing. And the romance element - hoo boy. Never before have I wanted both guys to get the girl. I finished reading and am STILL Team Toby and Team Joe.

If that wasn't enough of a sell, here are some of my fave quotes from the book (PS - had mucho trouble narrowing it down)

"It's such a colossal effort not to be haunted by what's lost, but to be enchanted by what was."

"She will die over and over again for the rest of my life. Grief is forever. It doesn't go away; it becomes part of you, step for step, breath for breath. I will never stop grieving because I will never stop loving. That's just how it is. Grief and love are conjoined, you don't get one without the other. All I can do is love her, and love the world, emulate her by living with daring and spirit and joy."

“I look into his sorrowless eyes and a door in my heart blows open. And when we kiss, I see that on the other side of that door is the sky.”

Yeah, okay...I'm dying now.

And here's what's weird. I love this book so much that two days before Lisa emailed me, telling me I won the contest, I had given my copy away to someone else. I planned on a replacement IMMEDIATELY, but I wanted my friend to read this book and fall in love with it as much as I had.

I'm telling you. Read. This. Book. It's one of the few books that I will read over and over and over again.

Oh—and well, you could win a copy from yours truly!

Here’s how the contest works:

1. You MUST have a blog or Facebook or somewhere you can give the book away and be clear about the rules (Twitter can’t support it, for example).

2. You MUST be willing to hold this exact giveaway on your blog or Facebook in which you purchase this book for someone else (or give away the one you receive from me, IF you don’t love it) and require that YOUR winner do the same. Preferably within TWO WEEKS of receiving the book from me.

3. If you win, I ask that you PLEASE enter your giveaway into the linky widget on Casey's blog and have YOUR winner do the same on that original post (not on your blog), so we can track how long the chain lasts and how many purchases we achieve.

4. U.S. entrants only.

5. The contest will run June 13th to June 20th at MIDNIGHT. I will announce the winner on June 21st and the chain will commence.

Entry is simple. Just leave a comment that you want to win and an email address if you don't have one on your blogger profile so I can get in touch with you if you do.

So...what are YOU waiting for?! Leave a comment and you could pay it forward too!


  1. Whoa! BIG TIME congrats on the win, Allison! Hope you get some awesome feedback!


  2. I'll tell you, everyone should enter blog contests. I've never been one to win anything, yet in the last six months I've won FOUR books. I love it!

  3. Wow---I just read your first page from the contest, and...Wow! No wonder you won. Congratulations and good luck w/the critique and full request.

    This is just small potatoes now, but I've got a teensy little award for you over at my blog. ;)

  4. I LOVE this boo. I'd buy it and read it a million times over. Congrats on your 250 win!!!

  5. Congrats on winning the critique. Really liked your first page. Definitely hooks the reader. Good job.

  6. I saw your name at Shelley's - congrats!! We already gave this book away at ours...

    We are announcing a summer giveaway tomorrow, if you want more books (I think I've won about 6 this year, too, and christy's gotten a couple - go books!)

  7. Wooooooo! This is not an entry, because I already have the book (I *might* be the bully CP you're talking about? Not sure!!), but I am just SO PROUD of you! *hugs*

    YOU are going to be insanely successful as well!

  8. I still haven't read this book yet. Bad Alicia.

  9. Yay for you! I love the title of that book.

  10. WOW, this is still going! I remember when Casey started this thread. That's awesome it's still going. Count me in!

  11. I'm not entering the contest. I'm just congratulating you here on your blog. :) *high five*

  12. I'm in like Flynn, Alison!
    Awesome contest - this sounds like a really fab book!
    And you know I'm a huge fan of your submit to Shelley's contest and so happy to see you win! Well deserved, for sure!

  13. Congrats - that is seriously awesome! Good luck with the agent!

    Yes, The Sky is Everywhere is amazing and everyone should read it. Like now. Go

  14. And the chain continues...Yay!

    Congrats on your wonderful 250 contest win. Fantstic!

  15. That's so great you won the contest!! Many congrats and best of luck!!


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