Thank you for your entries. The contest is now closed. Winners will be announced later this week.
As long-time blog readers may remember, there was a day when I would go to any book club, coffee klatch, maj-johng group or walking club that invited me. I was a single lady, one book, no kids, and if you wanted me, I was there.
Times have changed. Now, I have two little ones, plus a serious addiction to reality TV...and, with Book Number Ten (!), THE NEXT BEST THING, on its way in July, the demands on my time have increased exponentially.
If I said yes to one club, I reasoned, I'd have to say yes to them all...and so, reluctantly, I decided that, at least until the kids got bigger, I'd have to refuse all invitations.
However! In preparation for the new book, and to boost those all-important pre-sales figures (Stacey Ballis does a better job of explaining why they matter than I ever could), I am giving myself away to one lucky book club.
Here's the deal. You pre-order THE NEXT BEST THING.
You email your receipt to email@example.com, along with your name and address and an email address where we can reach you.
On July 1, some random name-picking computer program chooses one lucky winner, and I will visit the winner's book club on a mutually agreed-upon date within the next 12 months.
The winner has to be in Canada or the continental US (I figure, if the winner was in Hawaii, people would figure I was cheating). And five runners-up (runner-ups?) will receive tote bags loaded with signed copies of my backlist and some Philadelphia-centric treats.
Q: But I ordered your book weeks ago!
A: No worries! Just dig up your receipt and send it in!
Q: Do e-books count?
A: But of course! Order a hardcover, order an e-book, order the audio version (do you know that Olivia Thirlby, from "Juno," is reading it?). Whatever you prefer -- it all counts.
Q: But I don't have a book club!
A: No worries! Enter anyhow, and if you win, just round up a bunch of girlfriends and we'll go out to dinner, then go back to my hotel and order room-service dessert and watch "Sideways." It's all good.
Q: But I'm broke!
A: I hear you. There is a "no purchase necessary" option, which means you can enter the contest by sending your name without a receipt to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also email me your receipt from your local library's waiting list, and not only will I enter you in the contest, I'll ship your library a few extra copies of THE NEXT BEST THING.
Q: Is this book even any good?
A: I'm very proud of it. It's the story of Ruth Saunders, star of the short story "Swim" (you may remember it, and her, from "The Guy Not Taken.") Ruth is twenty-eight when the show she's written gets the green-light, and she gets to cast, shoot, and, eventually, run her own sit-com before It All Goes Horribly Wrong. Plus, Ruth has a crush on her boss to contend with, her grandmother's impending nuptials to consider, and a cute little dog named Pocket. I think it's a return to GOOD IN BED form -- in both cases, the heroines are smart-mouthed young women, dealing with physical issues (weight in Cannie's case, a badly-scarred face in Ruth's), cripplingly low self-esteem, dysfunctional families and a lively, loving circle of friends and colleagues.
"Swim" is available for free wherever e-books are sold, and you can read the first chapter of THE NEXT BEST THING here.
So, once more, with feeling: pre-order the book from the online retailer of your choice. Email your receipt to email@example.com. Then sit tight and wait for July 1!
Official Rules are HERE