Contests. What would writers do without them? These days with authors expected to do a lot of their own publicity, there are countless opportunities to get the latest ARC or signed copy by entering contests on blogs. It's a great way to discover new voices or authors you somehow missed.
But I think Eileen Cook blows the competition out of the water with an offer of a $75 gift certificate at a bookstore of your choice. Woo-hoo! She is celebrating the six-month anniversary of the release of What Would Emma Do? In order to enter, you must do something that brings the book to the attention of other readers, for instance, write about it on your blog. *waving my hand wildly over here* And the beauty is how this ripples outward--I read about it on author Barrie Summy's blog.
I picked up a copy of Cook's novel, expecting to find some teen angst, boy troubles, parental difficulties, etc. I was surprised and intrigued to find a modern-day Salem witch trials with a escalating moral dilemma. Emma has a one-way conversation with God throughout the book, the title of which is a take-off of 'what would Jesus do?'
Emma is the square peg in a small, rural town dominated by an evangelical church. Her fervent dream is to win a track scholarship to Northwestern and escape the herd mentality around her. But she may forfeit her dream if she decides to speak up for someone wrongly accused.
I like that Emma makes a decision on her own, and the author doesn't answer how this affects Emma's future. If you are interested in more about the book and that phat gift-card, check out Eileen Cook's site.
In a different kind of contest, author C. Lee McKenzie has a competition to write some cool opening YA lines at http://writegame.blogspot.com/
Have fun! Isn't that what we'd all like writing to be?