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free stuff

Giveaway: The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty

I really enjoyed Liane Moriarty’s What Alice Forgot two years ago, so when Lydia at Putnam Books offered me the chance to host this giveaway of the author’s new novel, The Husband’s Secret (July 30), I thought it’d be a good way to introduce you to Liane’s work.

Here’s the description from her website:

At the heart of The Husband’s Secret is a letter that’s not meant to be read…

My Darling Cecilia, if you’re reading this, then I’ve died…

Imagine your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret—something with the potential to destroy not just the life you built together, but the lives of others, too. Imagine, then, that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive . . .

Cecilia Fitzpatrick has achieved it all—she’s an incredibly successful businesswoman, a pillar of her small community, and a devoted wife and mother. Her life is as orderly and spotless as her home. But that letter is about to change everything, and not just for her. Rachel and Tess barely know Cecilia—or each other—but they too are about to feel the earth-shattering repercussions of her husband’s secret.

To enter, leave a comment telling me what would be earth shattering for you to discover about someone you know. You can make it up; this is just for fun and to make the entries interesting.

Giveaway ends next Tuesday, July 30, 9 p.m. PST. One winner will be randomly selected and have 48 hours after notification to claim the prize, which will come in a Tupperware container (it’s related to Cecilia’s job; wish I could show you the picture of the packaging but for some reason it won’t upload). US/Canada addresses only.


Book Giveaway: THE DARLINGS by Cristina Alger

Thanks to Lindsay at Pamela Dorman/Penguin, I get to give away one copy of Cristina Alger’s timely new novel, The Darlings (I’m still reading it so a review will come later). Here’s the description from the author’s website:

A sophisticated page-turner about a wealthy New York family embroiled in a financial scandal with cataclysmic consequences.

Now that he’s married to Merrill Darling, daughter of billionaire financier Carter Darling, attorney Paul Ross has grown accustomed to New York society and all of its luxuries: a Park Avenue apartment, weekends in the Hamptons, bespoke suits. When Paul loses his job, Carter offers him the chance to head the legal team at his hedge fund. Thrilled with his good fortune in the midst of the worst financial downturn since the Great Depression, Paul accepts the position.

But Paul’s luck is about to shift: a tragic event catapults the Darling family into the media spotlight, a regulatory investigation, and a red-hot scandal with enormous implications for everyone involved. Suddenly, Paul must decide where his loyalties lie—will he save himself while betraying his wife and in-laws or protect the family business at all costs?

Cristina Alger’s glittering debut novel interweaves the narratives of the Darling family, two eager SEC attorneys, and a team of journalists all racing to uncover—or cover up—the truth. With echoes of a fictional Too Big to Fail and the novels of Dominick Dunne, The Darlings offers an irresistible glimpse into the highest echelons of New York society—a world seldom seen by outsiders—and a fast-paced thriller of epic proportions.

The book has received positive reviews from Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and Library Journal, among other publications. For more info on Alger, visit her website, where you can also read an excerpt.

If the novel sounds like it’s right up your alley, enter for a chance to win it by leaving a comment about a fake scandal from your past. Or it could be real—I won’t know. Just make it juicy!

Giveaway is open to US/Canada residents only, and ends next Tuesday, February 28, at 5 p.m. PST. One winner will be randomly chosen and have 48 hours to claim the book. Now let’s have you “leak” some scandalous details!


Book Giveaway: THE NIGHT CIRCUS by Erin Morgenstern

I’m thrilled to announce that the generous folks over at Doubleday have allowed me to give away two copies of Erin Morgenstern‘s The Night Circus. You’ve probably heard about this novel for months since it arrived with a caravan-load of buzz, being compared to the Harry Potter and Twilight books. Helping that comparison along is the fact that Summit Entertainment, the production company behind the Twilight movies, have snapped up rights for a movie adaptation that David Heyman, who produced the Potter movies, might produce.

I’ll post a review later but wanted to give you the chance to win these two copies now. If that gorgeous cover alone doesn’t entice you, here’s the description from the publisher’s website:

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.

Intrigued? Enter by leaving a comment about the coolest magic trick or circus act you’ve ever seen. Giveaway ends next Tuesday, October 25 at 5 p.m. PST. US/Canada only, per publisher’s request. Two winners will be randomly selected and have 48 hours to claim the prize before alternate names are chosen.

Let’s hear your magical stories!


Guest Post & Giveaway: HELP! FOR WRITERS

I am a fan of Roy Peter Clark‘s The Glamour of Grammar because he makes grammar fun. He has a new book out next week called Help! For Writers: 210 Solutions to the Problems Every Writer Faces (one says you should reward yourself after your first hour of writing so I’m all over that). I was very happy when he agreed to do a guest post about:

Three fun things to jumpstart your writing that won’t get you arrested.

1.  Steal magazines from the doctor’s office or barber shop.

Don’t feel guilty. Chances are you have been waiting for more than an hour for a grumpy nurse to call your name. All you get for your inconvenience is a stack of crispy or soggy magazines, some that are months and months old. Get some payback and a good story idea at the same time. Flip through some of the mags, especially ones in a category that you may not often read. Look for something that grabs your interest, a surprising trend that can be localized. If you feel bad about snatching the magazine, quietly rip out the relevant pages.

2.  Read an alternative weekly newspaper, from the back to the front.

The back has the best stuff: ads for adult businesses dominate (so to speak), but they mix gloriously with ads for astrological readings, pain management, outpatient drug detox, cheap rooms to rent. Pay special attention to items you don’t understand at first glance: What is Bhakti Massage or Watsu? Bingo: “Lingerie models needed for Comedy/Horror videos. No nudity required. No thongs or g-strings. Ladies with large visible tattoos need not apply. $200 cash for 5 hours.” Hmm. With Halloween approaching…

3.  Go to an event and watch the audience instead.

Take any event, from a campaign speech, to a high school football game, to a recital for young musicians, to a church service. We are so used to seeing events from predictable vantage points that we miss the opportunity to check the rear view mirror. It bugs my wife when I turn around in church and watch the congregation behind me. I’m sure it puzzles others in the pews. But what a revelation to see churchgoers in all their variety: teenagers whispering and flirting; farting oldsters lost in their rosaries; the guy wearing the golf pants checking his watch.

Roy’s tips are fun and creative, and if you think you could use a copy, you’re in luck. Hachette has allowed me to give away three copies. Enter by leaving a comment about something you often struggle with in your writing. I’ll take entries until next Friday, September 23, 5 p.m. PST. US & Canada only.


Winners of Karin Slaughter’s FALLEN

My two randomly selected winners are:

  • Lisa
  • Eddy

You will each get a copy of Karin Slaughter’s terrific Fallen if you claim it by noon PST on Saturday, July 2.

Thanks to everyone who entered. If you didn’t win this time, keep your eyes peeled for more giveaways this summer!


Winners of Kate Atkinson Prize Packages

I’m happy to announce my 5 winners of Kate Atkinson prize packages. Each set includes the four Jackson Brodie books: Case Histories (trade), One Good Turn (trade), When Will There Be Good News? (trade) and a hardcover of her just-released Started Early, Took My Dog.

  1. Paulette
  2. Alison/Alison’s Book Marks
  3. Novelwhore
  4. jenn aka the picky girl
  5. Rose City Reader

Please use this contact form to let me know where Hachette can send the packages. Winners who don’t respond by Saturday, April 2, 9 a.m. PST will be replaced by alternate winner(s).

Thanks for entering, everyone. I’ll have another great giveaway in the next two weeks!


Book and Movie Poster Giveaway: Michael Connelly’s THE LINCOLN LAWYER

Michael Connelly’s The Lincoln Lawyer is coming to the big screen March 18, 2011 and the generous folks at Hachette are letting me give away five copies of the tie-in paperbacks with Matthew McConaughey, who plays Mickey Haller, on the cover. Each winner will also get a copy of the movie poster.

Lincoln Lawyer is a tight legal thriller that introduces Haller, who has gone on to be a popular character in other Connelly novels, including ones with Harry Bosch. If you haven’t read any of the books, here’s the description:

This #1 bestselling legal thriller from Michael Connelly is a stunning display of novelistic mastery – as human, as gripping, and as whiplash-surprising as any novel yet from the writer Publishers Weekly has called “today’s Dostoevsky of crime literature.”

Mickey Haller is a Lincoln Lawyer, a criminal defense attorney who operates out of the backseat of his Lincoln Town Car, traveling between the far-flung courthouses of Los Angeles to defend clients of every kind. Bikers, con artists, drunk drivers, drug dealers – they’re all on Mickey Haller’s client list. For him, the law is rarely about guilt or innocence, it’s about negotiation and manipulation. Sometimes it’s even about justice.

A Beverly Hills playboy arrested for attacking a woman he picked up in a bar chooses Haller to defend him, and Mickey has his first high-paying client in years. It is a defense attorney’s dream, what they call a franchise case. And as the evidence stacks up, Haller comes to believe this may be the easiest case of his career. Then someone close to him is murdered and Haller discovers that his search for innocence has brought him face-to-face with evil as pure as a flame. To escape without being burned, he must deploy every tactic, feint, and instinct in his arsenal – this time to save his own life.

Besides McConaughey, the movie’s stellar cast includes Marisa Tomei, Ryan Phillippe, William H. Macy and John Leguizamo.

To enter:

  • be a subscriber, Twitter follower, or Facebook fan (no, I’m not trying to bump up my numbers; I just want to give something back to those who support this site in some way)
  • leave a comment about what kind of business you’d have if you had to run it out of your car
  • have a U.S. or Canada address (or someone with same who would forward you the books)

Giveaway ends next Thursday Feb. 10 at 5 p.m. PST. Winners will be randomly selected then announced here, on Facebook and Twitter. I won’t be notifying you personally so please check back to see if you’ve won. Any prize(s) not claimed within 48 hours will be given to alternate winner(s).

Let’s hear what you’d do in the backseat of your car!