So it is Valentine’s Day. The day of love. Also, the day that the Giant Linger Giveaway begins. In honor of this charming holiday long since sullied by 17 billion dollars of chocolate, jewelry, Shrek Valentine’s cards, and flowers, I thought I’d share the story of how me and Lover first met.
You should know that I was a cynical teenager. I was in a bagpipe band and spent pretty much every weekend with men, so I knew for a fact that they were pretty much assholes. I mean, they were good for friends. But I'd had enough married men hit on me to get the moral of the story: Men should be someone else's problem.
So I turned down a lot of offers. Not to imply that I was swamped with suitors . . . just that a girl in a kilt was a bit of an oddity, and when you are at a Scottish festival, drunk, and looking for someone to share your haggis with, I seemed a likely target.
Anyway, there's the background. Fast forward to when I was 19. I was working at the Made in Virginia store, selling large hams to tourists who, like Lindsay Lohan's various boyfriends and girlfriends, would later wonder what had happened. Lover came in and began poking around in the bumper sticker area. I continued reading my book. I probably said "let me know if I can help you with anything" because that's what I did. But I didn't really want to help. I really wanted to read my book. Anyway, I would later find out that Lover was actually supposed to be working that day, but something had come up and the shifts had gotten moved. And I was actually covered for someone else myself, so I should've been home too.
So Lover arrived with a bumper sticker and he must've commented cleverly on something. Next thing I knew we were talking about roadkill, driving too fast, and both of us were laughing. Lover asked if I wanted to go out.
I said, "Give me a good reason."
He promised that he would and left. The next day, he reappeared with a single pink rose bud and handed it to me.
I said, "I prefer yellow, actually."
He vanished again. A few days later, when I was working again (because I wouldn't give him my home phone number), a bush of yellow roses staggered in the door, supported by a delivery guy. I was cheerful. And I agreed to go out with Lover for ice cream. Not dinner, mind you, because that would be too much of a commitment. And I wouldn't ride in his car, because if he turned out to be a homicidal maniac or a Pearl Jam fan, no way did I want to be in the car with him. So I followed him over to the ice cream shop.
We ended up spending two hours talking over melting ice cream. I regaled him with stories of hitting already dead raccoons with my Jetta (yes, my car had seen a lot of action). He made Betty Boop jokes. When we finally left, we were holding hands. I'll never forget what he said as we headed out to where our cars were parked: "When we're married, I'm driving."
We were engaged a month and a half later, and got married when I was 21. That was almost ten years ago. Now I always think back on that first marriage with a kind of . .
No, I'm totally kidding. We're still married.
Anyway. The GREAT LINGER GIVEAWAY. I have NINE advanced review copies to give away. I also have an advanced review copy of Brenna Yovanoff's excellent THE REPLACEMENT. Oh, oh, oh. And also, a matched set of Carrie Ryan's THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH and THE DEAD-TOSSED WAVES. And you say, wait, that's not enough. Of course it's not. So I am also giving away an advanced review copy of Jackson Pearce's SISTERS RED.
Are you frenzied? You should be frenzied. I'm frenzied. Of those prizes, TWO of the LINGER ARCs will be eligible for international entries. And ONE of the runner up prizes (t'will be a random selection). Everything else is US/ Canada only.
Winners will be chosen randomly from the entries. This is how you enter.
1) By posting the LINGER cover and description on your blog or facebook (must include link back to the blog and to pre-order to count). This will get you TWO entries for each place that you post it. That means if you post it on your Facebook and on your LJ and on your group writing blogger blog, that's six entries. You can cut and paste the html at the bottom of this post, because I'm nice that way. What counts as a blog? Your LJ, Blogger, Wordpress, etc. Open communities. What does NOT count? Blogs started just for the purpose of this contest. Don't make me be mean, okay? Try and stay in keeping with the spirit of the contest, because otherwise, the karma bear will come and bite you while you sleep.
2) By becoming a follower on our short story blog, Merry Sisters of Fate. You will have to click here and click on "Watch." That counts for another entry. It helps if you read some of the short stories, but that's not required.
3) By changing your Facebook or Twitter or Livejournal default profile pic to the LINGER cover, for the week. One entry for each of those changed (has to be up when I tally the votes).
4) By posting a link to the contest on your Twitter. (another entry!)
YOU MUST COMMENT BACK AT THIS POST WITH LINKS FOR YOUR ENTRY TO COUNT!
I think I've made it possible for nearly everybody to enter no matter what blogging platform or social networking thingy you use, but let me know if you want to enter but can't because of something I've forgotten. And there is some hope for international bloggers.
DEADLINE: This runs until next Sunday, February 21st, at 9 p.m. EST. Give me another hour after that to tally the entries and randomly pick an entry with my handy dandy Random Number Generators. Prizes will be mailed out at the end of the month. I'd ask the folks who receive LINGER ARCs to not review it with too much detail on their blogs until closer to the release date. :)
And without further ado, here is the html.
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/maggiestiefvater/4346151105/" title="Linger Cover Large by Telltale Crumbs, on Flickr"><img width="257" height="400" align="right" src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2769/4346151105_c6ced14c47.jpg" alt="Linger Cover Large" /></a><em>In Maggie Stiefvater's </em><strong><i>Shiver</i></strong><em>, Grace and Sam found each other. Now, in <strong><i>Linger</i></strong>, they must fight to be together. For Grace, this means defying her parents and keeping a very dangerous secret about her own well-being. For Sam, this means grappling with his werewolf past . . . and figuring out a way to survive into the future. Add into the mix a new wolf named Cole, whose own past has the potential to destroy the whole pack. And Isabelle, who already lost her brother to the wolves . . . and is nonetheless drawn to Cole.
At turns harrowing and euphoric, <strong><i>Linger</i></strong><i> </i>is a spellbinding love story that explores both sides of love -- the light and the dark, the warm and the cold -- in a way you will never forget.</em>
Comes out in stores everywhere July 20th. <strong>Pre-order </strong><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Linger-Maggie-Stiefvater/dp/0545123283/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1258569951&sr=1-1"><strong>here</strong></a><strong>. </strong>
Enter to win an advanced review copies of LINGER, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Sisters-Red-Jackson-Pearce/dp/0316068683/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1266164034&sr=1-1"><em>Sisters Red</em></a>, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Dead-Tossed-Waves-Forest-Hands-Teeth/dp/0385736843/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1266164052&sr=1-1"><em>The Dead-Tossed Waves</em></a>, and <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Replacement-Brenna-Yovanoff/dp/1595143378/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1266164072&sr=1-2"><em>The Replacement</em></a> on Maggie's <a href="http://m-stiefvater.livejournal.com">blog</a>.
And here is what displays when you post that in your html part of your blog:
In Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver, Grace and Sam found each other. Now, in Linger, they must fight to be together. For Grace, this means defying her parents and keeping a very dangerous secret about her own well-being. For Sam, this means grappling with his werewolf past . . . and figuring out a way to survive into the future. Add into the mix a new wolf named Cole, whose own past has the potential to destroy the whole pack. And Isabelle, who already lost her brother to the wolves . . . and is nonetheless drawn to Cole.
At turns harrowing and euphoric, Linger is a spellbinding love story that explores both sides of love -- the light and the dark, the warm and the cold -- in a way you will never forget.
Comes out in stores everywhere July 20th. Pre-order here.
Enter to win an advanced review copies of LINGER, Sisters Red, The Dead-Tossed Waves, and The Replacement on Maggie's blog.
Now -- happy contesting!!!