Category Archives: Contests

Q&A with bestselling author Miranda Dickinson — plus a giveaway!

TALAMN coverWhen it comes to “women’s fiction,” “chick lit,” or whatever you’d like to call it, there are some names that stand far above the rest: Kinsella. Giffin. Weiner. Dickinson. Today, I am truly ecstatic to be chatting with bestselling author Miranda Dickinson, author of titles like Fairytale of New York, It Started With a Kiss, and her latest, Take a Look at Me Now.

So grab some coffee, take a deep breath, and enjoy what she has to say. After the interview, leave a comment for a chance to win a signed copy of Take a Look at Me Now!

With five critically acclaimed novels to your name (including four Sunday Times bestsellers), it’s difficult focusing on just one! But what can you tell us about your latest creation, Take a Look at Me Now?

Miranda photoTake a Look at Me Now is the story of Nell, who turns her life around when she is unexpectedly hit by redundancy. Instead of being a victim of what’s happened and waiting to find another job, she blows her redundancy cheque on the trip of a lifetime to San Francisco, where her cousin Lizzie lives. Here in this positive city, she reconnects with a long-held dream and, inspired by the people she meets there, decides to change her life.

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What do think people will love most about this book? What do you love about it?

I think people will love the idea of not letting life’s downturns get you down. So many people are either facing redundancy or scared about losing their jobs at the moment, so I think Nell’s story is really relevant for the time we live in. I hope that readers will fall in love with San Francisco the way that I did when my husband Bob and I visited last year on our honeymoon. That’s what I love most about the book: I was writing Nell’s discovery of the city as Bob and I were experiencing it, so it’s my personal journal of a very special trip as much as it is Nell’s story. Lastly, my hope is that it inspires people that anything is possible – even if life turns out differently to our plans.

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Elizabeth Blackwell recreates Sleeping Beauty — plus a giveaway!

Elizabeth Blackwell - While Beauty Slept

When I came across Elizabeth Blackwell’s While Beauty Slept, I knew instantly that I had to get her over to Skipping Midnight! Described as The Brothers Grimm meets The Thirteenth Tale, it puts a mysterious new spin on the fairy tale we’ve all grown up with. 

After the interview, leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of While Beauty Slept.

Elizabeth BlackwellReimagining classic fairy tales has become almost as timeless as the original stories themselves. How did the idea for While Beauty Slept come about?

While Beauty Slept is not the official Disney version of the story, but the idea for the book came from watching Sleeping Beauty many, many times with my daughter. The movie has a very distinctive visual style, which I found out was based on medieval tapestries. I began to wonder, “What if this story really happened sometime in the past?” Once I figured out how certain events could be explained without magic, I started envisioning the larger world in which the fairy tale takes place. And I kept going from there!

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I imagine this required a bit more research than a modern love story. Can you talk a bit about your process?

Well, the honest answer is that I didn’t have to do too much research, because I purposefully set the book in an unidentified time and place. I wanted it to feel like medieval Europe and be true to that time period, but I didn’t want to get bogged down with specific kings or queens or battles. Any story set in a generic “fairy tale land” forces readers to use their imagination to some extent, and I wanted my readers to have that same experience.

That’s not to say I made up everything from scratch. I had to create rules for my made-up land, and decide how technically advanced that society would be, what the people ate, what they wore, etc. I’ve always loved historical fiction, and books like Pillars of the Earth, Ken Follett’s book about the building of a medieval cathedral, gave me a sense of what everyday life was like at that time. (See—reading books you love can count as research!)
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Weekend Reminder

Bestseller Giveaway

Stephanie Evanovich, author of Big Girl Panties and The Sweet Spot, is giving away two paperback copies of her bestselling novel through Tuesday. All you have to do is leave a comment. Plus, she’s a great interview, so it’s a win-win!

Link: http://bit.ly/1iJ4NNG

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Luck of the Irish & Jason Mott fans

Image courtesy of Grant Cochrane/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Grant Cochrane/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Irish or not, I’ve just drawn the names of five people who are extremely lucky for the day! Rather than using a boring old computer program, I got festive and cut out 19 scraps of green paper bearing the names of those who entered Jason Mott’s fantastic autographed book giveaway, and then drew them out of a hat. (No, I did not use a leprechaun hat, and I don’t own anything from Notre Dame, but I am making corned beef tonight, so my conscience is at ease.)

Thank you to everyone who entered, and congratulations to Bobbi, Whitney, Carrie, Andrea, and Lisa. Expect your autographed copies of THE RETURNED in a few weeks! In the meantime, I highly advise that everyone download The Returned‘s free prequels (The First, The Sparrow, and The Choice). You can finish all of them in an hour, and they’re a great introduction to the world Jason created.

Now, while I sit here and ponder what March 17 means for those of us who can’t tip one back, I’d like to leave you all with a list of The Celebrity Cafe’s top 10 green drinks for the holiday. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

 

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Where to find me this week — and Desperately Ever After’s first press!

Check out luxuryreading.com for a feature about Desperately Ever After and a giveaway.

And if you live in the NY/CT area, snag a copy of this week’s New Canaan Advertiser (on news stands through February 26). Reporter Aaron Marsh did a terrific job capturing the essence of Desperately Ever After–and proving men can like it too! My favorite line: “Kenyon’s colorful imagery and often quick, lighthearted style makes it easy to keep flipping pages.” To Marsh and everyone else, I say, flip away!

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February 15, 2014 · 12:05 PM

Interview and giveaway with Anna Lee Huber

Mortal_Arts_final_coverFellow author Heather Webb sent Anna Lee Huber my way, and I couldn’t be happier that she did. Anna is currently working on a five-book historical mystery series (Book 3 comes out July 1) set in 19th century Scotland and featuring one heck of a heroine. I am honored to have her here today, and to  let her tell you a bit more her  work.

After the interview, leave a comment for a chance to win a copy (a real live print one!) of Mortal Arts, Book 2 in the Lady Darby mystery series.

Anna_Lee_Huber_Headshot_11. Your series about Lady Kiera Darby series is truly unique in that it straddles so many genres—mystery, romance, historical fiction. How would you describe it for new readers?

The first book, The Anatomist’s Wife, begins sixteen months after the death of Lady Darby’s anatomist husband and the scandal that followed his passing—arguably the darkest period of her life. She has largely gone into hiding, too frightened and overwhelmed to face the world. But when a woman is murdered at her sister’s estate and Kiera instantly becomes the prime suspect, she’s forced to step out of the shadows and fight to prove her innocence. The novels follow her personal journey of healing, including her heart. I’ve had readers and reviewers describe the series as “CSI” meets Agatha Christie, or Jane Eyre meets Sherlock Holmes. Continue reading

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Happy Tuesday

Mortal_Arts_final_coverI had such a blast yesterday engaging with everyone on Twitter and giving away FIVE e-books!

Congratulations to the Big Release Celebration winners: Jessica Meddick, Melodie Bennett, Tawnya Bentley, Deejay Sakata, and Susan Terendy.

Stop by Skipping Midnight tomorrow for an interview with the fabulous Anna Lee Huber, as well as a giveaway of her second book, Mortal Arts. Truth: I didn’t know about the Lady Darby historical mystery series until an author friend hooked us up, but now I am dying to read it. Guess I need to plan a vacation so I can get some quality book time in…

In the meantime, my Goodreads author page is up and running, so please stop by and say hello.

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Contest winners!

I am still humbled by the action Skipping Midnight  received over the past two weeks, thanks to two fabulous authors and their generosity with their books. It was wonderful meeting so many readers and listening to your stories. I cannot thank you enough for being so involved, and hope you’ll keep coming back in 2014 for more giveaways, interviews, industry news, comic relief, and — coming very soon — the big “cover reveal” for DESPERATELY EVER AFTER. (We just finished it, and I’m absolutely thrilled!)

9780425261392_UndressingMr_CV.inddBut without further ado, allow me to announce the winners for the last two contests.

Receiving a copy of Karen Doornebos’ UNDRESSING MR. DARCY: Tawyna Bentley

the secret daughter ot tsarCozying up over the holidays with Jennifer Laam’s THE SECRET DAUGHTER OF THE TSAR: Denise Benson

Thanks again to Karen and Jennifer for volunteering their time to chat with me and interact with everyone who left a comment. It was a blast. Please come back any time 😉

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“52 Stories” and a GIVEAWAY!

9780425261392_UndressingMr_CV.indd

About a month ago, Melissa Amster, founder of Chick Lit Central, asked me to participate in an interview series inspired by Cecilia Ahern’s  One Hundred NamesDubbed “52 Stories,” the year-long series seeks to prove that everyone has a story to tell by asking thought-provoking questions such as “What part of your personality is now extinct?” and “What is an experience that is legendary for you?”

I had such a great time thinking about my answers, and cannot thank Melissa enough for seeking me out. My contribution went live on Wednesday. You can read it and the 48 previous interviews on Melissa’s other blog,  Merryland Girl.

And while we’re on the subject…

I am absolutely thrilled to be hosting author Karen Doornebos as part of Skipping Midnight’s author interview series next Wednesday. After devouring her debut novel, Definitely Not Mr. Darcy last year, I was delighted to find out that she was writing another Austen-themed novel following a brand new protagonist. This second Regency-meets-modernity romp, bearing the provocative title Undressing Mr. Darcy, hit the shelves on Tuesday and is already getting rave reviews.

As part of her whirlwind blog tour, Karen has also agreed to give a copy of Undressing Mr. Darcy to one lucky Skipping Midnight reader! Continue reading

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Let the games begin!

pitch wars graphic

Pitch Wars began roughly nine hours ago, and will continue until 11:59 p.m. EST today. For those of you participating, best of luck!

For those of you still fuzzy on the details, head on over to organizer Brenda Drake’s website for the latest.

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“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” ~ Robert Kennedy

“I am still encouraged to go on. I wouldn’t know where else to go.” ~ E.B. White

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