Summer Wrap-Up: Readers Coffeehouse Giveaway

This past week I was able to participate in the big Readers Coffeehouse Great Big Book Giveaway. If you’re not familiar with Readers Coffeehouse, you can check out all their fabulous reader and reading posts on their Facebook page. With over 13,000 members and founded by a powerhouse group of authors (including Laura Drake, Kimberly Belle, and Catherine Ryan Hyde), it’s a meeting place online for anyone who loves books, loves talking about books, and loves to talk to other people about the books they’re loving right now (sounds like a perfect fit for the likes of you and me, right?)!

When I found out the Readers Coffeehouse was offering authors a chance to participate in their annual Giveaway, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to interact with so many passionate readers. All the instructions offered to authors mentioned the importance of turning OFF your Facebook notifications for the day, as the response to the Giveaway is so strong that you’d be driven crazy by the constant pinging of likes and comments flooding in. Even with this reminder, though, I wasn’t prepared for the overwhelming (and awesome!) response offered by Readers Coffeehouse members to the Giveaways posted by myself and many other authors.

I decided to offer two giveaways: One for my first novel (A Flash of Red), and a second for my upcoming thriller out in November with Bloodhound Books (It Was Always You). For both, I received several hundred comments and likes, which was just incredible. Seeing them stream in over the day was such an affirming experience. Anyone who writes knows that it can often be a lonely and defeating slog, so having a day where I was able to interact with hundreds of readers who were excited about my novels was an absolute joy. Readers Coffeehouse is truly a special group of book lovers!

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After contacting the winners (chosen randomly) at the end of the day, I prepped my packages to send out to the lucky five readers. For my debut thriller, A Flash of Red, I’ve included a signed copy of the novel, a bookmark, and a personalized note for each winner. Is there anything more fun than getting book mail ready to send?

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I’m off to the post office to send them on their merry ways, heading out to Minnesota, Pennsylvania, New York, and North Carolina (even South Africa for one excited winner). I want to give a big thank you to Readers Coffeehouse for this opportunity to connect with readers–what a treat it has been!

I’ll definitely see you next year for the Big Book Giveaway…until then, Happy Reading!

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Have you read this book? You should. Like, now.

I met Daniel Lowe this past Fall at Littsburgh’s Passages and Prose event , and we had such a lovely time chatting about writing, teaching undergraduate students, and our families. And, as often happens when authors attend literary events, we took home a signed copy of each other’s books. I had the best intentions of reading his debut novel, All That’s Left to Tell, because I loved the premise (think Scheherazade for the 21st Century) and because I so enjoyed talking with Daniel about his craft.

           “Every night, Marc Laurent, an American taken hostage in Pakistan, is bound and blindfolded. And every night, a woman he knows only as Josephine visits his cell. At first, her questions are mercenary: is there anyone back home who will pay the ransom? But when Marc can offer no name, she asks him a question about his daughter that is even more terrifying than his captivity. And so begins a strange yet increasingly comforting ritual, in which Josephine and Marc tell each other stories. As these stories build upon one another, a father and daughter start to find their way toward understanding each other again.”

Then, of course, the typical happened. His novel found a spot in my To-Be-Read Pile, where it sat and sat for months. Because there are just so many good books to read out there, and also because I trend in my reading towards books similar to the novels I write (i.e., thrillers, suspense, and mystery) rather than literary fiction.

Until finally–finally!–I picked it up and cracked it open (after re-reading Daniel’s very kind and warm inscription he’d written inside) and began to read.

Left to Tell

Once I started, dear readers, I couldn’t stop.

It is like no book I have ever read before.

All That’s Left to Tell is an exquisite, viscerally human story that we all know–a father and daughter estranged, a family ripped apart with loss–told in a way that makes it searingly relevant to us once again.

Go read this book. Now. You won’t regret it.

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Our Panel at Passages and Prose: Myself, the fabulous Wendy Walker, and Daniel Lowe.