The Coolest Giveaway I’ve Ever Masterminded

This very copy of Blood MoneyIf you’ve “Liked” me on Facebook, you probably already know all about this giveaway. Heck, you might have even egged me on and told me to do it. Yay for you!

If not, here’s the deal: I’m offering a pretty cool contest for a two-part prize. If you win, you get

  1. Your very own signed copy of Blood Money (maybe even the one I’m holding up in the picture above!) AND…
  2. A cameo in my next book. I’m almost done writing the book, which means I want to find this cameo winner pronto so I can add him or her in.

Now, you might be wondering what’s so cool about a cameo. Surely it’ll just be a tiny mention of your name somewhere, right?

Wrong. When I say cameo, what I mean is that you’ll actually be in the book. Characters will interact with you and you’ll have something to do with the plot. I’ll tailor the role you play in the story to your real world interests.

Pretty cool, right?!

So now you’re (hopefully) pretty excited and wondering how to enter. Marvelous! Here’s what I’m looking for:

I want to spread the word about my new book, and the best way to do that is through word of mouth. If you want to enter this contest, tell as many people as you can about the book.

For example, if you’re on Twitter, tweet about my book using the hashtag #bloodmoneycontest. Or you can mention me in the post (@parsingnonsense)

For another example, if you’re a blogger, you can write a post about how you’re blog friends with this crazy writer chick and you’re hoping she’ll put you in her next book. Then, link to my current book somewhere. Bam.

If you tell your friends, recommend it to your mailman, write a post on Facebook about how your childhood friend Erika used to run around the schoolyard pretending to be a horse (true story) and now she’s an author and hey, here’s her book, those all count too.

Now, obviously I can’t verify whether you actually told your mailman, but if you leave a comment here and tell me you did, I’ll believe you. I’ll tally up the entries and assign points and random numbers and then pick the winner using a random number generator.

I’ll give you a week to enter, which means I’ll be picking a winner next Monday, April 1.

In case you’re still curious about how to enter, here are some guidelines:

  • Make a video of you being goofy in some way (pigtails, costumes, etc.) talking about how you want to read my new book. Post it online. That one’s gotta be worth at least two entries right there. Three if you make me laugh.
  • Tweet (hashtag #bloodmoneycontest), blog, post something on my Facebook wall (worth one point or maybe two or three depending on how much effort you put into it).
  • Add my book to your Goodreads or Shelfari list (worth one point).
  • Recommend my book to your friends, family, and coworkers whenever they ask for book recommendations (worth one point for each recommendation).
  • Ask you local library system to order copies of my book (surprisingly easy to do. Even still this one’s worth three points).
  • Buy a copy of my book in either format and gift it to someone you think will enjoy it (three point entry).
  • Upvote this on Reddit. It’s on the books sub-reddit (courtesy of Rockstar107!).

Phew! Every time you enter, no matter how you enter, leave a comment on this post telling me what you did. It’ll make my life easier.

I can assure you, the cameo I write for you will be cool, so get after it! Tell the world to buy my book and maybe, just maybe, you will find your way into fiction thriller immortality.

Shiny Apple

A couple months ago, it was time for Wes and I to get new phones. I’d always been wary of Apple products, thinking they were gateway products to sleek, expensive lifestyle I wasn’t sure I wanted.

Then we got iPhones. And I downloaded an app that lets me blog from my phone. It’s pretty awesome.

It’s the beginning of the end, isn’t it?

Giveaway on Goodreads This Week!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Blood Money by Erika Mitchell

Blood Money

by Erika Mitchell

Giveaway ends March 25, 2013.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

I’m doing a giveaway over at Goodreads this week. All you have to do to win one of five signed copies of Blood Money is click over to their site. Easy peasy.

There’s an excellent chance that if you win and I recognize your name from the blog or Facebook or wherever, I’ll write you a really nice note to go with your signed book.

Good luck!

Stroke of Glee

When I was little, my Dad’s mother (I called her Noni) was in the local newspaper. She used to bake and build the most wondrous gingerbread houses and then donate them to fire stations. The fire stations raffled them off to raise money, and year after year it was quite a thing.

When the article ran, we clipped it out and taped it to our fridge. I remember being so impressed that my grandmother was in the newspaper. It felt important. Meaningful.

I still have that article in one of my photo albums. My grandmother is proudly holding up her gingerbread house, a wide smile on her face. She’s wearing a dress and has her hair and makeup done. She looks beautiful.

As much as the world had changed since 1991 when the article came out, it’s still a pretty cool thing to be in the newspaper. I’ve always thought that would be amazing, to do something newsworthy.

Early last week, I got to realize part of my dream: I was interviewed for an article in my hometown newspaper. The reporter was friendly and thorough, and since then she’s contacted various colleagues and friends for the article.

I have no idea if, or when, the article will run, but I will say that getting interviewed for an article is every bit as fun as I’d always thought it would be. If the article runs, I’ll definitely clip it out and save it in my photo album. With any luck, my kids will see it someday and think it’s cool. Even if they don’t, I assure you I will think it’s cool.

I’ll probably jump up and down, squealing and flailing and laughing because gosh dang it, it feels really cool to do something you’ve always dreamed of doing.

One of these days my gleeful exuberance is going to give me a stroke. Until then, feel free to ignore the excited blathering coming from the Seattle area. It’s just me, waving a newspaper over my head while my kids look on in perplexed amusement.

Our Collective Parent Secret

I was driving my minivan down the street the other day, Nirvana turned up just loud enough, mumbled lyrics tumbling out my mouth, when I saw another mom in the parking lot singing away in her minivan. It got me thinking about something occurred to me the other day:

I don’t really feel a whole lot older than I did just a decade ago when I was a senior in high school working my butt off at a custom framing store and dating a guy way too old for me (hi, Wes!).

There’s a point to this, I promise. Hang in there.

You see, I always looked at the parents of my friends when I was in high school and assumed they were all grown-uppy and stuff. That they liked black coffee and NPR and smooth jazz, that they were as removed from their young selves as I was from my notion of adulthood at the time.

The older I get, however, and the more I find myself sneaking away on solo errands so I can listen to my not-kid-appropriate music as loud as I want to, the more I suspect that the other parents around me are maybe not the untouchable bastions of maturity I think they are.

I’m beginning to wonder whether the other moms I hang out with in my kids’ classes still listen to Nirvana and sometimes catch themselves laughing at the idea that they actually drive minivans now.

I don’t know. I mean, of course I’m not the same girl I was ten years ago. Thank goodness I’ve had a whole lot of living and therapy since then, but on the inside I’m still a lot like that person. I still laugh way too loud, I still think it’s hilarious when people fall down, and I still find it difficult to reconcile the idea that all the parents of my youth may have been young people in hiding just as I feel I may be now.

If this post has any point at all, let it be this: When you pass someone tootling around town in a minivan, see if you can figure out which young person is hiding behind that responsible exterior. Shoot, if you happen to be that person behind the wheel of some responsible family sedan, figure it out for yourself.

Our kids will never believe the young people we once were are still there, but who cares. If we have to play drunken Twister with our spouses after the kids go to bed and then listen to NPR during waking hours so their little heads don’t explode, that’s cool. It’ll be our collective parent secret, okay?