Monday, January 31, 2011

It's the Luck of the Draw, Baby

About a year ago, I did a Q-tea in which I raved about Sara J. Henry's Learning to Swim. Then, because I'm not completely heartless, I recommended a book you could actually get in the store at the time. And at no point did I say "Needer, needer, I'm one of those people who gets books early. Let us all bask in my insiderness."

A year has passed, which shocks and confuses me. And on February 22, Sara's book will be released. Here are some things people have said already:

"Emotional, intense, and engrossing, LEARNING TO SWIM is a terrific debut. The talented Sara J. Henry introduces a thoroughly modern heroine with an independent spirit and a tender heart. Readers will be cheering for Troy Chance as she deftly navigates the treacherous waters of betrayal and loss, and they'll be looking forward to seeing her again when the book is closed." -Lisa Unger, New York Times bestselling author of Fragile

... Fresh setting, well-realized characters, cleanly written, with a mysterious and suspenseful story - just what I was looking for." - Daniel Woodrell, award-winning author of The Death of Sweet Mister and Winter's Bone

Did you catch that? WINTER'S BONE! The man who wrote maybe one of the most interesting thrillers I've read in years thinks Sara's book is great. He's right.

And now, you get to be one of those people who reads a book before everyone else. For the first time, I'm having a book contest for someone else's book. I couldn't be starting off with better material.

Here's how it works. Leave a comment, something along the lines of "I believe my quality of life would improve by the addition of a taut little thriller." I will draw a number randomly from a hat, or possibly a cat. If I can figure out a way of doing this so that the cats or toast are involved, I'll film it and put up a link. Either way, the contest ends a week from today at 3pm PST.

Good luck.

UPDATE: Sara will autograph it for the winner!


Blogger thelittlefluffycat said...

I believe my life would be improved by the addition of a taut little thriller! That's why I preordered it. ;) That, and because after I read the sample chapter I was dripping sea water.

12:19 PM  
Blogger Sara J. Henry said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12:28 PM  
Blogger Thumper said...

My life, my mental health, my overall being AND the state of my bookshelves will be improved by the addition of a taut little thriller. Plus, if I win, I will suddenly have minty fresh breath and my acne will disappear. Truly.

12:30 PM  
Blogger ellie said...

"I believe my quality of life would improve by the addition of a taut little thriller."
If you and the winter bone guy love it...well, who I am to disagree? Thanks for the chance.

12:31 PM  
Blogger Emily Barton said...

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to improve my quality of life, because the addition of a taut little thriller -- especially signed by the author -- would most definitely improve it.

12:49 PM  
Blogger The Bug said...

I can't type the word "taut" without giggling like an adolescent schoolboy. I'll just say that thriller is my favorite genre so I have to have it!

12:56 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

"I believe my quality of life would improve by the addition of a taut little thriller, without having to first languish on the hold list at the library for aeons!" declares the chick who just made it to the top of the list for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo last month. Also the same chick who just picked up the copy of The Help she'd been waiting for (somewhat sorta-kinda) patiently on the library hold list. Also, incidentally, the same girl who wishes she had the money to go out and actually buy books instead of being forced to languish on the library hold list due to budgetary concerns. Which may not seem like the best argument to make, actually, considering I'm pleading my case to a published author about another soon-to-be-published author's work, but there it is.

Thanks for the chance to win!

1:12 PM  
Blogger wootini said...

Ooh my quality of life would definitely be improved by a taut little thriller. Slogging through a crappy winter over here in DC - an escape would be most welcome!

1:13 PM  
Blogger DB said...

I believe my quality of life would improve by the addition of a taut little thriller. Or, more accurately (and original), the last few thrillers I read were for crap and I need to have my faith in the genre restored.

1:22 PM  
Blogger Narya said...

Taut little thrillers and my bookshelves are like toast and butter (and maybe would some orange marmalade be so terrible?). Well, after I read it, anyway; until I've actually read it, taut little thrillers and my eyeballs are like toast and butter.

2:09 PM  
Blogger Dawn in NL said...

I love thrillers and I like getting to know new authors, so this sounds like it is right up my alley.
Dawn in NL

2:13 PM  
Blogger Emily said...

I believe my quality of READING would improve if I read a good thriller, because I don't usually read thrillers--because they are mostly crap! So please give me something that will change my mind and open me to a new genre!

2:25 PM  
Blogger Amy Sue Nathan said...

I believe my quality of life would improve by the addition of a taut little thriller. It would improve even more if I was lucky enough to win said taut little thriller. Win or lose, I'll be reading the book.

2:33 PM  
Anonymous Loretta said...

Without a doubt the quality of my life would definitely improve by reading Sara Henry's taut thriller because she is a very talented writer and I'm hoping some of her talent will rub off on me.

2:40 PM  
Anonymous Beth Harbison said...

The less time I spend in my own head, the better quality life gains for not only myself but for all with whom I come in contact. Giving me the prize would be downright altruistic of you.

4:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

believe my quality of life would improve by the addition of a taut little thriller. It would improve even more if I was lucky enough to win said taut little thriller. Win or lose, I'll be reading the book.


5:34 PM  
Blogger OHN said...

I am the lone female living my life in a house full of testosterone. Even the animals are male.
Escaping into a good book, well, it HAS to be what Heaven is like.
(In case you aren't sure who I am, I am the one jumping up and down yelling "pick me! pick me!")

5:36 PM  
Blogger kelbutt said...

I would happily feed toast to my cats while reading that particular taut little thriller, and the quality of my life, as fine as it is, would, in fact, be improved. Although, now that I think of it, I might just see if the cats are interested in some toast just for the heck of it.

7:01 PM  
Blogger Ivy said...

My mental state would probably be improved...@ least I could hope it would be. I find I'm in one of those transitions readers (or @ least myself) go through when they shift from one genre to another and this book sounds truly excellent.
Thanks for the opportunity!

7:31 PM  
Anonymous MitzyBitsySpider said...

I belive the quality of my life would be vastly improved by the addition of a taut, little thriller. As a freshman comp teacher I definitely need to something good to read. Plus, it's my birthday in February!

7:58 PM  
Blogger Angela said...

The book sounds terrific.

My husband had one of our cats pick a contest winner. It went like this:

8:15 PM  
Blogger Judy said...

My dog wrote a full length novel on my living/dining room carpet over the weekend. I refused to read it. I have issues with reading things that stink.

I read "The Help" this month and a whole bunch of Dr. Seuss. All good. But I need something new to read in February.

Or else it's "Farmer Boy".

9:23 PM  
Blogger stash haus said...

I'm still up working at 1:00 a.m. (when I need to be up in 5 hours), I just cleaned up cat vomit from the dining room rug, and there is a blizzard due by this time tomorrow night.

Anything would be an improvement, at this point.

And I need some great reading while snowed in.

11:30 PM  
Anonymous Kim Tomsic said...

I've read LEARNING TO SWIM and loved it (so I'm not entering, just commenting). I've posted a link on my blog to your blog to let follwers know about the contest. Happy reading to the winner :-)

6:58 AM  
Blogger pattinase (abbott) said...

Since Daniel Woodrell is my second favorite writer, I know the quality of my life would greatly improve with this addition to my library. Thanks!

7:37 AM  
Blogger mkosboth said...

Well we never doubted you have good taste and common sense.

7:40 AM  
Blogger A.S. King said...

Do not enter me in this contest because I am one of the lucky few who already have a copy of this AWESOME book.

I just dropped in to say YOU WANT TO READ THIS BOOK.

That's all.

7:49 AM  
Anonymous Jody said...

Taut Thrillers 'R Us. Plus, who doesn't like to win stuff? Although, I do sympathize with Heather. The library hold list can test the patience of [insert name of most patient person you know here].

9:16 AM  
Blogger Kristen said...

I believe my quality of life would improve by the addition of a taut little thriller.

And if it's as good as the other book you recommended (Henrietta Lacks) I'm already salivating!

11:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I believe my quality of life would improve by the addition of a taut little thriller because...." my book club LOVED "Notes from the Underwire" and I know they would be thrilled to get a suggestion not only from you, one of their favorite authors, but from me, who has the good sense of a marble when it comes to choosing books and finds good suggestions priceless.

11:57 AM  
Anonymous Bridget said...

"I believe my quality of life would improve by the addition of a taut little thriller."
I love taut litte thrillers. Any thrillers, actually. I have heard good things about this one. Please pick me.

3:14 PM  
Blogger Shirley said...

Are you taking international entries? I was going to write "I believe my quality of life would improve by the addition of a taut little thriller" in Finnish for you for a change of pace but it looked wrong on Google translate and I didn't know how to correct it.

3:51 PM  
Blogger v.luyster said...

Everyone's life is improved by a great read, but if it's a taut little thriller all the better! I very much enjoy your site and I can't wait to read this new book you are talking up.

4:54 PM  
Blogger Claire said...

I would love to win this book. I'll have to lock it into my car trunk until May (taking a class) but it will keep until then.

6:12 PM  
Anonymous Melodee said...

Pick me! Pick me! That sounds like just the book I need to break my inadvertent stress-induced reading fast. Pick me!

9:03 PM  
Blogger Yvonne said...

I live in Minnesota. It's cold. It's dark. It's snowing...again... I need a good book to get me thru to the spring thaw!

10:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would love to win a copy of this book. If I do, it's my next choice for my book club, so you'll get some more copies sold!


1:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am "tautly thrilled" at the idea and as I am recovering from spine surgery, I would love a break from the "housewives" the "matchmakers" and all the "House" marathons.

5:06 PM  
Blogger Suzanne said...

As a graduate student, I am constantly exploring heavy topics to earn good grades. It would be good for my cognitive processes to read a thriller, so my brain can be engaged in something that makes me think that is NOT a white paper.

7:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My quality of life would improve because I very seldom read thrillers anymore and I need something to turn that trend around! Just think of the life altering circumstances! The rocking of my bookshelves! Please...please...let it be me who is altered forever! LOL!

5:35 AM  
Anonymous ReelQuinn said...

You don't have to pick me, because I'll happily buy my own copy. I really just wanted to say congratulations again. This is so exciting. I CAN'T WAIT to read this! Well done!
~Quinn xxoo

5:39 AM  
Blogger aj said...

My life would be improved by a taut little thriller. My cats would be happy to have another book on which to sit while their person is trying to read. The toast would not care. If someone else wins, I will eventually feel well enough to get to a bookstore and order it. Thank you. (However, if by chance contact is needed, use yahoo instead of gmail - account never checked, just for blog.)

8:06 AM  
Blogger Wendy said...

I love books. And I rarely get to read new books. Would love to win! Thanks!

12:58 PM  
Blogger Kathleen A. Ryan said...

I would love to win Sara's awesome debut novel, LEARNING TO SWIM. I am looking forward to her appearance at PARTNERS in CRIME bookshop in NYC on 2/23.

5:36 PM  
Blogger Sara J. Henry said...

I want to say a huge THANKS not just to Quinn for running this contest and her lovely words of support, but to all of you for entering this contest - and to my bloggy and in-person friends for cheering me on. (And want to point out that just because the brilliant Daniel Woodrell liked my book, well, er, I'm no Daniel Woodrell. Although no one is.) And if any of you can make it to NYC for my book launch February 23 at Partners & Crime - or to another event - yes, that would rock (I will bring homemade ginger snaps that are to die for).

5:40 AM  
Blogger Scarlet said...

I've never had a taut little thriller but I once had a taut 22-year old and he was really thrilling. Definately improved the quality of my life.

2:17 PM  
Blogger Joy said...

Oooh, my quality of life would DEFINITELY be improved by having a good book in my hands! I love thrillers!

9:17 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I believe my quality of life would improve by the addition of a taut little thriller. And I would love to win a copy - thank you!

11:02 AM  
Anonymous Amy D. said...

You don't need to pick me - I just pre-ordered it from Amazon.... And, ordered Winter's Bone... Frankly, and Ironically, we just watched Goodbye Girl, and curious, looked up what happened to the young actress.... and lo and behold, I found an animal lover (blog on the neighbor who wanted to breed the dog she'd found), and recommendations for books! I KNOW my quality of life will improve by the addition of a taut little thriller, because I have been craving something to be recommended other than vampire series written for teenagers! (please tell me there are no vampires!)... Thanks for the recommendation(s). Thanks!

6:00 PM  
Blogger Epiphenita said...

A fresh book, just ripe for the picking. I'm in.

5:56 PM  

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