A belated anniversary and a giveaway!

This time a year ago, I spent the days swinging from elation to terror. The Brevity of Roses had just been published, and my talent, or any lack of it, was on display to the whole world. One moment I felt proud of myself, and the next I was aghast at my audacity. To be honest, a year later, I still have my swinging days.

One difference is that, now, I’m better at separating the Author from myself, though maybe not in the way you might think. I’m the one that writes, but that person with her name on the front cover—the Author? Well, I try not to think about her much. She’s useless at the keyboard. I let her check the sales stats and reviews.

This separation has made me feel I’m waking from a long sleep. I’m excited about writing again. I have two books in the works—a short story collection and a novel. My Muse speaks to me regularly.

And to celebrate Brevity’s one year anniversary, I’m giving away a signed print copy!

To those of you who know nothing about The Brevity of Roses, you can click the cover photo to read more about it. Here’s the bit from the back cover:

Told in gorgeous, poetic tones, The Brevity of Roses will take you on a journey delving into three unique characters as delicate and beautiful as a rose itself. Lewis’ rich understanding of relationships is phenomenal.” – Michelle Davidson Argyle, author of Monarch

Grief, discovery, anguish, pleasure, rejection, acceptance, atonement, forgiveness—the rhythmic odes of marriage, friendship, family. A fine debut novel that reaches deep into a poet’s beating heart, lays it open, vulnerable to the bitter betrayals, and the joyful loyalties, of this thing we call Love.” – Kathryn Magendie, author of the Graces Sagas, Sweetie and Petey, publishing editor of Rose & Thorn.

Jalal Vaziri has looks, money, women—and a habit of running from reality. When he abandons New York and reinvents himself as a poet in a California beach house, he thinks he’s running from a father who hates him, a career mistake, and endless partying. A fresh start is all he needs. After an intriguing woman enters his life, he believes all his dreams are coming true, but too soon, that dream dissolves into nightmare. Jalal flees again. Only this time, a woman blocks his retreat and challenges him to finally face the truth about what he’s trying to outrun.

The usual rules apply.  You can have up to five chances to win! Leave a comment below to enter your name once in the drawing. If your email address is not linked in your avatar, be sure to add it in your comment. If you Tweet, Facebook, or Google+ a link to this post, your name will be entered again for each mention.  LIKE my Facebook page (click the link in the sidebar) and your name will be entered yet again. (You’ll have to let me know you’re eligible for these other entries.)

The contest will close at 8pm PST on Sunday, April 22nd. The winner will be chosen by Random.org and announced in Monday’s blog post. Sorry, but because of prohibitive shipping costs, this contest is open to U.S. and Canadian residents only.

Let the contest begin!

Have you entered the Invisibility Cloak Contest?

Let’s shake up the mid-season blahs with a contest! Do you recognize this book cover? Unfortunately not a lot of people do. If you’re a new author, particularly a non-genre fiction writer not backed by a publicity department, it’s hard to get your target readers to notice your book. Maybe you didn’t realize that. Today, I’m asking you to help make The Brevity of Roses more visible.

Let’s shake up the mid-season blahs with a contest! Do you recognize this book cover? Unfortunately not a lot of people do. If you’re a new author, particularly a non-genre fiction writer not backed by a publicity department, it’s hard to get your target readers to notice your book. Maybe you didn’t realize that. Today, I’m asking you to help make The Brevity of Roses more visible.

(If you want to know more about the book or read the first two chapters free, just click the cover image, one of the red title links, or the tab at the top of the page.)

You probably reach more people online than you realize. Certainly, you each connect to people I don’t know. Some of those people would love reading my novel—if only they knew it existed. I want to tell them. How can you help, you ask? Promote my contest.

I’m giving someone a chance to read The Brevity of Roses absolutely FREE by giving away an autographed print copy! I need your help to get the word out about my giveaway. First, you may enter the contest yourself. Then, do your best to get as many other people as possible to enter. You can do that by announcing the giveaway on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Tumblr, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon, or anywhere else you can.

How do you enter? It’s simple. Just leave a comment on this post. Want to increase your chances? Get one extra entry for each place you mention this contest, but you’ll have to let me know where I can see your comment, tweet, status update, etc. and give you credit. For instance, if you leave a comment here, Tweet about the contest three times during its run, mention it on your blog once, and post a link in your Facebook status once, that’s SIX contest entries for you.

The contest will run for 10 days. Random.org will select the winner at 7am PST on Wednesday, January 26,2012. Good luck to all!

C’mon, help me lift this cloak of invisibility off The Brevity of Roses!

A conference, a contest, and a cry

If you’re looking for a good conference to attend this summer, might I suggest the Nebraska Summer Writers Conference? The Nebraska Summer Writers Conference joins the Prairie Schooner literary journal and the American Life in Poetry series as part of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln creative writing program. The Conference’s registration is open to the public, and includes creative writing workshops and panel discussions.

The weeklong session runs from June 12th-17th and the weekend session is June 11th and 12th. If you sign up now, you can get in on the discount offered on the Poetry and Novel Master Classes.

Remember that I have a contest running. On May 19th, I’m giving away a softcover version of my novel The Brevity of Roses on Goodreads. You can’t win if you don’t enter!

Not that anyone cares, but I cried with James Durbin last night. In case you’re not an American Idol fan, James was a contestant on the show. James pegged himself at the beginning as just a heavy-metal screamer, but somewhere along the line, he revealed he could truly sing with tender emotion. I started rooting for him to make the final three. Alas, he didn’t. I’m sure his career will do fine without an Idol win, but I’ll miss his performances.

Comment, if you care to, otherwise run along and have a good weekend.

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I’m running my own danged contest!

This contest is now closed. The winner will be chosen by Random.org.

Surprise, surprise, I’m not asking you to promote my book again. You don’t even have to read another of my Q & A sessions. Today, I’m offering each of you something—a chance to win a free critique. However, if you’ll all give a little something to each other, then everyone will win.

I’ve never done anything like this on my blog, so let’s hope it works well. If you want to participate, all you have to do is post your “logline” in the comments section. The term originated for movie scripts. Here’s one for a movie you’ll probably recognize:

A boxer with a loser mentality is offered a chance by the world champ to fight for the title but, with the help of his lover, must learn to see himself as a winner before he can step into the ring.

My definition of logline is a brilliant summary of your book or short story in approximately 50 words. Not easy, I know. Another term for this is an elevator pitch meaning what you might say to catch the interest of an agent or editor if you found yourself in an elevator with one. It’s what you want to have on the tip of your tongue when someone asks, “What’s your book, or story, about?”

I invite you to astound us all with your pitch in the comments section. If you’d like, leave comments on each other’s entries. Does the pitch interest you? If not, can you offer any suggestions for improvement?

The prize for one lucky contestant is a critique of either the first chapter of your novel or one short story of 7,500 words or less.

Ready, set, pitch!

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You, too, can be a winner!

Two contests have ended, but you until midnight (PST) today to enter the third to win a copy of The Brevity of Roses. The link is right over there –>

I’d like to congratulate the winners of the first two contests: Christi Craig and Darlene Foster. Enjoy the read, ladies.

Stick around, there will be more giveaways, including a chance to win a critique from me. I’m giving you a heads up on that one. To enter the contest, I’ll ask you to post a comment on my blog—but that’s not all. In your comment, I’ll ask you to share your “logline.” More details later.

 

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