Win the book I’m still raving about: ‘How To Love An American Man’

Back in the dark ages — okay, April
I read a book that completely blew me away: Kristine Gasbarre’s How To Love An American Man.

I’ve done some thinking about why the book resonated so completely with me, and the conclusion I’ve reached is thus: Krissy is a real person who wrote a real story about her real relationships with her family, especially her grandparents, and it was such a refreshing change to read about a woman close to my age grappling with the same issues as me: searching for and keeping love; maintaining closeness as a family; growing up and moving on, but still wanting to stay close to those who have come to define you.

I was so moved by How To Love An American Man that I immediately emailed Krissy to tell her, in no uncertain terms, that I wanted to be her best friend. I’ve been known to write gushy fangirl letters from time to time, and this one was no different — and color me thrilled when Krissy wrote back. It’s rare that you meet you someone so talented and kind — and so deserving of success. We met in New York City during this year’s Book Blogger Convention and I adored her as much in person as I had through both her memoir and letters.

Basically, she inspires me — and her book inspires me. So I want to share it with all of you. I will buy one copy of How To Love An American Man for a winner randomly chosen from comments on this post, and all you have to do is tell me this: What memory of your grandparents will you never forget? (If you don’t have grandparent recollections to share, no worries; feel free to leave another family memory.)

UPDATE: Krissy has graciously offered to send her book to two winners, so I’m extending the giveaway to 12 p.m. EST on Tuesday, Sept. 6. I’ll randomly choose two winners from the comments on this post and email them.

UPDATE on Sept. 6: Congratulations to Mona and Laura Kay, our randomly-selected winners! Ladies, I’ll be emailing you shortly for your addresses.

Literary Giveaway Blog Hop: Lynne Griffin’s ‘Sea Escape’

When I read Lynne Griffin’s Sea Escape last summer, I was profoundly moved by this story of mothers, daughters, fathers, sons — family, really, in all its vast and complicated forms.

Griffin’s language drew me into the seaside setting where Laura Martinez looks in on her aging mother, Helen, a woman still “cloaked in the past,” I wrote, and dwelling on the life she once shared with Joseph, her enigmatic but aloof husband. Sea Escape is a moving novel that fluctuates between the past and present, and we’re told the story of Helen and Joseph’s courtship through a series of letters — notes jotted between lovers that Laura never saw until she reached adulthood.

Though not always a cheery tale, Griffin’s Sea Escape was still an enchanting family drama — one I thoroughly enjoyed. And now I’m happy to share it with one of you!

As part of the Literary Giveaway Blog Hop, up for grabs for one reader in the U.S. only (sorry, international friends!) is a new copy of Sea Escape, just released in paperback this month.

To enter, simply fill out this form before 12 p.m. (noon) EST on Wednesday, June 29. Winner will be chosen at random via and emailed for their mailing address. The information you submit via this form is confidential and will be seen by my eyes only.

UPDATE: Congrats to Sarah (sarahthehobbit), the winner of Sea Escape! Thanks to all for entering and visiting, and hope you had fun with the Literary Giveaway Blog Hop.

Win Libba Bray’s ‘Beauty Queens’

If you’re looking for a laugh-out-loud, hilarious and action-packed young adult read this summer, you’ll want to peer a little closer at this post — because Libba Bray delivers. Her new novel Beauty Queens, a satirical look at a beauty contest that begins with a plane crash, is too witty and fun not to be discussed.

With vivid characters, a unique premise and a shameless skewering of American pop culture and politics, it’s an intelligent and compulsively readable book that I’ll be sharing often this summer — including with all of you! A little more about the novel:

The fifty contestants in the Miss Teen Dream Pageant thought this was going to be a fun trip to the beach, where they could parade in their state-appropriate costumes and complete in front of the cameras. But sadly, their airplane had another idea, crashing on a desert island and leaving the survivors stranded with little food, little water, and practically no eye liner.

What’s a beauty queen to do? Continue to practice for the talent portion of the program — or wrestle snakes to the ground? Get a perfect tan — or learn to run wild? And what should happen when the sexy pirates show up?

Welcome to the heart of non-exfoliated darkness. Your tour guide? None other than Libba Bray, the hilarious, sensational, Printz Award-winning author of A Great and Terrible Beauty and Going Bovine. The result is a novel that will make you laugh, make you think, and make you never see beauty the same way again.

Two copies of Beauty Queens are kindly being shared by the publisher; just fill out this form for entry. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only from Thursday, June 23 to Tuesday, June 28, when I will randomly choose and email two winners. Comments on this post are welcomed, but will not count as entry.

NEW: Congrats to Erin of Erin Reads and Allison M., lucky winners of Beauty Queens! Ladies, I’ve emailed you for your addresses.

A giveway for a milestone week

It’s been a big week here at write meg! In addition to getting a makeover (complete with new layout, header and color scheme — but not sense of humor), my post on food drives was featured on‘s Freshly Pressed on Dec. 2-3. Welcome to everyone who clicked through that way, and to new subscribers! (And old ones. “Make new friends, but keep the old . . .”)

And, you know, I also happened to read 200,000 visits on Dec. 2. No big deal.

I promised I’d be doing something special in honor of that milestone, and I’m a woman of my word. We’re wrapping up the reading year and, to date, I’ve read 80 books. I’ll be doing a huge wrap-up post in coming weeks but already have my top choice for favorite read of the year. There was some fierce competition, yes, but one book stands out above all others for me: Aidan Donnelley Rowley’s Life After Yes.

This novel — Rowley’s debut — hit me like no other novel in 2010. It’s one of those books that found me at just the right time in my life, and it was like an arrow to the heart.

I won’t say much more about it now — a post is in the works. But you can read a summary and my full review from June right here.

And in honor of write meg!’s milestone week, I’d love to give a new copy to you! It’s a book with universal appeal that had me laughing, crying and seriously thinking about life. It’s not to be missed. And I don’t want you to miss it.

One copy of Life After Yes is up for grabs internationally to anywhere The Book Depository ships! See the list of countries and make sure yours is on it, then head over to this form to enter.

Comments on this post are welcomed and appreciated, but will not count as entries. One additional entry each may be earned by sharing a link to the contest via Twitter, Facebook, a blog post, etc.

The giveaway will run until 12 p.m. EST on Friday, Dec. 10, and the winner will be selected via and emailed by yours truly. I’ll share the results here and on Twitter, too.

Thank you to everyone who has visited, commented, emailed and/or passed along my link — this week and every week prior. I’m honored and proud of the space I’ve carved out for myself here, and can’t wait to share 2011 with all of you.

Update on Dec. 11: Congratulations to Jessica, my randomly-selected winner! Jess, I’ve emailed you.

Giveaway Pack: Katie Finn’s TOP 8 and WHAT’S YOUR ST@TUS?

It’s giveaway time once more! Courtesy of Point, I have one set of author Katie Finn’s young adult novels to award one lucky winner from the U.S.

About 2008’s Top 8, which has made its way into my overflowing to-be-read stack:

Madison MacDonald is seriously freaking out.

Madison MacDonald
Putnam, CT
Status: Single?

About Me:
Everything in my life was working out. I had my three best friends, a brand-new boyfriend, and the lead in the school play. Aside from that history paper I hadn’t started, things felt perfect. Then I returned from spring break to find my Friendverse profile hacked. Someone clearly out to ruin me had spilled the most damaging secrets — AND posted the worst photos of me ever taken — online. Now my boyfriend and I are broken up, half the school hates me, and I’m in deep trouble.

Get my boyfriend back, figure out who could have done this, and clear my name!
Also, pass history.

And if that isn’t enough, a copy of its newly-released sequel, What’s Your St@tus?, is also up for grabs in the same pack:

Madison MacDonald thinks things are finally working out!

Followers: 300

Status Updates:

mad_mac Nate and I have been together for two months, and it’s wonderful! Life is good!

mad_mac Well, except for the fact that I still might be failing history.

mad_mac And I no longer have a BFF.

mad_mac But aside from those things!

mad_mac Okay. So, um, apparently I’ve just been put in charge of the school’s priceless heirloom.

mad_mac And the assistant headmaster has a vendetta against me.

mad_mac And it seems I’m being blackmailed.

mad_mac Gathering together a crew. I’m going to try and pull off a heist. Without getting caught. Or expelled. Or arrested.

mad_mac Also, I think I may have just accidentally wrecked my relationship. . . .

Madison MacDonald is trying not to panic.

Even though I’m no longer so concerned about BFFs (or am I?), the series sounds light, fun and entertaining. Lord knows I spend enough time online to relate to the exploits of an avid Facebooker/Twitterer.

Ready to read with me — or know someone who would enjoy the series? Click the form link below (and here), enter the relevant information — and submit! Contest is open to U.S. residents only (sorry!) from Monday, Aug. 16 to Friday, Aug. 20 at 12 p.m. (noon). Comments are closed as they will not be accepted as a form of entry. Winner will be notified by email and posted here on write meg! no later than Aug. 21. Good luck!

Enter contest by submitting form here!

Author Katie Finn lives and writes in Los Angeles. Friend her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter @katiefinnwrites and visit her online at You can check out chapter 2 of What’s Your St@tus? here, too.

The ‘It’s My Birthday, But You Get The Book’ Giveaway

So, friends, great news: I’m turning 25 on July 18. It’s sure to be a day filled with laughter, photo-taking, cupcakes — and me sobbing about how I’m now a quarter-century old, and the same age my parents were when I was born.

Existential crisis, party of one?

But here’s a little bright spot for you: I’m feeling all glowy and affectionate right now, awash in the love of family, friends and good ol’ Spence. And since I’ll be getting gifts to commemorate the shiny anniversary of my birth, why shouldn’t you?

So, if you win, I’m going to buy you a book. Any one book you like, up to $25 (’cause I’ll be 25! Get it?), to be sent anywhere in the world that The Book Depository can reach. So I guess it’s international, but do me a favor and double-check to make sure you’re within their shipping perimeters? (Thank you!)

The contest is open now by filling out this form. If you share a link to the contest through Facebook or Twitter, you’ll gain one extra entry for each link provided — just make a note of that on the form. And if you’re on Twitter, please @writemeg me with your links.

I’ll accept them through 12 p.m. EST on July 17, then randomly select a winner (using That lucky lady (or gentleman!) will be emailed on July 18, just in time to throw the confetti with me!

Fill out this form to enter!

GIVEAWAY: Gayle Forman’s IF I STAY

if_i_stayA new giveaway — just in time for the holidays! I have one hardcover copy of Gayle Forman’s If I Stay a very moving young adult novel — up for grabs.

You’ve probably heard rumblings about this book all over the blogosphere — and right here on write meg!, too. I reviewed the book in November and have thought about it many times since.

If I Stay is the story of 17-year-old Mia, the lone survivor of a car crash that claimed the lives of her family one snowy day in Oregon. As she moves in and out of consciousness following the accident, she realizes she’s caught in between two worlds — and that she has a choice. Does she leave this world to rejoin her family, giving up every dream and hope her parents helped her develop, or does she return to a life without them?

If it sounds powerful, that’s because it is. And now you can read it too!

Want to enter?

Just leave a comment on this post, and make sure I have your email address.

+1 Get one additional entry for Tweeting about the contest [ Sample tweet: Win a copy of IF I STAY from @writemeg right here: ] or posting about it on a blog, Facebook, etc. Just include a link in your original comment OR leave me a separate one — whichever works best for you. I’m not picky.

The contest runs through 12 p.m. (noon) on Wednesday, Dec. 23. I will select one person by chance through and will email the winner to let them know! Your book will be in the mail after the holidays. (Lord knows I won’t be there on Christmas Eve — sorry!)

Contest is open to U.S. residents only, please.

Update: Our randomly selected winner is cindyloves77!

Congrats, Cindy! I’ve emailed her to let her know the good news. Thanks to all who entered!