Monday, November 25, 2013

Special Thanksgiving Giveaway!

In lieu of my usual postings this week, I'm going to instead focus on one of the things I'm most thankful for--my best friend, and her newest book. In this time where we count our blessings, I have the pleasure of looking down at a newly-arrived paperback and feeling an immense burst of pride. Not quite what I feel when I look at my own newly-arrived books, but pretty close. Because it's by my best friend.

Any avid readers of my blog will have heard a lot about Stephanie Morrill over the years. I'm always quick to chat up her books, and to mention her in posts. The first book in her Ellie Sweet series was, at its publication, my absolute favorite of all her books--and that includes the unpublished ones I've gotten read as her critique partner, plus the ones out in the world. So when she said she was writing a sequel, I got pretty excited.

One of the biggest blessings of my year was getting to take a writing retreat with Stephanie. We locked ourselves in a cabin in my mountains for four days, emerging only for food, LOL, and just wrote. We both logged over 30,000 words in that weekend. And lots of laughter. We live a thousand miles apart, so face-to-face time is rare for us--usually only at writers conferences. Which means that though we deem ourselves unable to make a lot of simple decisions without the other's input, I have no idea what color shirts Stephanie wears most often. And she had never seen me in jeans before this March retreat. ;-)

During this retreat, I was writing Circle of Spies, and Stephanie was working on this much-anticipated sequel, The Unlikely Debut of Ellie Sweet. Now, as one of Ellie's biggest fans, I have to confess--she was making me nervous, LOL. The things she tossed out for brainstorming had me seriously worried that everything I loved about the first book was just gonna get trampled all over in this second one. There was one point when she asked, "What would you do if...?" and I replied with something like, "Well, this. BUT CHASE CAN'T DO THAT! Do you understand me?? Nooooo!" ;-)

Well, not surprisingly, Stephanie wrote the book how it needed to be written. And equally not surprisingly, she outdid herself. I fell in love with the wit and sass of Ellie Sweet, teen novelist, in The Revised Life of Ellie Sweet. But in this one, Stephanie managed what so few writers ever can. She took those things I most loved and made me question why I loved them. She took what I thought was the truth and made me dig deeper, to a truer truth. She took what I thought was an epiphany and made it pale in the light of the real epiphany Ellie has in this one. 

Stephanie, you're amazing. And one of my biggest blessings. When I count the things I'm thankful for, you're high up on that list.

And so, this Thanksgiving week, I want to offer a signed copy of The Unlikely Debut of Ellie Sweet to one lucky winner. I know it'll end up on your thankful-for list too! Here's the blurb--and don't miss my question of the week at the end before the giveaway. =)


For once, Ellie Sweet has it all together. Her hair now curls instead of fuzzes, she’s tamed the former bad-boy, Chase Cervantes (she has, right?), and her debut novel will hit shelves in less than a year. Even her ex-friends are leaving her alone. Well, except for Palmer Davis, but it can’t be helped that he works at her grandmother’s nursing home.

Life should feel perfect. And yet, it’s not that easy. Ellie’s editor loves her, but the rest of the publishing biz? Not so much. And they’re not shy about sharing their distrust over Ellie’s unlikely debut.

Ellie has always been able to escape reality in the pages of her novel, but with the stress of major edits and rocky relationships, her words dry up. In fiction, everything always comes together, but in real life, it seems to Ellie that hard work isn’t always enough, the people you love can’t always be trusted, and the dream-come-true of publishing her book could be the biggest mistake she’s made yet.
This giveaway will run through FRIDAY at MIDNIGHT--so don't miss out!
Now for my question, geared, as you might expect, toward thankfulness. What is the most unexpected thing for which you're grateful this year? That could mean either a blessing you didn't expect, or something you didn't expect to be able to see the blessing in.
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10 comments:

  1. Awesome! And I'm so totally jealous of that writer's retreat. One day . . . :-)

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  2. Oh my goodness, girl. This is so sweet. I'm glad you decided to keep your tar and feathers tucked away for now ;)

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    1. LOL. I'll save them until they're actually warranted. ;-)

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  3. Thanks for hosting the give away, Mrs. White! I guess one thing I am thankful for and didn't exactly expect to be was when we got chickens in the spring. Kind of random, but I didn't think I'd like them, but now I don't think they are to bad. :)

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  4. I'm having a bit of trouble coming up with something unexpected that I'm thankful for and all I can come up with is the fact that my sis and I were able to go see Thor: The Dark World on opening day-it's lame but it's what my brain thought off so... Thanks for the giveaway!

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    1. Hey, there is no lameness in gratitude! ;-) That sounds like a blast--Thor's awesome.

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  5. Hi Roseanna. Sounds like fun getting to meet a friend at a cabin in the mountains for a week. WOW! That would be a real treat. Wonder either of you got any writing done tho. An unexpected thing that happened this year that I am so thankfu for was when I took a two week trip out of town to visit a daughter, I came back to find another daughter and her husband had been using that two weeks to work on my house(trailer) doing things that had really needed to be fixed for some time. like lots of real soft spots in my floors throughout my home. I had boards laying on those spots and could have fallen. They did some repair on a cabinet that it needed and put a new doorknob on a door that had been broken for awhile. and cleaned my house. It was such a nice surprise when I came home to this. It was such a blessing
    to me. And, I thank them for such a wonderful blessing. I would love to win a book from this best friend of yours. Thanks. Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

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    1. That sounds like such a wonderful blessing, Maxie! I can just imagine what an awesome surprise that was.

      And we had lots of time for visiting too, especially during the long drive to and from the airport. But we are two very determined writers, LOL, both with small children, so we don't often get uninterrupted writing time like that. =)

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  6. Okay - I KNOW I will love this book. How can I not? Sounds FABulous!

    I have to say it's my opportunity to go to Blue Ridge. A couple friends paid MY ENTIRE WAY. How can it NOT be a blessing?

    Off to enter every way I possibly can! Thanks - and have a blessed Thanksgiving.

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  7. Ellie sounds like a girl I'd like...and would definitely enjoy reading! Your cabin getaway sounds awesome!

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