Congratulations, James Barton! You are the winner of the Covet gift basket. Please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I need to verify where you shared the widget, and I also need your postal mailing address. If I don’t hear from you in 24 hours I’ll pick another winner.
I am beside myself with excitement because it’s Covet’s book birthday. It seems like I’ve been waiting forever to write this post (and it probably feels like that to some of you, too). I plan to celebrate the release of this book in all kinds of wonderful ways, and I would be thrilled if you would join me.
Periodically, over the last two years, people have asked me, “Was it hard to write your first book?” I tell them that, yes, it was definitely work, but also a labor of love. But do you know what’s even harder than writing your first book? Writing your second (I’m not counting Uncharted here because even though it was the second title I released, I actually wrote it after I wrote Covet).
When you write your first book you really don’t know what you’re in for. But when it’s time to write another book, you know. You know that you’ll be mentally tired. You know that you’ll probably spend days in your writing chair, with only the bare minimum of attention paid to grooming (hello, yoga pants and ponytail!). You know all about the frustration, self-doubt, and neuroses that go along with creating a brand new world, with all new characters.
It’s even harder when your first book reaches more people than you ever dreamed it would. And believe me when I say that if I just wrote about Anna and T.J. for the rest of my writing career, there would probably be some very happy readers. But Covet is a story that I really wanted to tell. The setting – a suburban neighborhood – is something I know a lot about. I’d already written a romance novel and now it was time to try my hand at women’s fiction since these are the two genres I love the most.
My inspiration for Covet came from a real-life event. In the fall of 2008 my husband was in danger of being laid off. He was a valued employee and had been with his company for over fifteen years, but the recession was bearing down on everyone and none of that mattered. I was a stay-at-home-mom at the time, so the threat of losing our only source of income weighed heavily on my husband and me. Fortunately, David did not lose his job, but there were many couples who weren’t so lucky. Most of my books start out as a series of questions, and Covet was no different. I wondered, “What if my husband had lost his job? What effect would that have had on an otherwise strong marriage? What are the different ways in which men and women deal with marital stress? What if someone else was there for you when your spouse wasn’t?” And the final question, “Can men and women ever be just friends?” The answers to those questions became the basis for Covet’s storyline. I just had to know what the outcome would be for this fictional couple that I’d decided to write about. My hope is that you’ll relate to this story. You may see yourself, or your neighbor, or your best friend within the pages.
So, where can you get a copy of the book? Penguin US has provided a nifty little widget that makes it super easy to purchase Covet. You can find it HERE (simply click on the highlighted link). Once you open the widget you can click on the buy link of your choice (then simply choose your preferred format).
Today is also the publication of the UK version of Covet (e-book only – the trade paperback publication date is April 2014). Here are the purchase links for Penguin UK:
And because no launch day would be complete without a giveaway, let me tell you what’s up for grabs! First, anyone can win a special signed bookplate (more info below), and one lucky winner will receive this gift basket. It’s filled with all kinds of cool things, many of which are mentioned in the book.
In this basket you will find: signed copies of On the Island and Covet (personalized with the winner’s name), gift cards to Panera ($25), Starbucks ($15), Barnes & Noble ($50), and Amazon ($50), a Covet keychain, a DVD of Eat, Pray, Love and Up In The Air, a jar of roasted pineapple and habanero dip (you can make crack dip!), a corkcicle (which is the greatest invention ever), and a bottle of Sarah Jessica Parker’s Covet perfume. The only thing you don’t get is the actual basket, because I don’t even want to think about trying to fit the handle of that thing inside a box. But you get everything else.
All of my prior giveaways have been international, but this giveaway is open to US and Canada only. Right now, Covet is only available in the US, UK, and Canada. However, it’s only available as an e-book in the UK because the trade paperback will not be released there until April 2014. I promise to celebrate the launch of the UK trade paperback by having a UK-only giveaway at that time. As for other countries, my foreign rights agent will be hard at work to make sure that Covet becomes available all over the world.
So, how do you enter? (The giveaway is at the bottom of this post).
Share the widget on Facebook by posting it on your wall. You can earn extra entries if you also share the widget on Twitter, follow me on Twitter, and “like” my Facebook author page. To be eligible to win I do need to be able to trace back to the widget, so in the comments section of my blog please let me know where you shared it (you’ll earn another entry just by leaving a blog comment).
Once again, HERE is the link to the widget. Click on it to open, and then copy and paste the link to share.
If you prefer paper books over electronic versions, I also have a special gift for you. These are bookplates I had made at Bookplate Ink for the hardcover edition of Covet. Aren’t they cool?
I’ll sign my name right below the cover image. Then you’ll simply peel off the backing and place the bookplate on the inside cover of your book (or wherever you’d like to put it).
If you bought the hardcover, please take a picture of yourself holding the book and e-mail it to me at email@example.com (please include your mailing address). I will send you a signed bookplate and also post your picture on my Facebook author page. Smile pretty!
I want to offer my heartfelt gratitude to all of you. I have been blessed with the best readers an author could ever hope for. Your enthusiasm and support never fails to amaze me, and none of this would be possible without you.
Thank you for everything.