Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A Sweet Giveaway and Even Sweeter Writing Advice

Before I talk about the giveaway, I want to send out a HUGE thank you to Suzette and Bethany at Shooting Stars . I won their first-five critique and these ladies are PHENOMENAL!! They have incredible insight, and knew what things I could cut and even a good place for me to move my hook... such awesomeness. Truly ladies, thank you. I am taking all of your advice and suggestions to heart. As promised, to my super-sweet followers, here is some of what I learned:

  • Leave introspection for later. Keep your characters right in the moment for that opening; there'll be time for internal tug-of-war in future chapters.
  • There's no room for error. These first five pages are all you've got as far as an agent's concerned, so don't "tell" or use easy descriptors, not even once! Give your reader no reason to stop reading!
  • Don't be afraid to put that hook on page one. If you've got a great idea, don't count on agents-- or readers-- to read five pages to find it!
I can't thank Bethany and Suzette enough :) I'll use their advice throughout my whole manuscript, and count myself very lucky to have two talented, savvy authors offer me so much encouragement, support, and even friendship.

Okay-okay, I should have broken this up into different posts, but I don't have time right now to think logically. Dinner is supposed to be being eaten and other life-is-happening stuff. Before the giveaway though, one more quick thing... having my picture up is SO WEIRD!! Especially when I comment on someone's blog. I keep looking for the fairy and thinking, "Didn't I comment on this blog? Did my comment get deleted? OHHHHH that's riiiiiight!"

And now, (FINALLY!), I'm so excited to have reached 100+ followers, it's time to celebrate with

The Coaster's 
Sweetest Followers Ever 
Super Sweet

There are two super sweet categories and prizes (it's a theme, peeps. Both books are "sweet" YA; aka innocent and fun!):

Category 1: Keepin' it Real-

For those who love books set in the real world, How to Take the Ex Out of Ex-Boyfriend is funny, cute, and of course, very sweet.

Category 2: Fairy Tale Fantasy-

For those who love books set in magical worlds, The Faerie Path is a precious adventure, complete with a sweet fairy princess.

Check out synopses and book reviews for each of the books in an earlier post, HERE .

(Sorry, giveaway is only open to U.S. residents, due to shipping costs).

Here's how to enter:

Comment on THIS post with your desired category (only one category per person, please!). Easy! That's one entry. :)

**Ding ding ding ding ding!** 
¡¡¡Bonus entries!!!

+2 You were already a follower before today
+1 You became a follower today or thereafter
+1 Extra points for sweetness! Share something sweet in your comment! Your favorite dessert? The sweetest story you've ever read? A sweet poem? (Maximum 2 sweetness bonus points)
+++++1 Pimpage points! For each way you pimp this Super Sweet Giveaway (Twitter, blog mention, sidebar, Facebook... let me know in the comments! No limit to pimpage! Pimp away!!!!)

Giveaway ends Friday, February 5th at 11:59pm... spread the word! And thanks for being the sweetest followers ever!!


  1. I am doing all of the above...except becoming a follower cuz I can't do it again. Unless...I guess I could start an alter-ego and have HER become a follower,! FB, blog, twitter. Hmmm...something sweet. I love Venti White Chocolate Mochas, but as of late I have been hopelessly low on cash, so I found a sweet syrup to put in my coffee at home. Mmmm...homemade lattes. And I'm that two! Oh, and I want The Faerie Path. I love Janette Rallison, but I'm a fantasy girl. Always have been.

  2. Ooh! Count me in for the keepin it real category. I was already a follower, and I tweeted about your contest. Let's see, something sweet. Cupcakes! Cuz really, who doesn't love cupcakes? And also, something else sweet, I'm also having a book give away because I reached 100 followers, so check it out:

  3. Suzette mentioned how great she thought your writing is - does that count as sweet. Congrats again on the win and so glad they could give you such good advice and for sharing it with us.
    My favorite dessert is blueberry cheesecake. Love it!
    Of course I'm a follower and I will be tweeting your contest. So that's +6 points for me I think.

  4. Does that mean +7 pts. now. Or do I lose points for not following instructions the first time. How about if I say another sweet thing like you're super awesome. Does that make up for it?

  5. Ooh, count me in!!! Of course, already a follower. And sign me up for The Faerie Path;)

    Sweet things...I adore chocolate covered pretzels. In fact, I made some Monday night and they're all gone now! And my youngest daughter just learned how to blow kisses at me. So sugary sweet!

    I'll blog about the contest on my next post and I'll tweet it for ya, too! So that gives me 6 points.

  6. You are such a sweetie Diana! And your pic is adorable! Congrats on the 100+ followers!

    Let's see... I think one of my favoritest sweets has got to be my husband's pumpkin cheesecake OMG it's the best thing in the world, it rivals the Cheesecake Factory! It's yummy goodness only comes once a year - Thanksgiving, but I tell ya, it's worth the wait.

    Oh the category, hmmm - I like, How to take the ex out of ex-boyfriend. I need a change from the paranormal, so why not ;o)

    I'll tweet ya girl! I think that's what 5-6? It's late, I might be wrong... LOL

    So glad you got some great advice from Bethany and Suzette, and thanks for sharing :o)

  7. Yay! I am definitely interested in the first one.

    Here's my sweet story: my four year old niece sent me a message on facebook. She had her baby-sitter (a family friend) type it for her.

    It said, "Amber, you are the best and I love you. Thank you for letting me be in your wedding. How is your dog doing? How is your car doing? I am four and I am going to be five."

    Well, that made my day! :)

  8. Fairy Tale Fantasy for me! I'm already a follower, and my favorite dessert is choclate cake. Congrats on your critique pages and your 100 followers!

  9. Count me in for the Keepin it Real category!

    Previous follower, favorite desert is Linda's Chocolate Fudge Cake from the Cheesecake Factory (it's like, 9 layers of cake and fudge! 1300 calories a slice!!!! WOW), and I will post a link on my sidebar.
    +4 for me

  10. Yay! I'm super-excited about this super-sweet contest. Count me in for the fantasy, please. You know I'm a loyal follower, and I think your new blog look and picture are too sweet for words. My favorite sweet treat is the toffee from See's Candies (which I never get because there is no See's near me). I'll post a link on my sidebar and mention it in a post.
    +6 total so far

  11. Count me in for Keepin it Real

    I'm a previous follower. And my husband makes the best pies ever. Most people like his pumkin (always made from real pumpins not canned mush) but I'm a bigger fan of the strawberry rubarb. For our wedding we didn't have a cake, my husband just baked 30 pies. Yum, yum.

    +3 total

  12. I know you've received it before but I've awarded you again.

  13. I've given up on give aways, BUT, I did like that info you posted about your critique. Good info and I hope you can really apply it. I know I will try to!

  14. Fairy tale fantasies! I became a follower of you rblog, I love toffee and I tweeted @fireicephotos :)

  15. Fairy Tale Fantasy!!

    +1 i became a follower today

    +1 Extra points for sweetness! Share something sweet in your comment! Your favorite dessert? The sweetest story you've ever read? A sweet poem? (Maximum 2 sweetness bonus points)

    +++++1 Pimpage points! For each way you pimp this Super Sweet Giveaway (Twitter, blog mention, sidebar, Facebook... let me know in the comments! No limit to pimpage! Pimp away!!!!)

    i have 6 total entries!

  16. Fairy Tale Fantasy, please! The Fairie Path sounds gorgeous.

    +1 I became a follower.
    +1 Sweetness: My favorite dessert is Blue Bell dutch chocolate ice cream. Soooo creamy and amazing!
    +1 Sweetness: Daddy Long Legs. I think it's a sweet (and surprising) love story between an orphan and her benefactor.
    +1 Twitter:
    +1 Blog post:
    +1 Sidebar:

    whatinabox at gmail dot com

    TOTAL = 7 entries


  17. Diana, you are sweet!!! That is my sweet point... you. You're like a ray of sunshine. I'm a loyal follower, too. And if I win, I'd love the fairy book. Sigh. Fantasy is what I grew up on. It is what I started writing at the beginning of my (dare I say) career. And I'll post on Facebook and try to work it into my blog! Whew!

  18. Keepin' it real.

    Something sweet: DIANA PAZ!

    Already a follower, blogged and tweeted.

    I'll blog about it again this week, just because I love ya. ;)

  19. Hi! Bethany sent me over. I like to keep it real and now I'm a new follower. And my favorite sweet treat is Wintogreen Lifesavers. Cheers!

    Please feel free to enter my giveaway too:

  20. Hi Diana! Great contest and congrats on getting 100 followers :) I like the Fairy Tale Fantasy category!

    Something sweet: chocolate mousse cake with Cool Whip and strawberries. Or chocolate covered gummy bears. (So hungry now haha)

  21. I agree that Suzy and Bethany are like angels. (At first I typed that ANGLES - LOL!) Congrats on all the followers. :)

  22. Fairy Tale Fantasy!

    Something sweet: Heath bar and warm baby cheeks

  23. I'm in. How to take the Ex Out...

    Oh, and, chocolate bread pudding, apple pie, pumpkin cheesecake, gingersnaps...chocolate chip oatmeal cookies, devil's food cake with ganache for frosting. Can you tell? I'm hoping extra sweetness will count!

  24. I'm in. It's the faerie path for me!
    +1 follower
    +1 sweetness: Sonnet 116 by Shakespeare and I Corinthians 13:4-7

  25. I'm in!!! Ex out of exboyfriend sounds fun!
    +2 Because I've been loving you a long time
    +1 Sweetness points because I own a t-shirt that says "Rock Hard Body Alert!" (flashy fic remember)
    +1 Sweetness points because I own a Team Derek and Team Rowan shirt +1 Pimpage points - Blog post
    +1 Pimpage points - sidebar love

    Total Love Points - like a million ;)

  26. Hi! So I just found you, so I'm a newbie follower! I'm going for Cat. 2. And my favorite sweetness is chocolate brownies, lemon meringue pie, chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter cups... you name it. I'm there! Great blog!

  27. Thanks for entering the giveaway!! Your SUPER sweet entries made me hungry lol!! Winners posted later today!