Tag Archives: Contest

Summer Romance Giveaway: 11 Books to One Winner

CONTEST NOW CLOSED  ****  WINNER IS KATHY OSBORN ******

THANKS FOR PLAYING ALONG!

Q: What’s more fun to read in the summer than a romance novel?

A: How about ELEVEN romance novels?

Yes, I’m giving away 11 Kindle ebooks (one for every week) to one lucky winner. I’ve picked a wide variety, including a sweet romantic suspense, a few heartwarming options, and some very spicy books, too. All of these authors do a really nice job, so I’m convinced that, even with varied tastes, you will like at least a few of them. Maybe I’ll even introduce you to your next favorite author!

That begs the question–which books!?  Here you go:

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Marina Adair’s CHASING I DO

Tamra Baumann’s IT HAD TO BE FATE

Miranda Liaisson’s THIS LOVING FEELING

Shelly Alexander’s IT’S IN HIS SMILE

Gail Chianese’s FIANCE FOR KEEPS

Regina Kyle’s TRIPLE SCORE

Jamie Pope’s LOVE AND A LATTE

Erika Kelly’s TAKE ME HOME TONIGHT

Katy Lee’s BLINDSIDED

Megan Ryder’s GOING ALL THE WAY

Jamie K. Schmidt’s LIFE’S A BEACH

Some of these will be pre-orders (they release in July), but they should show up on your Kindle on their respective release days.

For a chance to win all 11 books, make sure you’re signed up for my newsletter and then leave a comment below telling me what you love most about romance novels! I’ll choose a winner on Monday, June 20th.

PS  I FORGOT TO ADD A COZY MYSTERY TO THE MIX, SO I’M GOING TO THROW IN A SADIE HARTWELL BOOK, TOO! THAT MAKES A DOZEN BOOKS. YES, 12!!

Good luck!

XO – Jamie

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Awards–What Do They Mean?

Yesterday was a monumental day in the world of romance authors, for some more than others. The Romance Writers of America announced the finalists is its annual RITA (published authors) and Golden Heart (unpublished authors) contests.

Alas, my books did not make the cut. But in all honestly, I had no expectation that they would. Thousands of books are judged by an equal number of readers, and the scores are largely subjective. To final, a book must not only be of a certain quality, but must also fall into the hands of three judges who love it. Ever read a book a friend highly recommended only to think to yourself, “meh?” Yeah. That happens, as proven by the fact that some of my favorite stories and authors from last year did not make the cut.

Authors’ reactions to losing can range from anger, cynicism, and defeat, to mild disappointment and a commitment to do better next year. Apparently, this disparity in response is universal in any artistic industry in which awards are distributed (music, television, film). In fact, I’ve pulled a bunch of quotes by famous people about awards. What shocked me is to see that Tom Cruise had the most balanced opinion (or, at least, the one that most mirrors my own).

At one end of the spectrum, you have these:

Of course awards matter. Frank Ocean

It’s very validating when you are new in the industry to get awards. It boosts your self-esteem. Sheena Easton

I’ve won many awards and I want more. If you want to call it hunger then I’m hungry for awards. Shah Rukh Khan

At the other end, you hear this:

Awards are meaningless to me, and I have nothing but disdain for anyone who actively campaigns to get one. Bill Murray

Awards are so unnecessary because I think we get so much out of our work just by doing it. The work is a reward in itself. Natalie Portman

Do awards change careers? Well, I haven’t heard of many stories where that’s the case. It’s a fun excuse to meet colleagues and celebrate people who’ve done well that year in certain people’s eyes, and it’s nothing more than that. Benedict Cumberbatch

And then there is the Tom Cruise opinion, which is how I feel (except for the part about having won many, since I’ve yet to win any, LOL!)

Awards are wonderful. I’ve been nominated many times and I’ve won many awards. But my journey is not towards that. If it happens it will be a blast. If it doesn’t, it’s still been a blast. Tom Cruise

While Ms. Portman makes an excellent point, it seems a tad bit disingenuous. Yes, awards are not necessary, but they are fun. And I imagine it feels amazing to win (like Ms. Easton reports). However, I’d also guess that Mr. Cumberbatch is not wrong when he says it doesn’t necessarily change careers. For some it might, but there are certainly prior RITA winners whose names I’ve never heard before.

Basically, today I’m feeling proud of my friends who’ve been nominated and will cheer them on in July. Sure, I have a little envy for the thrill they must’ve experienced when getting the call, yet I am not depressed or jaded or bitter, because I know their accomplishments do not diminish my own.

I’ve released four books in my first fourteen months in the business. That feels amazing. I receive lovely emails from readers who’ve been touched by some of my work. Honestly, nothing could mean more than that to me. And I’m constantly making new friends in the industry, which has been such a gift for this stay-at-home mother of two.

Yes, next year I will ship off my work and cross my fingers, hoping I might get a turn in the spotlight. That nagging voice of self-doubt that says I’m an imposter might finally quiet down if I ever win a big award. But most importantly, I look forward to continuing to engage with my readers. They, after all, are the real prize to be treasured.

XO-Jamie

Holiday Giveaway!

UPDATE:  CONTEST NOW CLOSED.  It’s 5:06 PM on Sunday…and the winner is Jenny Marks!!  Thanks to all for playing, and for the great suggestions.  I’m excited to get started on this new “to be read” list.

 

What does one do when she wakes up to a foggy December morning with a case of the blahs?  Decide to play Santa, that’s what! images

It’s been quite some time since I’ve offered a giveaway on the blog, so let’s fire one up for the holidays.  How about a $30 gift card from Amazon, Kindle, or iTunes (winner’s choice)?

I think this contest should involve some give and take, and what I’d like from you is a good book recommendation.   When it comes to romances reads, it’s all about the heroes to me.  Personally, I’m a sucker for somewhat troubled heroes who have a lot to overcome.  I also like the introverts and heroes with a clever sense of humor.  I’m not so enthralled with the popular billionaire alpha-males dominating the contemporary romance scene these days.  Guess it’s no wonder I tend to prefer historical romance.

Given my peculiar taste, my all-time favorite heroes (off the top of my head) are Jamie Fraser (Outlander/Diana Gabaldon), Winter Makepeace (Thief of Shadows/Elizabeth Hoyt), and Viscount St. Vincent (Devil in Winter/Lisa Kleypas).  If forced to look at contemporary heroes, I’d probably pick Hardy Cates (Blue Eyed Devil/Lisa Kleypas) or Oliver Rain (Wildest Hearts, Jayne Ann Krentz), and in the paranormal realm, I loved vampire Prince Trehan Daciano (Shadow’s Claim/Kresley Cole).  Each of these guys had a unique sense of honor (despite mistakes made) and abiding love for their respective heroines.

Now that I’ve shared my list, I’d like to meet some new heroes!  So, to enter the contest, leave the name of a good book and/or romance hero in the comment section.  I don’t care if the book is fifteen years old…it may still be “new to me.”  Also, while I prefer historical romance, I read just about everything (including non-romance) so don’t be shy to introduce me to something unexpected.

I’ll close the contest at 5 p.m. on Sunday, December 8th.  Once the winner is selected, I’ll announce it here and on my Facebook page.  The winner can contact me privately with his or her mailing address (or email address).

Thanks for playing!  Can’t wait to add to my “to be read” pile! xo-Jamie

Giftcard Giveaway…Buy More Books!

CONTEST CLOSED!

WINNER:  Christie

My Favorite Reply:  Rene, with the combo of weekly gossip magazines as her answer…LOL!

Thanks for playing!

 

Up for grabs:  A $15 gift card (Amazon or Kindle, winner’s choice), which should get you one or two new books to read! kindle-gcs_image._V396430719_

I thought about offering a book recommendation in this post, but then decided to list the ten most recent romance books I’ve read (April/May) along with my Goodreads ratings.  I wish Goodreads offered the ability to post half-star ratings.  I often find I want to give a book 3.5 stars, but can’t.  So, when I approach a rating, here is what I’m thinking:

5 Stars:  LOVED it.  Will remember it for a long time and probably re-read it.

4 Stars:  Really enjoyed the writing, enjoyed the read (read it very quickly), would recommend it to a friend.  In this group, there may be plot issues I noticed, but the writing or characters were engaging enough that I didn’t mind.

3 Stars:  Liked certain elements and felt it was worth the time and money, but wouldn’t necessarily recommend it to a friend.  Usually this means there were plot or character issues that jumped out/overshadowed the better elements of the writing (of course, this is only in my opinion…doesn’t make me right!).

2 Stars:  Just don’t get it (either disliked a character, writing voice, or some other element of the story).  If I give two stars, I try to write a short review so people can determine whether they agree/have similar taste or might like what I hate about it.

1 Star:  I’ve never given 1 star.  I don’t finish a book if it is this bad, but Goodreads doesn’t offer a DNF option.

With that all in mind, here’s my list (starting with the most recent):

It Had To Be You, by Jill Shalvis                   4 stars

The Temporary Wife, by Jeannie Moon     3 stars

A Study In Seduction, by Nina Rowan        4 stars

It Must Be Love, by Rachel Gibson              4 stars*

Bride by Mistake, by Anne Gracie               4 stars

Too Dangerous to Desire, by Cara Elliot     4 stars

The Best Man, by Kristan Higgins               4 stars

Lady Be Good, by Susan Elizabeth Phillips 4 stars*

Animal Attraction, by Jill Shalvis                  3 stars

The Devil in Disguise, by Stephanie Sloane 4 stars

* Looking back at this list, I probably have to admit that I’m a huge Rachel Gibson and Susan Elizabeth Phillips fan, and the ratings of those two books may be a bit inflated by my bias for their strong writing voices.  Both have a sense of humor I appreciate, and create very vivid characters (whom you may love or hate).  If it had been available, I might’ve given these two books 3.5 stars (but then again, that lower rating might only be relative to a few of their books that blew my socks off).  If you look over my Goodreads library on that site, you’ll find 5 star books I adored from both authors.

Also, if you are unfamiliar with Kristan Higgins or Jill Shalvis, both are very popular writers who write small town stories with a big cast of quirky characters.  I’ve read some reviewer complaints about their tendency to go over-the-top with character traits or plot contrivances, but I find their writing to be fun, engaging, and perfect for traveling or a rainy day.  If you like somewhat gruff heroes, then you will like Luke (from It Had To Be You) and Levi (from The Best Man).  If you don’t like those types of heroes, then take a pass, but check out some of their other (MANY) books.

Now for the CONTEST RULES:

Please reply to this post (here on the blog, not via email or Facebook) naming the favorite book you’ve read during the past six months (mine was You Before Me, by Jojo Moynes).  To leave a reply, click on the “Leave a Reply” link at the top of this post.  If someone has already left a reply, the link will then say “# Replies.” I’ll close the contest at 5 PM on Friday, June 7th, and the contest widget will select the winner from the replies.  I will hold off on responding to anyone’s posted reply so that my name doesn’t not get ‘counted’ by the widget, but I’ll be reading them and looking into the books you recommend.

Replying will not sign you up as a subscriber, or result in being spammed, so go ahead and try to win!

Good luck!

xo-Jamie

iTunes Giveaway Contest: All-Time Favorite Songs

4/30  UPDATE:  CONTEST WINNER!   Shelley7 just won the gift card.  Thanks to all for playing!!

 

Instead of posting a single song and talking about its lyrics and melody, I thought I’d pick my top ten favorite songs of all-time for this contest blog post.68502_363500590428123_1983913506_n

HA—I’d assigned myself an impossible task!  I think my husband and I have close to 6,000 songs in our iTunes library, and I’m very fond of at least half of them!  Some of my favorite performers and bands did not even make this expanded list.  I had to cut it off somewhere.  Anyway, I’ve decided to classify the songs into categories to explain why I picked them.

So here goes (song title first, artist second):

About Life:

Fragile           Sting
100 Years      Five For Fighting
Watershed     Indigo Girls

About Sadness After Goodbye:

Photographs & Memories    Jim Croce
Gravity                                   Sarah Bareilles
Breakeven                             The Script
Always On Your Side           Sheryl Crow
You & I Both                         Jason Mraz

About Starting Over:

A Thousand Beautiful Things   Annie Lennox
Fix You                                        Coldplay

About Saying Goodbye:

Nothing Lasts Forever          Maroon 5

About Being In Love:

The Luckiest          Ben Folds
Falling In                Lifehouse
Feels Like Home   Edwina Hayes
Amazing                  One Eskimo

About Unhealthy Relationship:

This Is How You Remind Me  Nickleback

About A Crush:

Goodnight & Go         Imogean Heap
Possession                  Sarah McLaughlan
Fascination                Everything But The Girl
Closer                          Ne-Yo
Let It Be Me               Ray LeMontagne* (this might really be more about love)

About/For Celebration:

Club Can’t Even Handle Me     Flo Rida
Beautiful Day                              U2

Dance/Blare in Car:

SexyBack        Justin Timberlake

From Parent To Child:

Lulluby           Billy Joel

Instrumental:

Anything George Winston or Ennio Morricone
How’d I do?  Anyone share any of my favorites?  For those of you who know me well, you know my favorites will have a lot to do with the lyrics (in most categories, anyway).  If you are unfamiliar with any of these songs, I’d highly recommend sampling them.

Okay, now for the part you really care about…THE CONTEST!

RULES:

To enter the drawing for the iTunes card giveaway, please leave a reply to this post  (see “Leave a Reply” at top of post) telling me two of your favorite songs.  YOU MUST REPLY ON THIS BLOG (not via email if you are a subscriber, and not on FB), otherwise the contest widget can’t pick up your name when it is making its random selection.

The contest will remain open until 5 p.m. Tuesday, April 30th, and I will post the winner on the blog and arrange to send them the gift card.

Good luck.  Can’t wait to hear what you have to share!

xo- Jamie