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Monday, October 26, 2009

CONTEST: Post-Birthday Blowout!

Hi there!  Welcome back to another week here at Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.  For those of you that participated in the readathon on Saturday, CONGRATULATIONS!  I wish I could have joined you, but know I was cheering you on in spirit!  I myself opted not to participate (although it sounded really great) due to other matters....*cough*my birthday*cough*.  Yep, that's right!  Celebrating one more year to the ever changing calendar, we had a riot.  Shopping, movies, presents, cake...all the fun with the trimmings too!  Including my car filled with balloons...yeah, it was cute at first, but when you end up chasing the loose ones around a store parking lot, you begin to plot out payback methods.  Anywho...

The movie we saw was "Saw VI" (that sounds a little repetitive).  I must admit, although it was good as a whole, when comparing it the the series, not quite so much (they change patterns....if you see it, you'll know what I mean...).  The trip however did pan out an unexpected goodie....two New Moon cups! (*~happy dance~*) One group photo like the promo posters and one Edward.  As this theater isn't even the one that will be showing the movie locally, it was a double surprice, but for me!  All in all it was a pretty great weekend.  But I digress, you didn't come here to hear purely about my were drawn for another reason altogether weren't you?  (It's okay, that's the whole point of today's post!)

Today's post is an exciting one indeed.  No, no, no...we are not reviewing the latest and greatest book title to hit the shelves and giving you a chance to win it.  What WE are doing is having a really FANTASTIC Post-Birthday Blowout Giveaway where you can win FIVE really great Young Adult titles plus a fun add-on courtesy of author Nancy Holder! (YAY!  Thank you, Nancy!) Oh, did I fail to mention that they are all SIGNED as well...because they are!  (Oops, silly me....) Oh and one more thing...thanks to her generosity, this CONTEST IS OPEN INTERNATIONALLY.  So whether you are from here, there, or anywhere...feel free to enter! 

Author Nancy Holder was kind enough to not only offer the opportunity to host this great giveaway but to provide us with a look behind her book...."Possessions".  Let's see what she had to say....take it away!

What is a possession? Is it an earthbound spirit forced by passion and rage to relive a traumatic experience? Is it madness? These are the questions Lindsay Cavanaugh must answer in Possessions, as she moves into a super posh boarding school high in the mountains of northern California…isolated, no cell phone reception…after a nervous breakdown.

When I was in high school with my friends, and one of us did something weird, we would all scream, “Are you POSSESSED?” And just the other day when my daughter did something completely out of character, I asked her the same question. And I kind of really meant it. “What came over you? That just didn’t seem like you.”

Maybe it wasn’t.

Or…maybe there’s more to us than we realize.

I had a fascinating discussion with a woman at a Possessions book signing. As a Harvard graduate student, she had researched the Salem witchcraft trials, focusing on accused witches who were bilingual—i.e., who could speak more than one language. They were accused of conversing with the Devil in a strange tongue—proof positive of their guilt! She traveled to Salem and read original witchcraft trials court transcripts inside the actual meeting hall where the trials were held.

Just listening to her gave me goose bumps. I actually felt a little anxious, as if I might have to watch myself or something bad would happen to me. Not that I’d get tried for witchcraft, but that…something…some variety of bad luck…might be lurking around the corner, in the shadows and so, just in case, I’d better be…what? What should I be? Something other than I was?

Have you ever had a sense that you were aware of something that no one else could see?

When I was taking botany in college, part of my homework was to go into a campus lab; study clippings of local plants placed in bottles in rows on tables, and memorize their names. The names were written in black letters on pieces of adhesive tape across the glass. As in #1 WHITE SAGE.

I didn’t go in enough, and so didn’t memorize them, and I knew I was in trouble. So the night before the test, I lay down on my bed and said over and over to myself, “I’m getting an A on this test. I’m going to get an A.”

The next morning, I went into the same lab armed with my test paper of numbered blanks. The bottles were in their places. And as I walked up the first bottle, I saw that the professor had simply covered the original piece of adhesive tape that bore the plant’s name with another piece of adhesive tape. I could easily read the black letters through it: #1 WHITE SAGE.

I felt very guilty, but you know that I copied down all the names. After we turned in our test papers, I said to another student, “Wow, wasn’t that so weird that you could read right through the tape?”

But he hadn’t noticed; or hadn’t been able to. And neither had any of the other people in the class I checked with.

So…was I simply more observant? Did I sharpen my wits with my mantra?

Or did I get some sort of other help?

While I was writing Possessions, I watched a lot of horror movies and listened to hours of scary soundtrack music. I would literally force myself into a state of fear, and then I would write. Now I have to sleep with the hall light on. And I’m actually happy about it because I can stay in the “zone” more easily while I write. I also listened to a tape of a Frenchwoman who was supposed to be possessed. It was terrifying, but the entire time I was listening to it, I kept thinking, “She’s not possessed. She just thinks she is. She’s actually crazy.”

And that’s the dilemma my main character Lindsay faces in Possessions. Is she really the only one who can see through the actions of the queen of mean Mandy Winters and her clique? Is she just seeing things? Or is she crazy?

Or is Mandy?

How do we know what’s real? How do we perceive the world around us? One day, I had a horrible fight with my boyfriend. It seemed like the end of us. And I got in my car and drove to Disneyland, to try to pull myself together, I guess. I’ve been to Disneyland probably a hundred times—annual pass, friends who want to go—and I was sitting on the Mark Twain steamboat, reeling over our blowup. We were coming around the bend of the Rivers of America, and I just stared out at New Orleans Square and Frontierland in bewilderment, because I felt as if I had never seen it before in my life. The entire episode lasted for only a couple of seconds, and I’ve since learned that extreme stress can cause “de-realization,” but the experience was so freaky that I decided I should probably break up with the guy, if our relationship was literally driving me crazy….

Some people believe we are actually many “we’s”, or rather “I’s,” with different parts of our brain working together under the control of our dominant “I.” So maybe stress shifted the balance of “the committee” in my head.

But what about when something seems familiar, but we’ve never been there before? Or we are certain that someone’s watching us…or that if we turn our head just quickly enough, we’ll see something that isn’t really there…or shouldn’t be there.

What if we really have lived past lives, or can become haunted…or possessed…by those who’ve passed?

Or are we all possessed already, and most of us just don’t notice?

Is Lindsay highly observant, or just seeing things? Are there vengeful spirits intent on payback at Marlwood Academy…or are the mean girls just really, really scary?

I hope you’ll read Possessed, and that it keeps you up nights…or maybe just makes you walk a little more slowly around a dark corner….and that, for a time, it possesses you.

Thank you so much Ms. Holder for providing that glimpse inside your work!  Readers, are you intrigued yet?  I know I was...and what better time of year to get your hands on some fun and spooky-creepy books!  Let's take a look at the contest breakdown and how YOU can enter...
The Goodies...

Pretty Little Devils
Wicked:  Witch & Curse
Wicked:  Legacy & Spellbound
Wicked:  Resurrection
Tin of 'Wicked:  Evil Apple Mints from Disneyland

How to enter:
(This section of some contests can get a bit sticky, but I'll try to keep it simple and straight forward....oh and PLEASE try to keep the majority of your entries in one comment...depending on how many times you wish to enter, it may not be possible, but try....just makes it easier to track)

Your main method of entry?  Comment of course!  You score 1 entry for commenting on this post and answering this 'comment creator'.  Be sure to include your email address (it can be "coded" like soandso(at)nowhere(dot)com....) so I can contact you if you are the winner!  (No comment/answer/email, no entry)

What is your favorite thing about this time of year?
How do you celebrate?

Extra entries (and who doesn't love those!):
+1 for being a follower of my blog
(not required, but's an easy-peasy extra entry!)
+1 for being a follower on Twitter...please include your Twitter name!
(again not required but another means of entry)
+2 for tweeting about the contest
(Maximum 1 per day...and don't forget to provide the link)

+3 for blogging about contest and/or putting it on your blog sidebar
(either way works for me...but please provide the link!)

The Rules...

(Animation above borrowed from Silent Happy Dance. No copyright infringement intended.)

No P.O. Boxes please.
All entries must be received by midnight CST on Saturday, October 31st, 2009.
The winner will be drawn no later than Monday, November 1st, 2009 and contacted via email.  Going to attempt first try with not successful the old draw a name from a hat method will substitute.
On that note, please include your email address in your comment so I can contact you if you win!  To avoid spammers, feel free to "code" it as shown in the example above.
Once contact with the winner has been made, you have 48 hours to respond back.  If a response is not received within this time frame, another name will be drawn. 
Mailing information will be forwarded to the author (Nancy Holder) for shipment ONLY and then discarded.
(WHEW!  Enough with the rules, back to the fun!)

I'm currently reading "Possessions" myself, so a review will be coming soon.
In conclusion, have fun with this and don't forget to enter!

Until next time....happy reading!


Tales of Whimsy said...

I love the mints :)

Dorthy said...

My favorite thing about this time of year is...well it used to be watching all the trees change color, but now that I live in a high desert with very few trees....its pumpkins. LOL yep that's right pumpkins. They remind me of all the trees back east changing colors and just looking absolutely beautiful. And we can eat pumpkins, don't know if we can eat the changing leaves...never tried it. :)
How do we celebrate this time of year?
We let the kids each pick out a pumpkin and then we either carve them, or turn them into some tasty treat. One thing we always get from them is the seeds, and we roast them up for everyone to enjoy.

dorthyn (at) email (dot) com

Thanks for this opportunity to win these books!

Vanessa said...

Happy birthday!

My favorite thing about this time of year is starting to plan out my Christmas shopping.

+1 for being a follower
+1 for being a follower on Twitter @NotNessie
+2 for tweeting about the contest
I'm actually not sure how to add the link, but I'll be sure to @ you
+3 for putting it on your blog sidebar.

Anonymous said...

+1 This time of year I like all the changing trees,they look beautiful.Also Halloween,seeing all my nieces & nephews dressed up and excited.

I'm now a follower


ParaJunkee said...

Hey their great blog - I'm a twitter referral! :)

Please enter me!

+1 Now Following
+1 Twitter follower - @parajunkee
+2 I'm gonna tweet

parajunkee (@)

Jo said...

AWESOME contest!


What is your favorite thing about this time of year? How do you celebrate?
I like seeing the little kids get dressed up for HAlloween. Their enthusiasm is contagious! I never went trick or treating when I was younger, so I live through these little kiddies.
I'm celebrating Halloween this year by going to a fancy dress party my aunt is holding. I'm going as a Naughty Nun, lol.

Email: joannestapley[st]googlemail[dot]com

+1 Follower
+1 Follower on Twitter (@jo_scrawls)
+2 Tweeted:
+3 Blog post on both blogs (point as you wish, for one or both):

Bri Meets Books said...

I tweeted this!
I'm following you on Twitter

I have one of Nancy's Buffy books from WAYYYYYY back in the day, signed!

I love this time of year because it's cold - though not much lately - and you get to do winter-y stuff - hot chocolate etc. Of course, I have cocoa in July.

Fantastic Book Review said...

Great Contest!

+ I love this time of the year - NBA Basketball Starts! GO LAKERS! LOL!

+1 Follower
+1 follower on twitter (fantasticbook)


Amante dei Libri said...

I love this time of year because of Halloween, of course! I celebrate by eating candy. Mmmm...
lindseypro21 at aol dot com

[not] Maggie said...

Oooh pretty New Moon cups! I might have to go to the cinema soon and snag one for myself :) The hubby vetoed the Edward Cullen shower curtain, but he may allow a New Moon cup ;)

Great guest post Nancy. I'm not entering the contest as I'm trying to reduce the tbr but I may have to check out these books sometime.

Josef13 said...

I love to decorate for this time of year~! It is so much fun! Have you seen those crawling zombies of QVC? I want one! ;)

I am a brand new follower of your blog!

Thanks for running such a fun contest!!

makotolightning (at) hotmail (dot) com

Nayuleska said...

These look like great reads!

I'm commenting
I'm now a follower
I've just tweeted about it - wasn't sure about linking either but I did @ you.

Nayuleska said...

Aplogies I forgot to add my email address..

I'm commenting
I'm a follower
I just tweeted about it - wasn't sure about linking so I did @ you (I'm Nayuleska)


Amy Laurens said...

Huzzah! Such excitement! A contest that is open internationally!!! *squees, due to Australia-inhabitation*

I'm new to your blog, and very excited to have discovered it.

I am now officially following you on twitter as Inksie, I tweeted about the contest, and I'm following your blog as Inkblot! Do you feel stalked yet? O:)

Will blog about the contest tonight or tomorrow, also. Link will be - well, that /is/ the link, I just haven't posted yet! :D

Email - (at) gmail (dot) com



Amy Laurens said...

*gasp* In all my excitement I forgot to mention my favourite things :)

Living as I do in the southern hemisphere, my most favouritest thing about this time of year is that the weather is finally getting warm. The evenings are getting longer, I feel like there's more time to do everything, and the birds are chirping like there's no tomorrow.

Spring - I love it!

Brodie said...

Wow, was that an awesome guest post! I find it fascinating reading about this kind of stuff, so I really enjoyed what Nancy had to say and it's made me ten times more excited to start reading her books!

And HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! I'm so glad you had a great time.. and got yourself some cool cups while you're at it :D

Please count me in on this!

My favourite thing about this time of the year is SPRING! It's finally here. I love seeing everything in bloom again. Everything starts becoming greener, flowers are blossoming... everything comes to life again after winter and I love it =D Halloween really isn't as big here in Australia as it is in the US, sadly. We're lucky if we get two people come door-knocking every year. So I don't really dress up much or celebrate. But next year I so want a Halloween costume party!

+1 Following your blog
+1 Following on twitter @peacelovevegan
+2 Tweeted here -

AWESOME contest! Thank you!!

Felicity Grace Terry said...

Firstly congratulations on your birthday - thats a nasty cough you have there (cough, cough).
At last an international competition, now you don't see one of those every day of the week.
Here's me 'wittering' on again and now I've forgotten the question I'm supposed to be answering. Oh yes, why do I love this time of year. Well! Needless to say it's an excuse to stay indoors with a good book and a mug of hot chocolate but, apart from the obvious, though not a huge fan of Halloween, I love Bonfire Night which we 'celebrate' here in England on the 5th of November. Bonfires are lit and we have fireworks and 'penny for the guy' - it's great.


Felicity Grace Terry said...

P.S. Cheeky of me I know but anyone out there with a (excuse the pun) burning desire to find out more about Bonfire night (also known as Guy Fawkes) please visit me over at Pen And Paper in the next few days or then again you could always just google.

Dorothy Dreyer said...

Happy Belated Birthday!

Gina said...

Wow! Look at all the wonderful comments and entries! (Yay!) *^*^*jumping up and down*^*^* So as to keep the comment board clear for all those entering the contest, I will try to keep my responses to 1 or 2 "group" posts...because of course you know I can't let all of the potential for conversation just sit there. =0)

I think it's really amazing to see how you guys spend this time of year! To all those watching the leaves turn or snow fall, I am so jealous! To those on the opposite end of the spectrum that are experiencing spring/summer now instead of fall/winter....that's a hard concept for me to truly wrap my mind around (just being in the states all my hear October, you think fall). It's such fun to be able to connect with people from across the globe in the blink of an eye. (technology love!)

I too love the excitement of the season...for the costumes, the season change...the whole nine yards. Wish they had more celebrations for adults that weren't so adult (does that make sense? Less sensual, more fun...)

For those of you (okay, so far one, but just in case...) that happen to have two blogs, extra entries will be given per blog (just leave the links). I hope you are enjoying the contest as much as I (looks like you might be)...keep spreading the word and leaving comments (you know I love them!)...

(Oh, and thanks for all the birthday wishes!)

Patricia said...

Oh, God, I love your blog!

Comment Creator:
I love seeing all the different costumes and photos of Halloween. The darkness of it intrigues me.

Extra Entries
+1 Following
+1 Following on Twitter
+2 Tweeting about the contest
+3 Added the contest in my sidebar

Wow! Yay, first international one!

I have to say, what Nancy Holder had to say totally had me into it. I love it!

ReggieWrites said...

Comment Creator:
My favorite time of year would have to be winter! I love the cold and Starbucks is always just around the corner. Christmas and New Year is just an added bonus =)

I usually celebrate Christmas with my family. I spend Christmas with my Dad's side, and New Year's with my Mom's.

+1 for being a follower of my blog

+2 For Tweeting contest:

+1 for being a follower on Twitter. Mine is @ReggieWrites

+3 for putting it in the sidebar:

Reggie =)

Erica said...

My favorite thing about this time of year is the scenary and Halloween... I celebrate through al the usual festivities trick or treating halloween parties etc

+1 for being a follower of my blog
+1 twitter follower @thebookcellarx

:) Erica

Sheere said...

I love the free time, no school! Yes!
And winter is my favourite season.. wish it will snow :)

+1 for being a follower of my blog

+1 for being a follower on Twitter

+2 for tweeting

+3 sidebar

Amy Laurens said...

Okay, posted on my blog, so +3 for me! :)


Unknown said...

I love watching the leaves change colors. It is also fun to watch when the wind blows and it looks like it is raining leaves. I celebrate by making a large pile of leaves and jumping into them. It is so much fun!

+1 for being a follower of my blog

+1 for being a follower on Twitter

+2 for tweeting about the contest

+3 sidebar

lag123 said...

I love the colors of fall. I celebrate by baking.

I follow your blog.

I follow on twitter. @lag32583

throuthehaze said...

I love the cool air and the changing leaves. I celebrate by going on LOTS of night walks

+1 new follower

+1 follow on twitter @throuthehaze

throuthehaze at gmail dot com

MarionG said...

Favorite thing about this time of year is the candy. I celebrate by doning a costume and going to a party. polo-puppy-fluffyAThotmail *dot* com
I'm a follower/blog

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