Sarah Pekkanen's 5 Best Evers and Crazy Awesome Giveaway!

15803195 Many of you know that we've loved Sarah Pekkanen since the day she exploded on the publishing scene--her books are some of our all-time faves.  Not to mention she's probably one of the NICEST people you could ever meet!  So we can't just have any ol' giveaway when Sarah is visiting--we've got to have a CRAZY AWESOME one!

The CRAZY AWESOME prize package includes:

- A 50 page manuscript critique by Sarah Pekkanen

- A 30 minute PHONE CALL with Sarah about ins and outs of writing and publishing

-A SIGNED copy of The Best of Us

SO rad, right? We think this prize package is priceless!

To Enter:

1. Post this link: to either Twitter or Facebook.  Make sure to tag Sarah! Twitter: @sarahpekkanen Facebook: hit @ and then type Sarah Pekkanen--her fan page will pop up in your post!

2. Include this review with the link: Publisher's Weekly called The Best of Us "A Deeply Enjoyable Page Turner".

3. Come back here and leave a comment telling us where you posted it! You will get one entry for Facebook and one for Twitter. So freakin' easy, right?

But act quickly!  This giveaway closes on THIS THURSDAY, APRIL 4TH at 5pm PST! We will choose a random winner after that. Good luck!

The Scoop on The Best of Us: An all-expense-paid week at a luxury villa in Jamaica—it’s the invitation of a lifetime for a group of old college friends. All four women are desperate not just for a reunion, but for an escape: Tina is drowning under the demands of mothering four young children. Allie is shattered by the news that a genetic illness runs in her family. Savannah is carrying the secret of her husband’s infidelity. And, finally, there’s Pauline, who spares no expense to throw her wealthy husband an unforgettable thirty-fifth birthday celebration, hoping it will gloss over the cracks already splitting apart their new marriage.

Languid hours on a private beach, gourmet dinners, and late nights of drinking kick off an idyllic week for the women and their husbands. But as a powerful hurricane bears down on the island, turmoil swirls inside the villa, forcing each of the women to reevaluate everything she knows about her friends—and herself.

Our thoughts: Our FAVE so far of hers--there's a little something of ourselves in each character and we couldn't put it down.  A MUST READ!


BEST BOOK: In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. I first read this book in college, and was stunned by how Capote took a real event - the murder of a Kansas family - and wrote a book that was every bit as seamless and riveting as the best fiction. Capote's genius inspired me to try to write narrative non-fiction myself, and eventually I began working as a reporter in the features department for The Baltimore Sun, spending weeks or even months on a single story, shaping and crafting, learning techniques like foreshadowing and micro-tension. It was terrific training for becoming a novelist!

BEST MOVIE: I love chick-lit flicks, like "Four Weddings and a Funeral" but for some reason one of my all-time favorites is "The Terminator"! Recently I got to read the treatment James Cameron created for the film, and it's an incredible piece of storytelling. The film hews really closely to Cameron's initial vision, but there's one big change I noticed. Instead of the class line, "I'll be back," the script originally has Ah-nold saying, "I'll come back." I guess "I'll be back" sounds more menacing!

BEST SONG:  "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor. Whenever life throws me a curveball - and we all get hit by them now and then, don't we? - something about this song helps get me through. Plus, when life is going well, it's really fun to sing.

BEST LIFE MOMENT:  Each of the three times I held my new babies. There are no words.

BEST PIECE OF ADVICE: Trust your instincts. This actually saved me and my children once: I was at the National Zoo in D.C. early one November morning, and it was nearly deserted. I went into the small reptile house, which was empty, and after we'd been there for a while, I noticed a man coming down the hallway toward us. Instantly I knew he meant to do us harm; my instincts were screaming. But my nice-girl mind tried to talk me out of taking action. "Oh, don't be silly, he just wants to ask you if you know what time it is," I told myself. Luckily, my primal instincts won out over my nice-girl mind. I had my infant in my Baby Bjorn, and I lifted my two-year-old onto my right hip. I couldn't outrun him, so I got ready to fight. When he was within two feet of me, my left arm shot out and I screamed at the top of my lungs, "STOP!" We locked eyes and I let him know with my expression that I would fight him - and win - because he was not going to touch my kids. He turned around and walked away without another word. Later I analyzed why my instincts had issued a warning (my "nice-girl" mind was still trying to tell me I'd overreacted). And I realized he had walked very quickly toward me, down a narrow hallway, without looking at the exhibits in glass cages on either side of him. And just before he reached me, he turned around for a quick look behind him. He wanted to make sure no one else was coming. I'm trying to teach my kids to listen to their inner voice and respect its warning. What's the worst thing that could happen if we're wrong? We'll be embarrassed. But that's a small price to pay, given the alternative. So to all the women reading this: Please, please, please let's vow to trust our instincts, in situations big and small, and keep ourselves safe. They're trying to protect us!

Thanks, Sarah!