Monday, October 24, 2011

My First ARC Giveaway: Win an Advanced Copy of THE MAPMAKER AND THE GHOST!

Today is October 24th.

This means:

1. We are exactly 6 months out from the publication date of The Mapmaker and the Ghost!
2. It's my birthday.
3. I turn 30 today.

And I want to celebrate by giving YOU something!

It's my first-ever giveaway of The Mapmaker and the Ghost ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies)! Not only that, but I'm giving away a few more prizes. They are:

- 1 signed ARC of The Mapmaker and the Ghost along with a Mapmaker bookmark and sticker set
- 1 $30 Amazon gift card
- 5 swag packs of The Mapmaker and the Ghost bookmark and stickers. The bookmarks can be signed if you'd like.

There will be 7 drawings in total: one for each prize/prize pack.

To enter, just follow these two steps:

1. Simply tell me your best birthday memory in the comments section of this post. You must comment to be entered.

2. Fill out the form below.

And here's how you can get extra entries:
+2 for tweeting about the contest
+2 for posting about the contest on Facebook
+2 for mentioning the contest on your blog

+1 for following me on Twitter
+1 for liking me on Facebook
+1 for following this blog (the follow button on the right hand side-->)
+1 for adding The Mapmaker and the Ghost to your Goodreads shelf.

The contest will close on Friday, October 28th at 5 PM EST, at which point winners will be selected via This contest is open internationally.

Good luck! I'm really, really looking forward to hearing all about your birthdays!

The giveaway is now closed. Thank SO MUCH to everyone who entered and shared their birthday memories with me. Winners can be found here.


  1. Oooh, I want! All that. Love your cover. =)

    Best birthday memory = the year I had my own horse and took my fiance trail riding. We galloped through the forest, then had a roller skating party and ate cake.

  2. Your book looks terrific! A weird but memorable birthday happened earlier this year when Hurricane Irene hit on my b-day. You know you're getting old when you need a hurricane to help blow out your candles.

  3. My best birthday memory, hmm that's a tough one. Since it is two days after Christmas it sometimes loses the excitement. I would say my 30th was pretty cool, a group if friends and I went to see Sherlock Holmes and then to lunch. Though the funniest was my mom's 40th when my brother & I set off the smoke alarm because we actually put 40 candles on the cake :)

  4. My best birthday memory was my 7th. That was the year I got my very own Teddy Bear as a birthday gift from Babe and Ruth Baron, the people we had bought our house from when we moved to the Pacific Northwest. You have no idea how loved was. I slept with him every night. I took him on vacations. I took him to with me when I went to Germany. I brought him with me when I got married.

    Of course, over the years he'd gotten a bit shabby and as I've had children I've let them play with him, much to his detriment. My first child pulled off one of his eyes, my second pulled off the other. My third ripped off his worn pompom of a nose. Some of his seams had split, a simple case of wear and tear, and although I had re-sewn a few of them as a teenager I had neglected him sadly after his nose was taken from him. So he sat, a beloved wreck, on my bed for years.

    Two months ago my fourth child, who was not quite 14 at the time, took it upon herself to repair the relic of my childhood. She glued on two new googly eyes that she'd bought with her own money from a craft store and re-stuffed and sewed up his nose so his face is three dimensional again rather than flat. Painstakingly, she stitched up the seams along his arms and tummy, not an easy task when said seams are on a stuffed toy.

    Most of Teddy's fur has been loved off and he's not as brightly colored as he was in the beginning, but he can see again after some twenty years and he sits proudly on my bed once more, a whole and complete reminder of my childhood, rescued by my child.

  5. Congrats on your birthday! Thirty is great, but not NEARLY so fantastic as FORTY! (Take my word for it.)

    My favorite birthday memory was my thirtieth birthday, believe it or not. My husband planned a surprise party, and everyone parked past our house in a wooded cul-de-sac at the end of the block so I wouldn't see their cars. I was totally surprised when we got home and everyone was waiting, but imagine my shock when the police crammed into our block looking for the pot dealers! Seems quite a few people park at the end of the block to deal pot, and all the cars made the neighbors call the police. Thankfully, I hadn't been smoking anything (drinking a little, perhaps, but not smoking), so nobody was arrested. They called off the tow trucks, though-- they'd ordered four of them!

    Happy birthday! Best wishes!

  6. my favorite birthday memory: my younger brother was born on my 12th birthday! At the time, it wasn't impressive. Now, I love sharing a birthday with him. Plus the age difference meant no sibling rivalry! He's one of my best friends!

  7. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SARV! I know you'll celebrate in style!

    My favorite birthday memory? I had been traveling in Africa for almost three weeks and ended up at the most amazing guest house in the eastern highlands of Zimbabwe. The proprietor was like Auntie Mame, all the way down to her long cigarette filter. I met up with two English girls and we decided to go higher up into the mountains for several days, so I went to the bank to cash some traveler's checks. Only when I asked the teller what the day was did I realize it was my birthday.

  8. From where I grew up from, bdays are a rare treat so I don't have a favorite, unless I decide to count the one time my parents threw me a party. :)
    So happy bday to you. I also turned the three oh this very month so I know how you feel.
    Wishing you a fun bday too.

  9. Best birthday memory: my then boyfriend (now husband) proposed on my 23rd birthday. He completely caught me off guard! He told me ahead of time that he wanted to take me on a date the night of my birthday; his plan was for us to go have dinner, see the lights at the Capitol building, and then go see a movie. Well, we found out the little Italian restaurant we planned on going to was closed for the holidays, so we decided to stay in town for dinner. I offered that we also see the movie in our town but James insisted we go to Little Rock, saying he had already bought the movie tickets for the theater there. Due to the restaurant debacle and me trying to convince James to stay in town for dinner, we were running late! We ran over to a new Italian restaurant in town and had a quick dinner then hopped in the car and headed to Little Rock! When we got to the Capitol building we parked (it took FOREVER for James to park, he kept looping the parking lot) and James said we should just walk around the building for a little bit. It was freezing!! I kept telling James how cold I was, I even asked if we could get back in the car and just drive around, but he insisted we see the lights up close. I finally got my gloves and hat on and felt a little better. James suggested we walk around the building to the back, which I did not understand but what I didn't know was that he was stalling so his sister could get situated to take pictures! We wandered around and admired the gorgeous Christmas decorations and lights and then James took me up the stairs to the front doors. Then he began to say all these wonderful things to me and he got down on one knee and proposed! I couldn't believe it and was knocked off my feet! Of course I said yes. The proposal was absolutely wonderful! After our date we met our parents and siblings at the IHOP in our town (it's the only thing open at midnight) and we all celebrated together! Definitely the best birthday ever!

  10. AND HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!!! I meant to say that above but got carried away! I hope you are spoiled rotten and today is wonderful!

  11. Okay, I NEVER enter these. but I want your book so bad I can taste it, like birthday cake. (Happy Day, BTW!)
    My birthday memory - I actually ran away from my own birthday party when I was 6. Well, I was actually going to go find out why my friend from a few streets off wasn't there yet. But I didn't ask permission, or, um, tell anyone where I was going. So suddenly, it comes time for candles and cake and what? No Birthday Girl.
    My mom still teases me about that one.

  12. Happy Birthday!

    My birthdays have all blended together somewhat, but I definitely remember my 21st, because I got free stuff at a brewery: a free meal, beer, shirt and hat. It was a pretty good deal!

  13. My best birthday ever....11th. When I acted like a total brat during my birthday party because I got 1) a book of poetry I didn't want; 2) a rust colored dress with a peter pan collar that I didn't want; 3) a bunch of other things that I don't even remember because I didn't want them. I only wanted one thing. Something that every girl of the 80s wanted, that most parents couldn't find.

    I proceeded to pout through dinner at my grandma's house and acted like a spoiled brat. When we got home, my mother told me how disappointed she was in me for acting that way and to go upstairs and take a bath....

    There, waiting for me was the most beautiful CABBAGE PATCH KID I had ever seen.

    And I knew that I didn't deserve her. My little Celeste Grace staring at me from the cellophane window of her yellow box.

    I laughed. I cried. I jumped up and down for a long time. And I never forgot to always be gracious about birthday gifts. (And you know what, I still have that poetry book. The Cabbage Patch Kid....she's in a box somewhere.)

  14. My best birthday memory was when I turned 13...15 years ago. I got a new stereo and the Hanson mmmbop cd! I listened to it over & over. Just couldn't get enough of those cute brothers!

    Also, I am following on Twitter...@dukeball1. Thanks for the great giveaway :)

  15. For my 29th birthday, oh so long ago (or so it feels), we had the usual big party a few days after, but with so many people away for the holiday weekend on my actual birthday, I just got together with a small group for some pitch & putt and a nice dinner. And it was a pretty perfect day. Sometimes the small ones are the nicest.

  16. I spent my 21st birthday in Florianopolis, Brazil, and it was AMAZING. My Brazilian friends surprised me with a huge party, which they literally planned right in front of me (super simple to do since I didn't know a lick of Portuguese... when I'd ask them to translate, they'd just make stuff up). I'll never forget it.

  17. On the fourth anniversary of my 30th birthday, my husband and girls got me a bunny. Ollie's turned into a ginormous grumpy rabbit over the years, but that day, he was sweet and cuddly and mine.

    Happy Birthday. :)

  18. My favorite birthday memory would seem bittersweet to most, but it is my most precious one. The week I was to turn seventeen should have been a brilliant week. I was slated to audition for the fall play, in which I expected to get a good part. I was to attend a speech competition and jazz rehearsals for our swing choir. It was a bright, beautiful September week. Two days before my birthday, I was in choir class, practicing a new piece with the alto section, giggling with my chicks, and generally enjoying life. A runner from the front office came with a pass for me. I was to go to the front office immediately. When I got there, the counsellor was waiting for me with the telephone. It was my mother, she was calling to say that my grandfather had just died suddenly of a stroke. I was devestated.

    We flew immediately to Dayton to be with the family. It was surreal to see the house so full of people, all so quiet and wrought with sadness. The house, before then, had always been filled with his great big laugh and ridiculous puns. Malt balls, his iced tea, and the chair in front of the television that no one could bring themselves to even sit in now.

    On my seventeenth birthday, they buried my grandfather - a man who valued his family, education, and the strength of laughter and love and music. After the funeral, we made our way back to the house, and a few hours into the wake, my grandmother (a tiny, gentle dove of a woman) brought out a cake that she had ordered for me while she was out making funeral arrangements. With tears in our eyes, we sang for me, we sang for him and I blew out the candles. That moment of strange birthday fellowship in the midst of this other, mournful day became a strange turning-point. The cake and candles made it okay to start laughing through our tears and remembering my Grandpa the way he really would have wanted it - with a smile and a joke and a great story.

  19. My favorite birthday memory comes from 2000, when I woke up because - after desperately longing for a dog of my own for years and years - my still-very-new-to-me dog Nika had jumped up onto my bed and was licking my face. I woke up and my first thought was: "It's my birthday, and I *have a dog*!" It was such a great realization, and it made my day, far more than any presents or cake. :)

  20. Happy Belated Birthday!

    Hmm, my favorite birthday memory? I'd have to go with my 11th birthday. I had a huge sleepover, there were like fifteen 11-12 year old girls at my house and the night was full of drama, tears, and laughs. Seriously, you put that many girls together and there's bound to be drama. But I think I reveled in the excitement of it all ;)

  21. Happy birthday! I'll have to go with the time I set my hair on fire blowing out the candles. Hilarious.

  22. Happy Birthday, Sarvenaz! :) Hope a truly great year lies ahead!

    My best birthday memory would have to be my 21st.
    (Yes, everyone, I actually have MEMORIES of that birthday! :-D)

    Then-Boyfriend and I went to Cocoa Beach for the day, and when we got back to Orlando (where we were in school at the time), he took me to a park and asked me to marry him.

    I said yes.

    THEN, we went to pick up a couple of friends for a movie, but it was ACTUALLY a surprise party at their apartment! One of the best moments was when they opened the door and yelled "SURPRISE!", because I immediately, mutely held up my newly-gemmed left hand and everyone cheered.

    And then we had a party. So, you know? Awesome birthday. =)

  23. My favorite birthday memory is from when I turned 18, which is a big deal in the Philippines. I went on a road trip with my mom, dad, two sisters, boy friend and best friends to Tagaytay, got dressed up and had dinner in a fancy restaurant and then we all ended up chilling and drinking at the house we rented. So simple, but so perfectly fitting with my personality :)

  24. Since my birthday is October 29th, we would frequently have my birthday party right before trick-or-treating when I was a child. So, I thought everyone got dressed up to celebrate my birthday. I was devastated when I found out the truth.

  25. I saw this bookcover on Fine Print's site and had to poke around the internet to see what it was all about. It sounds *fabulous*!

    My favorite birthday memory... is probably when I was 13 and found a giant makeup palette in my bedroom with a note from my mom to wear it with flair and taste. :) Thirteen was the magic year when I could start wearing makeup. :)

  26. My favorite birthday memory was going to this Mo-Town concert with The Drifters, The platters and The Shangralas. My whole family went, my cousin got to go on stage. We enjoyed ourselves so much. And when the exit door was so crowded, my restless aunt urged us to go our through another door we saw. When we tried to the other door, we walked into a backstage Christmas party with all the singers! They had no idea who we were but were nice enough to take pictures with us and sign autographs. We knew we shouldnt be there so we did not stay long but it was a great birthday. I know I am a day late posting this, but I sure hope you had a HAPPY BIRTHDAY! :)
    LadyVampire2u AT gmail DOT com

  27. My best birthday memory is being at the Christmas Markets in Paris for my 30th birthday with my husband, parents, and younger brother. Luckily (because I'm a teacher), my birthday is December 26th so I was able to be in Paris for my actual birthday. It made turning 30 a lot easier to take - at least it kept me distracted from it :)

  28. my best birthday memory is when I turned 10.We went to A play land that day and I got an adorable doll.It was so much fun :)

  29. My best birthday was bittersweet and a few months after my mother died. My children (3 little boys) knew I was sad so they dressed up in the gifts they were giving me for a little fashion show. They were so sweet and it made me laugh.

  30. avorite birthday memory has to be when I turned 10 and my mother finally got me the ice cream cake. I had been asking for years, but since my birthday is in January, it never happened. Obviously, I can easily be bought with food :)

  31. My best birthday was last year for my 20 years. It was the best because I only did low key things like hanging out in a park with my BFFs but I was wearing a beautiful dress and heels, and felt like a princess.

  32. My best birthday memory is when I was about 11 and my mom let me skip school. We spent the day shopping, went to lunch and a movie. I felt so rebelious and special that day! Maybe I can find a babysitter and I can sneak away to do that this year for my bday. ; )

    Thanks for the contest and YAY for ARCs!!!

  33. Hmm.. it would have to be my tenth birthday. I had been been campaigning for a dog for months. I tried being super good, being bad, making a dog scrapbook and inducing guilt, and last apathy.

    I came home from school, found dog biscuits left on the counter. (my family never was good at surprises :) Ran upstairs opened the door. And a little black and white dog jumped right over me, and ran away down the hall. :) It wasn't exactly like I pictured our dog/human embrace but it was a great birthday!

  34. Best memory would have to be watching a bunch of my best friends enjoying the slip-n-slide at my bday party a few years ago. Special thanks to Nancy for letting me act like a 5 year old on my birthday each year.

  35. The best birthday I've ever had was when my boyfriend made me fortune cookies with sweet romantic sayings in them, and bought be the book which had a bunch of cookie recipes (including the ones for the fortune cookies). :-)

  36. My best birthday memeory was when I was like ten years old and the whole family was trying to pop balloons by sitting on them. There was one balloon that was particularly defiant to being popped... we all tried to pop it, but alas, it prevailed...That is, until my cousin had a go:D

  37. Hmmm The one birthday that sticks in my head is It was my 30th bday and my hubby threw a surprise bday party for me.

    I was on the phone talking to my dad and told him we would pick him up to go eat and he said he couldn't go. My father never says no so I couldn't understand it.
    I was still on the phone when we got home and next thing I know everyone yells surprise when I entered the kitchen. I about wet my pants. Then I see my dad coming out from the room. He had to hide while he was talking to me on the phone:)

    Happy 30th bday, Sar!!!!!!!!

  38. When I turned 11, I got a kitten for my birthday – an orange striped kitty we called Corkey. One year later on my 12th birthday, Corkey did something nobody in the family had ever seen him do before: he went outside, caught a chipmunk, carried it back into the house in his mouth, and dropped it in the middle of our living room. Disgusted as I was to see a dead chipmunk carcass laying on the carpet, I couldn’t help but be impressed that this cat somehow knew it was my birthday AND was nice enough to get me a present!

  39. Picking a best birthday memory is tough. My birthday is my favorite day of the year, and with the exception of my 5th and 17th where I had chicken pox and failed my road test respectively, my birthdays have been awesome.

    If I had to pick one, I'd pick my 30th when my girlfriend drove me out to the North Fork of Long Island for a weekend of drinking wine at the local vineyards. It was so awesome that we repeated it with friends more than once! But you know about that already. :)

    If I had to pick a second best birthday memory, it would be from when I was 7 or 8 and I got a present wrapped in Star Wars wrapping paper. I don't remember what the gift was, but if I could have every gift wrapped in Star Wars wrapping paper, I would be a very, very, very happy guy.

  40. So many amazing birthdays to remember! I think my favorite though has to be way back in the day, I forget exactly what year it was, but Double Dare was one of my favorite shows ever and my mom set up a huge Double Dare game for my birthday. We had questions and challenges and it got very very very messy, as any good Double Dare challenge should :-) Growing up my parents always went out of their way to make our birthday parties totally amazing, and while I don't remember what we actually did for all of them, they were all super fun.

    Now that I'm older I don't have my parents making me awesome parties, but they're still such wonderful days because I'm always surrounded by my absolutely amazing friends.

  41. Hmm, best birthday...
    That would have to be the time that my parents took me, my best friend, and my sisters ice skating for my birthday. It was awesome trying to speed around the ice and not slip (although we may have done more fallin since it was are first time).

  42. Oh right! Okay, my favorite birthday memory--here goes:

    On my golden birthday--which was my 7th--I woke up to a kitchen table COVERED in Ghostbusters toys. Ghostbusters toys were both the air I breathed and the currency of the realm. And I also want to be one. Wanted to be one. Past tense. That's more normal.