Apparently March has whizzed by already and that means it's time to announce April's contest. For the history of my paying-it-forward contest go here.
I'll draw the March winner sometime over the weekend and post it here and on Twitter so stay tuned!
And now onto April. This month, the prize is Welcome to Temptation by Jenny Crusie.
Way back in hmmm, 2001, when I had decided to give this whole writing thing a serious go, one of the first things I went to (thanks to the sharp eyes of my flatmate at the time) was a talk given by the always lovely Anne Gracie at the Victoria Writers Centre about writing romance (sensible given that was what I wanted to do). Anne was fresh off the plane from the Romance Writer's of America New Orleans Conference and probably jetlagged as a jetlagged thing but she was entertaining and educational and full of enthusiasm for what she did (and alliterative, apparently). She was pretty much the first real! live! author! I had met in person and because she was so nice, something clicked in my brain that authors were people too rather than superheros (though Anne is a superhero) and maybe I could do this after all and I came away all inspired. I finished my first manuscript which had been languishing at three chapters for quite a long time about two months later. Anyway, at the talk Anne had spoken about different genres of romance and one of the contemporary authors she mentioned was Jenny.
Welcome to Temptation had been out for a little while in Australia (I remember wandering past the bright green cover in various bookstores several times - picture the above cover kind of Granny Smith apple green) but after Anne's talk, I finally gave in and bought it (there may yet be a recurring theme in these tales of books Mel has resisted for no particularly reason then adored once she bought them). I took it home and started to read and fell in love with contemporary romance all over again. Witty, sexy, intelligent romance. I became a Crusie fan on the spot and remain one to this day. I own every single book she's written and some of them twice but I think Welcome to Temptation remains my favourite mostly because Phin is a hero who is right up my alley. Still not sure why as generally I don't do blonds.
Jenny is also a great writing teacher and I've belonged to her loops for ages and can be found hanging out on the Cherry Forums from time to time.
Other favourite books of hers include Manhunting, Tell Me Lies and Agnes and the Hitman (co-written with Bob Mayer) though really, I love 'em all.
So this month's prize is Welcome to Temptation, another book I have read too many times to count, and turn to as a treasured comfort read. Anyone who hasn't read it and loves great contemporary romance is in for a treat. Now, to continue the tradition..here's a taste of the back cover blurb from that very green book I bought.
"Sophie came to Temptation, Ohio, to help her sister make a movie. Now she's making trouble for the town council, love with the mayor and lemonade for a murderer...Welcome to Temptation. Population 2158. And falling."
For April, it's the same rules as March. Comment on this or any other of my blog posts this month and you're in the running. Simple. Winner will be drawn early May and announced on the blog and via Twitter and will have two weeks to claim their prize or there will be a re-draw.