July is never a great time of year for me. Peak day job busy period keeps me on my toes, and it always seems like I blink and the month is gone. This year has proven to be no exception and here we are in August (which is yay for being the last month of winter and yay for being the month of the RWAustralia conference but still somewhat mind boggling in the where-is-my-year-going factor).
But time marches on and a new month means a new contest prize!
This month, I thought we'd do some women's fiction. And my very favourite women's fiction writer. Who just happened to win a RITA today because she is brilliant.
So August's book is The Lost Recipe for Happiness by Barbara O'Neal.
And just because it's truly gorgeous, here's the Aussie cover as well.
Many years ago when I was still just at the start of my writing path, a critique partner kept raving about a book called No Place Like Home, by Barbara Samuel. Eventually I caved and read it and immediately fell in love (plus bawled like a baby which is something I rarely do with books) with the book and the writing. I've since read everything of Barbara's that I could get my hands on (she writes as Barbara Samuel, Ruth Wind and Barbara O'Neal) and have never been disappointed. I still cry every time when I hit a certain scene in No Place Like Home.
Not long after I read No Place Like Home, I met Barbara at the RWNZ conference, where she was very nice to a nervous newbie (I think I sat next to her at dinner and probably made no sense at all because I was up for a contest win). And a bit later still, five of my crit buddies and I did one of her first Voice classes where we discovered that Barbara is not only lovely but also a great teacher. That course was part of the reason I finally gave into my fantasy/paranormal leanings in my writing, so I will be forever grateful for that.
I've done other courses with her since then and gotten to know her in real life and she remains inspiring and encouraging and generous. And even if all that wasn't true, I'd still be recommending her beautiful, lush, lyrical writing to you. Barbara evokes setting like a poet and her books will make you laugh, make you cry and probably make you very very hungry. She writes very real women and sexy men and adorable dogs and you should rush out and buy one of her books now. Or comment here and win one! The Lost Recipe for Happiness was Barbara's first book as Barbara O'Neal and someone gets to take it home this month.
As usual, explanation of why the contest is here.
Rules are simple, comment on any blog post this month to score an entry. Winner has one week after being announced here and on Twitter and Facebook to get back to me to claim the prize, after which I will re-draw.