Winners of the Beach Basket Giveaway!

With summer is drawing to a close, I figured it was high time I awarded the prize in my Book Club Beach Basket Giveaway. As you may recall, I invited anyone in a book club to share their most memorable experience. Reading all the e-mails gave me a nice break in the action from revisions on my next novel. There were some great entries—many which reminded me of exactly what I love about taking part in the two book clubs that I’m in.

I heard all about cocktails and BBQs in backyards, on decks and porches while gathering to talk about books and life in general. I heard about Andrea and the Chick Lits’ trip to Savannah, GA, Kathy’s club’s adventures on Fripp Island, SC, the time Kristi’s club got snowed in at a ski house, and Felicia’s long-distance club’s first-ever in-person meeting in Texas. Your stories about your club saving you with their friendship, seeing you through cancer, and surprising you with baby showers warmed my heart and had me reflecting on the true blue friendships I’ve made through my own clubs. Your tales of potlucks with food and cocktails inspired by the books, of girls’ days out and movie nights made me look forward to whatever adventure my club’s next meeting will bring. Ann-Marie relayed a story about her club sharing bar space with the local men’s softball team which reminded me of a school dance with the boys lined up on one side of the gym and the girls on the other. (The more things change, the more they stay the same.) Several readers wrote in to say how much they enjoy having the author join their discussion by phone and Skype. I loved to hear this because, as an author, I so enjoy meeting with clubs who are discussing my books; as a reader, I’m thrilled when my own club manages to get an author to join our chat. I propose a toast to Jennifer who wrote that her favorite moment with her book club is trumped every time they meet again!

OK, now for the envelope please. Again I found myself with the familiar dilemma of not being able to pick just one winner. So I will be sending out two baskets.

The first goes to Michelle Swindle Pardue whose Barbie Book Club sounds like a heckuva good time to me. OK, so they did read my very own Savannah Breeze on a group trip to Tybee Island, GA, but their excellent taste in books and getaway destinations did not sway my decision. It was their incredible spunk, their “togo Bloody Marys” fixed out of the trunk of a car, and their “happy place” under a pink and green beach umbrella that really got me.

The second winner is Sheila DeChantal who wrote in about The Bookies’ annual tradition of crowning a queen at an event complete with formal wear and a talent competition. The queen gets to be the tie-breaking decision on book selections and meeting places for the entire next year. Sheila, I bow to you and your fellow members.

Congratulations to Michelle and Sheila. Enjoy the baskets with your clubs in good health. Thanks to everyone for entering. And for anyone who is not already subscribed to my e-mail list, be sure to sign up. Another newsletter will be coming out soon featuring a recipe, a giveaway, and other good stuff.