The Great Christmas Story Contest

I am SO excited about my novella, A Star in the Night, which is part of A Log Cabin Christmas Collection. Of course, if you’ve dropped by my blog once or twice in the last few months, you’ve probably heard about it. And I want to do something really, really fun to celebrate my favorite holiday and my new book. So welcome to THE GREAT CHRISTMAS STORY CONTEST!

This is, of course, a chance to win some fabulous prizes, which would make excellent Christmas gifts for a friend or you! So let’s start with what’s up for grabs.

GRAND PRIZE (1 winner): $50 Target giftcard, a DVD of While You Were Sleeping (one of my favorite Christmas movies!), a wooden star ornament, and a copy of A Log Cabin Christmas


2nd prize
(1 winner): $25 Target giftcard, an autographed Christmas cd from my friend Mark Smeby (great for getting in the spirit of the season and thanks to Mark for donating a copy for this giveaway!), and a copy of A Log Cabin Christmas

3rd prize (2 winners): a copy of A Log Cabin Christmas and a copy of The Sound of Sleigh Bells by Cindy Woodsmall

But how does one win one of these excellent prizes? I’m glad you asked.
First, sign up for my brand new email newsletter. Just enter your email address in the form at the bottom of this post. Winners will be selected from those registered emails. (It’s simple, and I promise not to flood you with emails. Just updates on new books, giveaways, and other fun stuff a few times a year.) If you also follow me on twitter (and email me at contests@lizjohnsonbooks.com that you’re following me), you get a second entry to win.

Just signing up for my newsletter (and following me on twitter if you like) is all you have to do for a chance (or two) at 2nd or 3rd place prizes.

And for a chance at the grand prize, submit an original Christmas story (up to 1,000 words) by 11:59pm on December 11th about a picture that I will reveal on this blog on December 1st. Yup! I want to read your Christmas stories based on a really fun picture that I’ve already picked out, and I’ll post the winning story on my blog. But don’t jump the gun. Wait to start your story until you know what the picture is. Everyone has the same chance–11 days to write a story!

Got it?

In case you missed something, here’re the official rules:
1. Winners of one grand prize, one 2nd price, and two third prizes (as outlined above) will be announced by December 15, 2011.
2. The grand prize winner will be selected from entrants who have registered for my email newsletter by filling out the form below and submitted an original short story (in the body of an email–no attachments, please–to contests@lizjohnsonbooks.com) written by the entrant and unpublished of no more than 1,000 words by 11:59pm CST on December 11, 2011. Eligible stories will be judged by me (Liz Johnson) and/or my delegates based on (a) how well the story relates to the Christmas picture posted here on 12/01/11, (b) it’s Christmas spirit, (c) originality, and (d) completely subjective enjoyability. If no eligible story entries are submitted by the deadline, the grand prize will not be awarded.
3. Winners for 2nd and 3rd prizes will be randomly selected from the total number of remaining eligible entrants, who have registered for my email. Entrants who also follow me on twitter (@lizjohnsonbooks) and email me at contests@lizjohnsonsonbooks.com to confirm that, will receive a second entry into the random drawings for 2nd and 3rd prizes.
4. All winners are final, once posted on this blog. No prize substitutions will be made.
5. Open only to entrants with a US or APO mailing address. Void where prohibited. Not open to my family members. I will make every reasonable effort to meet the stated deadlines, but if a delay is caused by unforseeable events and/or acts of God, I will announce alternative dates for this contest on this blog. (Can you hear the legal announcer voice?)

Great! We’ll see you back here on December 1st for the big reveal of the story picture!

And here’s the newsletter registration form. Tell your friends and spread a little Christmas cheer.

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Win a Thomas Nelson Novel!

As I promised earlier this week, I’m giving away a Thomas Nelson novel OF YOUR CHOICE! Actually, I’m giving you 2 chances to win.

First opportunity: Follow me on twitter (so I can DM you if you’re the winner) and tweet #INeedAGoodBook
That’s it. I’ll select a random tweeter on Thursday morning, 11/10. Simple enough.

Second opportunity: Leave a comment on this blog post. Yup. This one. Tell me you want in, and I’ll (again) randomly pick 1 commenter to win on Friday morning, 11/11.

What could be easier? And the prize for each randomly selected winner? She gets to pick ANY (current) FICTION title from Thomas Nelson. Yup. She gets to zip over to their website, select the book that looks most interesting, and let me know which one it is. It’s that easy. It’s open to anyone (except my family and, of course, void where prohibited), but I can only ship to US or APO addresses.

Thanks to the VERY kind folks over at Thomas Nelson fiction, who graciously offered me a few books and then said I could share them with you all. So which book would you pick? Leave a comment and we’ll find out on Friday. See you all then!

Log Cabin Christmas Blog Hop – Day 2

Welcome to Day 2 of the Log Cabin Christmas author blog hop! I’m so excited that you’ve joined me today.

I’ve previously written about how I came up with the idea for A Star in the Night (my contribution to A Log Cabin Christmas) when I visited Carnton–a Civil War-era plantation in Franklin, Tennessee. Carnton served as a field hospital following the Battle of Franklin, an unexpected but deadly skirmish south of Nashville.

As I mention in my novella, Carrie McGavock was the mistress of Carnton at the time of the battle, and offered her home to the wounded (both Confederate and Union soldiers). The guides at Carnton speak of her with the utmost respect, and it’s easy to see why. She served breakfast to the soldiers the morning after the battle and offered her home’s rooms–including all the bedrooms–as operating rooms. She tirelessly served the men in her home–some who were there for weeks.

 

One of the most beautiful features of the property at Carnton is the Confederate cemetary, a labor of love for Carrie and her husband. Following the war, the McGavocks tirelessly worked to identify and bury each of the fallen soldiers, and even today the rows of headstones bring to mind the immense loss of American life on both sides of the war.

But the truth is, there isn’t a whole lot really known about Carrie. The facts of her life are sparse, which allowed me lots of room to dream and take a little literary license. Carrie doesn’t actually appear in A Star in the Night, although she is mentioned several times, and my characters’ interactions with her are, of course, fictional. But I tried to be true to her legacy and character. I like to think that Carrie and Cora would have been fast friends.

Here’s a question for you:
What historical figure do you think you would be great friends with?

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Don’t forget to comment on this post and then pop over to Jane Kirkpatrick’s blog tomorrow for a special blog post from Wanda Brunstetter and comment there and on the other posts.

For a list of all the participating blogs, and full contest details, click here.

If you can’t wait to get your hands on a copy of the book, you can order it here or here.

Christmas and Contests!

I’m so exited to share with you all some really great contests this month! To celebrate my newest book, A Log Cabin Christmas, I’m offering you chances to win some pretty spectacular gifts and prizes (if I do say so, myself)! Here’s a quick overview of what’s to come.

1. Starting Monday, 11/7, join ALL nine of the authors of the New York Times best-selling A Log Cabin Christmas Collection in a very fun blog hop. Jump from blog to blog each day to learn some of the stories behind the stories in this wonderful collection and enter for a chance to win TWO copies of this gorgeous book, each signed by ALL of the authors. Tell me that’s wouldn’t be an AWESOME gift for that hard-to-buy-for friend (and for you, too!). The blog hop starts on Jane Kirkpatrick’s blog on Monday. Check out the official rules here.

2. I’m giving away a current Thomas Nelson fiction title of YOUR choice (subject to available titles)! The Thomas Nelson fiction team graciously offered me a free book for participating in a fiction focus group, and I’m passing that along to you! More details to come this week.

3. And then there’s the Christmas Story Giveaway Extravaganza! This one is going to be a doozy, folks! I’m still putting the final details in place for it, and I hope you’ll join me for the fun. Check back soon for details on a chance to win all sorts of great Christmas prizes including dvds, books, and gift cards!

See you on Tuesday for my entry into the Log Cabin Christmas author blog hop!