Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Skipping a Beat {GIVEAWAY}

I admit it.  In the first few months after having Gabrielle and Alaina, I didn't pick up a single book.  Okay, who are we kidding?  It was more like the first 24 months!  Yes, I went two years without reading anything longer than an article in Us Weekly, and for someone who adores reading like I do, it was a tough pill to swallow.  But I didn't have the time to dedicate to following a story from beginning to end so I anxiously awaited the day I'd be able to curl up with a good book and when I finally got the chance, I picked up The Other Side of Me by Sarah Pekkanen.

It's the story of adult twin sisters who've grown apart but who come together again at a pivotal point in their lives, and I couldn't put it down.  I was so sad to leave the characters of Lindsey and Alex when the novel ended that I immediately headed to Amazon to look for any other books written by the same author that I could get my hands on.  No luck - The Opposite of Me was her debut but through friends who had recommended Sarah's book, I found her Facebook fan page and "liked" it, figuring someone would share when her next one would come out.  I was so surprised to find that Sarah regularly posts and interacts with readers on her page.  It was there that I learned about a reading she was having in NYC to promote the release of her second book, Skipping a Beat, and I was shocked when I e-mailed her about it that not only did she e-mail me back, but went out of her way to make sure I was on the guest list.  So so sweet.

At the reading, I found Sarah to be as genuine in person as she is on Facebook.  She read an excerpt from Skipping a Beat and answered questions from the attendees, and her energy was infectious. 

It was so inspiring to hear her talk about how she got her first book published (she visited bookstores, made a list of the people who edited her favorite books and then sent them copies of her manuscript!), how she manages life as a mom and an author (she actually writes in her car while waiting to pick up her kids from school) and what she's working on next (here's a scoop - it may be the story of three couples whose lives are intertwined).  I headed home with a new copy of Skipping a Beat inscribed just for me:

And I couldn't wait to start reading it.  When I did, Skipping a Beat was all I expected it to be.  It's the story of Michael and Julia, two high school sweethearts who manage to achieve all of their dreams but whose lives change dramatically when Michael has a near-death experience.  I won't give too much away, but prepare to become totally emotionally invested in the marriage of two people you never met.  Sarah's writing vividly depicts what happens to a couple after being together for years and how they start to drift apart despite having everything they could ever want, and as a reader, you'll start to question how you would handle a similar situation.  I finished Skipping a Beat on a plane ride this weekend and was mortified to find myself sobbing through the final chapters.  The guy in the next seat looked at me like I was nuts but I couldn't bear to put it down until I knew what happened so I pulled out some tissues and just kept reading.  It's a book makes you think, make you cry and makes you wish it wouldn't end.  But alas, it did.  Now there's nothing for me to do but stalk Sarah's Facebook page, hoping for some news on when her next one will be out!

If you're a fan of authors like Jennifer Weiner, Emily Giffin or Jodi Picoult, I think you'll enjoy The Opposite of Me and Skipping a Beat.  Now the next time you're looking for a good read, you know where to look!

Sarah has graciously offered to give away one copy of Skipping a Beat to a lucky AFOMFT reader!  To enter, post a comment here telling me what your favorite book is (this is mandatory). For additional entries:
  • "Like" AFOMFT on Facebook
  • "Like" Sarah Pekkanen's Fan Page on Facebook and leave a comment that A Few of My Favorite Things sent you.
  • Follow AFOMFT on Twitter (@AFOMFT or click the birdie icon on the sidebar) and tweet this post by clicking the graphic above or this giveaway: #Win a copy of Sarah Pekkanen's book "Skipping a Beat" at @AFOMFT http://tinyurl.com/AFOMFT
  • Click here - Vote For Us @ topbabyblogs.com Top Baby Blogs - to vote for AFOMFT on Top Baby Blogs and post a comment here that you did. You can vote once per day per computer so if you vote every day or on different computers, be sure to post one comment for each one.
  • Blog or post on Facebook about this giveaway with a link to this post (worth 2 entries so please post two comments) and make sure your comments include a link to your status or blog post.
  • Donate $10 to the Red Cross to help the relief efforts in Japan by texting REDCROSS to 90999 (the donation will be billed to your cell phone bill).  (This is worth 5 entries so please post five separate comments saying that you made a donation)
Please leave a separate comment for each entry (two if you've blogged about the giveaway) and make sure to include a link to your tweet, blog post, etc. All entries must be posted on AFOMFT as a direct comment to this post. Comments on Facebook will not count as entries. This giveaway is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada and ends April 5th at 11:59 pm EST. The winner will be selected by random.org and announced on AFOMFT on April 6th. If the winner does not contact AFOMFT within 48 hours, a new drawing will be held so be sure to check back to see if you've won!

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