1. And the winner of my Random Acts of Publicity contest is…

Mike Jung!

Which is more than fitting because Mike is the one who reminded me about the RAP, AND because Son pulled Mike’s name out of the hat bowl last night, which pretty much proves that the BOOV are out there & taking an interest in our lives. Mike, send me an email at beckylevine at ymail dot com, with your snail-mail address, and I’ll get a copy of Steve Kluger’s My Most Excellent Year out to you!

2. I read through some past chapters of my YA historical, downloaded the newest Beta of Scrivener, and came up with a different way to approach the next scene (one already written in the first draft). Which officially means, yes, I’m back to work on the YA.

3. I have seen several yellow leaves drift out of the trees as I drive up our road into the hills. I don’t think autumn is officially here yet, but between the leaves and the shorter days, I can tell it’s on its way.

4. I realized I have hit a yoga milestone. Well, a few. First, yes, the tips of my fingers have actually touched the ground during forward bends. Did I say my knees were straight at the time? No, I did not. They’ll get there. AND I have gone a week+ without having to take an afternoon nap the day of a morning yoga class. Did I say I wasn’t tired? No, I did not. I’ll get there. I’m counting it all as progress.

5. I was lucky enough to get an ARC of Kathryn Fitzmaurice’s latest book, A Diamond in the Desert. This book blew me away. Who says a historical novel has to be heavy on details? Who says it has to bury us in historic figures & facts. Not Kathryn. She’s chosen an amazingly taut, light structure to tell the story of a young boy playing baseball in a Japanese internment camp. And it all works beautifully. Watch for a future interview here with Kathryn about the book.

Mike Jung reminded me that today is Day 1 of the third annual Random Acts of Publicity, started by DarcyPattison as a fun way to promote friends and favorite books. Mike’s running a contest to win THREE books by Julian Hector. You may go enter Mike’s contest, although if you can do so WITHOUT beating out my entry, I would of course appreciate that.

Anyway, in my never-ending quest to get more people to read one of MY favorite books, I’m running a giveaway, too. Never said I can’t steal make use of someone else’s good idea!

Here’s the book:

As you can see from the complete title [deep breath], My Most Excellent Year: A Novel of Love, Mary Poppins, and Fenway Park, the book has everything. Why is it one of my absolute favorites? Because it is very possibly the best love story I have ever read. And, remember, I wrote my master’s thesis on Wuthering Heights (Sorry, Emily!). The story and the characters and the relationships cover every possible form that happy, kind, supportive love can take. The connections and the voices and the humor are outstanding, and if you aren’t smiling, laughing, or saying “aaaaw” on every page, well, then, yeah–this book isn’t for you.

But you know what? It will be.

Just to prove it, yes, I’m giving away a copy of this book. I like Mike’s idea of having us add more promotion to the contest–he’s asked minions enter his contest by leaving a comment listing one of their favorite picture books. So, here, let’s hear your favorite love story. Since this is about promotion, let’s say favorite love story published in the last five years. Yes, you can ALSO add a second favorite from way back whenever–Jane Austen comes to mind–but that won’t enter you in the contest.

And, no, I’m not going to check the pub date on entries–can’t I TRUST you people?!

I’ll announce the winner on Friday, so enter now! And, if you aren’t logged in so that I can click your signature & get an email to you, please make sure to leave your email in the comment.

And have a love-filled week!

Check out Debbi Michiko Florence’s Friday Favorites post today, and find out why I love this book:

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