Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Clearing Giveaway Week!

So, you may have heard that my book The Clearing is nominated for the RITA award for Best YA Romance this year.  I couldn't be happier to see this little book get recognition from an organization I've been a part of for nearly a decade.  The ceremony will be in NYC on July 1st, and I'm already getting a little nervous. 

This week on BooksBoysBuzz, we're celebrating the nomination with stories about special elder people in our lives.  In The Clearing, Amy has moved in with her Aunt Mae in the country.  Aunt Mae's home is anything but glamorous -- it's a double-wide trailer.  The special part of Amy living there is the kindness that Aunt Mae shows her.  She tells Amy that she doesn't need a boy to tell her how special she is, that she should know that she is special already.   And then, of course, Amy meets Henry Briggs, the one boy who realizes how beautiful and amazing Amy really is.  The only problem is, of course, that he's living in the endless summer of 1944.

How did the character of Aunt Mae come to life?  I've always been close to the older people in my family.  From my grandmas to my great aunts, there were always elders who offered my father advice on raising us kids and shared their perspectives on life with us.  To date, all of my books have an older secondary character in them.  There's no way that's a coincidence!

 For those of you who haven't seen the field that inspired The Clearing, here it is in this photo from my old hometown in the North Cascades.  That's Rinker Ridge in the background, and the red barn belongs to my old neighbors, The Dellingers.  When the bad weather would come in, the barn would disappear in a curtain of mist.  One day I began to wonder if it was still there, if it really still existed when I couldn't see it, and what might be in its place if it didn't.  Pretty deep thoughts for me, right?  I imagined a family, trapped in the 1940's living behind that curtain of mist -- and Henry Briggs was born.  The Clearing ended up being the book of my heart.  It's so gratifying to get letters from readers who connected with Amy and her journey and wished for a Henry Briggs of their own. 

So, how about the giveaway?

Comment each day to be entered to win The Clearing Farmhouse Prize Pack:

Signed Copy of The Clearing
Assorted Fine Teas
Briggs Family Biscuit Recipe
Biscuit Cutters
Cool Fortune-Tellers Tea Cup

We'll draw a winner on Sunday, June 19th from all the daily comments.  US and Canada winners only.  No purchase necessary to win, of course!

Today's question:

Who has been the most influential older person in your life so far?

 Good luck!

The Clearing - Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Wherever You Go - Harcourt (Nov. 2011)
Sometimes by Moonlight: A Novella - eBook
Never Cry Werewolf - HarperTeen


1110cg said...

my ancestors

Margay Leah Justice said...

My mother is and always has been the most influential person in my life.

TinaFerraro said...

Look for my answer in my post tomorrow! =)

Anonymous said...

My mother. She is a single mom raising me all on her own and she has done a far better parenting job than I have seen from most other parents of my friends. Not only has she truly raised me right, but she evened that out by being a best friend to me. And to top it all off she tells me stories from when she was in her twenties working for ike and tina turner and a bunch of other rockers.

Rachel Robinson

Lyssa Anne said...

For me, it's my mom too. She works crazy hard. I know she'll always take care of me or help me out if I need it.

Steph said...

My mother has probably been the most influential person in my life so far because she always had some answer that would satisfy my questions, and she still does. She always looks at things positively, and I admire that; she helps keep my head on straight.

Anonymous said...

My mother is definitely the most influential person in my life. She took me to the library almost everyday when I was a kid. Without her I wouldn't be the same.

bookedbee said...

So if i comment every day i might win free tea! Comment Comment comment comment comment

Cara King said...

The most influential older person in my life? Hmm... Heather, I'm not actually sure if you mean older than me, or "older" (a.k.a. elderly.) :-)

So I'll assume you mean both, and say my grandmother -- my mother's mother. She had to leave school after eighth grade to help support her mother and younger siblings...and she had to put off marrying, too, for the same reason. Then she did marry, and had six kids of her own!

And all of her kids still are very close, and also nice people, which I think says a lot about my grandma.

My grandma died long ago, but almost all my memories of her involve her working, or giving. If she came out to stay with us for a week, she kept trying to do the laundry or the dishes, and my mom would keep saying "those are the kids' chores, Mom! You should relax!" But she always wanted to help.

And she made amazing pie...

Llehn said...

My dad :D

donnas said...

My mom!

Congrats on the nom, very exciting!!

bacchus76 at myself dot com

Bwyatt said...

My dad! He's always been there for my no matter what. He's been an excellent example of all the values I hold dear.


stephhale said...

Congrats on the RITA nom, Heather! I so wish I could be there to cheer you on but I'll be in IL keeping my fingers crossed!!!

Andrea Mack said...

I think my Dad. My mom is influential in giving me day-to-day support, but it was my Dad becoming ill and later passing away that made me realize I need to do what he always said, and follow my dreams.

sunnynikki said...

I'd have to say the most most influential older person in my life is my aunt. She is like a second, more stable mom and taught me a lot about how to grow up gracefully. She has always supported me even when I was being beyond a brat. She is an amazing woman.

mitzy said...

My mum, and it's easy to say why, because she always has been there. Yes, we argue, but she always listens and I know that she would do anything for my sister and I.

Anonymous said...

I think that the most influential older people in my life so far have been my sisters. Is it ok to have two, because I would never be able to pick between them. They are just so great to me and have had to go through some hard times, especially in college, and have both pulled through without forgeting about me and doing a sister's duty of guiding a younger sister through her hard times. They just have always been there for me and are both a great role model.


rebecca said...

Definitely my mom. We haven't always seen eye to eye on everything, but she has absolutely never failed to be there for me whenever I needed her. I just hope that I can be as much to my kids as she has been to me.

Mahreen said...

My mom has been the most influential person in my life.