Tuesday, August 31, 2010

September is contest month!!

Yes folks, you heard right. For the month of September, I will be hosting a contest. And what a contest it will be. At least, I hope you think so.

I'm celebrating the release of not only a lovely new website, but also the long-awaited release of the short story sequel to A Piece of My HeartCONSTANT CRAVING.

September is the month of romance and love in Ireland. All month, people from all over Ireland gather in Lisdoonvarna, County Clare for the annual Matchmaking Festival. This tradition dates back decades, to a time when parents would bring their sons and daughters of marriageable age to the town and hire the local matchmaker to organize some weddings. This took place just after the last harvest of the year, which was the only time during the year when farmers could take time away from their homesteads. Without matchmakers, it would have been near impossible for farmer's children to find husbands and wives on their own because they would have spent most of their time on the farm. This was especially true for island folk.

Another love tradition revolves around the Claddagh Ring. The original ring was designed around 1690 in the Claddagh region of Galway City. This ring has long been used as an engagement ring, the tradition of which continues today. The Claddagh Ring got its design from the old pre-Roman Fede Ring, which was a band with two hands clasped in the front, signifying the hands of friendship and the bond between husband and wife. The Claddagh Ring goes on to include a heart between the hands which is crowned. The heart represents love, the hands friendship, and the crown loyalty.

Claddagh Rings may be given as friendship rings or promise rings, worn on the right hand with the crown pointing out (hold your hand upright and the heart and crown face upright).

As an engagement ring, or even as a wedding band, the ring is worn on the left hand and worn with the crown pointing out, as above.

Above all, these rings must be gifts of love and never purchased for oneself!

The Lisdoonvarna Matchmakers Festival and the Claddagh Ring feature in A Piece of My Heart, so what better time to have this contest!

So here it is. The contest is simple. Answer five questions and submit them to me. On the first of October, all entries will be put into a container and randomly drawn, third to first place.

ALL BUT ONE ANSWER can be found on this website. The bonus question is a pure guess for you. The answer has no bearing on the other questions and will not affect your entry into the draw. It's just for fun and to see how well you really do know me. And . . . the person who gets it right will get an extra treat in their prize package!!

OH! You want to know what you'll win? There are FIVE prizes on offer —

Third Prize - Three winners will get digital copies of A Piece of My Heart and Constant Craving. These are PDF versions, but we'll be happy to supply an e-reader specific copy on request.

Second Prize - An autographed copy of A Piece of My Heart, Constant Craving on disc, a certificate of ownership of land in Ireland (compliments of A Piece of Ireland), and a plush Jess dog toy. . . Molly's puppy from A Piece of My Heart.

And the Grand Prize - An autographed copy of A Piece of My Heart, Constant Craving on disc, a certificate of ownership of land in Ireland (compliments of A Piece of Ireland), and a ladies silver Claddagh Ring!

And yes, the winning Claddagh Ring is given with all of the meaning the ring signifies!

So get your thinking caps on. The contest will run until midnight 30 September, that's Irish time . . . 4pm PST or 7pm EST.

Good luck!

{Disclaimer: The photos shown above of the dog and ring are not the actual prizes, but representations from those line of manufacture.}