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Oh. My. God.October 1, 2007

I am in the top three so far! I am duking it out with a fourth person -- there are four of us with very similar scores in the romance competition, and right now, at this second, I am in the top three! And still a whole week to go!

Okay. Let's talk. I DID NOT WANT TO GET ATTACHED TO MAKING IT INTO THE LAST ROUND. I wanted to be all cool. All calm. All like, whatever. It's great to be a semi-finalist. I finished a book, therefore I am a winner already.

I did NOT want to turn into a woman obsessed with checking the scores. I didn't want to have the pipe dream of making it to the final round, didn't want to have it running around my brain all night, waking me up early. In the words of lolcats everywhere, DO NOT WANT.

But okay, I do want. If I were in 15th or 20th place, I'd be happy with that. I'd talk myself into being completely content -- I'm good at that. But in the top three? With a WHOLE WEEK to be bumped out by people with bigger email lists and more friends?

So Saturday I found myself doing this: I wrote an email and sent it to everyone in my contact book. YOU probably got one -- you did if I've ever emailed you from my Gmail account. (I almost sent one to Corey Flintoff, since he DID write back to that post (swoon), and I wrote back to him. Can you imagine spamming Corey Flintoff with a request to read a romance chapter?)

I sent so many emails that Gmail thought I was spam and locked me out of my account for 24 hours! Indignant, I told Lala, "Gmail thinks I'm spam!" She just looked at me and said, "Well, you sent a mass email, with links, to a huge number of people. You ARE spam."

BUT I AM A CRAZY WOMAN, PEOPLE. I am now insane. I want Simon & Schuster to read the book. Even if they reject it. Just to know it got there.

So here's my last request. I swear I won't ask again.

Lovies, will you blog about this? And if YOU have people who like to read, who like books, or hell, who just know HOW to read on your email list, I have composed an email for YOU with which to spam your friends. Copy and paste, my ducks, and I WILL OWE YOU FOREVER. (I am quite aware I already do. MWAH!)

Dear friend/coworker/exboyfriend- slash-girlfriend/landlord,

My knitting-romance-writing friend Rachael has an urgent plea which I have pasted below. Please make her LIFE for her by voting for her, and if you enjoy it, please pass this email along!

Hi there.

Please forgive the mass mailing -- I have a favor to ask.

I'm in a competition you may have already heard about. I wrote a book, a romance, full of yarn and alpacas and sheep and hot knitter-on-shepherd action (no, really). I entered it in Gather.com's First Romance Competition. I posted the first chapter, and it garnered enough votes to move on to the second round (in the top 25 of more than 300), so I'm thrilled to say that I'm a finalist, with people now voting on the second chapter. It's kind of an American Idol type of thing, if you can imagine, and this second round is still vote-driven, and the the most important thing to know is that if I end up in the top three, with the most votes, I move on to the last round where THE WHOLE NOVEL IS READ BY SIMON & SCHUSTER and their favorite is published. Oh, my god. I would like that. I would love that.

So I need your vote. I *really* need your vote. I'm in the top four right now, and the three people ahead of me have LOTS of friends. I need to be in the top three to move on, and you will make ALL the difference.

Here's what you do: Read chapter one, but don't vote on it. That one is nice and content and voted on as it is. Please ignore the typos. They hurt my soul, but they're there.

Then read chapter two and please DO vote. If you like the chapter at all, please give it a 10, as they only count 10s (they throw out all votes of 1-9). The chapters with the most 10-votes win.

Even though I know you want to, don't vote more than once, since they're watching for IP fraud. And you DO have to register with their site in order to vote, but they won't spam you, and they don't share or sell email addresses. They will send you a daily email which you can easily opt out of.

Oh, please, please? And will you forward this note on if you like the chapter? To all YOUR email contacts?

Thanks so much. Here you go:

Don't vote on chapter one:
DO VOTE on chapter two:

All my thanks. Really, ALL my thanks. It means so much. Whoo-hooo!


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Good luck, sweetie! You've worked hard and you deserve this.

Dear Lord. I read it as boyfriend, slasher, girlfriend. I think I'll go vote for you now before I screw something else up then go take a nap.....
Good luck

Why, honey, I had already read it and voted by the time I got your mass email, so there you go!

Good luck.

I totally got that email this weekend and voted on the spot. I'm so excited for you!

I must be blind. I'm using Firefox and have gone nuts trying to vote. Where/how does one do it? I've read the chapter, and the comments. No where do I see a button, link, smoke signal, anything, to vote! Aie! Help!

I voted. I feel like I should get a sticker or something.

I sent Craig over. He read and gave you a 10.

I totally understand how much you want to stay where you are. Being out of the running is one thing, being oh so close will just not do.

So, to vote I use the stars, right?

hey there! i have been such a bad lurker lately but i had to tell you that while i am not usually a romance reader, i have been loving this novel... read the posted bits with growing delight and eagerness for the next chapter... and gave you a 10! :) congrats on your success so far chica!

K, my blog has officially been pimped. How do we get to see your stats, or is that only available to the other authors?


It was nice to meet you on Sunday, you're such a sweetie.


I voted! Even before I got your email...

Heck, I want to know what happens next!!!

Well they won't let me vote twice. I could always register again using one of my multiple email accounts to vote. But is that cheating? Nay.

okay. I'm thick. I don't see where to vote.

This is so awesome - good luck!

Oh, and you GOTTA check out the newest shirt design at Threadless. I swear, the artist was reading your blog when you started running. I always thought your analogy would make an awesome children's book, by the way.


I hope you win, but even if you don't, I want to read that book.

I put the info on my Livejournal, since I have friends there who are a) romance fans and b) fellow writers (some of these are the same people, but mostly not!).
Oh, and I voted, of course. :-)

I'm pretty sure I have a small blog readership but I posted about it front and center just now. Good luck and yay!

I've voted!

I emailed it to 16 people who I thought would vote - keeping my fingers crossed for you to get lots of votes - you should win anyway!

I blogged you, but I just can't bring myself to mass email anyone for anything. I hope partial effort is better than none at all. I really enjoyed reading the chapter and voted yesterday, btw.

I've voted and I've blogged it, darlin'. I hope to drive some votes your way from whoever reads me that doesn't already overlap with whoever reads you.


PS: Tell Lala the kid can have a banjo if she promises to teach him how to use the damn thing.

I love the story so far--had voted before I got the mass email, but I will forward the email on to everyone I think will help. I want to see you make it!

I want to read it all! I'm hooked already.

I'm a total perennial lurker on your blog but I wanted to let you know that I'm going to do a blog post for you. I don't even like romance novels and I really liked the first 2 chapters! :)

*Mwah* And please give Digit some lovins from me and my furry family too.

You are SOOOOO fun - best wishes and votes to you - whether you win or not you have had a Class A ride on the adrenelin train - lol -

Good luck! I have voted for both chapters and send my sister over to vote (sent her your letter).

Of course, I voted before I got the email. Great story, I want to read the rest. You realize you are going to have to post the rest of it if you don't win, don't you? We're dying of suspense here.

Okay, I finally read it and voted. It *is* a little clunky, but I think you can streamline it without too much trouble. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of it.

I voted before the email. See you at Rhinebeck!

Wow - what a good story! I wanna find out what happens - how can we get the rest of the story?!?

I blogged you, girlie! Good luck!

As I said before I emailed it to friends and just now I blogged it - I have a really small group of readers but every vote counts -

Okay, dear - I voted. And I never post, just read, so what can I say? It was nicely done.

Like a few of your other lurkers, I don't particularily like romance novels, but, after reading both chapters (I voted a 10) I can't wait to read more... What will she find in the cottage? How soon will Cade come around? How will her knitting/spinning/dying factor in? Will she get her own cat? Or will Cade's cat adopt her? I want to read it NOW!
Good Luck! You must win!

I voted! I haven't even read a romance novel in 10 years and I was enjoying it. I am going to see if my romance novel wielding friends want to take some time and read it.

Got linked to you by Feral Knitter. Enjoyed the chapters very much and gave you a ten. Hope my vote helps and I wish you much luck!

Four days to go...

560/9.5 - Love Spun
390/9.5 - Dancing With My Dream
390/9.4 - In Over Her Head
352/9.7 - Your Gift To Me

Delurking to say that I read your first two chapters and LOVED them. I want to read more!
Oh yes, and I voted too. Good luck! =)

Okey doke. I voted! I hope it wasn't too late. Great writing! :)

Okay, I'm dying. Probably not as much as you, but voting ends today and I can't figure out how to tell where you are in the ranking!

I'm hoping for you...


ROCK ON!!!!!!

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Rachael loves it when book clubs read her work! She's happy to attend book clubs that read her books either in person or via Skype. Contact her at rachael@rachaelherron.com to make arrangements.


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