Wow, when I first decided to throw a Birthday Bash on my blog back in early June, I had no idea that it would become so big. At first I put out a call on my Samhain loop and then I started stalking my favorite authors on Twitter. I was shocked when one by one they agreed to not only write up a blog post or answer questions for an interview, but by how many donated one of their books as prizes each day. I am humbled and awed by the generosity of my guests.
One stipulation I did have of them was that I wanted a 'chatty' post, not something that was strictly "here's the blurb, here's an excerpt, now go buy my book." And each and every one of them came through. We've had such a range of topics - from interviews where my intrepid guests braved some of my more bizarre questions (Ever had anyone ask you if you do "that"? or Karen Dales "Shower or tub?" to Beth Williamson, Jane Lovering and Loribelle Hunt discussing raising teenagers. From Robie Madison's discussion of fairy tales being redone in romance to Inez Kelley's hugely popular discussion of nipple color. (OMG I still can't believe you guys answered her question on that!) Huge thanks go out to each one of my guest authors for taking the time and energy to be so creative and make each day's posts so much fun.
I also have to thank everyone who has taken time to comment on my guests' blogs each day. I've received quite a few thank-yous from the participating authors because of the fun they had answering your comments. I think every author I know is terrified they'll post on a blog and no one will comment, especially when someone just before or after draws in a big crowd. I don't think anyone's gone away feeling left out. More thanks go out to those who posted my widget on their blogs or retweeted my posts to their followers on Twitter. Without everyone's participation, the bash wouldn't have been the fun it has been. (And I do hope you've had fun this month.)
What an international group we are - which is why I love the internet. The Inner Circle prize winner is Lori from California, and the Spreadin' the Lovin winners - Joy from Germany and Host from Croatia. My weekly and daily winners have come not only from the US but from Canada, Finland, Germany and Australia.
I've already announced all but one winner, so now, for the grand prize draw. The final tally for entries - which includes an entry for each time you commented on the blog (1 per day), any widgets you posted on MySpace/Facebook or your blog, blog postings, tweets and retweets of my guest bloggers, along with all the members of my mailing list - is 2029.
Because some of the entries were members of my mailing list where all I had was an email address, I didn't feel comfortable plugging that information into random.org (they even recommend against it, in case someone gets into the information between their page and the server.) So to decide who won the Grand Prize, I assigned each entry a number and then used random.org's "true number generator" after entering a spread between 1 and 2029. It returned #1427 - which matched up on my spreadsheet to:
*insert drum roll here*
Congratulations to Natasha, and to all the winners of the bash. And thank you to all of those who have played along and made this month so memorable.