I love giveaway contests and I know you do, too–and so I am most pleased to announce that I am sponsoring one for the paperback publication of “Half in Love: Surviving the Legacy of Suicide,” beginning on December 5th. I know you are dying to find out how I came up with that idea.

Well, Thanksgiving has arrived and I’m sitting in my kitchen surrounded by the smell of a roasting bird in the oven and cranberry relish on the stove. Though it is not yet the new year, I nevertheless reflect back on what a good year this has been for me–from the publication of a book, to a litter of six Dalmatian puppies–and I feel both thankful and blessed. What a rich time it has been.

With “Half in Love: Surviving the Legacy of Suicide,” I took the risk of writing a candid book about the most intimate aspects of my life, with the hope that it would help others. From all the email I have received via the contact button on the site, and through this blog and message board, I believe I have done just that–given back a little, when so much has been given to me. So many have written in, telling me of their lives and trusting me with their own intimate details.

As I reflect on being able to reach people through the medium of writing–whether it is a book or a blog–I realize how truly lucky I am. If an author is “lucky”, her book will have a hardcover life, and one in paperback as well. It always used to be true that the latter followed the former, but in these days of uncertain publication, a softcover necessarily following a hard can often be a luxury instead of a given. No longer can your readers say, “Oh, I’ll wait until it comes out in paperback.”

Today, with publishers and bookstores alike going out of business, with fewer agents, smaller advances, and very tiny print runs–to say nothing of the burgeoning email book business that robs the sale of books on which you can actually turn the pages–it is no longer a sure thing that an author can have both, or even either.

However, I appear to be among the lucky ones, as in January of the new year 2012, Counterpoint Press will launch the trade paperback edition of “Half in Love,” which originally was published in hardcover in January of 2011.

And so, in celebration of this paperback, I decided to sponsor the aforementioned giveaway contest of ten books, as a way of sharing my joy. Out of the first thirty people who join the website, take the opportunity to share their stories or their thoughts, ten will be randomly selected to receive a signed copy of the book. (It can be personalized if any winner wishes.) If you belong to a book club, you also win the opportunity for a club event with me, either over Skype, or face to face, if you live in my vicinity.

I hope this will be a chance for others to share in the community of those who have opened their world and themselves as a way of finding both illumination and healing. Nothing helps as much as hearing that another person understands, in a very personal way, your feelings and your experiences. I (and the others already on the site) want to hear all about your highs and lows, your ruminations, your day dreams and nightmares–those very same things I myself shared in the writing of “Half in Love.”

Well, it’s time to go back and baste that bird in the oven and stop procrastinating about peeling the potatoes. Over the next couple of weeks, I hope many of you will join us here on the site. May you enjoy the blog and the book as much as I enjoy hearing from you.

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