Archive for August, 2009

Hug a Cowboy Quilt

If you’ve been following us on Facebook, you know that our grand prize this year is the Hug A Cowboy Quilt–handmade by Michelle Baker. This quilt is a colorful, western themed lap quilt about 6 foot square. We call it “Hug a Cowboy” because of the hunky cowboys at the center.

From Unleash Your Story

Here’s a look at the whole quilt.

From Unleash Your Story

I love the creative way Michelle adds to the Western theme with her quilting detail. Notice how the the quilting pattern loops around in a manner reminiscent of a lariat. Also–note the hat, boot and cactus detailing in each corner of the center box.

Here’s a close-up of the boot.

From Unleash Your Story

You can look at the full album for more close-up detail of this quilt. You’d pay hundreds of dollars for a handmade quilt of this quality. Only one lucky participant will get to take this beauty home and curl up with these cowboys and a good book on a cold winter’s night. Will it be you?

Last year’s top money earner brought in over $1,000. You can do it.

Do you have a favorite spot you like to curl up with a good book?


August 31, 2009 at 9:53 pm

We have lift-off!

I’m waiting for an official report, but it looks like we have a few hundred dollars on our way to $23,000 as we start our campaign. Thanks to all of you have signed up to participate!

Remember our special incentive to get the event going on a fast start–every participant who brings in 15 donors during the first week will receive a $25 Barnes & Noble Gift Certificate. They must be 15 unique donors (not multiple donations from the same person) and each donation must be for $5 or more.

We will have special incentives for different things each week, including reading and writing totals. The top reader (highest number of pages) and top writer (highest number of words) this week will each receive a $5 Amazon Gifts Certificate. So–take a few minutes today and send out 15 or more e-mails to friends and family, asking them to support your goal. Then get started reading and writing up a storm.

Good luck to everyone in making your goals. And remember–your participation in this event helps the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation‘s efforts to find better treatments and a cure for cystic fibrosis.

August 31, 2009 at 12:42 pm

The Joys of the TBR

Super LibrarianWelcome guest blogger Wendy Crutcher. The fiction buyer for a large southern California library system, Wendy has been blogging for the past six years at  The Misadventures of Super Librarian .

In one guise or another, I’ve been floating around the online romance community for roughly ten years.  I’ve seen the rise of online review sites, message boards, listservs, blogging, MySpace, Facebook and Twitter.  I’ve seen sub genres declared dead, then miraculously reborn.  However, one thing has always remained constant…..

My insane To Be Read mountain range.

It ceased being a mere pile years ago.

It all started innocently enough with some of the listservs I was on.  I discovered I liked historical western romances, and boom!  I suddenly had readers from all over the world giving me suggestions on what authors I should try.  Then I discovered the wonderful world of category romance and boom!  I had suggestions for what lines and authors I should try.  I’d always loved mysteries, discovered that I also liked romantic suspense and boom!  Another host of authors to consider.

Soon the suggestions were coming not only from my listservs, but also review sites and blogs as well.

Is it any wonder that my TBR can currently be seen from space?

Readers ask me all the time if the sheer volume of my TBR ever becomes a crushing weight on my psyche.  Sure it does.  I wonder if and when I’ll ever have the time to read all those yummy, wonderful books.  But you know what?  As much as the anxiety sometimes gets to me, when you get right down to it?  My TBR is all about possibilities.

Every book holds the key to the universe.  What type of story will it be?  Will it be the next keeper?  Will I discover a new favorite author and find myself going on a massive glom?  Or, perish the thought, will I discover I don’t care for the author’s voice or a plot theme that doesn’t work for me?

My TBR is like my own undiscovered country.  A lost city waiting for an explorer to discover it’s buried treasures, hidden depths, and the dangers that may be lurking within.  So yes, while having a TBR that currently equals the gross national product of most third world countries is a bit daunting, it’s also a bit exhilarating.  New characters to discover, empathize and fall in love with.  New worlds to explore, journeys and adventures to be had.  I could succumb to TBR Anxiety, and heaven knows it would be easy for me.  However, I think instead I’ll sit back, ponder the possibilities, and dig through the mountain range to uncover my next great read.

August 27, 2009 at 6:43 am 19 comments

Countdown to launch

If you’re wondering about the daily struggle of living with cystic fibrosis, here is another blog for you to check out. I’m going to add some of these CF blogs I’ve found to our list of links. I hope reading something about the reality a person with CF faces every day will inspire you to work a bit harder to reach your goals in the next few weeks.

And speaking of inspiration, we have  a great line-up of guest bloggers who will be talking about reading and writing. Writers include, aspiring author Jessica Scott who is currently serving with the U.S. Army in Iraq where she has managed to keep writing. New York Times bestselling author, Angie Fox will talk about writing with young children in the house.

We also have some super-readers lined up. Besides our Pacesetter, Michelle Buonfiglio, we also have Smart Bitch Sarah from Smart Bitches Trashy Books and Super Librarian Wendy Crutcher.

Wendy Crutcher’s post will appear tomorrow, August 27. Please stay tuned. To be sure you don’t miss any of these wonderful posts, we have two options for you. Look on the sidebar to the right for links to “Subscribe to Unleash Your Story Make a Difference by E-mail” or  subscribe to the RSS feed.

Hope you’re about ready to start writing, reading or both. Launch is just five days away!

August 26, 2009 at 9:22 pm

Pacesetter Pep Talk

sm-lori-credit1Dear Writers,
Thank you for joining me in the Unleash Your Story write-a-thon to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis. As a registered nurse, I’ve seen first hand what this disease can do to families. But I’ve also witnessed many acts of simple bravery as the victims of this disease go forward with their lives in spite of the difficulties they face.
As a writer, I’m setting a quick pace. My daily writing goal is 3,000 words a day, five days a week. That pace equals a 60,000 word book in a month. You don’t have to match my pace, but I hope you’ll give it a try. I know you can do this. Shoot for quantity at this point. Shut off that infernal internal editor and just let the words fly. Because I believe as Ray Bradbury does. “Quantity eventually equals quality.” Write enough and you can’t help but be good.
I’ll be starting a brand new project, my third book for HarperCollins. Even if you’re not starting a new project, this is your opportunity to kick-start your writing and take it to a whole new level. We’re going to work hard, but we’re also going to have fun. There’s nothing more exhilarating than writing in the fiery, creative heat of a hot fast draft. Are you ready?
On your mark…get set…write!
Lori Wilde

As an added incentive, any published or unpublished author who matches Lori’s 60,000 word production during the event will receive a $10 Borders Gift Card. Match the 60,000 words and raise $250 and you’ll get a $25 gift card. Good luck to everyone, whatever your goal!

August 25, 2009 at 5:06 am 3 comments

Talking UYS at H2H

Michell Buonfiglio, our Pacesetter Reader/Blogger is the host of Barnes & Noble’s Romance Reader blog, “Heart to Heart” (H2H). Today she has posted about our Unleash Your Story event. Check it out.

August 24, 2009 at 6:44 pm

Michelle Buonfiglio sets a goal!

Our 2009 Pacesetter reader, Michelle Buonfiglio, has announced her reading and writing goals. Drum roll, please!

Buonfiglio-1 Michelle plans to read 10,00 pages and write 10,000 words in blogs and comments.

Readers and bloggers? Are you up to the challenge? Who can keep up with our pacesetter?

Each reader and blogger who meets the challenge and matches Michelle’s pages or word count will receive a $10 B&N gift card.

Bonus–if you match Michelle’s pages or word count and raise at least $250, you will receive a $25 B&N gift card. These prizes are in addition to any other UYS prizes for which you are eligible. (Visit our Prizes Page to see the prizes we are offering).

Visit Michelle’s Pacesetter page to learn more about the driving force behind her obsession for reading and writing about romance. And don’t forget to follow Michelle at and Barnes & Noble’s new “Heart to Heart” (H2H) romance fiction blog.

August 23, 2009 at 6:09 pm 1 comment

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Support for your fellow readers and writers while you help fight cystic fibrosis! It's easy to donate online. Thanks in advance for your support!

How we’re doing…

In 2008, Unleash Your Story raised $11,366 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Our 2009 goal is $23,000. Dollars Raised
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What is Unleash Your Story?

A combined read-a-thon and write-a-thon that challenges readers, writers and published authors to unleash their stories and make a difference.

Our 2009 goal is to raise $23,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the leading organization in the United States devoted to cystic fibrosis. Register now!.

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Pacesetter Author

Lori Wilde is our 2009 Pacesetter Author.

Lori has sold 47 books to 4 major New York publishers--5 books coming out in 2009. She's prolific and dedicated to writing regularly to keep up with all those deadlines!

Lori promises to set a sizzling pace for all our writers to follow! Her goal for the event is 60,000 words!

To learn more about Lori, visit her Pacesetter Page

Michelle Buonfiglio Pacesetter Reader

We are proud to have Michelle Buonfiglio as our 2009 Pacesetter Reader.

Michelle hosts Barnes &’s new “Heart to Heart” (H2H) daily romance fiction blog and is the creative force behind (RBTB), a fun and positive place where readers and writers hang to talk love, sex, family, life -- and, of course, romance novels

Michelle's goals are to read 10,000 pages and write 10,000 words in her blogs and comments.

To learn more about Michelle, visit her Pacesetter Page