2009 Book Giveaway

Each year on the blog, I choose ten books from my personal bookshelf to give to my readers. They’re all books I’ve read, enjoyed, and want to pass along for others to enjoy. (I have multiple copies of some of of them, so I’m keeping one for myself.)

So here’s how you get one of these books: Choose the one you want, then write me a poem. Put it in the comments and I’ll choose the winning poem for each book. I might choose based on the best, the worst, the funniest… basically, the awesomest poem for each book will win.

Boring details:

→ ONE entry per person in each category, fiction and non-fiction. (So that means you may enter twice.)

→ The poem must be left in the comments to this post.

→ The poem must be 2 to 14 lines.

→ I must be able to tell from your poem which book you want. Say it straight out, or make me guess… just don’t make it too hard. (I don’t have all day, you know.)

→ Poem needs to be entered by Monday, January 4th, at 11:59 pm MST.

→ I’ll announce the winners sometime next week.

→ Winners will email me their mailing address, and I’ll ship the books via media mail.

Here are the books. Click on the book title to get to Amazon and learn more about each one.

Have fun… I’m looking forward to being entertained!

Happy New Year!!!


Conspiracy in Kiev
by Noel Hynd

by Terri Blackstock

Jane Austen Ruined My Life
by Beth Patillo

Havah: The Story of Eve
by Tosca Lee

The Shape of Mercy
by Susan Meissner


Transformational Architecture:
Reshaping Our Lives as Narrative
by Ron Martoia

One Kid’s Journey Toward God Despite a Holy Mess
by Matthew Paul Turner

Your Life As Story:
Discovering the “New Autobiography” and Writing Memoir as Literature
by Tristine Ranier

Imagine Your Life Without Fear

by Max Lucado

A Million Miles in a Thousand Years:
What I Learned While Editing my Life
by Donald Miller


Rachelle Gardner

Literary agent at Gardner Literary. Coffee & wine enthusiast (not at the same time) and dark chocolate connoisseur. I've worked in publishing since 1995 and I love talking about books!


  1. buy neopoints on April 9, 2012 at 3:40 PM

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  2. weight management on April 2, 2012 at 6:58 PM

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  3. Issac Maez on March 28, 2012 at 1:20 AM

    Between me and my husband we’ve owned more MP3 players over the years than I can count, including Sansas, iRivers, iPods (classic & touch), the Ibiza Rhapsody, etc. But, the last few years I’ve settled down to one line of players. Why? Because I was happy to discover how well-designed and fun to use the underappreciated (and widely mocked) Zunes are.

  4. Study Island Answers on March 19, 2012 at 2:16 PM

    very good i havent read such a high quality peice of work in a long time good job. The text flows very nicely and it is very easy read and it was also fun and broght up some interesting points.Study Island Answers

  5. Simon C. Larter on January 5, 2010 at 2:29 PM

    >Phooey. Just realized I went over the line count by two.

    Note to self: next time you enter a contest on an agent blog of all places, read the rules twice. Thanks.

    My apologies, good lady.

  6. Tricia on January 5, 2010 at 12:36 AM

    >Fearless of dawn, I loathe to yawn

  7. Tricia on January 5, 2010 at 12:32 AM

    >Jane Austen ruined my life, with a knife, to stab my wife.

  8. Saundra on January 4, 2010 at 11:00 PM

    >The news is a buzz with war and recession.
    Anxiety and fear I now have in possession.

    And you say I can live a fearless life?
    Max Lucado go fly a kite.

  9. Saundra on January 4, 2010 at 10:49 PM

    >Stressed out day await each morn
    No need to cry or be forlorn
    Might as well divert my attention
    I am in need of Intervention

  10. Kirsten on January 4, 2010 at 9:36 PM


    mother who passes down to me
    insistent craving for forbidden fruit
    painful loneliness of exile
    (from both home and truest self)
    pass down to me also
    that redemption will come

  11. Kirsten on January 4, 2010 at 9:21 PM

    >(Your Life as Story)

    In honest moments
    I know: I write no story
    ever but my own

  12. timdibulator on January 4, 2010 at 7:15 PM

    >What if a pistol steers toward my face?
    What if that truck jumps the curb?
    Would I jump left? Right? On top of it?
    What if that space heater tips over and
    Sets my living room on fire?
    Why do I react with fear?
    Is fear my default reaction to
    An uncontrollable situation?
    Why do I turn to fear?
    Why can’t I be fearless?

  13. Rose McCauley on January 4, 2010 at 6:12 PM

    >It is with Sense and Sensibility
    That I write with all agility.

    I'd hie myself off to Northanger Abbey,
    But I don't think I could get there by hiring a cabbie.

    So I will travel to Mansfield Park,
    Where I hope to arrive long before dark.

    Emma and I have not a bit of Pride and Prejudice'
    But we would like to be met there with a kiss.

    Anne from Persuasion will travel along,
    We'll each find our prince and burst into song.

    So, pray don't tell me this won't have a happy ending,
    Or this dreadful poem I wouldn't be sending!

  14. Peggy Shaw on January 4, 2010 at 5:47 PM

    >"Jane Austen Has Ruined My Life"

    In studying the stack of classics on my night table—
    Books with romantic heroes such as the honorable Edward Farris,
    Chivalrous Mr. Knightley, and Mr. Darcy (the bare-chested Colin Firth version)—
    It is clear that I have lost myself in Jane Austen once again.

    Winter comes, the persistent cold seeps in,
    And I lounge in sweatsuits and thick, cotton socks,
    Fully absorbed in the pages of "Emma" or "Persuasion"
    Again and again.

    Someone might admonish me,
    “Jane Austen has ruined your life!”
    But I would only murmur slightly,
    Turning another page of "Pride and Prejudice"
    Before offering a reply.


  15. Elena on January 4, 2010 at 3:42 PM

    >My life
    anyone's story
    My strife
    enemy's glory
    Our lives
    everyone's story
    Victorious rise
    the Lord's glory

  16. thelittlefluffycat on January 4, 2010 at 3:36 PM

    >My life is the story I tell,
    the characters carved from my heart
    the plot running in my veins
    I write the acknowledgements, typeset the manuscript,

    My life is the story I tell;
    the one I know best,
    the one I want to have a great twisty second act, full of surprises
    and a ending everyone talks about,
    amazed at the craft of it
    wishing they knew how it was done
    wanting to read it again

  17. sallyhanan on January 4, 2010 at 3:24 PM

    >(Vying to win worst poem award)

    I thought about shapes.
    yes, I did.
    and I thought that the shapes should be for things.
    things that have no shape.
    you know
    'n stuff
    like that.


  18. Jana Dean on January 4, 2010 at 3:05 PM

    >Miller mills theology
    Blue Like Jazz rang true to me,
    If I read a Million Miles,
    Will it help me edit me?

  19. XDPaul on January 4, 2010 at 2:46 PM

    >Here's a poem called

    "Almost Completely Missing the Point (Again)"

    The kid in Big said
    "There's nothing fun about
    a building
    that turns
    into a robot.
    Who wants to play with a building?"

    I bet Transformational Architecture has
    the secret
    blueprints so I can finally build one for myself.

  20. XDPaul on January 4, 2010 at 2:33 PM

    >There once was a man from Nantucket.
    Which was enough of a poem for Rachelle to stage an Intervention.

  21. Janet J. on January 4, 2010 at 1:49 PM

    >I know that boy.
    I sat beside him in Sunday School
    long church-basement mornings ago.
    We watched while somebody's mother
    moved figures on a flannelboard
    to show us how David slew Goliath.
    I wonder about him now —
    have the years brought him
    his own Goliaths?
    And how has the slaying gone?
    I know the trajectory
    of my own path —
    what about his?

  22. marie on January 4, 2010 at 12:42 PM

    >A little boy churched
    One life wholly messed
    Despite even this
    The kid journyed
    To God and being Holyed

  23. Penny on January 4, 2010 at 12:11 PM

    >She's the mother of all Man,
    The bone of Adam's bone,
    Her form,a softer image of his own.

    She graced the earth in designer attire made by the Almighty.
    Yes, a la natural chic outfits made with the finest oak leaves.

    Her insatiable appetite for fruit and knowledge, led her astray.
    Her vulnerable emotions and mind beguiled by the cunning snake.

    She lived, she loved and conquered the first child birth without a midwife or epidural. Kudos to her!

  24. stretch983 on January 4, 2010 at 12:07 PM

    >A million long miles,
    A trillion hard trials,
    To edit how a life should be.

    A thousand long years,
    With joy and sad tears,
    To write a compelling story.

    God’s Word is the best
    Outshining the rest.
    To Him, be all of the glory!

  25. Penny on January 4, 2010 at 11:36 AM

    >The dark was my enemy,
    The light my friend,
    Chick flicks were my thing,
    Horror movies made me shiver,
    Spiders, snakes and lightning as well.

    But now I'm older,somewhat bolder.
    Fear, like a stormy cloud is now gone,
    And peace and courage sit in my heart
    like a precious stone.

  26. ~b on January 4, 2010 at 10:43 AM

    >At the beginning of this writing journey am I;
    Sometimes I question why?

    Yet, I know it is only my life story to share,
    Tis' interesting one of the chapters talks about Dare.

    From genre's, to finding voice or adding humor,
    The tools I need to evolve my story
    Appear to be hidding in this 22 chapter journal.

    "String your Pearls also caught my eye,
    Could it be this will help answer my question "why?"

    So, to assit me in this quest,
    Please gift me this book, so I can try and do my best!!

  27. macolady on January 4, 2010 at 9:48 AM

    >the form of forgiveness
    the configuration of kindness
    the silhouette of sympathy
    the outline of forbearance

    the likeness of leniency
    the profile of pity
    the structure of charity
    the contour of compassion

    the image of clemency
    the figure of unmerited favor
    the semblance of grace
    the body of blessing
    the shape of mercy

  28. Karen Collum on January 4, 2010 at 12:27 AM

    >A flicker
    A movement
    A scurry
    Heart pounding
    Fears abounding
    A leg
    Then two
    Then eight
    Pulse racing
    Demon facing
    Whenever I am scared
    Or overwhelmed
    Or anxious
    I see them
    But all I want to be is

  29. Africakid on January 4, 2010 at 12:13 AM

    >Too much fundamentalist church
    Left Matthew Paul Turner in the lurch —
    He's a "David Sedaris for the Baptist crowd,"
    & his new book would make me laugh out loud.

  30. Laura on January 3, 2010 at 11:34 PM

    >In ’09 I got my Master’s in English Lit,
    And now I’d like to have a bit of fun with it.
    By reading modern tales of antique things,
    Like Bronleewee’s Illuminated or Bunn’s Gold of Kings.
    The Jane Austen tome is like this I’m told,
    For Austen fans it’s to be treasured like gold.
    I watched Pride and Prejudice during the holiday season
    To whet my appetite, another good reason.

    My own book will be published in two thousand ten,
    Good fiction will fill my time until then.
    I love a good read, and writing’s a joy,
    As I share with others about raising boys.
    But reading’s a passion I’ve long loved and adored,
    To receive a free book would be a lovely reward!

  31. brendabowenavant on January 3, 2010 at 10:30 PM

    >The silence threatens to overtake me
    I run through the mist steadily
    The winding roads sometimes confuse me
    I take the twists and turns though I cannot see
    The magnitude of the race overshadows me
    I want out of the maze I long to be free
    The cold damp night nearly freezes me
    If I stop to warm up will I cease to be
    The pain of the journey hurts emotionally
    I choose to go on incredibly
    I run towards the prize and where it has to be
    I keep moving against the odds more determinedly
    I keep my mind intact and stay with my journey
    I won’t let the silence overtake me

  32. Wendy Heuvel on January 3, 2010 at 9:32 PM

    >Is this a contest?
    Or are you testing your readers?
    I've seen this tactic,
    By Russian Mafia leaders.

    Do I examine the facts?
    Or analyze the hear-say?
    Is this innocent?
    Nyet, it's a conspiracy!

  33. Wendy Heuvel on January 3, 2010 at 9:20 PM

    >I'd like to enter,
    But I'm too scared.
    Afraid of poetry,
    I'm prose-impaired.

    I shake in my boots,
    When words start to rhyme.
    But buy a book to help?
    I don't have a dime.

    So I'll keep shaking,
    The fear is my fate.
    But shaking might be good,
    If it will help me lose weight.

  34. Simon C. Larter on January 3, 2010 at 8:43 PM

    >For contests like this I'm afraid I'm not suited.
    If I entered, your comments they might get polluted
    By rhymes that don't work and by meter that's faulty,
    By words that would sound to your ears quite assaulty.
    So p'raps I should skip it and go take a walk,
    Have a nice glass of wine, call a friend up and talk.
    Well, but then I'd be missing my chance for a book
    That is free, so for me, that might be worth a look.
    Which one? is the question that now I am thinking,
    While sitting and surfing and reading and drinking
    A nice glass of wine, 'cause it helps me to write.
    (You can tell, since my rhymes have been turning out right.)
    So I think that "Your Life as a Story" might do–
    And I know I just added an "a." So would you
    If you needed the rhythm to turn out just so…
    and now I'm getting silly. I think I should go.

  35. Diana Paz on January 3, 2010 at 5:18 PM

    >I noticed your 2009 giveaway, and decided to check out each book

    One of them caught my attention, it has an adorable hook

    This zombie-free story looks lovely, and since I'm a huge fan of Austen

    It seems like a total no-brainer, that this story's the kind I'll get lost in

    I hope you enjoyed my poem, and thank you so much for the chance

    If you do pick me I'll be filled with glee, to get swept up with love and romance

  36. ginny martyn on January 3, 2010 at 5:12 PM

    >S/W/F Haiku

    Does Mr. Darcy
    Have a nice single brother,
    Perhaps-not so smug?

  37. Nordicblogger on January 3, 2010 at 5:06 PM

    >Garden fragrant, sweet and new,
    serenaded by birdsong, kissed by dew.

    Wake! and discover first love's blessing,
    Eden's story, Eve confessing.

    Mother of all, Adam's lover,
    Paradise lost, sin to discover.

    A story old, yet told anew,
    serenaded by birdsong, kissed by dew.

  38. Anonymous on January 3, 2010 at 3:42 PM

    >I told stories of love and loss.
    Lady's swathed in taffeta and lace,
    Gentlemen donning tails and tophats.
    Scenes of rolling English hills and quiet countryside gardens.
    My characters fell in love in the rain and sealed their hearts in four poster boudoirs.
    I did not not intend to ruin your life while I wrote of the fantasies within mine.


  39. Kat Heckenbach on January 3, 2010 at 12:00 PM

    >How tempting, Miss Gardner's book bin!
    (Is to covet these titles a sin?)
    Addicted to prose,
    I duly compose,
    with hopes INTERVENTION to win!

  40. Andrew on January 3, 2010 at 12:15 AM

    >You guys can write some good poems!

    Got the "we can't help you any more" thing from the doctor the other day, and I was thinking of writing a poem to ask for Lucado's book on fear.

    But nothing came out good. It was either stupid bravado or stupid self-pity, which only proves I'm not a poet.

    So I'll opt out of the contest, but give y'all a poem which I hope will help people in a similar place – it was written by Frank Hewlett, an Army officer who was captured in the Philippines and died before his camp was liberated.

    "I see no gleam of victory alluring
    No hope of splendid booty or of gain.
    If I endure I must go on enduring
    And my only reward for bearing pain – is pain
    Yet though the thrill, the zest, the hope are gone,
    Something within me keeps me fighting on."

  41. Beverly on January 2, 2010 at 9:56 PM

    >A conference dinner we shared
    While our lives we compared.
    Susan looked in my eyes,
    Caught my heart by surprise.
    She said, “Write your story
    And give God all the glory.
    Many hearts you may mend.”
    (Toward her books I now tend.)
    I love books by Meissner —
    They make me much wiser.
    The Shape of Mercy’s my gain
    Should I entertain.
    Your announcement next week
    Could make my knees weak.
    Then my email I’d send
    For the book of my friend.

  42. Beverly on January 2, 2010 at 9:55 PM

    >My life as a story,
    Well, it just isn’t gory.
    Nor is it plain.
    It might entertain.
    Although there’s been trouble
    My heart can still bubble.
    My story is worth it.
    This book could help birth it.

  43. Claire King on January 2, 2010 at 4:23 PM

    >In January, layered fat like matrioshka,
    they trudge flat-booted feet past onion domes
    of Sofia, Andrey and other saints,
    For the daily bread.

    Back home each peeled away coat reveals another,
    Each glove more gloves, each sock more socks
    When Kiev’s final doll reveals herself you’ll see,
    She is not so orthodox.

  44. Lynnda - Passionate for the Glory of God on January 2, 2010 at 4:12 PM

    >Your Life as Story is not a French dessert.
    It is honey mixed in medicine
    So you don't notice the awful taste.
    The epiphany in my story is as much a surprise to me
    As the sudden relief from a tummy ache.

    Happy New Year, Rachelle and all.

  45. ~Brenda on January 2, 2010 at 3:35 PM

    >Rachelle, you're so giving,
    So awesome, so kind,
    I hope you'll intervene
    And make a book mine.

    Oh, please Rachelle, please,
    Look favorably on me!
    For I have just spent
    An hour plus three.

    For I am a writer,
    A reader, oh yes!
    But I am no poet,
    Perhaps you have guessed?

  46. Ann Stewart on January 2, 2010 at 3:34 PM

    >Jane Austin ruined my life,

    Not from her lost letters of love,

    But from her overoptimistic love addiction,

    Her men of leisure and breeding,

    Her woman in peril of lust-less lives,

    Her happy endings always with a side order of grief and guilt,

    And I eat up every word as if reading hard enough would release me from her unyielding grasp,

    Yes, Jane Austin has ruined my life,

    And I have loved every minute of the misery.

  47. Karen Barnett on January 2, 2010 at 3:30 PM

    >Once I longed for a model's figure,
    Believing it's what I was supposed to be.
    Now I bask in my savior's grace,
    Shaped by His loving mercy.

  48. cstironkat on January 2, 2010 at 3:17 PM

    >A conspiracy you say,
    in Russia, no way,
    I want to believe
    that this is the book I'll receive.
    Please pull my name and you will see, just how happy I will be.

  49. patty Sherry on January 2, 2010 at 3:03 PM

    >Here comes the fear again
    A faint rumble in my belly
    Tiny bubbles rising to my throat
    Until I feel I cannot speak
    Damn it woman, say what you want to say!
    You think your writing is so damn good!
    Maybe I can soothe myself somehow
    But my heart beats faster still
    I can’t seem to catch my breath
    Damn it! I should know better
    But there is no stopping ME
    another contest I'm afraid I won't win
    If this fear gets the best of me.

  50. patty Sherry on January 2, 2010 at 3:03 PM

    >Here comes the fear again
    A faint rumble in my belly
    Tiny bubbles rising to my throat
    Until I feel I cannot speak
    Damn it woman, say what you want to say!
    You think your writing is so damn good!
    Maybe I can soothe myself somehow
    But my heart beats faster still
    I can’t seem to catch my breath
    Damn it! I should know better
    But there is no stopping ME
    another contest I'm afraid I won't win
    If this fear gets the best of me.

  51. Janet Oberholtzer on January 2, 2010 at 1:58 PM

    >Transforming takes time
    And can be a tough climb.

    Architecture change
    can feel and look strange.

    Advice from Ron
    Could help me get it done.

  52. Kyi May on January 2, 2010 at 12:57 PM

    >I'd like Conspiracy in Kiev.
    Have read and learned from My Life
    as Story.
    As an economist and then a political scientist in Burma and then America
    I've read a lot about Problems of Communism.
    Reading Alan Furst's Spies in Warsaw
    which is how I found you.
    I lived and studied in Warsaw 8 months in 1969-70.
    Will soon query you about my novel.

    Kyi May
    Free Aung San Suu Kyi and Burma blog

  53. Lill on January 2, 2010 at 11:14 AM

    >Austen, please …

    The reviewer called it
    cotton candy –
    that's better than
    bubble bath.

    No soapy aftertaste,
    and still a soft, sweet chance
    to slip away
    from a world where
    the fun read budget
    gets spent on

  54. Mark on January 2, 2010 at 10:50 AM

    >When the comments be numbered
    And the entries all in
    Please give me the book
    That no one else wins.

  55. Mari-Anna Frangén Stålnacke on January 2, 2010 at 10:47 AM

    >Onward, Christian writers!
    Freely! Fiercely! Fearlessly!
    Onward then, ye happy people!

  56. Mari-Anna Frangén Stålnacke on January 2, 2010 at 10:41 AM

    >Thank God
    His mercy is
    out of shape.

  57. elitepscorp@aol.com on January 2, 2010 at 10:06 AM

    >Apples to Apples is a saying
    All the while I sit here praying

    Yet the hope of a book for free
    As they say, if it's free it's me

    Still wondering which name?
    If only Eve didn't play the game

    Would paradise then ensue
    or would someone else made us stew?

  58. Krista Phillips on January 2, 2010 at 9:33 AM

    >(my husband says this is too stupid to post, but maybe I'll get a vote for the "worst")

    The dork won't stop though I yell for him to.
    He twists harder as I go boo-hoo.
    I think of pleasant things to make me smile,
    to take my mind get off the burning for a while.

    Like a circle-shaped cookie or a triangle Christmas tree.
    Or a rectangle box filled with caramel for me.
    But after a moment my arm takes on a purple hue.
    I can’t stand it much longer, the unthinkable, I must do.

    I stare at my brother, the word stuck in my throat.
    Mercy” from my mouth, the exclamation does float.
    The release is real and the pain still lingers,
    Defeat is great but at least I still have use of my fingers.

  59. cara on January 2, 2010 at 12:15 AM

    To love is to be fearless
    To grow is to be fearless
    To try is to be fearless
    Even with knowing in each you could fail.

  60. Keith Schroeder on January 1, 2010 at 9:40 PM

    >The choice is so hard
    when not a practicing bard.
    So I reviewed the list
    until I could not resist.
    Not able to make up my mind and ready to leave,
    finally I settled on the Story of Eve.

  61. Rob Bushway on January 1, 2010 at 9:09 PM

    >For too many moons
    Every thought was held captive;
    Anxious for love,
    Reluctant to live.

    Light now defines me,
    Encompassing my heart;
    Satisfied to love,
    Strength to live.

  62. Michelle Phillips on January 1, 2010 at 8:53 PM

    >A husband sits upon the couch,
    A frown is on his face.
    For resting there on his wife’s lap
    A book’s taken his place.

    It’s one she has not read before,
    Of love and dreams and such.
    And though he tries to talk to her,
    She doesn’t hear him much.

    The Shape of Mercy’s like a drug,
    She cannot put it down.
    And since he will not read it too,
    He wears an angry frown.

    He grumbles and he squints his eyes,
    A literary grouch.
    “I hope it keeps you warm tonight
    while sleeping on the couch.”

  63. Wendy @ All in a Day's Thought on January 1, 2010 at 8:28 PM

    >I’m not a numbers guru.
    I’ll stick with words.
    But to traverse acres of land over time stretched limber
    like a Pilates pose…
    Is there no greater feat?
    To know where you’ve been in order to get to where you’re going.
    It’s the equivalent of moving a million miles in a thousand years.

    I drool for books. Enjoyed playing.
    ~ Wendy

  64. Wendy @ All in a Day's Thought on January 1, 2010 at 8:20 PM

    >I’m out of it because I write.
    I bathe in it because
    I’m God’s.
    The the and the of are insignificant, hardly needing a mention.
    Set one next to the other and you get the contour of compassion.

    Fun, fun!
    ~ Wendy

  65. Anonymous on January 1, 2010 at 3:55 PM

    >A million words in a thousand years,by sheer might, I write–inking the dream, waiting … it is coming. I feel the pages turn.
    A million words,a million miles, a thousand years, one yes … it is time.

  66. Paula on January 1, 2010 at 2:46 PM

    >Indecision has always been my bane,
    From the beginning of my life's reign.
    There are three special books I crave,
    About these authors I often rave.
    So how can I choose between Patillo, Meissner, and Miller??
    To pick one is just a killer.
    Actually Patillo is not a name I know,
    But the title gives the book a go,
    'Cause I'm such an Austen freak
    You could actually call me a literary geek.
    But the beauty that flows from Susan's pen,
    Makes me read her again and again.
    And Donald? The things he does with ink,
    Totally makes me ponder and think.
    And though this poem is totally chessy,
    All I can say is pleasssssy!

  67. sarah on January 1, 2010 at 1:30 PM

    >Wrting real, writing fact
    Your Life as Story
    We all have lived
    Amazing tales…
    To speak its truth
    To show and tell
    That God alone would get the glory..

    🙂 Thanks Again Rachel.

  68. Scheherazade on January 1, 2010 at 1:26 PM

    >That time long, long ago I spent drudging through the dark soul of Russian literature,
    When I was too in love with all things French to ever fall for a Kiev story,
    I dare you to surprise me.

  69. sarah on January 1, 2010 at 1:23 PM

    >I never thought I would say, 'Happy New Year' it's twenty ten.
    Freedom came from the touch of the power of His gentleness
    The "Intervention" that turned my life around
    Breaking chains and the shackle of shame.
    His Light revealing truth, dispelling darkness. breathing life.
    Teaching the power of faith
    To stand tall, to walk free.

    Happy New Year Rachel…as always – your awesome. Sarah

  70. Erin Cabatingan on January 1, 2010 at 12:56 PM

    >Poetry to win
    Fearless by Max Lucado
    Can't rhyme–I haiku

    Pretty please with ex
    tra sugar on top gimme
    The Shape of Mercy

  71. Debbie Maxwell Allen on January 1, 2010 at 12:00 PM

    >When the hurt is too great
    A gaping wound in my soul
    The bitterness consuming
    Every inch of me
    It is You who reaches
    Gentle hands that transform
    Ashes to beauty
    Leaving space that becomes
    The shape of mercy.

  72. Nathan on January 1, 2010 at 5:31 AM

    >I spoke the heavy words… then I saw my wife's fierce glare.

    "Yours was ruined long before
    You let Austen in upstairs!"

    I had scarcely time to duck,
    As Northanger skimmed my hairs.

    (Goodness knows I am so grateful talk of e-books fill the air.)

  73. FaizNazim on January 1, 2010 at 5:21 AM

    >Be gone by begone,
    Living the present,
    Seeking the mystery of future.
    I am turning to scorn,
    Its bad no more decent,
    Thee shall be lure.

    Lost in my research,
    To find an idea,
    To be a writer.
    Hanging by the porch,
    Never been to Ikea,
    OMG,am I trying hardly to be a rhyme-r.

    Your Life as Story is in need,
    For my writing skills to feed.

  74. Nathan on January 1, 2010 at 4:57 AM

    >The man just kept on staring with pencil in his ear,

    Then with a thumb outstretched he seemed to measure all my gears.

    He jotted down some notes while whistling a tune,

    Then turned and sauntered off, surprised to end so soon.

    His notebook left behind, I read the simple phrase,

    This architect divined from looking at my face.

    “This plain and dreary life, for transformation’s grounds,

    Unfortunate, but clearly, I must declare unsound.”

    I need a second opinion.

  75. Rachel Starr Thomson on January 1, 2010 at 2:08 AM

    >Such is life: ink on a page
    Red ink marking from a critic's pen
    Black ink running from a writer's heart

    Critic and writer in me both
    Fighting for mastery of the scenes
    Struggling to make every sentence mean

    And God? God is a writer
    Who never edits; He gets it right
    The first time–

    Or maybe He does. For the joy of it,
    for the painstaking love of the work.

    To make in an instant as is glorious
    To shape in a lifetime as is good.

  76. trustedwriter on January 1, 2010 at 12:47 AM

    >I was reeling in perfection
    Underneath the dome-like skies:
    All the colors and the flavors
    And the light in Adam's eyes,
    And the symphony of gladness,
    And the singing of the bees,
    And the glow of ruddy sunset,
    And the whispers of the leaves.

    All is fallen, all is aging;
    Now the world is in decay,
    Shaking, choking on its sorrow
    In the swirl of ashy gray.
    It is drowning in its sadness,
    Filthy in iniquity,
    It is waiting for the Son of God
    To set His people free.

    I guess I'm a blog "lurker"…I haven't commented here before, have I? I was too intrigued to keep silent on this posting, though, because I am endlessly fascinated with Adam and Eve, so "Havah" caught my eye, and also I enjoy writing poetry. =)

    Happy New Year!
    – Trustedwriter

  77. Jan Cline on December 31, 2009 at 11:49 PM

    >The weight was dark, it held me tight
    I did not know how low
    Until I soared in freedom’s light
    No encumbrances in tow.

    The distant thunder stirs no alarm
    Safe in the Shepherd’s arms I rest
    God came near, I’m safe from harm
    A new vision is my quest.

  78. jmartinlibrarian on December 31, 2009 at 11:12 PM

    >Dearest Jane,
    My own Darcy leaves my resolve in ruins, can you advise? Much Affection, Comtesse di Suburbia

  79. Rose McCauley on December 31, 2009 at 9:46 PM

    >My poem can be sung to Old Blue Eye's "The Second Time Around":

    Life is lovelier, the second time around,
    Just so wonderful to take your feet off the ground.
    And if Donald Miller can do it, so can I.
    I can edit my life to reflect the ending I want to achieve ere I die.

    If your Volkswagen won't take you up the hill,
    Take the air filter off and get ready for a thrill.
    'Cause with prayer and maintenance you'll surely find
    That with God on your side, the results will truly blow away your mind.

    Life is wonderful if you paint it Blue Like Jazz.
    Just so wonderful when you add that razzmatazz.
    So, don't be content to leave your life to chance–
    Put on your golden slippers and go on out and dance and dance and dance!

  80. robin_titan on December 31, 2009 at 9:36 PM

    >Oh man I'm so bad at this but here goes:

    I'm in love with Mr. Darcy
    His creator too
    Just a little
    Okay, a lot

    Man, that was so very lame haha sorry but I'm not a good writer nor will I ever be. You can imagine how embarrassing English class was for me. Either way I still adore J.A 😉

  81. robin_titan on December 31, 2009 at 9:36 PM

    >Oh man I'm so bad at this but here goes:

    I'm in love with Mr. Darcy
    His creator too
    Just a little
    Okay, a lot

    Man, that was so very lame haha sorry but I'm not a good writer nor will I ever be. You can imagine how embarrassing English class was for me. Either way I still adore J.A 😉

  82. Sharon Mayhew on December 31, 2009 at 9:26 PM

    >It once was my Intension
    To create a great Invention.

    My wonderful Invention
    would do a virtual-Intervention.

    A successful virtual-Intervention
    could be worth a mention…

    (on Rachelle Gardner's blog)

    Happy New Year to all!

  83. Serendipity on December 31, 2009 at 8:28 PM

    >Oh, Jane…

    You've left me swooning
    with my heart yearning
    for more.

    How could I possibly compete?

    My sticky fingers
    leave chocolate on the pages
    and my worn bathrobe,
    as I run
    because it's
    3 o'clock
    and the children
    are coming home…

  84. Nadine on December 31, 2009 at 6:18 PM

    >Reading through Jane like the back of my hand,
    I knew my life would turn out to be grand
    But all was not so, it turned out to be,
    For Jane taught that love was always happy.

  85. Nikki on December 31, 2009 at 5:40 PM

    >God’s Tiny House

    Ms. Stanley left her pillow where she wanted to sit, always sat,
    the far end of the second row.
    It was understood that the first row would remain empty,
    except for the little girls who lined up to escape the rolling pews and anointing,
    to be churched for a moment in blessed solitude,
    alone in the single, private toilet.
    One by one, we left and returned, passing by the pillow,
    where Stanley sat (who knew it was her first name?),
    putting down her paper accordion fan to
    praise the holy spirit, and be an angel
    when you’d tucked the back of your dress into your panties.

  86. Rachelle on December 31, 2009 at 5:04 PM

    >Dara, the rules don't say you can't name the book! In fact, I'm relieved that some of you have named the book, so I don't have to work so hard. 🙂

    However, I did some editing in the rules to make it clearer.

  87. Lea Schizas - Author/Editor on December 31, 2009 at 4:58 PM

    >Although generous to a fault
    Rachelle’s call grasped me to a halt.
    Poetry and me never see eye to eye
    But give me drugs, murder, and some Blackstock rye
    Sprinkled with suspense for me to ponder
    And I become the bad poet Rachelle will surely honor.

    As you can see I suck at poetry. GRIN

  88. Mira on December 31, 2009 at 4:41 PM

    >Oh goodness. I love writing poetry. Absolutely love it. However, my great love of writing poetry is exactly in proportion to how horrible the poetry I write is. Truly. I'm not exaggerating. I'd have to make everyone sign indemnity forms before letting them read it, and that would just create a big mess.

    So, I'll enjoy reading the poems, wish everyone luck with the contest – which is a fun one! 🙂

    Also, Happy New Year to everyone! May 2010 be wonderful and bring you grace, goodness and prosperity. 🙂

  89. wendymhall on December 31, 2009 at 3:48 PM

    >I,like Gideon, need reminding
    Of the boldness God designs
    For our souls so fear-finding
    to be complete in love divine.

  90. Falen on December 31, 2009 at 3:41 PM

    >At Intervention I would like a look.
    Will you please let me have the book?

  91. stayathomemomreview on December 31, 2009 at 3:33 PM

    >Many nights I read your books
    poring through the decades
    finding meaning where other found none,

    your witty characters made me laugh
    your charming men made me dream.
    But the knowledge I gained from you
    hasn't helped me earn a dime

    now I have my MA
    and I see your face everywhere
    mind my matters
    hold my chin up right
    but if you could help me sharpen my resume
    I might think you're alright

    So ode to you Ms. Austen and the others I studied all night.
    I will think of you while I live with my father-in-law
    and try desperately to find at least a part-time job.

  92. Dara on December 31, 2009 at 2:54 PM

    >Well, I'm slow–just re-read the rules and saw I wasn't supposed to state the book I wanted 😛 Oops. Oh well; it was fun making it!

  93. Marla Taviano on December 31, 2009 at 2:50 PM

    >If Mercy had a Shape
    It'd be a Rhombus.
    If this poem had a Point
    I might win myself a Book.

  94. Marla Taviano on December 31, 2009 at 2:45 PM

    >If I win A Million Miles
    I will Smile a Billion Smiles
    Should it take me the next Zillion Whiles.

  95. charlene_ebert@yahoo.com on December 31, 2009 at 2:06 PM

    >Did She Not Have Love

    Demon arrived in plain brown wrap.
    I'd felt the urgings of his tap.
    Determined is he, for our fall.
    In listening she condemned us all.
    Who, without hunger, not a trace,
    Desired the fruit and turned her face,
    Away from God, as in she bit.
    God was not going to forget.
    She slayed us all with greedy lust,
    Offspring to ashes, then to dust.

  96. Jane Steen on December 31, 2009 at 1:03 PM

    >I exceeded
    The 14-line limit
    In my previous poem

    I would still like
    The Jane Austen book.

  97. Amy Sorrells on December 31, 2009 at 12:59 PM

    >FEAR . . .
    smothering joy
    shackling souls
    scorching hope
    obstructing beauty
    fettering freedom
    choking life
    clinging to the core
    until at last
    The One
    who is More
    looses chains
    and makes it
    . . . LESS

  98. Jane Steen on December 31, 2009 at 12:37 PM

    >Come in, my dear.
    Sit down.
    No, no, here, this one’s more comfortable.

    Are you well?
    Would you like some tea?

    You look so beautiful in your red dress.

    I see you notice my Jane Austen collection.
    I have read each one
    A dozen times
    At least.

    Take a look.
    They are beautiful bindings
    Are they not?
    Look closer…

    Ah my dear,
    That was too close.
    The crimson stain
    Of your life
    Is spoiling your dress now.

    Perhaps I should take you outside
    And lay you
    In the serene garden
    Of my mind.

  99. T. Anne on December 31, 2009 at 12:15 PM

    >Jane Austen ruined my life,
    such a book with strife.
    I feel the need to read
    such prose to make my heart bleed.
    So please send me this lovely novel,
    I really hate to grovel.
    To be a poet I should think twice,
    but isn't that cover nice?

  100. Jennifer on December 31, 2009 at 12:14 PM

    >Shot off a killer query
    Tipped with poison
    Straight to the heart…
    Never heard back.

    Internet arrows
    Black Holes


  101. Rebecca Knight on December 31, 2009 at 12:11 PM

    >I read a remarkable work
    The romance of it gave me a quirk.
    I married too early,
    He left me for Shirley.
    My Darcy is really a jerk.

  102. Staci at Writing and Living on December 31, 2009 at 12:11 PM

    >If Austen's done badly it's not very fun,
    Which made me reluctant to spring for this one.
    Rachelle says it's good so I'll take her word,
    That Beth's new attempt can stand out from the herd.
    AP Guide and Garner's are new on my shelf,
    So now I'm too broke to buy it myself.

  103. REG on December 31, 2009 at 12:07 PM

    >The idea of making the personal public
    Is far and away too much to bear.
    An expose published with any luck
    Is like standing outside in my underwear.
    Am I trying to journal the incorrect way?
    If I had instruction in the non fiction art
    Then I could start writing my memoir today
    Of the torments and joys jogging my heart.
    So send me a copy of how I should do it.
    Absolution of all the ways I could fail
    I’ll send along with the what you may intuit
    Is my life unbound that you’ll find in your mail.

  104. Rebecca Knight on December 31, 2009 at 11:54 AM

    >A leaf tumbles down
    mingling with rich, foreign soil.
    Living without fear.

  105. Beth on December 31, 2009 at 11:52 AM

    >Thank you for offering this fine occasion
    to write an eloquent poem of Persuasion.
    I'm not a poet with Pride and Prejudice,
    therefore the challenge to find the words for this
    that rhyme with Sense and Sensibility
    and timing turn into tranquility.
    A jotted poem, in fine short measure
    to lead to future reading pleasure.

  106. Chris on December 31, 2009 at 11:36 AM

    >She was taken from Adam's rib
    You know, the guy who told the fib
    A honey in her birthday suit
    It all changed when they ate the fruit

    The universe erupted
    His creation now corrupted
    Smiling, the snake slithered away,
    "Forever Man will rue this day."

  107. Caroline Starr Rose on December 31, 2009 at 11:31 AM

    >Might I Persuade you to give me a chance?
    I long to read a Sensible Victorian romance.

  108. Dara on December 31, 2009 at 11:30 AM

    >OK, trying my hand at a haiku for The Shape of Mercy 😛

    Mercy's Legacy
    Crosses time, transforms two hearts
    Hope is never lost.

    Happy New Year!

  109. Catenabi on December 31, 2009 at 11:27 AM

    >BookPage says this book
    is like a cup of English tea.
    Something that's always
    Been so comforting to me.

    England and Austen–
    Of my life, you have control
    Since our very first meeting
    You've been my heart and my soul.

    Should this book come to me
    With much joy and glee I say:
    I would be so grateful
    For evermore and a day.


    Thank you for the contest!
    Happy New Year!
    All the best for 2010!

  110. Rachel on December 31, 2009 at 11:19 AM

    >A Haiku:

    I want the Blackstock.
    Oh, to find Christian Fiction
    that I truly like.

    Happy New Year's, Rachelle!

  111. Cynthia Schuerr on December 31, 2009 at 11:10 AM

    >My dear, my daughter
    I must confess
    It was I who turned you
    Into this mess
    I will be clever
    And fight forever
    To do what it takes
    With these high stakes
    On your behalf
    We will laugh
    When we clear your name
    And restore your fame

  112. S. Dionne Moore on December 31, 2009 at 10:51 AM

    >Claws dig deep into my soul
    Torment, terror, ever to know
    How often I shrink from that I must do
    Fearless is not friend but foe
    Will their chains ever break from me
    or will my world be ever dark. . .

    like my got-run-over-by-a-reindeer blackened toe?

    What can I say? I guess that's why I write fiction and not poetry.

  113. Rich on December 31, 2009 at 10:46 AM

    >Seven billion grains of pure quartz sand;
    His hands scoop, the crucible fills.
    Refiner’s fire applied, scarred edges meld.
    Divine breath shapes, perfection takes form:
    A Holy Goblet for precious wine.

    Are you a battered, indistinguishable pebble on a vast shoreline?
    Or have you been transformed into a facet of His Glorious Story?

  114. Pia Veleno on December 31, 2009 at 10:45 AM

    >Crank, meth, the monster
    Ellen Hopkins introduced
    addiction, and now
    Intervention will wrap up
    That painful cycle

  115. Ryan Tate on December 31, 2009 at 10:42 AM

    >Oh Donald Miller, Oh Donald my friend
    You’ve been blue like jazz, blue to the end

    Running, walking
    Singing, talking

    Did you know that one day you’d be famous and known
    With the miles and years that you’ve been shown

    A million miles won’t do, not even close to being done
    A thousand years won’t do, make it a thousand plus one

    Running, walking
    Singing, talking

    Did you know that we’d be here today and see
    That what we are is not just you and not just me

  116. Debbie on December 31, 2009 at 10:29 AM

    >Unrelenting thoughts
    Crash against my consciousness,
    Dragging me under
    With the receding tide,
    Not to slumber,
    But the bowels of Fear
    As I face the terror of living.
    I am caught in the undertow—
    Unable to breathe,
    Unable to escape.
    Please, God, help me!
    But not even He can find me
    Drowning in the depths
    Of my own mind.

  117. Christine on December 31, 2009 at 10:08 AM

    >I don't know why she did it
    The author wouldn't quit it
    She spun tales of romance
    And cynical men who
    do not want to
    But woe is me, oh, the strife!
    For Jane Austen Ruined My Life!

  118. writer jim on December 31, 2009 at 10:03 AM

    >Thanks for everything this past year, and happy New Year.

  119. Jenny on December 31, 2009 at 10:01 AM


    Budget cuts limit purchases at my local library,
    Where fewer new authors and titles I see.

    Delightful as Beth Patillo’s story does sound,
    Shelved in the stacks she is not to be found.

    My wish for her novel includes this promise to you,
    I’ll donate it to my library once I am through.

  120. Matt D. on December 31, 2009 at 9:50 AM

    >(Said to the tune of "When I Wake Up" by the Proclaimers)

    When I wake up, well I know I'm gonna check,
    I'm gonna check Rachelle’s blog just to see.
    When I click it, yeah I know I'm gonna click
    The Rants and Ramblings of this nice lady.

    If I write words, well I know I'm gonna send,
    I'm gonna send my book to her for show.
    And if she likes it, Yeah if she smiles back to me,
    I'm gonna get published with a glow.

    But I would write 500 years,
    And I would write 500 more,
    Just to gain some insight from the millions…
    Walked by a great mentor.

  121. Shmologna on December 31, 2009 at 9:38 AM

    >Christmas Day has ended
    The bows are in the trash
    Cavernous debt lies before us
    The wallet is without cash

    We cannot buy any books
    Lest the price be 'zero'
    This is why Rachelle
    Has now become my hero

    I long for the lovely read
    authored by Beth Patillo
    But if I lose this game
    I'd settle for an armadillo.

    Happy New Year!

  122. CKHB on December 31, 2009 at 9:32 AM

    >Haiku for Ms. Patillo

    I am curious:
    Jane Austen ruined her life…
    Who will ruin mine?

  123. Phoenix on December 31, 2009 at 9:06 AM

    >Enter left, Ms. WhatsTheHype,
    Naught but a cardboard stereotype

    There to serve a dreary tale,
    To neither drive the action nor regale.

    She stumbles through a weary act,
    Bored and boring — that's a fact.

    This isn't right — what to do?
    Act One, Scene One: Take Two.

    The life well-written moves apace
    From comic relief to gratuitous chase.

    An edit here, a filmcut there,
    Turns tears to laughter, flat to flair.

    Outtro, as the music swells —
    Yes indeedy, the rewrite sells.

  124. Mary Aalgaard on December 31, 2009 at 8:42 AM

    >"Hey, Mom," asked my son.
    "How long would it take to walk a million miles?"
    "A Thousand years, my little one."
    "Would I have to go it all alone?"
    "No, my dear it's already begun.
    Great great Grandpa saw its start.
    Now, it's your turn to do your part."

  125. MitMoi on December 31, 2009 at 8:25 AM

    >It's not often I want to read Austen.

    In this book a lot can happen.

    Emma Grant wasn't a tramp

    Divorce wasn't the course she was mappin'-

    But it sounds like she was a champ

    Using clues to solve the thing

    while love remained her lamp

    Perhaps reading some romance will advance my chance?

  126. Author Sandra D. Bricker on December 31, 2009 at 8:25 AM

    >On the day before New Year's, and all through my house,
    n'er an Austen book stirring that hadn't yet doused

    my penchant for reading; when all else does fail,
    I tend to rely on a well-written tale.

    The writer Patillo shares my passion for Jane,
    and she writes in a genre that's my claim to fame.

    Rachelle, oh Rachelle, please pick this writer
    to win Patillo's book and make my heart lighter.

  127. Shelby on December 31, 2009 at 8:22 AM

    >She runs!
    The stranger chases like a shadow of conspiracy.

    Where is Kiev? Where is hope?
    He knows – but will he reach her.


  128. Jenna on December 31, 2009 at 8:19 AM

    >I cannot write a poem
    But two of these books I want to own
    Love her or blame her
    A story about her I want for sure
    From the non-fiction its hard to decide
    But I think it's the fear I must not hide

  129. Shelby on December 31, 2009 at 8:14 AM

    >Where is the gate to my soul?
    Is it grand? Is it far?
    Faith is a long quiet journey.

    It began behind me.
    It's architecture is ever

    Light the lamp.
    Walk the path.
    Dare not glance behind.
    Walk on. One step – then another.

    And again.

  130. Davey on December 31, 2009 at 7:46 AM

    >I should have, I would have, submitted a poem
    But for this one reason made obvious
    By trembling hand and mouth dry as sand
    That’s been baked in a sun hot and furious.

    “Take courage,” I said. “Be still, heart,” I pled,
    Ensconced all the while in my tower.
    But rhyming words failed me as dark doubts assailed me.
    ‘Til next time. Sincerely, A. Coward.

  131. Lee Mannion on December 31, 2009 at 7:03 AM

    >Matt was a fellow who tried to be good,
    In fear of the day
    When the guy with the scythe and the hood
    Would appear at his door and motion him down.
    Or potentially up;
    If he could only confound him,
    With tales of good deeds,
    Of the countless examples of charity and grace,
    Of the prayers he had uttered,
    Of how he’d embraced
    The big G upstairs and his dozen commands,
    The reaper might leave him
    Reborn and unharmed.

  132. Joanne Sher on December 31, 2009 at 6:55 AM

    >I'm very very scared to say
    I've never entered Rachelle's giveaway.
    That is, of course, until today.
    But winning would chase those fears away.
    So tell me, Rachelle – what do you say?

  133. blissful_e on December 31, 2009 at 5:24 AM

    >To run, to fly one million miles
    With stories I have wept
    Before forming that first foot print
    I rather hope I slept