Sometime in the next few weeks, I will be celebrating my birthday. I won't tell you exactly when, because for identity theft protection purposes, I protect the date almost as well as I protect my social security number and full name. I will divulge that I am a Leo. And, don't ask how old I'm going to be either! ;-)

To celebrate, instead of collecting gifts, I am giving one away--in a contest that I'm running both here and on Inkspot, the blog for Midnight Ink authors. I will give away a personalized autographed copy of one of my books (your choice), plus a selection of books written by other mystery authors, to one lucky winner.

How do you enter the contest, you ask? I would like to encourage people to sign up as followers both here and on Inkspot. So, that's all you have to do to be entered! Sometime in the next 4 weeks, sign up as a Google/blogger follower on both blogs. If you're already a follower of both blogs, you're already entered into the contest.

At the end of 4 weeks, when I'm due to post here again, I will use a random number generator to pick the blogger profile of someone who follows both blogs. Then I'll contact you through the email associated with that profile to find out your mailing address and send you the books. That's all it takes. So, if you ever read this blog or Inkspot, now you've got a good reason to sign up as a regular follower!

To encourage comments, I'd like to know what your thoughts are on author contests. Do you enter them often? What kinds of prizes do you prefer? Do you prefer ongoing contests (such as the one that I keep running all the time for subscribers to my email newsletter) or contests that are one-time shots like this one? Do you prefer that the prize be divulged ahead of time, or would you rather have it be a mystery?

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