Unless you’ve spent the last couple of weeks avoiding the interwebz, or just never get around to reading blogs, looking at FB statuses or tweeting, you’ve already heard about the Bookanistas campaign to give back, all started by Myra McEntire (HOURGLASS, Egmont, June 14).  You’ve already heard about her dream, meeting Twilight star Charlie Bewley, and the quest to raise funds for a cancer hospital. (Read this gorgeous post to learn why.)

You know about Myra coming to our Bookanista group and asking us to dig deep. Which we did.

What you don’t know if why this particular event is so personal to me. 

On November 28, 2010 I lost my mother to oral cancer. It was her second bout of cancer – both times related to her history of smoking. The thing is, she’d stopped smoking about 20 years ago. She was healthy, ate well, meditated and devoted a large part of her life to her spiritual practices.

She was not supposed to get sick and die before her 71st birthday.

Cancer is not new to my family. My grandmother died from cervical cancer when she was 86. Apparently she’d had it for a long time. My father-in-law died as a result of cancer as well. I’ve had several friends die from breast cancer.

Yes, I am no stranger to cancer.

Cancer kills indiscriminately and with little mercy. Mom beat her first battle through radiation and surgery. But this one was different. She was diagnosed in June 2010, started chemo in July, followed by radiation. The chemo nearly killed her as we discovered she had a very rare allergy to one of the meds. She was hospitalized with both chemo treatments, fighting for her life.

Her doctors rallied, switched chemo meds and stared radiation. In October, they discovered the cancer had spread and she was given a few months to live. She died in November. 6 months from diagnosis to the grave.

6 months.

I think about my mom every day – not about her death, but the legacy of her life. Tears come less frequently now, and the nightmares have stopped all together. I can talk about her without crying when I tell readers about why I dedicated 101 Success Secrets for GIfted Kids, a book I wrote and edited during the last months of her life, to her.

Finding cures and supporting those needed treatment is a cause I fully support. For my part, I’ll be donating my April pay-it-foward monies to this charity.

I know charitable donations are a very personal thing. There are so many ways our hard earned money can help others, and lately our world seems to be breaking into pieces around us. Needs are many and great. The Bookanistas want to give back, so in the coming months, we’re going to be looking for ways to pour into communities, both bookish and worldwide.

For the month of April, the Bookanistas have chosen to spotlight Run For Your Life, largely because the framework is already set up (we’d like to keep it simple our first time out), and also because of personal connections to the cause. Most everyone knows someone who has battled cancer or lost a loved one to it. And as you can see from the above story, this is especially personal and dear to my heart.

To encourage you to donate, we’re going to give away some sweet prizes! Here’s how it will work:

  1. Go to the Run For Your Life page.
  2. Make a donation. $5 is suggested, but lower or higher is fine. (Also know that for every dollar you donate, you’ll be entered to win a private, advance screening for twenty people for Breaking Dawn. The Bookanistas have NOTHING to do with that part – that’s all Charlie and Summit Entertainment.)
  3. Come back and fill out this entry form . – We’re trusting you to be honest about giving, and about the amount you give.
  4. The Bookanistas will be giving away a selection of prizes (see list below). You will be entered one time for each dollar you donate ($5 = 5 entries). If you wish to be entered to win a specific prize, let us know in the designated section of the entry form.
  5.  We’re following the guidelines set forth by Run for Your Life, which means this particular event will only be open to those in North America. Entries will be closed on April 30th, and we will contact randomly selected winners shortly thereafter.
  6. Spread the word. Tweet, post the Run For Your Life logo with a link to Charlie’s site on your blog, or Facebook about the event, and receive an extra entry. Place a link in the place provided on the entry form.

Run For Life


Just added by an anonymous donor:
A signed copy of CITY OF FALLEN ANGELS by Cassie Clare

From Megan Miranda:
A query and first chapter critique

From Veronica Rossi:
A 50-page manuscript critique

From Carolina Valdez Miller:
Signed copies of BLOOD MAGIC by Tessa Gratton, XVI by Julia Karr, and RIVAL by Sarah Bennet Wealer 

From Shannon Messenger:
A signed copy of WHITE CAT and a signed copy of RED GLOVE by Holly Black

From Carrie Harris:
A 50 page manuscript critique

From Jessi Kirby:
A signed copy of MOONGLASS

From Gretchen McNeil:
A swag pack of POSSESS goodies, a signed copy of A TOUCH MORTAL by Leah Clifford and a query critique

From Corrine Jackson:
A 50 page manuscript critique

From Stasia Kehoe:
A signed ARC of AUDITION

From Shana Silver:
A query and first chapter critique

From Lisa and Laura Roecker:
A signed copy of LIAR SOCIETY and bookmarks

From Shelli Johannes-Wells:
A box of ten mystery advance reader copies

From Myra McEntire:
A signed copy of DEMONGLASS by Rachel Hawkins, a signed copy of ACROSS THE UNIVERSE by Beth Revis, a signed copy of TORMENT by Lauren Kate, a unicorn, AND a one of a kind, signed and annotated advance reader copy of HOURGLASS.

From Elana Johnson:
A Dystopian Trifecta of Awesome – a signed copy of THE DARK AND HOLLOW PLACES by Carrie Ryan, a signed copy of MATCHED by Ally Condie, and a signed ARC of my own POSSESSION.

From me:

To enter the contest, Click here and complete the form.

And from everyone ever touched by cancer – THANK YOU!


6 thoughts on “The Bookanista Give Back, With Prizes and My Personal Story

  1. Wow, Christine, I am so sorry for your loss. I HATE cancer. My family has also felt the pain of loss from it’s horrible, all reaching grasp. I wish words were enough to heal, but they aren’t, and that just stinks. You are amazing. I hope you are all able to raise a lot of money for this worthy cause. *hugs*

  2. Okay, I admit to hesitating on this because of other financial obligations right now, but that stops right here. You have moved me to tears, Christine, and filled my heart. I’ll be giving. Thanks for reminding me of what’s most important.

  3. I donated and filled out the form on Elana’s blog. Thanks for sharing your personal story. But younger and only sister died from breast cancer 3 and 1/2 years ago and my mother and aunt is a breast cancer survivor. My grandma had it too. I feel surrounded by cancer and the heartaches of it too.

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