Now imagine me tearing out all my hair. I am bald (but in a fabulous ballgown).
You see, I was expecting the entries to be awesome, but I was not expecting them to be quite so awesome. There was really an overdose of awesomeness. Drastic measures had to be taken.
Before I start I must say thank you very much to everyone who entered. I was overwhelmed by you all. (AS YOU SHALL SEE.)
First I must tell you about the Prizes. 'What,' you may say. 'What is this madness? Are you all about in your head, Ms. Rees Brennan? The prizes are your advance copies.' Why yes, certainly. But due to the overwhelming awesomeness, I was forced to create more prizes.
First Prizes: still advance copies of The Demon's Covenant, currently piled beautifully on my sofa. (My housemates really want you guys to take them away.)
Second Prizes: the audio CD of The Demon's Lexicon and a copy of a book from the Awesome List.
Third Prizes: a copy of a book from the Awesome List.
'Sarah, STOP,' you may say at this point. What is the Awesome List? Why, it is a list of books that I have either already reviewed here, or am going to review, or a book which is written by an author I loooove. Pick any book you like off the Awesome List, winners, and I will send it to you.
Enchanted Glass by Diana Wynne Jones - Diana Wynne Jones's latest. Which is written by... you may have guessed... Diana Wynne Jones! Thus, you want it.
City of Bones by Cassandra Clare - The beginning of a trilogy featuring demonic motorcycles and complicated family relations.
Guardian of the Dead by Karen Healey - Just out. The story of a mysterious, beautiful loner boy in class... no, sorry, I mean the story of the girl he bespelled. Who then broke the spell, and tried to kick him in the head.
The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan - Zombies. Evil nuns. Need I say more?
Shadowed Summer by Saundra Mitchell - One ghost using his poltergeist for mischief. Two ladies using a dude for his ouija board.
The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong - Tiny blond necromancer. Very grumpy and kind of hideous werewolf. Together, they
The Changeover by Margaret Mahy - Absolutely the best YA romance I have ever, ever read. Also features: creepy villain who runs a creepy toyshop.
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margi Stohl - Boy narrator! Awesome librarians. Spooky Southern goings-on.
One more note before I start: due to the amazing awesomeness, and my inclination to shout 'Everybody gets a prize!' and how hard judging was (at one point, one very talented person won two ARCs, and it took me days to realise that was probably a mistake...) behold some of the criteria I used - I decided not to have anything that might indicate I favoured any one couple over another because that way people might feel things were spoiled for them! Because certainly I have couple preferences, and you will all know them in the end, but before then I should try not to unwittingly show my hand. Other factors - stuff I thought was really original and interesting/imaginative, stuff I thought was flat-out beautiful, and stuff that stuck in my head for whatever reason.
IT WAS ALL HIGHLY SCIENTIFIC, in short. So those of you who do not win can put that down to 'SRB... kind of an idiot.'
Fiction, Wonderful Fiction!
Mae at Bay by lisaheron
Because I love a thoughtful interior view of a character, and I love people sucking it up instead of angsting. 'The magician might have been another's lover, brother, son, but he wasn't hers.'
Natasha Walsh's Christmas by karaethon
Because I always enjoy some minor character love, and peeks into all the stories that criss-cross with mine. 'Tasha is arranging the presents under the Christmas tree for the hundredth time. She wants them to look perfect when Alan arrives. The doorbell could ring at any moment.'
Demons In the Dawn o'Time! by cobecat
Because I loved the idea of demons in ancient history, the writing overall, and the phrase 'years and a new self from now.'
Art, Magical Art!
Third Place, by cannedebonbon
'Well - what is this?' you might say with some outrage. 'Those brothers are standing awfully close!' (Or alternately, 'I would never have noticed where they were standing without you pointing it out, Miss Filthy-Minded Rees Brennan.')
Indeed they are standing close, but I felt this had to be allowed, because it is an actual scene from the actual book, in which Alan kisses Nick on the cheek. (And it is indeed the money kiss, by which I mean 'the kiss the protagonist receives at the end which means: you have been wondering how I feel about you, and the answer is I love you very much.' Telling the story of a family relationship and not a romantic relationship means that it does not mean 'also, we should date.')
Anyway after all this wittering, I think the brothers look great, but my true love is the magic circle. This is not to say I do not feel true affection for all my covers, but a magic circle cover was always my dream. So shiny! So magical! By itself, or with brothers on it (possibly back to back to avoid this long note). Wouldn't that be awesome?
Second Place, by rahskin
For many reasons. 1) It looks like a movie poster, which is cool! 2) There is a tag line, which is also cool! 3) It is really creepy, which I enjoy. And Alan is in the dark centre of the picture, which is bound to please my friend Justine, who insists Alan is the villain of Demon's Covenant.
First Place, by mimicre
Sin, avec fever blossom. I love this so much I am using an icon of it, and inspiring that kind of love deserves a reward. Really, the thing is, I have an image of Cynthia Davies in my head, and this lovely picture, with its fever fruit and warm tones, made me think 'oh, it's you.' It may be the expression.
Though all three categories were brimming over with awesomeness, I have to say the vids gave me the hardest time. I believed, given how difficult book trailers are to make, that only a brave few would do it: how wrong I was.
Thank you to the brave many! Because of your magical deliciousness. I was forced to declare a tie for third place.
Third Place, by serena_mcmurray who made so many vids she really deserves a MILLION prizes.
I just have this to say: Beauty and the Beast and my book! My two greatest loves together at last! I have been unable to shake off a picture of Mae as Belle with pink hair. Also: BELLE. WITH PINK HAIR.
Also Third Place, by faerlan and playwithfyr
Legos. The purest and best medium of art in existence. (Obviously you both get a third prize each! This is only fair.)
The Demon's Covenant Trailer by viridescences
Oh my gosh, I love this a lot. It looks like a real movie trailer, don't you see? And it conveys all of the important things about my writing. Fighting. Killing. Magic. Making out.
The Demon's Lexicon Trailer by sirael
Not only is this a mysterious, beautiful book trailer, not only is is amazing drawings made and animated, but the music playing was also composed by sirael. I am awed someone thought my book was worth this much work, and dazzled by the result!
Again, thank you guys all so much for participating. There were so many entries I loved, I could not give prizes to them all - a picture of Nick sprayed in blood swinging a sword! A story about baby robot Nick! - but I loved receiving them, and am now convinced I am the least talented of you all.
I will close with an entry which wasn't art/a book trailer/a story, so could not receive a prize, but which I love. And sang to Maureen Johnson. Seeeeveral times.
(EDITED TO ADD: There IS a prize! Karen Healey has donated a copy of Guardian of the Dead in honour of your awesome skills. Hurrah! Email firstname.lastname@example.org)
Thank you, thank you very much. Winners, please email me at email@example.com. (Well, you know, anyone can email me at that. For any reason! But winners, do so with your addresses.)