Rita Hayworth Would Enter This Contest

courtneybooks, interviews

I just love when a book steals you away from the very first page and carries you along effortlessly until you reach the last page and you get so completely caught up in the story, you realize you haven’t gotten up from your chair at all except once to go get popcorn because of said book, which only made your reading experience that much more amazing. Not to brag or anything (okay, totally to brag), but I read that book at the end of June. And that book doesn’t come out until September.

But I CAN’T WAIT THAT LONG TO TALK ABOUT IT. And I definitely can’t wait that long to do a giveaway!

So I am doing both now.


The summer before eighth grade, Dani is stuck in her nothing-ever-happens town with only her favorite noir mysteries at the Little Art movie theatre to keep her company. But one day a real-life mystery begins to unravel—at the Little Art! And it all has something to do with a girl in polka-dot tights…

… Armed with a vivid imagination, a flair for the dramatic, and a knowledge of all things Rita Hayworth, Dani sets out to solve the mystery and learns more about herself than she ever thought she would.*

One of my most favourite book covers ever! Designed by Marcos Calo.

Let me say this: Dani Noir is a spectacular debut.

Nova Ren Suma explores the life of a 13-year-old film noir buff/Rita Hayworth fan during a tough period of transition candidly and honestly in ways that are charming, hilarious and heartbreaking all at once. On one page, I would laugh at loud at one of Dani’s sharp, observational zingers and on the next, my heart would ache at her vulnerability and her need to find the balance and control you need to find when things are changing around you in really difficult ways.

The whole time I was reading, I wished fervently that I’d had Dani as a fictional companion when I was her age. I needed her then; her razor sharp outlook on the world was certainly something I would have identified with being the (cynical) thirteen-year-old that I was, and that in itself would’ve made me feel less alone. I can just imagine how many girls like that out there who will benefit from this novel and these thoughts alone made Dani Noir a new favourite of mine and a forever favourite. It’s not only the kind of book you read and enjoy in the moment, it’s the kind of book you treasure and love and pass along. And that’s what I mean by forever favourite. Check out my unabridged, very-excited-about-this-book review on GoodReads here.

In celebration of Dani Noir’s upcoming release and in celebration of its amazingly talented author, I want to put a copy into your hands, and so I am holding a a draw and a contest to win a pre-ordered copy of Dani Noir that will be sent to the winners’ door upon its release (September 22nd, 2009).

That’s right: a contest and a draw! Winners, PLURAL! Because I am giving TWO (pre-ordered) copies away! That’s how much I want people to have this book!

I really had to brainstorm on how I wanted this contest to go down. I felt like it really had to do Dani, a film noir buff AND Rita Hayworth’s biggest fan, justice. I thought on it for a while and then I remembered one of my most favourite excerpts from the book:

“I take a seat on my bed. My mom put my suitcase there—it’s open, empty, waiting for me to shove it full of stuff to take with me. I look at it, and I’ve lost all the bars on my cell phone, and no one’s calling anyway, and I ask myself the only question worth asking: What would Rita Hayworth do?”

– excerpted from Dani Noir

(Isn’t that awesome?!) So here’s how it’s going to work. To enter to win a copy of Dani Noir by Nova Ren Suma, you must leave a comment in this blog entry with an answer to the question What Would Rita Hayworth Do? Here’s the catch: the answer must be six words or less. Your answer can be literal, it can be a life motto, it can be a joke, it can be serious–have fun with it! Get creative!

To give you an idea of what I mean (and also because I was curious), I asked Nova and Dani what their answers would be. They both graciously obliged and here they are:

What would Rita Hayworth Do?

Dani: What she wanted—no sorrys after.

Nova: Meet your eyes, leave you guessing.

Those are fabulous, aren’t they? And very Rita. Once you have your answer and you have commented with it, you will be entered for two chances to win a copy of Dani Noir. Two! Here’s how that’s going to work:

1) All of the six-words-or-less answers to the question, “What Would Rita Hayworth Do?” will be given, stripped of identifiers, to an impartial judge. The judge will then select their favourite answer, and that person will win one pre-ordered copy of the book.

2) EVERYONE who comments with a six-words-or-less answer to the question, “What Would Rita Hayworth Do?” will be entered into a draw. A name will be picked at random and that person will win one pre-ordered copy of the book.

FYI, the impartial judge will be my mommy, which I think is very fitting because Dani has a very close and special relationship with her mom.

Okay, let’s go through this once more. To enter to win one of two pre-ordered copies I’m giving away of Dani Noir by Nova Ren Suma, you must:

Comment on this blog entry with a six-words-or-less answer to the question, “What Would Rita Hayworth Do?” by July 12th.

Comments must be made at my website–not on Facebook or the LiveJournal feed, thanks! It’s easier for me to keep track of entrants that way. The winners will be announced on July 13th. Please remember this is a contest to win a pre-ordered copy of the book, so you won’t see an actual physical copy until September.

Simple, huh? So get to it!

What Would Rita Hayworth Do?

Full disclosure: I am so looking forward to seeing the answers that come out of this, not only because my blog readers are generally creative and awesome, but also because it means it’s going to give two people this truly wonderful book that I just can’t WAIT for everyone to read.

I absolutely loved it.

* from the summary