ASHES, ASHES contest

OK, here’s the deal: I have a signed, annotated beautiful glossy hardcover available to one lucky winner.

(there’s a special story about that 4-leafed clover)
This contest is open internationally and runs from Tuesday May 24 until Wednesday June 1 (PUB day!) midnight, EST.
I’ll announce the winner here and also on Twitter.

The question you need to answer is: If an unspecified, cataclysmic force of nature was about to devastate your home, and you only had time to grab one item, what would it be and why?

Answer below in the comments section.

The winner will be chosen by me.

45 thoughts on “ASHES, ASHES contest

  1. Duh, easy one – my iPhone of course! It has all my contacts, phone numbers, email addresses – and I could live-tweet the cataclysmic event while waiting for hunky firemen to arrive. There are always hunky firemen for these things, right? Oh, and then I could take pics of said hunky firemen…

    Of course, this assumes family, pets, etc are already safe, right? Um, right…

  2. This is really haaaaaaard! but I think ill grab my… errr My Cellphone! I can’t live without it LOL! not that practical but this is a what IF but yeah I choose my phone over so many things.

  3. Oh, this is easy, it’d be my…no, wait, what about….or then there’s….aargh! No doubt I’ll still be in there when the cataclysm happens and everything falls about my ears.

    I wanted to say my notebook ‘n’ pen, but I’m not sure if that’s not bending the rules a bit; I always (that’s always, always) have a pen attached to my notebook, so can I count that as one item. Please? Pretty please?

    Can’t live without my notebook. I’d keep a diary of the cataclysm and write stories to keep other survivors entertained. There will be other survivors, right? Or will I end up with an audience made up solely of feral cats?

    I could always chuck my notebook on the fire if it gets a bit chilly, or store it away in the hope someone will re-invent the printing press and I can become a post cataclysm publishing giant.

    Or maybe I’d just grab my cricket bat, apparently that’s good for dealing with zombies and there are bound to be zombies…

  4. I’d probably grab a lighter. It’s a heat/light source which is vital for survival.

  5. My computer. Since my cellphone sucks I think it would be better pick my computer, and as long I find a wireless conection I can be in communication with the world.
    Thanks for making it international.

  6. I’d grab my dog. LOL. And I’d try to balance my Kindle and notebook on my other arm. πŸ˜›
    thank you for the chance

  7. Oh, there are so many things I want to list, but if I was being truly practical it would have to be my inhaler. How rubbish is that? But I reckon an apocalyptic event would be a prime asthma trigger…

    If I was being less practical (or if it were already in my pocket) I would take Rover, my stuffed dog which was bought for me on the day I was born by my late grandfather. He is frayed and much loved, and the only possession I could never replace.

    I wouldn’t bother with my mobile, as the cell networks would be down in seconds. Living through the day of London 7/7 bombings as a teacher in central London taught me that lesson very well.

  8. I would grab my cat because I wouldn’t be able to leave without him! And one of my sisters would be required to get the dog.

  9. You know, it’s all just stuff… as much as I love my beautiful paintings by dear friends, or my books or my collection of thingumies and loveliness I wouldn’t grab them first. I can’t say it wouldn’t cause me a painjolt to realise my favourite shoes, and vintage dresses must be sacrificed to the flood or the fire, but I would leave them behind too.

    I would rush upstairs, two by two and grab my elk skin drum. Wherever I am, whatever I face – I can journey to safety, sound an alarm, mend the fear and beat the retreat. The drum-maker told me ‘your drum is your horse’ – I figure I could use a horse if disaster were to strike…

  10. This book sounds really awesome! I want it πŸ˜€
    My answer is probably really stupid, but I would choose my laptop. Because, well, it kind of is my whole life πŸ™‚ And I do not wish to part with it. Even for a short while.. πŸ˜‰
    ~ Love, Carina

  11. “Item” precludes family members, so I’d have to go with the laptop. My life is practically on that thing, and it’s usually charged up.

    Looks like this is one of the cooler giveaway prizes I’ve seen in a while β€” a book not only signed but annotated? Awesome.

  12. never tire of saying: I love the cover!

    decide for one thing is hard!
    I think I’ll take my favorite book. because I dont like to spend a terrible disaster without the company of the best story I’ve read in my life. and my family, of course.

    I wish you luck with ASHES, ASHES

    I hope to get lucky πŸ™‚

  13. Um.. Kindle?! I don’t know what I’d do if I was without a good book to read, no matter what the circumstances are..

    But Sam Adamson’s suggestion above is a good idea.. my notebook (and a pen) is another thing I can’t live without!



  14. A big thousand+ page book like War & Peace or The Brothers Karamazov, something thick like that. Could be used as a brick-like weapon to defend against post-apocolyptic zombies (I’m with Sam, there’ve got to be zombies); or to read over and over if post-apocolyptic world got boring; or to rip out pages from and do origami with if post-apocolyptic world got really, really boring; emergency toilet paper; emergency food source; ersatz chewing gum; insoles for shoes which are bound to cause blisters with all of the walking around looking for a safe haven and other people to talk with – and learn how to do origami from; a pillow; or words could be ripped our and rearranged kidnapper-style to leave messages for help…

  15. I would grab my purse! I have everything but the kitchen sink in there. πŸ™‚ I have my kindle, my cell phone, flashlight, pepper spray, brush, mirror, makeup, camera, sewing kit, bandaids, advil, and the list goes on and on. I guess that’s why it ways a ton and my shoulder always hurts. I think I’d be pretty prepared though if there was a disaster at least for a few minutes! LOL

    I would love to win your book. It sounds great and I’ve heard nothing but great things about it.

  16. Oh I would absolutely LOVE to win this!! I am so excited to read Ashes, Ashes, it looks and sounds amazing!

    Hmm. Definitely my favourite stuffed toy growing up. Humphrey B. Bear. The character had a children’s series here on Aussie tv (I think it’s still on actually) and I loved him. My Humphrey has been through the wars – he’s been vomited on by my sister while we travelled during holidays, he’s been thrown, hugged, cried on, had surgery countless times because of rips and tears in his stuffing, he was my bed partner for years, he was the first customer (and birthday boy) in my pretend restaurant, then my pretend cafe, then he was my employee when I pretended to be a super-important person with who owned a COMPUTER *gasp* oh and let’s not forget he was my son while I pretended to get married. So, long-embarrassing story short – I’ve had him since I was four and there is no way I could let him die!

    Thanks so much for the amazing giveaway! πŸ™‚

  17. Hmm, it would be my Kindle or my little notepad. My kindle would run out, so my notebook. This is because I like living inside my own head, and writing stories as I see them. My poor notebook constantly has a pen in its spine, and is full of about ten work-in-progresses.
    Thanks for the chance to win your book!

  18. Thankfully. My mom told me to put all my things that is important and needed in my bag if in case a calamity were to happen. So I always have that bag prepared and arranged hanging in a place where I can easily grab it.

    so probably. No. Definitely. I’d go grab my bag. And thank my mom for that.

  19. My laptop, definitely. It holds all of my writing and my entire music collection – basically all I need to survive (:

    Ashes, Ashes sounds amazing. I can’t wait to read it!

  20. I would grab my flashdrive. I don’t have a laptop, or phone, or anything like that but my flashdrive has my whole life on it! It has my music, contacts, pictures, and (most importantly) all my writing I’ve ever done!! I wouldn’t be able to go without that!

  21. Sitting on my computer desk is a picture of me sitting between my two best friends – my sisters. We’re on vacation posing next to the ocean in California. Our eyes are bright with possibility; I’d just graduated from high school, my little sister just started high school, and my older sister was in the middle of college. In that moment that is forever captured, we are smiling, happy to be with each other and embracing the future.

    That picture is the one item I’d grab. I’d fold it and put it in my pocket. When the days are cold and gray and lonely, I’d pull out the picture, unfold it and draw strength from my older sister’s gaze and happiness from my little sister’s smile. When the night is at its darkest and the world is crumbling around me, I’d pull out that picture and remember that moment on the beach when our futures were bright.

  22. If an unspecified, cataclysmic force of nature was about to devastate my home I would grab my family pictures album. Its the most precious thing to me.

    Thanks for the giveaway! I can’t wait to read this book.

    alice13188 at yahoo dot com

  23. as long as the kids and cat were out of the house my one item would be my wedding album. there are so many other things too but my wedding day is something I will never have again, all the kids pics are backed up online so I would still have them somewhere but my wedding pics are paper only.

  24. This is a tricky question. My initial reaction is to say my laptop. I cannot live without it.


    Is this devestating force going to end civilization as we know it? If there’s no electricity or internet, then my laptop would be useless. Therefore… I would grab… a duffle-bag full of clothes and camping supplies.

    Is that cheating? πŸ˜‰

  25. If I had time to only grab one item, I would grab my schoolbag since it usually has a binder full of papers (which I can doodle on if I get bored), my wallet, an umbrella, a compact mirror and other stuff. Since I’m usually in front of my laptop anyway, I don’t really need time to grab that to bring it with me πŸ™‚

    Thanks for the giveaway.

  26. I would grab my dress because although there will be a cataclysmic force that will devastate my home, I still have a fear of going around naked and since I can only grab one item, I will not be able to grab both pants and a shirt. Therefore, I will choose my loose-easily-movable-in, comfy, sensible dress and if I do die, at I won’t be in the afterlife crying over the utter humiliation of my bare body.

  27. Ok I’m going with my kids getting out without my help so I don’t have to grab them!

    I’d grab this picture I have on my mantle. It’s a pic of me holding my son back when he was 1 and my daughter is throwing a rock into the lake. I’d grab it because it was taken right before I was diagnosed with breast cancer. It always reminds me of how far I’ve come and how much I can fight.

  28. Hmm… well, it would depend what I was close to. Obviously I’d want to help my family and dogs get out. But if we’re talking about items, there really isn’t much that I would die without. I would try to grab my cell phone (which would probably be on me) since that would be helpful for communication. I’d grab my wallet (for identification and money, etc.). But the one thing that I would grab that didn’t help for survival would probably be a Twilight book. I know that sounds lame. But I love them, they are all first editions (and collectors), and they would probably be the only thing I would be really, really, really upset about loosing.

  29. Considering that my family is already safe and that they don’t fall under the ‘items’ category (..seriously), I would grab the biggest bottle of water. Cos my city? We’d be parched skeletons without water in no time.

    I’m so excited about your book πŸ™‚

  30. I would grab my husband first and foremost. But assuming people don’t count as objects, I would grab my 72-hr kit. Totally cheesy, but we have emergency kits (packed in backpacks) in our house that have food/water/whatever to last 72-hrs in case of something just like that occurring. Better to be safe than sorry! πŸ™‚

    Thanks for the chance to win! I can’t wait to read your book. Do you know if it will be coming out for the Nook? I checked B&N and didn’t see it there today.

    1. It is supposed to be coming out as an E book simultaneously with the hardcover. I’ll look into it and post details on the website. Thank you!

  31. Well, I would have to say my cat Mischief…but i would probably die without a computer lol

    thanks for the chance to win!!!

  32. Okay, if I could only grab one item (and I’m assuming animals are not items here), I think I’d grab….my stuffed bunny, Fufu. It’s not practical or helpful in the most necessary ways, but I think it would bring me a lot of comfort given the fact that my home would probably be gone. I can live without all the things in my house, and I could live without the bunny, but it would be nice to have something that made me so happy as a child.

    Thanks for the giveaway, Jo!

  33. My IPod Touch. I would say my cellphone but I don’t have one ( don’t like them. I like to text better.) It has music, apps, books, google maps…

    It’s funny how a lot of people chose a technology item. Goes to show you how dependent we are of them.

    I wonder if we would still have Internet access, because if we don’t, we are all in trouble! All those tech gadgets without Internet!

  34. probably my wallet. it has the important stuff like my driver’s license and SSS card and the practical like my credit cards, some cash (to buy food, clothes/rent a place to sleep in).

  35. I would grab a book in my bookshelf randomly. That would be best if it’s your book, ‘Ashes, ashes’. I simply love to read, and when the the time comes to end, I’ll bring it with me ’till the last breath of my life.

  36. I think I would go and grab my special box. I’m quite the sentimental type and all the small things given to me by those who are close to me are in that box. By the way the question was stated, it seemed to me that the certainty of seeing all the people who are close to me is slim. So, I think I would want to remember all the times spent with them so that (1) if something happens to them, remembering the good times will be like a tribute to them and the moments we’ve shared or, (2) if something happens to me, reminiscing is my way of recognizing that I am loved and important to other people or lastly, (3) if we ever see each other again, no matter how small the possibility is, I’ll be much more appreciative of them and the connection we have, encouraging me to a better child, friend or whatnot.

    Thanks for the international giveaway!

    GFC follower: aloveforbooks
    aloveforbooks at gmail dot com

  37. Hhmm…I would have my husband grab the dog and o would grab some food.

    I was tempted to say my cell phone but I’m guessing there will be no cell service or electricity to recharge it.

  38. The contest is now closed. Thanks all of you for sending in such clever and imaginative answers. It was very hard to judge, and I’m sorry there is only one prize. However I encourage you to check out some of the other giveaways going on right now. There are lots!

  39. i know its late but i would go and grab my most favorite book in the world so i would atleast be able to die or survive with it by my side….yeah πŸ™‚

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