I can't believe we just started this on the 5th and already it's DONE!!! Where did the time go? It's like I blinked and it zoomed by!
Well, I'm sure you all are feeling the same way, so we'll get right down to brass tacks with today's subject.
Today we get to find out who the winners are!!!
"Win'wing... 'win'wing is what b'wings us togev'ew to'w'day..." (Bonus points if you just heard that in Princes Bride worthy lisp!)
"Okay! So..." the MC in black velvet jacket, suit vest, and flowing Spanish riding style skirt, steps up to the podium.
*while the crowd waits breathlessly,*
"...here we go to the randomness generators...."
*hushed silence fills the domed hall, and a faint, sh-sh-sh kind of whirring can barely be heard. Everyone holds they're breath... They're starting to strangle...*
"And here we have it!!!" *MC holds ticket in the air and the crowd can breath again.* (Everyone is super relieved, and so focused on the proceedings that they don't notice that they just narrowly escaped asphyxiation...)
"Our first winner today is Abi Pearson!!!"
*thunderous applause, waves and waves of it*
*the crowd looks around as a gorgeous blonde in a gorgeous white dress stands from amidst them and takes a small bow*
"Come on up here Abi! And let us shake your hand!"
*applause continues as the cute-faced blonde, with a sprig of babies' breath in her hair, walks up the red carpeted aisle and steps into the spotlight*
"You are the proud winner of the Winter's Child print ARC, book 1, Abi Pearson!" MC and Abi Pearson clasp hands, both smiling.
"And thanks so much for entering... and your winning entry was Subscribing to the Announcements Only Newsletter!!! Thanks so much for that!"
*Abi Pearson smiles and waves to the crowd*
"Okay, Abi, thanks for joining us up here, and we'll let you go now."
*audience applauds as Abi Pearson returns to her seat*
*a hush settles once more... as MC unfolds the next winner's name... you could hear a pin drop...*
"And the next winner is..." the painted cherubs on the domed ceiling seem to lean forward, listening...
"Rachel at Bookworm Reading!!"
*the audience bursts into waves of applause, creating a deafening roar*
*MC waits until the noise dies down, and then bows*
"Rachel is uncomfortable with a big fuss being made about her, so we'll just say Congratulations, Rachel! You've won a print ARC copy of book 2, Thaw: Winter Queen, with your blog comment entry!"
MC applauds along with the crowd.
"Thanks for joining us, Rachel, and we'll be looking forward to sending that out to you!"
*spattered applause breaks out throughout the crowd as the MC straightens her face and prepares to read the third winner*
"And our third winner is...."
*the crowd erupts in a roar*
*a dark haired fifteen year old girl jumps out from her seat and races to the podium*
"The very same Sierra Blasko, ladies and gentlemen, from the Space Kitties Anthology, randomly won with her blog comment!"
"Oh, wow, oh wow..." Sierra beams. "I'm so excited!"
MC and Sierra shake hands and grin at each other. "Congrats, Sierra!!! Not only on being one of the authors included in the Space Kitties, but ALSO as a winner of a shiny, print ARC of book 3, Thaw: Prince of Demargen!!!"
*trumpets blare out with a triumphant riff*
*the crowd goes wild once more*
"This just seems to be a great season for you, Sierra!" MC smiles and puts her white gloved hands together along with the crowd: the hall falls suddenly dark as night and sparkling fireworks crackle and soar across the high dome.
*some of the audience members begin to crouch in alarm, before remembering that the festivities are partially sponsored by the Perfect Illusion Firecracker Company, (Bringing Safe, Fake Fireworks to Every Place & Occasion)*
Through the dramatic display, some members see the black silhouette of Sierra as she returns to her place.
*the noise eventually dies down, the firecrackers wink out and the dome lights back up*
"Okay! Those are the print ARCs that have found their new owners!" the MC shifts to take in the whole crowd and a smattering of applause ripples through the hall.
"So now we see where those PDFs are going!"
*the trumpets play a soft, suspenseful cascade of notes*
"All right!" MC pulls the paper out and looks at it officiously for a second, keeping the crowd on bated breath.
"Deborah O'Carroll!" MC sticks her hand in the air holding the winning name high, and the place booms with roars of applause. Even the paintings on the dome seem to shimmer in the excitment.
"Deborah O'Carroll, who has been wanting to read this book for a while now, is going to get that opportunity! She has randomly won the PDF of book 1, Thaw: Winter's Child, with her entry of a Subscription to the Announcements Only Newsletter!" MC beams around at everyone.
"Unfortunately she could not attend, but we'll see if we can't get her on the screen here after the main ceremonies."
*the crowd applauds once again*
"Congratulations, Deborah!" the MC smiles at the crowd, and the audience hushes slowly.
When all is finally still once more, there is a pause.
"And our next winner is..." MC unfolds the paper slowly. "LeAnne Douglas!!!"
*confetti shoots out of little cannons concealed among the seats and disco lights stab the suddenly darkened hall, lighting up the floating confetti and dancing to the quick strains of fast paced violin music*
*the audience claps and starts bouncing in their seats in time to the music*
The MC speaks above the music while the colored lights and colored papers seem to dance in the air above the crowd.
"LeAnne Douglas wins an e-copy of book 2, Thaw: Winter Queen, with her Subscription to the Announcements Only Newsletter!" MC claps along with the crowd. "Congratulations, LeAnne, and
thanks so much for joining us here!!!"
*the confetti slowly falls out of the air, but specially designed vacuums suck it away just before it falls on anyone. They are so quiet, most people don't even notice, but those who do remember the festivities are also partially sponsored by the Totally Automatic and Completely Silent Vacuum Company (Bringing Ease of Clean-Up to Every Home & Situation)*
*drums roll a long, thaaaa, ruuu, rum-puuum*
"And for our last winner of the day, Ladies and Gentleman..." the MC draws the suspense out while staring at the paper. "Please join me in congratulating... the winner of book 3, Thaw: Prince of Demargen in pdf...."
*the drums continue to roll...*
*the crowd holds its breath...*
*the MC seems to be holding her breath...*
*the applause is deafening, and the trumpets all ring out*
"Ashlee Willis, author of Word Changers, has won the sixth prize!!!" the MC holds the paper with the winning name up in the air. "Congratulations, Ashlee!!!"
*the drums roll dramatically, fireworks shoot off again, the violins play a lightning fast tribute to Micheal Flatley, and the disco lights whirl and flash on and among all the rows and rows of the massive audience attendance in time to the music. The crowd keeps quick time with their claps and many are dancing in their seats as the dramatic event reaches a heart thumping crescendo*
"Thank you so much for being here!" The MC shouts into the mic and is barely, but clearly, heard above the dance of sound and light. "To each and every one of you: We appreciate you so much!!!"
The violins ache and shimmer in the flashing lights.
*the unmistakable click-click-clickety-ing grows louder as an undertone in the music*
"Congratulations to all our winners...!"
*the music has twined around everyone there, and the audience is on it's feet...*
" And a huge thank you to our wonderful, generous hosts on the blog tour!" The MC swivels to catch the other half of the massive audience in her sight. "...Which is still going on, so make sure to keep an eye on that!" She points to a leader board that lights up, with over twenty blogs prominently displayed in flashing lights with the date that they hosted the Thaw: release tour.
*the crowd is swaying on its feet, unable to be still a single second more*
"And a thank-you to our partial sponsors... the Perfect Illusion Firecracker Company, (Bringing Safe, Fake Fireworks to Every Place & Occasion)"
*the crowd joins hands and begins to step in time to the inescapable music*
"The Totally Automatic and Completely Silent Vacuum Company (Bringing Ease of Clean-Up to Every Home & Situation)"
*suddenly the plush, red velvet seating simply folds up and slips back into the floor, leaving a perfectly smooth dance floor underneath the crowd's feet*
"...And the Top Class Awards-Ceremony Seating Company, (Bringing Automatically-Disappearing Plush Velvet Seating to the World)" the MC presses on, holding out against the insistent music.
*no longer constrained by seating, the crowd synchronizes in full Irish dancing; the recorded track of shoe taps being drowned out by the live sounds of the audience completely fulfilling all it's Irish dancing dreams*
"And thank you for coming!" The MC lifts her gloved hands to the audience, who is barely paying any attention. Row upon row of flashing feet click and clickety faster and faster as a the violins wail and cry in the rising tempo.
The sound of the massive crowd, all Irish dancing in full clogs, (courtesy of the Irish River Imedi-Clog Company, who got permission to use this event as a trial.) As I said, it nearly drowns the clatter of hooves as a horse approaches at a gallop.
The MC starts as the white beastie bursts from stage left and skids to a halt right next to her.
The front row of dancers are the only ones who can hear her as the MC tries to ward the horse off for fear of getting white hairs on her black velvet jacket.
"No, Tompte... no..." She protests, but the horse just stares at her.
"All right!" She yelps, pulling her shoulder back quickly as he tries to put a furry white cheek against it.
"Here..." she growls, and grabs a small black clicker. Pointing at the blackness behind the stage she clicks the button, and a promo image springs to glorious life.
Tompte looks at the artistic rendering of himself and tips his head back and forth in the air, as if he's
very pleased with the result.
"You are such a prima-donna..." the MC mutters and shoves the clicker in her black velvet pocket. "You're an embarrassment! Ruined the ending!"
Tompte just looks from her to the promo and blinks as if to say "I just saved the ending. You're welcome."
"Well, at least you had the decency to come saddled." the MC grasps the opportunity to turn the unscheduled appearance into something that looked planned. She grabs a handful of mane and vaults into the saddle, glad she'd opted to wear her black split skirt instead of the one with ruffles.
Kneeing the horse around, she leans over and speaks into the mic.
"The banquet hall will be open until midnight..." her words carry loud and clear over the audience, but the madly Irish dancing crowd appears to ignore her in favor of keeping perfect time with everyone else.
"Oh, never mind..." she straightens, then gives Tompte the cue. He leaps into a soft lope and carries her off the stage, down along the aisle and out past the grinning crowd of Irish dancers.
At the back of the hall Tompte pauses, and the MC looks back. Over the heads of the dancers the lighted promo image of the white horse stands out starkly. The word Thaw: is clearly readable.
The MC grins.
"Yeah, okay. Maybe you were right." she shrugs, but Tompte knows it's as good as a mile. "That does look pretty good."
The horse snorts as if to say "I told you so." then wheels and trots through the doors.
Behind them the music goes on, and the crowd is lost in a dream of energetic Celtic footwork.
So tell me; did you enjoy the Give Away Announcement Ceremony?
Did you get any confetti on you? (The Totally Automatic and Completely Silent Vacuum Company wants to know. If you did, please file section four of your leaflet on your way out.)
Were the Irish River Imedi-Clogs easy to slip on over your shoes? (Thanks so much for any voluntary information you can share...)
And are you at all interested in special offers from the Perfect Illusion Firecracker Company or the Top Class Awards-Ceremony Seating Company? (You can pick up more information by the door, they are collecting addresses of interested parties.)
But most of all, which was your favorite part?
(Did we go overboard with the drums and the violins? Should we confine ourselves to just the trumpets next time?)
Thank-you so much for coming!