Friday, March 16, 2012

Friday Freebie: Echolocation by Myfanwy Collins

Congratulations to Chris Long, winner of last week's Friday Freebie, Contents May Have Shifted by Pam Houston.

This week's book giveaway is Echolocation, the "stark and stirring" (Publishers Weekly) debut novel by Myfanwy Collins which was just released by Engine Books.  Here's the plot summary:
Cheri and Geneva grew up on "a little patch of nothing made up of dairy farms in the valleys and boarded up iron-ore mines in the mountains, a town of old folks waiting to die and young people dying to leave." Now, Cheri has fled that life for the city, leaving Geneva behind to care for their aunt as she succumbs to cancer. Her death draws them together, forcing them to face their past--and each other. When Cheri's mother turns up with a strange baby and a dangerous secret close behind, the choices that follow will push all of them beyond boundaries they never thought they'd cross.
I've mentioned Echolocation once or twice here at the blog and Collins herself has written about her "first time," so you should have no excuse for not already having the novel at or near the top of your TBR pile.  But just in case you need one more little nudge, I'll let the book speak for itself.  Here are the opening lines to Chapter 4:
      The air was sharp with frost not yet burned off by the low sun as Geneva walked to the mailbox. Gray trees along the roadside creaked in the wind, bare branches scratching out the blue from the sky. A single crow let out a continuous, ornery caw, rippling the morning's stillness. She wasn't sure why she bothered to collect the mail at all. The box would be loaded with bills--for stock, for dairy, for newspapers and magazines, for heat and electric that kept the store warm and buzzing. At first it seemed the perfect legacy that Auntie Marie left the store to Cheri and her, but now the reality of the situation--no money in the till and less each day as the convenience store in town gained popularity, back taxes and bills piling up--left her feeling as though she were skating for the first time and couldn't get her feet to move in the same direction so that time and again she ended up on her ass. And though she had agreed to stay and help out, Cheri was nothing but an added burden--out all night, sleeping off a hangover during the day. Geneva had to prod her to do the bare minimum.
      She would have thought that life with Clint where they were always one step ahead of the bill collectors would have prepared her for this new life of want, but it hadn't. Things should have been easier.

If you'd like a chance at winning a copy of Echolocation, all you have to do is answer this question:

What's the title of Collins' next book, which is coming from Pank Little Books later this year?  (You can find the answer at the author's website)

Email your answer to

Put FRIDAY FREEBIE in the e-mail subject line.  One entry per person, please.  Please e-mail me the answer, rather than posting it in the comments section.  Despite its name, the Friday Freebie runs all week long and remains open to entries until midnight on March 22--at which time I'll draw the winning name.  I'll announce the lucky reader on March 23.  If you'd like to join the mailing list for the once-a-week Quivering Pen newsletter, simply add the words "Sign me up for the newsletter" in the body of your email.  Your email address and other personal information will never be sold or given to a third party (except in those instances where the publisher requires a mailing address for sending Friday Freebie winners copies of the book).

Want to double your odds of winning?  Get an extra entry in the contest by posting a link to this webpage on your Facebook wall or by tweeting it on Twitter.  Once you've done either or both of those, send me an additional e-mail saying "I've shared" and I'll put your name in the hat twice.