Friday, November 1, 2013

Friday Freebie: Eleven Days by Lea Carpenter and The Great War by Joe Sacco

Congratulations to James Stolen, Brian Bedard, Ken Olsen and Jeff Fitzgerald--winners of last week's Friday Freebie: the Unbridled Books mega-giveaway.  Thanks again to Greg Michalson for providing the bounty of fiction!

This week's book giveaway is a special Veterans Day prize package. I'm giving away a copy of Eleven Days by Lea Carpenter and The Great War by Joe Sacco to one lucky reader.

Powerful and lean, Eleven Days is an astonishing first novel full of suspense that addresses our most basic questions about war as it tells of the love between a mother and her son.  When the story opens on May 11, 2011, Sara’s son, Jason, has been missing for nine days from a Special Operations Forces mission on the same night as the Bin Laden raid.  Smart, young, and bohemian, Sara had dreams of an Ivy League university for Jason that were not out of reach, followed by a job on the Hill where there were connections through his father.  The events of 9/11 changed Jason’s mind and Sara accepted that, steeping herself in all things military to better understand her son’s days, while she works as a freelance editor for Washington policy makers and wonks.  Now she knows nothing more about Jason’s fate than the crowds of well-wishers and media camped out in the driveway in front of her small farmhouse in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, waiting to hear news.  In a series of flashbacks we learn about Jason’s dashing absentee father, a man who said he was a writer but whose career seemed to involve being in faraway places.  And through letters Jason writes home from his training and early missions, we get a picture of a strong, compassionate leader who is wise beyond his years and modest about his abilities.  Those exceptional abilities will give Jason the chance to participate in a wholly different level of assignment, the most important and dangerous of his career.  At the end Sara will find herself on an unexpected journey full of surprise.  This is a haunting narrative about a mother’s bond with her son; about life choices; about the military, war, and service to one’s country.  (On a more personal note, I'm honored to be sitting on a panel with Lea this coming week at Rice University in Houston.  If you're in the area, please consider joining the two of us--along with Ben Fountain, Karl Marlantes, Bruce Jay Friedman, and William Broyles Jr.--for the Veteran Experience on November 5 starting at 6 p.m.  We'll also be at Brazos Bookstore the night before at 6 p.m.)

Regular readers of The Quivering Pen may remember my early sneak peek at Joe Sacco's The Great War at the beginning of summer.  Well, now the publication day has arrived and I have a handsome boxed edition of The Great War to put in your hands.  Here's more from the publisher's blurb:  From “the heir to R. Crumb and Art Spiegelman” (Economist) comes a monumental, wordless depiction of the most infamous day of World War I.  Launched on July 1, 1916, the Battle of the Somme has come to epitomize the madness of the First World War.  Almost 20,000 British soldiers were killed and another 40,000 were wounded that first day, and there were more than one million casualties by the time the offensive halted.  In The Great War, acclaimed cartoon journalist Joe Sacco depicts the events of that day in an extraordinary, 24-foot- long panorama: from General Douglas Haig and the massive artillery positions behind the trench lines to the legions of soldiers going “over the top” and getting cut down in no-man’s-land, to the tens of thousands of wounded soldiers retreating and the dead being buried en masse.  Printed on fine accordion-fold paper and packaged in a deluxe slipcase with a 16-page booklet, The Great War is a landmark in Sacco’s illustrious career and allows us to see the War to End All Wars as we’ve never seen it before.

If you'd like a chance at winning both The Great War and Eleven Days, simply email your name and mailing address to

Put FRIDAY FREEBIE in the e-mail subject line.  One entry per person, please.  Despite its name, the Friday Freebie runs all week long and remains open to entries until midnight on Nov. 7, at which time I'll draw the winning name.  I'll announce the lucky reader on Nov. 8.  If you'd like to join the mailing list for the once-a-week 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 blog, your Facebook wall or by tweeting it on Twitter.  Once you've done any of those things, send me an additional e-mail saying "I've shared" and I'll put your name in the hat twice.

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