Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Raffles, Rifles and Contests...Oh My!

Up until a few years ago, I’d never won anything. Not even at a Tupperware party. No raffles, no cakewalks, nada. Not sure what it was, bad karma or what. But my number just never seemed to come up.

Not so my brother. He seemed to win everything. Raffles at school fundraisers, charity dinners. You name it. If he bought a ticket, you might as well not because he was going to win. He once walked into a charity dinner, bought a raffle ticket at the last minute and won the grand prize hunting rifle. (We’re from Mississippi-what can I say? Those are our kind of raffles.)

During this remarkable “run” of luck, he was also always getting called for jury duty. Like every five-six months. I was convinced somehow these events were related. You win raffles or contests, you get called for jury duty….often. Little did I know.

A few years ago my own luck changed and I started winning “things.” Nothing huge (feel free to snicker as your read) but at a kitchen accessory party my name got pulled for an orange peeler, then a recipe book. Quite a thrill when you’ve NEVER won anything. And at a writer’s convention a couple of years ago, a number was taped to the bottom of my chair to win out of hundreds of other folks. Granted, the prize was a box of Hot Tamales, the candy. But still, woo-hoo! Wild stuff for a girl who’d never landed on the right number in a cake walk. And yes, you guessed it. I started getting “the call” for jury duty. All the time.

Is there a correlation or have I just lived in one place long enough for my name to be on the city jury duty rolls? Could be, but I like to think my luck has turned.

Now, I don’t have a hunting rifle to give away (I think the laws might prohibit that nowadays.) But I do have a contest to announce this month for my new April release, BULLETPROOF TEXAS. It’s a Bulletproof Sighting Contest called "Have You Seen This Man?" For folks who see my book on store shelves and snap a picture, you could win a gift card to Barnes and Noble. I’m posting the rules below. But you can also check them out here. Feel free to forward this contest link or the rules anywhere you’d like. The more the merrier and there are three chances to win.


Bulletproof Sighting Contest Rules

“Have You Seen This Man?”

Spot my April Intrigue, BULLETPROOF TEXAS, on store shelves and be eligible to win a gift card to Barnes & Noble for $15, $10 or $5.

Here’s how it works:

1. You see my book, BULLETPROOF TEXAS, on the shelf at: Barnes & Noble, Borders, an Independent bookseller, Books A Million, Target, Wal-Mart, Kmart, the grocery — wherever Harlequin Intrigues are sold retail in the US. (Sorry, no resale allowed in this particular contest.)

2. Snap a picture with your phone or digital camera. Make sure I can tell the book is in the bookstore from your picture. Take the shot of the book on the shelf, at the checkout etc. Put yourself in the pic, too! (I’ll be posting the winners names and photos here on my website.)

3. Send the picture to: contest@kaythomas.net

If you are sending from your phone, be sure to include your email address. Don’t forget to include the store’s name and location with the picture:

Store Name
Your town, USA

4. If you are my first “in store” Bulletproof sighting, you win a $15 gift card to Barnes & Noble. I’ll randomly draw from the rest of the entries for a $10 gift card winner and a $5 gift card winner.

Can’t snap a picture? You can still enter:
Email me the store name, the store’s physical address and the store phone number.

Contest starts April 6. Official release day is April 14. (Many times books are put on the shelves several days early, so keep an eye out!) Entry into contest puts you on my newsletter mailing list. Contest ends and winners will be announced May 11. Questions? Email me at:


Good luck!


Now for our question of the day...What’s the coolest thing you ever won in a contest? (I’m sure you can beat my Hot Tamales and orange peeler!)


Kay Thomas
Bulletproof Texas 4/09
4 stars Romantic Times ~ 4 ½ stars Cataromance reviews


  1. I'm right there with on the orange peeler and Hot Tamales, only mine was a teabag squeezer and a melon baller *g*! I've won a few things, some books from my favorite authors, a 10$ gift card for MacDonalds (I LOVE their iced coffees) and maybe some fancy little soaps from a bridal shower.

    Your contest sounds great, just enough of a twist with the pictures so that it makes it different from others! (while I'm typing this, I'm wondering where my digital camera is for my pic to send it :D)

    Great blog post too!

  2. I won a free drink once. Only it wasn't a drawing. I had to answer a Beatles trivia question.

    I never win anything having to do with luck. Not raffles or drawings or anything. Of course, I've only been called to report for jury duty once. I guess that offsets the free drink. ;)

    Great contest idea, Kay!

  3. I'm not that lucky but I did win a pair of airline tickets to Mexico thru a radio contest.

    I win books online sometimes.

    My husband is LUCKY. I think I probably won the AA tickets to Mexico because we were dating!

    Now my BIL walked in a LV casino, put in $1 and won $1600. He took his money and walked away!

  4. I've won a few raffles and some fantastic books and a few other small things, but never saw a correlation to jury duty. And, if PCH shows up at my house with a big 'ole check - and they aren't just looking for directions! - I'll be happy to payback with jury duty! :)

    Can hardly wait for the new book, Kay!

    Nancy Haddock

  5. I got called for jury duty so often that one day I got the letter saying my latest tour of duty was over and a letter saying my name had been drawn for jury duty on the same day! I called the court house and they said it was just the luck of the draw so asked that person if she could please draw the next lottery numbers so maybe I could win that!!!

    Probably the thing of hiest value that I ever won was a years membership to "The Dessert of the Month Club" membership I won from Kraft many years ago. It was fun. A new dessert delivered every month.

    Will be watching for the book!

  6. Hi Kay,
    I enjoyed your post and smiled at the correlation to jury duty. *G* Oh man, I don't know if I dare to report my biggest thing I've won. Um . . . okay, here goes:
    When I lived in Virginia Beach and Garth Brooks was on tour, I bought two tickets, one for my baby sitter for a Christmas present and one for myself. They drew the lottery and I ended up with serious nose bleed tickets. After, two local country radio stations were giving away Garth Brooks tickets. I called in at one station and won a pair! So, I gave away my other two tickets. Then, I won another pair of Garth Brooks tickets from the other station, but these were in the 10th row! I gave away the other set of tickets to Make-A-Wish. The night of the conference, my baby-sitter and I ended up getting lost at the coliseum and there weren't any people around. Then, three men came out, said they were in Garth's band [yeah right] and asked us if we wanted front row seats. We said yes [like they're real]. After directions back, the tickets turned out to be REAL, yes, and the guys were with Garth Brook's band. We went to the entry, found someone with nosebleed tickets, gave them our 10th row tickets, then went to row #1, seats #1 & 2 and enjoyed the show. Yes, I shook Garth Brook's hand. :)
    My neatest win story.

    *Who still has the ticket stubs.

  7. Congratulations on Bulletproof Texas, Kay. I still remember the first time I won the cake walk at my church - I must have been third grade. The thrill of victory. lol

    Tracy G.

  8. I won a 5 disc DVD player. Have won lots of books, gift certs, and cd's.

  9. When I was a kid, I won a puppy. I thought I had registered to win a puppet. Oops. The hilarious part was that I found out a few minutes before the drawing what the prize was, and I knew my parents would not be amused. But I figured, what are the odds that I'll win, anyway?


  10. I'll be on the lookout for "Bulletproof Texas." I won a clock radio in a raffle when I was kid and ever since then my dad would have me pick out his lottery numbers.

  11. Wstridgerunner,
    Don’t you just love that Tupperware teabag squeezer? I’d never heard of such a thing until I attended my first “kitchen accessory” party.

    A free drink for a Beatles trivia question sounds like a fair trade! Now about that jury duty…I think they need to pony up a couple more drinks.

    Hey Arkansas Cyndi,
    I remember you won my very first giveaway here on the blog! As for your husband being the reason you won those tickets to Mexico…hmm. He’s a lucky guy all right. But I think you got part of that backwards. He won those tickets ‘cause he was dating you!

    Hey Nancy,
    Yes, I’d be happy to have Publisher’s Clearing House show up at my door, too! I’d even gladly go to jury duty after! Looking forward to reading your new book this spring as well! Last Vampire Standing...I just love that title!

    Oh Connie,
    I’m sorry you had such a long stretch of “doing your civic duty” (and everyone else’s!) at the courthouse. But you have a very good point…it’s the one “pulling those numbers” that’s on the roll.

    I definitely want you to pick my lottery numbers or roll the dice at my imaginary craps table in Vegas. Wow! That’s one amazing story and just think how lucky all those folks felt who got the other great tickets you'd won!

    Thanks for stopping in! I would have been hooked for life on cakewalks if I’d won one in third grade. I’d have thought…this is my event…the cakewalk. : )

    Wow- a 5 disc player…that’s a very nice prize!

    Oh my. My parents would not have been amused either. We lived in the country and stray dogs wandered up to our house all the time or we (my brothers and sister) were bringing them home. I never thought of this excuse. It would have been perfect (for my brother!) “Honest, mom. I thought it was a puppet raffle.” Sortof like Pinocchio with a puppy!

    Thanks Jane,
    That’s a sweet story about picking your Dad’s lottery numbers. I’ve never played the lottery before and I’ve often wondered how people pick their numbers each week.


    I appreciate y’all stopping by. What a fun day. I loved hearing about everyone’s adventures in contests and raffles.Thanks for sharing your stories and best of luck to all with the “Bulletproof Sighting” Contest. See you back here real soon!

    Take care,

  12. Kate,

    Lol I am from Alabama so I understand on the rifle raffle :)!

    I have won various things over the years... nothing big. When I was little I won a stuffed rabbit and chocolates for selling the most stuff, a rabbit cake for easter at a local grocery store (u picked a # and they had drawing), lol an excerise tape (I was only 8 and filled out an entry in the store), and I've won a few books lately.

    I've not been called to jury duty ever (whispers that part in hopes I did not jinx myself).

    I will keep a look out for your new book !

    Pam S