Posted by Susan Sey Aug 27 2008, 4:01 am in marketing, Susan Seyfarth, tag lines, websites
by Susan Seyfarth
So I’ve got marketing on the brain. Websites, specifically. Every published author has one, right? A whole bunch of unpublished writers have them too. You never know when that dream agent or editor might like your latest submission enough to google you. And you never know when The Call is going to come, either.
The Boy Scouts don’t say “Be Prepared” for nothing.
So in an effort to be ready for success when it comes a-knockin’, I decided to research websites. And I discovered something that struck terror into this author’s heart.
Oh yes, the dreaded tag line. Take everything that sets your work apart from its competitors, distill it down to three to five words, then make it witty & memorable.
People can do this. Honest to Pete. Here, want proof? See if you can name the companies that go with the following tag lines:
1. The Happiest Place on Earth
2. Finger Lickin’ Good
3. Every Day Low Prices
I bet you knew all of them, didn’t you? (And if you didn’t, check the comments trail. I’ll bet somebody has mentioned them all by now.)
Now how does this apply to your favorite writers? My tour of writers’ websites garnered these beauties, the ones that left me both satisfied with a job well done & kind of pissed that such a good tag line was now off the market.
Susan Donovan–Brain Candy for Smart Women
Kristan Higgins–Real Life. True Love. Lots of Laughs.
Jane Porter–Classic Romance. Modern Lit.
So I sat down to think about my goals. When I write a novel, what am I trying to do? What’s the experience I want to provide for the reader? What should my books be like? Here’s what I came up with:
It’s taken me some time to figure out these aren’t the easiest qualities to keep in balance. I mean, I can do honest & emotional. I can do honest & amusing. I can even do emotional & amusing, depending on what kind of emotion we’re talking about.
But try keeping the emotion raw & honest & see how easy it is to get the chuckle. Geez. I’m sweating just thinking about it. Susan Elizabeth Phillips does this beautifully, but I noticed her website doesn’t venture into Tag Line Land, so no guidance there.
Bottom line? I’m totally stuck here & thought I’d see what the rest of you are doing.
So, now it’s your turn! What’s your brand? Do you have a tag line? (For your writing or even yourself.) Three to five words (preferably witty & memorably, mind you) that sums you (or your writing) up in a neat, bite-sized chunk? Let’s hear them!
Posted by Susan Sey Jul 4 2008, 4:01 am in fire, Fourth of July, Susan Seyfarth
by Susan Seyfarth
I love the way alcohol companies always remind you to celebrate reponsibly at the end of every commerical. First there are all the golden, toned, beautiful people consuming their alcoholic beverages while having impossible amounts of good, clean fun. And then there’s the reminder that you are not these people, okay? You aren’t this good-looking, your friends aren’t this fun, & if you think you are, well, you’re probably a bit past the point of drinking responsibly anyhow. But just so we’re clear: Overuse of this product will make you fat, lazy, & liable to do things that may seem like good ideas but in actual point of fact are not.
What amuses me most about these commercials, however, is not the tension between buy our product in vast quantities and don’t drink it all at once for god’s sake. No, what I really adore about them is the fact that most of the hairiest incidents of my life–the ones where I truly feared for my safety–are never alcohol related.
They’re mostly dad related.
Yeah. My dad’s one of those. What we in the writing business call a character. He’s a fire starter, a misuser of power tools & a lover of high-speed anything. And he’s stone-cold sober. I’ve seen him holding a beer once in my entire life & it was because a neighbor handed him an open can at a Fourth of July barbeque. He set it down shortly thereafter, untouched & went on to light one of the most enormous fires I’ve ever seen in person.
I was in eighth grade, I think. My mom was in Ireland for the first time since her family emigrated when she was nine, so my dad had full responsibility for all four of us girls, ranging in age from ten to eighteen. He figured his odds of containing us were better if we were secluded at the end of a huge peninsula, so we took off for our cottage in Northern Michigan. (Not the Upper Peninsula, just the northern bit of the mitten. We Michiganders are sticklers about such things, so get it straight, ‘kay?)
Anyway, the Fourth of July, usually a big hit at the lake, was rainy & cool. And nobody can sulk like a cottage full of teenagers (plus one precocious pre-teen) whose favorite sport is slathering on the baby oil & roasting themselves until they can peel huge sheets of burnt skin off their backs at night. My father had promised us a weekend full of sunshine, fireworks & bonfires when he’d dragged us away from our friends for the holiday, but conditions weren’t favorable for any of the above.
The weather was out of his hands, but by god he could light us a fire. After an hour of blowing on a grudging puff of smoke, however, Dad decided to break out the gas can. Unfortunately, he failed to first ascertain that the spark he’d been nursing for the last hour was, indeed, out cold.
It was not.
One minute Dad was dumping gas onto a pile of blackened sticks, then next we all were crouched behind the over-turned rowboat watching a gas-can-turned-Molotov-cocktail roar toward the cottage while Dad & Uncle Bill used a whole lot of words we ourselves knew but hadn’t previously been aware they knew. And if you’re wondering? Yes, indeed, that is the sort of spectacle that’ll wipe the boredom off a sulky teenaged face.
I don’t know if my dad’s lucky or blessed or what, but before the can could level the cottage & blow us all to kingdom come, it suddenly & inexplicably changed course. It stopped, hung a left & rolled into the lake, where it fizzled harmlessly into a charred, twisted reminder that one should never encourage a reluctant flame with an entire can of gas.
Strangely enough, this brush with death left us euphoric rather than shaken. We’d all looked death (if not by raging flame, certainly by my mother’s wrath should she ever hear of this incident) in the eye, & escaped. Plus, there was a lovely roaring fire now. Mostly in the fire pit, too. There was some char on the grass, & the birch trees were all lopsided due to twenty foot flames, but as far as marshmallow roasters go, this was a nice one.
Suffice it to say, we weren’t put off giant fires the way you might expect. And just to prove it, here’s a photo of us last summer at the cottage with one of my dad’s tamer efforts. I wish you could see it in the picture, but there’s a row of birch trees behind the fire pit that have just given up growing leaves at all on the one side. No point when my dad’s still got a can of gas, some matches & a pile of brush that needs torching.
How about you? Are there any characters in your family who keep you supplied with inspiration every time the blank page dares you to fill it up with something outlandish? Any family celebrations that keep the neighbors on their toes? Let’s hear it, & Happy Fourth of July!
Posted by Susan Sey Jun 27 2008, 4:05 am in camping, canoeing, outdoors, Susan Seyfarth
by Susan Seyfarth
So, we took the kids camping this weekend.
Now my husband & I, we used to camp quite a bit. My husband loves Minnesota’s fabled Boundary Waters the way some men love hot cars & fast computers & will jump at any excuse to throw the canoe on the car & head north. I’m more of a backpacker myself. I fell in love with hiking during what my father still refers to as my camp counselor days. (For the sake of accuracy, I would like to point out that I was not a camp counselor. I was an outdoor educator. It a REAL JOB, dad. Sheesh.)
Suffice it to say, we considered ourselves the outdoorsy types, my husband & I. We spent our honeymoon camping in Alaska, after all. For our first anniversary, we spent a few days on the Superior Hiking trail (an awesome wilderness trail that stretches from Duluth to the Canadian border), then got in the car & puttered our way into Canada where we hit all the provincial parks surrounding Lake Superior. Canada has some amazing parks, by the way. One of our camp sites in Lake Superior Provincial Park was a gorgeous little island. Not just on an island, mind you. The actual island. The whole thing. Sadly, it turned out to be somewhat less, um, isolated than a couple celebrating their first anniversary might be inclined to hope, but that’s a different story altogether. One I will not be getting into on a public blog.
Where was I?
Oh yes. We were inveterate outdoorsmen/women. We had the skills, we had the experience, we had the equipment.
Then we had children.
I can now report that we have an entirely new understanding of what roughing it actually entails.
Roughing it is not going without indoor plumbing.
Roughing it is standing around at 3 a.m. dangling your bare-bottomed, just-potty-trained 3 year old over some shrubbery that you pray to the good lord isn’t poison ivy, trying to explain why it’s okay just this once to pee on the ground.
Roughing it is not sleeping in a tiny, two-person tent small enough to fit in a backpack.
Roughing it is sharing a cavernous Coleman 6-man tent that barely fits in the back of your station wagon with a 5 year old that somebody fed s’mores until she was ping-ponging off the walls like a demented, DEET-scented monkey.
Roughing it is not sleeping on the ground in twenty degree weather.
Roughing it is sleeping on the ground in a stifling tent in 85 degree heat with your 18 month old (aka The Heater) draped over your crotch because that’s where she finally fell asleep & you would rather die of heat stroke than deal with her if she wakes up.
That said, we had a great weekend. It took us approximately 8 hours to prep for 16 hours in the Great Outdoors, & my eldest daughter’s mosquito bites are now the stuff of family legend (how does one kid slathered in DEET get thirty bites on one leg??) but the kids are already asking when we get to go again.
We’re thinking canoes this time.
May god have mercy on us.
How about you? Are you a camper or does the thought of sleeping outdoors give you hives? What was your most memorable family vacation? When was the last time you truly felt like you were roughing it?
Posted by Susan Sey May 29 2008, 4:02 am in Age, Five Things, Susan Seyfarth
by Susan Seyfarth
It has recently come to my attention that I am no longer a spring chicken.
This should not have been a shock to me. I said goodbye to my twenties some time ago. I’ve always known that at some point I would have to go blond & stop using the word ‘dude’ lest I embarrass the children. And yet age blindsided me all the same.
So what happened? Where did all those years between Young & Not Young go? When did aging get so…abrupt? Wasn’t it just yesterday that waiters were requesting ID whenever I ordered anything more interesting than soda? That my sisters were killing themselves laughing every time I got offered a child’s admission or kiddie menu? When did young men start calling me ma’am & offering to carry my groceries?
I honestly couldn’t say. But certain recent events have forced a reckoning. I will offer them now, for your consideration:
1. I recently discovered that the inside of my left forearm is sporting a permanent set of wrinkles from all the hundreds of hours I’ve spent with a diapered butt on it. Let me say that again: Permanent. Wrinkles. From carrying babies. I actually felt faint when I realized these lines weren’t going away within a few minutes (hours, days, I checked) of putting said child down.
2. We were in a restaurant last week & a whole herd of teenagers walked in, sporting their prom finery. They looked so fiercely young & vulnerable & proud & hopeful that I seized up my five year old & said, “Oh, look at the prom kids! Aren’t they beautiful?” And then I realized that that’s how I think of high schoolers now–kids. Really, really young kids, too. Because they’re, like, HALF my age. HALF, people.
3. I read a book in which a fourteen year old character & his girlfriend said they preferred email to IM for love letters because they liked the old school kick of really slowing down & considering each word. They actually called email old school. Okay, I didn’t get an email account until I was a senior in college. Enough said.
4. This one isn’t technically mine, but it speaks to the point, so I’m using it. A friend was at a meeting & somebody asked a question which was met by total & uncomfortable silence. My friend tried to break the tension by intoning, “Anybody? Bueller?” The silence then went from tense to puzzled because nobody got the reference
. He looked around & realized his colleagues were all in their early to mid twenties & had never seen Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. My pop culture references are no longer current. Gah.
5. This one is the killer. Totally clinched the deal. So I was on vacation with my folks recently & at some point we washed a load of underwear and socks. At which point I discovered that my mother & I wear identical underpants
. Okay, how demoralizing is that? I wear the same underwear–right down to the brand, the style, even the freakin’ colors–as a woman thirty years my senior. It could be argued, I suppose, that I have a really, really hip mom. And in many respects, that’s true. But we should not be wearing matching undies. I draw the line at that, and am left with this inescapable conclusion:
So how about you? Have you ever had a moment that changed your definition of yourself? When did you discover you’d crossed over? Become Them rather than Us? Old rather than Young? The Man rather than the Rebel? Was it a moment, a series of events, or a slow, gradual slide? Share, because I’m feeling old & alone…
Posted by Susan Sey Apr 27 2008, 4:12 am in home improvement, perspective, Susan Seyfarth
by Susan Seyfarth
Every year when we get our tax refund, we tackle a house project. It’s a long standing tradition, & since we have an endless list of Highly Desirable Home Improvements, I imagine it’ll stand for years to come. But this year was special. This year we finally replaced our kitchen floor.
Happy, happy day. I have hated my kitchen floor with a virulent passion ever since I first laid eyes on it ten years ago. It was yellow & white linoleum with a fake brick print & 30 years of dirt ground into every stinkin’ crack & scratch. And there were LOTS of them. I could (and did) get down on my knees & scrub the thing with Comet until my fingers pruned up. Ten minutes later, it looked exactly as dirty as it did when I started.
Now my kitchen floor is a yummy, warm terra cotta colored tile & it’s gorgeous. But it took a very nice man two solid weeks to put it in, during which time every single item that used to live in the kitchen had to find a new home somewhere else. (The linoleum we had removed was full of asbestos, so we had to REALLY empty the place out.) I had the fridge & the stove in the dining room. The canned goods went into big laundry baskets in the living room. The dishes & tupperware went into the basement. My laptop became a sort of migrant worker (which I’m sad to say explains my lack of presence on the blog lately. ) And so on & so forth.
As I put everything away, I thought how on earth am I going to get by without THIS for two weeks? This carrot peeler? My favorite paring knife? This cute little sauce pan? Two weeks later, I unpacked those same boxes & threw away like 2/3s of the junk. Because that’s all it was. Junk. I mean, really. I had four cans of cream of celery soup, expiration date 1999. Did I really think I was going to stick that back in my pantry? It was just proximity that made all my junk seem necessary. Familiarity that make it seem vital.
It’s the same phenomenon that makes a book I could have sworn was finished looked like h-e-double-hockey-sticks when I drag it out from under the bed a year later. It makes me wonder what else in my life I’ve been dragging around just because I’m used to it, not because I need it.
How about you? Have you ever had an epiphany? Something that happened that gave you fresh eyes? A new perspective? A paradigm shift? Tell us about it!
Posted by Susan Sey Mar 29 2008, 4:02 am in contests, GH, Golden Heart, Golden Heart finalists, Guilty Pleasures, Susan Seyfarth
by Susan Seyfarth
So something really extraordinary happened to me yesterday. I got fan mail. Sort of.
I’m what we call an AYU in this business: an As Yet Unpublished. This makes it tough to get fan mail.
(It also makes it tough to get hate mail, so there’s the silver lining, I guess.) Anyway, one of the women who judged my manuscript Money, Honey for this year’s Golden Heart contest emailed to say she’d been pulling for it to final because she’d loved reading the partial so much. This just blew me away. First because, wow, what a nice thing to say. But second because nobody was ever supposed to love Money, Honey but me.
Without going into a lot of excruciating detail, let’s just say that I wrote MH during a particularly difficult phase of my life & as a result, the book is a little…um…dark. It’s not full of serial killers or child molesters or dog kickers or anything like that. Heaven forfend. It’s just got a really broody, pessimistic, emotionally closed off hero with a well-deserved criminal record. He’s hot as hell, yes, but good boyfriend material? Warm & fuzzy? Fully reformed & legitimately employed? Not so much. He’s difficult. Prickly. Dangerous. And maybe not in a good way.
And the heroine? Well. I gave her a backstory so viciously complicated & emotionally scarring that even my amazingly supportive critique partner said, “She can’t have lived through that
& turned out even remotely normal.”
Did I listen? Did I fix things? I did not. I wrote the damn book my own damn way & sent it off to the contest circuit where it got duly slaughtered. I shoved it under the bed where it belonged & figured I’d written the fabled Book of My Heart. You know the one that nobody will ever love but you, but you’re somehow compelled to write anyway? The story you’re longing to tell that has absolutely no commercial viability?
When Money, Honey hit the finals, I was stunned. It was like the universe had suddenly decided to reward me for indulging my quirks instead of sending the Rejection Express steaming through my mailbox every day. This was unprecedented. I ought to go nuts while the window of opportunity was open, right? So I started thinking about things I secretly enjoy that I don’t widely publicize. I polled my friends about their guilty pleasures. I quizzed my family. Here (in no particular order & without attribution to protect the innocent) is what I discovered we love but won’t necessarily admit to:
1) Smokin’ hot anti-heros with a razor-sharp edge. Doesn’t hurt if they’re really, really rich & just the tiniest bit cruel. Remember James Spader from Pretty in Pink? Yummers. (Okay, I’ll admit it. That one’s mine.)
2) Wine Coolers. Hello, high school. And yet, on a really hot summer’s evening? Admit it–a Bartles & Jaymes can go down pretty smooth.
3) Cheap Trick/Journey. This was a two way tie . I mean, come on. We all love these bands but nobody will own up to it. Sure, we all crank up the volume when we stumble across their songs on the radio, but who’ll admit to having the CD in the car? (Okay, I will. I love me some Cheap Trick.)
4) Trash TV. A show called “Plastic Surgery: Before & After” seemed to come up in conversation a lot. Wife Swap came up pretty often, too. I haven’t seen these ones, but I have a well publicized addiction to People magazine & Perez Hilton’s celebrity gossip site, so I have no room to act superior. People also admitted to loving Las Vegas, various soap operas, 90210 & Dawson’s Creek. (That last one was mine. I’m not ashamed. I loved Pacey.)
5) Insulting good food with cheap condiments. Tartar sauce on a $50 fish filet at a fancy restaurant. Mayo on fries. Ketchup on steak. I’ll admit to a predilection for cheap ice cream. You can keep your Ben & Jerry’s. Hang on to your Haagen Daaz. Scoop me up a big fat bowl of plain ol’ vanilla from a $3 family sized tub. Squirt on the Hershey’s & I’m there.
So how about you? If the universe really IS rewarding us this week for indulging our private quirks, now isn’t the time to hold back! What do you love that you hide? And reading romance doesn’t count. Not in the Lair.
Posted by Susan Sey Feb 27 2008, 5:01 am in Delicious, Feeding the Writer, Susan Seyfarth
by Susan Seyfarth
I’ve got food on the brain. Couple reasons there. First, I gave up sweets for Lent. All sweets. Which means no chocolate. No ice cream. No doughnuts. (Somebody please revive Kirsten. I’m sure she’s passed out cold at the idea of a doughnut-free existence.) In case anybody’s wondering, life without refined white sugar is indeed a barren, empty place. Not recommended. But boy, it makes Easter really pop for me. Nobody’s chocolate bunny is safe.
Second, I’m brain storming a new book, & my heroine is a wedding cake baker. So, while I’m not eating any sweets, I’m devouring books devoted to the glossy photography of enormous, glorious cakes. Big ol’ shrines to butter, eggs & yes, refined white sugar.
All this deprivation got me thinking about one of my favorite questions to ask people when I need to get a spirited conversation started:
If you could eat only three foods for the REST OF YOUR LIFE, what would they be?
Some people (mostly men for some reason) are baffled by this question. They’ve honestly never considered it. But most of us know our three without even thinking. I know I do. You ready?
#1) Ice cream. Any flavor but chocolate. Don’t misunderstand now. I like chocolate IN my ice cream. The more the better. But I don’t like chocolate flavored ice cream. Is that weird? I can’t explain it but feel very strongly about it. Ice cream is hands-down my favorite food in the universe, but if somebody presented me with a bowl of chocolate ice cream on Easter morning & said, “Vanilla will be available at noon,” even after the six dark weeks of Lent, I’d hold out for the vanilla.
#2) Pizza–whole grain, deep dish crust. Marinara sauce. Mozzarella, parmesan, & goat cheese on top. If pressed, I’d allow some fresh basil & a few kalamata olives. Perfection.
#3) This third slot is always harder. Over the years, I’ve gone back & forth. For a long time it was stir fry in brown sauce over brown rice. Heavy on the broccoli & fresh red peppers. Throw in some deep fried tofus cubes, the kind that only Asian restaurants
can produce & I’m a happy girl. But then I became a mom & began to resent stir fries for all the time consuming chopping & mincing. I embraced the zen perfection of a bowl of cereal with milk. And I do love me a good bowl of cereal, any time of the day or night. But I already have cold & sweet covered with the ice cream choice. The pizza gives me all the gooey, fat-ladened carbs I could want. So really, I needed something that would satisfy the primal desire for something crunchy, veggie-based & filling that comes over me after a steady diet of pizza & ice cream. So I’m back to the stir fry. For now.
How about you? Are there any foods you could eat forever & never get sick of? Any odd-ball appetites you want to fess up to? You’re among friends–share!
Posted by Susan Sey Jan 27 2008, 5:05 am in Happy endings, movies, Susan Seyfarth
by Susan Seyfarth
So I just saw this movie, Once. It’s been getting all kinds of good buzz, & if you haven’t seen it I highly recommend it. It’s about a heartbroken Irish musician whose life is stuck & the woman, an amazing musician in her own right, who gets him unstuck.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a movie quite like it. The Commitments comes to mind, but only because it’s another music movie set in Dublin fea
turing a cast of more musicians than actors. Once was a lot smaller, more intimate. It was about the way these two lonely, broken people found a way to fit their gifts & their hurts together to make something far larger than the sum of its parts. There was an incandescent chemistry at work, something powerful & special, something beyond the music. It was a visible connection of souls, a meshing of visions, & it was thrilling.
I won’t give away the ending, but I will say that while it was completely satisfying, it was also completely unexpected. I was looking for the traditional happy ever after: the boy gets the girl & they ride off into the sunset & make beautiful music together for the rest of their lives. What I got was happy ever after, but with a twist. Nothing worked out the way I thought it would & yet I felt really, really good about it.
It got me thinking about expectations. As romance novelists, we have a contract with our readers: the boy is going to get the girl, there will be a happy ever after. It’s why people read romance novels. If we writers violate that contract, the reader is (rightfully) angry, takes out her big black Sharpie & writes our name on her Do Not Buy list. And we’d deserve it.
But is there still room within that contract to surprise? When you know the ending already, where’s the tension? Is it in how the hero & heroine overcome insurmountable odds? Is it in leading the reader to expect one sort of happy ending & serving up another? How far can an author stray from the traditional expectations of the romance genre without risking the big black Sharpie?
So tell us: What’s your favorite non-traditional romance? Your most beloved anti-hero, your most cherished not-quite-happy ending? Which authors do you come back to again & again because they consistently serve up a fresh take on traditional expectations? Have you ever gotten exactly what you didn’t want, only to find it was somehow what you wanted all along?
Posted by Susan Sey Jan 2 2008, 3:21 pm in goals and resolutions, Susan Seyfarth, writing life
by Susan Seyfarth
My first blog of the new year & I forgot it. Or spaced it. Or just wrote it wrong on my calendar. Who knows? I sure don’t. If I were more organized, however, it might be a different story. Unfortunately, being organized does not crack my top ten list of things that must be resolved for this new year. Frankly, it does not crack the top five.
Oh come on. Let’s be honest. I don’t have five resolutions. I can’t even keep track of three. I have two. Two little things that, if I can manage them, will satisfy my puny little will for self-improvement. And here, with all the appropriate fanfare, there are.
1. I will write twenty pages per week.
That’s four pages a day, five days a week. I try to write every day while my kids are ostensibly sleeping and/or observing quiet (HA!) time. Whether or not this hallowed time occurs on any given day is not necessarily under my control, which is why I’m going for the weekly rather than a daily page count. This gives me evenings & weekends for make up. It’s a humane schedule, & one that will put me on track to finish a 400 page book by June. Assuming my weekly pages are more or less salvagable, this will allow me to pitch a new book at the RWA conference in July.
Doubtful, but hey, a goal’s a goal, right?
2. I will have a date with my husband at least once a month.
This involves lining up a babysitter & convincing my skeptical 1 year old that the world will not come to a shattering end should I occasionally absent myself from the bedtime routine. It’s a hard sell, but one I’m willing to make. We spent Christmas with my husband’s family, & they (wonderful, fabulous people) took it upon themselves not once but twice to deal with said 1 year old’s convictions that armageddeon was upon us so my husband & I could go out to a matinee one afternoon & out to dinner one evening.
It was revolutionary. We spoke like adults. We cut only the food on our own plates & stayed seated during an entire meal. We had wine. I curled my hair & wore a dress that I absolutely couldn’t nurse in. I looked great, & he appreciated it. And I appreciated that he appreciated it. I’d almost forgotten we could do that. And now I’m addicted. So if anybody knows a good babbysitter in the upper Midwest, give me a shout. I’d like that number.
So how about you? Any new year’s resolutions out there you want to go on record with? Or do you hate resolutions & refuse to make them on principle? What was the best one you ever made? The worst? Let’s share!
Posted by Susan Sey Dec 17 2007, 4:59 am in Bandit Booty, Christmas, Susan Seyfarth
Mshellion! For sharing her family’s tradition of towing the hood of a VW Bug behind a three-wheeler & calling it a sled. My father gives props to yours. That is truly, truly wonderful!
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your snail mail address & I’ll get your Barnes & Noble gift card in the mail!