Friday, May 29, 2009

Brenda Novak GuestBlog: Bid! For The End Is Near! (And We've Got Some Real Steals)!

CONTEST TODAY!!! One lucky commenting Bella (LCB) wins an autographed set of Brenda's Last Stand novels (Trust/Stop/Watch Me)! Thanks, Brenda!

My 5th Annual Online Auction for Diabetes Research is almost over. It’s become such an addiction for me I’ll probably have withdrawals. Soon I won’t have to figure out what cool new item to list as another Easter Egg (a freebie for my shoppers) or tally the number of bids to see who’s in the lead to win the amazing computer package that I’m offering as the grand prize. It will be time to wrap up everything and rest. For awhile. Until it’s time to start gathering amazing items for next year….

The good news about this year’s auction is that we had a lot more traffic, shoppers and publicity than ever before. The bad news is that the economy has taken its toll, even here. I’m pretty sure we’re not going to reach our lofty $300,000 goal. At this point, I’d be thrilled just to match last year’s total of $252,300. Currently, we’re at $195,000. So we’re going to need some strong final days. In order to entice you to jump in and help make that happen, I thought I’d list a few items that are an absolute deal.

Author Sherrill Bodine’s Champagne Reception for six at the RWA National Convention in Washington DC. What a party this could be for a group of friends planning to attend the convention. Why it’s been overlooked so far I can’t imagine. I’m ready to bid on it myself. At only $50, it’s a steal!

A $12,000 diamond and sapphire ring
. This stackable ring comes with the appraisal papers and everything, and it’s currently going for $2700. That’s only 10% of its value! Another bargain.

The edit of an ENTIRE manuscript by Donna Del Oro. This is an offer to do a tremendous amount of work. And it’s currently going for $105—the price of a dinner out with a friend.

Art. There are three fabulous paintings up for auction, all of which are going for 10-20% of their value. I usually buy an art piece every year. That’s how I’m building my own collection. They’re often the most valuable but overlooked things on the auction block, although I can’t imagine why.

All expense paid trip to Ellora Cave’s first convention in Akron, OH October 9-11, 2009. This covers hotel, meals, airfare, conference admission, a photo shoot with Ellora’s Cave cover mo
dels with an autographed copy of the photo of your choice. AND you’ll receive your picture with a Caveman on the cover of a special edition of the Ellora’s Cave book of your choice—with 10 free copies. This is definitely The Item for those who like their romance novels hot. And this amazing package is currently going for a measly $700.

For the romance fan who loves to hang online and make friends while commenting at romance blogs, be the RBTB BlogStar for a Day! Michelle will write a fun blog article about you, why you love romance and your fave book. Then you and Michelle will lead a mini-book club day about that book. Plus, you'll get the new "Bella Bag" w/ a 12-pack of new romances!

I could go on. There are over 2,000 fabulous items up for auction. Come on over, get involved in the fun and help me make a difference to my son and others like him. While you’re there, don’t forget to enter my drawing for a trip for two to Sonoma, California—beautiful wine country. The details of this trip are as amazing as anything on the auction, but this is something one lucky person will win for free! Simply go to my Web site to enter.

Here’s to making a difference! -- Brenda

Check out Brenda's next Last Stand book, "The Perfect Couple," out 7/28
Join Michelle's RBTB NEWs community e-newsletter (in the blue box in the right sidebar) between now and June 30 to win the new "Bella Bag" filled with 2 dozen new romances in the genre(s) of your choice! Plus, you'll get quickie weekly updates on what's NEWs at RBTB and in romance.(Opt in by 5.31 at midnight and you're in for the $25 B/N gift card, too).


Anonymous said...

I just went over to the auction ;). There are sooo many great deals that Brenda didn't mention.

Search for these following items: Princess House. Workshop. Glass Pendant. Read. Evaluation. Critique. (Harvey Stanbrough's are priceless and a huge STEAL.)
Even, IMO, Cherry Adair has some great deals going :). Currently the RBTB Star of the day is at only 27.00!!!

I also think some of the vacations in the Once in a Lifetime section are @ amazing prices right now.

This has been such a great month watching the auction, and I can't wait to see if I win my favorites! Good luck everyone! And thank you Brenda! I am so glad to see so much has been raised this year. I know a little one with diabetes, and for those of you who might not know it, it is heartbreaking watching little ones living with diabetes-- as I know it is for anyone living with it.

Thank you Michelle & Brenda!

~Lois K.

Booklover1335 said...

Hi Brenda,
I think it is so great that you do this, and although you may not reach the monetary goals that you set, any money that you are able to raise will make a difference, no matter how small (though $195,000 is not small!).

I checked out the auction, and found so many things that I would have liked to bid on, but unfortunately the economy has hit me hard and there is no room in the meager budget for extras. Charity this year, begins at home.

I wish it could be otherwise, but all of the items that I would have liked to bid on are already over what I could afford to spend:( I hope you get TONS of bids towards the end (happens on Ebay, right?) and that you reach your goals.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Buongiorno, Bellas and welcome back, Brenda! I'm so glad you pointed out these items! Wowza, that Ellora's Cave trip is wild, and I think the event's gonna be great. I'm going to be there doing a workshop w/Jade Black yet-to-be determined, but, I assure my Bellas, it most likely will be spicy. :)

Lois, you're right. We all know we're getting deals when we win an item, but just going to the site reminds us of what Brenda's doing this for; kids like the little one you know. When I was a kid, my best friend had diabetes. And I remember what she went through just to do the 'daily blood draw thing.' Even that is so much simpler and less traumatic today because of research. So every dollar donated makes such a difference.

I think so many of us hear you on this, booklover. I feel lucky to reach out by giving as much publicity to the event as possible because all of us are affected by the economy.

And I wonder if we couldn't start a kind of no-cost Online Auction donation? Today, could everyone who's able send at least one email to a friend letting them know about Brenda's Online Auction for Diabetes Research and send the site link: http://brendanovak.auctionanything com/ That way you can help raise awareness about diabetes and how much research helps folks w/the disease.

Julie in Ohio said...

I can also speak on all the wonderful items up for bid. I've had so much fun looking at everything. I can't believe it's been a month already.
I have my hooks in a few of items so they're off limits but there are hundreds of other things up that can still be bid on. ;p

Michelle, I think your email idea is a great one.

Anonymous said...


I can't get the email list sign up to work... it says something about "system has failed to..." I tried on 3 different computers :). help lol.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Hi, Anny! I've heard from a couple folks with this same problem today. Could it be that you're already a member? If you send me a note at, I can check. Also, there may be something wrong with the form I've directed you to. Can I inconvenience you even further by directing you to the form inthe sidebar? I really appreciate your going to all this trouble! I'm off to check on what's up. :)

Billie Jo said...

Hi Michelle, Brenda and the Bellas!

Brenda I am rooting for you hon. I have my eyes on a few things too :-) I hope you make your goal. It is such a great charity.

Keeping fingers, toes and everything else crossed for you.

Billie Jo

Jade Lee said...

Brenda's auction is ADDICTIVE! I have followed it every year. And this, family issues kept me from getting a package together, but I swear, next year I'm IN!

Anyway, do a great job and I'm going to finish my book then go bid on something!


Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Jade, you TOTALLY rock for being part of our RBTB group in the Online Auction! Man, those family things just never stop. Hope everything's at peace for you or soon will be.

EmilyBryan said...

Fantastic cause. Terrific bargains. Everyone wins. Thanks, Brenda!

Marilyn Shoemaker said...

Good morning Brenda, Michelle and Bella's.....I love this auction and have helped this year by getting items from the Pacific Northwest and The Pink Heart Society so I hope you'll all stop by and bid.

Besides sending an email, how about Twitter, Facebook, your blogs and Myspace?

Brenda best of luck on the last three days and sending hugs and much love.

pjpuppymom said...

Michelle, that's a wonderful idea about sending email links to friends. I'm off to do that right now!

I wish I could offer more this year but, like others, the economy has hit hard. I have my fingers crossed on a few of the items though and am glad I can at least do a little to help.

Fedora said...

Hi, Brenda and Michelle! I've been watching and bidding on items all month--and pretty much been outbid on all of them so far! I haven't given up yet, but clearly the economy hasn't hit hard enough for the things I'm eyeing! ;)

Brenda, a huge hats off again to you for making this fund- and awareness-raising happen! I know this will make a difference for your son and so many others affected by diabetes.

Unknown said...

Brenda, when this disease is eradicated it will be because of people like you who raise awareness and funding for research.
Thank all of you for your efforts and to all the people who donated for this auction.....thank you!
Now I'm going to send some emails......

robynl said...

Brenda, I'm hoping I win a bid or two this year as I did last year. It is so enjoyable to bid and know that you are helping if you win.

Tiona said...

Hey Bellas. Welcome, everyone!
What wonderful things to bid on! Because of circumstances, I am not able to bid, either, but it sounds like the auction is still a huge sucess! I raised a little awareness for animals in need, so I'm not feeling too terribly bad.
Love the bag, QB! I can jus imagine it chock full of romance novels, hehe.

Unknown said...

I've been watching the auction all month, and there are some fantastic items there to bid on...

Unfortunately my budget is tight this year too, but I am hoping to be the successful bidder on at least one item. The easter eggs are a great idea to get people to keep watching the site!

Brenda Novak said...

Hi everyone! So sorry I'm late! I got caught up answering questions at the help desk at the auction and nearly forgot our date. Oi! So glad it hit me that I have the opportunity to chat with you folks!


Brenda Novak said...

Lois, you're right! It's definitely a buyer's market. Last year, we were well beyond this point in what we'd raised, and we had 700 fewer items! I'm amazed by some of the stuff that hasn't garnered more bids--but I know it's because of the economy. People are afraid to spend money, if they have the money to spend. So this year the buyer's will win. Next year I hope it's the charity! LOL


Brenda Novak said...

Thanks, Booklover. I completely understand your predicament. Take care of hearth and home first.

Each year is different. Some years things will go for a premium, other years there will be plenty of steals. For those who do have money, this is definitely the year to shop!


amy kennedy said...

Hi Brenda, Michelle and all the bellas. Man, I love this auction--I've been outbid on everything so far, but I keep looking and find new things to bid on. I figure even if I don't win I help "up" the price by bidding!

I've never checked out the art--so, I'll do that, and I'm gonna send out e-mails with the link--great idea Michelle.

Love the bella bag

Brenda Novak said...

What a great suggestion, Michelle--spreading the word is a fabulous way to help, and it's free. Thanks for all the publicity you've given the auction, and for all the great items you've donated.


Brenda Novak said...

Hi Julie--

Thanks for your comment. I'm already seeing new people registering at the auction and saying they heard about it through RBTB. So Michelle's idea is already working! Hooray!

May we end strong.


Brenda Novak said...

Hey, Billie Jo! Great to "see" you here. Thanks for the amazing review on THE PERFECT COUPLE. I can't wait until it comes out. I hope everyone else likes it as well as you. LOL


Brenda Novak said...

Jade, I'm so glad you'll be jumping in. There are some amazing promotion deals for authors. I wish I was eligible to bid. There are ads at and at There are book videos. There are design services. The list goes on and on. I hope you get some great stuff!


Brenda Novak said...

Hi Marilyn! You're another person who has gone way above and beyond the call. Marilyn has donated every year, folks, but this year she gathered up lots of great items. Definitely take a look at her page.

I think we'll end strong. I doubt we'll make our goal, but I think everyone had a good time. And, as I said, every year will be different. I'm hoping we don't fall short of last year's total ($252,300) but I think it's going to be though to do $60,000 in three days. LOL

Brenda Novak said...

Thanks, PJ. Your support means a lot. And hello to EmilyBryan!

Brenda Novak said...

Flchen1--I hope you're right. After all the work the auction takes, it can seem futile when we don't get improvements in care right away. I admit, I'm impatient. LOL I want a cure, and I want it now. But we're doing what we can. Life is about marching on and doing your duty, eh?

I hope you win something amazing. Thanks for your support!

Brenda Novak said...

Flchen1--I hope you're right. After all the work the auction takes, it can seem futile when we don't get improvements in care right away. I admit, I'm impatient. LOL I want a cure, and I want it now. But we're doing what we can. Life is about marching on and doing your duty, eh?

I hope you win something amazing. Thanks for your support!

Jane said...

Hi Brenda,
I've been outbid a few times, but I'll be doing some last minute bidding. Hopefully I'll be successful in winning some treasured items.

Brenda Novak said...

RudyD, you're certainly welcome. I feel VERY passionate about this disease. I worry every minute of every day about my son and can't wait to cast that burden aside. I know there are millions of other out there just like me. Someday, it will be different....

Brenda Novak said...

Thanks for joining us RobinL and Bumblebee! Working for any cause is a good thing. Sounds like you've been doing great work, Bumblebee.

Hi Natalie--The Easter Eggs were really fun. But some people got so good at watching for them and nabbing them that it became a little pointless because I couldn't spread them around. Oh well! I'm happy the people who won them had fun, and next year I'll come up with another unique idea. That's the challenge--to step it up every year. I'm thinking about some unusual items I can offer next year that you can't get anywhere else. We'll have to see how the "hunting" goes this next six months.

Brenda Novak said...

You're right, Amy. Just bidding, even if you don't win, helps because it raises prices. Way to jump in and help out.

Brenda Novak said...

Jane, I hope you land what you want most. Good luck with it!

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Hi, Brenda! So cool that everyone's forming a big, bright chain o love for your Auction! Good karma's always in style. I just knew no good could come of this day, cause it made me go back to look at more stuff...

Hi everybody! Off to a quick appt and back in a few! Thanks for stopping in all, and spreading the word to your social networks!

Marilyn Shoemaker said...

What a great response to this blog post. Getting the word out is a wonderful thing you can do to help this cause whether email, Twitter, Facebook every little bit helps. Have a wonderful weekend Bellas!

Jody F. said...

It's wonderful to see the entire writing community come together to support this cause! There are a lot of great items up for bid and I hope the total exceeds last year.

Brenda Novak said...

Hi Jody--

It's been very touching to me to see the generosity of this whole industry. The agents and editors are amazing. VERY few tell me no. Some even offer more than the number of evaluations I've asked them to give. Then there are those authors who always step up. Jane Porter is one of them. She donate EVERY year something that is amazing. Then she comes on and shops! She just had a baby, by the way. If you have a minute, swing by her blog (google her name) and give her your best wishes.

Jeannie Ruesch said...

Hi Brenda and Michelle! I can't believe the auction is almost at its end. It seems like just yesterday we were here threatening to run each other over--in high heels, no less -- for those diamond Buy It Now items. :)

There is so much great stuff up for auction, but don't forget -- if the bidding prices are out of your range, that you can still help raise money to find a cure.

Look for the single amount donations:

$10.00 Donation

$25.00 Donation

$50 Donation

$100 Donation

This is such an important cause and EVERY single dollar helps toward research.

Oh and wow, here's another GREAT steal of an item: Cherry Adair will critique your synopsis for you! This is only at $98.00 right now!

Mari said...

Three cheers for you on all the wonderful efforts you have made to raise awareness on this issue.
This is a tough time to give, but I hope everyone contributes a little for a great cause.

Anonymous said...

... The bidding has officially picked up! yay! But.. seriously, I may be kicking myself later, but, I am winning Rbtb blogstar for the day... and with the new addition... 12 books for only 27.00.... Here is the link:

Go Bid LOL.

David B. said...

Great cause and great effort by everyone to raise a lot of money.

Things I wish I could bid for...

*A set of cover model abs
*A pair of boxers with "bella" written on them
*A free weekend stay for two in Allora's Cave with breakfast in bed and mirrored stalagmites on the ceiling.

I'd pay a lot for any other these!


Michelle Buonfiglio said...

wow, MPG! Ya think ya know a guy for say, 20 years (because you met him as an infant, of course), and it takes Brenda Novak to teach you new things about him.

Brenda Novak said...

LOL MPG! Now I know what to go after for next year. I'll expect you to be high bidder on these items.

I've thought of trying to line up a few authors to give lap dances--now you know I'll stop at nothing--but I can't get anyone to carry that torch. LOL

Brenda Novak said...

It was Jeannie's idea to add the $10 direct donation item. She figured there were those out there who might want to give but couldn't afford any more. Thanks, Jeannie! We've already had at least one taker.

There are also sponsorships up for grabs for next year's auction. Although our amount raised will be a bit down, our numbers will be better than ever, so it's a great opportunity.

Brenda Novak said...

Hey, anonymous. I'll have to come back when Michelle does the Blog Star day to see who you are. Thanks for bidding!

LauraT said...

I like a lot of the gift baskets, autographed books, and those author crtitques are really amazing at the prices they are currently at.

Even some of the Editor and Agent evaluations haven't hit 250 yet! I know how things go on the last two days... it will be exciting to see how much will be raised!

Another thing... a big hug out to everyone who has a loved one, friend, or someone close with diabetes and of course to those of you who do have it. I ache for my special someone, and would love to see a cure for her as soon as tonight!!

Bid High and Bid Fun!

kaisquared said...

Hi Brenda! I wish I was a writer so I could bid for some of the great reads and critiques up for bid! Such great folks and such a variety of genres! I haven't been able to bid as much as I would like this year, but I keep trying! My hubby said he is looking forward to June when I will stop telling everyone I chat with in person and on line to visit the auction and bid. I told him that June is when I start asking for donations for next year lol.

amy kennedy said...

The raffle items are also a great inexpensive thing to buy--an easy $20 donation with a chance to win a fabulous prize!

I've got quite the list right now--I'm the lead bidder in a few things--verra, verra exciting.

Laurie G said...