An Unusual Holiday Gift Idea: Give the Gift of Immortality

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It may be 2008's most unusual personalized gift idea: the opportunity for (literary) immortality…and it's absolutely free. In her sixth annual Kill a Friend, Maim a Buddy Sweepstakes, New York Times best-selling mystery and suspense writer Lisa Gardner is offering readers the ability nominate one much loved/hated person to be the Lucky Stiff murdered in her next book.

It works out well for all concerned

It may be 2008's most unusual personalized gift idea: the opportunity for (literary) immortality…and it's absolutely free.

In her sixth annual Kill a Friend, Maim a Buddy Sweepstakes, New York Times best-selling mystery and suspense writer Lisa Gardner is offering those who visit the official Lisa Gardner website the ability nominate one much loved/hated person to be the Lucky Stiff murdered in her next book. And, just in time for holiday season, gift givers can then print out a free "gift certificate" complete with all the details of the recipient's nomination.

Gardner, whose books include the international best-sellers Say Goodbye and Hide, says, "At this time of year, everyone's looking for gift ideas and, in this economy, what could be better than a gift that's free, green and gruesome? " While anyone can be nominated, it's Gardner who chooses the method of murder. To date, winners of the Kill a Friend, Maim a Buddy Sweepstakes have been shot, stabbed, run over, strangled and asphyxiated.

"It's all a harmless bit of fun, not the first step down a road to crime or psychotherapy," Gardner is quick to add. "We've had people nominate friends, relatives, coworkers, bosses, former teachers--and themselves. While you can only enter the sweepstakes once, if you have someone you really want to see dead, you can have other people--friends, family, coworkers--enter the same name and increase the chances of that person becoming the Lucky Stiff."

On June 26, 2009, one nomination will be randomly selected, with the name of the Lucky Stiff meeting a grand end in Gardner's 2010 hardcover release. Both the Lucky Stiff and the person who made the nomination will receive signed copies of the novel, plus mention in the acknowledgments (assuming they want to be acknowledged).

"It works out well for all concerned," concludes Gardner. "I don't have to go through the phone book or my husband's Rolodex for character names. The winner is immortalized in print; and the person who makes the nomination has the satisfaction of setting the whole plot in motion--and possibly winning a holiday gift for themselves." In keeping with the spirit of the holidays, five people who make a nomination on Gardner's website before December 20 will be chosen at random to receive a Kill a Friend, Maim a Buddy t-shirt and a signed copy of one of Gardner's books.

The normally reclusive Lisa Gardner, who lives in a small town in New Hampshire's White Mountains, has opened the door to her quiet life in a videos that are posted on her website. A Day in the Life of Lisa Gardner and A Day Living with Lisa Gardner were inspired by questions from fans. Gardner's website also includes a monthly contest, a sneak preview of her upcoming book, and articles and lectures on the craft of writing.

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