The COUNTDOWN has begun….

I’m SO excited! My 5th Annual Online Auction for Diabetes Research begins May 1st (at brendanovak.com) and it has over 2,000 fabulous items, many of which you can’t get anywhere else.(http://www.brendanovak.com/auction.shtml)

I started this fundraiser in 2005 and have made it an annual event in an attempt to help my twelve-year-old son (diagnosed at 5) and the many, many others who struggle with diabetes. The need is there. Anyone who lives with a diabetic will tell you about the constant fingertip pricks, the shots, the pump insertions, the danger that comes with blood sugars that are too high or too low or swinging wildly from one side to the other. It’s almost impossible to avoid this, no matter how hard you try. But you rarely hear about that, or about the tragic side affects. Diabetes affects every part of the body—the heart, the liver, the kidneys, the skin, the nerves, the eyes, etc. Thanks to my many, many generous donors, we’re doing what we can to help!

Last year we managed to raise over $250,000. In 2009 we’re shooting for $300,000. And judging by the increase in donations and web traffic, I think we’ll get there. Not only do I offer fabulous items like original paintings, handmade quilts, trips and stays and autographed books and baskets from Big Name authors, I offer fabulous opportunities. How would you like to have lunch with one of your favorite authors—authors like Barry Eisler or Janet Evanovich? John Lescroart is offering an opportunity to name a character in his next novel. Anne Stuart is offering quilt she’s made herself. Heather Graham is offering a fabulous trip to New Orlean, which includes a writer’s conference. Jane Porter is offering an amazing trip to Seattle that includes a ton of extra goodies. Nora Roberts is offering the chance to stay at her inn. And author Tom Gabbay offers a one-week stay for 2 in an apartment at Villa Sofia in Barga , Tuscany ( Italy ). Or maybe you’d like to bid on the baseball autographed by President Obama. What a chance to own a piece of history! Actually, there are too many items to list here, so you’ll have to hop over and check it out.

For those of you who have never participated in an online auction, don’t worry–it’s easy. This auction runs just like E-Bay. You shop the entire month of May (there are also one-day auctions going on each day so be sure to check the schedule), bid on whatever you like and pay for what you win via credit card when it’s all over, at which point it will be shipped to you (in most cases, the shipping is free). The person who places the highest number of bids over all, even if that person doesn’t win a single item, will be awarded an amazing prize package that includes a brand new giant touch screen Hewlett Packard computer (the one where they’ve done away with the tower and is completely wireless), as well as an Advanced Reading Copy of my new book, THE PERFECT COUPLE, due out July 28th. And we have something new this year. I’m going to be posting random $1 Buy it Now items (in no particular category). Some of these items will be extremely valuable, but after I post one, if you’re the first to find it, you’ll get to buy it for a buck! These will include evaluations by top agents and editors (one by my own agent, Kim Whalen at Trident Media Group). Other $1 Buy it Now items will be jewelry, gift certificates, autographed books, etc. It’ll be like going on an Easter Egg hunt. I’m all for making you feel like a kid again. J

One other thing I should mention. To help promote the auction, I’m currently holding a drawing for a fabulous Trip for 2 to Sonoma , California (wine country). This trip includes airfare and hotel stay. To enter, visit brendanovak.com and click on the Contest link.

Here’s hoping I see you at the auction!

Brenda Novak

NYTimes Bestselling Author of TRUST ME, STOP ME & WATCH ME 

 www.brendanovak.com