Congratulations to Rebekah, the winner of The Front Porch Prophet.  

A.J. has just discovered his best friend is deathly ill, so he decides it’s time they got over their rift and made amends.  But Eugene is no simple friend.  His dying requests are killers.  What A.J. has to face is more than just sorting through their friendship’s past.  He also has some big decisions to make, and it’s time to see how far he’ll go for friendship.

Set in the mountains of Georgia, The Front Porch Prophet gives the reader a look at quirky small town life.  Amidst humorous dialogue and unusual townsfolk, Atkins weaves a tale that will have the reader hard-pressed to set the book down. The Front Porch Prophet is a touching and clever novel that looks at life, death, and friendship with a warm Southern slant.  If you like John Nichols (The Milagro Beanfield War), you’re gonna love Raymond L. Atkin’s new novel.  This book does all the things a good novel should do:  It inspires, brings on the tears, makes you laugh out loud.  That’s why The Front Porch Prophet gets the Goldfish Award.  And that’s why I’m so pleased to tell you I have an extra autographed copy to give away.  

If you don’t win, do yourself a favor and go buy a copy of The Front Porch Prophet.  This is the kind of novel to read when the autumn weather is moving in and you just want to curl up in your favorite spot with an absorbing book.  

3 Ways to Win:

1.) Leave a comment telling me what you’ve done for a friend or what they’ve done for you.  Did it change you?  Did it change your friendship?  Be thoughtful with your comment! Winners are randomly chosen, but if the name drawn doesn’t respond, I choose the next winner by comment.

2.) Email subscribers are entered into this and all future giveaways, for as long as their subscription is active. Simply place your email address in the little white box at the top of my sidebar on the right. (Please make sure to verify your Feedburner subscription by responding to the email they send you. If you don’t receive it, check your junk mail. Only verified subscriptions are entered for all the giveaways.)

3.) Blog about this giveaway on your blog with a link back to this post. Come back and leave me a Comment with a link to your blog post.

Do all three, and you’ve got three entries to win! You have until midnight EST on Monday, October 6, 2008, to enter.


  1. Sounds like a good book.

  2. During a very long, expensive illness within my family, one of my very close friends alerted all other friends. They rallied together and provided food, monetary assistance, and shoulders to cry on. I am not sure we would have survived the crisis without her. It definitely changed our lives.

    Thanks for the great giveaway.

  3. I was undergoing chemotherapy and had an appointment with my doctor. I came home to find that my husband had left and also cleaned out the bank account. He didn’t even leave a note.
    Needless to say, I was devasted and also very broke. My best friend came over with her 2 young children and brought me enough groceries for a month and handed me an envelope with enough cash to get us through for awhile. All of this was done without saying a word and done with love.
    That was 7 years ago and she is still the best friend that anyone could ever ask for.

  4. I am 39, and my best friend is 92. Her age enhances our friendship, because she has lived so much and seen so much that I don’t just dismiss what she says (like I might do with friends my own age). She has the perspective to be able to look back on her life and see where “everything is all woven together, and that you’ll find that there really are very few bad decisions, because some bad choices often beget good results.” She is full of wisdom like that, but she would just say that “most people are wise, but that they are just too wound up to realize it.”
    Alicia Webster
    [email protected]

  5. Thanks for this unique and wonderful giveaway. I was devastated by my mother’s untimely death several years ago. I was fortunate at that time to meet a special woman whose friendship, warmth and kindness has helped me through the years. We understand each other and are always there for one another. Her husband passed away and I helped her at that time and she & I are close due to our losses.

  6. I have a very special friend that helped my cope when I was going through a divorce. She was there for me whenever I needed a shoulder to cry on and she always makes me smile. We do not see each other very often anymore but she atill holds a special place in my heart.

  7. I have a wonderful group of friends all ages & their wisdom, strenght, fun nights & great laughs helped me raise my 3 children- they are wonderful & I would share this book with the “Lunch Bunch” so-called because we met at lunch long time ago at a workplace – now all left but the friendship continues :) Heres to AG, KA, DD, HM & all the rest…

  8. I have a friend who is also a neighbor, and she is one of those people that you can depend on for anything. We both know that if the other needs something (grocery shopping when the kids are sick, or babysitting) we just have to ask.

    Alyces last blog post..Friday Finds

  9. I have a friend, we spent some time together today, who is a somewhat new friend, but one of my only ones since I have a small child and not much time for friends. I enjoy spending time with her and glad we are friends now! Great giveaway, thanks.

    Mary @ Adventures in Mommylands last blog post..The Cole Family Christmas Review!

  10. Deborah Stinson

    I think that Susan Ledet had the most inspiring comment and should win this giveaway. I don’t have alot of friends since moving to OH and have lost touch with old friends, but I do have my family and husband that sticks with me through just about everything. My heart goes out to Susan for what she went through and I’m glad she had such a great friend to help her out.

  11. I try to be a good friend by listening when they need it and being there when they need me to be. As we get older, friends get fewer and more precious so we treasure them even more.

  12. don’t enter me, but Brad just read this and reviewed it on our blog! He LOVED it!! I was excited to see it got your goldfish award :) I think I will read it too.

    bethany canfields last blog post..just so that all is clear: new siggies

  13. interesting book!

  14. When I was trying to get myself and my child out of a tough relationship a friend of mine offered us a home until we could get settled. Since this involved leaving almost everything behind in one country and returning to my country of birth I made sure she understood what she was offering. She did and was a great support during our first 2 months (and beyond as well).
    If she hadn’t have offered I honestly don’t believe I would have had the strength to fight for our rights and move.

  15. I seldom come and comment on your giveaways. However, this question stopped me in my tracks.

    I work in a school. Last year in July 2007, one of my friends came and joined the school I was in. We had one our B.E together and were very lose. But lost touh sonn after that and met again after 17 years. It was like the years were never there in between. Then she fell ill in September. Doctors kind of gave up on her.I, who does not believe in praying or anything remotely like that, prayed hard for her. I was there for her husband and son. I had never met them before this. She came through. I don’t know how. And I am grateful that she is well now and thriving. And our friendship is as strong as ever.

    I have another friend, who is as close to me as a sister can be.

    gautami tripathys last blog post..Friday Finds (Oct 03/2008)

  16. I’d love to read this book. I was so weak after complications of a kidney transplant some years ago that I couldn’t even raise my head. And I was getter weaker, people were sure I wouldn’t make it. My sister-in-law, who had also been my friend in high school (I married her brother), came in and spoon fed me until I got some strength back and could feed myself. I made it after all.

    And I’m already a subscriber. Please enter me. Thank you.

    Sandras last blog post..Giveaway of Traffic by Tom Vanderbilt

  17. Great question, well I am pretty blessed with great friends it is hard to pick one thing. One of my skills is the ability to create winning resumes and cover letters, so I always help friends land their dream jobs!

    I love seeing them reach their goals.

  18. I have a couple of really close friends who just make the world a brighter place by being in it. The one I’d probably classify as my best friend is always there for me as a sounding board, and never does it matter what the subject matter she is always able to offer such clear and concise answers and ideas. And she does it all without making me feel like a heel for not knowing the answer on my own.

    littleminx at cox dot net

    RebekahCs last blog post..I Received An Award!

  19. Am a subscriber too btw.
    littleminx at cox dot net

    RebekahCs last blog post..I Received An Award!

  20. I’m an e-mail subscriber to your blog.

    This sounds like a great book. I’m finishing up “Tuesdays with Morrie” and I was going to read “The Last Lecture” next followed by “Life is a Verb” so I think this book is PEFECT to continue with the series of books I have been reading to help me re-evaluate life as I thought it was.

    I have a friend, Lexi, who is a single mom and she doesn’t have much $$$. I was feeling really down about my home business and struggling to make ends meet and out of the blue one day a package arrived at my door. It was from Lexi. It was a laminator I could use for my business. She knew I was feeling down and upset over things and she wanted to cheer me up and give me hope. Lexi has a business too and she was struggling. She also doesn’t have much $$$ yet she went out of her way to do that for me. TALK ABOUT TEARS!!!!!!! I balled my eyes out over her heart felt and very generous gift.

    Lexi and I have never met in person. We met online about 5 years ago and have been good friends ever since. We tell each other our deepest, darkest fears and share our joys with each other. She’s a very special person who I hope near and dear to my heart.

    Sorry to ramble.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  21. Hi, yes my friend was in another town and she locked her keys in her car while I was talking to her on our cells phones. Instead of calling a locksmith, I went to another town to get her spare from her house and took them to her, driving a total of 50 miles! Felt good to finally do something for her, as she has always helped me out in different ways!
    sounds like a great book to read!

    Giveaway Citys last blog post..The OcTwitter Contest

  22. One of my best friends is a hair stylist, and when I became 100% disabled and unable to drive, she started driving 45 minutes away on her day off to come to my parent’s house to do my hair for me. She did not want to take money for it either, but I insisted, and we finally agreed on a discount. What makes this even more of a kind and sweet person is that we barely knew each other at the time this started happening. It’s been 8 years, and we are now best friends.

    Thanks so much!!
    Michele R.(CA)
    [email protected]

  23. I thought I was already subscribed, but since I haven’t been receiving this blog’s newsletter, just your other blog, I resigned up.

    Thanks so much!!
    Michele R.(CA)
    [email protected]

  24. I won a trip to Europe for two. My husband did not want to go. I took my neighbor and we have now become very good friends.

  25. Even though I had three little girls ages 1,2, and 4, I left my husband in charge for 4 days when my best friend had her first baby and flew to be with them to help out.
    [email protected]

  26. i was always there to help my sister through her illness we were always close but we became even closer through the tears and healing

  27. I had a friend help me move out of state on very short notice.
    [email protected]

  28. hmm… this book looks incredibly interesting. I would love to win.
    When my mother died, she also left behind her best friend who had spent the last three years of my mothers life taking care of her so my mother wouldn’t have to go into a nursing home.
    When my mother died, my world fell apart and my mothers friend was there for me also. SHe became MY friend and now that she’s getting older, I’m there for her.

  29. I am a subscriber.

  30. Hi, I’m not entering the contest but just wanted to say I like the new look of your blog and that header image is very cool. Beautiful. Is there a fish in there? I can’t see him.

    Jeanes last blog post..A Primate’s Memoir

  31. Wow! After the other stories I don’t know that I have anything that can compare but I do have a friend who is very important to me. I never had many friends but in the last few years I have become close to someone I met at church. And recently she got a job just down the street from where I work. During the day at work we email back and forth and sometimes she will drop by my office just to see me. I know that when something happens at work that gets to me no matter how stupid it might seem to everyone else I can email her about it and she will understand. She has helped me keep my sanity though many a crazy day. Everything is easier to deal with when I know that I have someone who I can count on, someone who cares enough about me to take time out of her day just to make sure I’m okay.

  32. I held my friend and let her weep after her baby died. I continue to allow her to grieve for her baby girl now even though she died over a year ago… she knows its ok to call me up and cry because I won’t say stupid things like “it’ll be ok” or “at least you have other children”.

    In turn she lets me vent about my 6 year old’s struggles and my frustration with the health care system and school system that are just not set up for my son.

    Tara R.s last blog post..I love my kid

  33. Hi, I read about this particular book awhile back! I always make sure any house we buy has a front porch. I don’t need a deck or sunroom, but I do need a front porch. The observations made from sitting on a front porch amaze me. Also, sitting with friends and family while making those observations is even better. I have bouts of depression so bad, that I will not leave my home. One time, it was so bad that I quit communicating with my friends! One of them set it up with my husband and then she came over and picked me up. She took me to a wonderful tea room, antiquing and gave me a special book on friendship. This friend really helped me out at a time when I really needed it. Thanks, Cindi

  34. My friend is always honest with me, even if I dislike what she tells me. I think she is helping me change for the better by being honest but accepting at the same time.

  35. I have to be completely honest. I don’t have any stories of great friendships to tell. I’ve moved so many times since I have been an adult that I eventually stopped even bothering to try to forge deep friendships. I have many, many casual friends but I’m very guarded and I haven’t let anyone get too close to me in years. My sister is probably my best friend now.

  36. I’ve moved around a lot and some of my best friend stories are from those moves. When I was moving with a 4 year old and our kitchen was packed up,a friend came by with her child and a picnic lunch for us all to share. Another time when I was moving and my kitchen was packed, a friend came by in the morning with breakfast and coffee. When we were moving from France back to the US, a friend gave my 6 year old son a bunch of small gifts – all wrapped – with instructions to open one per hour on the flight.

    Kathy Rs last blog post..Review: American Born Chinese

  37. Crystal Gleason

    Sounds like a good read!

  38. My best friend was having trouble getting to school every morning and he was about to get kicked out for lack of attendance so I woke up at 5am every morning for an entire semester and walked the half mile to his house to wake him up so he could graduate.

  39. Someone I consider to be a treasured friend of over 10 years has been such a lifesaver in small ways. After losing my job, house, and having to start over she’s been there through thick and thin, listening to me, always keeping in touch, sending me funny little messages, and on my birthday and Xmas she sent me a four pack of movie tickets. Quite simply, she has always been and will always be an angel.

  40. Sometimes the littlest things mean the most for a friendship – true loyalty, genuine interest, and knowing they will always be there

  41. We are planning a surprise birthday triumph for my brother!

  42. Interesting sounding book

  43. i’ve had a friend since the 10th grade and we’ve been thru so much…

  44. count me in

  45. love southern writers – the stories are always so colorful, whether happy or sad. Please count me in.

    marybeth i.s last blog post..I want this.

  46. I think of my grown-up children as my best friends. I help them out whenever I can. thanks for the contest.

  47. i entered.

  48. A really good friend of mine gave me the encouragement to interview for a better job. Thanks to her kind words, I got the job!