I'm so excited about this event!
Those of you who know me already know I love coffee (especially with whipped cream and chocolate sauce and those little white-chocolate shavings, but I digress...), and I drink it on the go with alarming frequency. So, it was a thrilling moment when I discovered these new Starbucks VIA™ Ready Brew packets last month because they came in two flavors (the Colombia and the Italian Roast), were in very convenient little pouches, and all I had to do was open one, add 8oz. of hot or cold water, stir it up and voilà! I tried it, I loved it and I thought it would be an excellent coffee accompaniment while reading books...so I gave some away. Anything to add further joy to the fun that was AustenFest, right?
Well, things got even more exciting when Starbucks, thanks to their representative Jason, offered to send me additional packets to give away for other online contests, or with my books or, really, to whomever I wanted.
"Wow!" I thought. "How great is that?!"
And--since I'd heard the product was only available online or at stores in Chicago, Seattle and London--I suspected there were A LOT of people who probably hadn't tried it yet. So, then I thought, "Wouldn't it be cool to have a taste test?" (I always wanted to host a taste test!) Then a bunch of other people could get a sneak preview of VIA™, too, and they could tell me how they enjoyed fixing their coffee. (Because I'd love some new, creative ideas!) And they'd also let me know whether they preferred the Colombia to the Italian Roast or vice versa, and if they liked to drink it hot or cold or with some kind of topping...
I figured, "Hey, 20 or 25 of us will have a really good time doing this."
Then, at the end of last week, I found out I'd be getting a box with 150 individual servings of each flavor--that is, 300 packets!! (Thank you, Jason! :)
So, Dear Coffee-Loving Friends in the Blogosphere, we're gonna have some serious taste-testing fun...
I have samples for 150 new participants, not including the people who won the VIA™ coffee along with the B&N giftcards or the ARCs of According to Jane. [You don't need to sign up below because your coffee has already been sent to you, so you're all set to take part in the event next month!] Here's how it'll work for those who don't have the packets yet:
1. All you have to do is be one of the first 150 people to sign up in the comment section of THIS post before Saturday, August 8, 2009. You can sign in with your Blogger account or, if you'd rather, you can sign in as Anonymous and use just your first name or your initials or a nickname to distinguish yourself from the other participants.
2. Then, please email me (marilynbrant AT gmail DOT com) with your name and mailing address, also by August 8th, so I can send you two coffee packets: one of the Colombia and one of the Italian Roast. Absolutely NO names, addresses or emails will be shared with anyone else!! It's just me privately sending them out to you.
3. Finally, in the later part of August, after the packets have had a chance to arrive in your mailboxes (I'll send them anywhere, btw, so you don't have to live in the U.S.), I'll put up a blog post specifically for everyone who tried the coffee so they can share what they liked or didn't like about it. Oooh! And maybe we'll do a coffee poll! (I don't know how to create these yet, but I have friends who do...right, Caryn? L.A.? :) Or maybe some sort of a prize for Most Imaginative Coffee Creation! I, personally, want to get one of those nifty tumblers someday that can hold up to six VIA™ packets so, perhaps, that would be a cool prize...or maybe one of the 12-pack boxes of coffee...or a Starbucks giftcard...or a couple of novels...or some tasty chocolate truffles... Still deciding, but you get the idea!
Anyway, sign up and tell your coffee-drinking friends to sign up, too. I'll be away at the Romance Writers of America's National Conference in Washington D.C. over the next week and a half (it's a roadtrip with a few extra stops...) but, after I return, I will respond to every email I receive so I can let participants know that I have their addresses for the taste test. Then, I will buy a box of envelopes and prepare to do a mass mailing of coffee and more coffee... Whoo-hoo!
So, are you in?!