Sorry to draw out the suspense! I've been busy all day. I took a commentor's advice and used an online random number generator to select the winners.
20 - Danielle, who said "Eeeep!"
367 - Megan G., who said, "I was so excited to hear there would be another book in this series!"
Hooray for Danielle and Megan! Please email me at squeetus (at) gmail (dot) com. I'll need your mailing address and who you want the book signed to. Also if you're under 18, I'll need an email from your parent giving me your address. Let it be known that Shannon Hale does not solicit private information from minors! So let it be done.
Thanks for all your enthusiasm for this book. These giveaways are fun for me, but also kind of stressful because I feel so bad for everyone who expressed hope and passion about winning. I'm sorry about that. I wish I had 450 ARCs to give to everyone. The night after I posted the FB ARC giveaway, I had a long and vivid dream about how early readers of the book hated it and blogged about how horrible the book was (in great detail). I read these blogs and I called my publisher, begging them please not to publish it after all. I'm not a professional dream analyst, but I think there might be some buried anxiety there...
As a bit of salve for those hopeful who didn't win, here are some sneak peeks, in the form of lines I cut from forest born. [Edit: each paragraph is from a different part. They don't read as one continuous story. I think I confused some people!]
How young and sweet Enna and Isi had seemed, their faces simplified by the head wraps. Men especially had taken interest in their attention and questions. For other girls, Rin might have feared the greedy look in those men’s eyes, but last night she’d found herself fearing for the men.
"Don’t you all look at me like that,” said Isi, “or I’ll have to poke someone in the eyeball."
Rin curled up on the floor, her back hard against a straw pallet, and let herself cry the fear and anger and frustration out of her body. She cried as if all that poison inside her could well up and leave as tears. Then in that withered, numb state of all-cried-out, she sat up and decided.
“Rin?” Isi peeked into the antechamber. She was in her dressing gown, carrying a shielded candle. The light washed her pale face, yellow hair and white clothes in the same shade of gold. She looked like an image stamped on a coin, and her beauty at that moment made Rin hold her breath.
In the past, that would have been inviting, a chance to be still a moment, to listen and hum with the life of growing things, to feel her own thoughts go clear and bright like sunlight through poured water.