Before you say, "Yeah, that does sound sweet. Where do I sign up?" I have to point out that I was invited by Amazon.com to join the program, and as far as I know it has remained invitation-only to this day. I haven't the slightest idea why the company e-mailed me. I did have a book blog at the time, but I wasn't in a regular habit of posting the book reviews to Amazon. I also have never been active on Amazon's forums. As much as I would like to, I haven't got any idea how to hook you up. Sorry.
Back to my story. So this week I've received two awesome e-mails from Vine. The first was a notice that I'd be selected to review entries for Amazon's Breakout Novel Award. This is going to be a challenging little project - reading 400 pages and reviewing 40 different excerpts is a pretty big time sink. But Amazon's provided a pretty nice incentive. If I manage to complete all forty reviews by their deadline, I'll receive a $350 gift certificate.
I can buy a heckuva lot of fun stuff with a gift certificate of that size.
The second e-mail was that I could pick two new items to review, and I managed to score a Rosetta Stone Japanese Level 1-3 Set. It's a $500 deal, how awesome is that??? (Too bad they didn't have Spanish...) I have been wanting to try Rosetta Stone for AGES, but I've been much, much too cheap to pony up the cash. In fact, I was seriously considering using my Breakout Novel gift certificate for it. Now that I don't have to, I'm super duper excited.