The contest is over! I've tallied the points, and have come up with the following:
First place, with 18 points, is NerdyGirl, who not only loved Mistress of the Art of Death, which is a great book, but also loves the dragons in the Pern novels. I'm more a firelizard girl myself, but like the dragons too.
Second place, with 16 points, is NRWick, who loved The Summoning and loves mermaids. I haven't read many mermaid books. Maybe I should?
Third place, with 14 points, is Shannon, who enjoyed Towers of Midnight and likes pegasus(-es? -i?). I wonder if she's read Robin McKinley's latest.
Sorry to the rest of you and thanks for playing! There were a lot more entries than I thought there would be, and everyone racked up a lot of points! I was worried there'd be ties. I'm sure I'll be doing more giveaways so if you didn't win, there's always next time.
I'll be contacting the winners today and tomorrow, in order. I think I've actually got all their emails on hand already, so no need to post them here where they'll be public. (I say tomorrow because today is Christmas Shopping Day and I'll be away from email until late.)
My answers, because it's not fair if I don't give them too:
Best book read this year: This is tough, because I've read a lot of good books. I'm split between my reread of Bujold's Memory, and the first-time read of Stephenson's Quicksilver.
Favourite creature: Dragons! Just like a lot of you, apparently. There are all kinds of dragons, in all kinds of cultures, and they're deadly beautiful, breathe fire (sometimes), and are highly intelligent (usually). What's not to like?
Favourite blog post: Copping out on this one. I like too many of them, and I'm biased. But if you click on the "mad science" or "writing" tags, you'll see some of what I consider my best.