My friends and family know that I read a great deal of books and a popular question that I often get asked, “If you had to choose just one book, what’s your favorite?” Another favorite question, “If you were on a deserted island, which book would want with you?”

My answer: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. (My favorite character has always been ‘Jo’ March. Not only is Josephine a family name, but a name that embodies a strong and independent woman, which is precisely why I plan on using it when/if I have a daughter someday.)

In the spirit of favorite books, I’ve teamed up with freelance artist and blogger Heather Holloman (Shades of Tangerine) to offer a giveaway contest — the prize: a set of 6 hand-decorated Little Women pencils!

Here’s a note from the artist about the prize:

Last week, I finished another book from my list: Little Women. My very favorite of the March sisters was Jo. I loved her strong will and courage to speak her mind. The image of Jo’s cozy writing nook in the attic reminded me of the time I spent in my childhood hide-a-way spots reading and daydreaming. My little treasures were hidden in boxes and under stairways, just like Jo’s papers tucked safely in the old tin box. I imagine the attic to smell like old books and to be full of warm sunlight that catches dust floating slowly by the windows. The room would be a place full of forgotten toys and favored trinkets such as bits of ribbon, pretty stones, and bundles of letters wrapped in twine. I could picture Jo curled up on the faded old sofa working feverishly on her fairy tales and the newspaper stories that she worked on in secret.

Jo’s love for writing inspired me to make these pretty literary pencils. At Goodwill, I just happened to find a worn, yellowing copy of Little Women with missing pages and no cover. I brought it home with me (I doubt anyone else was interested in it) and tore a few of the pages into tiny strips.

After sanding down a dozen wooden pencils, I used Tacky glue and my fingers to wrap the strips around each pencil. I hung them from a make-shift clothesline of yarn and bulldog clips on my porch to dry. Once the glue hardened, I clipped off any excess paper and sanded the rough spots.

To give them a finished, polished look, I glued pearl beads onto the top of the pencil and wrapped them with a strand of pink and gold ribbon.

Want to win these pencils? Here’s what you need to know…

The contest will begin at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, May 14  and end at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, May 19, 2012.

Those interested in winning a set of 6 Little Women pencils will need answer a question via the entry form: “Tell me about your favorite book. It can be fiction or non-fiction. What made this book **your** favorite”

On Saturday, May 19, a winner will be randomly chosen and contacted, via email, within 48 hours of the contest closing.

a Rafflecopter giveaway