Author copies, bonus Jerrit and random squealing


Hardback of Empire of Shadows and paperback of City of a Thousand Dolls




I know how much you guys loved him, so this is my thank you.

Both the paperback and the hardback will be out on November 4th, less than two weeks away!

Thank you guys, so so much. I can't believe we made it to this point and your support means more to me than I can say. I'll have a post up soon about the bookstore events I'm doing in Portland and Boise in November.

*hugs books*
*hugs readers*
*hugs everyone*

Help me give away my ARCs (and a link to a Goodreads giveaway)

So my summer has apparently vanished in a haze of heat and real life stuff and trying to GET THIS @#$%#%$#@ FIRST DRAFT DONE.


Anyway, it's September! Which means Empire of Shadows is out in about two months! Which is terrifying!

Yeah, kinda like that.

So right now, Harper is giving away 10 Empire of Shadows ARCs on Goodreads. So go forth and enter, if that is your sort of thing.

Meanwhile, I'll try to figure out some kind of giveaway for the ARCs of EoS that I have. I don't want to do a contest too close to release date, but it would be a shame to let this little stack of pretty books go to waste.

What do you all think? How should I give away my ARCS?

What I do when I'm not writing


It's been a while. I think this might be the longest I've gone without blogging since the blog started. There are a couple of reasons for this, but the main one is simply...well, I'm sort of low on things to say.

1. I'm not working a day job currently.

2. Empire of Shadows, the companion novel/prequel to City of a Thousand Dolls is done and edited and out of my hands. (I'm actually out of contract entirely at this point which is both amazingly freeing and rather scary.)

3. Anything to do with future books is currently at Secret Status

4. Empire of Shadows isn't out until November, which means it's a bit early to start yelling at you about it. (I have so some stuff planned though. For later.)

5. And honestly, there are only so many pictures of my cat being adorable that I can put up.

obligatory pic of cat being adorable

So you might be wondering, if I'm not editing and I'm not working and I'm not blogging, what AM I doing?

Well, writing is still a big answer, though lately I've had to step away and let my brain run on some story problems. (First drafts, ugh.) Also I've been teaching myself  how to keep a consistently clean house, which is a skill I somehow got to my thirties without learning. And I've been pretty active in brickspace, with friends, a bit of volunteering, etc.

And when I'm not writing? I do this.

As some of you might remember from last year, I started a new craft called quilling. The story of how I got into it and why I love it is too long for this post, (hey, blogging idea!) but basically, this is what I've been doing when I get stuck writing. It's a lot of fun.

I guess I could talk more about quilling if people are interested. What do you all think?  What do you do when you don't have anything to blog about?

#WeNeedDiverseBooks and the Diversify Your Shelves initiative

Wow, what a great couple of days! I wasn't able to participate much yesterday because of errands and annoying adult things, but Thursday was amazing and the momentum seems to be continuing.

So today, I'm taking part in the third part of this campaign, Diversify Your Shelves.   (contest at the link if you wanna win some books!) Sometime this afternoon, I'll be going to Powell's to pick up a book (or two) by a diverse author.

The only question is, WHICH ONE??!? There are so many great ones to choose from!

Any suggestions? And are you going to Diversify Your Shelves today?

#WeNeedDiverseBooks with bonus cute cat pictures!

Happy #WeNeedDiverseBooks Days, part 1!

Are you tweeting? Are you talking? Wonderful! A whole lot of super smart people are saying amazing things as well, and you should check them out.

Tumblr conversation here.

Twitter conversation here.

Another thing that's going on today is the #WeNeedDiverseBooks visual campaign. I sent in a picture for it, but I thought I'd share the....creative process that went into the picture. And by creative process, I mean me trying to convince my cat to hold still for five stinking seconds.

(Yes, I'm supporting diversity by showing you pictures of my cat. What? IT'S THE INTERNET.)

Anyway, I started out with a simple message in horrid handwriting with some awesome books attached to it. (Also my books because they were there and why not.)

Then I thought. This picture needs a cat. So I tried to coax my cat over.

And I tried....

And tried...

As you can see it went very well.

I did eventually get a decent pic of him and the books, which you'll be able to see on the WeNeedDiversebooks tumblr at some point today.

Anyway, I'm going to try to be on the hashtag party today at 1pm EST. Will you be there?

#WeNeedDiverseBooks starts tomorrow!

Hey all! I've been off grid a bit for the last couple months, but I wanted to share something with you that's really important to me.

The We Need Diverse Books campaign was started as a response to Bookcon's all white author lineup. The amazing authors behind WNDB want to move past just talking about the problem, to actually trying to make a difference by raising awareness and support and by encouraging people to buy and read diverse authors.

Sounds awesome, right? But how can YOU help?

Here's how.

1. Tomorrow starts the three day social media campaign. You can read about all the different ways to participate here.

Blog, tweet, tumble, send in a picture if you want (today is the last day to do that), and Facebook. Add your voice to the chorus, and talk about why we need diverse books.

2. Talk about diverse books and diverse authors that you love. Call your library and request those books. Share them with your friends. Leave positive (and honest) reviews for these books on Amazon and Goodreads.

3. Vote with your wallet. Buy diverse books. Preorder them. (preorders are GOLD in the publishing world.) Especially buy books written by diverse authors.   If you want a good place to start, I have a great list of Asian-inspired high fantasy here.

If diversity in books is at all important to you, I encourage you to get involved. There's a perception that diverse books don't sell, that customers and readers don't care about diversity. I believe that's wrong, and I believe we can change things.

Who's in?

In which spammers are writing better stories then I am right now.

So I was procrastinating like crazy today and decided to clean out my spam folders. This is always an adventure because I have more than one email address. Email 1 just attracts the usual spam: Lasik ads and Okcupid pitches and those fake "Apple" information confirmations. Boring as heck and easily deleted.

Email 2, on the other hand, gets a totally different class of spam. Deliciously amazing emails purporting to be from dying people, or trust lawyers or relatives of overseas government officials. I hate deleting them because they make such FANTASTIC writing prompts. So I thought I'd share one with you in case you wanted a bit of story inspiration.


Greetings from Ghana Kotoka International Airport. We are glad to informed you that on 05/02/2014. we found a trunk box of consignment on board with south African airways after the arrival of the aircraft in Kotoka International Airport Ghana. The name of the passenger on board with the luggage in south African airline was diplomat Stephen Ushe and he was arrested upon his arrival in Kotoka International Airport Ghana at terminal A25 custom checking point after he was found quilt of using false diplomat International Passport to disguise as UN Official diplomat. also attempt to run away with two trunk boxes of consignment and after much investigation we discover that the consignment belong to you which the diplomatic was attempt to run away with before he was arrested. Perhaps, he has been detain in Fraud office Ghana and papering his way to face the law court for committed such act.

Delivery Arrangement of your consignment to you as the rightful beneficiary have been granted by the airport authority and I have been mandated to dispatch your luggage by the Airport commander.

Therefore kindly provide us your delivery house address including copy of your I'D and phone number to enable us prepare for the shipment to your home in your country without delay which shall be use to purchase for British airline company to book your consignment in flight and deliver to you without any difficulty. I have managed to deliver almost 100 consignment across the globe and the beneficiary appreciate my good work done so yours would not be an exceptional case.

Get back to us without delay.

So. What if this actually happened? What if someone got an email like this that was for real? What would happen next? What's in the trunks? And is anyone else after them?

You guys can play with this if you like. I'll be over here trying to get my word count for the day on my project.  *stares at word doc* Maybe.

Cover contest winners!!!

Wow, you guys, thank you so much for making my cover reveal last week so special and amazing! You are all my favorites. Between Twitter, Tumblr and the blog, there were a lot of entries, and a lot of counting. (noooo, not the maths!!!) And if I could give you all books I would. Sadly I cannot, so I pulled out ye olde random number generator and got to work!


The winner of the ARC of Empire of Shadows


Winner of the signed copy of City of a Thousand Dolls

Maria Pilar Albarran

Winners please email or private message me your address and I will get those books out for you! (The Advance Reader Copies aren't here yet, but I will mail the ARC when it arrives.)

And for those of you who didn't win, don't be sad! I will have more contests when the ARCs actually arrive. But for now, please enjoy this picture of my cat in a box.

Thank you all again!

Cover reveal!!!!!! (And contest!)


Okay, are you guys ready for this?

Are you sure?

Click here. 




Now, do you want to enter to win an ARC of Empire of Shadows? How about a signed copy of City of a Thousand Dolls?  Well I'm giving away both! Here's what you do.


1. Comment: +1 entry

Leave a comment on this blog or reblog with a comment on the tumblr post.

2. Share: +1 entry

Share this cover over Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, whatever. Reblog it on Tumblr. (Likes sadly do not count as entries) Do something to spread the word! Then tag me or leave a link to your share in your comment so I can give you your extra entry.  (Edit: To keep things simple for myself, the maximum entries per person will be two. One for comments and one for any shares.) I will pick two winners, one for the ARC of Empire of Shadows and one for the hardcover of COATD.

This giveaway is international and it closes midnight PST on February 12th.

Go forth and enter!

Empire of Shadows release date and cover news!

Hey all!

I'm battling the most creative head cold in the world right now, which means just when I think I'm over it, a brand new set of fun symptoms kicks in. (It's all very arty and ironic, the cold assures me.)  So this will be short and sweet.

1.  As promised in the title, we have a release date for Empire of Shadows. The book will be out November 4th, 2014!

2.  The paperback of City of a Thousand Dolls will also be out on November 4th, including some yet-to-be-determined special features.

3.  To celebrate the one year anniversary of City of a Thousand Dolls, (yay!) we're doing a cover reveal for Empire of Shadows on February 5th. And by we, I mean the lovely ladies of Diversity in YA.

If you've never checked out the Diversity in YA site, I strongly urge you to do so. Here's them in their own words.

Diversity in YA was founded in 2011 by authors Cindy Pon and Malinda Lo as a website and book tour. While the tour is over, we revived the website on Tumblr in February 2013, and we relaunched in January 2014. We celebrate young adult books about all kinds of diversity, from race to sexual orientation to gender identity and disability. Our goal is to bring attention to books and authors that might fall outside the mainstream, and to bring the margin to the center. We encourage an attitude of openness and curiosity, and we welcome questions and discussion.

Awesome right? Both the website and the tumblr are great resources, whether you're interested in writing diversely or want to find diverse reads or authors to support. And they've graciously agreed to host my cover reveal, which makes me super happy.

4.  There will also be an accompanying contest on this blog as well, so be sure and check for that on the 5th.

5.  Finally, after the reveal and everything is done, I'm going to start my dialogue series. If you have any specific questions about dialogue, I'm taking suggestions in this thread. 

I think that's it! Thank you everyone for being such amazing readers and being just generally cool people. Now I'm off to binge watch more Mystery Science Theater because it cures colds. Or something....

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your dialogue questions!

Happy January everyone!

So as we slip into the new year, I'd really like to do some more posts on writing and being a writer. And the first thing I'd love to tackle is dialogue. So I thought I'd turn to you lovely people for help. Is there anything you'd like me to talk about in a dialogue series? Any questions or problems or tricky issues you'd like to see addressed?

I'll trade you comments for this video of a baby otter being taught to swim. How does that sound?

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Fabric art in the header by Carol Riggs.