Birthday giveaway!

Today is my 31st birthday!

I like to celebrate my birthdays around here by holding giveaways. This year, sadly, I can’t give away any books. But I can give away one of my favourite bookmarks instead!

SAM_1696-2 SAM_1695-2I fell in love with kogin embroidery, and even though it’s not usually done in two colours like this, I really love the way it looks. Can’t beat purple and gold! The pictures show both sides of the bookmark, so it’s completely reversible, and about 9 inches long including the fringe.

So yes, I’m giving away this bookmark! Because I love you guys and I want to share my love of all things bookish and embroidered!


  • Giveaway is open internationally, so everyone can enter!
  • Must provide mailing address if chosen as a winner, which will not be retained by me once I’ve sent the bookmark
  • Comment on this post to enter; must provide valid contact info in case you win
  • Limit of 1 (one) entry per person
  • Giveaway closes at 11:59 PM, PST, Sunday June 14, 2015
  • Winners will be drawn and announced on Monday June 15, 2015

And now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to celebrate the day with delicious food and good books! :D

GIVEAWAY: Last First Snow, by Max Gladstone

Thanks to the forever-awesome people at Tor, I’m pleased to announce a new giveaway! This time, it’s for a hardcover copy of Max Gladstone’s upcoming Last First Snow, book 4 of the Craft Sequence.

I mean, seriously, how can you say no to that?!

Forty years after the God Wars, Dresediel Lex bears the scars of liberation-especially in the Skittersill, a poor district still bound by the fallen gods’ decaying edicts. As long as the gods’ wards last, they strangle development; when they fail, demons will be loosed upon the city. The King in Red hires Elayne Kevarian of the Craft firm Kelethres, Albrecht, and Ao to fix the wards, but the Skittersill’s people have their own ideas. A protest rises against Elayne’s work, led by Temoc, a warrior-priest turned community organizer who wants to build a peaceful future for his city, his wife, and his young son.

As Elayne drags Temoc and the King in Red to the bargaining table, old wounds reopen, old gods stir in their graves, civil blood breaks to new mutiny, and profiteers circle in the desert sky. Elayne and Temoc must fight conspiracy, dark magic, and their own demons to save the peace-or failing that, to save as many people as they can.

This series is very much worth reading, if you haven’t already done so, and I know the news about this book’s release has a lot of people on edge, waiting impatiently for the day they can read it.

So let’s make sure that one of my readers gets a copy in their hands, shall we?


  • Must have a US or Canadian mailing address; no PO Boxes
  • Must provide mailing address if chosen as a winner, which will be sent to the publisher for shipping and not retained by me
  • Comment on this post to enter; must provide valid contact info in case you win
  • Limit of 1 (one) entry per person
  • Giveaway closes at 11:59 PM, PST, Sunday June 14, 2015
  • Winners will be drawn and announced on Monday June 15, 2015

I’d like to stress that you must provide contact info in your comment in order to qualify. It doesn’t matter whether it’s an email address, your Twitter username, a link to your website, anything. Just make sure it’s there. The past couple of giveaways, the first winner I selected was for a comment that provided no contact information whatsoever, and because of that, I just drew another name. So if you don’t leave contact info, your comment doesn’t really count as an entry.

That being said, comment to enter, and good luck to you all!

GUEST POST and GIVEAWAY: This Craze About The Undead Just Won’t Die, by Marc Turner

Today I’m playing host to Marc Turner, whose novel, When the Heavens Fall, was released just yesterday. He kindly agreed to drop by with a guest post about the current undead craze.

Many years ago I was reading the blog of an SFF literary agent. In a post-Twilight world, she was bemoaning the number of books in her submission pile that were about vampires. Vampires were supposed to be blood-sucking horrors, she said, not something teenage girls should be swooning over. To make it worse, she was starting to see writers do the same thing to werewolves as they’d done to vampires. Where would it all end? Would zombies be the next monsters to be recast as cool, misunderstood, angst-ridden heartthrobs?

You can see why zombies might be something of a hard sell. Some people like a bad guy no matter how bad he is, but I suspect most readers would be put off by a protagonist who kills in cold blood then promptly starts munching on their victim’s raw flesh. Also, unlike zombies, vampires and werewolves retain a degree of humanity. They can kill someone and feel bad about it afterwards, which I’m sure will come as a great comfort to their victims. Zombies, on the other hand, are just mindless creatures whose only thought is where – or who – their next meal is coming from. How could you win and retain a reader’s sympathy for a character like that?

Do zombies have to be mindless, though? Why does the virus (or whatever it is that turns them into undead) have to strip them of their humanity? What if it didn’t? And what if those undead were then forced to fight for a cause they didn’t believe in, maybe even against their own people, or their own gods? Could you empathise with them then?

A while back I spent some time thinking of a tag line for my debut novel, When the Heavens Fall. The one I came up with was ‘Lord of the Rings meets World War Z’. I should note that this is not a zombie apocalypse story, but if you read the book (if? When!) you’ll understand the reference. WtHF tells the story of a mage who steals an artefact that gives him power over the dead, then uses it to resurrect an ancient civilization in order to challenge the Lord of the Dead for control of the underworld. Crucially, the undead in WtHF are not witless monsters governed by hunger. They are people brought back to (un)life against their will, and compelled to serve the man who has raised them.

If you were designing a force to fight for you, you can see why an army of undead would be a formidable proposition. An undead army has unquestioned obedience, does not tire or feel pain. Mark Lawrence uses undead armies in his Broken Empire trilogy, and in his Red Queen’s War trilogy. Tolkien had them in The Lord of the Rings. Then there is George RR Martin’s Game of Thrones series. When I think of Game of Thrones, I don’t usually think of undead because in Martin’s books it is the people who are the monsters. But even he gives us White Walkers who are able to reanimate the dead as wights.

In a sense, undead are an ‘easy’ enemy – a bit like orcs and goblins. They’re evil. There is no reasoning with them. Put an undead or an orc on the other side to your protagonist, and she won’t have to worry about trivialities such as right and wrong when she gets stuck into them with her sword. The world becomes very black and white. That’s something I wanted to move away from in When the Heavens Fall. One of my viewpoint characters, Romany, starts the book in the same corner – sort of – as the man who raises the undead. She sees the undead not as people, but as tools to be used and discarded. Much the same as she sees everyone else, in fact.

But then she meets one of them – a girl called Danel – and she gets to know her. She unravels some of the mystery behind how Danel and her kinsmen died centuries ago. She learns about Danel’s family, and what has become of them. And that knowledge begins to change her. It is easy for Romany not to care from a distance, but it is harder when she sees first hand how the undead are suffering. Danel certainly does her best to make it harder for her. Before the end of the book, Romany will face a choice: turn her back on the undead and return to her life of comfort and privilege, or risk everything to aid Danel’s people – a people she has helped to condemn to misery and enslavement.

What she chooses to do, and what the consequences of her decision are . . .

Well, you will just have to read the book to find out.

marcturnerMarc Turner was born in Canada, but grew up in England. His first novel, When the Heavens Fall, is published by Tor in the US and Titan in the UK. You can see a video trailer for the book here and read a short story set in the world of the novel here. The short story has also been narrated by Emma Newman of Tea and Jeopardy fame, and you can listen to it free here. Marc can be found on Twitter at @MarcJTurner and at his website.


If that doesn’t have you interested in Marc’s new novel, I don’t know what will. Oh, wait, maybe the chance to win a copy might do the trick!

If you pick a fight with Shroud, Lord of the Dead, you had better ensure your victory, else death will mark only the beginning of your suffering.

A book giving its wielder power over the dead has been stolen from a fellowship of mages that has kept the powerful relic dormant for centuries. The thief, a crafty, power-hungry necromancer, intends to use the Book of Lost Souls to resurrect an ancient race and challenge Shroud for dominion of the underworld. Shroud counters by sending his most formidable servants to seize the artifact at all cost.

However, the god is not the only one interested in the Book, and a host of other forces converge, drawn by the powerful magic that has been unleashed. Among them is a reluctant Guardian who is commissioned by the Emperor to find the stolen Book, a troubled prince who battles enemies both personal and political, and a young girl of great power, whose past uniquely prepares her for an encounter with Shroud. The greatest threat to each of their quests lies not in the horror of an undead army but in the risk of betrayal from those closest to them. Each of their decisions comes at a personal cost and will not only affect them, but also determine the fate of their entire empire.

  • Must have a US or Canadian mailing address; no PO Boxes
  • Must provide mailing address if chosen as a winner, which will be sent to the publisher for shipping and not retained by me
  • Comment on this post to enter; must provide valid contact info in case you win
  • Limit of 1 (one) entry per person
  • Giveaway closes at 11:59 PM, PST, Sunday May 31, 2015
  • Winners will be drawn and announced on Monday June 01, 2015

Thanks very much to Marc for the guest post, and to Tor for the giveaway!

GIVEAWAY WINNER: The Devil’s Only Friend, by Dan Wells

This is the moment you’ve all been waiting for. Finding out who won the copy of Dan Wells’s The Devil’s Only Friend.

Lisa, from Tenacious Reader!

Just send me your mailing address at, and I’ll forward it to the publisher for shipping.

Thanks to everyone who entered! Don’t forget to enter the other giveaway I currently have going, for 1 of 2 copies of the extended edition of Paolo Bacigalupi’s The Windup Girl!

GIVEAWAY: The Windup Girl (expanded edition) by Paolo Bacigalupi

I always enjoy being able to do giveaways for my readers. Which is why today I’m thrilled to announce that thanks to the good people at Night Shade Books, I have 2 copies of the expanded edition of Paolo Bacigalupi’s The Windup Girl to give away to a couple of lucky US readers!

Anderson Lake is AgriGen’s Calorie Man, sent to work undercover as a factory manager in Thailand while combing Bangkok’s street markets in search of foodstuffs thought to be extinct, hoping to reap the bounty of history’s lost calories.

Emiko is the Windup Girl, a strange and beautiful creature. Emiko is not human; she is an engineered being, grown and programmed to satisfy the decadent whims of a Kyoto businessman, but now abandoned to the streets of Bangkok. Regarded as soulless beings by some, devils by others, New People are slaves, soldiers, and toys of the rich in this chilling near future in which calorie companies rule the world, the oil age has passed, and the side effects of bio-engineered plagues run rampant across the globe.

What happens when calories become currency? What happens when bio-terrorism becomes a tool for corporate profits and forces mankind to the cusp of post-human evolution? Bacigalupi delivers one of the most highly-acclaimed science fiction novels of the twenty-first century.

In this brand new edition celebrating the book’s reception into the canon of celebrated modern science fiction, accompanying the text are two novelettes exploring the dystopian world of The Windup Girl, the Theodore Sturgeon Award-winning “The Calorie Man” and “Yellow Card Man.” Also included is an exclusive Q&A with the author describing his writing process, the political climate into which his debut novel was published, and the future of science fiction.

I read and reviewed the original edition in 2011, and I really enjoyed it, so I’m excited to be able to be able to see the expanded edition, with the extra novelettes and the interview.

So if you’re interested in possibly getting your hands on 1 of 2 copies of this fantastic sci-fi novel, here are the rules:

  • Must have a US mailing address; no PO Boxes
  • Must provide mailing address if chosen as a winner, which will be sent to the publisher for shipping and not retained by me
  • Comment on this post to enter; must provide valid contact info in case you win
  • Limit of 1 (one) entry per person
  • Giveaway closes at 11:59 PM, PST, Sunday May 24, 2015
  • Winners will be drawn and announced on Monday May 25, 2015

Bacigalupi will also on tour through multiple US cities these next 2 months, so if you’re near where he’ll be speaking and signing, definitely go see him!

5/26/15: Denver, CO Tattered Cover, reading, Q&A, and signing
5/27/15: Boulder, CO Boulder Bookstore, reading, Q&A, and signing
5/28-29/15: New York, NY, BEA and NYC media
5/30/15: Boston, MA Brookline Booksmith, reading, Q&A, and signing
6/2/15: Chicago, IL Anderson’s Bookshop, reading, Q&A, and signing
6/3/15: Salt Lake City, UT The King’s English, reading, Q&A, and signing
6/4/15: Phoenix, AR Changing Hands Bookstore, reading, Q&A, and signing
6/6-6/7/15: San Francisco, CA, Bay Area Literary Festival
6/6-6/7/15: San Francisco, CA, Borderlands, signing
6/8/15: San Diego, CA Mysterious Galaxy, reading, Q&A, and signing
6/9/15: Los Angeles, Vroman’s, reading, Q&A, and signing
6/10/15: Portland, OR Powell’s Bookstore, reading, Q&A, and signing
6/11/15: Seattle, WA University Book Store, reading, Q&A, and signing
6/18/15: Crested Butte, CO Rumors Coffee and Tea House, reading, Q&A, and signing

GIVEAWAY: The Devil’s Only Friend, by Dan Wells

I’m pleased to announce a new giveaway, courtesy of the wonderful people at Tor Books! This time I have a hardcover copy of Dan Wells’s upcoming novel, The Devil’s Only Friend, available to giveaway to 1 lucky winner in Canada or the US.

John Wayne Cleaver hunts demons: they’ve killed his neighbors, his family, and the girl he loves, but in the end he’s always won. Now he works for a secret government kill team, using his gift to hunt and kill as many monsters as he can…

…but the monsters have noticed, and the quiet game of cat and mouse is about to erupt into a full scale supernatural war.

John doesn’t want the life he’s stuck with. He doesn’t want the FBI bossing him around, he doesn’t want his only friend imprisoned in a mental ward, and he doesn’t want to face the terrifying cannibal who calls himself The Hunter. John doesn’t want to kill people. But as the song says, you can’t always get what you want. John has learned that the hard way; his clothes have the stains to prove it.

When John again faces evil, he’ll know what he has to do.


  • Must have a US or Canadian mailing address; no PO Boxes
  • Must provide mailing address if chosen as a winner, which will be sent to the publisher for shipping and not retained by me
  • Comment on this post to enter; must provide valid contact info in case you win
  • Limit of 1 (one) entry per person
  • Giveaway closes at 11:59 PM, PST, Sunday May 17, 2015
  • Winner will be drawn and announced on Monday May 18, 2015

So what are you waiting for? Get a-commentin’!

GIVEAWAY: Inside a Silver Box, by Walter Mosley

Today, I’m pleased to announce a new giveaway for Walter Mosley’s new sci-fi novel, Inside a Silver Box.

Walter Mosley’s talent knows no bounds. Inside a Silver Box continues to explore the cosmic questions entertainingly discussed in his Crosstown to Oblivion. From life’s meaning to the nature of good and evil, Mosley takes readers on a speculative journey beyond reality.

In Inside a Silver Box, two people brought together by a horrific act are united in a common cause by the powers of the Silver Box. The two join to protect humanity from destruction by an alien race, the Laz, hell-bent on regaining control over the Silver Box, the most destructive and powerful tool in the universe. The Silver Box will stop at nothing to prevent its former master from returning to being, even if it means finishing the earth itself.



Interested? Well, you have a chance to win 1 of 2 copies of the book, generously offered by Tor Books! Can’t get much better than that!

~ US addresses only; no PO boxes
~ Contest closes at 11:59 PM, PST, on Sunday March 15th
~ The winner will be drawn on Monday
~ Address will be forwarded to the publisher for shipping purposes and not kept by me.
~ Click on this Rafflecopter link to enter

Sorry I can’t put the Rafflecopter widget right on this page, but WordPress doesn’t like to play nice with Rafflecopter, so a clicky-link it is!