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....
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Fabric art in the header by Carol Riggs.