Tag Archive | giveaway


Quick announcement: YA Book Central is running a giveaway of 3 signed copies of Wildings, so if you want to enter, you can do so over there!

Until this year, I’d always celebrated Thanksgiving with my family. I was lucky enough to be able to go home for the holiday throughout college and for each of my first three years of grad school. This year, since I was just in Minnesota for the release of Wildings, I decided not to fly home for Thanksgiving. Instead, I hosted Friendsgiving for eight. As the host, and the only American, I was rather invested in cooking all the traditional dishes (for my definition of traditional) for my friends, some of whom had never attended a Thanksgiving meal. As it turned out, everyone at the gathering was Chinese, but we represented five different nationalities: American, Singaporean, Canadian, Chinese, and French.

As Thanksgiving approached, I occasionally asked myself if I had gotten in over my head, but in the end everything went swimmingly. I was most paranoid about the two turkey breasts I was roasting, since I’d never roasted any large piece of meat before, but I did not turn them into cardboard.


Tuesday: Bake pumpkin pie


Wednesday: Make stuffing


Wednesday: Also make sweet potato salad (no marshmallows here)


Thursday afternoon: Make cranberry sauce (no cans here)

The complete feast included turkey, Meng’s bacon-y mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, sweet potato salad, Isabelle’s green beans, cranberry sauce, and Adeline’s coleslaw. Elly (a visiting scholar in our department) and her family brought beef, pig ear, tofu, and authentic kung pao chicken with chilies and peppercorns, and we had white rice too. (It felt like my family’s Thanksgiving, which always consists of an American feast and a Chinese feast combined!) For dessert, there was the pumpkin pie and a walnut cake my mother sent me.


It was an intergenerational gathering, since Elly brought her father and her five-year-old son. We all gathered around the coffee table with our plates to eat. A significant portion of the conversation was in Mandarin, and everyone else eventually played a Chinese language game (I refused to join in, pleading insufficient Mandarin vocabulary).

These feel like dark times, but I have countless things to be thankful for: a loving family, wonderful friends, an academic home, the opportunity to write stories and have them read. And this month particularly I’m also thankful for the water protectors at Standing Rock, the activists who work day after day to change this country and our world, and the people who challenge me and help me to become a better person.

Sparkers ARC Giveaway #2

Sparkers comes out exactly three months from this past Monday, and in anticipation I’m giving away another ARC!


The little fig tree is not included.

To enter to win this advance copy, please leave a comment on this post mentioning one of the following:

1) A favorite childhood book of yours; or

2) A book you think is underrated; or

3) A book you’re excited to read but haven’t gotten around to yet

I’ll accept entries until next Wednesday, July 9th, 2014 at midnight Pacific Daylight Time. Once the entry period has ended, I’ll randomly choose one winner. If you win, I’ll contact you by e-mail to arrange for delivery. The giveaway is open internationally; if I can mail you the ARC, you can enter.

And now, I’ll answer all three of my own questions and even cheat by naming more than one book for each! A favorite childhood series would be The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis. I was half-indignant when I found out they were Christian allegory (according to some) since I’d taken them completely at face value. I also had no idea what Turkish delight was; I think I pictured it as something like caramels. Also, I just finished reading The Magicians and The Magician King by Lev Grossman, which are billed as adult Harry Potter. However, they feature a fantasy world from a children’s book series that turns out to be real, and the children’s books and the world itself are unmistakably inspired by The Chronicles of Narnia and Narnia, respectively. Where Narnia has Aslan, Fillory has a pair of rams.

For underrated books, I pick Murkmere and its companion Ambergate by British author Patricia Elliott. I have never seen these books mentioned anywhere, nor have I met anyone else who’s read them, but I found them at the library a year or two ago and checked them out. They’re utterly unique and wonderful. Very atmospheric. They’re set in, as far as I can tell, an alternate Cromwellian England, and there are strange touches of magic.

Finally, there are two middle grade books I’m dying to read. The Glass Sentence, by S. E. Grove, is set in an alternate world in which the Great Disruption of 1799 has thrown different regions of the world into different times. A mapmaker’s niece sets out to find her kidnapped uncle amidst political turmoil. Rooftoppers, by Katherine Rundell, features a girl who was found as a baby in a cello case floating in the English Channel after a shipwreck, so really, how could I not read it? Coincidentally, the protagonist of The Glass Sentence is named Sophia and that of Rooftoppers Sophie.

Please enter the giveaway, and feel free to spread the word! Good luck to all!

And the winner is…

The random number generator has spoken, and the winner of the Sparkers ARC is:

Cathy Y.

Thank you to everyone who entered. I hope you all have a lovely rest of Pi Day!

ARCs, Crêpes, and a Giveaway!

I received a package this weekend, and this is what was inside:

IMG_1355ARCs of Sparkers! These are not quite finished books, as you can tell by the notice on the cover, but they pretty much feel like real paperbacks. It was amazing to hold one for the first time!

IMG_1354In honor of this milestone in the life of Sparkers, I’m giving away one ARC. This is your chance to read the book months before it actually comes out! To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment on this post (and, if you like, tell me about a great book you read recently!). I will accept entries until midnight Pacific Standard Time on Wednesday, March 12th, 2014. Once the entry period has ended, I will randomly select one winner. If you win, I will contact you by e-mail in order to arrange for delivery. This giveaway is open internationally; if I can mail a book to you via the U.S. Postal Service, you can enter.

Please feel free to spread the word! I’m looking forward to sending one of these ARCs to whoever the lucky winner is. And remember that you can add Sparkers on Goodreads.

P.S. Yesterday, in celebration of Mardi Gras, I made crêpes. Here is one filled with blood orange marmalade: