Like most writers, I came to my love of stories by reading. I learned to read young and haven't stopped since. I have even, in the past, been accused of eating books. My favourite authors have provided me with countless hours of pleasure, distraction and comfort when I've needed it. They've also taught me a lot about being a writer and what makes a good story. They're the ones who make me want to write better, who inspire me and keep me on this path. There is almost nothing in the world I like better than discovering a new fabulous author or sinking into the world of an old friend book.
It's still a little hard to believe that sometime next year people will be able to pull my book off the shelf and (hopefully!) enjoy their time in my stories. But it's true and to celebrate that fact, I've decided to celebrate some of the authors who've given me so much enjoyment over the years and have some role to play in the type of writer I am today.
So every month until my book comes out, I'll be giving away one of my favourite books on my blog to hopefully introduce some old and new favourite authors to some new readers. To be eligible to win all you have to do is comment on one of my posts for the month. If you comment on more than one post then you get more than one entry into the draw (though multiple comments on one post still only get you one entry). Each month I'll post the giveaway book around the 1st or 2nd and draw the previous month's winner. (I am reserving the right to vary the rules from month to month as hey, this is my contest : ) ).
Given I read in a wide variety of genres, there will be a variety of books...books I hope you'll love like I do but as with all things in life, taste is individual : ). I'd imagine a large percentage of them will end up being fantasy, romance and urban fantasy but you never know what might turn up.
Eventually I'll have other contests to do with my books but until then...let's get the ball rolling...
This month's book is Sunshine by Robin McKinley. A book that Neil Gaiman describes as "Pretty much perfect" and I tend to agree.
I've blogged about Sunshine before but it's a book that I resisted for a while. I kept picking it up in the bookstore, reading the blurb then putting it back down. But one day I thought "there's a reason" I keep picking this up and I bought it. That was probably in 2007 and I hadn't read anything else of Robin's at that point. I took Sunshine home that night, opened it up and pretty much didn't move from my couch until I was done, so smitten was I with the book. I've re-read it many many times since then and I love it more every time. I own two copies because I'm wearing out my first rapidly.
Sunshine is one of those cross genre books that's hard to describe. The closest I can come is alt-earth paranormal with a smidge of horror fantasy romance. It's funny and scary and romantic and full of food that will make you starving hungry every time you read it. The heroine is cranky and delightful and very real. It's a very unique world and Robin has a wonderful voice. Sunshine is definitely one of my all time favourite books. Since reading it I've read all Robin's other books. Other favourites of hers include Chalice, Dragonhaven, Spindle's End and The Blue Sword. I'm eagerly awaiting Pegasus, her next book which is due out in November this year (way too long to wait, so I'll just have to keep re-reading until then).
To whet your appetite..here's the start of the back cover blurb...
"There are places in the world where darkness rules, where it's unwise to walk. But the lake had been quiet for years... She never heard them coming. Of course, you don't when they're vampires."
So comment away this month and a copy of Sunshine could be winging its way to you next month!
PS I'll be posting the winner and will give them two weeks to claim the book after which there will be a re-draw of the prize. So if you don't want to miss out, don't forget to check back or subscribe to the blog or follow me on Twitter so as not to miss the announcement.