We Have a Winner!

Thanks to everyone who commented and shared what they’re looking forward to in 2017. I especially enjoyed your words about your friends and the book bonds you share. Of course I wish we could send everybody books, but the Book Fairy has smiled on Ryley. (Um, I had my 15-year-old draw a name out of hat. NEVER tell him about the above Book Fairy nonsense. Promise?)

Ryley, please check your Inbox!

I’ll continue to keep the blog updated with giveaways, events, and book news, so please don’t be a stranger. And if you read Curio, Mark of Blood and Alchemy, or The Ice Child, please consider leaving a review on sites like Amazon and Goodreads. Your reviews and recommendations to friends are vital for authors like me.


Win a Book for You and a Friend!

CURIO is now available in paperback! To celebrate, I’m giving away two copies. One for you and one for a friend. See instructions for how to enter at the end of this post.


It seems January is a hard month for a lot of people. I happen to like the month because it brings my anniversary, a return to routine after the craziness of the holidays, and of course, my debut novel released in January of last year. It’s hard to believe it’s been a whole year since CURIO hit the shelves!

But I get it. It’s cold and spring is still far away. There’s a letdown after Christmas and possibly stress that came out of holiday interactions. There are bills, and work, and studying, and it all presses down on us like heavy winter clouds. We need a lifeline, something to look forward to, even if it’s just a movie we’re planning to watch over the weekend or a coffee date with a friend.

January is National Mental Health Awareness Month. I don’t often talk about how mental health issues have touched our family because it’s not just my story to tell. I will say that I know intimately how hard the struggle can be. It’s ongoing. It’s up and down. It’s exhausting. It feels impossible.

Two approaches we take (with varying degrees of success, honestly) are to talk, talk, talk to trusted family members and friends, and to acknowledge the hard stuff and the pain, but also try to focus on something we’re looking forward to.

It’s a journey. We’re on it. And in talking about it I hope I’m doing something to combat the stigma around these issues.

In an effort to highlight our lifelines, I want to focus this giveaway on friends and what we’re looking forward to. To be entered in the drawing, please leave a comment with

  1. The name of a friend who would enjoy a free book (first name only)
  2. Something you’re looking forward to (can be anything from a cup of tea to a vacation)

I will draw a name the old-fashioned way and announce the winner on my blog a week from today, January 17th, 2017. You’ll win a paperback copy of CURIO for yourself and one for a friend. (Thanks to BlinkYA Books for providing copies!) Winners must be US residents, but if you live in the US and want to take it upon yourself to mail a copy of CURIO to a friend abroad then we could send both copies to you.

I’ll start. My friend who deserves a free book is Niki. She loves to read and is a champion for YA fiction and the young people who read it. (She already has CURIO.) And I’m looking forward to seeing Emma Watson as Belle in Beauty and the Beast.

Your turn!



Christmas Giveaway!

Vintage pocket watch on satin

Gift giving is one of my favorite things about the holidays. If you take away all the trappings of materialism, consumerism, and reciprocity what remains is a simple desire to give someone joy. Gifts play an important role in The Ice Child. In fact, the longing to create and to bring others joy is central to Sipp’s journey.

So I’d like to celebrate Christmas and the release of my novelette with a giveaway. I’m giving away a prize pack that includes an ebook of The Ice Child, a sterling silver cuckoo clock charm, fingerless gloves, and other goodies to warm a winter day.

See below to enter and don’t forget to add The Ice Child to your wish list. Happy Holidays!

Ends 12/14 @ 11:59 PM MDT!
US Residents Only



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Unveiling The Ice Child

I’m so excited to announce that my holiday novelette is available for purchase!

Vintage pocket watch on satin

Sipp’s story grabbed me during a July road trip. There I was staring out the window at summer-green Southern Colorado and dreaming of snow, Switzerland, and a boy with unusual gifts. I began writing, thinking it would be a fun distraction in between other projects. But Sipp’s journey quickly delved into the effects of prejudice, kindness in the face of cruelty, and an artist’s need for community.

When I nervously mentioned I was working on a melancholy Christmas story to a group of writer friends, one of them said, “That’s actually appropriate. Not everyone is happy during the holidays.” So very true.

I think Sipp’s story taps into an ache we all feel from time to time. Some more often and more acutely than others. Alone in a crowd. Misunderstood. Unseen. Unappreciated. If that’s you, I want you to know that you are seen and your contribution to this world is of immense value. The very spark of the Divine is what fuels your creativity and your desire for beauty–and by beauty I mean things that are good and true, wild and deep, unknowable and yet contained in each of our hearts. Please, don’t stop sharing your magic with us.

If, like me, you find it easy to get distracted in the busy holiday season, I encourage you to look more closely at someone you might at first dismiss. Listen to voices and experiences different from your own. And pay special attention to the unspoken things, to the expressions of art, and the worlds hidden behind an iris.

I hope you enjoy this winter fairy tale. Check back here in the beginning of December for an Ice Child themed giveaway.

Cover Sneak Peak!

Since I’ll be sharing the cover for my holiday novelette at MileHiCon this weekend, I thought it was only fair that I give everyone a sneak peak.

Why am I not sharing the full cover online at this time?

  1. A little mystery is a good thing. (unless there’s a bad smell coming from your fridge, or your walls, or your son’s room)
  2. I don’t have a link yet for readers to order The Ice Child.

BUT, look for that “Available to Order!” announcement coming very soon as well as a winter-themed giveaway closer to Christmas. In the meantime, here’s your first glimpse at the cover and story description.

Vintage pocket watch on satin

Sipp, a clockmaker’s apprentice, dreams of opening his own shop, but the people of Martigny believe he’s marked by the devil–all except for kind, independent Elise. As Sipp’s hope for the title of master craftsman fades, another destiny calls to him on the winter wind. Will answering that call mean leaving Elise behind forever?

MileHiCon Schedule plus Goodies

milehiconI’m so excited to attend MileHiCon in a couple of weeks, October 28-30! I’ve never been before, but my friends in the literary world as well as the sci-fi/fantasy community tell me it’s one of the best cons around.

This con also marks my artist/maker husband’s debut as a panelist. If you follow me you know I often refer to Kory as The Mad Scientist, which couldn’t be more apropos as he’s recently gotten into Lichtenberg Fractal Wood Burning. Rest assured, The Mad Scientist WILL NOT be bringing his electrified probes to the con! He will, however, be sharing his knowledge of Steampunk costume creation, with me chiming in occasionally with useful comments like, “That looks uncomfortable.”

alchemyI’ll be talking about first novels and Dystopian fiction and will have a table in Author’s Row with books to purchase. I’m bringing cards to give away with a free download offer for Mark of Blood and Alchemy: The Curio Prequel (while supplies last.) So if you’re at the con, come find me!

Here’s our official schedule:

Friday 4:00: First Novels (Evangeline)

Friday 5:00: Minimalist Entry Level Cosplay (Evangeline and Kory)

Saturday Noon: The Parsimonious Steampunk (Evangeline and Kory)

Sunday 11:00: TechnoCostuming (Kory)

Sunday Noon: 31 Flavors of Dystopia (Evangeline)


Finally, I’m hoping I’ll be able to share the cover for my holiday novelette, The Ice Child, coming this November. I’m so excited about this winter fairy tale I’m affectionately referring to as my Emo Christmas story. Who doesn’t need the tale of a downtrodden clockmaker’s apprentice with a magical secret this holiday season? Watch for more info about Sipp’s story coming soon, but in the meantime if you want to get a feel for the aesthetic check out The Ice Child Pinterest board.



Curio is SIX MONTHS old!

Where has the time gone? Curio turned SIX MONTHS OLD this July!

In celebration, I am giving away a FREE SIGNED HARDBACK as well as a wind-up pocketwatch for all your Steampunk needs. 😉

Giveaway STARTS at 12:00 AM MDT on July 20 (tonight!) and ENDS at 11:59 PM MDT July 28. (Open to US Residents only.)
Please share with your friends, and don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter for more news about special events!
Now for a very important question:
what is your favorite Steampunk accessory, and why?

pocketwatchclose pocketwatchcurio

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A Day in the Life

I ran across this day-in-my-life post I put together for a local writers’ group in May of last year and it made me smince (smile and wince.) Crazy times! Things are different this year. My husband isn’t recovering from knee surgery, I’m not rushing to hand in edits, and our household is down to only eight hungry mouths. So what am I doing today? Working on a speech on Steampunk in YA for The Brass Screw Confederacy, which I’m attending next month.

But last year…

Monday, May 18, 2015, the day I was supposed to hand in my “Day in the Life of a Debut Author” piece.
Also the day my macro edits and epilogue were due.
6:15 Alarm goes off.
6:15-6:45 Deny the existence of daytime. 

6:45-7:00 Attempt to wake oldest child only to discover last night’s puke incident is NOT the distant memory we’d hoped for.
7:00-8:15 Feed three out of ten mouths, make lunch, drive youngest to school.

8:20-9:00 Make breakfast for my husband (home recovering from knee surgery) and myself. Drink lots of coffee. Discover that sprouted bread can go very, very bad.
9:00-9:20 Message writer friends about level of brain deadness, lack of sleep, inability to write, conviction that MS is utter rubbish. Given appropriate sympathy and encouragement and told to Suck it up, Buttercup.

9:20 Do, in fact, suck it up and open document for epilogue.
9:20-10:00 Stare at blank screen, read through final pages of MS, stare at blank screen some more.

10:00 to 12:00 Write.
12:00 ish Make lunch for hubby, oldest, and myself. Feed three out of ten mouths. Strongly suspect reports of earlier stomach ailment exaggerated. Shower.
1:00-3:00 Write.

3:14 Remember “Day in the Life” assignment and text Beth to ask if I can get it to her tomorrow.
3:15 Pick up youngest from school
3:20-4:00 Write.

4:00 Drive husband to post-op appointment.
4:15-5:00 Write final scenes, including vital kissing scene, in the parking lot of the orthopedist. Cry.

5:15 Realize that it is 7:15 in Grand Rapids where publisher is and I have yet to do a necessary search and replace in the MS. Also, I cannot hand in epilogue two seconds after writing it. Am something of a disaster.

6:00-9:00 Heat up dinner. Feed seven out of ten mouths (Excellent ratio!) Help youngest with homework (Editing and revising. Ironic. Mommy has no brain cells left.) Fold laundry. Put kids to bed.

9:00-11:00 Watch stupid TV.

YA Scavenger Hunt 2016

Welcome to YA Scavenger Hunt! This bi-annual event was first organized by author Colleen Houck as a way to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors…and a chance to win some awesome prizes! At this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each author, you also get a clue for the hunt. Add up the clues, and you can enter for our prize–one lucky winner will receive one signed book from each author on the hunt in my team! But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online for 72 hours!

 Red Team

Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are NINE contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the RED TEAM–but there is also a blue team, a gold team, an orange team, a green team, teal team, purple team, silver team, and a pink team for a chance to win a whole different set of signed books!

If you’d like to find out more about the hunt, see links to all the authors participating, and see the full list of prizes up for grabs, go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page.


Directions: Below, you’ll notice that I’ve listed my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the red team, and then add them up (don’t worry, you can use a calculator!).
Entry Form: Once you’ve added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.
Rules: Open internationally, anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian’s permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by APRIL 3, 2016, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.
Now, without further ado, I’d love to introduce you to…

Rita Arens6a00d8341c52ab53ef017ee5e0606d970d-500wi

Today, I am hosting Rita Arens on my website for the YA Scavenger Hunt! Rita Arens is the author of THE OBVIOUS GAME (InkSpell Publishing, 2013) and the editor of SLEEP IS FOR THE WEAK (Chicago Review Press, 2008). She is the managing editor of BlogHer.com. Follow her on Twitter @ritaarens.
Find out more information by checking out her author website at www.ritaarens.com, or find more about the Rita’s book, The Obvious Game, book here!


Why I Set “The Obvious Game” in the 90s
 “Everyone trusted me back then. Good old, dependable Diana. Which is why most people didn’t notice at first.”

THE OBVIOUS GAME is a journey into anorexia. Diana starts out normal enough, but soon the spiraling reality of her mother’s health and her growing relationship with a high school wrestler cutting weight find her helpless against the new rules taking shape in her mind. Read on to finally understand the psychology of anorexia … and how Diana found her way back. An important read on a complex and confusing mental illness.

Once upon a time in the ‘90s, you lived a different kind of uncertainty as a teen than you do in 2016.
In 2016, if you text a guy and he doesn’t text you back, you wonder why.
In 1990, you wondered if he would ever call or show up at your locker.
In 2016, if you’re running late, you can show up virtually or let people know when you’ll be there.
In 1990, you might miss your friends altogether if you don’t show up when you said you would. There was no way to reach them.
In 2016, if you want to send someone a secret message, there are a thousand electronic ways to do so.
In 1990, you had to take a chance with a note or letter, which had to be physically delivered.
In 2016, people see your body through selfies and images hundreds of times a month.
In 1990, it was possible to hide from everyone.

When I set out to write THE OBVIOUS GAME, I wanted to capture the story in a time when it was easier to hide, physically at least.  Diana hides her descent into anorexia from her parents, from her boyfriend, from her friends, and in some ways, from herself … until she can’t anymore.

– Rita Arens

Rita and I are so excited that you joined us today, and don’t forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of signed books by me, Rita Arens, and more! To enter, you need to know that my favorite number is 118. Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the red team and you’ll have all the secret code to enter for the grand prize!


 To keep going on your quest for the hunt, you need to check out the next author!
Head on over to your next clue here!
 Tweet #YASH

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What if you’re sent to find a hero and the hero you find is yourself?


CuriocoverCurio is out NOW!

When Grey’s father is arrested for a crime she committed, Grey escapes into an enchanted world within a curio cabinet. Among the living curios—beautiful, cruel porcelains and clever tick-tocks—Grey searches for the one person who can help her get home and save her father.

She finds the only other human in Curio, a boy named Blaise. But he’s in disguise, embroiled in a revolution, and reluctant to remember his past in Grey’s world. To get home, Grey must join a band of freedom fighters, escape the grasp of the obsessed porcie ruler, and uncover the incredible secret of her own identity. A secret as connected to Blaise as the mark on his skin— a mark Grey also possesses.

Curio’s characters whir to life as the worlds they inhabit spin toward violent revolution. Vivid and subversive, Evangeline Denmark’s debut novel sets coming of age and first love against a backdrop of steam-propelled greed and societal repression.

Pick up your copy from your favorite book seller!