Thursday, June 14, 2012

Get it for nothin’

Image courtesy Sodahead

Except your time.

I’m giving away FREE electronic copies of my novel, The Bones of the Earth, for the rest of this month. But there’s a catch: first, as with all contests and games of chance in Canada (and maybe elsewhere, too, but I only know the rules in the former Lady of the Snows), to win, you have to answer a skill-testing question. Or in this case, a knowledge-testing question.

The question follows the previous blog post: name two of the rules, conventions or tropes of fantasy writing that I broke in The Bones of the Earth. I promise you, you’ll find more that two. How much easier could I make this contest?

“Easy? How can I tell you what those rules are, if I haven’t read The Bones of the Earth?” you ask. “And if I buy the whole book, why would I be interested in a free one?”

That’s an excellent question. Very astute of you.


All you really need to answer this is to read two excerpts. You can get to Chapter 1 by clicking the tab at the top of this page, the one labelled “Sample: The Bones of the Earth.”

You can find Chapter 2 excerpted on the Featured Books Excerpts page on Wodke Hawkinson’s excellent blog, Find a Good Book to Read, here.

And if you still need more hints, check out my previous post as well as this guest post on genres and boundaries at Find a Good Book to Read.

Want one more hint? Find out about the personality of my main character, Javor, in this deep character interview on Laurie J.'s Paranormal Thoughts and Reviews blog.

How to answer

"Okay, smart guy, I've figured it out. How do I enter this contest and get my free book?" you ask.

Another excellent question! It just goes to show how smart the readers of this blog are.Click on the Comments list, describe the two rules (or more, if you like), and leave your contact information (email address, Twitter handle or other link). Also, tell me which electronic format you prefer: e-pub or mobi.

That’s it! I told you this would be easy!


  1. The only fantasy tropes and conventions I know of are to include magic, a hero, a "dark lord," and maybe a medieval setting. I didn't see any magic in your excerpts and I don't know if you have a "dark lord"--but that could show up later.

    1. Okay, here's another hint: see my previous post about genres and rules.

    2. In your previous post, you wrote that you would put sex in a YA story, and that you would have a hero with a disability.

    3. Is that your final answer? Did you notice those anywhere in the excerpts I mentioned? And if so, if you think your answer is correct (not saying if it is, yet), how would you like your prize and in what format?

    4. There is sex in the chapter 1 excerpt, and the MC is seen as strange by the other people in his village. In the time period the story is set in, they wouldn't have known about "invisible" disabilities like autism.
      If this is the right answer, I would like ePub. :)

  2. Okay, first of all, Javon seems to be what the town folk would consider an "ugly" person; the rule says the protagonist must be virile, handsome, muscular, dashing, and an all-around stud, in order to engage the readers. Second, in the excerpt the soldiers speak like they are very much undereducated, as compared to the town folk; the rule could be interpreted to require that the soldiers should be better educated, and thus speak better, than a bunch of "ignorant country hicks" like the village people. (Not the Disco group by that name; the town folks.) And third, just in case the answer isn't sufficient yet, there was that verbotten act of s-e-x in the opening chapter; can't have that!

    If my answer is close enough to win, I'd prefer the mobi format. If it's NOT a winner, I hope you will let me know so I can polish it up some more, before the contest ends! Thanks for the opportunity to participate; now that I've "started" reading it, I HAVE to finish it - it's kind of an OCD thing with me. Thanks again,

    Lee "Grampy" Ashford
    mobi format

    1. Well, Grampy, your third point is right - sex in chapter 1 is definitely against the rules, but it sure was fun to write! Also, it's historically accurate.
      Your other points are a little off. The soldiers' speech was to indicate that they did not speak the same language as the villagers. But they probably weren't well educated, or educated at all. They were nomadic raiders conquering eastern Europe - again, historically accurate. Krajan was attempting to speak the early Slavic language of the region. So, your analysis is close enough for a prize!
      As for your first point about Javor's looks - well, read the book. His looks are not the reason he's an outcast in his own community!

      A MOBI version will be on its way this evening!

  3. 1. protagonist not too beautiful or hunky
    2. history and fantasy combined..

    1. Arun, in your next comment, send me your contact information so I can answer you, tell you whether you won and if so, send you your prize.