Magpie Lord vs Captive Prince: all done

Edit: Captive Prince triumphed in DABWAHA round 3, and I’ll be voting it all the way to the final. I’m really happy to have got to the last 16, and very grateful for all the support, votes, lovely messages and general niceness. Thanks!

The free story as promised in the first round exists in my head, and will be written after the non-negotiable first edits of Flight of Magpies and completed draft 1 of Jackdaw. I’ll keep you posted!



The Magpie Lord is through to round 3 of DABWAHA, which means it will be facing up to Captive Prince by CS Pacat. Voting is now on, to 11.59 CST, or 5pm GMT. Vote here .

Let’s face it, this isn’t going to be pretty. Captive Prince has a huge and well-deserved adoring audience – I love the first two books, have fangirled the author myself, and can’t wait for vol 3. It’s a great read that stands a really good chance of winning the whole contest. And it has already beaten Abigail Roux and Joanna Chambers in the first two rounds, which is company I’m proud to get kerbstomped in.

All that said, buggered if I’m going down without a fight.

It’s bribery time!

I have already promised a Lucien and Merrick story from Shanghai days. That is happening. But, my additional bribe to scrabble together votes in round 3…

There is a passage from Magpie Lord that a lot of readers have talked about. Stephen asks Lucien why he has seven magpie tattoos.

“Whim. I was being forced to have a very large and expensive tattoo, and it seemed a change from the usual dragons and carp. I rather liked it, as it turned out, so I added more.”

“…forced to have a tattoo?”

“It’s a long story.”

If I win round 3, I will tell you that long story. It involves mayhem, Merrick, magpies, and a very steep learning curve for a young and stupid Lucien.

That’s what I’ve got. Bring it on, Captive Prince. I can take it.


Vote for Magpie Lord here (please?) on 28 March, 00.00 to 11.59 CST, or 5am-5pm GMT. No need to register, it takes 5 seconds, and every vote counts (to me, anyway). Thanks!

Bribery and corruption: will write for votes!

The DABWAHA (Dear Author Bitchery Writing Award for Hellagood Authors) tournament voting begins on 20 March. The Magpie Lord is one of the contestants, and I need your votes as flowers need rain/Justin Bieber needs a good hard look at his life choices.Magpie Lord

Basically this is a tournament of romance novels with six rounds of voting. Books are paired up and you have to vote for one in each pair. (Me! Me!)

To say it’s competitive is understating things. I need your votes. And am allowed/encouraged to offer inducements for them. So, vote for me or I change the ending of Flight of Magpies and kill them all!

No, wait, that’s a terrible idea. OK, here we go, my hostage to fortune:

If I get to round two, I will commit to writing a free story about one of Lucien and Merrick’s adventures in Shanghai, with chaos, adventure, magic and romance.

In the unlikely event I win round two (ie get into the final of the GLBT category) I will raise the stakes…


All you have to do is vote for me! And get your friends, colleagues, loved ones and milkman to vote for me. And keep voting for me in lots of rounds. Go on, you know you want to really. (Please?)

If you dropped by for writing talk/publishing snark, and have no idea if you want to grant me your vote (you do!), you could check out the following freebies:

The Smuggler and the Warlord (a short story of Merrick and Crane in China)

Interlude with Tattoos (a story set after the end of Magpie Lord)

Butterflies (a Victorian occult horror story from The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal)

Remnant (another Simon Feximal story written with Jordan L Hawk)

Oh, and if you’re wondering who else to vote for in the other brackets, I suggest Provoked by Joanna Chambers, because a) it’s fabulous and b) she will do a hilarious romance pastiche and you want to read that.

Click here to vote on 20 March!

I promised it would be back to normal service and it’s still all promo. Sorry about that, it’s a bit fraught.