Friday, September 14, 2012

A Super Belated Contest Announcement

This was supposed to go up at the end of July and I'm sorry for the delay! Life swallowed me.

With no further ado, the winners of the signed ARCs are:

1. Jocie Clare

2. Caitlin O'Connell

The winners of the critiques are

1. 50 pages: Linda Ge.

2. 25 pages: Taryn

Winners get in touch with me (vahini(dot)naidoo(at)ymail(dot)com) to give me either your addresses or send me your pages :)

Monday, July 9, 2012

ARCs and Critiques Giveaway!

When I came home from University recently, there was a very pleasant surprise awaiting me in the mail. ARCs of Fall to Pieces ! Hurrah!

It was a bit surreal and a lot of cool to be able to see what has, up until now, been nothing more than a bunch of pages, as an actual book. With my name on it and stuff. Exciting times were had, guys.

In order to fully express my excitement, I'm giving away not only two signed ARCs of FALL TO PIECES, but also a 25 page critique and a 50 page critique of a manuscript. To enter, simply follow the blog if you aren't already, and comment below (if you want only one type of prize -- eg, just the ARC, or just a critique), then it would be super helpful if you specified that! If you don't specify, I'll just enter you for both :)

Entries will close at midday, Aussie time, on the 17th of July and winners will be posted shortly thereafter. Critiques can be won by anyone, living anywhere and ARCs can be won by people living in the US, Canada, the UK and Australia. If you tweet and stuff, that would be super appreciated, but won't gain you extra entires. Enter away!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


A super rough snippet from BREAKING SKIN:

My mother came to visit me in Melbourne last week. She walked into my tiny apartment with the Devlin dust still in her hair. She smelled of eucalyptus and burning sun -- like my childhood -- and when she put her bony arms around me she felt that way, too. She felt like my never-ending ache for more, more, more which has only just started to recede now that I’m in my twenties.

“How are you?” I asked, steering her to the dining room table, the space between my shoulder blades hollower than it had been for years. It’s incredible how easily the longing of childhood returns to us -- maybe one day it will take more than a remembrance to re-instill the yearning. Maybe one day I will ache for less.

“I’m fine,” she said, but her once smooth skin had furrows. They were few and far between, but still my mother looked as if the cracks of the desert were finally beginning to be baked into her ochre body. Perhaps to compensate for her wrinkles, her lipstick was so deep a shade that it reminded me at once of plums and war.

I served her lunch, using the willow-patterned china I reserved for guests. The food was over-indulgent, laced with intricate flavors and ornately presented. There were courses of it, too. Home-made dumplings as appetizers, pan-roasted garlic chicken as the main and wildberry cheesecake to finish.

She drank in the food with slanted eyes. It was so far removed from the necessarily cheap and simple meals the two of us had shared when I was growing up. Baked potatoes, pastas, stir fries. My mother had a knack for combining the simplest of flavours in the tastiest of ways which I had certainly not inherited. But still, she complimented the cooking. She said, “It’s good to see that you feed yourself well.”

I laughed, but made no reply. What would she say if she knew that my diet remained, largely, unchanged from my boarding school days at St. Patrice’s? My staples were, and probably always would be, instant noodles and weed.

She met my silence with silence, the conversation only resurfacing just as we were about to finish the chicken, when she asked, as some sort of afterthought, a follow up on my initial comment, “How are you, Kenna?”

She seemed more interested in the bite of chicken at the end of her fork than in my well being, but I replied, “All right.”

As we began on the cheesecake I wondered why she had come here. The afternoon sun filtered through my window and flared its way through her dark brown hair, turning it a golden brown and even with the cracks in her skin, I could see it for a moment. I could see why nearly every man in Devlin had wound up in her bed.