Posts Tagged ‘freebies’

The Traitor has landed!

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011

In the UK, anyway. (Australians, you’ll get your edition in November. North Americans, we’re waiting for spring 2012.)

To celebrate Traitor‘s debut, here’s a deleted scene from the novel. This is a scene that I love, but had to cut when I moved the novel’s setting from November 1859 to February 1860. I initially wanted to set Traitor around Guy Fawkes Day but the timing just didn’t work out, because of other historical events I wanted to include in the backdrop. Maybe another time…

Anyway, here it is. I hope you enjoy it!

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The Magickal Agency Contest

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

Today is a glorious, big-news day. First, I’m so pleased to feature a double interview and contest with the delightful Stephanie Burgis. It’s a double contest because we’re each giving away a fantastic prize pack of each other’s books (details below). And it’s a double interview because I asked her 10 questions, which she twisted up and turned back on me. Plus, I can now share with you the details of my THREE launch parties: Kingston, North America online, and the UK/Europe online.

First of all, though, here are Steph and I in conversation:

Ying: What book do you wish you’d written, and why?
Steph: Any of Jane Austen’s novels. SO smart, so funny, and so full of layers!
Steph: Literary death-match among your favorite novels: Middlemarch, Emily of New Moon, or A Wrinkle in Time? WHO WILL WIN?
Ying: Middlemarch in a heartbeat, because I’m not 9 years old anymore. It would also win a literal death-match, as it’s physically the biggest book.

Ying: Black olives or green?
Steph: Green, stuffed with feta cheese!
Steph: Cornish pasty or Yorkshire pudding?
Ying: Cornish pasty FTW! Did you know that traditionally, Cornish pasties had a blob of jam in one corner for a dessert-like finish? This has always troubled me. I mean, what if you started at the wrong end?

Ying:  What are 3 things that make you laugh?
Steph: My crazy-sweet dog, my son, and Joan Bauer’s novel Squashed.
Steph: Which 3 literary heroines do you wish you could hang out with in real life?
Ying: Elizabeth Bennet, Harriet Vane (from Dorothy L. Sayers’s Peter Wimsey mysteries) and, like you, Amelia Peabody (from Elizabeth Peters’s Victorians-in-Egypt adventures). It would be a lively but dangerous gathering.

Ying: And are you a giggler or a cackler?
Steph: A giggler when reading, a cackler when writing. 😉
Steph: Are you a careful bookmark-er or a ruthless page-folder when you read?
Ying: Ack! Would you fold down the corner of your baby or puppy? I THOUGHT NOT.

Ying: What trait do you most admire in others?
Steph: Kindness.
Steph: What trait do you wish you had more of in yourself?
Ying: I’d like to be more disciplined – about writing, chores, time-management…

Ying: What’s the strangest place you’ve ever found your camera or keys?
Steph: In the refrigerator!
Steph: Confession time: which children’s TV show theme-songs have you memorized since having your son? (I know EVERY “In the Night Garden” song.)
Ying: This is going to sound so horribly smug, but we unplugged our TV 3 years ago and haven’t got round to setting it up again. (But it’s not because we think we’re better than everybody else! Promise!) But I’ve seen many, many more videos of tractors and fire engines on Youtube than I’d ever dreamed existed.

Steph: I am inherently great at _remembering historical trivia_. I am inherently terrible at _remembering to re-charge my mobile phone_.
Ying: I am inherently great at _remembering phone numbers_. I am inherently terrible at _remembering poems_.

Ying: What’s your favourite intersection?
Steph: The spot where the Kaerntnerstrasse runs into the Stefansplatz in the center of Vienna. Gorgeous!
Steph: What’s your favorite building in London?
Ying: The British Library. Yes, it looks like a giant primary school circa 1988, but it’s my spiritual home in London.

Ying: Do you have any reading rituals?
Steph: Curled up under the covers, drinking hot chocolate while reading is ideal!
Steph: Do you have any writing rituals?
Ying: Coffee. Glass of water. Email-check. Blog-check. Wander away. Herd myself back. Snack. Bathroom break. Really get started. Oops – reply to urgent email. Answer door. Back to desk. This is why I need more discipline.

Ying: If your mother had to describe you in 3 adjectives, they’d be:
Steph: Eek. Tempted to turn this over to Mom to answer, but at a hopeful guess: stubborn, smart, creative
Steph: If your husband had to describe you in 3 adjectives, they’d be:
Ying: Smart, funny, opinionated. Or maybe just opinionated, opinionated, opinionated.

(Seriously. My husband jokes that I should have a radio show called, “Strong Opinions”. I counter that there isn’t enough air-time in the world…)

And speaking of strong opinions, I thought that for the launch of Body, I should do more to reach readers who aren’t near the vast metropolis of Kingston, Ontario. To that end, I’m holding 3 different events.

UK/Europe online party: Tuesday, September 28 @ 16:00 BST

US/Canadian online party: Tuesday, September 28 @ 16:00 EST

Both online parties will take place on Twitter and the hashtag will be #body. Walker Books UK and Candlewick Press will be there! We’ll be giving away swag! If you’re not already using Twitter, it’s easy to register. And if any of this is confusing but intriguing, leave a comment or email me – I’m happy to answer your questions.

The Real Live launch party: Wednesday, September 29 at 7.00pm at Novel Idea Books. Click here for a map.

I hope you can make it to one of these events!

And now, the contest details

Here’s the deal: Steph and I are both offering a prize pack featuring each other’s books. I’ll be giving away the UK edition of Steph’s debut novel, A Most Improper Magick, along with an AMIM bookmark and postcard set! And over at her blog, Steph’s giving away a copy of The Agency 2: The Body at the Tower, plus an Agency sticker and bookmark.

Here are my contest rules. (You can, of course, enter both contests.)

– To enter, leave a comment answering any one of the interview questions above.

– You may have extra entries by sharing the contest on Twitter and/or Facebook (1 extra entry per site).

– The winner will be randomly selected.

– My contest closes on Wednesday, September 22, 2010.

Good luck, dear readers, and don’t forget to click over to Steph’s blog to enter her contest, too.

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A deleted scene from Body

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

Hello friends and readers! The second Agency novel, The Body at the Tower, hits stores in North America in just over a month. That really sneaked up on me. To celebrate, I thought I’d offer you a deleted scene from the novel.

Context: When James Easton goes to India, he catches a severe case of malaria. On the voyage home, still just recovering from his illness, he becomes acquainted with Jeremy and Sybil Alleyn, a brother-and-sister duo who were raised in India. Sadly, Body became very long and one of the things I had to cut was the Alleyns’s appearance. I do, however, have high hopes for them. This won’t be the last time you see them.

There’s nothing spoiler-ish here, so you can read with impunity. When you’re done with this scene, read the official excerpts from the finished novel, if you haven’t already!

Click here for the deleted scene from The Body at the Tower

Click here for an excerpt from Body

Download the prologue & first chapter from Candlewick Press

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Happy birthday, QV!

Monday, May 24th, 2010

portrait by Sir George Hayter*

Did you know that Canadians celebrate the anniversary of Queen Victoria’s birth each year? Truly. May 24 (or the closest Monday to it) is a national holiday. It’s a bizarre little colonial hangover** but today’s the day, and I could hardly let it pass unremarked.

The real reason I’m posting today is because I’ve put up an excerpt from The Agency 2: The Body at the Tower. Click here to read! And do come back next week, when I’ll have sent off the ms for book 3, The Traitor and the Tunnel and will feel celebratory as a result. Yes, I think a contest is in order…

Hope you enjoy the snippet!

*This image is from the National Portrait Gallery. There’s some nice context for it here.

**Okay, okay – most Canadians are either doing yardwork or getting drunk and falling out of sailboats. But hey, it’s an extra stat hol.

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More loot! aka the “If I were a spy…” contest

Monday, March 1st, 2010

Come to my book launch party on March 9! Details here.

To celebrate my North American debut, I’m giving away 3 fabulous prize packages. These will include a shiny new hardcover copy of The Agency: A Spy in the House and an Agency t-shirt. These will be randomly drawn.

There will be a fourth mystery prize, not randomly drawn, and this will go to the entry that makes me laugh really, really, hard. Ideally, it will make me spurt coffee out my nose. Yes, I’m that classy, and also willing to suffer for a joke.
Mystery prize rule 1: I reserve the right not to give this out at all.
Mystery prize rule 2: A randomly drawn winner may also win this extra prize.

So, what do you have to do? Simply leave a comment below that completes this sentence: “If I were a spy…” You can enter more than once by spreading the word on Twitter, Facebook or at your blog (1 extra entry for each means of dissemination). Tell me what you did in your comment. This contest closes on March 31.

Good luck, everyone!

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The first shiny hardcover! plus contest winners

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

(Looking for launch party details? Click here.)

This week, the wonderful Deborah Wayshak of Candlewick Press sent me an advance copy of the Real Deal. Yes, a crisply dust-jacketed, super-extra-luminous copy of A Spy in the House. It’s a hardcover. It makes me a little bit dizzy. And if you’re in my house, seriously – don’t even breathe on it.

A Spy in the House dustjacket

I haven’t been able to take a photograph that truly conveys the depth and lustre of the dust jacket. But! It looks pretty cool on the shelf, non? (The whole photo is extra-warmly lit. This is not a pretentious artistic device on my part, but an attempt to avoid using the flash.)





And now, the lucky devils who won the First Lines Contest:

The second and third place winners of the Walker Books edition of The Agency: A Spy in the House are Becky Earl and Catherine N!

And the winner of the Grand Prize – an ARC of the Candlewick Press edition of Spy and an exclusive Agency t-shirt is Lexie C!

I like giving things away, you enjoy receiving swag (I assume), so congratulations all around.

And for those of you who entered and are now feeling victimized by the evil machinations of, never fear – there will be a New and Even More Amusing Contest happening… ooh, right around March 9, I’d say.

No idea why.

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The First Lines Contest

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

It’s 6 weeks before the official North American release of A Spy in the House and I feel giddy, celebratory, and rather nervous. What to do then, but give away swag? Please join me in celebrating my North American debut – enter the contest, and encourage your friends to do the same!

The first-prize winner will receive a Candlewick Press ARC of A Spy in the House (featuring the cover at left) and one of these custom-made, not-for-sale-anywhere Agency t-shirts.

Don't worry; it doesn't say "Trainee Spy" on the back.

Don't worry; it doesn't say "Trainee Spy" on the back.

Second- and third-prize winners will each get a copy of the UK edition of Spy

That's the Walker Books ed, which looks like this.

It looks like this.

To enter, email me the answer to this question: What’s your favourite first line? Give me the sentence, author’s name, and the book title.

But that’s not all. You may enter a second time by announcing this contest on your blog, Twitter, or Facebook account and emailing me a link to your announcement. Please use some form of the following wording: Win an ARC of Y S Lee’s A SPY IN THE HOUSE, the first novel in the Agency series! Enter at

I’ll announce the randomly selected winners on Thursday 18 February. Good luck, everyone. I can’t wait to read your entries.

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“Where do you work?” & bookplates

Thursday, January 7th, 2010

I used to be one of those coffee shop people, hunched over a black coffee and rattling away at the keyboard. But no longer! For I now have a study, and it’s a delicious shade of blue (Benjamin Moore’s Yarmouth Blue, if you care), and all I have to do now is try to keep it as zen as it appears here.

the new study


In other news, I have BOOKPLATES! These are basically large & fancy stickers with a blank space for personalization. If you’d like me to sign or inscribe your copy of The Agency but don’t think you’ll see me in person for a while, feel free to request one. You need to tell me exactly what you want the bookplate to say: just my signature? “For Pinkie, a goddess amongst mortals”? “To the winning eBay bidder”? As you can see from the foregoing examples, I’m rubbish at clever dedications, so it’s up to you. The design looks like this:


I’m a sucker for old botanical drawings. And weeds. So this was pretty much a foregone conclusion. I hope you like it, too!

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La Agencia: Una espia en casa

Friday, September 25th, 2009

THE AGENCY: A SPY IN THE HOUSE is on sale now in the UK, with a full North American debut in spring 2010. Canadian availability will be patchy until then, but you can try Amazon or the Book Depository.

It went sale in Australia and New Zealand on June 1! You can link here to my Southern Hemisphere publisher, Walker Books Australia.

La Agencia

La Agencia

The Spanish edition was published on June 2. Isn’t the cover gorgeous? And my publisher, Ediciones Versatil, made a bookmark for you! Click here for the PDF.

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