Thursday, 28 May 2015

Blog Tour: The Occasional Diamond Thief by J.A. McLachlan {Short Story Excerpt + Giveaway} @JaneAnMcLachlan

YA Bound Book Tours is organizing a Blog Tour for: The Occasional Diamond Thief by J.A. McLachlanThis tour will run from May 18th to May 29th. Check out the full blog tour schedule below.
Release Date: 05/15/15
Publisher: EDGE Publishing

Summary from Goodreads

What if you learned your father was a thief? Would you follow in his footsteps, learn his "trade"? If you were the only one who knew, would you keep his secret?

When 16-yr-old Kia is training to be a universal translator, she is co-opted into traveling as a translator to Malem. This is the last place in the universe that Kia wants to be—it’s the planet where her father caught the terrible illness that killed him—but it’s also where he got the magnificent diamond that only she knows about. Kia is convinced he stole it, as it is illegal for any off-worlder to possess a Malemese diamond.

Using her skill in languages – and another skill she picked up, the skill of picking locks - Kia unravels the secret of the mysterious gem and learns what she must do to set things right: return the diamond to its original owner.

But how will she find out who that is when no one can know that she, an off-worlder, has a Malemese diamond? Can she trust the new friends she’s made on Malem, especially handsome but mysterious 17-year-old Jumal, to help her? And will she solve the puzzle in time to save Agatha, the last person she would have expected to become her closest friend?

Kia is quirky, with an ironic sense of humor, and a loner. Her sidekick, Agatha, is hopeless in languages and naive to the point of idiocy in Kia's opinion, but possesses the wisdom and compassion Kia needs.

Purchase The Occasional Diamond Thief on

Special Note from the Author
Hello, I’m J. A. McLachlan, the author of The Occasional Diamond Thief. I’m so pleased to be meeting you, and I’d like to thank Anastasia for having me here today on Living in a Bookworld. 

This blog tour is part of my online launch of The Occasional Diamond Thief, and I’ll have something different at each stop – book excerpts, author and character reveals, vlogs, reviews and blog posts – for you to enjoy.

And you can find me at:

Short Story Excerpt

This is the final part of The Temporary Salarian Translator, a short story about Kia, the protagonist in The Occasional Diamond Thief – 
part one of this complete short story can be found on: 
part two of this short story can be found on: 
part three can be found on: 
and part four can be found on: 

Now read the conclusion of this short story.

(Kia and her friend Jaro, studying at the University for Translators, are acting as student translators at an inter-planetary event thrown by the Salarians. The event involves some nefarious gambling, including which of two desert girls dropped into a deep tub of water will drown first on a large screen, and Salarian Die, in which gamblers risk varying terms of servitude for the chance of winning immense wealth. Kia is currently watching the final round of Salarian Die.) 

PART FIVE, Conclusion 

The Coralese lady leans into the mic. Her face is pale and her voice breaks as she states her name, so that she has to repeat it. This isn’t just a game of dice to her. She knows her life is on the line. 

Don’t, I want to tell her. Nothing is worth the risk you’re taking. If her roll produces the die face with a figurine and one dot, maybe even two dots, her winnings will cover it. That leaves three sides of the die that will bind her to servitude on Salaria. It won’t matter which of them comes up: three years or four or life. The planet and the people are more than a gently-raised Coralese lady can survive. But I’m too far to warn her, and it’s none of my business anyway, I tell myself as I hear her swearing the oath. The Select is there to make sure the oaths are freely given by responsible—more or less—adults. 

I shake my head and turn away. Everyone at that table knew the game they were sitting down to. Everyone has a chance to walk away before they throw the single die, providing they leave their winnings or pay 50,000 creds. Believe me, I know the combo of desperation and bravado that can make a person take stupid risks, but this isn’t a risk. That stupid water tub on the screen isn’t a risk. The Salarians aren’t looking for gamblers; they’re looking for people with a taste for suicide—committing it, watching it, betting on it. I’m going back to translate at the buffet table where the meat isn’t human. 

The crowd gathered to watch the final round of Salarian Die has increased since I arrived; I’m no longer at the edge of it, but in the middle. It isn’t easy to make my way out, and it takes time. Enough time that I hear the crowd groan and know the woman lost her gamble. I’m still within earshot when another voice, an Edoan voice, begins stating her public acceptance of the terms of the third round. 

I recognize the voice a moment before she states her name. But it can’t be. There’s some mistake, I must have misheard. 

I haven’t seen my sister Oghogho since I returned to Seraffa. At first, she was angry at me for not making up with our mother before I left. I should have, but how could I know it would be too late by the time I got back? And then Oghogho was gone, trading on our family ship, the Homestar, and when she got back, I was busy with my studies… 

We were never close. We didn’t even like each other. Don’t. Don’t like each other. Don’t even talk to each other. I don’t have a single happy memory of my sister’s voice. 

So why am I clawing my way back through the crowd toward the table and the infuriating, terrifying sound of her voice, my sister’s voice, reciting the first words of that horrible oath? 

“Don’t say it!” I yell as I fight my way toward her. “Don’t say it, Oghogho!” 

There are too many people, I’ll never make it in time. I can still hear her voice saying the awful words. Why doesn’t she stop, why can’t she hear me? I take a deep breath and scream, “SHUT UP!” 

—Just as she says the final word. 

I break through the front line of people in time to see the Select nod and my sister pick up the Salarian die. There isn’t a single token in front of her. 

“Oghogho,” I say, helplessly. 

She looks up at me, her face empty as she shakes the die. “We’re going to lose the Homestar,” she says, as if that explains this act of insanity. 

Some sisters are close. Some even have a secret language only they understand. I wish that was us. Because I’d like to tell her, privately, what a complete moron she is and how furious I am and how much I’d like to hurt her really badly right now. But we aren’t close like that, so I just go and stand beside her. She should have someone beside her when she tosses her life away. 

I hold my breath as the die tumbles across the table, showing one impossible figure after the other. Oghogho can’t afford the ransom for even one year of slavery. I can’t breathe as I watch it. All I’m thinking is, the bag of gold, the bag of gold, willing the die to obey me. I’m near asphyxiation when it stops, and still I can’t breathe, I can only look down at the silver figurine between two dots. My hand twitches with the urge to grab the die and hurtle it across the room, denying its verdict.
Why didn’t I call her? Why didn’t I go to her, find out how they were doing, ask if I could help? I stare down at the die. It’s too late now. 

The assistant leans toward Oghogho. They’ll use her for labour, they don’t need pilots, they have their own ship families. She’ll be dead in two years, like my mother, like my father…
“Come with me,” the Salarian says to my sister. 

“No!” Is that my voice? “Take me. I’m a translator, I’m worth more than her.” I can’t believe I’m saying this. We don’t even like each other, Oghogho and me. But I will be translating for them, I will survive the two years. I shove my wrist toward the Salarian, shouting my name, “Kia Ugaigbe—“ 

“No!” My sister yells, “I refuse her—“ 

“I understand and freely choose—“ 

“No! I lost, it was my choice—“ 

“—the terms of my acceptance—“ 

Oghogho jumps up, slamming her hand against the table, “I wear the wrist band, I’m the one who gambled!” 

“But I can survive!” 

“Yes. That’s what you can do.” She turns and follows the Salarian hostess, leaving me not knowing if the last words I may ever hear from my sister are a curse or a request. 

I hear Jaro yelling my name as I push my way through the people, trying to follow my sister. I can’t wait for him, I have to get to her. I squeeze between people, elbowing and shoving them without concern for the dignity of my uniform. When the crowd thins out, I stop and look around. There’s no sign of my sister and her Salarian guard. I race across the room to the front entrance.
She isn’t ouside. Can they have left by another exit? 

I look back into the room, but Oghogho isn’t there, either. She could be miles away by now. I slump against the wall. I can’t save her. There’s nothing I can do. 

On the screen I see the desert girls being helped out of the water. Their five hours are finally up. Thin-lips, groggy but conscious now, is being pulled up to safety, and then Green-eyes. I watch them as they rise out of the water, weary and triumphant, water streaming off them, clean. 

Jaro catches up to me as I’m watching them. “They made it,” he says. Then, “Who was that, at the gambling table?” 

“Just someone I know.” I straighten up. “Goodbye, Jaro.” 

“Where are you going?” Jaro asks as I walk to the door. “Kia, where are you going?” 

“To Salaria,” I call over my shoulder, without looking back. 

The End 

If you missed or can’t find any part of this short story, you can get a pdf. copy of it from my publisher as a special thank you bonus gift for those who buy the print version of "The Occasional Diamond Thief" between now and the end of the Blog Tour on May 29th. Just send proof of purchase to Already have the book, but no PoP? Email Janice: "Janice Shoults" <

 Praise for The Occasional Diamond Thief by J. A. McLachlan
*** "J. A. McLachlan is a terrific writer -- wry and witty, with a keen eye
for detail. I've been following her work with interest and delight since
2003. In a world where young-adult fiction is booming, The Occasional
Diamond Thief propels McLachlan to the front of the pack." -- Robert J.
, Hugo Award-winning author of FlashForward

"The story is full of humor, danger, fun, and adventure. This is Science
Fiction anyone would love." -- J. Jones, VINE VOICE

"Flawless--The Occasional Diamond Thief was one of those rare stories
where I found myself hanging onto every word. McLachlan delivers a
fast-paced, unpredictable story with perfectly-executed twists.
Descriptions were succinct and epigrammatic with no room for boredom. It
felt so real, it was almost like being in the theater with a surprise
treat at the end. Much like the theater, once the credits have started to
roll and the crowd starts to thin, there was a snippet at the end that you
do not want to miss." --

"Loved it! I haven't read a heroine I loved this much since Katniss
Everdeen. McLachlan's Kia is smart, tough and hilarious, and pairing her
with serene, forgiving Agatha left me laughing long after I finished the
story. The settings were vivid, the plot raced along, and the themes kept
me turning pages. McLachlan combines her love of science fiction, ethics
and good, old-fashioned storytelling in The Occasional Diamond Thief, and
the results couldn't be better. I loved every page." -- Amanda Darling,

"J. A. McLachlan is a remarkable creator of worlds, a remarkable creator
of character, a master of suspense. In short, a remarkable storyteller.
You don’t have to be a young adult to love this book." -- Sheryl Loeffler,
Writer, A Land in the Storytelling Sea

About the Author
J. A. McLachlan was born in Toronto, Canada. She is the author of a short
story collection, CONNECTIONS, and two College textbooks on Professional
Ethics. But speculative fiction is her first love, a genre she has been
reading all her life, and The Occasional Diamond Thief is her second in
that genre, a young adult science fiction novel, published by EDGE Science
Fiction and Fantasy Publishing. After over a decade as a college teacher,
she is happy to work from home as a full-time author now.

 photo iconwebsite-32x32_zps1f477f69.png  photo icongoodreads32_zps60f83491.png  photo icontwitter-32x32_zpsae13e2b2.png  photo iconfacebook-32x32_zps64a79d4a.png


a Rafflecopter giveaway

1 comment: