Monday 18 May 2015

Blog Tour Promo & Giveaway - The Occasional Diamond Thief by J.A. McLachlan

The Occasional Diamond Thief
Author: J.A. McLachlan 
Release Date: 05/15/15

Summary from Goodreads:
The Occasional Diamond Thief is the tale of Kia, who is courageous and practical with a quirky sense of humor, and a loner.

When 16-yr-old Kia is training to be a translator, she is co-opted into travelling 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.

Even worse, Kia must translate for Agatha, who is as different from Kia as it's possible for two people to be - Agatha is idealistic, naïve, and compassionate.

Using her skill in languages – and another skill she picked up, the skill of picking locks - Kia unravels the secret of her father's 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?

Buy Links:

EDGE Publishing has a Thank you Gift for anyone who buys the print version of the book.  If they send an email to with their Amazon receipt, they will receive a copy of a short story that features Kia.

Praise for The Occasional Diamond Thief
*** "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. Sawyer, 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, Screenwriter

"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

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 Alecia for having me here on CYB Book Club today. 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. You can find The Occasional Diamond Thief at:


At last the door opens. Behind it, I hardly dare to breathe. It opens wider. The guard sees the broken window and rushes across the room toward it.

I tiptoe very quietly around the door.

He hears me anyway, and turns with a bellow, but I’m through the door and pulling it closed before he can cross the room. The door shuts, cutting his voice off abruptly and completely. Has he had had a heart attack or choked? I wonder, before I realize the room must be soundproofed. I turn the lock and smile when it clicks home. Let him yell all he wants.

I’m standing at the end of a long, dark hallway. At the other end a muted glow of light indicates the foyer at the top of the stairwell. A single guard stood there when I was brought up and there’s probably one there now, unless I’m very lucky and he’s the one locked in my room. In any event, there were two more at the bottom of the stairs guarding the door outside.

I pull the blanket from around my arm and fold it over my shoulders and around my back under my robe to make myself look heavier, more muscular. Then I walk briskly down the hall toward the stairwell. I’m almost the same height as the guard; with any luck the man at the end of the hall won’t even look up as I pass him. He’s expecting the other guard to return with the dirty plate. Good thing I grabbed it. I pull my hood over my head and forward so it covers my face when I turn my head sideways, and hold the plate low, with both my hands under it where they won’t show.

If you carry yourself with assurance people seldom question you, I tell myself, quoting Sodum’s wisdom. They’ll see what they expect to see.

“’Night, Yosil,” the guard calls to me. I walked purposefully across the foyer without answering and push the stairway door open. My scalp prickles under the hood, conscious of the guard’s eyes on my back until the door shuts behind me.

What if I run across someone on the stairs? It’s late at night, and it turns out I’m lucky. But as I start down the last flight of stairs, I still haven’t come up with any ideas about getting past the two guards.

I open the door just wide enough to peek through. Only one guard is visible. Is the other one there, out of sight, or is he occupied somewhere else in the building? I look at the guard again. It’s the big one with the broken nose and the heavy, scowling eyebrows. I shut the door. I might not have much time before the second guard comes back; I’ll have to try to bluff my way past him. I pull the blanket out from under my robe. The lighting’s better in this foyer, too good for me to pass as a guard. I’ll pretend to be a visitor, leaving late. I push the door open and walk confidently toward the door.

“Hey! What are you doing there?” broken-nose calls before I’ve crossed even a third of the distance.

“They told me to leave this way,” I call back, keeping my face averted and my pace quick but not visibly hurried.

“They did?”

“Take these stairs and go out the front entrance, they said.” I keep walking, resisting the urge to speed up. I’m half-way to the door now.

“Wait! Who said it?”

“They did. Upstairs.” Almost there.

“Stop! Who are you?”

“I’m in a hurry.” And I break into a run for the door, with broken-nose racing the catch me.

About the Author
J. A. McLachlan was born in Toronto, Canada. She is the author of a short story collection, CONNECTIONS, published by Pandora Press and two College textbooks on Professional Ethics, published by Pearson-Prentice Hall. But science fiction is her first love, a genre she has been reading all her life, and Walls of Wind is her first published Science Fiction novel. Her new science fiction novel is The Occasional Diamond Thief. She is represented by Carrie Pestritto at Prospect Agency.

Author Links: 


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  1. I enjoyed reading the excerpt and learning about the book! Thanks for the giveaway!

  2. Thanks for your kind words, Judy, and for dropping by! Good luck with the giveaway.

  3. What an exciting excerpt! I can't wait to learn more about the book. Thank you for the post and the giveaway!

  4. I enjoyed reading the excerpt and I love the cover.
    Thanks for the giveaway! =)

  5. Stunning cover! Thank you so much for the giveaway and excerpt. :)