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A completely incomplete list of MCD’s favourite books

November 13, 2017

I often get asked about my favourite books/series/authors, specifically in the urban fantasy genre (which I read almost exclusively these days). And since I find myself repeating myself a lot – I’m a rather loyal reader – I thought I’d start a list here, then add to it as it becomes necessary.

Favourite authors:

Authors who I preorder the instant I know they have a new book coming, and who I reread. The links below lead to book one of the series on Amazon.com (simply replace the .com with .ca or .co.uk to find the book in your region).

Ilona Andrews – Kate Daniels (Magic Bites), Hidden Legacy (Burn For Me), and my favourite (by a terribly slim margin), The Innkeeper Chronicles (Clean Sweep).
Patricia Briggs – Mercy Thompson (Moon Called) and Alpha & Omega (Cry Wolf).
Faith Hunter – Jane Yellowrock (Skinwalker) and Soulwood (Blood of the Earth).
Kalayna Price – Alex Craft (Grave Witch).
Kelley Armstrong – my current favourite are the Casey Duncan thrillers (City of the Lost), but also any of her Otherworld novels, including the YA offshoots, starting with Bitten. Kelley gets bonus points for being a fellow Canadian. 😀

Favourite series:
The Dresden Series by Jim Butcher (Storm Front)
Terry Pratchett – any Discworld book with witches in the lead POV with Wintersmith being my favourite. I own but find myself unable to read, The Shepherd’s Crown, which was published after Terry passed away. I got to a certain plot point, lost it, and had to put the book away so I could continue to function in my every day life.
Sookie Stackhouse (Dead Until Dark) by Charlaine Harris – one of my first entry points into ‘modern’ urban fantasy. Though I haven’t read the last three or so books yet.

Influential books/series/authors:
William Gibson – his sci-fi Sprawl Trilogy (Neuromancer). The character of Molly Millions has definitely influenced how I perceive/write/create my own superhero females. I’m also a big fan of Pattern Recognition (just adding that link makes me want to reread it).
Stephen King – favourites: The Talisman, The Stand and more.
Jane Austin – Pride & Prejudice and more.
Anne Rice – all of her early books, starting with Interview with a Vampire (of course!! and probably goes without saying). But I also really enjoyed The Mummy.

******

What are some of your favourites?

Dowser Series: new book covers

November 8, 2017

I contacted Elizabeth Mackey about doing a book cover for the upcoming Dowser 7 last week. At same time, I mentioned that I’d been thinking about revamping or rebranding all the covers, but that I was hesitant to do so because the books had done really well with the lighter, simple covers.

Then I just left it with her – no guidance or specific image ideas or anything. And Elizabeth, with her killer eye and sense of all things graphic design, decided that an extreme rebranding probably wasn’t necessary but maybe the series just need a tweak, a freshening. A bit more depth and little more magic.

This is what she came up with. And I love it.

You know my favourite part? Well, of course you do … MORE CHOCOLATE!!

I’ll be rolling out all six covers over the next couple of days. And soon … so soon now, it will be time for the cover (and title) reveal for Dowser 7!!

I’m only agreeing so I get chocolate

October 27, 2017

“You were holding this entire time?” I cried, making a grab for the chocolate.

Kandy easily evaded my thievery attempt.

Apparently, my depth perception was a little off.

“Sometimes rewards should be actual rewards, Dowser. Not just daily indulgences.”

I smiled. “Fine. But I’m only agreeing so I get chocolate.”

– Dowser 7, Chapter One, Third Draft

Just a head’s up. Every time I share an excerpt that references any sort of chocolate I’m thinking about using the above image.

Also, “Fine. But I’m only agreeing so I get chocolate” will now be my go-to response to … well, life in general.

Reconstructionist Series: paperback giveaway

September 21, 2017

GIVEAWAY CLOSED. LUKCY #15 has been emailed.

Are you interested in adding three autographed paperbacks to your bookshelf?

Yes?

Well, you’ve come to the right place. These three pretty paperbacks are looking for a good home.

To enter all you need to do is comment below and let me know you are willing to provide a suitable home for all three paperbacks in the Reconstructionist Series. Hopefully away from any damp and not too close to any open fire.

Notes/Rules: OPEN INTERNATIONALLY. Each comment will be assigned an entry number. ONE winning entry will then be selected via random number generator. One entry per person. Please make sure to fill out a valid email address in the comment form. Email addresses are not collected for any purpose other than notifying the contest winner.

If you haven’t commented on the blog before, or you comment from a different IP address, the comments are moderated. So don’t worry if you don’t see your entry right away. I will approve it, then assign it an entry number.

Giveaway closes SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 2017 at 8 p.m. PDT

***

Haven’t started the Reconstructionist Series yet? The first book is Catching Echoes. It is also the tenth book in the Adept Universe. Find the reading order here.

Adept Universe: paperback giveaway

August 29, 2017

GIVEAWAY CLOSED. WINNER TBA

I’m giving away all eleven paperbacks in the Adept Universe in celebration of the upcoming release of Unleashing Echoes (Reconstructionist 3) on August 31, 2017.

FIND THE READING ORDER OF THE ADEPT UNIVERSE HERE.

Win all of these pretties, all at once! Eleven autographed paperbacks, six Dowser Series recipe cards, six Oracle Series butterfly tattoos, and five Reconstructionist Series postcards!

To enter all you need to do is comment below and let me know:

  1. What is your favourite quote from Catching Echoes (Reconstructionist 1) or Tangled Echoes (Reconstructionist 2).

Notes/Rules: OPEN INTERNATIONALLY. Each comment will be assigned an entry number. ONE winning entry will then be selected via random number generator. One entry per person. Please make sure to fill out a valid email address in the comment form. Email addresses are not collected for any purpose other than notifying the contest winner.

If you haven’t commented on the blog before, or you comment from a different IP address, the comments are moderated. So don’t worry if you don’t see your entry right away. I will approve it, then assign it an entry number.

No purchase necessary. All my ebooks are available to libraries for free via Library Direct, Baker & Taylor Axis 360, and Odilo. As well as Overdrive (though they charge libraries a minimum price).

Contest closes FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2017 at 8 p.m. PDT

Unleashing Echoes (Reconstructionist 3) is currently available for preorder.

AMAZON – iBOOKS – KOBO – SMASHWORDS – BARNES & NOBLE

DON’T FORGET THE PREORDER GIVEAWAY!

Reconstructionist 3: Ch 1, Part 1 – excerpt

August 11, 2017

WARNING: The following excerpt contains spoilers for book one and book two of the Reconstructionist Series. Click here for the full reading order of the Adept Universe.

Unproofed. [I shared an unedited version of this scene in my August 2017 newsletter].

PREORDER NOW

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DON’T MISS THE PREORDER GIVEAWAY!

CHAPTER ONE

The moment that Jasper reclaimed the manor … the moment he regained control of the magic embedded in the Fairchild estate, I fell to my knees in the produce section of a Whole Foods in Chicago. Losing hold of the lemon I’d been about to add to my basket, I gasped as the magical connection was ripped from me — torn from what felt like my very soul, my very essence.

Then, with a wash of brownie magic, rough-skinned fingers I couldn’t see brushed my arms, and a disembodied voice whispered, “I’m sorry.”

“Lark,” I murmured, struggling to focus through the aching emptiness radiating out through my chest and into my limbs.

“You must come.” The brownie’s hushed request was woeful.

Lark had pledged herself to me after I’d claimed the Fairchild estate magic almost four months before, in a rash attempt to free Jasmine and Declan from the clutches of three vampires. Even as I struggled to regain my equilibrium, I felt a moment of honest surprise that it had taken Jasper so long to wrestle control of the ancestral magic back. Though I didn’t doubt that it had taken some terrible feat to break the connection, anchored as it was to the power of three — namely Jasmine, Declan, and me.

That same manner of dreadful magic had most likely been responsible for my uncle getting out of his wheelchair. He’d been walking when I saw him in Litchfield, for the first time in more than twelve years. But I’d chosen — selfishly perhaps — to once again walk away from Connecticut and everything it represented only a day after rescuing Jasmine. And I had no plans to return, despite my aunt Rose’s repeated attempts to woo me back into the Fairchild coven.

The energy of the brownie’s magic lingered around me for the space of a single breath. Then I was alone.

Once again, I was disconnected from the magic of the Fairchild coven. Severed from the power that it was my ancestral right to wield.

I should have felt relieved of the burden, of the obligation. Instead, I knelt on gray-stained wood flooring and felt … bereft.

Weak.

Incomplete.

Missing.

A low pulse of frenetic energy nearby informed me that Jasmine was running back through the grocery store toward me. I’d left her drooling over the candy bars and chips a couple of aisles away. I could feel her magic and her panic before she cleared the towering display of organic Royal Gala apples, then slid to a stop as she spotted me.

Her dark golden curls tumbled across her shoulders. She was pale, frantic. Her bright-blue eyes were wide with tension and simmering with her witch magic. The vivid and unusual power display was likely a residual of whatever effect Jasper’s reclaiming the estate was having on her — on us — since I’d inadvertently bound her and Declan, along with myself, to the estate’s magic.

Jasper. Our uncle. The bane of my existence. Reaching out once again and playing with my life, as easily as the wind stirred the leaves in the apple orchard that had once been a haven from my childhood.

Perhaps I shouldn’t have walked away so readily. But there was no place for me in Litchfield. Nothing but constant reminders of an abusive childhood, despite us holding the ancestral ties to the magic of the Fairchild estate. The coven was corrupt from within, and I had no ability to forgive and forget. Honestly, I hadn’t wanted the responsibility of confronting our elders, purging the corruption and destroying the coven in the process.

Jasmine took another step toward me. Her expression twisted with despair, reacting to whatever she saw on my own face. Reacting to a decision I hadn’t even made yet. But Lark wouldn’t have asked me to return to the manor if it wasn’t crucial.

“You aren’t his keeper, Wisteria,” she said. She meant Jasper.

“If not me, then who?” I whispered, placing my palms flat on the floor and pushing myself to my feet.

Jasmine’s phone buzzed.

Glancing around and hoping I hadn’t drawn any awkward attention from the few patrons quietly grocery shopping alongside me, I smoothed the fabric of my fitted, dark-navy, stretch-linen dress, making sure the subtle black lacework appliqué that ran from the center neck to the hem wasn’t oddly twisted.

Jasmine pulled her phone out of the pocket of her figure-hugging brown suede jacket, answering the call but not taking her gaze from me. “She’s here.”

Declan. He would have felt the severing of the connection to the estate magic, as Jasmine had.

Ignoring the way my heart rate momentarily ramped up at the thought of Jasmine’s brother calling out of concern for me, I checked to make sure my white-to-teal-blue gradient silk scarf was still draped around my neck, artfully tucked underneath my open Burberry heritage navy-blue trench coat.

“We’re on a job in Chicago,” Jasmine said, still eyeing me as she spoke to her brother. “A missing girl.”

Turning away from her conversation, I collected the items that had spilled from my basket — two bananas, an orange, and the lemon I’d lost hold of. We’d been shopping for light breakfast items for the following morning, filling the hour between our flights and the meeting that had brought us to Chicago. Well, along with snacks for Jasmine, though she appeared to have left her basket elsewhere.

“You know I can’t stop her,” Jasmine said crossly. “But duty will keep her in Chicago. For now.”

I contemplated the apples. Jasmine was partly correct. Duty did drive me. Duty to my job as a reconstructionist for the witches Convocation. But despite my resolve and resistance, I understood that Lark’s plea was going to force me back to Connecticut once again.

Because of Jasper. Because of whatever malicious spell he’d cast to reject the brownies’ dominion over Fairchild Manor. Whatever magic had let him tear through the familial ties I’d grounded in my own, Declan’s, and Jasmine’s magic.

Because investigating terrible deeds was our job. My duty.

Even if it meant facing our family again. Even if it meant facing our own ingrained fears and nightmares.

Unfortunately for me, those were one and the same.

“It’s time,” I said to Jasmine, heedless of whatever Declan was saying to her. “We’re just hypocrites otherwise. Investigating the crimes of Adepts not powerful enough to hide from us, from the Convocation. But ignoring those crimes committed by our own coven.”

“A child is missing …”

“And we’ll find her,” I said, interrupting the beginning of my cousin’s protest. “Then we’ll go and collect enough evidence to bring Jasper to a tribunal. We’ll depose him. Properly.”

Jasmine stared at me, utterly aghast.

I placed two apples in my basket.

Declan shouted something through the speaker on Jasmine’s phone. I didn’t catch his words, just the furious intonation.

Jasmine snapped her mouth shut, then spoke into the phone rather than to me. “If you want to stop her, then get your ass over here.” Then she ended the call, hanging up on Declan.

“No one in the family is clean,” she said to me. “None of them are without some tarnish. Are you prepared to head the coven?”

I shook my head. “Rose will. Officially, as she does now. And the coven magic will naturally settle on her.”

Jasmine snorted. “If you rip down the facade, she’ll be the first conspirator to be condemned.”

I closed the space between us, gently placing my hand on Jasmine’s arm. She shuddered at the touch of my magic.

“It’s time,” I said quietly. “You don’t ever have to be in the same room as him. But it’s time.”

“Just tear it all down, hey?” Her voice cracked with emotion. “Just expose all our darkness? Invite the world to witness our wounds?”

“Yes. It’s time to move forward.” I dropped my hand. I crossed through the produce section, adding seedless red grapes to my basket, then moving toward an open-front refrigerator that held freshly blended juices.

Jasmine trailed after me.

I couldn’t carry the pain any longer — mine, Jasmine’s or Declan’s.

I had almost lost myself, almost allowed myself to be consumed within my own reconstruction of my happiest childhood memory in order to flee that pain. We were all lost within it even now, clinging to each other — though none of us stood on solid ground.

Jasper wasn’t a monster. He was just a man. Flawed and depraved, yes. Insurmountable, no.

So though I felt like sobbing at the devastating loss of the magic that had just been torn from me, I would move forward. I would force the three of us into the future. I had no other choice, really.

It was time to put an end to the feud with Jasper. And it would be better to do so before Kett was compelled to demand my acceptance of the conditions of the contract with the Conclave. Time-sensitive stipulations, which required my lifeblood but would gift me with immortality and invulnerability.

It would be better to defeat Jasper as a witch, on witch terms, and within the bounds of Convocation law.

Because after I was a vampire?

Well, depending on how the transformation affected me, I expected it was going to be much better for the health of the coven if I never set foot in Connecticut again.

And I wanted my vengeance cold and calculated. After all, that was exactly how Jasper had ruined our childhoods. He deserved the same in return.

A violent, terrifying death would be too simple for him. And too easy for the coven to cover up — as they had already covered up the mental and sexual abuse our uncle skillfully inflicted on Jasmine, Declan, and me, under the guise of training the next generation of Fairchild witches.

No, I didn’t want Jasper’s blood. I wanted to strip away everything that gave his life meaning and worth. And I’d do it all aboveboard.

Then we’d finally be even.

But first I had a job to do, and a missing girl to find.

READ THE FINAL BOOK IN THE TRILOGY AUGUST 31, 2017

PREORDER NOW

AMAZON – iBOOKS – KOBO – SMASHWORDS – BARNES & NOBLE

DON’T MISS THE PREORDER GIVEAWAY!

Reconstructionist 3: synopsis

August 5, 2017

 

Synopsis: For twelve years, I had managed to separate my personal life from my professional life, becoming one of the best reconstructionists in the world — and proving to myself that I could do so on my own merits.

Then I’d been forced into contact with my family, reuniting with someone I thought I’d lost forever, and rescuing my best friend. Now I had to savor what little time I had left before the contract with the Conclave came due and my future was wrenched from my control.

Except there was one last case to solve.

One last set of puzzle pieces to collect, then assemble again.

But this time, I would have to be the investigator and the executioner. Whether I wanted to be or not.

Because it seemed as though the future wouldn’t be allowed to finally unfold until the past had its way.

——————–

This 77,000 word urban fantasy is the third and final book in the Reconstructionist Series by author Meghan Ciana Doidge. Author’s note: the ideal reading order of the Reconstructionist Series is after the first six books in the Dowser Series and the three books in the Oracle series, but it’s not absolutely necessary to read the Dowser or the Oracle series before reading the Reconstructionist Series.

PREORDER NOW

AMAZON – iBOOKS – KOBO – SMASHWORDS – BARNES & NOBLE

DON’T MISS THE PREORDER GIVEAWAY!

Reconstructionist 3: preorder giveaway

August 1, 2017

Each of the Reconstructionist novels is paired with a prequel short story narrated by another, often minor, character. The stories contain slight spoilers for the main books, so you might choose to wait and read the shorts/novels out of order.

The prequel to Unleashing Echoes (Reconstructionist 3) is An Uncut Key. Everyone who preorders Unleashing Echoes, and emails me proof of their preorder, will be sent a link to download the short story for free. FUN!

As a BONUS – since this is the last book in the Reconstructionist Series – I will include download links to The Graveyard Kiss (Reconstructionist 0.5) and Dawn Bytes (Reconstructionist 1.5). Also, as many people have been having trouble receiving the BookFunnel emails, I will send my replies from my preorder email address, but the links will still take you to BookFunnel to download the files.

AMAZON – iBOOKS – KOBO – SMASHWORDS – BARNES & NOBLE

Every entry wins! To receive the short story, An Uncut Key, plus BONUS short stories email proof of preorder or library request/reservation and your preferred email address to preorder@madebymeghan.ca

Proof of preorder: email a screenshot and/or your actual electronic receipt (with any personal information struck out, if you wish). Please include your preferred email address, and check your spam folders if you don’t hear back within 72 hours. Email is the only way that preorders will be accepted.

Library reservation/request option: it may take a couple of weeks for your local library to get access to the preorder of Unleashing Echoes (Reconstructionist 3) via Overdrive (or wherever else they get their ebooks). If that is the case, please feel free to email proof of reserving/requesting the first book, Catching Echoes or second book, Tangled Echoes. All my ebooks are available to libraries for free via Library Direct, Baker & Taylor Axis 360, and Odilo. As well as Overdrive (though they charge libraries a minimum price).

Notes/Rules: OPEN INTERNATIONALLY. Every entry that follows the above guidelines will receive an ebook copy of the short story, An Uncut Key. One entry per person. Email addresses are not collected for any purpose other than sending the download links. No purchase necessary (see library reservation option).

Each email will be acknowledged within 72 hours. If you do not receive an acknowledgement please feel free to resend.

Giveaway closes THURSDAY AUGUST 31, 2017 at midnight PDT.

AMAZON – iBOOKS – KOBO – SMASHWORDS – BARNES & NOBLE

Are you new to the Adept Universe and/or the Reconstructionist Series?

Book one is Catching Echoes (Reconstructionist 1).

Click here for the reading order of the Adept Universe.

Reconstructionist 3: Cover reveal

July 20, 2017

The final chapter of Kett and Wisteria’s story arrives August 31. 2017

Preorder live July 31, 2017

Giveaway: Katie Shaeffer Pancake Maker

July 17, 2017

GIVEAWAY CLOSED. WINNER TBA

My sister-in-law, Cynthia Mackey, has just released her first children’s picture book, Katie Shaeffer Pancake Maker.

Congrats, Cindy!

eBook: KoboiBooks

Paperback: Amazon USAAmazon CANADAAmazon UK Barnes & Noble

I thought you might like a chance to win an autographed copy. Yes?

Yes! To enter to win an autographed copy of Katie Shaeffer Pancake Maker simply comment below, and let me know:

  1.  Who you are looking forward to reading and/or giving this pretty paperback to?

Notes/Rules: OPEN INTERNATIONALLY. One entry per person. Each comment will be assigned a number, and one winner will be selected via random number generator. Please make sure to fill out a valid email address in the comment form. Email addresses are not collected for any purpose other than notifying the contest winner. No purchase necessary.

If you haven’t commented on the blog before, or you comment from a different IP address, the comments are moderated. So don’t worry if you don’t see your entry right away. I will approve it and then it will appear.

Giveaway closes WEDNESDAY JULY 19, 2017 at 8 PM PDT.

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