FOTL Blurbs, Updated Cover, and GIVEAWAYS!!!

Apr 10, 2017 Main blog Comments Off on FOTL Blurbs, Updated Cover, and GIVEAWAYS!!!

Happy Monday and happy April!

I have a couple of quick updates to share with you today, and then I have TWO giveaways to announce! One of them is a HUGE joint giveaway with two other fabulous 2017 debut authors, so scroll to the bottom of this post for that!




We have three official blurbs so far for FOREST OF A THOUSAND LANTERNS from three very gracious authors. I know how busy they all are, so the fact that they took the time to read FOTL and write me a thoughtful paragraph means the world to me. Here are their wonderful words below:


“Dark, lush, and intense, Forest of a Thousand Lanterns draws you into a world filled with mystery and intrigue, led by a heroine determined to grasp her destiny. A stunning debut!” — Cindy Pon, author of WANT and Serpentine


“A richly developed fantasy world coupled with an ambitious anti-heroine of complex agency, this story shines and surprises at every turn. Julie C. Dao is a talent to watch.” — Marie Lu, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Young Elites


“A stunning reimagining of the Evil Queen. Filled with treacherous courtesans, dark magic, terrible choices, and bloody hearts, Julie Dao’s exquisite take on this classic villain rises far above the average retelling.” — Stephanie Garber, New York Times bestselling author of Caraval


I’m a huge sap, as you all know, and this writing journey has gotten particularly emotional over the past several months as my dream moves closer and closer toward becoming realized. So I’m not ashamed to admit I cried over each of these blurbs! I’ve worked desperately hard for eight years and struggled through so much disappointment and failure. I put absolutely everything I had into this book, and to know that these authors genuinely enjoyed it made me so happy!

A quick little pep talk for those of you who write, if you need it: this time last year, I was convinced no one would ever want to buy any of my books. When it happens, it happens in a flash. We never see what’s coming around the corner (or the “bend in the road,” as Anne of Green Gables refers to it), so we might as well expect good things. Be kind to yourself.

I know how hard it is to see friends moving past you and feel like you are being left behind. Trust me, I KNOW. But all you can do is keep at it and know the stories you have to tell are worth telling. Also, don’t let anyone scare or intimidate you from your dreams or writing the story that’s in your heart. Those folks operate on fear and jealousy and you frankly don’t have time for their small-minded nonsense because you’re busy writing, being positive, and building yourself an incredible life!




My cover designer, Lindsey Andrews, tweaked the font a bit and FOREST OF A THOUSAND LANTERNS now has a glorious textured appearance! The font for my name and the series title also changed, as did the snake’s eyes… they got redder and bloodier looking! I’m told the final hardcover will have some cool special effects, too. I’m in love with Lindsey’s changes. Check ’em out below!





Last month on Twitter, I gave away two signed and personalized advance copies of FOREST OF A THOUSAND LANTERNS! Congratulations to my winners Stephanie Plotkin and Sarah K, who were chosen with Tweetdraw!

For April, I will be giving away two more signed ARCs!

To enter, please make sure you are subscribed to my blog by email. And that’s it!




Here it is, the big announcement!

Back in March, my friends and fellow 2017 debuts Heather Kaczynski and Tracey Neithercott and I decided we wanted to have a joint giveaway for our books. Heather’s YA sci-fi DARE MIGHTY THINGS, about an Indian-American teen competing to win a coveted spot on a classified space mission, and Tracey’s darkly suspenseful YA GRAY WOLF ISLAND, about five kids searching for legendary treasure, happen to be coming out on the exact same day as FOTL: October 10, 2017!

Hence: our 10/10 giveaway!



There will be THREE lucky winners, each of whom will win:



– Special book-related gifts and exclusive signed swag from the author of the preorder they won!



Click on the graphic above to be taken to the Rafflecopter, or go HERE.

The giveaway ends May 10th so there is plenty of time to enter and spread the word! May the odds be ever in your favor!

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Julie C. Dao