Faerie Winter paperback contest winners!

Congratulations to Christina B and patty1943, winners of the novel and short story prize packs, respectively!

And thank you, thank you to everyone who entered the Faerie Winter paperback contest! Reading your blog posts, tweets, fb posts, tumblr posts, google+ posts not only helped spread the word about the paperback, but also just made me smile. 🙂

Happy reading, and happy spring, to you all!

Faerie Winter paperback contest

ETA: The contest is now over! Thank you, thank you, to everyone who entered! (I’ve shut down comments on this post to avoid confusion, but comments remain open over here.)

Faerie Winter comes out in paperback (in the U.S. and Canada) in two and a half weeks: on April 10!

I think this calls for a contest. 🙂

There are two prize packs: A novel prize pack (containing every novel I’ve published, including one that I ghost wrote) and a short story prize pack (with several anthologies I’ve appeared in, including Welcome to Bordertown, which comes out in a paperback edition with a brand new cover the very same day).


The Rules

– Mention in a blog post, fb post, tweet, tumblr, and/or anywhere else online and publicly visible that Faerie Winter comes out in paperback on April 10 (eta: or, alternately, is now out in paperback) and that it’s the sequel to Bones of Faerie (or, alternately, book 2 in the Bones of Faerie trilogy). If you want to say something more about either of the Faerie books, that’d be lovely, though not required.

– Link to the Faerie Winter website

– Come back to this post and link to the places you did both of the above (eta: for fb, if you can’t link, just tag me and tell me you did so)

– (optional, for blog entries) Copy these rules (including this one :-)) to your post, and encourage your readers to enter this contest by doing all of the above in turn, and telling them to then to come back to your blog and link to their mention or mentions

– Deadline is April 20 (at midnight Pacific Daylight Time) and I’ll ship anywhere.



+1 entry for each place your mention of the above appears

+1 entry for each person who enters in turn and responds on your blog to let you know they’ve done so (they’ll still get their entry, too!)

I’ll draw two winners; the first gets to choose which of the prize packs below they prefer



Novel prize pack:
(Every novel I’ve published, going back to 1996!)
Ghost Horse (Phantom Rider #1)
The Haunted Trail (Phantom Rider #2)
Ghost Vision (Phantom Rider #3)
A Royal Kiss (ghostwritten for Fran Lantz to her outline)
Secret of the Three Treasures
Bones of Faerie
Thief Eyes
Faerie Winter

Short story prize pack:
(A selection of anthologies in which my short stories have appeared)
Leroni of Darkover, edited by Marion Zimmer Bradley
Aladdin, Master of the Lamp, edited by Mike Resnick and Martin H. Greenberg
Chicks in Chainmail, edited by Esther Friesner
Sword of Ice, edited by Mercedes Lackey
Bruce Coville’s Book of Magic, edited by Bruce Coville
Bruce Coville’s Book of Nightmares, edited by Bruce Coville
Gothic, Ten Original Dark Tales, edited by Deborah Noyes
Welcome to Bordertown, edited by Holly Black and Ellen Kushner
– Plus a copy of Faerie Winter, just because 🙂


All books are in paperback, except for Secret of the Three Treasures. There may be some yellowing of the older books, and Leroni of Darkover in particular is a bit battered, being more than 20 years old. 🙂

Thanks for entering, and for helping to spread the word!

“Tell me, Liza, do you believe that spring will come?” (Part 2 of 2)

Choosing non-random answers to the question Do you believe that spring will come? was hard … I tried to come up with a list of honorable mentions, found it included a significant portion of all the entries, and had to discard it. So know that your entries really did make me smile as February wore on.

In the end, there were two entries I kept coming back to.

I was pretty immediately taken with authorwithin‘s entry, for which she not only wrote a poem (“We wait in winter’s grip for spring,” but draws a picture as well: “Within each snowflake lives the promise of spring”:


I love that snowflake flower, winter giving way to spring as if that’s just what it does. I pulled it up several times last month to look at it again.

And then coraa charmed me with her descriptions of accidentally capturing winter on her balcony: “The bowl of ice that I made, inadvertently, is surprisingly beautiful. Parts of it froze flawless and clear, but in some places the ice froze with flaws in it. In the day, shafts of ice that froze opaque catch the light and shine like sunbeams, and frozen bubbles and bits of dust glitter like stars. By night the face of the bowl reflects like the moon. It’s almost beautiful enough to want to hold on to, for all that I do not love the cold … tomorrow, I’m bringing in my bowl of ice so it will melt, and mixing it with henna, and so I’ll use the thaw to turn my strands of gray into lines of fire. And then I’ll say good morning to both the crocuses and the snow, and I’ll wait for spring.”

So authorwithin and coraa, email me at janni@simner.com, and I’ll send you both copies of Faerie Winter once it’s released, too. (Within the next couple weeks, I think. Soon now!)

And many thanks to everyone again for sharing your visions of spring with me.

“Tell me, Liza, do you believe that spring will come?” (Part 1 of 2)

Thank you, everyone, who answered Karin’s question to Liza this winter, and told me whether you believe that spring will come. I’ve loved reading through all your answers, and I’ve loved rereading them just now.

I’m going to choose the random winner first. Having pasted all the entries below, I’m going to now random.org to choose a random number between 1 and 32, and …

… umm, the winner is also one of the non-random winners I was planning to announce in the next post. (Really! The random number generator just backed up my non-random decision! :-)) So, trying this again …

… the new random winner is deire, who made me smile with her simple, elegant answer:

“I believe in love even when I am alone. I believe in God even when he is silent.” –WWII Refugee
I believe in spring even when it is snowing.”

deire, email me your address at janni@simner.com, and when I get my author copies of Faerie Winter in the next few weeks, I’ll send one your way.

Non-random winners next post! In the meantime, all the entries are still pasted below–I really recommend reading them (and commenting) if you’d like small doses of belief in spring. Because you mostly did believe in spring, and if you didn’t, it was only because you saw things to love in winter as well.


supertailz: “Sometimes, when my thighs are so cold it feels bone-deep I am sure that Spring will never come to melt away the icicles that take up residence in my muscles. “ And, later: Spring wouldn’t be cruel enough to be like JUST WHEN YOU FIGURED OUT THIS WHOLE WINTER SHENANIGAN I’M TAKING IT AWAY. Right?

thunderemerald: “I believe in prizes, and therefore I believe that February must end.”

patty1943: “The wild blueberries on the river bank are flowering. I think they may be sorry, but they think it is spring.”

dolphingirl455: “I believe Spring will come, because if spring doesn’t come, Faerie Winter won’t come.”

lnhammer (who’s disqualified from actually winning on account of living in the same house where the author copies will live :-)): “we in equatorial heights believe that / sunlight strengthens sooner than there in low lands”

movingfinger: “plum and magnolia trees are blooming and a mockingbird who doesn’t know about the local evil crows is singing up a storm …”

azang: “Yes, spring will come. It is inevitable, like death.”

theironhoncho: “Isn’t it funny how the trees know?”

cloudshaper2k points me to Stephen Curtis Chapman’s take on the matter.

starlady38: “Spring will come again … otherwise we’d all be subject to the White Witch and her Winter …”

authorwithin says “We wait in winter’s grip for spring,” and then draws a picture as well: “Within each snowflake lives the promise of spring.”

akamarykate: “I got news this weekend that made me believe in spring again … They’re walking a tightrope between hope and fear, but hope is winning. “

desertmorn: “But at the core of even the most dormant seed, a tiny speck of light endures. That light is Hope.”

brownkitty: “I believe that spring will come because the sun still rises.”

artemisgrey: “Spring will banish grey / And green will show the way”

papersky“Oh Spring will come / but not for a long time”

galeni: “If the earth still turns, and I still breathe, then there will be a spring …”

Meg Weathers: “i wholeheartedly believe in happy endings. so of course it will!”

nolly: “Spring will come like a Slinky falling down stairs …”

coraa: “The bowl of ice that I made, inadvertently, is surprisingly beautiful … It’s almost beautiful enough to want to hold on to, for all that I do not love the cold.

_twilight_“Cordiform burdens / leaves in disarray / And always late / with vivid green”

rushthatspeaks: “Maybe spring came in December. Maybe it will come in August. I can’t notice under this patina of weather … Right now, the seasons are unmoored for me …”

bonesoffaerie: “… i think spring is coming. sadly. i really like winter.”

mummo74: ” … all you want to be is a part of this beautiful forest. so you stand still, your feet will turn into roots slowly, and it takes only two weeks until you turn into a tree completely.

deire: “I believe in spring even when it is snowing.”

white_infinity“… just when we think that Old Man Winter has gone into hibernation he gets out his cane and whallops Tucson yet again with freezing temperatures … just to show us he ain’t dead yet and is mighty cranky

davidlubar“I believe spring never left. I just occasionally lose the ability to perceive it.”

mellanhead: “It has been along cold winter that feels like it is never ending “

abgafford: “We are breaking out the shorts and flip flops …

autumnbutturfly: “I see the buds bursting open, feel their urgency though this practice takes days. “

DotHutchison: “But the other winters…the mental winters that leave me stripped bare as the northern trees, a skeleton of memory and sorrow that yields to the frigid winds and wonders if spring and growth will ever come, I’ve experienced those as well …”

yukinakid“See, the thing about the seasons is that no matter where you are, it’s always spring somewhere.”

“You stopped and pointed, and you said that’s a crocus …”

Well, I don’t know about spring, but February has given way to March. Many, many thanks to everyone who entered my Faerie Winter contest and told me why you believe that spring will come. Because for the most part you all do believe in spring, which is a lovely thing all by itself.

I’ve really been loving reading all your entries! If you’re living in a place where spring still seems a long way off, you might enjoy reading them, too.

I’ll reread them over the next few days, and then I’ll choose (and draw) winners!

“And February was so long that it lasted into March …”

February is nearly over, there are frost warnings in the desert tonight, and tomorrow — Monday, February 28 — is the last day to tell me whether you believe in spring, and in so doing, maybe win a copy of Faerie Winter.

What do you think? Will February last right into March? Or is this the last snowfall, after all?

Do you believe that spring will come? Go here to enter.

“And I tried to remember, but I said, ‘what’s a flower?'”

Here in the desert, small signs of spring are showing up (the aloes are getting ready to bloom, for one thing) even as we wonder how much affect our recent deep freeze has had (the mesquites are looking rather brown for this time of year).

But it’s still February, and that means there’s still time to win a copy of Faerie Winter by answering Karin’s question to Liza: Do you believe that spring will come?

Those of us in decidious climes (or non-deciduous climes subject to winter frosts) have seen trees drop their leaves, the world go brown, and then green come around again. Liza, living in the aftermath of the War with Faerie, has not:

Pale yellow light smudged the horizon by the time Matthew and I reached the fields outside our town, Franklin Falls. A brown ragweed vine swung sleepily back and forth across our path. I cut the thing free and flung it into the forest. It could do little harm now, but when spring came such vines would once again seek our blood.

If spring came. My gaze strayed to the fields beside the path. They were white with new snow, only a few dead grasses poking through. The shivering green leaves of winter potatoes and turnips and beets should have long since broken the frozen soil, but this year they hadn’t grown at all. My hand moved to Matthew’s back, and he edged closer to me. We relied on those root vegetables to help us through the spring while we waited for corn and beans and squash to grow.
The adults said these dead fields had been normal Before, that there’d been no winter crops and spring had always come just the same. Yet even they’d grown uneasy when the pines and firs had gone brown and dropped their needles. Why trees dropping needles should be more unsettling than trees dropping leaves I didn’t know, but after that, the Council agreed that we should go on short rations until the spring crops came in–just to be safe, they said.

The adults in Liza’s town believe in–say they believe in–spring, but of course, the adults in Liza’s town have been wrong before.

What do you believe, living here, in this February, far from Liza’s world? Do you believe that spring will come?

Go here to enter/answer.

Spring and what comes after

Thank you, everyone who’s been posting your thoughts on whether spring will come. You all have so much faith (ultimately) in spring … and all your entries are making me smile. If you haven’t entered, you have the rest of February (however long February chooses to last) to do so. You can also wander over if you just want some good thoughts to hold against the winter cold.

As Faerie Winter wends its way out into the world (April 5!), I’ve been working on Faerie 3, and posting short snippets on facebook and twitter. (It’s a fun way to break the isolation of being alone with a book a little, and that others are enjoying them is a nice bonus. :-))

For those who aren’t there but like snippet-age (snippet-age?), here are the out-of-context bits I’ve posted there so far:


“He came to me in the rain, as the first maple leaves were surrendering their green.”

“What did it mean, to be known by a seed?”

“Her vine hissed and drew away, sprouting thorns as it did.”

“Later, when we were alone, we’d speak all our fears to one other.”

“What would make a seed cry?”

“‘Nothing human is ever simple,’ Karin said, but she did not deny the rest.”

“Often they would walk together through the forests of Faerie, summoner and speaker, she calling the things of that world to them, he listening to their voices and telling her what they said.”

“It’s not just some gushy love story. Of course it’s not. Because the summoner had a daughter, too.”

“We weren’t in Faerie. I carried no dead shadows. None of it had happened yet, and Matthew and I both knew that the things that hadn’t happened didn’t have to happen.”

“‘That’s the last time we let you two listen to stories with kissing in them,’ Allie declared.”

“Tell me, Liza, do you believe that spring will come?”

ETA: I’m not yet sure about spring, but March has come, so the contest is now closed, though you’re welcome to keep talking about spring and why you do or don’t believe in it. Thanks for all the fabulous entries! I’ll choose/draw the winners within a few days.


February has hit the northern hemisphere with a vengeance this year. I often say that Tucson’s February–our cabin-fever season–is August, but even here, night temperatures are dipping into the teens, with accompanying gas/water outages and school closings. (If you want to shut down Southern Arizona, apparently all you have to do is turn off the heat.) More northern climes are, meanwhile, buried under some serious snow.

Faerie Winter is very much a book about winter. I’ve told friends that if you want to understand the book, all you really need to do is to listen to Dar Williams’ February, which did get pretty constant play as I was writing the book, trying to remember what a Midwestern winter felt like as I wrote through a Southwestern summer.

Liza, my protagonist, of course knows all about Midwestern winters, or at least about those cold dark days when your feet are always damp and you can never quite seem to get warm. But she’s never known the gray that goes with the cold, because in her post-apocalyptic world, the trees are so thick with the faerie magic that makes them seek human blood and bone, they never drop their green leaves.

Until now.

Now, the trees have surrendered their green, and for the first time Liza is living through a winter that’s not only cold, but gray:

[At first] I’d laughed with the others, to see the leaves burst into fiery colors and fall from the trees, thinking only of how much easier winter would be, if the trees slept and we could walk through the forest unafraid. That was nearly a half year ago, though. The leaves had since turned to brown, and the world their falling had left behind reminded me of the black-and-white photos in the oldest books from Before. It reminded me of the land where I’d found the quia seed. I hadn’t known any world could be so gray … I’d tried to call acorns and maple seeds, remembering how I’d once felt the green at the heart of all seeds yearning to grow. I felt nothing but a shadowy gray silence … The days were as long as the nights now, and winter still hadn’t released its hold on the land. I could fight a willow’s strangling roots, or a hawk’s poisoned talons, but I didn’t know how to fight a world that didn’t want to grow.

After six months, Liza, like so many of us in winter, isn’t quite sure she believes the gray will ever end. Yet we, at least, have an advantage: we’ve seen winter turn to spring before. Liza hasn’t:

Adults believed that spring would come, somewhere deep inside, for all that they were careful of our rations. Some part of them couldn’t imagine green wouldn’t return to the world, as if green was something we were born to. I did not understand it. Deep inside I felt as if this gray had surely gone on forever, and the forests I’d fought all my life had been merely illusions.

The adults in Liza’s town assure her she’s worrying needlessly, even though it’s not just oaks and maples and other deciduous trees dropping their leaves, but also evergreen pines and firs.

Karin, a faerie plant mage, offers no such reassurances, however:

The grasses sighed wearily and retreated back into the snow. “They’re not dead,” I said. “Not completely, not around you.”

“They are not dead.” Karin sounded as tired as the grasses had. “But they are dying. Tell me, Liza, do you believe that spring will come?”

Why ask me? I was no plant mage. “The adults in my town believe it.” They believed in spite of the gray trees and gray skies, the failed crops and the too-long winter.

“So it is with the human adults in my town as well.” Karin held a hand out to the falling snow as we walked on. Snowflakes melted against her skin. “Yet I have never heard the trees so quiet. They yearn for darkness, and some have given way to it. Others slip into sleep, accepting that they may never wake. I am told this is the way of your world. It is not the way of mine. I have never known a forest that was not green. What do you believe?”

So here’s the contest. Answer Karin’s question. Tell me: “Do you believe that spring will come?” And tell me why or why not.

You can answer in any form you like–a straightforward text answer, a story, art or music, some other form I haven’t thought of. You can post your answer here, or you can post it in your own journal with a mention of Faerie Winter and link to it in a comment here. You can answer even if you live in a place where it isn’t winter right now, too. (But where it will be winter by the time Faerie Winter comes out–that’s April in the U.S. and Canada, May in Australia.)

Deadline: Whenever February ends. That is, midnight the last day of this month, in whatever time zone you live in. (If February doesn’t end, no prizes will be given.)

Prizes: A signed copy of Faerie Winter, sent whenever I get my author copies, probably sometime in March. I’ll choose (at least) one winner based on the responses themselves, and I’ll also choose one winner completely at random. (Because anyone breaking through the cold and ice to take part in a contest deserves something just for that, right?)

Faerie 3! And … looking for a Faerie series name

Some of you have probably figured this out already from my character letters, but: there will indeed be a third faerie book, which I’m working on right now. Yay!!! The plan is for book 3 to be the final faerie book, and in it Liza will return to faerie at last and … other things will happen as a result. 🙂

The book is still untitled, and will probably come out a couple years after Faerie Winter. (Faerie Winter is, I should add, a standalone, in much the way Bones of Faerie was–with room for more story, but without any two-year cliffhangers.)

So with three books, we need a Faerie series name. Titles we’re considering include Faerie Shadows (also a possible working title for book 3) and After Faerie … but neither my editor nor I are strongly committed to either of them yet, and thought that as readers you all might have other ideas we hadn’t thought of.

So if you do, share them in comments!

No deadline, at least not until whenever we choose an official series name. If you suggest a name that we use, I’ll send you a signed copy of any book I’ve published or any anthology (but not magazine) I’ve had a story published in, however obscure, that you like, along with, of course, my undying gratitude.

If there are multiple suggestions for a series name, I’ll go with whoever posted it first. (For the book part–the undying gratitude part will go to you all. :-)) Do echo any you see and like though–because knowing there’s a sort of consensus on a title is valuable, too.

Here are the flap copy summaries of the first two books, in case they spark something:


Bones of Faerie

The war between humanity and Faerie devastated both sides. Or so 15-year-old Liza has been told. Nothing has been seen or heard from Faerie since, and Liza’s world bears the scars of its encounter with magic. Trees move with sinister intention, and the town Liza calls home is surrounded by a forest that threatens to harm all those who wander into it. Then Liza discovers she has the Faerie ability to see—into the past, into the future—and she has no choice but to flee her town. Liza’s quest will take her into Faerie and back again, and what she finds along the way may be the key to healing both worlds.

Janni Lee Simner’s first novel for young adults is a dark fairy-tale twist on apocalyptic fiction—as familiar as a nightmare, yet altogether unique.


Faerie Winter

Liza is a Summoner. She can draw life to herself, even from beyond the grave. And because magic works both ways, she can drive life away. Months ago, she used her powers to banish her dangerous father and to rescue her mother, lost in dreams, from the ruined land of Faerie.

Born in the wake of the war between humanity and Faerie, Liza lived in a world where green things never slept, where trees sought to root in living flesh and bone. But now the forests have fallen silent. Even the evergreens’ branches are bare. Winter crops won’t grow, and the threat of starvation looms. And deep in the forest a dark, malevolent will is at work. To face it, Liza will have to find within herself something more powerful than magic alone.

Here at last is the sequel to Bones of Faerie, for all those fans of dark fantasy and dystopian adventure who thrilled to Janni Lee Simner’s unique vision of a postapocalyptic world infused with magic.


Thanks for jumping in!

I’m also planning a contest more specific to Faerie Winter–more on that in a couple weeks!