Monday, December 15, 2008

PBW Holiday Giveaway #5 -- Surprise Me

The winner of PBW Holiday Giveaway #3 -- Writer Secrets is:

Diane

Diane, when you have a chance please send your full name and ship-to info to LynnViehl@aol.com, and I'll get your package out to you. Thanks to everyone for sharing their secrets with us.

When I was a kid my mom often had to work two jobs to pay the bills, and with four brothers and sisters, a grandmother and an aunt in the house Mom struggled just to put enough food on the table. She coped with the financial demands of the holidays by keeping a Christmas club account at the bank, in which every week she would faithfully deposit a dollar. That gave her the enormous sum of fifty dollars to spend on Christmas gifts.

Even in those Jurassic days of my childhood, fifty bucks didn't go far, but Mom was inventive. She also saved S&H green stamps all year and redeemed them for things she couldn't afford to buy, like a hair dryer for my older sister. She baked cookies for weeks to have tins and plates to hand out to friends and neighbors. She covered old coffee cans with colorful contact paper and filled them with slightly-used crayons that I believe she bought in beat-up boxes from rummage sales and thrift stores. To this day I still associate the smell of coffee with crayons. She cleaned up used dolls, fixed their hair and sewed new outfits for them (I can only think of one or two dolls I ever received in a store-bought package.)

What she did best was surprise us. Even as oblivious as kids are, we knew there were certain gifts that Santa couldn't bring us, like new bikes. I don't know how we knew that -- whether Mom dropped subtle hints or we just accepted that we would never get anything so grand -- but we didn't ask. One year I wanted a bike, though, so bad it was all I thought or talked about to my siblings. I didn't ask for it, though. I think I asked for a kite and some art supplies.

I can still remember how shocked I was that Christmas morning to dash out and see a beautiful blue bike waiting for me beside the tree. Shadow (of course I named her) was not new, but she'd been fixed up and repainted. She had rub marks on the handlebars where some rust spots had been sanded off, but she was two-wheeler, with none of those baby training wheels, and fast -- when I rode her, she flew. I spent years on that bike, riding up and down every street in town, falling off and skinning my knees a thousand times, and loving every second of it.

Some of my favorite books bring back to me the wonder of childhood, the thrill of Christmas morning, and the astonishing feeling of being genuinely surprised. It's a bit harder for a story to do that to a writer -- as Laura Kinsale once said to me, we know where all the buttons are -- but a great storyteller can still swing it.

The walloping ending of City of Shadows by Ariana Franklin? Not once did I even suspect that was on the way. The last part of Hannibal by Thomas Harris? Never, in a million years, would I have guessed that turn of events would happen. It's not always surprise endings, either. In Majorie M. Liu's The Wild Road, I got hit with a surprise in the middle of the book -- one I should have seen coming, because I've read entire Dirk and Steele series at least half a dozen times -- but she got me anyway.

I love to surprise my readers, of course, which is why I spend so much time working on keeping the story lines from becoming too ho-hum. I think I've been most successful in sustaining that in my series work. The Darkyn novels have been called a lot of things, but rarely predictable. When my ninth StarDoc novel, Crystal Healer, comes out next year, I think I can almost guarantee my readers won't expect what happens. My editor certainly didn't.

Whether or not you like surprises (don't feel bad if you don't; not all of them are especially welcome, like the surprise birthday party. I also still haven't forgiven Thomas Harris for Hannibal) the thing to remember is that the surprise itself matters, too. Because generally whoever gave you that unexpected gift was thinking of how thrilled you'd be -- and hoping that whatever you weren't expecting would tell you how special you are to them.

For the fifth PBW Holiday Giveaway, I have:



Eight Surprises

That's right -- I'm not telling you what they are. In the true spirit of Christmas morning, if you win you'll have to wait until the package arrives. Okay, I'll let you shake the box a little: sounds like there are definitely books in there. One sounds like a signed novel of mine. I hear other things, too. Hmmmm...I think that's enough hints, don't you?

To have a chance to win this giveaway, in comments name a story or book that surprised you (or, if you can't pick just one, toss your name in the hat) by midnight EST on Tuesday, December 16, 2008. I'll draw one name at random from everyone who participates and send the winner all eight surprises, plus an extra stocking stuffer -- a signed, printed* copy of my December Darkyn novella e-book release, Master of Shadows. This giveaway is open to everyone on the planet, even if you've won something from PBW in the past.

*Printed by me on bond paper and placed in a three-ring binder.

Photo credit: © Yellowj | Dreamstime.com

130 comments:

  1. A book that surprised me? hmm. I'm still a little shaken by Kim Harrison's surprise, in, I believe, the fifth book of the series. I'd have to double check though....
    Loved the book
    Wasn't too thrilled with the surprise at the time, but see the importance of it.

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  2. Anonymous12:26 AM

    I know the surprise you're talking about in The Wild Road. It shocked me too. So much so, that I went back to Soul Song to refresh my memory.

    J.R.Ward has surprised me a few times in her BDB series, but I think the most memorable surprise for me was from Linda Howard in Kiss Me While I Sleep. I NEVER saw that coming at the end! (I'll even admit, it made me cry. I told Linda this once, & she chuckled. I told her I knew that he couldn't REALLY do it, but she just gave me a knowing smile and said, "You didn't think he could, but you weren't 100% sure.")

    ~ Michaela

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  3. Tara Janzen's "Loose and Easy." If you've been following the Crazy Mission series, then you too will be saying, "Holy &%$^!"

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  4. Gone With The Wind. I couldn't believe that Rhett really was walking away from Scarlett.

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  5. Seasons Greetings to everyone!
    One of my favorite authors who almost always has a surprise in store is Sheri S. Tepper. Her novels "The Companions" and "The Gate To Women's Country" are especially indicative of this. One of the biggest surprises about Sheri is that she mainly writes stand alone novels.
    A science fiction author writing stand alones? Does it not boggle the mind?
    Kathleen

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  6. Wow, I loved the story about your bike! It reminds me of when I was a kid, and my parents were having some financial difficulties. I really wanted a dollhouse for my Barbies and G.I. Joes, so my parents built me one. My dad built it out of wood and my mom painted it...doors, fireplaces, window boxes, paintings on the walls. It was (is) beautiful. The funny part is I walked in on my dad building it in the garage one day, and after he managed to suppress his look of panic, he told me it was a cabinet and I went about my business, none the wiser.

    (Things in) books that surprised me: the identity of the "Hard Ones" in The Gods Themselves by Isaac Asimov. Or more specifically, the identity of Estwald. Never saw it coming, and it's one of the reasons that's my favorite Asimov book today.

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  7. I can't think of one in particular. It's been a while since a book really surprised me (although I should admit here that I've mostly been reading textbooks lately, and I'm more likely to be surprised by books I read for fun).

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  8. The story ending that stunned me most is in your own short story A Diversity of Houses. It makes my mind boggle every time I think about it. And even now I still can't quite wrap my mind around it.

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  9. Hopping in the hat with my keeper collection

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  10. Night Lost was the last book that surprised me. And I still think I should have seen it coming! All the *&^@ clues were there; but I missed them.

    I loved that about the book and so it's one of my favourites.

    Heh, word verification: monami

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  11. Holly Lisle's Secret Texts surprised me. It took a sharp turn where I thought no fantasy novel would be brave enough to go.

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  12. I don't know if this is the type of surprise you meant, but when you asked the question, what came to mind was Lady and the Vamp by Michelle Rowen. I've enjoyed her other book, but they all have a comfortable feel such that I'd come to expect that from her as a writer. Lady and the Vamp sneaks that box lid open and shows a stretch I just didn't expect, and it works very well thank you :).

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  13. Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card was the last book to really surprise me. :)

    Thank you for all the chances to win goodies.

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  14. Kushiel's Justice by Jacqueline Carey. I know one of the characters died, but I was surprised by the how and why, more of the why.

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  15. There was definitely a surprise in a recent book I read, but there have been so many good reads lately I can't remember which! Eh, I'll look it up. In the meantime, tossing my name in the hat.

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  16. a book that totally surprised me was Chasing Hunter by Cort Malone. The entire books pretty fast paced, but at the end everything just went crazy. But it was an amazing book. I highly recommend it.

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  17. Ooh, I love surprises (usually). So I hope my name hops out of hat on this one. C. J. Cherryh's Foreigner - I had to keep going back to certain scenes - yup, that really did happen...

    Also, your book Rebel Ice - very big surprises that I didn't see coming.

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  18. Harry Potter, the end of the sixth and also the resolution in the seventh. I so fervently believed that Snape was the bad guy but I still didn't expect what he did at the end of Half Blood Prince! I actually found an old blog post yesterday where I ranted about my shock!

    That story about your bike is fabulous :)

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  19. The Kim Harrison one was one I had to think about straight away as well. Or George Martin's Game of thrones series, that is full of twists and turns. And I love it when an author surprises you with a character who isn't as good or bad as you thought he or she was to begin with.

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  20. tossing name in hat please

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  21. I don't know if it is a good or bad thing but i can't remember a book where something happened that was really a surprise. There is always a clue that cue me on. Which is finally disappointing :(
    ;)

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  22. I was surprised by Kate Atkinson's 'Human Croquet' . I loved that book.

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  23. Robin F5:06 AM

    When I was young I was an avid reader of Agatha Christie and while I knew that there was a surprise in the Murder of Roger Ackroyd that wasn't the one that really surprised me, it was Curtain. I was really shocked by the ending.

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  24. My favourite surprises are at the end of A Song for Arbonne by Guy Gavriel Kay. They are built up and executed so beautifully that every time I read that book, I think "That's the way I want to write."

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  25. Twilight. I'm not usually a paranormal reader, especially not about vampires, but my interest was peaked by the reaction of my younger daughter, who at the time she read it was only reading manga at the time. So, for her to read an actual book and like it, I knew it had to be good. I didn't get to read it until my older daughter had read it, though, and her reaction solidified it. I HAD to read it. I was thoroughly sucked in to that whole world and just ate up all four books. Oh, and the fact that it was a YA book - another genre I never read in since I was a young adult - was another reason I was surprised - because I liked it so much.

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  26. The third book in the Sundered Quadrology - Lady of Mercy - by Michelle Sagara West.

    I'm not going to say what happens at the end because it would be a huge spoiler. But all the time I was reading it I had a little niggle at the back of my mind that something was not quite right. Even so I found myself completely surprised at the end.

    And what happens puts a completely different perspective on the book. To the point where you want to read the whole thing again knowing what you know at the end. One of the few times I've not read the end of a story and been glad I didn't.

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  27. *twines holly and ivy around the hat*

    *throws name in*

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  28. I can't think of any so I'm tossing my name in the hat.

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  29. StaceyB7:08 AM

    I guess who surprises me the most is Steve King and Dean Koontz. I never quite know what to expect when I read their books.

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  30. It's rare that I'm truly surprised by a book, but the last one I remember being surprised by was Jodi Picoult's My Sister's Keeper. She's a talented writer, but I haven't trusted her since then. I hate feeling tricked.

    -DiDi

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  31. There were some surprises in Dust by Elizabeth Bear. She put a fantasy spin on a classic sf idea.

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  32. Just tossing my name in the hat. I can't think this morning.

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  33. Keita Haruka7:40 AM

    "Tigana" by Guy Gavriel Kay. Some of the twists in that book I never saw coming because you NEVER see them in fantasy novels. It was a very brave book that tore my heart to pieces to the extent that I simply haven't had the courage to reread it. No other book's make me hate it and love it with equal intensity, or came close to being so surprising.

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  34. Tiger in the Well, a Sally Lockhart book by Phillip Pullman. Surprising and a disturbing.

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  35. Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman. I know, I know, it was even in the title, but somehow I missed it, or assumed it was only symbolic.

    Fantastic book, btw.

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  36. Paula7:47 AM

    I don't remember any mind-blowing surprises right now, so I'm just tossing my name in the hat.

    I really want to read The Wild Road, I'm a big fan of that series.

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  37. One of the surprises for me was when I first started reading the Sookie Stackhouse books a couple years ago. I didn't particularly like Sookie early on and thought that perhaps the books weren't for me, but I quickly warmed to her. The second surprise was how much I adored Eric (and disliked Bill, even from the beginning). I usually don't go for the 'bad boy' type that Eric seems to represent, but there's something about him. Plus I got to see another side of him in one of the books. ;)

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  38. I think the last thing that made me say "I did NOT see that coming" was the truth about Nic in Night Lost.

    Other authors who regularly surprise me: Kelley Armstrong, Patricia Briggs, Lois Bujold, Scott Westerfield. Jordan Summers has some surprises up her sleeve, too.

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  39. My mother also saved the S&H green stamps!! All year! That's how I got anything under the tree. She also tried the Christmas Club, but money was so very scarce at times, I think she ended up with $22 that year. Still, she did what she could. I had a father, but he was an alcoholic. Things were fine for a few years until he got bad...

    But I digress!

    The Nine Tailors by Dorothy L. Sayers. That is the one and only book I have ever read where I never saw the ending coming and as heavy into music as my background is, you'd think I'd have seen it coming.

    But I didn't.

    And it was exceptional!

    theo

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  40. I know I've been pleasantly surprised by more than one story, but I'm drawing a blank this morning! It must be too early. Please toss my name in the hat. Thanks!

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  41. Sheila8:36 AM

    Just tossing my name into the hat.

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  42. I can't really remember the last one that surprised me. It might have been Hostage to Pleasure by Nalini Singh.

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  43. Not thinking this morning so just tossing my name into the hat.

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  44. Is it too suck upish to say the Darkyn novels? :)

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  45. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie. Did not expect the ending to it.

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  46. Isabelle Allende's writing tends to surprise me. Wonderful details --like green hair, a woman parading a bed in front of her rival's house etc--little details that add so much.

    Rashda

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  47. I can't think of one off the top, so I'll just throw my name in the hat. *slamdunk*

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  48. "Crossing the Line" by Karen Traviss. I was not expecting what happened to a main character at all.

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  49. Beauty Sleep by Cameron Dokey surprised me. Not something that happens very often in fairy tales!

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  50. I'm throwing my name into the hat :)

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  51. The latest twist in Suzanne Brockmann's Troubleshooters series. I didn't see the changes in the Sophia - Decker relationship coming.

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  52. The Book Thief surprised me.

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  53. Denise9:48 AM

    In REMAINS OF THE DEAD by Wendy Roberts, there's a surprising twist at the end. Upon a second read, I could see all of the clues that led up to the surprise, but the first time I completely missed the hints. I don't want to say more to avoid spoiling the end for anyone else.

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  54. (this is not sucking up, btw :) Back in undergrad, a new friend and I began swapping books. In the spirit of being a good sport, I agreed to try one of her SF books. I always thought they were nerdy and never really gave them a shot- the first one she handed me was Star Doc. Once I started reading it I couldn't put it down. The thing that surprised me is that I was type casting all SF books and was missing out on a lot of great authors. From there I branched out into a lot of different genres and authors, so it really expanded my reading selection.

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  55. I can sure remember which of your books surprised me. Night Lost. I had to go back and reread several parts saying duh! The clues were there but...so much for my powers of deduction.

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  56. *crossing fingers and toes*

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  57. The Memory Keepers Daughter- I know it's hard to believe since it's been out there for so long and it's the foundation of the book, but before I read it I hadn't really paid attention to what it was all about. (Didn't even read the back blurb.)

    When I got to the part early on where the Husband did what he did- I literally gasped out loud in the break room at work saying, "Oh NO he didn't!?"

    Can't say that it was a great read but THAT part made it better- just because I love when an author does something unexpected!

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  58. J.R. Ward's book, Lover Unbound totally threw me and I'm still not sure if that I liked the ending. Also, the several of the later Harry Potter books have unforseen twists.

    I loved reading this blog post. I have to say that made me a little teary.

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  59. I know I have been blown away by numerous authors. However, at the time, I can't remember one. Throwing my name in the hat.

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  60. Kristen10:22 AM

    Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen had a nice little surprise in it and was surprised by Kim Harrison's twist, too.

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  61. Hmm, a book that surprised me. None spring to mind at the moment, so tossing my name in the hat.

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  62. I read a historical romance this fall that had a real twist--the heroine was blind. I did not know that--the clues were there but very subtle. Won't give the title and spoil it for future readers.

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  63. Rebel Ice.

    Didn't see that happening. No way.

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  64. Tossing my name in the hat.

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  65. Patry Francis got me with The Liar's Diary. I loved it because it was all there though, when I thought through it after ward. I hate sudden surprises that don't then make sense in context, like the author JUST wanted a surprise ending. :)

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  66. Desiree10:59 AM

    I actually thought the suprise at the end of Hannibal was great. Thomas Harris took a big risk (in the spirit of risky writing) and I was glad he didnt end the book with some sappy happy ending. I was ticked though when they cut that part out of the movie...

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  67. Throwing my name in the hat!

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  68. Karen W.11:31 AM

    This one is easy for me. Definitely FORTUNE IS A WOMAN by Elizabeth Adler.

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  69. Beyond Varallan with the mother of all cliff hangers. :)
    I'm sure there are more, I just can't think of them at the moment (I'm sure I will think of tons at two in the morning).

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  70. I'm going to cheat and parallel your Christmas memories--but it's a minor cheat as a book is involved!

    One of my favorite gifts ever was a used copy of the book *Watership Down* given to me by some family friends who were (and are) very poor. I was too young to get the "poor" part, but I treasured that book then, and years later, I still do. Wrapped with the book was a small, glass rabbit, and both adorn a special shelf in my home.

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  71. I can't think of any right now, but I am thinking of one I'd like to know, who the Ghost is in Nalini Singh's Pys series.

    I remember the days of S&H green stamps and helping our mother pick out what to order next, or at least hinting.

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  72. The Great Gatsby surprised the heck out of me! So did American Gods, but I should have seen that one coming.

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  73. It's too early in the morning for me to remember my name let alone a book that really surprised me, although the ending of Pay It Forward (the movie) left me emotionally crippled for days ...

    So I'll just throw my hat in the ring on this one. Merry Christmas!

    — Bonz

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  74. "Tara Road" by Maeve Binchy. The surprise was in the middle, if I recall, and it stunned me. My mother read it after me, and had the same reaction.

    I've read a few recently that I've been surprised they ever got published, but that's not what we're talking about. :)

    Heather

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  75. The Egyptologist by Arthur Phillips. I didn't see at first how very unreliable all the narrators would be, or how crazy the mc would become. Fascinating.

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  76. Sorry to post twice ... but no one has mentioned the other book that really surprised me. It is Jude Deveraux's classic, Knight In Shining Armor. The book brought me back to romance, but its ending surprised and stunned me. I believe it did so for quite a few romance readers.

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  77. I just finished reading Caught Stealing by Charlie Huston. This is a new author for me and this one kept me on edge from beginning to end!

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  78. I love both big surprises and small ones, but the one that sticks out most in my head is the very, very end of "The Iron Ring" by Lloyd Alexander. It wasn't a huge plot-point surprise, just a little tiny one that made me cry happy tears. :)

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  79. I'm drawing a blank on this one, so I'm just throwing my name in. I love your Star Doc books, btw.

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  80. "Darkwitch Rising", The Third Book in the Troy Game series, by Sara Douglass did a huge number on me.

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  81. Tossing my hat in - I can't think of a good surprise this morning *tea hasn't hit yet*

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  82. Liar's Oath by Elizabeth Moon -- I couldn't predict the way I thought the story would end.

    E

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  83. The latest JR Ward book. I don't remember why, but I do remember being shocked.

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  84. There were a couple twists in Megan Whalen Turner's THE QUEEN OF ATTOLIA that really had me reeling.

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  85. I have a really bad memory right now. The only ones I can think of are The Black Jewels Trilogy by Anne Bishop and The House of Night series by P.C. and Kristin Cast. So please throw my name in the hat.

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  86. I enjoyed your heartwarming story. A book that I was enthralled with and did surprise me greatly was Any Bitter Thing by Monica Wood. Memorable.

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  87. madscientistnz2:20 PM

    I can't remember being surprised by a book, probably because I keep reading the end first. Another bad habit is reading online reviews even if they say they contain spoilers.

    One book related thing that did surprise me was how much a friend enjoyed Patricia Briggs work. She read through everything I could lend her in three weeks, multiple times and then brought the two books I didn't own (and gave them to me - she's a very good friend!)

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  88. Anonymous2:29 PM

    I have to go with book 5 of the Harry Potter series (The Order of the Phoenix). By books 6 and 7 I was expecting main characters to get offed, but not in book 5. I was shocked when Rowling killed off a major character! That simply does not happen, especially in YA! ~JK

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  89. Hello from Montreal PBW

    I can't think of any book at this time. Please enter my name into your hat please.

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  90. Tossing my name in the hat

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  91. I'd like to put my name in the hat as well, please!
    I can't think of the last book that surprised me - I know there was one, I just can't recall it. (Which would suggest it wasn't a good surprise if I've blanked it out!)

    Merry

    =^..^=

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  92. My mother was extremely frugal all her life. Up where we lived she saved pinky stamps and then redemmed them for gifts. No one could match her skills in that arena. An author that has always resounded with me is Gregg Loomis. Always an unexpected diversion.

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  93. I was surprised by some of the things that took place at the end of "Shades of Dark" by Linnea Sinclair. Great book though!

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  94. Well, I'm so tired that I can't remember a story that had surpised right now O.o

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  95. Michelle W.5:37 PM

    Not many books really surprise me anymore. It might take until like right before the "event", but I usually pick up on all the clues or just theorize it to myself.

    But I do have to say that both Laurel K. Hamilton and Kim Harrison surprised and shocked me recently. LKH just made up for it in Swallowing Darkness, but I'm still really surprised (and very, very mad!) about KH's decision.

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  96. Karin Slaughter's "Triptych" really surprised me.

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  97. Tossing my name into the hat.

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  98. Hmmm. Probably that Dana Stabenow killed off Kate Shugak's honey, Jack.
    I guess I coulda/shoulda known but that was a surprise.
    Thanks again for doing all these lovely giveaways.

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  99. Oh yes, I love books that surprise me. I know there have been several, but off the top of my head, I would say it was one of Kim Harrison's books. What caught me off guard was the issue with the father...didn't see that one coming. *L*

    I know a few of J. D. Robb's In Death series also surprised me...I am so in love with that series. *L*

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  100. High Noon by Nora Roberts. She killed someone I never would have expected!

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  101. Hmmm, I can't think of a recent book surprise, although I'm sure I'll think of several as the day wears on. (sort of like the snappy comeback way after the fact!)

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  102. Most stories are surprising to me, since I tend to immerse myself, and get caught up in the story.

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  103. I'm too tired to think right now so I'd like to just throw my name in the hat, please.

    Cheryl S.

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  104. both of Wendy Roberts books of her books in the Ghost Dusters Mystery series surprised me at the end.

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  105. Tammy8:16 PM

    Oh geesh, I dont know.

    :::tossing name in hat:::

    Happy HOlidays everyone!

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  106. I'd like to toss my name in the hat, please and thank you.

    Sooo many books have surprised me that I really just can't pick one. :-)

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  107. Anonymous9:18 PM

    The ending to "Faefever" by Karen Marie Moning surprised me. Never expected that to happen!

    Terri W.

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  108. Just throwing my name in for Master of Shadows---it would be a nice Christmas surprise if I win it. : )

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  109. Without giving anything away, Stay the Night (that I was fortunate enough to win an ARC of) left me picking up my jaw up off the floor after reading the last sentance. I want more... love, love, loved it.

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  110. Certain parts at the end of Evermore shocked the heck out of me,but it was a good kind of shock.

    Lisa in NC

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  111. I was definitely surprised a number of times, and not always pleasantly, while reading The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy. There are a bunch of twists in that book that definitely blew my mind.

    I've also been surprised a number of times reading novels by James Rollins.

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  112. Anonymous10:14 PM

    I can't think of a good example of a surprising book/story, but please put my name in the hat.

    Crick

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  113. Brother Odd by Koontz, especially the last few pages!

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  114. Harry Potter #6 when Dumbledore dies....I was shocked.

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  115. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Whoa! Don't want to give out any spoilers.

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  116. In Stone's Clasp by Christie Golden. I did *not* see the twist coming.

    You've spun me on a few surprises. :)

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  117. just putting name in hat

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  118. There have been a few that surprised me but most recently would be Karen Marie Moning's FaeFever. I knew the lead was heading into her darkest hour but I so wasn't expecting the ending in that book.

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  119. I think it would be The Host by Stepenie Meyers. I was surprised that I liked it as much as I did and at the feelings it evoked in me.

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  120. Just putting my name in. I'm too tired to think of anything surprising.

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  121. I agree with the very first person who posted. The twist in Kim Harrison's fourth or fifth book (it's really bothering me that I can't remember which book.

    I cried lots.

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  122. I just discovered Claudia Dain.
    Loved her historical medieval historical trilogy The Willing Wife, The Holding and The Marriage Bed. Next up Dain's serial killer in A Kiss To Die For.

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  123. You know, I've had a few surprises with the novels I read, but none that really come to mind at the moment. Hate to be a poop. But I'd like a chance to win (=

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  124. Anonymous9:40 AM

    A twist in the plot of The Fire by Katherine Neville - after waiting about 15 years for the sequel surprised me - it was great.

    Marie

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  125. Hi Lynn,

    I had to think on this one but I have to say 'Archeron' by SK. I knew his history was going to be bad from snippets but not that bad. The 1st 2/3 of the book on his previous life is one of the most emotional pieces I have read.


    Thank you,
    Susan

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  126. I know I've read something this year that surprised me, but I'm drawing a blank on what it was, so please just throw my name into the hat.

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  127. You surprised me with the end of Twilight Fall. And it drove me crazy knowing how long I was going to have to wait for the next book.

    Very sneaky. :)

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  128. Two books that upset as well as surprised me with their endings were Dean Koontz's "Odd Thomas" and Jude Deveraux's "A Knight in Shining Armor".

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  129. I watched this movie called No Reservations recently and expected a light hearted comedy but was surprised to find the young actress gave a wonderful performance of a young girl who lost her mother and was trying to cope with it.

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  130. Tossing my name in the hat (and feeling very guilty that I don't have time right now to write a proper post).

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