in his footsteps, learn his “trade”? If you were the only one who knew, would you keep his secret?
When 16-yr-old Kia is training to be a universal translator, she is co-opted into traveling as a translator 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.
Using her skill in languages – and another skill she picked up, the skill of picking locks – Kia unravels the secret of the 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?
Kia is quirky, with an ironic sense of humor, and a loner. Her sidekick, Agatha, is hopeless in languages and naive to the point of idiocy in Kia’s opinion, but possesses the wisdom and compassion Kia needs.
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Praise for The Occasional Diamond Thief by J. A. McLachlan
“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.” — BittenbyBooks.com
“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
Fiction and Fantasy Publishing. After over a decade as a college teacher, she is happy to work from home as a full-time author now.
✨✨✨✨✨J. A. McLachlan’s 10 favorite things ✨✨✨✨✨
Sunshine in a blue sky 🌞
Reading a good book 💗
Going out for a Victorian High Tea ☕️
Riding a bicycle on a warm day 🚴🏻
A cat purring – and especially kittens 🐱
Swimming in a heated pool 🏊🏻
Travelling to new places ✈️
The Canadian Rockies 🌲
Writing the second draft 😳
Decorating for Christmas 🎄