Play the sentence game–with PIRATES


THANKS for stopping by!!  This round of the sentence game is over, but stop by again on Wednesday August 14th for a new round, this time with Rae Carson’s awesome third-book-in-the-trilogy The Bitter Kingdom.


My dog Athena is being coy here (she hates having her picture taken), but trust me, this is one of the most hotly-anticipated (and extremely fun) middle-grade books of the year, coming out on September 10th from Harper (HarperCollins children’s books).


The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates: Magic Marks the Spot by the very nearly piratical Caroline Carlson.

YOU can win an ARC (an early review copy) by playing the sentence game!

All you have to do to enter is pick a number between 1 and 344 and post it in the comments. I’ll respond with a sentence from that page in the book. When we’re all done (12:00 midnight on Friday), I’ll do a random number generator thingy and that person will be the winner.

Come back and read all the comments, and you’ll get some gargoylegeous sneak peeks!

[Oh, and if two (or more!) people pick the same page, that’s fine–if that page number is the winner, I’ll just do another random generator thingie for that page.]

Good luck!

Posted in Contests on 08/06/2013 01:48 pm


  1. 273!

    (can’t wait for September!)

    • Yay, the first entry! Here’s a line from page 273:

      (this is the gargoyle speaking)

      “This is no place for pirates! Arr!” He sniffled. “My arrs don’t even sound right here.”

  2. 237

    • Ooh, I was all seeing cross-eyed. Your 237 entry was preceded by an entry for page 273.

      But! Here you go. It’s a bit of advice about what to do if you’re about to mingle with pirates:

      “Remember,” Jasper whispered over his shoulder, “don’t make eye contact, and look as ferocious as you possibly can. You might even mutter a curse or two, if you’re up for it.”

  3. Sounds like a fun book!

    I pick page 199.

    • Hi Sharon–thanks for playing! It IS a fun book.

      And here’s a line from page 199, our heroine in a tight spot:

      As Hilary dodged Orange Mustache’s blade and attempted to whack him with her own, she performed several waltz steps, a twirl, and a handful of improvisational moves that would have sent Miss Pimm’s dance mistress into hysterics.

  4. Arr! Ok Matey, how about page 16?

    • That’s the spirit! From p 16:

      Our intrepid heroine’s father speaking here (oh, if he only knew!):

      “Terribly sorry you had to witness all this, my dear. Getting mixed up in magic hardly improves a young lady’s reputation.”

  5. Ahoy!! Number 246!

    • Avast! A sentence from page 246:

      The pirate battle had grown fiercer than ever around them, and a small part of Hilary wished she could abandon her hiding place and dash across the square with her sword glinting in the sun, like a hero out of a pirate yarn.

  6. Arrgh!

    • Blistering barnacles! (to quote another piratical type). from p 274. Here is the rawther chatty Claire talking to Our Heroine:

      “It was terribly thrilling when Miss Pimm told us all that we were on a mission to protect the kingdom, but then she said the villains were pirates heading for Gunpowder Island, and I knew at once that it must be you, and I got into quite a row with Philomena over it, and she made me stay in the kitchen washing oatmeal pots instead of coming to save you, and you know how difficult it is to scrub dried oatmeal off things when they haven’t even been soaked first!”

  7. Ohhhh I can’t wait to read this book! 293.

    • Hi Steph! It’s terrific–you’re going to adore it.

      AND a line from page 293. This is a letter “from the Humble Pen of Eloise Grayson”:

      …Not that the Dungeons are anything but pleasant–I have even befriended a small field mouse!

  8. avatar Robin Herrera

    Page 90, please! (Very excited for Caroline’s debut!)

  9. Yay! I can’t wait to read this! 222.

    • Maybe you won’t have to wait too long! Here’s a line from p 222. Charlie (who’s always eating, it seems) is speaking.

      “It’s typical High Society nonsense,” he said. “Why would anyone want to hand out magic to a bunch of finishing-school girls? Aren’t those girls terrifying enough as it is?”

  10. Page 177!! Can’t wait for September!

    • Thanks for playing the sentence game!! Here’s a line from p 177, featuring everybody’s favorite gargoyle:

      The gargoyle had hopped after her when she’d left Jasper’s cabin; now he rested his stone cheek against her leg and wound his tail around her ankle in a comforting sort of way.

    • Hey, you’re the winner! I’ll pop you an email right NOW. 😀

  11. Arrgh and blast! How about 227, Matey?

    • Aye-aye! From p 227. It’s a letter from Hilary to her friend Claire (on her pirate friend Jasper’s stationery):

      I’ve been sworn to secrecy on this matter, but I can’t bear to keep it a secret from you, so you must simply swear to secrecy as well.

  12. avatar MaryCatherine

    Can’t wait for this book. Page 54 please.

    • Avast! A line from p 54. The word “scallywag” appears on this page, but that’s not the line I chose:

      It’s me!” cried the gargoyle. “The gargoyle! And” he added, “I do not enjoy being kicked.”

  13. My lucky number, 44, please.

    (Cannot wait for this book to pub.)

    • Page 44, is it? A crochet hook appears on this page. It’s not too much of a spoiler to say–pay attention to those crochet hooks! And deportment class. Anyway, the line, Hilary talking here about Miss Pimm, the head of the finishing school:

      “She seems awfully fond of dancing sheep,” said Hilary, glancing doubtfully down at her cardigan.

  14. Really looking forward to this one. Page 144 please.

    • SO many people are excited for this book! It’s wonderful to see. From p 144. Hilary’s working on her sword-fighting skills here:

      When she wanted her sword to slice, it squiggled; when she wanted it to stab, it swooped out of her hand and into the air, nearly skewering Jasper’s hat on one occasion.

  15. So intrigued by this book! Page 1, please.

    • Yes!! From page one, Hilary is packing for finishing school:

      “A bathing cap!” said the gargoyle as Hilary packed the clothing from Miss Pimm’s in the gold-plated traveling trunk her mother had dragged out from some attic or another. “No self-respecting pirate would be caught dead in a bathing cap.”

  16. Page 71, please.

    • Certainly!! On p 71, poor Claire is covered with fish sticks:

      Claire was dripping with crumbs and smelling quite a bit like Queensport Harbor herself.

  17. Shiver me timbers! This book ‘pears to be a barrel full o’ laughs! How ’bout a go at 277, lass?

    • A true pirate, to be sure!! From p 277, a letter from Our Heroine Hilary to her best friend Claire:

      Please forgive me for taking so long to reply to your letter. It seems that doing battle on the High Seas does not leave one with much free time, and I have only just caught a spare moment in which to steal a page of Jasper’s stationery.

  18. avatar Ivonne Rovira

    What about page 110?

    • Sure thing! From p 110, which is a form for the OFFICE OF THE ROYAL RECORDS KEEPER:

      INSTRUCTIONS: Please write legibly in ink.
      Forms completed in blood will be rejected upon receipt.

  19. Avast! Me thinks September be a glorious month! Page 183, Lassie!

    • So it be, for certain sure, arrrr!

      (Really, I’m not very good at this.)

      From p 183, pirates in disguise:

      Jasper himself, clad in a pink feather boa, had painted over the Pigeon‘s name on the stern and rechristened it the Friendly Vegetable.

  20. My favorite number at the moment is 60. Page 60, please :)

    • You got it! From p 60, classes at Miss Pimm’s school:

      “In the mornings you’ll have handwriting, current affairs, embroidery, etiquette, and fainting.”

  21. Closing in on the stroke of midnight here…I don’t need an ARC, but I’d love to see what you’ll pick for page 343. Aye, towards the end of a fine tale, indeed.

    • Hi Jane!! From page 343, a special moment for our heroine:

      Perhaps the salt spray from the water had stung her eyes, for she knew perfectly well that a pirate never cries.

  22. fun!! page 19

    • Alas, the contest is over–it ended on Friday at midnight. Do stop by again this week, because on Wednesday I’m playing the sentence game with Rae Carson’s The Bitter Kingdom!

  23. This book looks terrific. 142 for me, please?

    • Alas, the sentence game contest has ended! Do come back on Wednesday, when I’ll be playing the game again with Rae Carson’s The Bitter Kingdom.

  24. 103 please

    • Thanks for checking in, but the sentence game for this book has ended. Try again with this week’s game, maybe?

  25. Page 324!!!!

    • Alas! The PIRATE sentence game is over–it ended last Friday. But if you want to enter a new contest, try for the ARC of The Bitter Kingdom!

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