Tag Archives: Movie review

#ReaderProblems Fandoms vs. Mobs

3 Feb

All right. All right. I’m not telling anyone they cannot have an opinion. You can. (Of course.) But I wanted to discuss an upsetting trend that bothers me down in my fandom core.

Readers ALWAYS hate every adaptation. And it isn’t just hate. It’s very loud, very aggressive, very complete hate. Welcome, fandom mobs.

I get it. I do. I am a reader before I am a writer. I’m in many fandoms, and I am in love with many worlds and characters and storylines, and they mean more to me than words on a page. Those worlds were my safe places when I wanted to escape. Those characters were my friends when I felt alone. Those storylines were my explorations when I couldn’t leave my home. Seeing them butchered is like witnessing the mockery of something you love. I get it. But don’t pick up the pitchfork yet.

Adaptations are adaptations. They are not a mockery, because they are not the same thing. The adaptations are inspired by the books we love, and we must keep that in mind…and we need that mind to be an open mind.

Why?

The reason movie and television producers pick up books and create adaptations is because there is already an audience. That audience, hopefully, will attend first, and then encourage others to attend too…even despite differences. If anything, I remember differences being another form of entertainment. When Harry Potter first started releasing (when I was 11), my friend delighted in explaining what was different, but she never said it was wrong or terrible or discouraged me from trying it out for myself. If anything, it made me consider reading the books, and she offered me her first one to borrow so I could catch up by the sequel’s release.

This is what we, as a fandom, need to concentrate on. We want to encourage new readers and viewership so they can make their own opinions…even if you don’t like the adaptation…and that means concentrating on being positive. A newcomer is not going to pick up a book if that book is in the hands of an angry mob with pitchforks. But if you sit back and—in the least—enjoy discussing everything, maybe they will pick up that book and join your awesome fandom.

The reason I wanted to talk about this, as I’m sure many of you know, is due to the second adaptation of The Mortal Instruments. The 2013 movie bombed, and now, the TV show has released. Personally, I loved the movie. I also enjoy the TV show. I’m not picky. (Obvs.) I read the book, and I know this isn’t the book. In fact, the producers made that quite clear. To me, as long as they get the “mood” of the characters, I’m pretty happy. In fact the show changed the overall tone of the story for me. As a reader, the books were a dark paranormal comedy, but the show is cheese all around. You know what? That’s okay. I could use some more cheese in my life. And one of my favorite parts of this entire experience was calling up my best friend to discuss the differences between the books and the show, because we read them together years ago and reread them together again. (Chernobyl, seriously?)

Then, as opinions rolled out, I saw it happen again. Just like the movie. The mob came out.

The disturbing trend of absolute hate in this adaptation, not once but twice, is a great example of the consequences that could follow if we keep doing this.

adaptations

The book, the movie, the show

When the movie released, everyone hated it. Hated it. Now that the show is out, I see more love for the movie than ever. I do find it ironic that everyone is suddenly talking about how much they loved The Mortal Instruments movie now that they dislike the TV show. Granted, marketing had a lot to do with the movie’s failure as well, but the fandom had a huge hand in it.

All the complaining about the movie convinced no outsiders to see the movie, and the poor sales caused the sequel’s cancelation.

So…where were all these “lovers of the movie” back then? I know I didn’t see many, because I felt rather alone in how much I enjoyed it. I saw it twice—in a nearly empty theatre both times—and I’ve watched it over a dozen times total. My DVD copy sits on my DVD player at all times. Other TMI fans even made me feel like a bad TMI fan because I liked it, but I still talked about how much I loved it. Don’t be afraid to say you enjoyed it, and don’t attack fellow fans. This is where we go wrong…but please don’t get me wrong. I had my dislikes about the movie as well. (Alec, for one, who I actually enjoyed in the TV show.) And I was vocal about that to my friend. That being said, I also gushed over Lily and Jamie and even Raphael. I told everyone I knew to at least try it out or to read the books. I also explained a lot of the missing elements to the friends who checked it out and wanted to know more.

It’s okay to complain or discuss differences, but try to be positive. This is a fandom, after all. You want more people to join it. Why not explain some differences of the show to newcomers and encourage them to get the book?

I might tell people I liked this or I disliked that, but I try to focus on what I liked the most. I try to tie it into the book. I try to do what my friend did for me all those years back with Harry Potter. I sit down with them and talk about it and explain questions the adaptations might not have covered and I encourage them to get the book and see for themselves.

Don’t let your fandom turn into a mob. Fandoms are supposed to be fun. They are supposed to be exhilarating and great. A place where all fans can come together and be friends and discuss and draw pictures and write fan-fiction and celebrate the books.

If we keep doing this, our fandoms will no longer be fandoms; they will be mobs. And those mobs are going to take out all future adaptations. Eventually, there will be no reason for producers to pick up a book’s crowd.

Read, encourage, repeat.

But, most of all, have fun again,

~SAT

Come get your books signed on February 13, from 1-3 PM during the Barnes & Noble Valentine’s Day Romance Author Event in Wichita, Kansas at Bradley Fair. Come meet Tamara GranthamCandice GilmerTheresa RomainJan Schliesman, and Angi Morgan! If you haven’t started The Timely Death Trilogy, don’t worry. Minutes Before Sunset, book 1, is free!

Minutes Before Sunset, book 1:

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Seconds Before Sunrisebook 2:

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Death Before Daylightbook 3:

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releasethree

#Saturdate Book covers, Amy Schumer, Assassins, Joy, and homemade fudge

9 Jan

This was cover reveal week—a week I have been waiting for—and let me tell you, it was everything I dreamed of. Your messages and support energize my author life. From the bottom of my little writer’s heart, thank you. I will do my best to keep everyone updated as everything moves along!

Let it snow,

~SAT

What I’m Writing:

::facepalm:: That’s how well Take Me Yesterday is going. But don’t fret. It’s probably because I put too much on my plate. I received and finished the first proofread of the Bad Bloods edit (so the third round of overall editing), and I had the cover reveal this week. I can only do so much.

What I’m Publishing:

As many of you saw, we had the cover reveal for Bad Bloods this week! I’m super excited so many of you are also super excited for the release of these two novels. Thank you for sharing, sending, and smiling. I finished the third round of edits, and three of you received an exclusive sneak peek. Here’s another shout out to those amazing readers: Jonas Lee, Amy B., and Macy <3 Stories. I hope you all enjoyed the exclusive sneak peek of November Rain! I can’t wait to start more giveaways as the year goes on! Which I will, via my newsletter, so be sure to sign up here if you want more chances to win prizes. Your information will never be given away, you can unsubscribe at any time, and I only send out an email once a month, if that. Finally, here is the #1lineWed winning preview. The theme was “new.”

I always knew it, but every time I thought of it, it felt like a new, terrible acceptance of a reality I would hate.

Add Bad Bloods to Goodreads: November Rain and November Snow

Visit the Facebook, Pinterest, and the Extras page.

Coming soon!

Coming soon!

What I’m Reading:

booksI started and finished Cress (book 3 in The Lunar Chronicles) by Marissa Meyer. Of course, I loved it. The Lunar Chronicles is a great series, especially if you love fairy tale retellings and sci-fi. (I’m not even a fan of fairy tale retellings, and I love this series because of its creativity and humor…and the sci fi-fantasy world building is fantastic.) The Lunar Chronicles is a phenomenal, humorous & exhilarating sci fi-fantasy blend. You can read my full review by clicking here, but I must say, Cress really made me love Thorne so much more than I already did. She was the perfect addition to the group.

I finished See How They Run (book 2 in The Embassy Row series) by Ally Carter, and I loved it even more than the first one. If you like conspiracies, assassins, secret societies, political espionage, and family/friendship tales, this one is for you. Trust me, you will not be disappointed. You can read my full five-star review by clicking here.

What I’m Listening To:

No music in my soul this week. I’ve been too busy to dance.

What I’m Watching:

 My treat this week was Joy. And oh boy, what joy Joy was. (Okay. That was awful. I apologize for my cheese.) But, seriously. Jennifer Lawrence’s latest is a pretty great flick. I, myself, thought the first half was a bit slow and strange, but it set up for a really great family dynamic which became vital in the later half of the film. (Basically, well worth it.) Plus, I loved seeing Choco from Domino again. Overall, the story was freakin’ great. Business-minded, inspiring, and female empowering, although I would say it should empower males too ;).

joy-movie-poster

MV5BOTgxMDQwMDk0OF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNjU5OTg2NDE@._V1_UY1200_CR90,0,630,1200_AL_So don’t kill me, but I FINALLY saw Inside Out, and while I know I’m super late to that Pixar party, JESUS. That movie WRECKED me. As many of you know, I moved around a lot as a kid. (In fact, I still move around a lot.) In my 24 years, I have lived in six different states and twelve different homes…so I move about every two years. Little Shannon could’ve been best friends with Little Riley. I cried. A lot. Probably because I had the “great” idea of watching this by my lonesome. It was an emotional roller coaster, anddddddd I loved it. If you could see inside my headquarters, fear is probably the one who rules my dashboard. I’m a bit skittish.

What I’m Baking, Making, and Drinking:

I made homemade fudge. (That stuff is not easy to make.) I failed. Terribly.

What I’m Wearing:

12401826_961355923911589_1413446780780607145_oI’m still in my collection of cat socks, and since so many of you asked about them, I posted a delightful photo to Instagram. Aren’t they glorious?

What I’m Wanting:

Honestly, sleep. Good, soundless sleep.

What I’m Dreaming Of:

On the day of my cover reveal, I had this CRAZY dream where an EMP went off and the World Wide Web was attacked until it shut down…so no one saw my Bad Bloods covers…and THAT’S what I was worried about.

(Seriously. Dream Shannon is kind of crazy.)

I think this is the author equivalent to students having nightmares about papers and tests not working out.

Because so many of you saw my first one, here’s a second one:

So, apparently, I’m best friends with Amy Schumer, and she is now a retired comedian turned boxer, and she has a match against Ronda Rousey. And, of course, I’m going to go, because I’m the supportive best friend. Amy even gave me extra tickets, so I took my dad, and my dad became best friends with Amy’s dad (even though he oddly just looked like Amy without hair). And I got lost in a bathroom? And I was really worried that Amy was going to hate me, because I was going to miss her match with Ronda.

(Please, tell me why my brain is so strange.)

What Else Is Going On:

Shannon managed to get her own pickup stuck in her own backyard. Do you realize how embarrassing that is? Massively.

~SAT

Exciting event news! On February 13, I’ll be one of several featured authors at a Barnes & Noble Valentine’s Day Romance Author Event in Wichita, Kansas. Another CTP author, Tamara Grantham, will be there too, so check her out. I’ll keep you all updated as more news comes out!

Barnes & NobleValentine's Day Romance Author Event

Also, my awesome publisher is giving away a Kindle Fire right here.

Giveaway-image

Starting your 2016 Reading Challenge? Minutes Before Sunset, book 1  in The Timely Death Trilogy, is FREE: (You could read it on your brand-new Kindle Fire.)

Minutes Before Sunset, book 1:

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Seconds Before Sunrisebook 2:

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Death Before Daylightbook 3:

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#Saturdate The Danish Girl, An Outline, Cat Socks, and Raven Boys

2 Jan

Happy New Year! I know we’re only two days into 2016, but I hope the New Year is already off to a great start. I’m really looking forward to what 2016 brings. This year, so far, I have two book releases planned, a possible signing at B&N, and a signing in St. Louis in the fall. I hope I can add to that as the year progresses! My overall writing goals include working on The Tomo Trilogy and another, brand-new, never-be-seen trilogy I have yet to talk about openly. The first book is written, but in need of a rewrite. Who knows? Maybe I’ll even find a way to get those out sooner to you rather than later. ;)  Either way, I’m looking forward to 2016, and I hope you are too!

What I’m Writing:

I’ve actually been working really hard on Take Me Yesterday, book 2 of The Tomo Trilogy. After reviewing Take Me Tomorrow, I realized some major mistakes throughout the second book, so I’ve been re-outlining to get a better, more precise plot. (This sounds much nicer than it actually is. It involved a lot of self-loathing and staring at the wall and waded up papers and empty pens.) Ironically, I actually sold my very last copy of Take Me Tomorrow, so the world does seem to be telling me I must finish this trilogy next. We will see.

What I’m Publishing:

Whew! I finished the second round of edits for Bad Bloods, so now we have proofreaders going over it. I also sent out a newsletter asking for help during the cover reveal on January 6, so that’s exciting! (I can’t believe that’s happening in less than a week.) The winning #1lineWed preview can be read below. This week’s theme was friendship. (And while my tweet was short, I actually cut out a lot of the scene to fit it on Twitter, so this isn’t exactly what you’ll read in the book. I would give you the full scene, but it might spoil a major section. But, fun fact, Jane—to this day—is one of my favorite characters from any of my works.)

“A political friendship.”

“Friendship should never be political.”

“My dear,” Jane squeezed my hand, “Everything is political.”

Visit the Facebook, Pinterest, and the Extras page.

What I’m Reading:

12402069_958788567501658_8537463732066083469_oI began my first read of 2016! See How They Run by Ally Carter is the second book in the Embassy Row series and highly recommended. (Love her.)

I started and finished The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater, so yeah! I’ve started my 2016 Goodreads Reading Challenge. You can read my five-star review by clicking here. I recommend it to fans of mystery books, treasure hunts, the paranormal, humor, and Welsh mythology. Light romance readers will still enjoy the tension.

I finished The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson, and I loved it! I gave it four stars, and you can read my review here, but I recommend it to lovers of romance, especially when runaway princesses are involved. This is a VERY light “high” fantasy, but I am looking forward to seeing how the characters grow in the sequel.

What I’m Listening To:

Sights by London Grammar. Listen to it. Listen.

What I’m Watching:

UnknownSo…I went a little crazy this week and watched a lot of movies. (What can I say? Silver AMC passes are great Christmas gifts during the Oscar season.)

The Danish Girl made me an emotional wreck. I highly recommend it. The movie—based on a true story that I also recommend reading (because there are some movie differences)—is brave, immortal, and a depiction of a sort of rare love, a never-ending type. The entire story was heart wrenching.

The Hateful Eight wasn’t my favorite Quentin Tarantino movie, but I will say this: I love that he was brave enough to tackle to taboo of violence against women in film. (Because, to me, that was what the movie was about.) Why? Because, generally, male characters face violence, while female characters only face sexual violence. (Which I’m freakin’ sick of. If I could go the rest of my life without a rape scene in a movie, that would be great. K, thanks.) I was quite relieved to see that Quentin doesn’t follow that “standard.” He sticks by just violence, treating her like any other character, and he also does it in a static form. (The whole movie practically takes place in one room, which is impressive.) The other parts that blew me away were the monologues. His dialogue was on point. But the overall story just wasn’t as exciting for me as his other films. Still recommended, of course.

I rented one. Love, Rosie reminded me of one of my favorite book/movies of all time. (One Day by David Nicholls), except Love, Rosie is the sweet and charming version. So, obviously, I loved this movie. I have the biggest crush on Lily Collins, which is why it’s so surprising I haven’t seen this movie yet, but I’m definitely going to watch it again. Recommended to those who love cheese.

And I managed to sort of binge-watch Making a Murderer. Worth it! It’s an awesome documentary series about a twisted trial.

movies

What I’m Baking, Making, and Drinking:

I made chocolate chip cookies and chocolate mousse this week. Both of which turned out OKAY, but I’m learning. ;)

What I’m Wearing:

Cat socks. I got brand-new cat socks. This is a big deal.

What I’m Wanting:

enhanced-29836-1449080491-1So…I work at home and write at home and basically never leave my house. It’s natural that I would want all of these items from this list on Buzzfeed: 25 Delightfully Cozy Gifts For Anyone Who Hates Leaving the Home. But the coffee mug is perfection.

What I’m Dreaming Of:

My dad, sister-in-law, my roommate, and me were caught in a storm and had to rent out this creepy old church turned into a bed-and-breakfast. Bogart, my cat, was there, and at one point, he got spooked, so he ran into the bathroom. We were all cracking up…until he came sprinting out of the bathroom and the door slammed shut behind him.

What Else Is Going On:

The cover reveal is THIS Wednesday! Get excited!

~SAT

#SATurdate: Star Wars, Novel Aesthetics, Antlers, and Florence

26 Dec

First things first, I hope everyone had a great holiday! This girl celebrated with Christmas candies and hours of reading. (I seriously cannot believe it’s almost 2016.)

What I’m Writing:

I actually fixed some scenes in Take Me Yesterday this week, and I attempted to keep moving forward in it, but it has to take a pause while I focus on the Bad Bloods edits.

What I’m Publishing:

I received the first sets of edits for Bad Bloods, both November Rain and November Snow, I managed to finish them over the holidays. As many of you know, Clean Teen Publishing did finish the covers for both books, and we’ll be having a cover reveal on January 6. I’ll be sending out a newsletter this Tuesday, asking for help, and three lucky helpers will win an exclusive sneak peek of November Rain. (Sign up here.) In regards to this week’s sneak peek, I actually didn’t participate in #1lineWed, but I was invited to post a #novelaesthetics on Twitter. Basically, we had to choose three photos that represented the aesthetics of the novel, so here are those photos for November Snow.

Visit the Facebook, Pinterest, and the Extras page.

novela

What I’m Reading:

 10900066_956293941084454_5982930522247100530_oI began The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson, and I’ve barely put it down. I LOVE it. It’s a mix of romantic cheese and heart-pounding betrayal in a world of royalty and assassins.

I began and finished Midnight Thief by Livia Blackburne. It received 5 shiny stars from me. I thought it was action-packed, absolutely epic, and a delight to read. I loved Kyra, the orphan who joins the Assassins Guild only to figure out that loyalties might not be so simple. Add magical beast-cats and knights to the mix, and I was in love. Recommended to fantasy and paranormal YA fans. Read my full review here.

What I’m Listening To:

Florence-And-The-Machine-How-Big-How-Blue-How-BeautifulFor Christmas, I received the new Florence + The Machine album, How Big. How Blue. How Beautiful. And I love it.

What I’m Watching:

Yes. Yes. I finally saw Star Wars The Force Awakens. (No spoilers, I promise.) I definitely LOVED it. I thought it was much funnier than the original ones and the ones I grew up watching. I loved the protagonists a lot, and I definitely did not see some of those twists coming. (I saw one coming, but other than that, I sat there like, WHHHHHAAAAAT?) I never thought they could make a cuter robot than R2D2, so that was awesome. The girl is a badass. Loved her. A great movie to go see this holiday season.

For Christmas, I received Dark City (1998)mainly because I professed my love for Rufus Sewell on here. AND I loved it. That is an awesome flick. Just purely twisted sci-fi.

I also watched Dune (1984) for the first time (please don’t kill me), and I have to say, not a fan. (Please don’t kill me again.) I simply think the director was ahead of his time. They just tried to tackle a too high sci-fi for the time period and the technology that was available to them. But, I will say this, I can tell that the book is probably awesome from the movie. It just seemed too complicated and imaginative for the screen to sum up in an hour and a half.

movies

What I’m Baking, Making, and Drinking:

You might be sad to hear that Shannon is going on a bit of a diet. Not that I’m trying to lose weight, but I have been eating WAY too much sugar, so you probably won’t see as many desserts on here as before…Even then, I totally failed this week’s goal, and I made breakfast cookies. (So not as sweet, but cookies nonetheless.)

What I’m Wearing:

Ugly X-Mas sweaters. This one has a dog on it and antlers.

What I’m Wanting:

This was me cheating at Barnes & Noble.

This was me cheating at Barnes & Noble.

Cookies. Because I’m on a diet. (Even though I cheated and bought myself one.)

What I’m Dreaming Of:

This is a story on how Shannon learns she is dreaming and forces herself to wake up.

In real life I had to make it to a family event at 6 p.m. That doesn’t sound bad for many of you, but I work a night shift, so I don’t wake up until 3 p.m….and this was technically my weekend, so I don’t get up til 5 p.m. sometimes…and this event was over an hour away, so basically, I was having anxiety about my alarm not going off on time, which is what caused this dream.

My alarm doesn’t go off. I see the time. 5:40 p.m.

I leap out of bed, rush up the stairs, and start pounding on the wall to wake up my roommate. “The alarm didn’t go off!”

For some reason, he screams, “Noon is not good enough.”

This was my first clue something was weird.

So, we run into the closet to pick out clothes, and he’s singing. (Another weird clue.) So, I stop to take out my cell phone. (I find electronics help me figure out if I’m dreaming or not.) And sure enough, this phone has a grocery list on it. There’s no such app like this one. It automatically knows we need certain things in our fridge based on previous purchase records.

It says we need two things of tuna.

I never get tuna.

This must be a dream.

I actually have a moment where I want to stay so I can do whatever I want, (because that’s a thing at this point,) but I’m super paranoid the beginning of my dream was trying to tell me that my alarm actually didn’t go off, so I wake myself up.

It’s 1:47 p.m.

I have two hours left to sleep.

What Else Is Going On:

I’m just really, really, REALLY excited for the cover reveal on January 6. I practically can’t sit still. It’s painful to keep them a secret, but it will be well worth it! I’m looking forward to starting 2016 off right.

~SAT

#SATurdate: Cover Reveal, The Dark Artifices, Podcasts, and a Burglar.

19 Dec

I know so many of you saw Star Wars already, but I haven’t, so please don’t be disappointed that I’m not talking about it yet. I will see it soon, I promise!

What I’m Writing:

I’m working on the revisions of Take Me Tomorrow. I finished the initial run-through, so now, I’m basically sitting on it and letting it be for a little while I decide what I want to keep and what I don’t want to keep. This upcoming week, I might work on a secret project while I let Take Me Tomorrow stew.

What I’m Publishing: 

The cover designer finished the covers for Bad Bloods! Eeeeee. So, you can expect a cover reveal soon-ish, which means there will probably be an opportunity to win some prizes. (I’m thinking an exclusive sneak peek, like the first chapter of November Rain.) Keep your eyes locked on your emails. I’ll be sending out a call for help via my newsletter. If you’re not subscribed, you can subscribe to my newsletter here. Your information will never be given away, no purchase is necessary, and you can unsubscribe at any time. (It only goes out once a month, if that.)

And, of course, the #1lineWed preview. This week’s theme was memory.

I recalled how he walked in the rain. With that memory, others crept in. His half-laugh. His honesty. The dimple on his right cheek.

Visit the PinterestFacebook, and the Extras page.

What I’m Reading: 

cassieI started and finished Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare. (She loves Boo Boo.) And, as many of you already know, it absolutely wrecked me. I wish I could explain how much I ugly cried, but my roommate had the unfortunate timing of walking in on me while reading the ending. He thought my cats died. But you can read my five-star review here. Clockwork Princess is a heartbreaking, courageous adventure, a tale of flawed heroes and bright heroines, a death-defying journey of ill-fated lovers. It will surely stay with you forever.

I finished Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, Volume 9 by Naoko Takeuchi. I definitely gave this particular volume five stars, but I’m a bit biased. The Dead Moon Circus is probably my favorite character arc. I love it. I feel like we see more of all the characters in this arc, and everyone has matured greatly from how they started out. This is the one that brings everyone together and at their best. Here is my full review.

What I’m Listening To:

WX-10-Logo3Mainly podcasts. Without getting into too much detail, I listened to Japanese Fairy Tales by Theodora Ozaki, Myths and Legends by Jason Weiser, The Publishing Profits Podcast Show by Tom Corson-Knowles, and Writing Excuses by Brandon Sanderson. I LOVE Writing Excuses. might do a blog post about these, which is why I’m not going to get into detail here, but they are great!

What I’m Watching:

Interstellar: Yes. I finally saw it. I know. I know. I’m super late on that, but…I kind of already knew what was going to happen based on things I saw and read after it released, which is probably why I didn’t go out of my way to see it earlier.

What I’m Baking, Making, and Drinking:

I baked tomato mac n’ cheese and made beef tongue stew. (That’s a thing.) I have a weird love for organ meat.

What I’m Wearing:

Pajamas and my hair in an ever-sliding bun.

What I’m Wanting:

20443235Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare: This is the first book in The Dark Artifices, the next Shadowhunters series she’s starting. After wrecking me with The Infernal Devices, I’m dying for another series. I love Cassandra Clare so much.

The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski – YES, even though the cover of the third book has changed and won’t match the rest of the series, I WANT this book more than ever.

What I’m Dreaming Of:

Well, the best one I had this week involved my truck a lot. At first I was driving it from the backseat at night. (There’s no backseat in my truck.) Then, a cop was trying to pull me over, so I was attempting to get back into the front seat, and because of the sudden movement, the cop started shooting me. Flash-forward. Like a blink. I was in my driveway with my best friend. I’ve recruited her for a rather…interesting job. I’m storing bones beneath my truck’s driver’s seat. Human bones. An old man and a teenage girl. Why? I have no clue. But my neighbor sees us outside and comes riding over on his lawnmower (which is funny, because I had a neighbor that actually used to do this). And we know we’re going to get caught, but my friend thinks she can just sit in front of you know…the corpses…and he won’t see them. OF course that doesn’t work. He’s just sitting on his lawn mower, in shock, unable to run or anything. And I’m just staring at him, trying to decide what to do…when I wake up. Shake my head. And go back to sleep.

What Else Is Going On:

So…Shannon has a delightful story for everyone.

Setting the scene: I’m home. Late at night. By myself. When I hear a strange noise I’ve never heard before. Right. Outside. My. Window.

The cats react.

They jump under the nearest piece of furniture they can find.

Okay.

Strange.

But I can’t see outside into the dark because I have all the lights on…so I go upstairs to look out a dark window. And I’m searching. And I’m searching. And I’m…

The back door is getting beat in, and the entire house is shaking, and you better believe I am dialing 911 faster than I can type. (Which is pretty fast by the way.)

The cops also show up very fast. (Way to go, Gladstone PD.)

And suddenly there are five cops running around my house in the dark with their flashlights, shouting and such, when an equivalent amount of deer come out of the backyard and try to attack them.

Apparently, one of these guys was literally trying to beat in my back door.

Stupid rut season.

(Shannon and the cats are safe…although her ego is hurt.)

~SAT

#SATurdate: The BFG, Butterscotch, The Nutcracker, & X-Men Apocalypse

12 Dec

This week flew by for me! Can’t believe we’re approaching 2016 already either. So crazy.

What I’m Writing:

Like last week, I’m working on additions in Take Me Tomorrow, book one of The Tomo Trilogy. I’m 126 pages into it. For original readers, I’m on the chapter No One Was Silent. Out of popular demand, I’ve added some extra info on the Phelps’ Massacre, but I’ve also added some extras myself, like information on the lumberyards, resource trading, why children are involved, and Wheston Phelps himself…which means, yes, there are extra scenes in the new version.

What I’m Publishing:

We’re still working on the covers for Bad Bloods! By accident, we worked on part two’s cover before part one, but I’ll tell you what, it’s awesome!

And the winning #1lineWed preview. This week’s theme was sound: The guy’s voice was as crisp and clear as the sound escaping the soda he popped open. He even took a sip.

Extra info: In Bad Bloods, aspartame plays a HUGE role in bad bloods’ lives. For those of you who don’t know what aspartame is, it’s an artificial, non-saccharide sweetener. It’s found in sodas, for instance, but in 2089, it’s outlawed. (There are many studies connecting aspartame to cancer.) That being said, aspartame—for some reason—affects the bad blood gene, and it works as an enhancer of sorts, so one of the protagonists has an addiction to it, which he gets through illegal Diet Coke. Funny thing is, truth can be stranger than fiction. Pepsi took aspartame out of their sodas this past year and is encouraging laws against it, despite the change not being very popular. Maybe Bad Bloods isn’t so far away from reality. ;)

Visit the PinterestFacebook, and the Extras page.

What I’m Reading:

decreads2I finished Winterspell by Claire Legrand. The PERFECT dark fairy tale retelling for winter, I gave this dangerous read 5 stars. You can read my full review here, but here is who I recommend it to: Fans of fairy tale retellings, but only to those who enjoy dark and twisted themes, especially with sexual undertones. This book includes a strong heroine, but not a perfect heroine (which, to me, is fantastic), and you’ll love everything if you love epic fantasies with their own world maps to tie everything together. Must love flowery, poetic, and detailed prose.

I’m also reading Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, Volume 9 by Naoko Takeuchi. The Dead Moon Circus is my favorite arc. I freakin’ love it.

What I’m Listening To:

Glass Animals. I’ve been obsessed all week. Why? No idea. But it’s been sweet.

What I’m Watching:

Up in the Air: I adore this film, both for Anna Kendrick and the overall feel of the movie. Way to go, George Clooney.

movies

Dark Legacy: This is a JFK assassination (mind-blowing) documentary. Definitely recommended but definitely not for the light-hearted. The photos and videos are very graphic. I’m not saying I agree with the guy’s theory or anything like that, but I do enjoy seeing more information/connections than what is generally explained from traditional sources.

Dark Shadows: Believe it or not, I hadn’t seen this paranormal Johnny Deep movie yet, but now I have. It was wonderful. I enjoyed how kooky it was.

What I’m Baking, Making, and Drinking:

butterI made Gooey Butterscotch Blondies. NOM! But boy, were those sweet. Super sweet. Dark chocolate chip cookies were also involved this week. I’m insatiable. On top of that, a lovely lady gifted me with new espresso cups for my coffee addiction. I used them within 24 hours. I’m obsessed.

What I’m Wearing:

Fuzzy slippers. There are the bee’s knees.

What I’m Wanting:

The BFG Movie?! Are you serious?! I had no idea this was being made into a movie, let alone that the trailer was already out. I CANNOT wait. This book was one of my favorites as a child. I absolutely fell in love.

And, GUYS, The Legend of Tarzan movie. UGH. I mean, Alexander Skarsgård is one guy, but Christoph Waltz?? Could it get any better? (The answer is no.) I love them. 

AND, AND, the trailer for X-Men Apocalypse dropped too! This is probably the best week ever. You can watch it through IMDB.

What I’m Dreaming Of:

I’m only sharing one ITTY part of one GIANT dream I had, because it was by far the coolest one, but it was SO much longer than this.

Imagine Voldemort taking over the world to fight the Shadowhunters, but add all kinds of mutants from X-Men fighting in-between (not quite sure which side they are on at any point in time). Well, I am one of these in-between mutants. I’m not so much in war as I am trying to get my friends out of the war. So, I sneak into this crazy meeting in an underground party (underneath a grocery store of all things), and everyone here wants to kill me, but I’m disguised. (Of what, I don’t know. I couldn’t actually see me or what I looked like at any point. It was straight through my eyes, which caused this terrible shaky reality video game effect while dreaming.) But I found my friends about the time Voldemort found me, and the entire place erupted into chaos. I helped the youngest of my friends out—two young blondes that looked strangely like Luna Lovegood—and when we got to the parking lot, the building blew sky high, but this mutant kid runs out, and I stop, because I know him. He’s the definition of psychopath. He’s holding a sailing anchor—like the traditional type—and there’s a chain attached to it. It’s practically the size of his torso, but he screams out (for whatever reason), “Looks like you’re going sailing” before he throws the anchor and stabs people onto it, dragging them behind him until he finds his next victim. (And people question why I write so violently?) I managed to pull the anchor out of someone and hold onto it to stop him, but then he drops the chains and laughs, because he knows he can kill other ways. So I try to use his weapon against him, but it’s definitely way too heavy. So…then my cat jumps onto the bed and I wake up in a start and nearly chuck him across the room. I think my cat still hates me.

What Else Is Going On:

So, I don’t normally mention a lot of personal issues like this one, but I haven’t been around a lot on my social media, so I thought I’d say why. I had to get part of my scalp cut off for a skin cancer test. It was in the same place my grandfather had it, so…moving onto the good news: I’m cancer free. So, woot! But it was very stressful and concerning and just overall UGH. I’m also missing a piece of my forehead. But my little bits of hair are already growing back. Expect my face back on Instagram soon.

~SAT

#SATurdate: The White Rose, Man in the High Castle, Burt’s Bees, and Sweets.

5 Dec

As you all know, we didn’t have a SATurdate last week due to the monthly Website Wonders piece, so this one might be a bit longer than usual. (I think I say that every week for one reason or another…but oh well!)

What I’m Writing:

I realized I need to go over Take Me Tomorrow before I can move forward in Take Me Yesterday, so I’m officially working on Take Me Tomorrow. There are a few things I wanted to add, just with a sentence or two. Example, one thing that was hinted but went basically unnoticed (by my fault, not readers’) was the fact that boys and girls are encouraged to separate themselves, which was one of the reasons there were more boys than girls. I actually addressed this directly after a high demand in my article Why Most of my Characters are Male. I mistakenly thought I hinted to it enough, but this time around, I’m going to blatantly say it. There are a few things like that I’m looking forward to adding as I go through it. For original readers, I’m about 60 pages in, in the chapter It’s Too Late.

What I’m Publishing:

We’re working on the cover for Bad Bloods! The ideas were fantastic, and I’m really looking forward to seeing what the cover ends up being. Bless my cover artist’s heart for dealing with my input. (Seriously. She deserves a huge shoutout.) So, thank you, Marya! Check her out at Strong Image Editing!

Now, I’m sharing the winning #1lineWed from the previous two weeks. The first one’s theme was home.

This was home to me. Just the thought of Catelyn’s suffocating hugs made my heart lurch.

A little background, Catelyn is Serena’s best friend and practical sister. They both live in the Southern Flock, and they nearly look like twins, aside from a scar on Catelyn’s face. Here is a link to the Pinterest Pin of Catelyn. In the original version, she had a moon/star tattoo (something that got cut out) and her name was spelled Caitlin.

Since it was two weeks—of course—here was the second #1lineWed preview. The theme was humor/laughter.

“He told me to stay away from you.”

I laughed. “How unoriginal.”

I would give extra information about this line…but I have to leave some parts up for mystery. ;)

Visit the PinterestFacebook, and the Extras page.

What I’m Reading:

Winterspell by Claire Legrand: This is a darker retelling of The Nutcracker, so I thought it’d be the perfect book to start December off with. So far, so good.

The White Rose, book 2 in The Lone City by Amy Ewing: UGH. I love Amy Ewing so much. I cannot wait for book 3. I, of course, gave this wonderful novel 5 stars, and you can read my entire review here. But, again, not for everyone. As a flat-out, upfront warning, this series revolves around a lot of sexual abuse, including but not limited to forced surrogacy, prostitution, and castration. If you can handle reading about controversial issues, you’ll love this series. Amy handles everything delicately and brilliantly. Seriously. I have an author crush.

booksPretty Guardian Sailor Moon, V. 8 by Naoko Takeuchi: Again, no secret I love this manga, but I’m currently re-reading it and reviewing the new prints. Here is the link to my five-star review. This one covers the ending of The Infinity Arc and the beginning of The Dead Moon Circus.

What I’m Listening To:

I went to a concert! What? Yes! Little ol’ me went to a concert for the first time in…well…years. I went to the Puscifer concert, and it was pretty badass.

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I’ve also been obsessed with I’m Good, I’m Gone by Lykke Li. Literally, it’s probably the only song I’ve listened to in two weeks.

What I’m Watching:

 I binge-watched the full first season of The Man in the High Castle, an Amazon original. WATCH IT. It’s phenomenal…and I want a season two.

Basically, it’s alternative history where Germany and Japan won WWII…and Rufus Sewell is in it. For my readers out there, it’s based on a Phillip K Dick novel. Gooooo. Go watch it. GOOOOOO.

12219338_1648762565383129_4515995760293992879_n

On a side note, I also watched Brother Bear. I freakin’ love that movie.

I also watched Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows—Part 1 and Part 2, because you have to watch both if you’re going to watch one of them. This is a rule. You must not break it.

What I’m Baking, Making, and Drinking:

It was Thanksgiving, so naturally, I baked a lot of Thanksgiving-themed treats. I actually made my very first turkey all by myself this year too. Not going to lie, I was pretty proud of myself. I stuffed it with fruit and covered it in a white wine butter sauce. I also made candied yams for my father’s job party and pecan tarts for my little self. (Those pecan tarts, though. I ate all of them.) As if I haven’t made enough sweets, I also made Rice Krispies Treats with butterscotch. Freakin’ delicious.

food

What I’m Wearing:

Blueberry-Chocolate Burt’s Bees lip balm. It’s a treasure. 

What I’m Wanting:

Book 3 in The Lone City by Amy Ewing. It doesn’t even have a title yet, and I’m DYING.

What I’m Dreaming Of:

I dyed my hair white as the world went to war with one another. It was rather strange, because my hair looked normal until I could flip it over and put it up, and then it looked like an elongated white halo, almost like a melted halo, down to the ending of my back. I believe a bomb went off near me, and I thought I lost Bogart. But someone I knew found him and brought him to the safe house I was staying in.

I was a mouse, and my boat went down with three other mice, so we found another GIANT boat, and we got on. It was full of monk-related items, but no one seemed to be on board. There was also a story about Lykke Li on there and how she pretended to be a priest once, so we decided to pretend to be priests. The owners of the boat turned out to be cats, but when we told them we were priests, they decided to keep us on board.

What Else Is Going On:

The dorm hall I lived in while attending the University of Kansas was demolished this past week or so. It’s rather strange to see, considering it’s the oldest dorm on campus, a dorm my father AND my uncle lived in when they attended KU. I spent a year of life calling that place home. It was an awkward time of my life—definitely not the happiest—but now those memories are there, despite the location being turned to dust. I feel old, really. So, here’s a photo of my old dorm room.

college

~SAT

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