Tag Archives: fifty shades darker

#SATurdate: Bad Bloods Blurbs, MockingJay, Steampunk, and more.

21 Nov

This post is going to look SUPER long, but it’s mainly because I’m including the individual blurbs for November Rain and November Snow. (Yes. They are finally ready!)

What I’m Writing:

As many of you say on Instagram, Bogart protected my notes for Take Me Yesterday.

Many of you will be excited to hear that I’m back into Take Me Yesterday, book 2 of The Tomo Trilogy. I hit a snag last time I was writing, and then my energy had to go toward Bad Bloods—which is definitely going to happen again when final edits come around—but for now, I am working on the sequel of Take Me Tomorrow. I’m currently in chapter eight, about 11,500 words in. As many of you saw on my Instagram, Bogart recently protected my notes for Take Me Yesterday by laying on them. That being said, I know I need to refocus my energy soon and go back to Take Me Tomorrow, book one, to make the best book I can before I continue forward with book 2.

What I’m Publishing:

The final back blurbs for each part of Bad Bloods is finally available! You can read them below. And of course, the winning #1lineWed preview is here as well. The theme was hot: She wasn’t smiling, but a warmth radiated from her, as if she could hug people from a distance.

November Rain, Part One

(releases July 18, 2016)

Seventeen-year-old Serena isn’t human. She is a bad blood, and in the city of Vendona, bad bloods are executed. In the last moments before she faces imminent death, a prison guard aids her escape and sparks a revolt. Back on the streets determined to destroy her kind, Serena is spared by a fellow bad blood named Daniel. His past tragedies are as equally mysterious as her connection to them. Unbeknownst to the two, this connection is the key to winning the election for bad bloods’ rights to be seen as human again. But Serena is the only one who can secure Vendona’s vote. Now, Daniel must unite with her before all hope is lost and bad bloods are eradicated, even if it means exposing secrets worse than death itself. United or not, a city will fight, rain will fall, and all will be threatened by star-crossed love and political corruption.

November Snow, Part Two

(eBook releases one week later, with the paperback releasing in November of 2016)

When Daniel and Serena unite, their accidental relationship becomes the catalyst for a twelve-year war to continue. Exposing the twisted past of a corrupt city, Daniel, Serena, and everyone they know will come together to fight. But Serena has another battle. After a political rumor threatens their lives, Serena must leave her family and join the political front against her will. To survive apart, Daniel has to separate his love from his hatred and join forces with his worst memory to secure Vendona’s war. But very few of them will survive to see the last day. Bad blood or human, a city will burn, snow will fall, and all will be united by catastrophic secrets and irrevocable tragedy.

Visit the PinterestFacebook, and the Extras page.

What I’m Reading: 

booksThe Conjurer’s Riddle by Andrea Cremer: I finished it! I basically could do nothing but read this novel over my weekend. (My weekends are Sunday through Tuesday, by the way.) I am in LOVE with this series, and I am already dying for the third book. It’s brilliant, and you can read why in my review here. On a side note, there is definitely a third book. I tweeted to the lovely author, and she tweeted back! That deserves an extra star.

Clockwork Prince: I was so set on steampunk after reading The Conjurer’s Riddle that I had to continue The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare. This is book 2, and to be honest, I should’ve started reading it a LONG time ago, since I read the first one in July, but it’s been on my nightstand, and I’m glad I finally picked it up again. Loved it! In fact, I finished it too. (Told you I read a lot this week.) I actually didn’t like Will very much in the first book, but he’s grown on me a lot more in this one. Same with Jem. And now I think I’m broken. This book definitely deserves 5 stars, and you can read my entire review here. (I NEED the third book now.) Also…Cassandra Clare liked my review of her work. I think I died and went to Heaven.

cc

Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini: I finished it in the middle of the night after I posted my last Saturdate article. And…I’m not going to lie. I wasn’t a fan. Don’t get me wrong. I think many readers could LOVE this book, but it wasn’t for me. I explained why in my 2.5-star review, but it mainly came down to the voice and characters. The world building is unique, the story is written well, and you’ll probably enjoy it if you love witches, other dimensions, love triangles, and vegan protagonists. Read my full review here.

What I’m Listening To:

Lykke Li, because she’s my Tomo Trilogy star. I’m trying to get back into Sophia’s voice, and Lykke Li was the number one singer I listen to while working on this trilogy.

What I’m Watching:

MV5BNjQzNDI2NTU1Ml5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNTAyMDQ5NjE@._V1_SX214_AL_Mockingjay Part 2I just saw this a few hours ago, but I LOVED it. (I also got mistaken for wearing cosplay to the movie theatre…excuse me for wearing a side braid and boots. This is my usual attire.) That being said, I thought it was awesome. I still think they didn’t need to divide the last book into two movies, but for the readers out there, (spoilers for the rest of the people) I was a little sad to see that they played down Finnick’s sacrificial death a bit. On a positive note, seeing Tigris was PHENOMENAL. I also thought they made the overall tone of the ending much happier and little less, you know, insane, and aside from a few other edits, I still thought it was a great movie for a great book. Can’t believe it’s over. </3

The Yes Men Are Revolting: So this is the best documentary ever. Basically, it follows a group of pranksters (also activists) who focus on bringing attention to political issues currently being ignored by world leaders.

Men, Women, & Children: This is an Adam Sandler movie about how the Internet has affected modern families, and let me tell you, it’s scary how realistic it is (and terribly sad). I thought it was a wonderful movie, but it’s definitely (and intentionally) uncomfortable.

 That Sugar Film: Another documentary I watched this week, but this one is Australian, and it’s about how sugar affects the body of one guy. I know you all see me baking a lot, so I do consume sugar, but I’m actually really weary of what I consume. I rarely drink soda or eat processed foods, for instance, so I find documentaries like this to be interesting. This one was a bit bizarre humor-wise, but had some interesting stats to see.

Fifty Shades of Grey: Yep. That happened. One of my good friends hadn’t seen it yet—and she helped me shop this week—so we rented it and watched it. As controversial as it is to talk about, I’m actually interested in seeing what they’ll do with the sequels (since they recently announced they’ll be filming both sequels back-to-back at the start of 2016). I’m hoping Taylor, the body guard/assistant of Christian Grey, gets more screen time, because his side story was my favorite.

movies

What I’m Baking, Making, and Drinking:

 Jalapeno cheddar pasta and cheesy potato ham casserole. No pictures this time, but they were both great!

 What I’m Wearing:

 I have new boots! And they’re steampunk boots. I couldn’t quite capture their beauty on Instagram, but the backs have golden spokes on them. They went perfectly with The Conjurer’s Riddle.

What I’m Wanting:

The next book in The Inventor’s Secret series. Come on, Andrea Cremer! I’m addicted. I know you’re the process of writing it, but, but, but…

I would also like Clockwork Princess, book 3 in The Infernal Devices, because my heart needs mending after book 2.

What I’m Dreaming Of:

 Bogart was a BAT! Which is awesome…because bats are my favorite animals. But, yes. Bogart turned into a bat, and he was super tiny too. He even helped me find Kiki—another one of my cats—who was stuck in the wall or something. (If you only knew Kiki, this wouldn’t surprise you.)

I had a little white dog I loved dressing up as Pikachu…and everyone thought I was crazy, but I borrowed my father’s truck and turned that into a Pikachu truck…and then four other Pikachu-themed cars parked next to mine, and it was the best day of my life.

salebWhat Else Is Going On:

The Black Friday Sale for The Timely Death Trilogy has begun! From now until November 30, you can get the first book in the trilogy for free and the second book for only .99¢ on Smashwords. Use the code WS34V at the links below to read more this holiday season.

Minutes Before Sunset

Seconds Before Sunrise

Death Before Daylight

And, of course…

Stay Dark,

~SAT

 

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My Thoughts On: Fifty Shades of Grey

6 May

One Announcement: I’ll be reading poetry at the University of Kansas this Wednesday at 11 a.m. until 12:15 p.m. in the English Room. If you live in Kansas, come out and support some talented poets! 

Back on April 10, 2013, I introduced a new topic, My Thoughts On, and I posted My Thoughts On: Young-Adult Fiction.

I did this for numerous reasons, but it really came down to the fact that I feel as if the analytical structures behind very popular novels do not seem to get discussed anymore. Sure, the plot, characters, and overall story does. But what about the sheer reasoning behind why it became so popular in the first place? I restate this, because I want to clarify that, although theses are “My Thoughts,” they are not my personal opinion on whether or not I enjoyed the novels, but rather why I think they became what they are. And analyzing popular books, especially as a writer, can help anyone understand the mainstream industry (even more so when the book isn’t originally considered mainstream.)

Book cover of Fifty Shades of Grey

Book cover of Fifty Shades of Grey

So I asked followers to comment on what they wanted to hear about, and here were the suggestions (with votes)

Fifty Shades of Grey: 2

Twilight: 2

The Hunger Games: 2

Eragon: 1

And, since there was a tie, I decided to go with the first mentioned novel, and that was Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James. However, I am not going to bother going into description of the novel, as I’m going to assume this conversation is more about the why, and the plot will come out during the discussion.

I highly encourage everyone to comment as a healthy debate, which means, to me at least, to please keep out personal like or dislike (ex/ I hated this novel!) because, again, that is not what this is about. I encourage, however, “I don’t think the novel worked because of A or B, but rather C or D. I hope this makes sense. If it does not, I apologize. But, without further ado, this is my analysis on the popular, English erotica. (WARNING: There are spoilers below)

1. Language: In this specific case, I think it’s really important to remember where this novel came from. It was originally Twilight fan fiction, and it was written on a blog. The author is British, and, when reading this novel, knowing these few facts can change the opinion of the reader. Some of the slang my come across as awkward to American readers, but this is not something James should be judged for. She’s British. Of course her writing will have British terms. Granted, the argument I’ve heard about the setting taking place in America means it should use American slang makes sense. But I can sympathize with a writer, because she was a blogger. It wasn’t expected to get popular, and it first came out in Britain. I’ve read plenty of American books that take place in other countries that do not have that country’s slang.

When it comes to the explicit language, I had no problem with it. After all, it is an erotica (And, again, it’s English erotica, and Britain is more open towards sex than America is.) To me, complaining about sexual language in a British erotica, is like complaining about blunt honesty in a memoir. It’s the point, and it wouldn’t be true to the art without pushing boundaries held within the norm.

2. Characters: To me, the characters were the most important part of this novel and why I believe it went mainstream. James, unlike many erotic authors, had a reason behind the extreme sexuality of Christian Grey. He was abused sexually, and then he was taken under the arm of another woman who was sexually abused. She showed him, through a series of what is legally sexual abuse with a minor, how to control his fears by exposing him to S&M. Granted, he was the submissive, but the explanation given from Grey later (when he talks about how the submissive does not have to worry, because everything is chosen for them) explains how Grey was finally able to relax within his inner demons. (I am by no means saying this is right. However, I am saying it showed a reason behind his actions, and I commend James for creating a believable background story that led up to his present self.) A perfect example of this believability, although sickening, is when Grey confesses to Anastasia that all of his previous submissives, and Anna, resemble his mother. Another example happens at the very end of the three novels when we finally are able to see Grey right after he was adopted. He cannot hug his own adoptive parents, and the woman who takes him under, because he learns how to deal with it, is now able to touch his parents and other loved ones. He is attempting to defeat his problems, even if he isn’t consciously aware of it.

Now, Anastasia Steele. She’s a different story. I found parts of her to be completely contrasting to her behavior and background, especially in the first novel. However, she is an adult, and she can make whatever sexual decisions she wants to make, and she does. Even while being a submissive, James shows Ana’s ability to rebel when it came to the “hard limits” in the contract. This showed a realistic part of her I think many readers forget. However, I think Anastasia becomes much more believable in the end. And, in my opinion, she definitely becomes the dominant one once Grey realizes she isn’t a submissive, but rather a lover willing to be dominated in the bedroom but not in nonsexual parts of life. I think it’s also important, again, to go back to the Twilight fan-fic part. She was based off Bella Swan, a human who dates a vampire. That’s a very submissive role, so Anastasia being submissive is necessary in the sense of who she is based on.

3. Plot: Sex. Sex. E-mails. More sex. An argument. More sex. Everyone knows the basic plot, but I found the scenes between the sex to be the most telling, because that is when readers learn of Grey’s past and such. However, there was one scene to particular that struck me as brilliant, considering the context of sex. I have to admit that I cannot remember which of the three books it appeared in (and I leant my copies to a friend) so feel free to remind me (please!) It’s the lipstick scene. As all readers know, Christian Grey, because of his abuse (specifically with cigarette burns) he cannot be touched on his chest, and Anastasia pulls out her lipstick. She draws “barrier lines” on his body, so she can literally see the places he cannot handle. And, eventually, she breaks through these. This scene, from an analytical standpoint, not only stays true to the eroticism but the emotional boundaries of sexual abuse that I thought the author ultimately succeeded in. Basically, in terms of plot, it seems very pointless at the surface if the reader only pays attention to the sex. But, if someone looks into these scenes deeper, they will see a very dark reality many people struggle with on a day-to-day basis. This is, quite literally, a couple who works through it together, and, ultimately, ends with a connection created from the suffering they’ve endured. Fifty Shades of Grey really isn’t just an erotic adventure, but an exploration of sex under the pressures of extreme sexual abuse and the relationships (and people) effected by it.

4. Movie Adaptations: Seeing as this is not a movie yet (but is in the process) I cannot say much here. But I can say one thing. I hope the directors are honest to the work. I hope it is rated R, as it is meant for adults, and I hope they do not hold back on sex. However, I am not saying every scene should be explicit. In fact, I hope the focus isn’t necessarily just the sex, but the point of the sex, which truly revolved around Christian Grey’s abusive past. I’m afraid they will not explain how he became the way he is, because sexual abuse is often very difficult for viewers. I understand not having some of the horrible scenes (like being next to his dead mother or having S&M sex with an older woman) but my hopes is that they explain it (or at least hint to it) in a way that a viewer who has not read the book will understand. If they don’t do this, I’m afraid the novel will come across as what many already see it as: a pointless S&M novel. And, under analysis, I do not feel this way about the piece.

So why was it so popular? Fifty Shades of Grey pushed through the barrier of erotic fiction by facing a dark reality many struggle with. Instead of only being sexually based, it had a promise. One that suggested there are ways to deal with sexual abuse (Again, I’m not advocating S&M, but rather showing a specific way one couple was effected by it.) And, because of this, the appearance of a simple plot deepened into a complexity many erotic novels have not done before. It was also based on an already popular novel, and she gained many older followers that way. Hence the mainstream.

I hope you enjoyed a more specific “My Thoughts On.” Feel free to suggest more novels in the comment section and/or debate away! I love hearing what other readers and writers have to say. It’s fascinating, and I thrive on meaningful conversations that can potential show the meaning of art and where art can go in the future.

~SAT

P.S. Don’t forget that my young-adult novel, Minutes Before Sunset, is now for sale for $6.99 (plus a 20% discount until Wednesday)

There’s also an array of favorited quotes on Goodreads: two examples below

“Her kiss could kill us, and my consent signed our death certificates, selfishly and without control. (Eric)”

“I knew nothing of death, and, for some unexplainable reason, I was beginning to feel guilty for that. (Jessica)”

Thank you for all of your support! This release week has been very exciting! And Bogart is very happy you enjoyed all of his tips. I promised I’d post his collection of toys he’s received:

Bogart's pile of toys he collects in places on a regular basis.

Bogart’s pile of toys he collects in places on a regular basis.

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