Tag Archives: free

Book Release: Bad Bloods: July Lightning!

1 May

Bad Bloods: July Lightning released today!  

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Top Ten Bad Bloods You’ll Meet In The New Duology

If you’ve read the first duology in the Bad Bloods universe, then you already know how crazy, wild, and wonderful a bad blood can be. (Book 1 is free across all platforms right now.) But if you don’t know what a bad blood is, a bad blood is a person with hindering abilities. Think X-Men, but the powers come with serious ramifications. Want an example? In the latest duology, Violet is a fourteen-year-old girl who can turn into a shadow…but she often loses herself to darkness and time, so she struggles to form back into a person. Because of her shadowy nature, she also has a hard time identifying as individual rather than simply following anyone she latches onto…like a shadow.

Here are the top ten bad bloods you’ll meet for the first time in the new Bad Bloods duology, July Thunder and July Lightning. Check out the Pinterest board for more inspiration!

  1. Levi (13): He’s described as a seedy sailor, with curly blond hair and skin that…glows. He might be closer to an eel. And his powers include cleaning water.
  2. Kuthun (18): A love interest in the book, Kuthun sees the strings of fate…even the strings of those who have died long ago.
  3. Kat (15): Between her night vision, her sharpened claws, and her black-white-red hair, Kat might as well be a calico cat. Even cats mistook her and sheltered her from a young age.
  4. Skeleton (15): Skeleton works in the Pits, an underground fighting ring, but his name should be taken literally. He’s slowly defying all science by turning into a skeleton…and remaining alive.
  5. Nuo (17): Nuo grew up with our protagonist Caleb, but her powers can make you repeat, repeat, repeat until whatever action you’re doing kills you.
  6. Hanna (16): She might be bald, but she can grow anyone else’s hair. And dye it, too.
  7. Ellen (9): She glows like a lighthouse, but after burning her own eyes, she cannot see the night she turns into day.
  8. Plato (7): Plato might have a glass heart…because he can turn sand into glass right before your eyes.
  9. Yasir (15): Do you like jewels? This is your guy. He can change anything into a gem…including his own eye, which is now a sapphire.
  10. Britney (8?): Her age is a mystery for a reason. Her powers, too. Revealing either could kill us all.

Bad Bloods: July Lightning

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Bad Bloods: July Lightning by Shannon A Thompson

Sixteen-year-old Caleb has been called many things: a patient, a musician, even a prostitute…now he has a new name—son. After his identity is uncovered, Caleb bands together with the family he once rejected in order to save the city of Vendona. But it won’t be easy. Enemies wait around every corner—and so do harsh realities. With Violet and Kuthun by his side though, nothing seems impossible. As Vendona sits on the verge of an economic collapse and a massive hurricane threatens the city, Violet and Caleb must show its citizens how to overcome decades of hostility and division to save themselves.

Standing or not, a sea will rage, a wall may fall, and all will depend on immortal pain and sacrifice.

Exclusive Excerpt

The stale air hit me first, then the smells of the trashed road followed. My eyes itched against the stench and sudden light. When the sky began to brighten to blue, a circular gray cloud surrounded the city. It burned white against the sunlight. Worse was how calm it all was. Like predators luring prey into a trap with a false sense of peace. The only hint of deception was the uncomfortable humidity. It stuck to me.

“How long do you think we have?” Serena asked, momentarily frozen by the sky looming overhead. It looked demonic, surreal, and uncertain.

“Give or take fifteen minutes,” I said. “Probably ten.”

She cringed. “I thought you might say that.”

“Don’t make it nine,” I bit back. Before she could respond, I took off running.

I had to get to Violet. I needed to. But most of all, I hoped Daniel would have the sense to close the adoption house after us.

Chances were we weren’t making it back. Not unscathed. And keeping the adoption house open at all would only risk others who didn’t deserve to face more danger. Not now. Not toward the end. But if I knew anything about the end—about death—it was the fact that it wasn’t fair. It was the one thing bad bloods and humans always had in common. Tonight, the reminder hung over us in the form of an all-seeing storm.

Weather didn’t discriminate—not like politics did—and neither did death.

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First Book Free

If you haven’t started this series, don’t worry! The first Bad Bloods book is free across all platforms. Bad Bloods in 35 words or less: 17-year-old Serena is the only bad blood to escape execution. Now symbolized for an election, she must prove her people are human despite hindering abilities before everyone is killed and a city is destroyed.

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Free Kindle Book: Bad Bloods: November Rain

If you read, please leave a review. And if you want me to share your review, send it to shannonathompson@aol.com. I love sharing your reviews! (And I love hearing what you’d like to see in the next duology.) Little authors like me depend on your support, so I greatly appreciate every minute you take to share, read, and review.

❤ Thank you for your support. ❤

~SAT

#MondayBlogs Writers, Should You Get Scrivener?

14 Nov

I’m a writer. Nowadays that means spending a lot of time on a computer, typing away word after word until the glorious moment of THE END is reached. Granted, I don’t always type. My favorite two tools remain a pen and paper. Oh! And Sticky Notes. But I’m also open-minded. I love trying new technologies like Dragon Speak or Character Planner on my Android. Recently—and I know I’m super late to this writing party—I downloaded Scrivener.

For those of you who don’t know, Scrivener is a writing software. It claims to help organize the chaos in your mind by supporting numerous ways to view, edit, and write in your manuscripts. It’s available for Windows and Mac, it’s $45, and there’s a free download to try out.

Let me start out by saying I went into this skeptical as hell. I love, love, love Microsoft Word, and I’ve lived on Word since…Well, as long as I’ve been alive. (Literally.) In Word, I have a system. I have files. I know what to click on when I need it. Word is my first and only love…right?

Well, it’s safe to say I learned a lesson.

I love Scrivener, too.

Why? Honestly, there are quite a few reasons, but I don’t plan on keeping you on here forever, so I’ll only name my top three. One thing that’s super popular, for instance, is the corkboard, but I won’t list it here since it’s not in my top three. Definitely check out their website to see other features, since these are only a few.

1. The Layout

In the screenshot below, from left to right, you can see my book’s outline and notes in what’s called the “Binder”, the synopsis notecard, the chapter I’m drafting, the current status, and my character inspiration. I love being able to have everything in one place all the time—AND I can change whatever I’m seeing whenever I want. I love being able to look at two documents and a photo at once. This saves me so much time. In Word, I kept flipping back and forth between documents, forgetting things, and having to flip back all over again. Yes, I can get one or two documents on my screen in Word, but Scrivener makes it much easier to adjust size and visibility, all while accessing whatever I need without leaving the program.

Scrivener Double Screen

Scrivener Double Screen

2. Character Board

For me, I love having my characters photos and notes in one place. I often use Pinterest to find inspiration, but this can be a deadly game when writing. If I need something, I might end up on my Pinterest for an hour before I realize I’m not working. In Scrivener, I can keep my photos (and notes) right next to my manuscript without going down the Internet rabbit holes to find something. And Scrivener also comes with Character Profiles that ask for basic descriptions, background info, and more. 

Character Board in Scrivener

Character Board in Scrivener

3. Cancel Out Feature (Compose)

As an editor and a writer, I spend my workweek and my free time on the exact same laptop. This can cause a lot of distractions for me. As an example? In Word, I might minimize my manuscript to open up another document…only to see my work folder and recall something I need to do. It also opens up the Internet for me…and then, my ADD is in full swing. But Scrivener saved me. Scrivener allows me to fill up my screen (as does Word), but Scrivener allows me to flip back and forth through numerous documents, photos, and screenshots of websites without having to actually exit or risk getting distracted. If I use another tool known as Quick Reference, too, I can have numerous documents open while in this mode as well. Below is a Quick Reference note next to my current chapter in Compose mode. This mode can also be modified to show pictures, themes, and other fun scenarios.

Quick Reference in Compose Mode on Scrivener

Quick Reference in Compose Mode on Scrivener

In all honestly? The free download sold me. I loved that they allowed me to open it 30 times—rather than put a time limit of 30 days on it—and the tutorials paved the rest of the way. Listen, when you open it, it might be overwhelming. (It freaked me out.) But I took the tutorials, figured out all the tools, and got to work. I will confess to one thing. The tutorial took me about 3 hours. Granted, I was taking the time to log off of the tutorial to try everything out with a novel rather than work through the tutorial videos. Anddddd I’m still learning new capabilities. (For instance, while writing this piece, I figured out how to move my notecards around on my corkboard. So far, the corkboard isn’t something I personally use. I prefer my Sticky Notes on my office wall. But it’s a great tool.) My latest new discovery was the Simple Notes app, which is a syncing tool that allows me to take my Scrivener files wherever I want through my phone. I have a feeling I’ll be using that way too often.

Now, I will give Word its dues. I still work on Word. I always transfer my drafts to Word, because I find Word’s editing software—specifically Track Changes—more universal with my clients and easier to handle, even for myself. So, as an editor, I use Word and only Word. That being said, Scrivener has an editing tool, specifically screenshots that will save numerous versions as you work through your book, but I haven’t been sold on that yet. It seems too complicated and a bit confusing and disorganized. However, that could be me and just the way my brain works. Maybe one day I’ll love editing on it, too. In fact, Simple Notes (the app stated above) is forcing me to embrace it as I type this. (And Word has a syncing app as well.) For now, though, I transfer everything to Word in the end.

So what about transferring files? One of the best parts is the ability to transfer a Scrivener file into a Word file. It also formats your manuscript for querying or publishing. If you’re like me—and struggle way too hard to get page 1 on page 5—you will love that feature.

But why take my word on it?

Download the free sample (a sample that doesn’t require a credit card for once!) and check it out. Here’s their website.

I wish I had tried it earlier.

~SAT

 

November Snow Paperback Release & Sequel Sneak Peeks!

19 Sep

Today’s post is short and sweet.

The paperback of Bad Bloods: November Snow released!

So, who wants some sneak peeks? 😀

Bad Bloods: November Snow Paperback Release

Bad Bloods: November Snow Paperback Release

Bad Bloods: November Rain is FREE

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Bad Bloods: November Snow

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Free Bad Bloods Prequel: Wattpad

What are the latest readers saying?

“A powerful work of art. In November Rain, Thompson invites us into a world of secrecy, murder, and unlikely friendships that are bound to make your head spin with wonder.” – Lena May Books, November Rain

“I bawled like a baby at the end of this book. I highly recommend this story to all to read and enjoy!!” – Black Words, White Pages, November Snow

So what happens after Bad Bloods: November Snow?

July Thunder!

The sequel is underway! I’m working really hard, despite hitting a bit of a snag, and I released the first sneak peek of July Thunder’s very first chapter, told by Violet herself. For those of you who need a little reminder, Violet was a bad blood from the Northern Flock, she was the shadow from Shadow Alley, and now, she is a protagonist. The other protagonist will be a brand-new character named Caleb. I am so looking forward to readers seeing how he connects with the first book. (There are hints throughout November Rain and Snow. *hint hint*)

Check out the July Thunder/Lightning Pinterest Board!

This is a first look at brand-new cast members, as well as old ones, and the sunken bay, where most of the sequel will take place. The sunken bay is in Eastern Vendona. Niki from the Southern Flock originated from there (which you can read about on the Bad Bloods Prequel on Wattpad) as did a few other bad blood characters. Other important origin stories you should pay attention to? Ami. She was in the Southern Flock, and she will play a significant role in July Thunder/Lightning. But that’s all I’ll say for now! This board isn’t complete, so keep your eyes on it for additions.

July Thunder Pinterest Board Sneak Peek! See more photos at the link!

July Thunder Pinterest Board Sneak Peek! See more photos at the link!

And finally, the preview of July Thunder/Lighting!

This excerpt is from Violet’s perspective on July 1, 2090.

“Are you afraid of Caleb?” Daniel asked.

Levi tossed his head back and laughed. “Afraid?” he repeated. “Of course I’m afraid. But I ain’t here ‘cause I’m scared of him.” Levi dropped into the water with a dramatic splash. When he resurfaced, his glowing skin scorched an eerie glow across his eyes. “I’m here ‘cause I’m scared for him.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” I snapped.

Levi’s eyes met mine. “The sea?” he asked, and to make a point, he dragged his fingers through the water. “She talks to me.”

“Well, isn’t that sweet?” I mocked, but Levi’s expression only darkened.

“She’s far from sweet, sweetheart,” he said. “She’s gonna kill us.”

“What are you talking about?” Daniel growled, but Levi smirked at his tone, like a sailor to a siren.

“Caleb didn’t tell you?” he asked, then touched the water again. “We’re all gonna drown.”

P.S. I released a longer excerpt via my newsletter. If you missed it, sign up today. More sneak peeks will release in the future. (I won’t ever give your information away, and I send one newsletter a month – if that.)

Thanks for reading!

Bad Bloods: November Rain is FREE

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Bad Bloods: November Snow

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Free Bad Bloods Prequel: Wattpad

~SAT

August’s Ketchup

31 Aug

Wow! August, I’m looking at you. You are wonderful.

For those of you just now checking in this month, Ketchup actually means “catch up.” At the end of every month, I write these posts describing what goes on behind the scenes at ShannonAThompson.com. Some of the topics I cover include my big moments, top blog posts, my top referrer, #1 SEO term, and more in order to show insights that will hopefully help fellow bloggers see what was popular. I also hope it entertains the readers who want “extras” for this website.

Thank you for being a part of my life this August.

Big Moments:

Bad Bloods: November Snow by Shannon A. Thompson

Bad Bloods: November Snow by Shannon A. Thompson

November Rain hit #1 in YA Sci Fi in the Free Kindle Store! I’m so happy so many of you are reading the Bad Bloods series and enjoying it. I love reading your reviews, seeing your photos, and geeking out about all the characters with you. (I’m going to get into some more character details below, so check that out.) My #1 searched term was Shannon A. Thompson! So, thanks for Googling me. 😉

In other news, November Snow arrived! I loved holding it in my hands. And since I could finally buy some books, I got all the books I could for Penned Con St. Louis. I’ll be there at the end of September! I’ve also confirmed that I’m traveling to Charleston, South Carolina in November for YALLFest! (Can’t you tell I love traveling?) I hope to meet some of you there.

I also got new author photos this month! Thank you, Huntress Photography!

November Rain (FREE)

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November Snow

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Bad Bloods Free Book

Bad Bloods Free Book

My #1 clicked item was Bad Bloods: November Rain again!

Also, the Bad Bloods Prequel is FREE on Wattpad. This month, the origins story of Ami and Steven released! You can read their stories by clicking the links. Ami is important because she’s the only character we meet from the Highlands. She will also play a huge role in the next books: July Thunder/Lightning. Steven, on the other hand, is just a plain ol’ sweetheart. He is one of my favorite Bad Bloods characters. His origin story has a lot to do with Catelyn, too, because they are practically inseparable. Fun fact: I almost told Bad Bloods from Catelyn and Steven’s perspective when I was first writing the books, but for those of you who’ve finished the books, you probably know why I didn’t do that now. ::cries into my hands forever::

#1 Referrer was Facebook!

#1 Referrer was Facebook!

Top Three Blog Posts:

1. Naming Your Characters: A lot can go into naming your characters, but hopefully, all these websites and tools help make the process smoother (and therefore, more fun)!

2. I Love Free Readers: There has been a lot of controversy surrounding readers who only read books they can legally get for free, but hey! I love them, and here’s why.

3. An Author Who Fears Public Speaking: Public speaking used to FREAK me out. But my speech class in college gave me the confidence I needed to accept my stutter and meet friends while laughing about my speech impediment. Now, I’m not afraid anymore.

 

Other Blog Posts:

Heroes I Want To See in YA: There are so many of them! And check out the comments. You all had the best conversation on this article.

When You Shouldn’t Write That Book: And I’m not talking about writer’s block.

Writing Tips: Different Perspectives: I love telling stories from two perspectives, but more goes into than you think

#SATurdate: The Secret Life of Pets, #1 YA Sci-Fi, Noble My Love, Criminal, & Aerie: A weekly update of what I’m reading, watching, drinking, etc.

Connecting Books Across Genres: Surprise! All my books are connected somehow.

#SATurdate: Suicide Squad, Little Alchemy, Marshmallow Popcorn, & Cinderella and the Four Knights: A weekly update of things I’m watching, reading, and more!

#SATurdate: Star Trek, Tallulah, Free Book, & Rice Maker Cake: A weekly update of everything I read, saw, and experienced!

#SATurdate: An Ember in the Ashes, A Torch Against the Night, W – Two Worlds, & YALLFest: Another weekly update of books, music, and more.

Website Wonders: A monthly update of all the websites I came across and loved.

At the end of the month, I also like to take a moment to thank all of the websites who supported me by posting reviews, interviews, and features. If you want to be one of these websites, feel free to join my newsletter or email me at shannonathompson@aol.com. I always love speaking with new bloggers, writers, and readers! I will also share your post on all of my websites.

Reviewers:

NOVEMBER RAIN

  • Lena May Books: “A powerful work of art. In November Rain, Thompson invites us into a world of secrecy, murder and unlikely friendships that are bound to make your head spin with wonder.”

NOVEMBER SNOW

August2016

#SATurdate: Suicide Squad, Little Alchemy, Marshmallow Popcorn, & Cinderella and the Four Knights

20 Aug

What I’m Writing:

Texts from readers

Texts from readers

I received some funny texts from a reader! I won’t say which project she was referring to, but it had me laughing pretty hard! What can I say? Chic Nerd Reads got it right in her book review of November Snow when she said “THE AUTHOR GAME OF THRONED ME AND I WAS IN MY FEELINGS OKAY?!?!?!?” I have a reputation. In regards to a literal writing update, I’ve actually been working on a few projects this week. Basically, I’m not sure which one I really want to sink my teeth into. Using abbreviated titles, I have D, N, JTL, B, TGO, S, TMY, and TMN in various stages of the writing process. I keep going back and forth with a couple of them, too. (I think I’ve written the first chapter of B a million and one times.) I know I should be powering through July Thunder/Lightning right now, but taking a step back can also help reevaluate where the story is going. I’d rather take longer and get the book down right instead of rush a project and hastily create something with a sloppy plot and style. I’ll keep everyone updated though! To make up for my lack of update, this week’s #1lineWed is a line directly out of July Thunder/Lighting, so check that out below.

What I’m Publishing:

November Snow came in the mail! I’m super happy to hold the paperback in my hands, and I ordered a bunch of copies for Penned Con in St. Louis this September! You’ll be able to get your hands on this paperback first at that convention. Who else is excited? I know I am! It’ll be my first convention as an author, though I attended Penned Con last year as a reader, and I look forward to seeing some familiar faces and some new ones. Three CTP authors will be there, and I’ll be sharing a booth with the talented Natasha Hanova.

November Rain (FREE)

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November Snow,

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Kobo, Smashwords, Goodreads

I have a little surprise for you. This #1lineWed line is actually from Bad Bloods: July Thunder/Lightning!

This #1lineWed theme was believe, so here is your preview:

What I’m Reading:

Bad Bloods: November Snow by Shannon A. Thompson

Bad Bloods: November Snow by Shannon A. Thompson

I finished Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray, and of course, gave it five-shiny-stars. I LOVE this trilogy, and I’m DYING to get my hands on the last book this November. Recommend to: young adult sci-fi/fantasy lovers, those who enjoy some complicated romance, and traveling between dimensions. Favorite Quote: There is strength within us that we can’t even comprehend until it’s called upon. If you want to read my full review, click here. If you want to check out my review of book 1, click here.

I’m also reading An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir. It’s awesome! But not for the light-hearted. While I really enjoy the epic world-building and danger, I find the amount of rape threats too much sometimes. I wish that had been toned down. Other than that, it’s a fantastic read! I’m about halfway through.

What I’m Listening To:

Gin Wigmore, because she’s a goddess. 

What I’m Watching:

I FINALLY saw Suicide Squad, and I definitely enjoyed it! I liked the humor, the action, and the overall plot. They made Cara Delevingne look so creepy! I also thought Margot Robbie was awesome. It’s nice to see female characters getting more than one line in a film. (I’m looking at you Superman Vs. Batman.) I also enjoyed seeing Will Smith back on the big screen. It felt like a lot was cut out though, so I look forward to when they release extras.

Suicide Squad

Suicide Squad

I also started watching Cinderella and the Four Knights…and it’s awesome. I love K-dramas. But this one is just too cute. (I don’t even normally enjoy fairy tale-related things, but come on! The protagonist is too cute.) But there are only two episodes available. BOO. I also started W, as suggested by Siamese Mayhem! I’ll probably talk more about that K-drama next week since I just started it last night.

Cinderella and the Four Knights

Cinderella and the Four Knights

What I’m Baking, Making, and Drinking:

Marshmallow Popcorn Balls

Marshmallow Popcorn Balls

I had a BUNCH of marshmallows laying around…and popcorn. So, marshmallow popcorn balls happened. Since I have a rice maker now, I also promised myself I would learn how to make sushi from home. So, I bought a bunch of fish and made a ton of sushi…and still had extra fish left over. So, seafood chowder happened. All of it was amazing. Not going to lie. I haven’t eaten that well in weeks.

What I’m Wearing:

Birthday hats! My best friend’s daughter had her seventh birthday. Pretty crazy!

What I’m Wanting:

All the episodes of Cinderella and the Four Knights!

What I’m Dreaming Of:

Literally, the longest dream ever happened to me this week, but I’ll cut some of the details out to make it readable. Basically, it started off with a teenage girl who was on her high school’s tennis team, but she didn’t study correctly, so she wasn’t allowed to go to the out-of-state tournament. Also, for punishment, she had to stay in the school overnight and make sure nothing happened to it. About 1 AM, she wakes up to noise, only to realize the recess area is on fire. So, she gets her cellphone, but it’s dead, so she has to go outside to a payphone to call the police. As she’s on the phone, however, a man with a gun runs up and starts shooting at the flames. Other men jump out with other weapons. It got crazy violent, including one man with an axe-throwing capability. But the girl screamed and ran back into the school with a man chasing her…Here’s where it gets weird. The school is no longer a school. It’s a home. A BIG home. And she seems to recognize it as her uncle’s house. With someone chasing her, she runs into a bathroom and barely locks it. The person begins pounding on the door, telling her to let him in, asking her to calm down, etc. But she’s going through her options. She even finds a gun, but it’s one of those “has to recognize the owner’s fingerprints” guns, so it doesn’t work. She then tears down the blinds, and looks out the window, where she sees a hot tub below her. So, she escapes out the window, and uses the ledges of all the other rooms in this apparent mansion to escape to lower levels. BUT…when she gets to the lower levels, she starts to realize it’s cold outside. The fire is gone. Snow is falling. People are sledding. It’s like a GIANT holiday party is right outside. So, she jumps into the snow, people see her, and the man chasing her begins chasing her again. She starts screaming, he starts screaming, and a stranger helps by separating the two. When the police come, they tell her they have no record of her call or of what happened…and no one knows who she is. SO HERE’S WHERE IT GETS WEIRDER. The dream then zooms out. MY DREAM. And it shows a boy watching a TV screen where the dream was. So, my dream was a movie in another dream level? I don’t know. But this boy gets mad at the ending and gets on YouTube to Google what the ending was about. Apparently, the movie has a new “rad” director who’s already famous for making films that don’t make sense. The boy gets mad at how cheap that is. (I do, too.) And then I woke up. I swear this felt like it went on for hours.

What Else Is Going On:

Little Alchemy

Little Alchemy

I accidentally discovered the Little Alchemy game, and I can’t stop. I now have 343 elements out of 560.

How do you make the best element ever, you ask?

Milk + Wild Animal.

It’s a cat.

You’re welcome.

~SAT

#WW I Love Free Readers

17 Aug

What is a free reader? A reader who only reads free books. In a market where millions of books are listed as free across all platforms, free readers have become a common occurrence…and they’ve also caught a lot of flak.

First, I want to clarify that I’m not talking about people who steal books by illegally downloading them or by using the five-finger discount at the store. I’m talking about readers who only read free books they legally received through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, NetGalley, publishers, etc. I think we can all agree that stealing is wrong. But if an author has books listed for free—a common marketing plan, especially in regards to series—I don’t think we should complain that some people are only reading free books. I say this from a platform with two of my five books currently listed as free. I also say this as someone who rarely reads free books nowadays. Since most free books are eBooks, and I have a hard time reading eBooks, I buy paperbacks from Barnes & Noble to read. But I don’t hate “free readers.” Instead, I love them. Why? Because I was one of them.

In college, I couldn’t afford to do anything beyond buy my college textbooks, so I lived off of legally free entertainment, and most days, that art saved me. I raved about their work, I fell in love with their work, I followed them on social media, and complemented them, and told all my friends about them. Now that I have more money in my life, I spend my cash on their work. Today, maybe even as you’re reading this, there’s someone out there just like me, reading my free work, too, and I hope they are having a great day.

Free Kindle Books

Free Kindle Books

A free book is a gift we choose to give. We cannot give a gift and expect something in return. That ruins the entire point of giving. Besides, libraries have allowed readers to rent books forever, but we only seem to debate the eBook 1-click download readers.

As an author with free books, I’m happy when someone takes a chance on my work. I’m happy I might have a new fan. I’m happy my book is out there, and for all I know, that “free reader” could be saving every extra penny just so they can buy the next books ASAP. I can honestly say I’ve been contacted by a “free reader” who—after reading my entire trilogy through a giveaway—saved up enough money to not only buy paperbacks but asked if they could buy signed paperbacks from me. They chose to buy my books with their only birthday money. That “free reader” is now my friend.

Of course, there are bad eggs. The ones who expect everything for free. The ones who leave bad reviews just because it isn’t free. The ones who send emails asking for free paperbacks. The ones who take hundreds of ARCs from book shows when you’re only supposed to take one. Of course there are readers who give a bad name to good readers. Of course there are. But I’m addressing the ones who follow the rules—when free isn’t all that bad.

I get it though. I do. I’m an author. My books help me pay the bills, too. Writing is my second full-time job, and I work my little writer’s butt off to create books, and my publisher busts their butt to edit, format, and print my work. Writing and publishing is time-consuming and expensive, and it would be wonderful if that work then paid for itself and more. But the market is highly competitive, and readers also have bills to pay and a life to fund. If I choose to list my book for free, then that was my choice. I cannot expect the reader to then go buy the rest of my series, even if it is under the price of a cup of coffee. (I can definitely hope though!)

Why Pay For EBooks? was a popular article on Fussy Librarian, and I highly recommend the read. Three wonderful authors discuss how royalties affect their life, and it’s a side of publishing we often forget. I totally agree with all the points made, but we should keep the reader’s side in mind, too. Free readers are not our enemy; free readers are our friend. They are taking a chance on our work. They are sampling new authors and participating in discussions and leaving reviews and entering contests to share the next book, too. They are trying to support you in any way they can.

How can we help authors if we cannot afford to buy books?

1. Don’t steal. Instead, get a library card, start a book blog, enter giveaways, and apply to publishers for ARC (advanced reader copies). If the book you want isn’t at the library, let the library know you want it! Talking to your librarian helps everyone.

2. Leave reviews! Whether it’s a helpful 1-star or a raving 5-star review, let people know what you think. Recommend the book to someone you know will enjoy it.

3. Contact the author. Tell them how much you loved their book. Ask them how you can help spread the word about their books. Maybe they have an upcoming release you can ask your librarians to get. Encouragement and support is priceless. My day is often made by a fan just stopping by to say hello.

Authors are here to write, and authors should be paid, but personally, I’m happy if no one is stealing and readers are enjoying our work enough to share it with the world.

Keep reading, keep writing, and…uh…comment below for free? 😉

~SAT

Here are two of my FREE books:

Bad Bloods: November Rain

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboSmashwordsGoodreads

Minutes Before Sunset

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksSmashwordsKoboGoodreads

#SATurdate: The Secret Life of Pets, #1 YA Sci-Fi, Noble My Love, Criminal, & Aerie

13 Aug

What I’m Writing:

Wattpad Ami's Story

Wattpad Ami’s Story

While I’m dutifully writing in Bad Bloods: July Thunder/Lightning, I also had to take a step back and work on some other projects this week, mainly Dreammare, which was awesome. That being said, I’m 38,740 words into July Thunder/Lightning, and hit a bit of a snag (but in a good way). I had to concentrate on making a more precise timeline and will continue to do so. Also, my characters tend to reveal tricky things about 40,000 words in that I never planned, so I might have to go back and change the beginning. I’m looking forward to it! So far, I’m also continuing the Bad Bloods Prequel on Wattpad, so I wrote Ami’s story this week. She is the only bad blood character who was from the Highlands before joining the Southern Flock. What is the Highlands? It’s a fenced-off area in the center of Vendona, notoriously known as the “richer” area of the city. Her story also becomes a bigger deal in Bad Bloods: November Snow, sooooo…read it. 😉

What I’m Publishing:

#1 in YA Sci-Fi

Bad Bloods is now available! In fact, Bad Bloods: November Rain is #1 in the YA Sci-Fi Free Kindle Store (and #130 overall)! Thank you for reading.

November Rain

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboSmashwordsGoodreads

November Snow,

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Kobo, Smashwords, Goodreads

Bad Bloods Bookstagram

Bad Bloods Bookstagram

I love it when you send me photos of Bad Bloods and The Timely Death Trilogy! This beautiful one is from Instagram’s @frazzledfairybooks. Stop by Amanda’s page and say hello.

This #1lineWed theme was enough, so here is your preview: Maybe it was a strong word. Maybe it wasn’t strong enough.

What I’m Reading:

Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray

Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray

Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray! I couldn’t help myself. I’m still reading An Ember in the Ashes and Sea of Stars, but I just NEED to continue the Firebird series. That being said, I’ve had little to no free reading time this week. As an editor, most of my reading has been during work and I’ve been working overtime…though I did find time to read a stupid amount of conspiracy theories this week, mainly John Titor, the time-traveler from 2036 who posted on web forums in 2001. (It’s a guilty pleasure of mine. I just can’t help myself.)

What I’m Listening To:

The podcast Criminal is my latest obsession. It’s pretty interesting and an easy listen. If you’re interested in crime, this one is a good podcast. It covers various types—like counterfeit money and murderous pigs—and is about 20 minutes a piece, so just long enough to do the dishes. The strangest part of listening to this podcast was stumbling upon Episode 6, which covers the shootings of Glenn Miller in Overland Park, KS. He killed three people in 2014, and if you followed my blog back then, I actually lived close enough to the shootings that I heard the sirens. (Here’s that article: Writing Tips: Dealing with Controversy.) One of the victims even attended the same high school I graduated from. Hearing his family speak was pretty surreal. I definitely recommend this podcast.

What I’m Watching:

While everyone went out and saw Suicide Squad this week, I saw The Secret Life of Pets. What? I want to see Suicide Squad—I do—but I needed something light, silly, and fluffy in my life, so a pet movie was my choice…and I was satisfied. It was pretty darn cute.

The Secrets Life of Pets

The Secrets Life of Pets

I also binge-watched Noble, My Love, which is a South Korean drama about a CEO and a veterinarian falling in love. Don’t judge me. I’ve been obsessed with South Korean dramas lately. 

Noble, My Love

Noble, My Love

What I’m Baking, Making, and Drinking:

apple pie bread pudding

apple pie bread pudding

I baked apple pie bread pudding this week, which was awesome. Hard to photograph though.

What I’m Wearing:

Sticky Notes. I’m buried in them. And I need to use more of them, ASAP.

What I’m Wanting:

Aerie by Maria Dahvana Headley

Aerie by Maria Dahvana Headley

Aerie by Maria Dahvana Headley! I LOVED Magnolia, and you can read my five-star review by clicking here. I’ve been looking forward to this sequel since July of 2015. If you haven’t read it, check it out.

What I’m Dreaming Of:

I went to Rome, but forgot that hotels were necessary, so I emptied out a famous fountain…and I slept in it.

That was it.

What Else Is Going On:

I went to a Royals baseball game with my dad and his friends this week…which means I—GASP—left my house…and went out in the sun…and SURVIVED.

Okay. It was fun.

~SAT

#SATurdate: Star Trek, Tallulah, Free Book, & Rice Maker Cake

6 Aug

Since last Saturday was my monthly Ketchup post, this one covers two weeks of info.

What I’m Writing:

I’m dutifully writing in Bad Bloods: July Thunder/Lightning right now, and so far, I love working with these characters again, especially the brand-new crew that’s being introduced. That being said, I’m 31,269 words in, and currently writing July 10, 2090. I am considering stepping aside from the Bad Bloods Prequel so I can concrete completely on Bad Bloods: July Thunder/Lightning, but I will let you know before the next Wattpad post is due on August 12. Work is pretty intense right now, so if I can get 10,000 words done a week, I’m pretty happy! We’ll see what August brings!

What I’m Publishing:

Bad Bloods is now available! And SURPRISE! Book one is now free!

Bad Bloods Free Book

Bad Bloods Free Book

November Rain

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboSmashwordsGoodreads

November Snow,

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Kobo, Smashwords, Goodreads

Photo by BookPrints! (Look closely. You might see Take Me Tomorrow!)

Photo by BookPrints! (Look closely. You might see Take Me Tomorrow!)

What is the latest reader saying? “A powerful work of art. In November Rain, Thompson invites us into a world of secrecy, murder and unlikely friendships that are bound to make your head spin with wonder.”Lena May Books

Thank you for writing reviews! You all are the best. Seriously, your reviews make my day, and I am happy to share them. Oh! And your photos. Send them my way.

This #1lineWed theme was wind, so here is your preview:

What I’m Reading:

I’m currently in a reading typhoon. I’m reading An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir and Sea of Stars by Amy A. Bartol. Both are awesome! But I’m also staring at my copy of Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray, desperately wanting to read it, but also knowing I won’t get anything else in my life done the second I open it up. Ah! #Readerproblems.

What I’m Listening To:

Since I’ve shared what my female protagonist of Bad Bloods: July Thunder/Lightning has loved, this is the first song my male protagonist loved. Fun fact: Silent Rider was one of the main bands I listened to while writing Bad Bloods: November Rain/Snow, though Serena loved them. Daniel didn’t like music.

What I’m Watching:

 I HAD to see the new Star Trek film, and I LOVED it. I actually liked it more than the last one. It was both thrilling and hilarious, though sad to think Anton Yelchin is gone. He’s been one of my favorite actors since Charlie Bartlett (and if you haven’t seen that or Odd Thomas, do so now). I hear they aren’t going to recast his character, which I think is really respectful. I look forward to seeing where this series goes in the future. Definitely recommended.

I also watched Tallulah on Netflix, and it was the best! I cried a lot—like A LOT, a lot—because Tallulah was perfection. There are so many discussions to be had about this film, and it was nice to see an almost all-female cast for once (and to see women depicted as round, complicated characters with rich histories). Great movie!

And…I’m binge-watching Playful Kiss, a Korean drama based off yet another manga I’ve read. Although I liked Good Morning Call a lot more, I cannot get over these guilty pleasures of mine.

Star Trek, Talulah, & Playful Kiss

Star Trek, Talulah, & Playful Kiss

What I’m Baking, Making, and Drinking:

rice maker pancake cake

rice maker pancake cake

I FINALLY got my hands on a rice maker…and the first thing I made in it was a cream cheese raspberry swirl pancake cake. Not going to lie, this was the best dessert ever. I did make rice later though, and it was awesome! I’ve been wanting one of these gadgets forever. My life is now complete. I also made cheesecake swirl brownies…but nothing compares to that pancake cake.

Recipes: pancake rice maker cake & cheesecake swirl brownies

What I’m Wearing:

Black cat coffee mug

Black cat coffee mug

Fogged-up sunglasses, because the humidity is so intense here, no one can see a thing. But really, I’ve been wearing anything that matches my brand-new cat coffee mug. (Okay, so not literally, but isn’t it cute?) I have three cats: one black one, one brown one, and one white one…so I’m thinking I need to get two more coffee mugs to represent my little cat family. (Though everyone around me has told me my coffee mug collection is getting out of hand, I just can’t stop loving them.)

What I’m Wanting:

The Black Key by Amy Ewing

The Black Key by Amy Ewing

The Black Key by Amy Ewing. I LOVED The Jewel and The White Rose. (Click those links to read my five-star reviews on Goodreads). I’m super excited to see how this trilogy ends in October.

What I’m Dreaming Of:

So, I lived on this icy landscape, but honestly, it looked more like the world was frozen over, because we were in the middle of a city. Think about any apocalypse setting in a movie—scattered cars all over the highway, nobody around, eerie silence—that sort of thing. But we had a camp of people living in the mountains…then, no one started coming back after scavenging and hunting. So, my brother and I set out to find them…only to stumble across a bunch of messed up corpses. That’s when my brother shouted, “POLAR BEAR!” And sure enough, he was eaten. I ran away though, and I managed to get inside the flappiest tent I’ve ever seen, which apparently, was safe from this man-eating, crazed polar bear. I probably should’ve been eaten in this dream, too, but surprisingly, I woke up after falling asleep in the tent peacefully.

What Else Is Going On:

I officially have new author photos! Special thanks goes out to Huntress Photography for the lovely shoot.

~SAT

#WW Connecting Books Across Genres

3 Aug

I’m a young adult author who writes in various genres. I have contemporary, paranormal romance, fantasy, and science fiction published, but my two main series include a Dark vs. Light paranormal romance that takes place in the small Midwest town of Hayworth—The Timely Death Trilogy—and a science fiction duology—Bad Bloods—about children with hindering abilities fighting against an election that decides if they will continue to be executed or not. While The Timely Death Trilogy takes place in modern Kansas, Bad Bloods takes place in an undisclosed southern city bordered by the ocean and locked in by walls in the year 2089. Despite having different locations, time periods, and genres, these series are connected.

What? How?

Well, let me tell you without spoiling it for you: the characters.

If you read The Timely Death Trilogy and you also read the Bad Bloods Prequel (FREE on Wattpad), you will get to know a little girl named Violet. She is the key to the connection. But that’s all I’ll say for now.

Why did I connect these two, seemingly unrelated stories? Because they ARE related, and they always have been in my mind. I mean, they existed in my mind at the same time, after all. And so do all of my stories. Which, basically means I connect all of my novels in some way or another.

Consider it a wink to all those readers who follow every book by an author.

My books I'm discussing, The Timely Death Trilogy and Bad Bloods

My books I’m discussing, The Timely Death Trilogy and Bad Bloods

But how do I do this?

I’m not sure there’s a method, necessarily. I always tell aspiring writers to follow their gut, and this is often why. For instance, I definitely don’t know every book I will write in my life time, but by keeping my mind and heart open to the characters (and honest), I guarantee they’ll reveal a weird twist of how they got to know each other while hanging out in my mind space.

As an example? Many readers were dying for a continuation of The Timely Death Trilogy (or a happily ever after epilogue), but the truth of it was, whenever I attempted to tackle a shiny, pretty ending, I only saw my characters lives becoming more and more complicated as they grew older. (A reality, really.) And while I wanted to leave everyone on a happy note, Violet’s character in Bad Bloods is so powerful to The Timely Death Trilogy, I couldn’t deny what she wanted to say: the truth. And that truth became the connection, and to me, these connections remind us an important truth to every story.

Connecting books across genres shows that a character’s story never ends, even when the pages do.

~SAT

I have new author photos! Check out my right side tool bar to see it, and of course, special thanks to Huntress Photography!

My publisher is also hosting an August Back to School Giveaway! You can win a $25 gift card to Amazon, CTP mystery boxes, November Snow, and many other books!

Bad Bloods: November Rain

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboSmashwordsGoodreads

Bad Bloods: November Snow! 

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboSmashwordsGoodreads

Bad Bloods: November Snow

Bad Bloods: November Snow

July’s Ketchup

30 Jul

Another month has gone by, and now, two more books are out in the world! Yippee!

For those of you just now checking in this month, Ketchup actually means “catch up.” At the end of every month, I write these posts describing what goes on behind the scenes at ShannonAThompson.com. Some of the topics I cover include my big moments, top blog posts, my top referrer, #1 SEO term, and more in order to show insights that will hopefully help fellow bloggers see what was popular. I also hope it entertains the readers who want “extras” for this website.

Thank you for being a part of my life this July.

Big Moments:

Bad Bloods: November Rain and Bad Bloods: November Snow released across all platforms! Because of your reviews, we already went into a second print-run, AND I’ve been approved to write more Bad Bloods books. I’m currently working on the next installment now! And I can’t wait to debut the paperbacks of these Bad Bloods books at Penned Con in St. Louis this September.

November Rain

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboSmashwordsGoodreads

November Snow

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboSmashwordsGoodreads

#1 Clicked Item was Bad Bloods: November Rain

#1 Clicked Item was Bad Bloods: November Rain

Also, the Bad Bloods Prequel is FREE on Wattpad. This month, the origins stories of Catelyn, Niki, and Blake released. If you want to see what the sequel might be like, Niki’s story shows a place in Eastern Vendona called the sunken bay, and a large portion of the next book will take place there. Next month, you’ll meet Steven and Ami, both from the Southern Flock.

In other exciting news, my YA fantasy—Dreammare—made it into the top five of the Red Light / Green Light Competition! I am so happy I participated and met so many wonderful writers. One day, I hope I can pursue this manuscript!

#1 SEO Term

#1 SEO Term

Top Three Blog Posts:

1. Content Disclosures for Novels: My publisher provides content disclosures on novels for readers who want to scan content before they read. This helps those with PTSD or even those who want to avoid cursing and other situations. They rate romance, violence, cursing, and drug use.

2. Bad Bloods: November Snow! My second Bad Bloods book released this month, and that was super exciting! I’m amazed to see this book back out in the world after nearly a decade off the shelves. Never give up, guys. It can be a long wait, but it’s worth it.

3. Bad Bloods: November Rain! The first book in the Bad Bloods duology released this month as well, and I was so excited to see so many of YOU excited, too. Thank you for posting your reviews and ratings everywhere you can. I appreciate all the time you’ve taken to try out my work and also recommend it to those who might enjoy it, too.

Other Blog Posts:

How To Get A Literary Agent: Many writers are searching, but many don’t know where to start. I ran a writer’s group this month, and since I covered this topic there, I brought the lesson to my own website. I outline where to start, how to begin, and when to research and pitch. There are dozens of websites and tools out there for you to use, so I hope you enjoy the info!

#1 Referrer was WordPress' Reader

#1 Referrer was WordPress’ Reader

How to Manage a Book Launch: Additionally, publishing can be scary, and no matter what route of publishing you went, you know you have to market…and you have to market a lot. This means you have a huge hand in your own book launch, so I outlined when to start marketing your book and some ideas to keep in mind as your book goes out to the public.

#SATurdate: Independence Day Resurgence, The Last Star, & PokemonGO: My weekly update of what I’m watching, reading, and eating.

Writing Tips for a Trilogy or Series: Everyone loves a good series, but how do you write one?

#SATurdate: Good Morning Call, Bad Bloods 3, Top Ten, & Serial: My weekly update of what I’m watching, reading, and eating.

Publishing A Political YA Book During An Election: My Bad Bloods books revolve around an election, and boy, is it surreal.

#SATurdate: Salt to the Sea, Death Note, The Turncoat’s Gambit, & Tallulah: My weekly update of what I’m watching, reading, and eating.

#SATurdate: Book Release, Stranger Things, A Thousand Pieces of You, & Swiss Army Man: My weekly update of what I’m watching, reading, and eating.

Website Wonders: A monthly classic

YouTube Channel:

At the end of the month, I also like to take a moment to thank all of the websites who supported me by posting reviews, interviews, and features. If you want to be one of these websites, feel free to join my newsletter or email me at shannonathompson@aol.com. I always love speaking with new bloggers, writers, and readers! I will also share your post on all of my websites.

Reviewers:

NOVEMBER RAIN

  • Teen Book Lit 101: “I was in love with this novel right from the first page. It’s such a page turner and definitely a unique concept. I haven’t read anything like it so far. I love how fast paced and intense it is.”
  • Macy Loves Stories: “November Rain is very relatable and at the same time very inspiring, breathtaking, and beautiful. It should be read by everyone because I believe everyone will learn at least one valuable lesson from it. I also thought of The Hunger Games and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children while reading it, so if you loved those books, you should definitely check Bad Bloods out!”
  • A Reader’s Review: “A dark and insightful dystopian read! Thompson is an immensely talented writer. I was reminded of events from history such as the witch trails and the Holocaust, not to mention contemporary events surrounding the modern day diaspora of those from war torn countries which has resulted in the pressure of immigration on other nations, which  some are fearful of. A top read for readers of Young Adult fiction and/or for those who are seeking a thought provoking read.”
  • The Bookworm Who Lived: “I’m so hooked on this story and I am excited to start November Snow as soon as I’m done writing this review. I definitely recommend this book!”
  • Daydreaming Books: “November Rainwas a great read. The plot and the characters were pretty interesting and I was hooked from the very first page. The writing was smooth and easy to read and the pace was fast throughout the book. I easily finished this book in two sittings, it was hard to put it down. I am so excited to read the next part and see what happens! Recommend it? Yes!”
  • Black Words-White Pages: “This book is addicting and very fast paced. I highly recommend this story to read this amazing story.”
  • Between Folded Pages: “You’ll need to pick this one up if you’re looking for a great quick read about wonderful characters in a corrupt world.”
  • Tranquil Dreams: “November Rain is a fun read and very much a page turner!”
  • Chic Nerd Reads: “If you’re into X-men and corrupt government, then pick this up!! I am so left wanting more!!The writing is awesome and super easy. The story is fast paced and you will fly through November Rain. The plot is easy to understand, and once you’re into the story, you just get everything that’s going on. I am definitely going to read more from this author.” 
  • The Bookie Monster: “This is one of those ‘you can’t put it down’ books. Thompson builds the tension of the election and its importance slowly and with care. She develops her characters fully and with great attention to detail. She is a masterful storyteller.”
  • Mel’s Shelves: “I’m looking forward to reading more!”

NOVEMBER SNOW

  • Teen Book Lit 101: Oh, the feels!!! I absolutely loved it!!!
  • Black Words, White Pages: I bawled like a baby at the end of this book. I highly recommend this story to all to read and enjoy!!
  • Daydreaming Books: This book was an emotional roller-coaster! So much happened in this book, I couldn’t entirely believe my eyes. Recommend it? Yes!
  • The Book Forums: Wow…I mean this as a compliment, November Snowripped out my heart, then stepped on it…Then laughed at my dead heart on the ground. End the end, Bad Bloods: November Snow is an amazing read that I recommend to everyone.
  • OMG Books and More Books: Filled with suspense, action, and unexpected twists, Bad Bloods is one of my favorite duologues this year. I strongly recommend this book to anyone. My heart broke in the end, but I loved every minute of this book.
  • Read, Watch, and Think:  A lot more action, twists and turns making it an amazing finale. The language is satin smooth and the narration quality is what makes the author’s book to die for. It’s a fabulous series.
  • Babbling Books: Truly, Thompson has done an incredible job here of story weaving. Just wonderful. Don’t underestimate your need for tissues here people, don’t do it. Prepare yourself with tissues and a cuddly stuffed animal.

Interviews: Discover New AuthorsKC Writes Interview PodcastCharacter interview

 Features: CTP’s Sizzling Summer Reads, July Book Boyfriend/Girlfriends Month

Awarders: The Liebster Award by No Quarter Series. 

July2016

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