Tag Archives: historical romance

#MondayBlogs Authors I’ve Met Who Inspired Me

22 Feb

Every Monday I rewrite a post from the past in a new and different away. Today’s post, for instance, is simply inspired by my older post: Relax & Read: A Dog Named Christmas by Greg Kincaid. I wrote this post after reading A Dog Named Christmas, but this book means more to me than what this post reveals. Greg Kincaid is one of many authors who I have had the pleasure of speaking to, so today, I wanted to talk about three authors who have affected my life (and why readers should never hesitate to contact their favorite writers)!

1. Elizabeth C. Bunce: If I could accurately express my gratitude to Elizabeth C. Bunce, I would, but I cannot because my gratitude is endless. Not only was she one of my favorite young adult authors growing up but she was also one of the first authors I was able to meet in person…and I was only 16 when I first met her. She held a book signing in the KC area, and I drove to listen to her reading, and I gave her a copy of my very first published book. She was incredibly supportive and encouraging. I had the pleasure of discussing writing and reading with her one-on-one a couple of times over the years. She is delightful, brilliant, and overall inspiring. Read her books here.

2. Rosemary Clement-Moore: When I was 19, I was invited to the Nimrod Journal Conference through my fiction writing course while attending the University of Kansas. I drove to Tulsa, Oklahoma just for the event, and it was, by far, worth it. I had the joy of sitting in on Rosemary Clement-Moore’s young adult panel, and she made the time to sit down and speak with me afterward. She told me a great publishing story about one of her close friends, and it inspired me to stay on the path I was on to follow my own dreams…AND the whole time I had my jacket buttoned wrong. I didn’t even notice until I looked at the photos later. I was a complete nervous wreck…and she still helped me. That meant the world. Read her books here.

inspiration

3. Greg Kincaid: The author who inspired this post is the same man who wrote the book (and now Hallmark movie) A Dog Named Christmas. He (magically) took the time out of his day to talk to me about screen writing, fiction writing, and his search for agents and publication. He was honest, direct, and absolutely helpful. At the time, I had just started writing Take Me Tomorrow (and that was almost five years ago), and he even read it and gave me great feedback, which helped me shape the story into what it became today. I could not have dreamt for more direction or support. Read his books here.

Without these three authors, my writing life would be very different…and these are only THREE of the many authors I’ve met. I have also met Stephenie Meyer, Amy A. Bartol, Tish Thawer, and many others. Recently, as many of you know, I had the pure joy of sharing a Barnes & Noble book signing with Tamara GranthamCandice GilmerJan Schliesman, and Angi Morgan. A lovely group! There are a dozen of others I wish I could name, but I want to simply express how grateful I am for all the authors and fellow writers I meet on a regular basis. If you’re an aspiring writer—and you’re not sure if a six-hour drive is worth meeting an author—I’m telling you now, DO IT. Every hour is worth it. Every moment is priceless.

One day, I’d love to meet Cassandra Clare, Victoria Aveyard, Meg Cabot, Marie Rutkoski, Ally Carter, and Marissa Meyer. (But really, I could go on forever.)

Meet the authors you can.

I hope one day I can meet you all too!

~SAT

#WW 2016 YA Reading Predictions

23 Dec

As the year comes to an end, readers are looking forward to new releases in 2016…and authors are nervous about all the predictions coming out. (Come on, I know I’m not the only one.) I’ve already read a few myself—and they ALWAYS freak me out. So what better way to combat them than by joining in on the fun?

These are just my silly predictions for 2016. Basically, I’m just having fun! (And I hope you have fun too.) A slight disclaimer: if you’re an author, please don’t be discouraged if you don’t meet my “predictions.” I mean, I have two dystopian novels coming out in 2016, despite my predictions being against it, so trust me, I don’t think any sort of predictions should stop anyone from publishing what they’re publishing. In fact, I think predictions can be rather silly. Readers pick what’s hot and what’s not. Not publishers, not authors, not booksellers. Readers do.

This is just for fun.

Without further ado…

Alternate History: Personally—and I know I’m not of the popular opinion—I think 2016 will become the year of alternate history books. This sort of ties into other dimensions, which is the next sub-genre I want to discuss, but I’m seeing a huge growth in alternate history books stretching over numerous genres, which is why I think it’s so powerful. You can have an alternate history in sci-fi—think Man in the High Castle, which has just become an Amazon original (and is awesome by the way) about the Nazis winning WWII—and then think of steampunk or historical romance, where we have books like The Inventor’s Secret, in which the American Revolution never happened. Granted, these could just be “other dimensions,” but I had to separate them from the next topic, because these alternate history tales aren’t always explained by alternate dimensions; they simply can just be. If I had to get specific, I think this will get hugely popular around the fall season…or even move into 2017, especially if steampunk is involved. Either way, alternate history can thread itself into all genres seamlessly…including what I think will be the biggest trend: Other dimensions.

Dimensions: This is the MAIN one I see growing. Other dimension stories—like Trial by Fire or A Thousand Pieces of You—are continuing their trilogies, and from what I’ve noticed in the industry, when books get to their final pieces, that’s when the genre is at its hottest, so you might be looking at 2017, too. Ex. Winter in The Lunar Chronicles and Ensnared in Splintered—the last in their series—just released in the same year fairy tale retellings were HUGE. So, if your book includes other dimensions, readers might be fighting for it in 2016 and 2017. That being said, I HAVE to tackle fairy tale retellings…

Fairy tale retellings: Can we talk about this without someone getting upset with me? Many are claiming this is going to be the hottest genre in 2016, but I’ll tell you what…I’m a bit tired of them. I love them; please don’t get me wrong. In fact, I just finished Winterspell by Claire Legrand, and it was one of my favorite reads all year. (It’s a retelling of The Nutcracker.) I just think that I’m ready for something else, so this is probably biased, but I actually think readers are going to sway away from fairy tale retellings by the time we get halfway through 2016. I think 2015 was the year for fairy tales. I mean, I just went to the bookstore the other day, and EVERYTHING was a fairy tale retelling. There was a glass slipper or an apple on nearly every cover. It was exhausting. I like variety as much as the next person. So, while I love fairy tales—and I definitely think they are still going to do great—I don’t think they are going to be the star of the show like they were last year.

Here are five books I'm looking forward to that already have covers!

Here are five 2016 books I’m looking forward to that already have covers! (The cover for The Winner’s Kiss will now keep the original design for the hardback! So excited!) 

In a quick sum up, I think aliens/galaxy novels are growing, especially at the beginning of the year with the release of The 5th Wave movie (and the last book in the trilogy releasing, The Last Star). I also don’t think dystopian is going away at all, despite big publishers claiming they are, hence why Lionsgate is hoping to continue The Hunger Games franchise with prequels. (Here’s an article.) There’s still value in the genre—probably because of the state of the world—but I do see dystopian swinging more into books that combine dystopian elements with epic fantasy, meaning it’s an entirely new world separated from our world. Think of The Jewel by Amy Ewing (Her last book in this trilogy should release in 2016 as well). Basically, not “the US once existed, but now it doesn’t” dystopian, but rather “this is a brand-new world with dystopian governments doing terrible things.” This also means I’m seeing more epic fantasy in general. New world, new rules, new faces, new creatures, and of course, maps. So many more maps! Think of The Winner’s Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski. If you have a map in the front of your book, you’re doing 2016 right.

And finally…covers: I can’t talk about books without talking about book covers. From what I can tell, fancy fonts and symbolism is the “in” thing, especially feathers. Has anyone else noticed that? Feathers are freakin’ everywhere. Girls in dresses are somehow staying popular, and despite the overload of them, I think they’re here to stay. People love them too much. (I mean, they are gorgeous, aren’t they?) I have a hate-love relationship with them myself. But—yes—I think 2016 will be the year of symbols on the cover rather than people. That and hand-painted designs. Anything with special graphics, unique fonts, and/or strange artwork will be grabbed off shelves for their looks.

So, what do you think?

Any genre you see growing? Any genre you see simmering down?

Again, these are just my silly little predictions. Nothing too serious.

Just have fun,

~SAT

It’s official! There will be a Bad Bloods cover reveal for BOTH books on January 6. I will send out a newsletter December 29, asking for help, and three of you will win an exclusive sneak peek of November Rain

If you want to be a part of it, sign up for my newsletter here. (No purchase necessary, your information will never be given away, and you can unsubscribe at any time. I only send out one email per month, if that.)

newsletter

774959_954867311227117_7029831497832645098_oQuick shout-out to my lovely publisher, Clean Teen Publishing. These hard-working ladies crafted the most thoughtful gifts for the CTP authors this holiday season. They made this ‘S’ out of excerpts from The Timely Death Trilogy! How neat is that?

Minutes Before Sunset: book 1 (FREE)

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboGoodreads

Seconds Before Sunrise: book 2

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboGoodreads

Death Before Daylight: book 3

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboGoodreads

#SATurday Update: Hannibal, The Jewel, Penny Dreadful, Chocolate, and More.

17 Oct

This week has been lots of fun! I actually went on another trip. This time, to Hannibal, Missouri—the hometown of Mark Twain. I went on a riverboat ride down the Mississippi, heard local folklore (like Lover’s Leap), took a tour through the Rockcliffe Mansion, and snuck in some wine and chocolate along the way (at Chocolate Stam). The wine I had was called the Cat’s Meow too, so that was a plus. Other than that, it’s been the year of sickness for me. I caught a cold somehow during my trip, so I’ve been traveling and dealing with sickness. Boo. But it’s been a great week.

hannibal

What I’m Writing:

I have to be honest. I have not budged a lot from my last update, once again. This is mainly because I was traveling and sick. It’s rather funny, really. I normally have so many updates, which is why I started this, but since starting this, I haven’t had any. I promise that’s not like me, and I look forward to getting back into the swing of things. Still, just for fun, I participated in #1lineWed, and the theme was first line of your book, so here’s the opening line to November Snow: Vendona damned me to hell the day I was born, but no one had the guts to tell me.

What I’m Publishing:

Also like my above post, I haven’t budged a lot. I’m still trying to recover/figure something out. I promise I’m trying though. I’m actually looking at turning November Snow into a series of some kind. I love trilogies, but I don’t want to be untrue to the story, so I’m letting it come to me and opening my mind/heart to it (as cheesy at that sounds). When I first wrote it, believe it or not, it was designed to be a 12-book series, hence why it was named after a specific month, but after writing a sequel and a third book (April Roses and July Thunder) that I didn’t like, it has haunted me ever since. But I’ve always wanted to release it with a series of short stories of all the side characters, so that’s a possibility I’m considering approaching with. Again, still trying to be true to my work, so it’s been a lot of sitting around, rolling around on the couch, dramatic sighing, and staring at the ceiling with an untouched notebook on the floor. My poor roommates.

What I’m Reading:

twoI just finished The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski, book 2 in The Winner Trilogy, one of my favorite trilogies by far, and you can read my full review here. If you haven’t checked out the first book, The Winner’s Curse, you can read my 5-star review of that here, but I recommend it to lovers of historical romance (with complications), especially to those who love tales of wit and war. I describe them both as magnificently written, seductively tense, and intellectually moving.

During my road trip to Hannibal, I started (and finished) The Jewel by Amy Ewing. Definitely one of my new favorites. I could barely put it down. I cannot wait to read the sequel, The White Rose. And you can read my full review here. I found The Jewel to be fascinating, refreshing, daring, and even romantic at times. That being said, definitely not for everyone. Despite being categorized as young adult, it revolves around very adult themes. To sum it up, you’re looking at a futuristic story where young women are sold to be used as surrogates for the royal families against their will. On a side note, I also tweeted to the author and she tweeted me back. So, that’s a plus.

I finished Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights by Salman Rushdie, and you can read my full four-star review here. Undeniably, it is a genius piece of magical realism for the literary readers out there. Recommended to readers of mythology, magical realism, philosophy, adult books bordering on fantasy, and to those who aren’t offended by religion being combined with satire. Must like long-winded, detailed passages, and be able to accept stretched reality.

I’m reading the Reluctant Guardian by Melissa Cunningham still too! I’m 40% the way through it, but the reason I’m reading this one slower than the others is because it’s on my Kindle, and it’s really difficult for me to read on my Kindle. It hurts my eyes a lot, so I’m a paperback person. That being said, I love Reluctant Guardian, and I will give another update of it when I finish it.

What I’m Listening To:

The Blackest Day by Lana Del Ray. It’s a song in her Honeymoon album, but there’s something about it I love to the bones. And some Pucifer, because I’m going to a Pucifer concert soon.

What I’m Watching:

I don’t have cable or any kind of TV in my house (yes, including NetFlix), so I rarely watch TV shows. That being said, someone lovely gifted me the second season of Penny Dreadful, so I’m watching that now. I so terribly wish I could watch American Horror Story, but alas, no cable. While I was traveling (and did have cable), I ended up watching too much of the Food Network, like Cutthroat Kitchen. I’ve never seen that before, not going to lie. It was kind of delightful. I also made time to watch Underworld, because it’s one of my favorites.

pearWhat I’m Baking, Making, and Drinking:

I baked a Spiced Pear Upside-Down Cake, an awesome recipe I got out of bon appetite magazine. Granted, I made some changes. I used just molasses instead of pomegranate molasses, lemon instead of orange, and downsized the recipe to fit the pan I had. I also didn’t put additional molasses on top. It’s a fantastic, not-too-sweet fall dessert.

What I’m Wearing:

My hair in a side braid. It did not work out well.

What I’m Wanting:

The White Rose by Amy Ewing: I need it right meow. The first book in the Lone City series was too good, and I am dying to get my hands on the sequel a.s.a.p.

The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski: Another series that I NEED the next book in, but unlike The White Rose, The Winner’s Kiss doesn’t release until March of 2016. WHY? WHYYY?

What I’m Dreaming Of:

My friend invited me over to make pancakes, but when I got there, she decided to make donuts instead, and I was very upset. (Pancakes are a big deal.)

I also had a genesis fairy tale type dream, where a speaker was explaining why this man had treated this woman one way and not another. He had teased her and ignored her and led her on for years and years of heartbreak, but upon hearing of her terrible (and violent end), he died on the spot. There wasn’t much to say about it, other than the speaker explained that outsiders used to believe this was a story of love loved wrong, a lesson of love, but in the reality of those people who had this tale in their people’s past, it was a lesson of guilt.

What Else Is Going On:

I now have a brand-new cell phone, which is awesome! I love it so far. I’m prepping for the Halloween book signing on October 21, so check out the information about that below in my announcements!

~SAT

I first want to thank Instagram’s @bookprints for sharing her Timely Death story. Read it hereFeel free to always tag me in your social media posts, everyone! Hearing from you makes my day and night.

@bookprints Instagram photo

@bookprints Instagram photo

The paperback of Death Before Daylight releases this Monday, on October 19! Two days later, on October 21, you can come see me at Headrush Coffee and Tea Roasters in Kansas City, Missouri for a paranormal talk and book signing.

In other news, a few of you have asked me about my services since NaNoWriMo is about to take place. I am taking on new clients, so please feel free to email me at shannonathompson@aol.com. Since I haven’t shared/updated in a while, I thought I’d share some recent books I’ve worked with. You’ll now find them on my Services page and my Reviews page.

Most recent books I've worked with.

Most recent books I’ve worked with.

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