Tag Archives: Marie Rutkoski

#WW Heroes I Want to See In YA

24 Aug

In the real world, heroes come in all shapes and sizes. They can save the world, or they can save one person. Heck, they can even just save themselves! But every hero we read about has a different story to tell, a background unlike any other, and most of all, a story to tell.

However, in young adult fiction, heroes aren’t always so diverse. So, here are three heroes I’d like to see more of in YA fiction.

1. Introverted Protagonists

I want to see more Hermiones as the protagonist instead of the sidekick. You know, the kid who reads or observes from the sidelines and saves the day. Think Velma from Scooby Doo. More quiet heroes who save through intellect over throwing punches. Which brings me to my next point…

2. Fight with Brain instead of Fists

I LOVED The Winner’s Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski. Though there was violence, especially in the last book, most of the warfare was puzzles and mysteries and alliances. The characters were often observing rather than fighting, and through trickery or other brainpower fighting tools, they could solve their problems. As much as I love a girl with a sword, I would love to see more brainpower used and less literal violence.

Heroes in YA

Heroes in YA

 3. Bisexual Protagonists

Of course I would love to see protagonists across the entire LGBTQIA spectrum, but I would really love to see more bisexual protagonists, because I think bisexual people are often labeled incorrectly due to who they “choose” in the end. If you’re unfamiliar with this discussion, please read Goodbye, Bad Bi: The Lose-Lose Situation of Bisexual YA. Personally, I LOVED Mark in Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare. Him as the protagonist would be the best.

There are so many different types of heroes I want to see, including heroes with disabilities, heroes across the entire LGBTQIA spectrum, heroes that are people of color, and heroes who come from different religions and backgrounds.

What are some heroes you would like to see?

Who are some of my favorite recent heroes in YA? Grace in See How They Run by Ally Carter, Mercy in Outrun the Moon by Stacey Lee, Marguerite in Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray, and Joana from Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys. (Click any links to read my reviews.)

Also, if you have any recommendations, feel free to share!

~SAT

Here are two of my FREE books:

Bad Bloods: November Rain

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Minutes Before Sunset

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#SATurdate: The End, Writing Playlist, Lemon Bars, & The Winner’s Kiss

2 Apr

One of my all-time favorite trilogies came to an end this week…and so did one of my manuscripts.

What I’m Writing:

12143231_1011224762258038_3533122318676664942_nI finished Take Me Yesterday, clocking in at 78,000 words. Of course, I have a few chapters/scenes I want to add during the editing process, so it’s not complete-complete, as no novel is after the first draft…or the second…or the third. That being said, I will be putting Take Me Yesterday aside for a minimum of a month between now and my first editing session. I think taking breaks between finishing a novel and editing a novel is important. It helps clear the brain and fine-tune your focus to edit rather than to write. I will say this though, for those who zoomed up and saw the last line or so, five characters die in Take Me Yesterday. Prepare yourselves.

On a sort-of-related-not-really-but-yes-related note, it hit me that finishing this novel was my 10th novel. Granted, only five of them have gone to publication. (Let’s be real, most authors write numerous, TERRIBLE books before they start getting published. I’m not an exception. My first books make me cringe. It’s known as the apprenticeship time for a reason.) Still, weird. Not that numbers matter or anything like that. I have plenty of half-written manuscripts that will probably never be finished and plenty of ideas I’ll probably never see through, but I feel like I should bake a cake. This time, with two candles.

What I’m Publishing:

This week’s #1lineWed preview was eyebrows, so here’s a sneak peek at Bad Bloods: Her smile was as small as the rest of her features, but then her raised eyebrows took over her expression.

Add Bad Bloods to Goodreads: November Rain and November Snow

Visit the Facebook, Pinterest, and the Extras page.

Coming soon!

Coming soon!

What I’m Reading:

12919682_1013277415386106_4772341465276874814_nThe Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski. I was lucky enough to get my copy one day early. Marie Rutkoski is the best, one of my favorite YA writers of all time, and the ending of The Winner’s Trilogy is perfection. The perfect ending to a brilliant, stunning, and heart-wrenching trilogy. Recommended to fans of high fantasy and lovers of romance, strong characters all around, and those who enjoy gorgeous prose. My favorite quote? He would lose her if he couldn’t do this. He didn’t trust her. He did not. Yet he understood that there are some things you feel and others that you choose to feel, and that the choice doesn’t make the feeling less valid. Read my full 5-star review by clicking here.

What I’m Listening To:

To celebrate the completion of Take Me Yesterday, I created a playlist on YouTube where you can listen to the playlist I used while writing the sequel. No judging allowed. 😉 A fair warning though: I listen to some explicit music. Like VERY explicit. So…pre-screen it, yeah? You’ll basically find alternative music and rap music, like Glass Animals, and then Rittz, and then Lana Del Ray, and then Ces Cru. Play it by clicking this link: Take Me Yesterday Playlist

What I’m Watching:

I binge-watched The New Yorker Presents series via Amazon Prime. It’s really interesting and at times, hilarious, sad, maddening, and lovely. I definitely recommend it.

What I’m Baking, Making, and Drinking:

12916319_1012354918811689_8686432340318754170_oI lived off of espresso and sandwiches this past week. It’s basically been a non-stop writing sessions, and as we all know, writing is fueled by coffee. Lots of coffee. Hot, cold, iced, espresso, Americano, sweetened, black, tall, venti, mocha chip latte coffee. Whatever your flavor, words will come.

When I did finally finish writing, I took a day off and baked some lemon bars. For those of you who read The Timely Death Trilogy, then you know Eric Welborn is OBSESSED with lemon bars, specifically the ones his stepmom Mindy makes. Therefore, I channeled my inner Mindy Welborn and baked, baked, baked. Here is the recipe I used.

What I’m Wearing:

 12901473_1016252698421911_7581341378334475332_oWhatever matches my brand-new coffee mug. I’ve been dying to have one of David Olenick’s designs for awhile now, so when I gave myself permission to reward myself, I went after this little beauty of a coffee mug. (Fun fact: His designs also take up my computer’s home screen.) Check out David Olenick by clicking the link.

If you like this design, it was done by one of my favorite artists, David Olenick at Society6. Here’s his page 

What I’m Wanting:

To shake off the ending of my completed manuscript, so I can concentrate on another manuscript. (That is hard!)

What I’m Dreaming Of:

I had a GIANT tabby cat, and my cat became so fat that he got stuck while trying to dig under my backyard fence. I was trying to get out while my bunny—yes, I had a bunny in this dream—tried to push me away from helping my cat. This bunny was huge. He was named Dumb Bunny, too. (Which I’m pretty sure was my aunt’s bunny’s name from a couple years back.) Nevertheless, I had my tabby cat, my dumb bunny, and a little white fluffy dog…and all of them were trying to tackle me while I was trying to help one of them…and a bunch of neighborhood kids were throwing a party under my house at the same time? I don’t know. Dreams are strange.

What Else Is Going On:

12719152_1017091155004732_1359757398723330593_oI added a reading corner to my new office. This wonderful reading corner includes three giant stuffed dogs and a teddy bear…along with a KU blanket. This means there is a KU blanket in MU territory. I also moved my painted portrait of Bogart with Humphrey Bogart to my new office. It’s starting to feel like home. I’ll share more pictures soon, but I was lucky enough to capture Bogart admiring himself in his portrait. By far, my favorite painting in the world. My cat lady heart just can’t handle the cuteness.

~SAT

Read Minutes Before Sunset, book 1, for FREE

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Seconds Before Sunrise: book 2:

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Death Before Daylight: book 3:

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#SATurdate: Witch, Writer Madness, Fairyland, & Rooftops

5 Mar

This is covering two weeks of life, since last week was all about those Website Wonders, which means it’s a tad longer than usual, but I hope you enjoy all the craziness.

What I’m Writing:

12795183_991891044191410_185453795754929210_oI’ll tell you what. When a character reveals a plot twist you didn’t have planned AT ALL 40,000 words in, it changes things. Like, REALLY changes thing. Sticky Notes must have been made by the writing gods. I’m going to be honest. I’m going writer crazy. I’m working on Take Me Yesterday, but I’m also fine-tuning a novel I’ll refer to as “D.” I’m on D’s fourth draft…and I’m about to try to tackle it a fifth time. My main issue is the beginning—how to tackle that first chapter so it’s both exciting and showcases what readers will see throughout the novel—especially since most of the novel takes place in an entirely different universe/dimension than the first chapter. It’s much harder than it sounds, but I think I’ve FINALLY figured out a missing piece, and I’ve been obsessing over it ever since. That being said, there’s one more book. (I don’t normally write numerous things at once, but I am right now.) This is a completely new novel, too. It’s more or less to help me clear my head by working on something unrelated to publishing. (Not that it doesn’t have future potential, but sometimes a fresh project is a nice step away from the pressure of deadlines.) So there you have it. I’m writing three novels right now. I’m 40,000 words in Take Me Yesterday, playing around with the first 10,000 words of D, and outlining a new one. (So far, I’ve even written the first chapter). Here’s to the unknown! If you’re wondering what D is about, here’s your first clue.

What I’m Publishing:

I received my reviewer packet for Bad Bloods! That means book bloggers should get ready! Reviewers will be chosen soon. Also, I picked out sections for future teasers this week…and falling really far behind on my keywords. But I think I’ll be sharing prequel stories leading up to the release of Bad Bloods via Wattpad, probably starting in April.

One week’s #1lineWed preview theme was nicknames, and here was the favorited tweet.

That being said, this isn’t necessarily a “sneak peek” of Bad Bloods. This is actually a direct quote from an origin story. I wrote about 13 origin stories to get my characters figured out and outlined the other 13. (Bad Bloods has 24 characters in the two flocks of bad bloods alone.) This quote happens between Adam and Daniel during Violet’s origin story. Daniel is a protagonist in Bad Bloods, and Adam is, more or less, his sidekick. (Adam actually rejoices in this term.) Perhaps I’ll share these origin stories before the release date. I might be sending one out in a newsletter. We will see. 😉

Another week’s #1lineWed theme was “need.”

This is a direct quote from Bad Bloods, but that’s all I’ll say about that. 😉

Add Bad Bloods to Goodreads: November Rain and November Snow

Visit the Facebook, Pinterest, and the Extras page.

Coming soon!

Coming soon!

What I’m Reading:

smI read and finished Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, V. 11 and V. 12 by Naoko Takeuchi. You all know I’m a Sailor Moon junkie through and through, but you can read my full reviews here and here. These volumes conclude the manga. 

I also finished The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland on a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente. You can read my review by clicking here. It’s a great read! It’s honest, it’s fantastical, it’s flowery, and it’s fun.

I also read How To Disappear: Erase Your Digital Footprint, Leave False Trails, and Vanish Without a Trace by Frank M. Ahearn (which is exactly how it sounds) and Liar by Rob Roberge, a memoir about addiction and mental health. How To Disappear is hilarious and informative, while Liar is heavy but interesting. I’ve done TERRIBLY at writing book reviews, but I promise to get back on that shortly…but after I obsess over my new Variety Puzzles magazine.

What I’m Listening To:

The sound of my rolling chair in my office as I roll back and forth between my desk and Sticky Notes and my table…and sometimes my bar. 😉

What I’m Watching:

MV5BMTY4MTU2NjMyNV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMzUwMDk4NzE@._V1_UY1200_CR90,0,630,1200_AL_I went to the theatre to see The Witch! It takes traditional tales of pilgrims and their relationship with religion, the woods, and folklore, and puts it to the test. To me, it was about the descent of madness and sin, and although I’m not generally into overly intense religious messages, Witch wasn’t too bad. I was SERIOUSLY impressed by Harvey Scrimshaw’s monologue scene. He blew me away. That being said, this movie is most definitely a film. It’s not a horror story or a simple paranormal date night movie to see for fun. It’s an actual story, so expect that rather than The Conjuring. Annnddd, because I heard a lot of people complaining about this, it is in Old English, which can make it hard to understand sometimes. I didn’t have an issue, but I also studied Old English extensively in college. Whether or not that was why, I don’t know, but check it out if you want a twisted story of madness.

I also binge-watched Sword Art Online, because it makes me cry, and I started Fate/Night because the lovely Kathy Lynn Cross suggested it. Check out her novels! She is awesome. And, of course, I watched the Oscars. Way to go, Leo! (But I have to say, I was most happy that Ex Machina and Alicia won an award.)

What I’m Baking, Making, and Drinking:

I did made an awesome Skinny Mexican Casserole and venison chili. For dessert, I baked a bunch of dark chocolate chip cookies. (I tend to do this also.) I also bought a bento box, so…NOM.

What I’m Wearing:

12794413_993634640683717_8444677203559547088_nChillin’ socks, featuring penguins.

What I’m Wanting:

The Winner’s Kiss and Lady Midnight! We’re so close! I also cannot wait to read The Hate U Give by Angela Thomas.

“The Hate U Give tells the story of 16-year-old Starr, who navigates between the poverty-stricken slum she has grown up in and the upper-crust suburban prep school she attends. Her life is up-ended when she is an eyewitness to a police officer shooting her best friend, Khalil, who turns out to have been unarmed during the confrontation – but may or may not have been a drug dealer. As Starr finds herself even more torn between the two vastly different worlds she inhabits, she also has to contend with speaking her truth and, in the process, trying to stay alive herself.” – Publisher’s Weekly

What I’m Dreaming Of:

So I created a potion to take down aliens? But they looked like people, and they were after my entire family, so I was hiding…in my own house. (My dreams don’t make sense.) This is when an alien general found me. His name was Steve and he wore a suit. I laughed at him and told him that he’d never get credit for catching me, because his leader wanted to catch me, and I was right. When Steve took me outside, everyone pretended not to see, so Steve freaked out, thinking that the leader would kill him just so he could take all of the credit. So, naturally, Steve joined my side to help me escape right as his alien leader pulls up in a GIANT red pickup. (Don’t ask. I’m not sure why either.) We run around the house packing (because I guess we have the time to do this), and at one point, Steve starts drinking all of my aunt’s whiskey, and I yell at him that it isn’t his, to which he points out that my aunt would probably not care under such circumstances. But I still argue, because it’s her favorite limited-edition MAPLE whiskey. (Gross.) And he shrugs and drinks it anyway. I give up, finish packing, and right as his red-pickup-truck-driving leader bursts in, we make a run for the woods and escape…whiskey in hand. And still arguing about him drinking it.

What Else Is Going On:

12802846_991310444249470_6291603099732911419_nWe had REALLY nice weather, so I practically lived on my roof for a few days. (I’m a rooftop writer…which terrifies my neighbors.) It was particularly funny this time around, because they haven’t seen me up on the roof since fall, and the grandson visiting my neighbor started screaming about cats being on the roof. (Because I take my cats up there with me.) Of course the grandfather was like, “That’s impossible—” ::turns around:: “Oh, it’s you again.”

Me ::waves enthusiastically:: “Hi, Jeff.” Don’t worry. Just me being strange.

I also learned a lot watching your lesson on how to kill termites.

~SAT

I want to give a big shout out to Crazy Beautiful Reads for being the sweetest book reviewer there is. Seriously, never hesitate to tweet/message/e-mail me. You all make my day/night/life.

Read Minutes Before Sunset, book 1, for FREE

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Seconds Before Sunrise: book 2:

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Death Before Daylight: book 3:

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#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

Website Wonders

28 Dec

Every month, I share all of the websites I come across that I find helpful, humorous, or just awesome. Below, you’ll find all of December’s Website Wonders categorized into Publishing, Writing, Reading, Cute & Lovable, and Interesting.

If you enjoy these websites, be sure to follow me on Twitter because I share even more websites and photos like this there.

Enjoy!

My Favorite Article

Please Stop Saying Rey from Stars Wars is a “Mary Sue”

I think the title explains this article perfectly, but the article is a fantastic read about why we need to stop attacking female characters. It’s nonsense.

Publishing:

What Authors Have NO Control Over: This week Marie Rutkoski announced that the covers of The Winner’s Trilogy was changing—three months before the last book released with the original covers. There was major uproar (which I find terribly sad, because it’s the inside of the book that matters), so many authors took to the Internet to explain who makes these decisions and how punishing authors isn’t helping anyone.

What’s in a (pen) name? An article by CTP author, Sherry Ficklin. A great piece about how important choosing your pen name is.

Writing:

The Top Seven Arguments Against Using Profanity in Your Writing (And Why They’re Dumb as Fuck) This was easily the funniest article I’ve read all month. I absolutely loved it.

6 Depressing Realities Of Writing Young Adult Fiction It’s just so sad.

10417689_707718109312436_5357444410980650758_n

Reading:

48 Of The Most Beautiful Lines Of Poetry: Because I love poetry.

10 of the Most Iconic Swords in Fiction: If you’ve read The Timely Death Trilogy, you know how much I love swords.

Cute and Lovable:

Portraits of a Baby Boy and Bulldog Who Were Born on the Same Day: They. Are. Just. So. Cute.

Dog Adopts A Baby Fox After His Mom Died In A Car Accident: Again, just so cute.

Interesting:

Women Try To Pose Like Female Comic Book Heroes: A great YouTube video. I’m a HUGE comic book fan, but this was still fun to see. I think it would be interesting to see men do this too.

Giant Ocean Waves by Mario Ceroli Art that is worth looking at.

~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)

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Seconds Before Sunrise: book 2

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Death Before Daylight: book 3

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#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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