Tag Archives: Melissa Cunningham

#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.

#SATurday Changes: What I’m Doing

3 Oct

So, honestly, my life is getting really crazy, so I have to adjust my blogging schedule more than I thought I was going to. But I think it’ll be fun! (And hey, this gives me more time to get more novels out to you all, so that’s a plus.) I also think this it will be fun because it’ll be closer to being “live.” Unlike all my other posts that are written two weeks in advance, this one will be ready the night before.

On Saturdays, I’m just going to post what I’m reading, listening to, watching, baking, etc. Starting in November, Mondays will be dedicated to revising old but popular posts you might not have seen before. (After all, I have about 570 posts on this website, and many do need a revision.) On Wednesdays, I’ll have regular blog posts (and I might have blogs posts on Saturdays too. It’ll depend on how crazy the week is), but I might leave Saturdays to just fun. I’d love to hear what you’re reading, watching, doing, too! Feel free to chime in!

(Since I came up with this idea two weeks ago, this one will be longer. I’m including two weeks of info instead of one.)

What I’m Writing:

I’m writing in Take Me Yesterday, book 2 of The Tomo Trilogy, and I’m currently in chapter seven. Word count? 10,613. I’m really excited for this sequel, and it feels good to be back in the tomo world. It’s more or less going to go back in time too—hence the “yesterday” part of the title—so expect the sequel to answer all of your wonderful questions, but don’t worry! You’re going to see more of your favorite characters as well as new faces and new places.

What I’m Publishing:

I’m sitting on a finished November Snow. I promise I’m working on publishing it next, but I promised myself I would get the entire trilogy out before moving onto the next piece, so I’m waiting on the paperback release of Death Before Daylight on October 19 before I make a move with November Snow.

What I’m Reading:

I just finished These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner, and I’m in love. You can read my Goodreads review here. But it’s awesome. Also, the authors tweeted to me and starred my selfie. So, they’re cool in my book.

The Reluctant Guardian by Melissa Cunningham: I’m 19% of the way through, and I’m touched by both the voice and the serious topic of suicide being covered in a unique and interesting way.

What I’m Listening To:
Gin Wigmore’s album Gravel & Wine. It was gifted to me by one 51U0MSCcQNL._SY300_of you actually! 😉 So, thank you for making me dance. I’m also using it as a soundtrack for writing Take Me Yesterday, along with the previous Take Me Tomorrow influencers, Portishead and Lykke Li.

What I’m Watching:

At the movies, I went to go see Black Mass. You know, because Johnny Depp and his gangster films. Plus, I thought it’d be interesting to see a more modern depiction of government-criminal espionage. (I’m so much a fan of this concept, I use it in Take Me Tomorrow, mainly with Dwayne and Wheston Phelps. I think I fell in love with this after I looked into the ending of Catch Me if You Can and how Frank Abagnale ended up working for the FBI). That being said, Black Mass is about Whitey Bulger, a notorious gangster who worked with the FBI to get rid of an opposing Mafia family. I enjoyed it a lot! It was nice to Benedict Cumberbatch, one of my favorites, and I was surprised (slightly delighted) to see Dakota Johnson in something other than the 50 Shades franchise. Black Mass is a great movie. Not for the lighthearted. Definitely recommend reading up on Whitney beforehand and/or after though.

black-mass-movie-poster-4k-wallpapers

At home, I watched ten minutes of Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtles with Megan Fox and had to turn it off. (Sorry, not sorry.) Then, I followed that with When Trumpets Fade (1988), a WWII movie that focuses on the Battle of Hurtgen Forest. It. Is. Sad. (Of course.) Definitely recommended though, if you don’t mind watching graphic war scenes. The character “Sandy” reminded me of an older Piggy from Lord of the Flies. I also saw A Most Violent Year (2014), because I’m in love with Oscar Isaac. Aside from that I watched Lawless, because, you know, Tom Hardy’s grunt. (It’s worth a million dollars.) So, I followed that up with Insidious Chapter Three, because Insidious movies are the best modern scary movies. That is all.

What I’m Baking, Making, and Drinking:

I made the best sandwich of my life. Sourdough bread, (my favorite kind of bread), smoked turkey, muenster cheese (my favorite kind of cheese), Swiss cheese (my second favorite), cucumber, mayonnaise, and guacamole spread (including avocados, tomatoes, onion, pepper, and salt). Holy sandwich gods, I love you. 12063851_2997687099876_4506590930120559915_n

Cooking wise, I accidentally bought heavy cream instead of milk, so I asked a bunch of you on my Facebook for your heavy cream recipes, and I decided on scalloped potato gratin. I paired it with lemon chicken and asparagus, and they paired well.

dessert

For dessert, I made a Hong Kong Yuan Yang Coffee Tea. It’s basically made out of condensed milk, coffee, and black tea. It was amazing, but it tastes more like tea than coffee to me, so I’d only suggest it if you like black tea as well. Also, the recipe I called for required sugar, but I thought condensed milk made it sweet enough, so I didn’t add any sugar. Beyond that, I paired it with dark chocolate chip cookies. 😉

11896159_906020546111794_3040820971567264057_nWhat I’m Wearing:

My Pikachu shirt and hat. All. The. Time.

What I’m Wanting:

The Conjurer’s Riddle (book 2 of The Inventor’s Secret) by Andrea Cremer. I reviewed the first book, The Inventor’s Secret, here, but it was amazing! I can’t wait until November…

This Shattered World (book 2 of The Starbound Trilogy) by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner. I mean, I just finished the first one. I need the second.

Post-It Pop-Up Note Cat Dispenser: Think of how cute and convenient this would be. Plus, I’m also out of sticky notes. (I live on sticky notes.)

iwant

What I’m Dreaming Of:

Dinosaurs. I hate them. They make me cry. I blame Jurassic Park.

I also had a dream that Jackie Chan was trying to kill me with a knife. I actually defended myself pretty well. Kind of proud of Dream Shannon.

What Else Is Going On:

I have a coffee event at Headrush Roasters here in Kansas City on October 21. I’m also thinking about dying my hair black and white like Jessica’s supernatural form for Halloween. So, look out for that.

~SAT

For October, I’m offering 5 Halloween-themed box sets of The Timely Death Trilogy, and I only have 1 left! Each box set includes 3 signed books, a signed bookmark, a bat or spider ring, and a personalized note from me. They cost $40.00 with free shipping in the U.S. A picture can be found below. Email me at shannonathompson@aol.com if you’re interested.

Also this October, the paperback of Death Before Daylight releases 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.  It will be tons of fun!

bixser

Minutes Before Sunset: book 1

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboGoodreads

Seconds Before Sunrise: book 2

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboGoodreads

Death Before Daylight: book 3

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboGoodreads

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