Tag Archives: Minutes Before Sunset

#MondayBlogs Content Disclosures for Novels

11 Jul

Recently, my content disclosure tree for Bad Bloods released by Clean Teen Publishing. What is a content disclosure tree? Well, I’ll leave that up to my publisher to define on their website. (Click here to read the definition. If you want to read my full content disclosure tree for Bad Bloods, click November Rain and November Snow.) I suggest reading both before continuing, but I’m going to write the article as if the links are broken. Clean Teen rates everything based on 4 subjects: violence, language, drug use, and romance/heat level, and you can see my examples below.

Content Disclosures for Bad Bloods

Content Disclosures for Bad Bloods

In summary, Clean Teen Publishing allows readers to understand what they’re picking up when they choose a book—which I completely support for numerous reasons, but I will mainly talk about personal experiences, both from working with readers and from traumatic topics I’ve lived through myself, and how these examples have helped me understand the consideration of a content disclosure.

Starting off at my day job, I help authors find readers interested in their work. One of the topics I always discuss with authors is whether or not there is incest, rape, or other controversial topics in the story. Why? Because many of the reviewers I have worked with requested to know this for various reasons. By talking to numerous readers every day, I started to realize how many readers would prefer to know certain things up front—again, for various reasons. Sometimes, it’s triggering for those with PTSD. Sometimes, they are simply disinterested in that scenario. Sometimes, it’s just a preference of how they are feeling that day. While I’m not one to be against any particular topic in a novel, I can understand why someone wouldn’t want to read about certain topics, especially involving traumas.

That being said, this sort of disclosure hasn’t happened without controversy. Simply Google “disclosing content in novels” or “content ratings for readers” and I guarantee you’ll find a forum discussing the pros and cons of this. The main arguments I see revolve around ruining surprises and the effectiveness of even preventing someone from reading something they won’t enjoy. And that’s what I want to discuss.

First, as a writer who has written about controversial topics—particularly with violence in The Timely Death Trilogy and drug use in Take Me TomorrowI would—by no means—want a reader to pick up one of my works and accidentally be triggered by something. Speaking from personal experience, my mother died from a drug overdose when I was eleven, which is why I wrote Take Me Tomorrow, but through years of counseling, I met many kids like me who reacted very differently than I did. Reading Take Me Tomorrow would be extremely upsetting for them, and knowing what they went through, I would never want to cause them distress about such a personal topic. As a fellow reader, I would also rather find them something else they might like to read.

Granted, I understand the “just put it down” argument, but—at the same time—why can’t we prevent readers from picking up a book they definitely won’t like in the first place? This isn’t about ratings or reviews. This is about caring about your readers’ feelings and time. Now . . . here is where I hear the “but that ruins the surprise” argument . . . which I don’t understand, because—if done correctly—the content disclosure will say the topic, not which character and on which page. Take my full disclosure for example (if you click on this link, it’s at the bottom of the page). Clean Teen Publishing lets us know that November Rain talks about the violence in the book, but it doesn’t say how it plays out. It doesn’t say how it happens or when it happens. It doesn’t even say how much it happens. If anything, I’ve given away SO MUCH more on my own website.

I know I write about controversial—and often violent—topics in my stories, and I, by no means, have an issue with readers knowing that up front, especially because my novels fall under the YA genre, and genres alone don’t warn about the insides. TV and movies have had ratings for a long time, and while I understand that it’s much easier to be surfing channels and accidentally comes across a movie (and a book takes much more time to get into), I think content disclosures can help a large portion of readers find more suitable books that they will enjoy.

Content disclosures can help those that feel like they need it, and those who feel they don’t need content disclosures can ignore them. If you want to be surprised about all the topics, for instance, don’t read the disclosure. It’s as simple as that. At this point, I will say that I don’t think it needs to be an industry standard but rather something that is up to an author and their publisher (and of course, the reader). Personally, I love them. I see too many benefits coming from them for me not to love them. Content disclosures can help those avoiding triggering topics and even help parents choose books for their children that they deem appropriate. Disclosures can help readers find exactly what they’re looking for, maybe even a controversial topic they’ve struggled to find. Everyone who wants them can read them, and everyone who doesn’t want them doesn’t have to use them, but as an author, I’m glad my novels have them.

P.S. On a fun side note, my publisher actually makes these for anyone interested! Click here to check it out.

P.P.S. Original posted here. (I covered The Timely Death Trilogy)

~SAT

Check out my latest interview on the KC Writes Interview Podcast! We discuss publishing, writing fantasy novels, studying poetry, hosting events, and other surreal parts about authors’ lives.

Clean Teen Publishing is hosting their Christmas in July giveaway, and it’s epic! They are giving away a Kindle Fire‬ and up to $200 in cash!!! Check out the details and yes, this giveaway is open for International contestants. They’re hosting a Goodreads Giveaway for Bad Bloods: November Rain as well.

Pre-Order Bad Bloods

November Rain, Part One, releases July 18, 2016

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November Snow, Part Two, releases July 25, 2016

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Preorder Bad Bloods

Preorder Bad Bloods

 

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March’s Ketchup

30 Mar

Spring has started, and we’ve officially gotten through the first part of 2016. How crazy is that? About as crazy as this month.

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 March.

Big Moments:

Cover

#1 Clicked Item: Minutes Before Sunset on Amazon

This month the content disclosures for Bad Bloods released by Clean Teen Publishing! I was really excited to show future readers more of what they can expect when the novels release this July. We’re getting so close to pre-order, too! If you haven’t already checked them out, be sure to read the content disclosures for November Rain and November Snow by clicking the links.

In the meantime, I moved offices, which was a big deal to me. I’ve been working in a rather small space with a tiny desk, so now that I have a lot more room, I’m hoping I can get a larger desk and get more work done than usual. So far, so good. I am in love with my space.

Also, thank you for making Minutes Before Sunset, book 1 of The Timely Death Trilogy, the #1 clicked item on my website this month! Links below, in case you missed that click. 😉

Read Minutes Before Sunset, book 1, for FREE

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Top Three Blog Posts: 

1. Diversity is Vital, But Be Genuine: I tackled the topic of diversity in fiction this month, mainly because I’ve been DYING to discuss this issue for a while now, but I didn’t feel like I had a lot to add to the conversation until recently. As an editor, I heard a controversial question about forcing diversity, so I discussed why it’s so important to be genuine when writing your novels (and how you can be genuine).

2. Writing Tips for Book 2 in Trilogy: I worked on book 2 in a trilogy almost all month, so I thought I’d share my thoughts and advice about that step in the series process—mainly because I came across a lot of very scary articles I whole-heartedly disagreed with. Book 2 doesn’t have to be boring! It can be the best book there is.

3. How to Avoid Writer Burnout: Writer’s block is famous, but there’s another culprit I’m all-too familiar with. It’s called writer’s burnout, and I discussed how you can recognize it, tackle it, and avoid it, so it doesn’t happen again. Here’s a hint: Take a break.

#1 SEO Term: pros and cons of Wattpad

#1 SEO Term: pros and cons of Wattpad

Other Blog Posts:

Writer Problems 11-15: I continued my writer problems card series, a series a started over a year ago but then took a large pause.

Six Ways to Write Efficiently For Full-Time Workers: This guest post helps many writers find ways to tackle writing when they cannot be full-time writers.

Being a Writer Isn’t Everything: An inspirational TED talk for writers.

#1 Referrer was WordPress' Reader

#1 Referrer was WordPress’ Reader

Saturdate: Lady Midnight, House of Cards, & Coffee Grinds: I loved the new Shadowhunters novel, and I binge-watched the new season of House of Cards. I also got a coffee grinder.

Where My Girls At? A WONDERFUL guest post by Kendra Saunders. I highly recommend her article about women in fiction.

Saturdate: Witch, Writer Madness, Fairyland, & Rooftops: I saw a movie and ran into a plot twist 40,000 words into writing.

Saturdate: Cassandra Clare, Content Disclosure, & Lemon Cookies: I met one of my all-time favorite writers (and my hero), so my life is complete. Also, I need those lemon cookies again.

Saturdate: Lore, New Office, Paint Swatches, & Snow White: My fourth weekly update during the month. I’ve had quite the moving week.

Website Wonders: A monthly classic.
march16

#WriterProblems 11-15

21 Mar

Recently, I spoke with a couple of fellow writers when we began discussing writer problems. I showed them my #WriterProblems series that I did almost a year ago, and then, I realized I never shared 10-15. I also realize many of you may not have seen the cards I made for writers back in the day, so you can read Writers Problems 1-5 and 6-10 by clicking the links. Below, I’m covering 11-15, and I hope you have as much fun with these as I do…even though they are writer problems. 😉

Writer Problems #11

Autocorrect. It Thinks It Knows Everything.  11154822_3124201782664_4775317025677171708_o

I have this problem ALL THE TIME, particularly while writing The Tomo Trilogy. One of my characters actually is named Miles, and my laptop—despite my attempts to change the settings—insists on lowercasing his name because it’s a noun (not a proper noun). Don’t even get me started on invented words and names.

Writer Problems #12

Getting Too Attached To Writing Utensils 12829300_3124202422680_364883757868105374_o

Maybe it’s just me, but I treat my pens as a writer the way most readers treat their books. I do not lend them out, because they rarely make their way back to me. (And I buy expensive pens.) I know many writers use laptops nowadays, but I write a lot of my novels by hand before I type them up, so there’s a certain amount of familiarity for me when it comes to pens. I might even get upset when I have to throw one away, because—well—it helped me write chapters 1 through 20 in my latest WIP.

Writer Problems #13

Searching For Character Names
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Picking the PERFECT name is hard enough. I mean, there is so much to consider. The background, the culture, the time period, the sound, or just the personality. Because of this, I am in love with surfing BabyNames.com. It’s one of my most visited websites. Even when I’m not writing something new, I’m browsing it, because who knows when I’ll need a new list of names to use? This has caused some interesting scenarios, including the one you see in my card. That actually happened while I was attending college. I was browsing BabyNames.com in between classes, and a girl stopped me to tell me congratulations. I gave her the strangest look (and actually replied “For what?”) She walked away like I was the strange one. It took me half a day to realize what transpired.

Writer Problems #14

Trying to Choose a Title 12823365_3124202542683_6786956300042952189_oTitling your work can be a difficult, maddening journey. Even though publishers often change titles, it’s nice to have a working one that feels complete or one that will catch an agent’s attention on a query letter. This issue is especially important for self-published authors, because, well, they literally have to choose it. Cue the madness. This could mean considering trends (like short titles when I made this or the longer, poetic titles now), or it could mean concentrating on symbols throughout your story. I actually wrote an article about this—Titling Your Novel—but the ironic part is that I wrote this article a LONG time ago, when Bad Bloods was called November Snow and when November Snow used to be called It’s Only a Matter of Time. (See? Those titles can get out of control.) I’ll have to rewrite that article soon.

Writer Problems #15

When The Coffee Runs Out wp15

Okay. So this card is a bit of an exaggeration, but…not really. It’s the symbolic version of what ACTUALLY happens in my head. I am a coffee addict, so without it, my writing brain wanders to places and scenarios and characters that have NOTHING to do with what I should be concentrating on. Hence the magical forest.

So how about you? What did these writer problems remind you of? Share your story below. Feel free to share and use these as well! On a side note, I could always continue to make these cards as well. Just let me know if that’s something you’d like!

~SAT

Cover

A little excerpt to start your week off:

“Do you think fate’s possible?” she asked, and I stiffened.

Fate was a reality, but it wasn’t a beautiful or angelic thing. It was a heart-wrenching nightmare. And we’d fallen blindly into it. We had no escape. It was happening, and it was up to me to guarantee our survival of it.

“Yes,” I said. “I think it’s very possible.”

She smiled and pulled me down to kiss me, even though I knew she wouldn’t if she understood the ramifications of it all. Her kiss could kill us, and my consent signed our death certificates, selfishly and without control.

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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Bad Bloods Cover Reveal!

6 Jan

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.

Add November Rain, Part One on Goodreads

Then, add November Snow, Part Two on Goodreads

We are here! The covers for both Bad Bloods books can be found below, along with their descriptions. If you want extra information, don’t forget to follow the FacebookPinterest, and the Extras page—and of course, I give sneak peeks every Saturday during my #Saturdate posts. As we get closer and closer, there will be more opportunities to read first and win prizes. Today’s winners will be announced tomorrow on my Facebook page! Three helpers won an exclusive sneak peek of November Rain. Keep reading…and of course,

Let it snow,

~SAT

Special thanks goes out to: Legends of Windermere, OMG Books and More Books, SDAV Reads, My Books- My World, Crazy Beautiful Reads, Book Prints, A Reader’s Review, Jonas Lee: Challenging the Imagination, Little Birdy Book Blog, Macy<3Stories, Mel’s Shelves, The Messy OwlNerd Girl, and Cross Road Reviews.

November Rain, Part One, releases July 18, 2016

NRcoverSeventeen-year-old Serena isn’t human. She is a bad blood, and in the city of Vendona, bad bloods are executed. In the last moments before she faces imminent death, a prison guard aids her escape and sparks a revolt. Back on the streets determined to destroy her kind, Serena is spared by a fellow bad blood named Daniel. His past tragedies are as equally mysterious as her connection to them.

Unbeknownst to the two, this connection is the key to winning the election for bad bloods’ rights to be seen as human again. But Serena is the only one who can secure Vendona’s vote. Now, Daniel must unite with her before all hope is lost and bad bloods are eradicated, even if it means exposing secrets worse than death itself. United or not, a city will fight, rain will fall, and all will be threatened by star-crossed love and political corruption.

November Snow, Part Two, eBook releases July 25, 2016

NScover(paperback releases that November) 

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

Follow the FacebookPinterest, and the Extras page

I hope you love the covers as much as I do!

2016 is going to be great.

Stay tuned,

~SAT

Also, my awesome publisher is giving away a Kindle Fire right here.

Giveaway-image

Starting your 2016 Reading Challenge? Minutes Before Sunset, book 1  in The Timely Death Trilogy, is FREE: (You could read it on your brand-new Kindle Fire.)

Minutes Before Sunset, book 1:

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboGoodreads

Seconds Before Sunrisebook 2:

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboGoodreads

Death Before Daylightbook 3:

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

21 Nov

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

What I’m Writing:

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

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

What I’m Publishing:

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

November Rain, Part One

(releases July 18, 2016)

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

November Snow, Part Two

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

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

Visit the PinterestFacebook, and the Extras page.

What I’m Reading: 

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

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

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

What I’m Listening To:

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

What I’m Watching:

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

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

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

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

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

movies

What I’m Baking, Making, and Drinking:

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

 What I’m Wearing:

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

What I’m Wanting:

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

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

What I’m Dreaming Of:

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

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

salebWhat Else Is Going On:

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

Minutes Before Sunset

Seconds Before Sunrise

Death Before Daylight

And, of course…

Stay Dark,

~SAT

 

SATurdate: Spectre, Presidents, MBTI Test, and More.

14 Nov

You all ready for some more updates? I know I said I would share the individual synopses for November Rain and November Snow during this post, but they are still in the editing process. Probably next week. 😉

What I’m Writing:

I’ve basically been working on the blurbs for my publisher in regards to Bad Bloods…BUTTTT I am returning to Take Me Yesterday, book 2 in The Tomo Trilogy shortly. This gives me the opportunity to remind everyone that you can ask me questions at any time via my Goodreads’ Ask The Author profile…which a reader did this week, asking about the sequel to Take Me Tomorrow. You can read that here, and you can ask your own questions here.

What I’m Publishing:

 Okay, for everyone who missed it, there was quite a lot of news released this week! The main announcement was the two-book deal I signed with CTP. That’s right. My next publication will be two books, both of which will be titled Bad Bloods. The first part is subtitled November Rain, and the second part is subtitled November Snow. If you want more information on why we’re doing this, read this blog post. They already have release dates too! November Rain will release July 18, 2016, and November Snow will release one week later. (The paperback will release that November.) I should have individual synopses for each book soon.

And…of course…here is a preview from the winning #1lineWed tweet. The theme of the week was “action/movement.”

The feline stretched before she strutted in, her orange fur gleaming as she leapt onto the windowsill.

I also just realized that Bad Bloods, which is centered on a presidential election, is coming out during a presidential election year. Pretty neat!

What I’m Reading:

Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini: Not going to lie, I haven’t had a lot of time to read this week, mainly because of my services vamping up during NaNoWriMo. (You guys are doing awesome by the way!) That being said, I’m about halfway through this novel, and I might start another one this week.

What I’m Listening To:

My work desk has somehow been pushed against this picture frame on the wall, and any time I type too hard, everything around me squeaks.

What I’m Watching:

Spectre. I mean…of course I saw it. James Bond is a classic, although I have to admit I’m almost always rolling my eyes throughout these films. They’re like a guilty pleasure. Even though it’s basically the same formula every time, I still love them. I have to. I have no choice. That being said—and I don’t want to spoil anything about the film—there were a few aspects about this one I definitely thought was too much, mainly in regards to the cheesiness of the “love” story. I’m hoping they’ll let Daniel Craig go after this one too. I LOVE him, but I think he should be able to leave if he wants to, and I think he made a good point when he said he wasn’t sure what else he could bring to the franchise. Give someone else a chance to bring Bond to the big screen. I’m all over that.

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The Grand Budapest Hotel: Because, why not? I LOVE this movie. LOVE it. It’s brilliant. Everything about it is a delight. I’m so glad I own this one too, even though I probably watch it way too often. It was pretty fun to see Ralph Fiennes in Spectre too. Also, in the DVD version, they have extras, and they include the recipe to make Mendls cake…so expect me to bake that soon.

What I’m Baking, Making, and Drinking:

 12189942_934887766558405_6357613532321153491_nI fileted my first beef heart this week. That was lovely. (No. I’m serious. I had a great time. A crazy time, but a great time. I felt accomplished that I did it right…even though I had to look it up on YouTube.) My hunting father and brother would be proud. I also made chicken and lentil soup, and as many of you saw on my Facebook page, I baked strawberry oatmeal cookies. Healthy time!

 What I’m Wearing:

 New pants! I have new pants…and they are in my favorite color (dark red).

What I’m Wanting:

Mockingjay Part Two to release (because I want to cry). Star Wars: The Force Awakens to release (because I’m desperately wanting to see Luke turn evil). And The 5th Wave to release (because the book and Chloe Grace Moretz…and she’s also staring in The Little Mermaid, so eeeee). So many movies!

movmies

What I’m Dreaming Of:

Keira Knightly was married to this giant, hairy man-thing. (Not really a man. I have no clue what it was. Think Java the Hut.) Well, anyway, he was making her move, but Keira was like Bella from Beauty the Beast, and she loved going into town and singing about books. She was terribly worried how this would affect her, but Java the Hut promised her a ridiculous amount of honey butter in the new world, so she stopped singing, because she loved honey butter more than anything else. (Guys, my brain is crazy…but I think we can all agree that honey butter is fantastic.)

A young teenage girl, who was also my neighbor, was attending a funeral because her grandfather died. Then, 500 people dressed in funeral attire started marching up and down our block, and the girl hung out with my roommates and me. She asked how old I was, and when I told her 24, she was surprised, and told me everyone thought I was 17 and just didn’t want to hang out with them.

And last but not least, I owned this freakin’ GORGEOUS loft in a city somewhere, and I had this beautiful party happening…when someone wanted vinegar, and I left to go pick some up.

My brain is bizarre.

What Else Is Going On:

So, I took the MBTI test because an awesome friend (who I owe an interview still) asked me to. For those of you who want to know, I’m INTJ, a.k.a. The Architect, which I guess is crazy, because “INTJs form just two percent of the population, and women of this personality type are especially rare, forming just 0.8% of the population.” (Quote link.) So…I think I’m a fairy? A judgmental introverted but emotionless and intuitive fairy? I’m not sure. Vladmir Putin is apparently INTJ…which explains why I love photoshopped pictures of him riding bears shirtless. He must be my spirit animal. (And, yes, I’m kidding.)

~SAT

In my next newsletter, you’ll receive a Black Friday Sale for Seconds Before Sunrise book 2 in The Timely Death Trilogy, so be sure to sign up here, but if you need a head start on the first book and you just can’t wait for the others…

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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#WW KC Event and Character Interviews

21 Oct

Poster_Small_V - Book shop signingTonight I’ll be at Headrush Coffee and Tea Roasters in Kansas City, Missouri for a paranormal chat and book signing. We’ll be discussing local folklore that went into The Timely Death Trilogy, and having great coffee and tea while doing so. I’m even bringing some Halloween goodies for you to take home, so come on out and say hello.

Since I’m rather busy today, I thought I would do something fun on today’s blog post. Below, you’ll find two character interviews, one with Eric and one with Jessica, the protagonists of The Timely Death Trilogy. I’ve never posted something like this before, but I hope you’ll enjoy it!

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Eric’s Character Interview

 Destined to fight to the death at age eighteen, you’d think Eric Welborn would be a jittery mess sitting in front of us, waiting for questions about his impending doom, but he’s as cool as can be. You wouldn’t even guess he has six months left before his final battle. In fact, you’d probably assume he was a regular high school kid, wearing just jeans, a white T-shirt, and…headphones, which he loves, dearly. We practically had to beg him to take off his headphones.

“The music I listen to varies—mainly because I’m generally using it to tune out the small noises I can hear no matter what form I’m in—but I do love it. Right now, I’m listening to Bohemian Rhapsody. If I had the time, I think I’d be a musician.

This last sentence sparks our interest. “If you had the time?” we press, only for him to nod and list off his daily activities. Early morning jog, half day of school, three hours of training with Urte (known as George Stone to some), dinner, and probably more training. It’s amazing he has time to sleep, so we had to ask, “If you had a choice, would you give up being a shade to have a normal, human life?”

“For me, that’s a tough question. If I already had a normal, shade life, it probably wouldn’t be tough.” We’re quickly reminded that Eric isn’t normal in either of his lives. “Not really being human is tough enough, but also being a descendant in my shade form?” He shakes his head. “It’s definitely been a lesson.”

He recalls the moment he found out he wasn’t just a shade, but a descendant, and how it shaped him among his peers as the odd one out, even if it did mean he was also worshipped. “That’s why I found peace in Jessica. She didn’t know who I was.”

We swoon at the reminder. “Where would you take Jessica on your next date?”

He laughs, but it doesn’t hide the fact that he has blushed. “Oh, I’d like to take her everywhere.” We even see a light in his eyes that wasn’t there when we started. “Anywhere we go together is an adventure.”

When we ask if we can tag along on their next adventure, he confesses to wishing for more alone time. So, before our hearts melt entirely, we shift away from his current love and ask him for others. “Who is your celebrity crush?” We also promise not to tell Jessica.

He takes a moment before answering, “Robert Duvall. The Judge is a movie everyone should see.” He elaborates and tells us films from the heart matter most. He wants to feel something when he’s done.

We agree to watch it and ask him for one last favor—to answer fan-submitted questions. He smiles, nods, and says, “I don’t mind at all.”

Perfection.

The first one is from Katie Harder-Schauer from Just Another Girl and Her Books. She wants to know. Chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin cookies? Eric prefers chocolate.

Melanie Newton from Nerd Girl asks, Favorite superhero? What super power do you wish you had? This one was difficult. Eric was on the fence between Gambit and Deadpool. As for powers, he thinks baking is a superpower, and he wishes he were better at it. Until then, he hangs out with his stepmom, Mindy.

Ojan Borot asks, Assuming that you could just pack a suitcase and leave town. Where in the world would you like to go for a vacation, and is there one thing specific there that you’d like to see? Eric explains that he doesn’t know if he can leave town or not—he’s never tried—but he would love to take Jessica to Paris or Spain so she could study her painting further…and to eat dessert.

When we ended the night with a huge thank you, he ended it by disappearing right in front of us, leaving only a plume of smoke and our hearts behind.

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Jessica’s Character Interview

She once thought she was ordinary girl with an ordinary life, but that all changed when she moved back to her birthplace. Adopted and moved away from her hometown as an infant, Jessica Taylor didn’t expect anything when moving back to Hayworth, Kansas, but it certainly changed her life forever.

“Moving wasn’t hard. I’m used to moving. My family has moved a lot,” Jessica explains as she offers us tea with honey. We gladly accept, and she takes a moment to sip hers. “But I suppose this move was different. It was a move back, and my heart told me I had to find out what I could about my parents while I was here.” She laughs like it’s a silly thing, now that she knows what she does. “No one could’ve guessed this. No one.”

She surprises us by telling us she revels in surprise. In fact, she describes her last six months as an adventure, one she hopes hasn’t ended yet. “No true adventure ever ends,” she adds before saying it’s the artist’s heart in her that enjoys mischief, mystery, and magnificent madness. We applaud her on her alliteration, and she laughs at all the school subjects we ask her about.

“I’ve always loved English. I especially love reading,” she says, “but painting is my favorite pastime. One day, I hope to turn my passion into a career.” In the meantime, she’s fighting lights to the death, but we wonder what the world holds for her after the war (if it ever ends).

She leans back and stares at the ceiling at this, a small hint of a smile on her lips. It’s no wonder Eric crushes on her. “I think”—she pauses—“if I can help people find their passion, and I can help them follow it, a teacher of sorts, I’d be very happy.” She shoots us a smile. “It’s the teachers in my life who’ve helped me the most.”

We ask her about her teachers, Ms. Hinkel from homeroom and her friend Jonathon, a painting mentor, and Urte, Eric’s trainer who has surely helped her, but she focuses on Eric first. “He showed me how to fight first, but most of all, he allowed me to be fearless, to show myself how to fight on my own. Independence as the foundation of coexistence is a beautiful thing.”

When we ask her if this is the definition of love, she blushes. “Love isn’t a definable thing, but it’s lovely, nevertheless.”

We agree, asking her about other parts of her life she loves. She brings up tea, and puppies, and friends like Crystal, and the way sunlight comes through the trees. She wishes to study painting more, to see more exotic places in the world, and she hopes to build a house one day. You know, because buying one isn’t as fun. She has many dreams—silly dreams, serious dreams, and dreams in between—but most of all, she tells us her life’s philosophy. “We should always keep dreaming.”

~SAT

Other announcements include the fact that the paperback of Death Before Daylight released! Finally! I sent out the news via my newsletter. In future newsletters, I’ll be looking for lucky readers to read my next publication early. If you’re interested in that, sign up here.

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