Tag Archives: movie

#SATurdate: Book Release, Stranger Things, A Thousand Pieces of You, & Swiss Army Man

23 Jul

What I’m Writing:

First and foremost, Dreammare—my YA fantasy—moved on in Adventure’s in YA Publishing’s Red Light / Green Light writing competition! That means I’m in the TOP FIVE! I am thrilled to be here, and I’ve loved reading everyone’s work so far. Next week, the winner is announced, and honestly, these manuscripts sound bomb. Check them out. Also, you’ll get to see more of what Dreammare is about.

I’m writing Bad Bloods 3—July Thunder/Lightning—and though I’m aiming for it to be one book instead of two this time, the Bad Bloods books are generally 600-800 pages long, which is why it has two titles like November Rain and November Snow. If you’re reading Bad Bloods: November Rain—because it’s OFFICIALLY OUT—then you might pay attention to the wall separating the Highlands and the outskirts. Bad Bloods 3/4 will focus on this part of the political spectrum. If you’ve read Bad Bloods, then you know a huge factor of my latest work was WWII and the horrendous genocide of many types of people. The next Bad Bloods book is no different. I’m definitely influenced by major political events of the world and history, so the Berlin Wall largely affected this next segment. If you want to learn more about the Berlin Wall—because something I quickly realized while writing this book is how much I DON’T know about the Berlin Wall—watch this short documentary. I will try to release new information about the book every week. I’m currently 10,129 words in and on July 4, 2090. Also, I wrote Blake’s origin story for the FREE Bad Bloods Prequel on Wattpad, so if you ever wondered how a blond-haired, blue-eyed baby boy ended up in the Northern Flock (and how a preteen flock handled it), it will release July 29. My goal is to also have a prequel for July Thunder/Lightning, because trust me, you’re getting a whole new cast of characters there, too.

What I’m Publishing:

RELEASE99cBAD BLOODS: NOVEMBER RAIN IS OUT! (Is all capitals reasonable? I think so!) For release week only, you can get Bad Bloods: November Rain for only .99¢! That’s quite the steal…especially since Bad Blood: November Snow releases THIS Monday!

What is the latest reader saying?

“I was in love with this novel right from the first page. It’s such a page turner and definitely a unique concept. I haven’t read anything like it so far. I love how fast paced and intense it is.” –Teen Book Lit 101

Bad Bloods: November Rain OUT NOW!

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboSmashwordsGoodreads

November Snow, Part Two, releases July 25, 2016

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

Bad Bloods: November Rain book reviews

Bad Bloods: November Rain book reviews

What I’m Reading:

A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray

A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray

I picked up and finished A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray in one sitting. This book is sci-fi perfection. I cannot believe I waited so long to finally read it, because it is officially one of my favorite reads so far this year. I already cannot wait to get my hands on the sequel, but I highly recommend this book if you love YA sci-fi, multicultural casts, and romantic subplots. Also, dimensional travel! Are you kidding me? This book is awesome. Basically, you jump from dimension to dimension—worlds only slightly different from ours—and you jump straight into yourself. So, you control your other life…which has some interesting effects. Though the premise and protagonist is interesting enough to propel the story forward, the overhanging mystery of a murder is engaging and thrilling. The ending is satisfying. I absolutely recommend this read. Favorite Quote? I meant it when I said I didn’t believe in love at fight sight. It takes time to really, truly fall for someone. Yet I believe in a moment. A moment when you glimpse the truth within someone, and they glimpse the truth within you. In that moment, you don’t belong to yourself any longer, not completely. Part of you belongs to him; part of him belongs to you. After that, you can’t take it back, no matter how much you want to, no matter how hard you try. Read my full five-star review here.

I’m also starting An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir, so expect that review next week.

What I’m Listening To:

The female protagonist of Bad Bloods: July Thunder/Lighting picked her favorite song, and she has not let go of it.

What I’m Watching:

Like everyone else this week in the Netflix world, I binge-watched Stranger Things, and I LOVED it. I mean, I wished we had more small town stories in fiction. Considering 90% of the US doesn’t live in Chicago, New York, or LA, I’m amazed that 90% of fiction seems to only take place in the big cities. Watching this Indiana paranormal/horror tale was awesome, and I loved how nostalgic everything felt. Down to the cinematography, Stranger Things FEELS like the 80s. Definitely recommended.

Stranger Things on Netflix

Stranger Things on Netflix

To celebrate release day, I went to the theatre and saw Swiss Army Man. Honestly, I had no clue how I would feel seeing this movie. (Farting is not my type of humor.) But without a doubt, I would recommend this movie to pretty much anyone. It’s hilarious, it revolves around philosophy, and the ending is phenomenal as much as it is emotional. I don’t want to spoil it for you, but the ending is both fantastic and sad—and it opens room for really important discussions. A must-see film.

Swiss Army Man movie

Swiss Army Man movie

What I’m Baking, Making, and Drinking:

As per tradition, I baked chocolate chip cookies on book release day.

What I’m Wearing:

I wore my Pokemon T-shirt this week, which was really bizarre. I mean, I wear this shirt all the time. I bought it two Halloweens ago, and nearly everyone scoffed at it. Now that Pokemon Go is out, I couldn’t be cooler. I even had a discussion with a stranger at the grocer store about it, which basically went like this.

Stranger: “I mean, everyone’s into this stuff now.”

Me: “I’ve always been into this stuff.”

Stranger: “You don’t look like someone who would be.”

Awkward pause as I considered not responding

Me: “I’m not sure there’s a ‘look’ to someone’s hobbies. I mean, I have a Sailor Moon collection at home.”

Stranger: “REALLY? No way.”

Me: “…Yes. What’s the big deal? Not everyone is going to like Game of Thrones. Not everyone is going to like Pokemon. We can all just like what we like and get over it.”

Stranger: “Good point.”

Conversations like this really throw me off guard. I’ve always loved what I love. I feel sorry for those who don’t. I feel sorry that we live in a society that shames people for liking things like books, arts, and movies.

So, I hope you’re enjoying something you love today.

What I’m Wanting:

Well, obvs. I want Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray.

What I’m Dreaming Of:

There was this magical world divided into four sections, but the ones discussed were basically heaven, hell, and earth, though they didn’t work like our belief system. You could visit any of them at any time, and it had nothing to do with death and life. It was more symbolic than anything. Though, I played the part of this blond girl who’d been turned into a vampire? Which meant I had to live in hell, of course, and my best friend needed to escape to heaven, so we were going to escape together. We built this crazy slingshot, but it only shot him into heaven and I got stuck in hell. Yepp-ee! Eventually, I made more friends, and we moved to earth legally and without any problems, but my best friend didn’t know I was a vampire somehow? So when he came down from heaven to see me, he was shocked but ultimately didn’t care, because his sister was missing. (I know. This makes no sense.) So, we all went on this otherworldly adventure to this fairy’s house, and we had to climb a bunch of gigantic flower pots that had miniature water falls. And the entire time I kept thinking, Of course this would be a fairy’s house…and it’s really not handicap accessible. Which is messed up. But we finally got inside, where the fairy was throwing a birthday party for her daughter. (I also noticed this home plan was completely open, no walls, no room unattached from another.) Most curious of all, the fairy didn’t know why we came in through her garden. The front door was easier. ::facepalm:: I woke up.

What Else Is Going On:

I went to the bookstore to get my hands on Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray, but Barnes & Noble didn’t have it in stock, so I told customer service about it. Why? Because bookstores and libraries largely design their bookshelves based on what readers ask for. If you visit a store and they don’t have a book you want in stock, please tell them! It helps authors, publishers, bookstores, and YOU out. ❤

~SAT

#SATurdate: The Lobster, My 25th Birthday, Spotlight, and Outrun The Moon

25 Jun

What I’m Writing:

I’m officially writing in the mysterious book I call “S.” It’s unrelated to The Tomo Trilogy and Dreammare, believe it or not, but I love it all the same. Right now, I only have the first two chapters written, mainly because I’m still world-building, and I imagine this novel is going to take a LONG time. That being said, I drew the official “map” this week—a modern map and a historical one—so you might guess this is a fantasy book. It’s also a very musical book, especially in regards to the protagonist, so I held a little dance party with her this week. She rejoiced. (And we argued about Elvis…Something we disagreed on severely. I mean…he’s my hero. My HERO. And she hated him. #Fail)

What I’m Publishing:

My monthly newsletter went out this week! There are a million ways to win prizes—including signed paperbacks of Bad Bloods—so check out the newsletter by clicking here. I’m looking for bloggers to help with release day! So, let me know if you’re interested at shannonathompson@aol.com. (Also, if you want to review Bad Bloods on your book blog, feel free to mention it!)

Babbling Books Bookstagram

Babbling Books Bookstagram

Specials thanks goes out to my latest reviewers. What did they think of Bad Bloods: November Rain? “Fresh and alluring. November Rain is an amazing treat. I loved it and can’t wait to be an avid fan of the series. The series is definitely going to be worth drooling over.”Read, Watch, and Think

“A fast paced fantasy and sci-fi story full of exciting characters with their own fascinating abilities and background stories. Didn’t disappoint one bit! For fans of Red Queen and Shatter Me: this one is definitely something you should check out!” Book Prints

Book Prints and Babbling Books also shared photos on Instagram! So, check them out. Babbling Books review of November Rain said, “I’m looking forward to delving into the next book to see what unfolds for the characters as I get deeper into the story.”

Other news? There’s a new Goodreads Giveaway going on for November Rain! Enter below.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

November Rain by Shannon A. Thompson

November Rain

by Shannon A. Thompson

Giveaway ends July 16, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Clean Teen Publishing is also throwing a Facebook party on July 8 from 6-8 PM (EST), where—you guessed it—there will be MORE prizes. Click here to join.

CTP's Sizzling Summer Reads FB Party

CTP’s Sizzling Summer Reads FB Party

This week’s Teaser Tuesday is honestly my favorite one, so I hope you enjoyed it. If you didn’t see it, check out my right side tool bar. Why is this my favorite one? Well, other than me being a sucker for love, Bad Bloods takes place in one month, so a lack of time is a huge factor in all of my characters’ lives. I feel like this line encompasses all of the feelings between the characters, down to the impending doom to the hope they have for their future. I hope you’ll fall in love with Serena and Daniel as much as I did.

The #1lineWed theme was “line” so here is your weekly preview:

Pre-Order Bad Bloods

November Rain, Part One, releases July 18, 2016

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboSmashwordsGoodreads

November Snow, Part Two, releases July 25, 2016

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

Visit the Pinterest and Facebook Pages.

Preorder Bad Bloods

Preorder Bad Bloods

What I’m Reading:

Outrun the Moon by Stacey Lee

Outrun the Moon by Stacey Lee

I finished Outrun the Moon by Stacey Lee this week, and let me tell you, it’s perfection. Outrun the Moon by Stacey Lee is brilliant, terrifying, unifying, and brave. If you aren’t familiar with this novel, Outrun the Moon is about a very intelligent young woman from Chinatown in San Francisco following her studious, entrepreneurial dreams in 1906. This means the story takes place during the historic earthquake, and the disaster definitely changes everything and everyone. If you’re looking for a culturally rich and historically moving piece, this book is for you. Read my full five-star review here. Favorite Quote: “When a law isn’t just, I believe it’s okay to disobey it. In fact, I believe we are morally obligated to disobey it.”

What I’m Listening To:

What I’m Watching:

The Lobster Movie: Swan Poster

The Lobster Movie: Swan Poster

I saw The Lobster, which is an independent British film set in the near dystopian future where single people are forced to fall in love in 45 days or turn into an animal of their choosing. It’s being marketed as a dark comedy, which is…sort of…accurate? I laughed. But I have a really twisted sense of humor, and I’m 99% sure most viewers who like the word “comedy” would not see this as a comedy (especially American viewers). It’s very dark and dry. It’s super twisted. It’s very in-your-face about the patriarchal expectations of dating (and being single) in modern society. And there’s one particular post-violent scene that even made me cringe (and I don’t normally cringe…but I LOVE animals). I’m not sure who I would recommend this to. It’s just one of those films you have to see for yourself. The acting was brilliant. The script, insane. The music, fitting (often in an awkward, lovable way). Colin Farrell was a genius, and I think my favorite part was the scene between the two best friends and the monologue about prom and all that. Hilarious! Oh, and the camel walking through the forest. Oh, and…okay…so maybe I liked this movie more than I thought. I also took a “Which animal would you be alone?” personality quiz, and I was a SWAN. A SWAN. Which, btw, means I would die if my partner dies. (Told you this movie was dark.) Check it out, but don’t say I didn’t warn you!

I also checked out the pilot episode for The Last Tycoon, because of Lily Collins. I’m a bit obsessed with her. I thought it was great. If you like that Great Gatsby era, you’ll enjoy the show. (Be sure to vote via Amazon Prime, too!) I also died during the finale of Penny Dreadful. I mean….WHAT. WHAAAAAAT the hell was that? No spoilers. But I wasn’t very satisfied. In fact, I was pretty put off. I think they let Vanessa’s character get dragged down by men too much in the end (rather than her strength found in the concentration of her faith, which is what I think they were going for). But, honestly, it ended up coming across as “women are sin and evil, no matter how hard they try to be good.” Also, considering the new characters introduced (who had little to no arc, but were freakin’ awesome), it felt very abrupt for an ultimate ending. But I still love that show and recommend it. Everyone I know who watches it loved the ending. Maybe I am just too in love to let it go. But while I liked the idea of the ending, it felt too rushed to be satisfying.

Spotlight is on Netflix, so I was finally able to see it, and it absolutely crushed me. For those of you unfamiliar with this Oscar-winning film, Spotlight is about reporters coming together to expose the church’s cover up over decades of molestation. Definitely not for the light-hearted, but it’s a brilliant film based on true events, and I highly recommend it.

Spotlight Movie Poster

Spotlight Movie Poster

What I’m Baking, Making, and Drinking:

Writer's Coffee Mug

Writer’s Coffee Mug

I’m drinking coffee out of my new, fancy-smancy coffee mug. I know. Someone obviously gets my humor.

Motto: Please do not annoy the writer. She may put you in a book and kill you.

(But, really, I might kill you in a book.)

What I’m Wearing:

I have a photo shoot coming up next week, so I’ve been trying to figure out what clothes should be in my next author photos. We shall see. 

What I’m Wanting:

The Selection Series FINALLY got a new director, so I’m crossing my fingers that it works out this time (since it didn’t the last three times).

What I’m Dreaming Of:

So, I had magical powers, and I managed a magical fortress, but magic is super illegal, and I enjoyed shoving my successful magic endeavor into the government’s faces by hiring a social media manager to share all my awesome magic-ness online. (Guys, I’ve been working too hard.) Well, then, my social media manager was killed in a magic shootout—Okay. So I killed the social media manager out of anger. But still—and so, an apprentice of mine called a company to hire a new one, which of course tipped off the local police where we were hiding. (In a beautiful log cabin, by the way.) But I ran out to escape, and THERE WAS A DINOSAUR. (For those of you just reading my blog for the first time, I am LEGIT terrified of dinosaurs. Like, I have nightmares when I see Jurassic Park movie trailers. I blame my older brother for scarring me in the 90s.) But, yes, there was a T-Rex walking through the woods, trying to find me, that the government sent to keep me in place. And I stayed (because…dinosaur). In the end, they arrested me and all my magical criminal friends, and I woke up, kind of glad that the dream didn’t end with the T-Rex chomping my head off. (Because we all know that’s happened before.)

What Else Is Going On:

s'mores

s’mores

So, I turned 25 on June 23, which means I’m officially a quarter of a century old. I celebrated by making s’mores in the middle of the night, and then working all day long. (Who gets to relax nowadays?) But really, it was a great birthday, and I really enjoyed hearing from so many of you. Thank you for being awesome. Here’s to the next 25 years.

~SAT

#SATurdate: X-Men Apocalypse, Winter, Money Monster, & Banana Desserts

28 May

What I’m Writing:

I’ve actually been working on the free Bad Bloods Prequel on Wattpad this week. Even though the origin stories were written a long time ago, the next few stories needed more attention than the other ones. I hope you’ve enjoyed the first three chapters—which included the origin stories of Adam, Michele, and Maggie—and you’ll meet Ryne from the Northern Flock on June 3. Even crazier? Violet’s story releases on Wattpad June 17. Violet—previously known as Kati in the original publication—is actually a shade, and she may or may not be directly linked to The Timely Death Trilogy. That’s right. Bad Bloods and The Timely Death Trilogy are linked. After Violet, though, you’ll FINALLY get to meet a Southern Flock character. (They formed later than the Northern Flock, hence why you haven’t met them yet.) I’ll continue to post a new origin story every other Friday on Wattpad. If you like the stories, please vote, comment, and share. It helps little authors like me out. Other times, I get really bored (since I’m trying to force myself to take a little break from writing), and I spend hours on Rinmaru games creating my characters. Here’s Adam, Michele, and Maggie as kids.

kids

What I’m Publishing:

If you sign up for the Bad Bloods Thunderclap, I will send you signed swag from The Timely Death Trilogy and Bad Bloods! Sign up here. Once you do, take a screenshot of your support and e-mail it to me at shannonathompson@aol.com, along with your address, and I’ll send it soon.

GoodreadsGiveawayThere’s also a Goodreads Giveaway going on for November Rain right now! And that’s not all. If you pre-order November Snow and send me the receipt to shannonathompson@aol.com, I will send you your eBook copy of November Rain TODAY. Also, if you write a review, you will receive November Snow, too.

The #1lineWed preview was “anger,”so here’s this week’s preview: “Enough,” Michele snapped, but even her anger was delicate.

What are readers already saying?

“Fast Paced. Intriguing. Gripping. Just like any other book Thompson wrote, this one stands tall. An epic read that will take you in from the very first page and not let you go. A real page turner.” – Crazy Beautiful Reads

“I recommend November Rain for EVERYONE but especially fans of dystopian and SCIFI. A great novel. It was full of strong characters each with their own background and an interesting world.” – The Book Forums

Pre-Order Bad Bloods

November Rain, Part One, releases July 18, 2016

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboSmashwordsGoodreads

November Snow, Part Two, releases July 25, 2016

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

Visit the Pinterest and Facebook Pages.

What I’m Reading:

13245305_1049308838449630_6469427564510674207_nI FINALLY started Winter by Marissa Meyer! As many of you know, I love The Lunar Chronicles, so I’ve been holding onto the fourth book with a deep desperation for more time to read it. I’m only a little ways into it, but I love it already. Winter is such an interesting, complex and shameless character. She’s very refreshing, and of course, a welcome addition to The Lunar Chronicles cast.

What I’m Listening To:

13320366_1049951935051987_9197921459974128700_oTornado sirens. That’s right. We had some tornado issues here this week. And they almost killed me. And by “almost killed me,” I mean my cats almost killed me when I was forcing them into the basement to…you know…save their lives…from the tornados that never came. Oh, well. I’ve always wanted Wolverine scars on my neck. All was forgiven when we watched the storm together afterward.

What I’m Watching:

Since I’m attempting to take a writing break, I practically lived at the theatre.

X-Men Apocalypse: I see why there are rumors to replace Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique. I LOVE LOVE LOVE J-Law, but I feel like they’ve typecasted her into playing Katniss playing Mystique rather than an authentic Mystique (which I bet is the director’s choice, not hers), but it might be time to switch things up. Other than that little note, I LOVED X-Men Apocalypse. It was really fun to see how it tied into the other films, and I most definitely loved the hint to the destruction of the future Jean/Phoenix. Nightcrawler is one of my favorites, so it was great seeing him, too! Stay after those credits, folks. The little teaser is awesome.

PHPXPnMD6JavTU_1_l

Money Monster: I surprisingly loved this movie. I don’t know why I didn’t think I would like it. (Maybe because I only saw slander ads after George Clooney was marketing to pay off some student loan debt while advertising for this movie.) But I really loved this movie. Although one or two scenes weren’t believable to me, I thought it was suspenseful and disturbingly honest about the economy and how it affects the little guy. It leaves you dissatisfied in a perfect way.

clooney-char

I also saw Zootopia this week. That movie is SUPER cute, and I really loved the message behind it. I also want a pet fox now.

I recommend all three movies above.

What I’m Baking, Making, and Drinking:

After having family in town, we had 12 bananas in the house that were going to rot, so I made mini banana foster cheesecakes and honey vanilla banana bread. Click either link for the recipe I used. I definitely recommend them both, though the banana bread will definitely last longer, and those cheesecakes are awesome but SUPER sweet. (I’ll definitely make them again.)

desserts

What I’m Wearing:

I wore yellow to channel my inner minions while baking banana desserts.

What I’m Wanting:

CjY2bS6VAAQ7gfZCassandra Clare is writing a Magnus Bane trilogy with Wesley Chu for adults, and I want it right meow. Here’s the official announcement from EW: Cassandra Clare Will Publish Series Based on Magnus Bane.

What I’m Dreaming Of:

So a bounty hunter was trying to kill me, and a friend called—very nonchalant about my impending death—and invited me to come on a train ride if I survived. I barely reached the station without being killed, but I boarded the train with my friend safely. Except not really. This train wasn’t just a train. It was an ocean train…so it swam over waves and storms and such. You could also get on the on-board swimming pool, which connected with the ocean, and there, you could swim with the dolphins and other sea creatures as you traveled on the train. But then people started committing murder on the ocean vessel, and we were trying to solve it. It ended up being the dolphins. Tricky creatures.

What Else Is Going On:

changeYou probably heard the news, but there’s been a slight change to my #BFestBuzz! I’ll be signing books and hosting an author panel in TWO Barnes & Noble stores in the Kansas City area during B-Fest!

On Saturday, June 11th, come see me at Oak Park Mall in Overland Park, KS. 
Event Link.

On Sunday, June 12th, you can see me at Zona Rosa in Kansas City, MO. Event Link.

I really hope to meet some of you there, but since I know many of you don’t live in the KC area, I hope one day that I can come to your town, too!

~SAT

#SATurdate: The Jungle Book, Thunderclap, and Through the Looking Glass

21 May

What I’m Writing:

This week I finished my initial edit of D, and now that I’ve cranked that entire manuscript out in a ridiculous amount of time, Shannon is taking a much-needed break. But hey! I have three novels complete and ready to pursue publication. I’m sure I’ll recover from writers’ burnout soon.

What I’m Publishing:

I received the book business cards and banner! I will show everyone those soon, and hopefully, give away some swag. My Thunderclap for Bad Bloods just started, too! What’s a Thunderclap? It’s an automatic social media post about Bad Bloods that will release on July 18, 2016. You can sign up for Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr, and it really helps little authors like me out. I’d appreciate any and all help. Sign up here

maggieIn other news, the Bad Bloods Prequel continues with Maggie’s story on Wattpad! Read how she joined the Northern Flock by clicking her name or start on the first chapter by clicking the prequel link. There are currently three chapters out: Adam, Michele, and Maggie. Now, a sneak peek from Maggie: Surely even the best gifts are worth less than saving a life.

The #1lineWed preview was “hooks,” which means any line that ends a chapter, so this week’s preview is actually a line from a previous Teaser Tuesday, so you might recognize it! We bled the same as humans, but there was one difference. We bled too much.

Pre-Order Bad Bloods

November Rain, Part One, releases July 18, 2016

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboSmashwordsGoodreads

November Snow, Part Two, releases July 25, 2016

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

Visit the Pinterest and Facebook Pages.
draft3

What I’m Reading:

I’m reading Genesis Girl by Jennifer Bardsley, and it’s great so far! If you love light YA sci-fi/dystopian romance, you’ll enjoy this book. It is set in the future where certain people are raised without a digital footprint (no photos, Internet, etc.), and then, they are sold on their 18th birthday to the highest bidder.

What I’m Listening To:

I currently have a Disney sing-along CD in my Vietnam pickup, and let me tell you, it’s the best thing that’s happened to me all week. Singing “Under the Sea” while it’s pouring rain (and you’re terrified of driving in the rain) helps everything.

What I’m Watching:

I FINALLY saw The Jungle Book, and I LOVED it. (Duh.) I thought Neel Sethi was fantastic! And the graphics were both lovely and haunting and evocative. I enjoyed the songs, and I definitely enjoyed hearing some of my favorite actors among the cast—including Christopher Walken and Bill Murray. Fun fact: Bill Murray’s brother voiced the Disney Baloo, which is why Bill Murray is voicing this Baloo. (There’s actually a lot of interesting facts about this movie. Check them out on IMDB. I thought they were really neat.) My favorite part? The ending. It’s nail-biting craziness.

The-Jungle-Book-Movie-Wallpapers

What I’m Baking, Making, and Drinking:

No baking this week! Sorry, folks. When the family is in town, it’s a lot of busy craziness. I’ll make cookies or cake next week, so look out.

What I’m Wearing:

Pajamas! Yeah, vacation.

What I’m Wanting:

Alice_Through_the_Looking_Glass_(film)_posterI want to see the new Alice Through the Looking Glass movie. And the X-Men: Apocalypse movie. And (surprisingly) the new Emma Roberts/Dave Franco film, Nerve. I say surprisingly only because I’m not normally an Emma Roberts fan, but that movie looks right up my alley.

What I’m Dreaming Of:

I had a dream that I went to one of those slasher parties. What’s a slasher party? You know, those rumored events that extremely rich people attend to watch terrible things happen to people? Yeah. I was at one of those for some reason, and the party was held in a basement of a hospital. Why? No clue. Shannon’s brain is crazy. But as I was leaving—wearing a ridiculously expensive gown…through a hospital…though no one seemed to notice me anyway…I started screaming out that I had snot all over my face. (Plot twist.) I woke up, and I, in fact, did have a face issue. My allergies. They took over my dreams. Then again, not a bad thing consider the whole slasher vibe.

What Else Is Going On:

instaI had out-of-town family in town, so I didn’t have much news this week! I’m looking forward to next week’s chaos. But I did release exciting future news! Come see me at the Barnes & Noble for B-Fest in Oak Park Mall in Overland Park, KS on Saturday, June 11 from 1-3 PM for a book signing and author panel. More info on my Events page.

~SAT

#SATurdate: Captain America, Chunky Monkey, Paperbacks, & Minions

14 May

What I’m Writing:

Right now, I’m doing an initial edit of D before I move on from it. As of today, I’m 63,075 words into it, so only 30,000 to go! (Have I mentioned how exhausted I am?) Most importantly, though, I’d like to give another lovely shout out to Author Jonas Lee for helping me this past month! He’s helping me with the project as well, and I really appreciate his input and encouragement. So, thank you, Jonas!

What I’m Publishing:

13221700_3230314315411_6104904338034016177_nI received my author copies of November Rain in the mail! I’m super excited to have November Rain in my hands, and I’m even more excited that ten wonderful bloggers received pre-release eBook copies, too. 😀 I hope you enjoyed this week’s #TeaserTuesday! If you haven’t seen it, be sure to check on my right side tool bar. It will be updated with new teasers every week, along with links to the Wattpad Prequel as it updates.

The #1lineWed preview was “opening lines from any chapter,” so this week’s preview is actually the opening line of Bad Bloods!

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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Visit the Pinterest and Facebook Pages.

draft3 What I’m Reading:

13151670_1035003766546804_6180950616842075677_nI finished Emerge by Tobie Easton, and let me tell you guys, this book is SO STINKIN’ CUTE. IF you love mermaids—especially The Little Mermaid—you will LOVE this book. You’ll love the humor (hello fish puns!), you’ll revel in the madness, and I think you’ll fangirl over the romance just as much as I did. Between Lia, Clay, Caspian, and other cast members, Emerge is fresh yet evocative, and highly recommended. You can read my five-star review here. And, oh yeah, #TeamCaspian.

I also started Genesis Girl by Jennifer Bardsley, and it’s great so far! I’m hoping I’ll finish it this coming week.

What I’m Listening To:

I found a mix CD I made back in 2008 and listened to it like crazy this week. My favorite part? Half of it was the soundtrack to Romeo + Juliet (The Claire Danes, Leo DiCaprio version.) I mean, who doesn’t love #1 Crush by Garbage and Lovefool by the Cardigans? 

What I’m Watching:

I saw Captain America: Civil War this week, and while I know I’ve developed a bit of a superhero-hater reputation thanks to my poking fun at Batman V. Superman, I thought Captain America: Civil War was pretty entertaining. Then again, I am a Marvel fan, so I tend to enjoy their movies more. It wasn’t X-Men or Deadpool, but I thought it was good. Spider-Man was probably my favorite part.

Unknown

I also watched Minions thanks to Netflix, and let me tell you, that was probably my favorite movie I saw this week. It was adorable, hilarious, and the ending was spectacular. I’m also in love with Sandra Bullock, so that was a plus. I’m a bit like Bob. Give me a fluffy bear or animal any day, and I am entertained. And a bit of an airhead. So that cracked me up.

Minions_Revision_PROOF

In other news, I watched Special Correspondents—which is about two journalists faking their news reports from NYC—and I really enjoyed that. I also watched the H.H. Holmes documentary on Netflix, because, you know, my obsession with serial killers. All of these movies are recommended.

What I’m Baking, Making, and Drinking: 

13174143_1040539485993232_8132323237278539808_nI baked Chunky Monkey Brownies this week, which is basically a banana chocolate brownie (but I made mine dark chocolate). I used this recipe, cutting the sugar and chocolate by half and using dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate.

What I’m Wearing:

My Pikachu shirt. I always wear it when I’m really stressed out, and I’ll tell you what, between finishing a novel way too quickly and moving straight into edits, I’m exhausted. I need a little Pikachu pick me up.

What I’m Wanting:

A million paperback copies of November Rain. (Okay. Maybe more like 15.)

What I’m Dreaming Of:

I had a bunch of dreams about D, which means I both loved them and can’t talk about them much. Maybe next week?

What Else Is Going On:

I have family coming into town for almost all of next week, so there probably won’t be that many updates in regards to publishing or writing, but I will try to be around still. In the meantime, Shannon’s on a bit of a vacation. So, see you around!

~SAT

#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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#Saturdate Book covers, Amy Schumer, Assassins, Joy, and homemade fudge

9 Jan

This was cover reveal week—a week I have been waiting for—and let me tell you, it was everything I dreamed of. Your messages and support energize my author life. From the bottom of my little writer’s heart, thank you. I will do my best to keep everyone updated as everything moves along!

Let it snow,

~SAT

What I’m Writing:

::facepalm:: That’s how well Take Me Yesterday is going. But don’t fret. It’s probably because I put too much on my plate. I received and finished the first proofread of the Bad Bloods edit (so the third round of overall editing), and I had the cover reveal this week. I can only do so much.

What I’m Publishing:

As many of you saw, we had the cover reveal for Bad Bloods this week! I’m super excited so many of you are also super excited for the release of these two novels. Thank you for sharing, sending, and smiling. I finished the third round of edits, and three of you received an exclusive sneak peek. Here’s another shout out to those amazing readers: Jonas Lee, Amy B., and Macy ❤ Stories. I hope you all enjoyed the exclusive sneak peek of November Rain! I can’t wait to start more giveaways as the year goes on! Which I will, via my newsletter, so be sure to sign up here if you want more chances to win prizes. Your information will never be given away, you can unsubscribe at any time, and I only send out an email once a month, if that. Finally, here is the #1lineWed winning preview. The theme was “new.”

I always knew it, but every time I thought of it, it felt like a new, terrible acceptance of a reality I would hate.

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:

booksI started and finished Cress (book 3 in The Lunar Chronicles) by Marissa Meyer. Of course, I loved it. The Lunar Chronicles is a great series, especially if you love fairy tale retellings and sci-fi. (I’m not even a fan of fairy tale retellings, and I love this series because of its creativity and humor…and the sci fi-fantasy world building is fantastic.) The Lunar Chronicles is a phenomenal, humorous & exhilarating sci fi-fantasy blend. You can read my full review by clicking here, but I must say, Cress really made me love Thorne so much more than I already did. She was the perfect addition to the group.

I finished See How They Run (book 2 in The Embassy Row series) by Ally Carter, and I loved it even more than the first one. If you like conspiracies, assassins, secret societies, political espionage, and family/friendship tales, this one is for you. Trust me, you will not be disappointed. You can read my full five-star review by clicking here.

What I’m Listening To:

No music in my soul this week. I’ve been too busy to dance.

What I’m Watching:

 My treat this week was Joy. And oh boy, what joy Joy was. (Okay. That was awful. I apologize for my cheese.) But, seriously. Jennifer Lawrence’s latest is a pretty great flick. I, myself, thought the first half was a bit slow and strange, but it set up for a really great family dynamic which became vital in the later half of the film. (Basically, well worth it.) Plus, I loved seeing Choco from Domino again. Overall, the story was freakin’ great. Business-minded, inspiring, and female empowering, although I would say it should empower males too ;).

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MV5BOTgxMDQwMDk0OF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNjU5OTg2NDE@._V1_UY1200_CR90,0,630,1200_AL_So don’t kill me, but I FINALLY saw Inside Out, and while I know I’m super late to that Pixar party, JESUS. That movie WRECKED me. As many of you know, I moved around a lot as a kid. (In fact, I still move around a lot.) In my 24 years, I have lived in six different states and twelve different homes…so I move about every two years. Little Shannon could’ve been best friends with Little Riley. I cried. A lot. Probably because I had the “great” idea of watching this by my lonesome. It was an emotional roller coaster, anddddddd I loved it. If you could see inside my headquarters, fear is probably the one who rules my dashboard. I’m a bit skittish.

What I’m Baking, Making, and Drinking:

I made homemade fudge. (That stuff is not easy to make.) I failed. Terribly.

What I’m Wearing:

12401826_961355923911589_1413446780780607145_oI’m still in my collection of cat socks, and since so many of you asked about them, I posted a delightful photo to Instagram. Aren’t they glorious?

What I’m Wanting:

Honestly, sleep. Good, soundless sleep.

What I’m Dreaming Of:

On the day of my cover reveal, I had this CRAZY dream where an EMP went off and the World Wide Web was attacked until it shut down…so no one saw my Bad Bloods covers…and THAT’S what I was worried about.

(Seriously. Dream Shannon is kind of crazy.)

I think this is the author equivalent to students having nightmares about papers and tests not working out.

Because so many of you saw my first one, here’s a second one:

So, apparently, I’m best friends with Amy Schumer, and she is now a retired comedian turned boxer, and she has a match against Ronda Rousey. And, of course, I’m going to go, because I’m the supportive best friend. Amy even gave me extra tickets, so I took my dad, and my dad became best friends with Amy’s dad (even though he oddly just looked like Amy without hair). And I got lost in a bathroom? And I was really worried that Amy was going to hate me, because I was going to miss her match with Ronda.

(Please, tell me why my brain is so strange.)

What Else Is Going On:

Shannon managed to get her own pickup stuck in her own backyard. Do you realize how embarrassing that is? Massively.

~SAT

Exciting event news! On February 13, I’ll be one of several featured authors at a Barnes & Noble Valentine’s Day Romance Author Event in Wichita, Kansas. Another CTP author, Tamara Grantham, will be there too, so check her out. I’ll keep you all updated as more news comes out!

Barnes & NobleValentine's Day Romance Author Event

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

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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:

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Seconds Before Sunrisebook 2:

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Death Before Daylightbook 3:

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#SATurdate: Star Wars, Novel Aesthetics, Antlers, and Florence

26 Dec

First things first, I hope everyone had a great holiday! This girl celebrated with Christmas candies and hours of reading. (I seriously cannot believe it’s almost 2016.)

What I’m Writing:

I actually fixed some scenes in Take Me Yesterday this week, and I attempted to keep moving forward in it, but it has to take a pause while I focus on the Bad Bloods edits.

What I’m Publishing:

I received the first sets of edits for Bad Bloods, both November Rain and November Snow, I managed to finish them over the holidays. As many of you know, Clean Teen Publishing did finish the covers for both books, and we’ll be having a cover reveal on January 6. I’ll be sending out a newsletter this Tuesday, asking for help, and three lucky helpers will win an exclusive sneak peek of November Rain. (Sign up here.) In regards to this week’s sneak peek, I actually didn’t participate in #1lineWed, but I was invited to post a #novelaesthetics on Twitter. Basically, we had to choose three photos that represented the aesthetics of the novel, so here are those photos for November Snow.

Visit the Facebook, Pinterest, and the Extras page.

novela

What I’m Reading:

 10900066_956293941084454_5982930522247100530_oI began The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson, and I’ve barely put it down. I LOVE it. It’s a mix of romantic cheese and heart-pounding betrayal in a world of royalty and assassins.

I began and finished Midnight Thief by Livia Blackburne. It received 5 shiny stars from me. I thought it was action-packed, absolutely epic, and a delight to read. I loved Kyra, the orphan who joins the Assassins Guild only to figure out that loyalties might not be so simple. Add magical beast-cats and knights to the mix, and I was in love. Recommended to fantasy and paranormal YA fans. Read my full review here.

What I’m Listening To:

Florence-And-The-Machine-How-Big-How-Blue-How-BeautifulFor Christmas, I received the new Florence + The Machine album, How Big. How Blue. How Beautiful. And I love it.

What I’m Watching:

Yes. Yes. I finally saw Star Wars The Force Awakens. (No spoilers, I promise.) I definitely LOVED it. I thought it was much funnier than the original ones and the ones I grew up watching. I loved the protagonists a lot, and I definitely did not see some of those twists coming. (I saw one coming, but other than that, I sat there like, WHHHHHAAAAAT?) I never thought they could make a cuter robot than R2D2, so that was awesome. The girl is a badass. Loved her. A great movie to go see this holiday season.

For Christmas, I received Dark City (1998)mainly because I professed my love for Rufus Sewell on here. AND I loved it. That is an awesome flick. Just purely twisted sci-fi.

I also watched Dune (1984) for the first time (please don’t kill me), and I have to say, not a fan. (Please don’t kill me again.) I simply think the director was ahead of his time. They just tried to tackle a too high sci-fi for the time period and the technology that was available to them. But, I will say this, I can tell that the book is probably awesome from the movie. It just seemed too complicated and imaginative for the screen to sum up in an hour and a half.

movies

What I’m Baking, Making, and Drinking:

You might be sad to hear that Shannon is going on a bit of a diet. Not that I’m trying to lose weight, but I have been eating WAY too much sugar, so you probably won’t see as many desserts on here as before…Even then, I totally failed this week’s goal, and I made breakfast cookies. (So not as sweet, but cookies nonetheless.)

What I’m Wearing:

Ugly X-Mas sweaters. This one has a dog on it and antlers.

What I’m Wanting:

This was me cheating at Barnes & Noble.

This was me cheating at Barnes & Noble.

Cookies. Because I’m on a diet. (Even though I cheated and bought myself one.)

What I’m Dreaming Of:

This is a story on how Shannon learns she is dreaming and forces herself to wake up.

In real life I had to make it to a family event at 6 p.m. That doesn’t sound bad for many of you, but I work a night shift, so I don’t wake up until 3 p.m….and this was technically my weekend, so I don’t get up til 5 p.m. sometimes…and this event was over an hour away, so basically, I was having anxiety about my alarm not going off on time, which is what caused this dream.

My alarm doesn’t go off. I see the time. 5:40 p.m.

I leap out of bed, rush up the stairs, and start pounding on the wall to wake up my roommate. “The alarm didn’t go off!”

For some reason, he screams, “Noon is not good enough.”

This was my first clue something was weird.

So, we run into the closet to pick out clothes, and he’s singing. (Another weird clue.) So, I stop to take out my cell phone. (I find electronics help me figure out if I’m dreaming or not.) And sure enough, this phone has a grocery list on it. There’s no such app like this one. It automatically knows we need certain things in our fridge based on previous purchase records.

It says we need two things of tuna.

I never get tuna.

This must be a dream.

I actually have a moment where I want to stay so I can do whatever I want, (because that’s a thing at this point,) but I’m super paranoid the beginning of my dream was trying to tell me that my alarm actually didn’t go off, so I wake myself up.

It’s 1:47 p.m.

I have two hours left to sleep.

What Else Is Going On:

I’m just really, really, REALLY excited for the cover reveal on January 6. I practically can’t sit still. It’s painful to keep them a secret, but it will be well worth it! I’m looking forward to starting 2016 off right.

~SAT

SATurdate: Next Publication, Our Brand is Crisis, Cocoa Coffee, & More.

7 Nov

This one is going to be especially long since it’s all my updates since Oct. 24. (Silly Ketchup posts taking over a Saturday Update.) But I hope you enjoy all the exciting news!

What I’m Writing:

I didn’t get much writing accomplished the past two weeks. I was a nervous wreck after submitting my manuscript to Clean Teen Publishing, so reading and writing was basically impossible. (As I’ve stated before, publishing has a strange effect on me.) I bought a puzzle book to distract myself with, but dun dun dun…the publishing results are below.

What I’m Publishing:

If you’re a part of the Clean Teen Publishing Street Team, then you were the first to know! Read the announcement here (and join the street team, because they are awesome), but November Snow is happening. Clean Teen Publishing enjoyed the story and signed me on, so the future is coming. I sent off my contract yesterday. I’ll have additional news soon, so keep your eye out every Saturday for what’s going on and where we’re at in the publishing process. I’ll tell you this though: What they have planned is awesome. Since it’s releasing in the future, I’m still using it as my #1lineWed manuscript, and this past week’s theme was “cold,” so here’s a preview from November Snow: Her voice was as warm as the summer wind, but her stare reminded me of how cold it was outside.

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The current FB cover of November Snow

What I’m Reading:

Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini: I started it this week, and boy, is this book bizarre. I feel like it’s been the week of bizarre books. It is not what I was expecting at all. (Not a bad thing.) So far, it’s very much like a scene from a video game where you’re fighting your shadow self.

Sailor Moon, V. 6: It’s no secret that Sailor Moon is favorite manga and anime. I read it all the time, and I officially own the new set…since I went a little crazy at the bookstore this week and bought 5-12 at once. Couldn’t help myself. I decided to reread volume 6 since Sailor Moon Crystal is returning, and this is the volume they’ll start off with. It starts the Infinity Arc, which introduces Sailor Uranus (my fav.) and Sailor Neptune. You can read my entire review here. Spoiler Alert: I gave it five stars. 😉

Sailor Moon, V. 7: I couldn’t stop myself. I had to read the next volume too, mainly because it’s been WAY too long since I last read this particular arc. (I have a bad habit of skipping this one, even though it’s a fan favorite. Don’t get me wrong. I still love this one.) You can read my entire review here. I gave it four stars.

A History of Glitter and Blood by Hannah Moskowitz: I finished it this week, and boy, was that book insane. It’s a complicated, chaotic exploration of racism, loss, and youth during the terrors of war. Not for the lighthearted. (A lot of cursing, prostitution, and cannibalism.) And it’s written in a very strange, unique way—often breaking the fourth wall and inserting photos in-between. I gave it three stars, and you can read my full review here.

books

What I’m Listening To:

Stuff They Don’t Want You To Know Podcast: I love them. I love their YouTube Channel, which is where I originally found them, and then, I was introduced to the podcast, where they expand on the videos on their channel in-depth. Pretty neat!

What I’m Watching:

American Horror Story! Finally! A local theatre here in town has the rights to show it, so I have been able to watch it again. I also caught up on Are You The One? (Don’t judge me…but I love that show. I normally hate reality TV, but, but, but…I just can’t help myself there.) The only other reality show I’ve followed before is King of the Nerds, and I just found out that season four was canceled, so boo.

Bridge of Spies: The new Tom Hanks’ movie is a must-see. It’s a fantastic true story, a tearjerker, and just brilliant. I definitely recommend it to those who enjoy war movies that take place off the battlefield, even though this was very much the battlefield for The Cold War. Another war movie I went to see was Sicario. I like Emily Blunt, but not so much her character in this film. There were some great one-liners, and one or two characters I really enjoyed, but the overall rhythm of the story didn’t work for me. If it came between the two, I’d definitely say go see Bridge of Spies.

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As you’re about to see…I go to the movies a lot. The latest one I saw was Our Brand is Crisis, the new Sandra Bullock movie about an election in Bolivia. It’s rated R, but I’m not sure why. I didn’t think there was anything R-worthy in there, but the movie was great. Sandra is a goddess. I wish I could say more, but I’d probably spoil it. A Bridge of Spies was still my favorite of the ones I’ve seen recently.

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Documentary wise, I watched Love & Terror on the Howling Plains of Nowhere, which is about an author who wrote a book over the disappearance of Steven Haataja, a brilliant math professor who moves to a small town only to end up burned to death and tied to a tree. The mystery is how and why.

What I’m Baking, Making, and Drinking:

dessertI carved a pumpkin into a moon (Maybe I was on too big of a Sailor Moon kick this week), and because of this carved pumpkin, I roasted a bunch of pumpkin seeds…which ended up being a giant FAIL. Anyway, our groundhog ate our pumpkin. But I made up for it later. I made cocoa cookies with white chocolate chips. NOM. They were, by far, the best cookies to pair with black coffee. I also made Apple Pie Sangria (both a white and a red one), which were awesome, and chicken fajitas in the slow cooker (also awesome). I made beef stroganoff recently too. On Halloween, I didn’t get to do much (boo, work), but I did manage to make myself a rootbeer float, and who doesn’t love a rootbeer float? My favorite drink to make, however, was the Eiskaaffee, a coffee drink that includes ice cream, whipped cream, coffee, and cocoa.

What I’m Wearing:

Cat-themed knee socks. They are awesome.

What I’m Wanting:

I missed out on Halloween costumes for my cats. (I know. I know. I’m cruel.) So, I really want elf costumes for them so I can celebrate SOMETHING this year. I worked on Halloween, so boooooo.

What I’m Dreaming Of:

Two little monkeys were in my window, and it was adorable. Then, I opened the door, and these GIANT baboons came running into the house. One even tried to eat my cat Kiki. I kept running around the house, trying to get them to leave, but everything I tried failed, and they destroyed EVERYTHING. I even rode on a baboon’s back at one point. It was wild.

All my other dreams were too bizarre to explain in a reasonable manner.

What Else Is Going On:

12190019_931005530279962_2086646242368372003_nI kind of went a bit crazy while waiting to hear back from my publisher about November Snow. I couldn’t really write or read. (Publishing has a strange effect on me.) So, I went out and bought a variety puzzle book…and obsessively did meaningless puzzles for two weeks straight. I wish I was kidding.

~SAT

Announcement time! Other than November Snow being signed on, Minutes Before Sunset was nominated for the Cybils Award in Young Adult Speculative Fiction. Yeppee! Thanks for staying Dark and sharing the Dark with others.

During my next newsletter, you might be receiving a Black Friday Sale for The Timely Death Trilogy, so be sure to sign up here, but if you just can’t wait…

Minutes Before Sunset: book 1

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Seconds Before Sunrise: book 2

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Death Before Daylight: book 3

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2014 Books to Movies

10 Jan

First, I am taking a moment to apologize for my extended absence. I was having unusual difficulties with my normally cooperative technology. But now my internet is fixed, and I’m delighted to return to my every-other-day blog schedule.

Since I was stuck on my phone rather than my laptop the past few days, the only thing I could really do was read up on book related articles, and this one was really popular: 16 Books to Read Before They Hit Theaters This Year. Now I’ve talked about what I think of movie adaptations before, and you can read about that here, but I just want to repeat my opinion in case you’re a newcomer (welcome!)

I look at movie adaptation as sister pieces – rather than something that needs to represent the novel exactly. I normally quite enjoy movie adaptations, even when other readers don’t. This doesn’t really mean anything aside from I love seeing a piece of art being interpreted using another method. So I wanted to share the upcoming movie adaptations and what I think about the book and/or the future movie. The links will take you to IMDB rather than the book. I would also love to hear what you’re looking forward to and what you’re worried about, so comment below so we can talk about it 😀

1. Labor Day by Joyce Maynard

I am a Kate Winslet fan, and the trailer left me wanting more. I will probably see this, but I have yet to read the 4.2/5 star novel. I will probably wait for the DVD, but it looks like a promising drama that leaves questions about the good, the bad, and the ugly.

2. The Monuments Men by Robert M. Edsel and Bret Witter

I must see this. Again, I haven’t read this novel, but I am planning on checking it out a.s.a.p. I love history, and I love art. I plan on seeing this in theaters. It looks worth it to me. I’m also a John Goodman fan, so that helps.

3. Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin

I’m really on the fence about this one. I wish I could say more, but I honestly don’t know how to elaborate except that I’m afraid the magic will be hard to convey on the screen.

4. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

As much as I’m a young-adult fan, this novel failed to gain my interest, and – like many – I’m a little burnt out on vampires. (Although it is directed by the same director who did Mean Girls. I don’t know if this means anything, considering I’m not a fan of the story, but I hope it does well for the fans!

5. A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby 

I don’t think this is my cup of tea, but this doesn’t mean I think the book is bad or anything.

6. Divergent by Veronica Roth

I think this might be one of the biggest films of the year in terms of young-adult trends. It will be interesting to see how the Chicago setting is done and/or if it fares well with the diehard fans. I’ll definitely be checking it out.

7. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

If I have the urge to have a cry fest, then, yes, I plan on seeing this emotional tale on the big screen.

8. The Hundred-Foot Journey by Richard C. Morais

Although this is a remarkable tale, the trailer didn’t really interest me enough. I might change my mind, depending on what else it out around this time.

9. The Giver by Lois Lowry

This is one of my favorite novels of all-time, and I’m a HUGE fan of Meryl Streep, but I am worried about their decision to cast Taylor Swift. It makes me feel like they are simply trying to get people to come using big names, rather than finding the right people for the parts, but I still have hopes that Ms. Swift will live up to the high expectations of this classic and prove everyone wrong that she can, in fact, act.

I am wishing for too much, but I think it would be really neat if the first half shows how the world sees in black and white until the color vision begins to develop with the apple and hair through the protagonist. In fact, I made the photo below when thinking it would be really neat to see in black and white for one day. My roommate mentioned The Giver, and I got even more excited for this movie adaptation. I guess you could say this one is the one I look forward to the most.

So this is my black and white photograph inspired by black and white films!

So this is my black and white photograph inspired by black and white films!

10. Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

I really want to see this dark tale, too. I think it will translate well, and I hope the visuals add to the dramatic and twisted story.

11. This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper

Not sure about this one, but I am not familiar with the novel either.

12. The Maze Runner by James Dashner

Yes. Yes. and Yes. I will be seeing this. I think that’s all I need to say.

13. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Wow. Second movie of the year inspired by Gillian Flynn. I’m a fan of Flynn, so I’ll probably see this, but I think I might wait until it’s out of the theater. But congrats to Gillian Flynn on the big year!

But I do have some (sad?) news about this movie adaptation. According to the guardian, the ending has been rewritten by choice of the director. Flynn has supposedly written it, but this mysterious ending is leaving readers wondering why and what will happen.

14. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand & 15. Wild by Cheryl Strayed 

Again, these both sound interesting, but I don’t think they are for me.

16. Serena by Ron Rash

I love Jennifer Lawrence too much to not see this. It’s on my top movies to look out for in 2014. Although I have to admit that I used to not be a huge fan of Bradley Cooper’s, he’s made a huge comeback with me since Silver Linings Playbook, and I adore every movie Lawrence and Cooper have done together. (American Hustle was great!) So I will be seeing this on the big screen if possible! Not that this matters, but Serena is also my favorite name for a girl, so…that’s one more reason, right? :] (Fun fact: Serena is the name of my protagonist in my first, published novel, November Snow.)

So what do you think? Are you looking forward to any of these flicks? Are you worried about any of them? Which novels have you read? Are there any you plan on checking out before you watch it? 

Feel free to elaborate as much as you want to about a specific novel. In fact, I hope you do! I would love to hear more about a story I’m on the fence about from someone who has read it and loved or hated it. Some of my favorite movies were ones I never thought I would see. (I can admit Silver Linings Playbook was actually one of those.) I’m really open-minded, and I love a challenge – meaning, I adore those moments where I have low expectations and the art blows me away. Surprises can be a beautiful thing.

~SAT

P.S. I took Bogart to the vet for his annual checkup, and he’s 18 lbs.! Now, I was worried he was overweight, but it turns out he is part Maine Coon. I thought that was pretty cool – and explains why he’s so HUGE! So I had to share 😀

He’s a little mad at me after the vet, but he’ll come around.

He’s a little mad at me after the vet, but he’ll come around.

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