Tag Archives: romance

Shannon’s Top Three Tips for Writing Romance

7 Feb

It’s February, so romance is in the publishing air. Whether or not you write romance novels or have romantic subplots in your work, almost every writer has had to think through a couple’s relationship in their work. 

Here are my top three tips for writing romance.

1. Read Romance: As Stephen King famously said, “If you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the tools to write. Simple as that.” Reading romance novels, or novels that have romantic subplots, will help you learn the beats of a romantic plotline. (You should also check out Romancing the Beat: Story Structure for Romance Novels by Gwen Hayes. It’s a nonfiction craft book dedicated to understanding romance beats.) My favorite go-to romance books are Harlequin. Why? Though the various imprints have particular expectations, every book is focused on romance, and it’s so easy to spot tropes from the cover, title, and synopsis. They tend to run very short, too, so you can read a bunch very quickly. Even with a shorter word count, you’ll be amazed how tight these plots are. These authors will really inspire you to find ways to cut to the chase. Keep in mind that the romance books you read don’t necessarily have to be in the same genre that you’re writing in. I primarily write fantasy and, while I definitely read enough fantasy to study those romantic subplots, I’ve found contemporary romance books have actually helped me understand writing romance more. Probably because there is less distraction (world building, war, magic, etc.) Basically, make sure you’re reading romance in your genre, but don’t be afraid to branch out either. 

2. Requited love is nice, but it doesn’t make much of a ballad. Cassandra Clare’s character Will said that when referring to why characters are put through so much hardship in stories, and I’ve never heard such a true sentiment. Listen, you’re writing a story. Stories require tension and excitement. A what if. In romance, that what if is will they get together? You have to string that question out in some way. If your characters famously get along, your reader will wonder why they aren’t together. Some writers take that to mean that a couple must disagree or not communicate, and that’s not true. There’s lots of reasons people stay apart. Beliefs. Expectations. Distance. Responsibilities, such as taking care of their family. Work that doesn’t allow them time to date. Fear of rejection. I could go on and on. You can definitely still have tension even if your couple is communicating well. But there must be tension somewhere. Your couple is made up of different people with their own goals, who happen to cross each other’s path. I think every romance novel benefits when those paths hit a crossroad in some way. Do they choose themselves or their love for each other? Bam. Tension. At the end of the day, something in their lives is unrequited

3. Couples should complement each other in some way. Is he shy and her outgoing? Is she struggling to find the last piece of the puzzle and her lover has it in her hands? Take a look at your favorite bookish couples and you’ll see that they often complement each other’s personalities and goals. They push each other to be better people or to look at the world in a new way. They experience personality traits of the other that their friends/family do not get to see. When you’re revisiting your favorite couples, ask yourself why they appealed to you. What scenes made your heart pitter-patter? Make a list. You might see a pattern emerge of tropes you love, such as the one-bed trope, brother’s best friend, enemies-to-lovers, etc. Once you know what tropes you want to work with, it’ll be so much easier to form your story.

Honestly, though, I could go on and on about romance. If you love reading romance, I’d love it if you check out my young adult paranormal romance, the Timely Death trilogy. The first book, Minutes Before Sunset, is currently free! It’s set in Kansas and follows two magical teens, who realize they’re fated to fall in love… and die.

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~SAT

My Favorite Books of 2021

6 Dec

Every year I blog about my favorite reads, though I admit that this year was hard! I went really out of my comfort zone and read a lot of age categories and genres, but particularly adult romance, including the famous Ice Planet Barbarians series. This was also just a busy year in general for me. My (now) husband and I bought our first home, renovated said home, planned a wedding, got married, and went on a trip. I went back into the office for the first time since March 2020, and we’re still in a pandemic, so naturally, my focus was a little all over the place. I started so many amazing novels that I never ended up finishing, not because they weren’t amazing, but because I had to return them to the library before I got through it, and instead of checking it back out, more holds continued to roll in. That said, I finished reading 87 books this year. You can see the full list on my Goodreads.  To add a little clarity, these are books that I read in 2021, not necessarily books that released in 2021. My favorites are below! I hope you find something to read. I’d also love to hear what you loved this year. 

Verse novels

Under the Mesquite by Guadalupe Garcia McCall and Me (Moth) by Amber McBride are fantastic, heart-felt reads about difficult topics. I greatly admired both stories, and I cannot wait to read more from these diverse authors. These are young adult novels written in verse, but if you’re not used to poetry, I think you’d still be able to easily follow them and enjoy the content. Definitely recommended for kids going through hard times!

Graphic novels

All three of these graphic novel—The Girl from the Sea by Molly Knox Ostertag, A Man and His Cat by Umi Sakurai, and The Magic Fish by Trung Le Nguyen—took my hand and held it as we trapezed through fantastic art, adorable storylines, and heartache. I highly recommend all three of them. A Man and His Cat is a four-book series. Each book is a gem. And they’ll make you want to hug your cats even harder. 

Young Adult Novels

Chain of Iron by Cassandra Clare: I’m a huge Cassandra Clare fan. I’ve been reading her Shadowhunter books since I was 15, and the current trilogy is one of my favorites. Chain of Iron hits you in the feels so many times, it is cruel. I literally cannot wait for the last book. 

Graceling by Kristin Cashore: This book has been on TBR for years. Honestly, I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I only just read it. It’s intense, exciting, and fun. I loved Poe so much, and I know it’ll stay with me for a long time.   

These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong: I listened to the audio book while painting my house and could not have been more enthralled. I actually stopped painting at times just to listen! And honestly, listening to this story was really neat because there are lots of languages, and that narrator speaks them. For me, it added atmosphere. If you haven’t checked out this Romeo and Juliet retelling, do so! The sequel is now out, too. 

Adult novels

Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren: This is a pretty well-known adult romance book. It’s heavy on the sex, and yet still has a substantial plot interwoven throughout. I can see why it’s popular. I finished it in a day or so. It definitely comes with alpha male energy, so if that’s not your thing, you may not like this one. But it’s an entertaining read! 

From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L Armentrout: This book had very delicious fantasy trope that you want in a great fantasy series. Despite all the tropes, Armentrout found amazing ways to twist them to give this story a fresh, exciting feel. I immediately put book 2 on hold, and I’m currently waiting on book 3. It’s also a rather large read, but you’ll love every minute if you adore paranormal romance or romance fantasy.  

The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang: This book is epic, both in word count and in content. It’s definitely not for the faint of heart. It’s a very, very gruesome read, but I absolutely loved it. Every scene kept me on the tip of my toes, and I was looking for any excuse to get back to reading. I listened to the audiobook as I read along, so that helped! All three books are now out as well, so you don’t have to wait for the sequel to drop. 

Most Surprising

She Wouldn’t Change a Thing by Sarah Adlakha

I picked up this book knowing that it was about a woman who had to face a parallel version of her life and decide between her old life and her new one. I definitely wasn’t expecting such a dark, thought-provoking read. I emphasize the darkness of this piece, because the description didn’t get into the types of trauma this book covers, and it gets into a lot of really serious topics, so be warned if you have any potential triggers. That said, I could not put this book down. Even in the slowest parts, I just had to keep reading to know what would ultimately happen. The entire book is uncomfortable in the best ways. I had to keep stopping to go debat a new question with my husband every chapter. It’s definitely a great book club read. I still think about it from time to time. 

Honorable Mention

Ferryman by Claire McFall

This is a new category this year, because – to be 100% honest – I had already written this entire blog post before I picked up Ferryman by Claire McFall. (That’s the risk of writing one of these posts with one month in the year to go.) If I had read it earlier this year, it probably would’ve been placed in my favorite YA slots. I absolutely loved Ferryman by Claire McFall. It’s about a girl who dies and then must cross the wastelands of the afterlife with her ferryman…who she falls in love with. Problem is, once she crosses, she’ll lose him forever. I mean, the stakes alone were enough to get me to pick up this read. It’s apparently a re-release. This book originally came out in Scotland in 2013, but released in the US this year. There are two more books in the trilogy, and it’s being made into a movie. I can totally see why! I could not put it down. (And I really struggled to connect with books this year.) This one is a must-read.

Ultimate Favorite

The 33 Strategies of War by Robert Greene

Never did I ever think an adult nonfiction title would top my list. I mean, I am a fantasy/science fiction sort of a gal. But I was utterly engrossed by this book. It tackles the subject of war by looking at different strategies of battle. What I loved most is that it’s organized by strategy, so the book jumps around time, rather than being written in a historically chronological format. This keeps the stories feeling fresh and exciting, and you can start to see the parallels through time more. I loved that Greene gave credit to women and people of color, particularly Alexander the Great’s mother as an influence when she is so rarely referenced in other narratives. I found myself taking pages and pages of notes for a book idea I’ve been working on for a long time, only to realize I was practically writing everything down. It’s worth picking up, and the audiobook is incredible. The narrator has a way of setting atmosphere while never letting it overtake or exaggerate the facts. A must-read if you’re interested in warfare and history. 

These were my favorite reads of 2021! What were yours?

~SAT

Surprise! Bad Bloods Cover Reveal and Release Date!

27 Feb

My next books are coming THIS spring!

Bad Bloods: July Thunder will release April 10 and Bad Bloods: July Lightning will release May 1 by Clean Teen Publishing.

I’ve been a bit mum about my publishing life, and there’s a reason for that. I’ve been CRAZY busy preparing the next Bad Bloods books for release, but that hard work paid off. Clean Teen Publishing will release both books this spring! You can pre-order them, too. Check them out below for more information, including some sneak peeks.

Bad Bloods: July Thunder and Bad Bloods: July Lightning

So what can you expect from these books?

For those of you who don’t know, Bad Bloods is a generational duology series, which basically means every two books will be told by a new set of characters. Each set also focuses on a new political change. While November Rain (FREE) and November Snow were told by Daniel and Serena while focusing on an election, July Thunder and July Lightning will be told by Violet and Caleb while focusing on the wall separating the Highlands and the outskirts. Within the context of the Bad Bloods universe, the duology is loosely based on the Berlin Wall. It takes place in July of 2090, so the story will also deal with the aftermath of the first duology. Speaking of the first duology…

You might remember Violet. She was a member of the Northern Flock, and had the power to turn into a shadow. (She might also be connected to my paranormal romance series, The Timely Death Trilogy.) Caleb, however, is a brand-new character. He also brings an entire herd of people with him. On top of a new cast of characters, this duology will explore the Pits and the sunken bay in Eastern Vendona along with sections of the Highlands—and since you are reading from Violet and Caleb’s perspective, you might see some of your fav characters from the first duology in a different light. You can read more about the storylines below. (And pre-order them!)

I’m really excited to be continuing this series, and I hope you enjoy Violet and Caleb’s journey as much as I did!

July Thunder

Coming April 10, 2017!

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ebook-bad-bloods-july-thunderFourteen-year-old Violet has been called many things: a bad blood, a survivor, an immortal…now she has a new name—citizen. But adjusting to a lawful life is not easy, especially when she must live under the rule of the same officers who justified the killings of her flock only eight months earlier. Segregation of bad bloods and humans is still in effect, and rebellious Violet steps into a school where she is not allowed. When the police get involved, things deteriorate quickly, sparking a new revolution at the wall separating the Highlands from the outskirts.
That’s when Caleb steps in. He might appear to be an average sixteen-year-old bad blood, but he has secrets, and Violet is determined to figure them out. Caleb knows who’s attacking the wall and why, but his true identity remains a mystery—and how he relates to Violet could shake the threatened city to its very core.
Together or not, a storm will form, a rally will start, and shocking truths will be revealed.

July Lightning

Coming May 1, 2017!

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Bad Bloods: July Lightning by Shannon A Thompson

Bad Bloods: July Lightning by Shannon A Thompson

Sixteen-year-old Caleb has been called many things: a patient, a musician, even a prostitute…now he has a new name—son. After his identity is uncovered, Caleb bands together with the family he once rejected in order to save the city of Vendona. But it won’t be easy. Enemies wait around every corner—and so do harsh realities. With Violet and Kuthun by his side though, nothing seems impossible. As Vendona sits on the verge of an economic collapse and a massive hurricane threatens the city, Violet and Caleb must show its citizens how to overcome decades of hostility and division to save themselves.

Standing or not, a sea will rage, a wall may fall, and all will depend on immortal pain and sacrifice.

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If you haven’t started this series, Bad Bloods: November Rain (#1) is FREE across all platforms! 

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Bad Bloods: November Snow (#2) is ONLY $2.99

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#WW Connecting Books Across Genres

3 Aug

I’m a young adult author who writes in various genres. I have contemporary, paranormal romance, fantasy, and science fiction published, but my two main series include a Dark vs. Light paranormal romance that takes place in the small Midwest town of Hayworth—The Timely Death Trilogy—and a science fiction duology—Bad Bloods—about children with hindering abilities fighting against an election that decides if they will continue to be executed or not. While The Timely Death Trilogy takes place in modern Kansas, Bad Bloods takes place in an undisclosed southern city bordered by the ocean and locked in by walls in the year 2089. Despite having different locations, time periods, and genres, these series are connected.

What? How?

Well, let me tell you without spoiling it for you: the characters.

If you read The Timely Death Trilogy and you also read the Bad Bloods Prequel (FREE on Wattpad), you will get to know a little girl named Violet. She is the key to the connection. But that’s all I’ll say for now.

Why did I connect these two, seemingly unrelated stories? Because they ARE related, and they always have been in my mind. I mean, they existed in my mind at the same time, after all. And so do all of my stories. Which, basically means I connect all of my novels in some way or another.

Consider it a wink to all those readers who follow every book by an author.

My books I'm discussing, The Timely Death Trilogy and Bad Bloods

My books I’m discussing, The Timely Death Trilogy and Bad Bloods

But how do I do this?

I’m not sure there’s a method, necessarily. I always tell aspiring writers to follow their gut, and this is often why. For instance, I definitely don’t know every book I will write in my life time, but by keeping my mind and heart open to the characters (and honest), I guarantee they’ll reveal a weird twist of how they got to know each other while hanging out in my mind space.

As an example? Many readers were dying for a continuation of The Timely Death Trilogy (or a happily ever after epilogue), but the truth of it was, whenever I attempted to tackle a shiny, pretty ending, I only saw my characters lives becoming more and more complicated as they grew older. (A reality, really.) And while I wanted to leave everyone on a happy note, Violet’s character in Bad Bloods is so powerful to The Timely Death Trilogy, I couldn’t deny what she wanted to say: the truth. And that truth became the connection, and to me, these connections remind us an important truth to every story.

Connecting books across genres shows that a character’s story never ends, even when the pages do.

~SAT

I have new author photos! Check out my right side tool bar to see it, and of course, special thanks to Huntress Photography!

My publisher is also hosting an August Back to School Giveaway! You can win a $25 gift card to Amazon, CTP mystery boxes, November Snow, and many other books!

Bad Bloods: November Rain

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Bad Bloods: November Snow! 

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Bad Bloods: November Snow

Bad Bloods: November Snow

#BookRelease Bad Bloods: November Snow!

25 Jul

Bad Bloods: November Snow released today!

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Bad Bloods: November Snow

Bad Bloods: November Snow

Bad Bloods: November Snow

Bad Bloods: November Snow

Bad Bloods: November Snow

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. 

GET YOUR COPY TODAY

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Of course if you haven’t read the first book – Bad Bloods: November Rain – here are those links.

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I also want to thank all of the bloggers who’ve written reviews for November Snow so far! I am blown away every time someone takes the time to read my work, let alone review it. I cannot express my endless gratitude, but thank you a million times.

Black Words, White Pages: I bawled like a baby at the end of this book. I highly recommend this story to all to read and enjoy!

Daydreaming Books: This book was an emotional roller-coaster! So much happened in this book, I couldn’t entirely believe my eyes. Recommend it? Yes!

The Book Forums: Wow…I mean this as a compliment, November Snow ripped out my heart, then stepped on it…Then laughed at my dead heart on the ground. End the end, Bad Bloods: November Snow is an amazing read that I recommend to everyone.

OMG Books and More Books: Filled with suspense, action, and unexpected twists, Bad Bloods is one of my favorite duologues this year. I strongly recommend this book to anyone. My heart broke in the end, but I loved every minute of this book.

Read, Watch, and Think:  A lot more action, twists and turns making it an amazing finale. The language is satin smooth and the narration quality is what makes the author’s book to die for. It’s a fabulous series.

Babbling Books: Truly, Thompson has done an incredible job here of story weaving. Just wonderful. Don’t underestimate your need for tissues here people, don’t do it. Prepare yourself with tissues and a cuddly stuffed animal.

Crazy Beautiful Reads: The best duology I’ve ever read! Action packed. Fast paced. Heartbreaking. The ending brought me to tears and made my heart melt.

Thanks to your reviews, Clean Teen Publishing already confirmed a sequel! I’m writing it right now, and if you want more information on it, be sure to check out my Saturday blog posts. We’re also in a second print run!

OKAY. ONE MORE TIME.

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Thanks for making a girl’s dreams come true,

~SAT

#SATurdate: Good Morning Call, Bad Bloods 3, Top Ten, & Serial

16 Jul

What I’m Writing:

My YA fantasy, Dreammare, moved onto the third round of Adventure’s in YA Publishing’s Red Light/Green Light competition! That means I’m in the top ten! Read the opening page here. This week, I also wrote in BB, which is my second attempt at a contemporary YA, but I only have the first chapter done. I definitely believe in the story, but I’m not sold on myself writing it yet. Sometimes, we need more tools in our pocket before we can build something, and that might mean twenty more weeks of research for this bit. In bigger news, I’m DEFINITELY writing the next Bad Bloods book. Because of your raving reviews, Clean Teen Publishing already gave me the thumbs up to continue the series, and since I already have a draft from when I was 12 (eek! It’s terrible), I’m really excited to tackle this rewrite of an old project, too. So far, it’s titled July Thunder / July Lightning (but I’m aiming to make this one book instead of two). It takes place in July of 2090, and it will be told by two different characters, one of which you’ll recognize from November Rain and November Snow, and another who is completely new to the series. I’m 7,350 words in, three chapters deep, and working on the outline extensively. So far, the biggest hurdle is letting go of the focus of some of the original characters and allowing the current protagonists to focus on themselves and their story. You will see the members from the old cast as well as completely new characters and sections of Vendona. Most exciting of all will be an emphasis on Eastern Vendona, which I’ll talk a little about below.

What I’m Publishing:

Photo by The Bookworm Who Lived!

Photo by The Bookworm Who Lived!

We’re two days away from the book release of Bad Bloods: November Rain! I’m DYING from excitement. In fact, yesterday, Clean Teen Publishing let me know that we’re already on a second print run, even though the book isn’t out yet! This is big news. So, thank you for your support!

What are the latest readers already saying?

“I’m so hooked on this story and I am excited to start November Snow as soon as I’m done writing this review. I definitely recommend this book!”The Bookworm Who Lived

November Rain was a great read. The plot and the characters were pretty interesting and I was hooked from the very first page. The writing was smooth and easy to read and the pace was fast throughout the book. I easily finished this book in two sittings, it was hard to put it down. I am so excited to read the next part and see what happens! Recommend it? Yes!” –Daydreaming Books

Wattpad: Niki's Story

Wattpad: Niki’s Story

Since I spoke about Eastern Vendona above, you will love this news. Niki’s origin story released on the FREE Bad Bloods Prequel on Wattpad this week! You can read it here, and most of her story takes place in Eastern Vendona. Who is Niki? She is one of the higher ups in the Southern Flock, but before she joined, she was sold to a black-market psychic on the sunken bay. The sunken bay is a crime city in Eastern Vendona that literally sits on the beach leading to the ocean, but the ocean is poisoned with oil and other environmental issues. In fact, it’s one of the worst places to live, and though it plays a minor role in Bad Bloods: November Rain and Bad Bloods: November Snow, a large portion of the Bad Bloods sequel will take place in Eastern Vendona, so this story is a bit of a sneak peek. My goal is to finish the draft in two months and edit it before November for (hopefully) another July release. I mean, how cool would it be to have July Thunder release in July? (Especially since it’s the July after an election.) We will see…

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

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.

Preorder Bad Bloods

Preorder Bad Bloods

What I’m Reading:

The Last Star by Rick Yancey

The Last Star by Rick Yancey

I finished The Last Star by Rick Yancey, and UGHHHHH, I’m so incredibly torn up after finishing this trilogy’s finale. It’s fantastic, it’s heartbreaking, it’s thrilling, and it’s…incredibly frustrating. I love how symbolic Rick Yancey’s voice is. I love how diverse his characters are. I love how REAL his sci-fi, apocalyptic alien takeover feels. And I think the ending was perfection. It was flawless. I don’t want to spoil anything, so I’m going to leave it at that, but if you haven’t started this alien sci-fi trilogy, pick up The 5th Wave today and check it out. It’s a thrilling ride you won’t forget. Recommended to sci-fi lovers who enjoy apocalyptic settings, alien takeovers, and mind-blowing twists. Must love metaphors. Must love numerous POVs. Must love surprises. Favorite Quote: For some, death is the midwife to faith. For others, it is faith’s executioner. Read my full five-star review by clicking here.

What I’m Listening To:

Serial Podcast

Serial Podcast

Okay. Okay. I’m FINALLY listening to the Serial podcast. I’m only on episode three, but holy bejeebes. I’m addicted.

What I’m Watching:

Speaking of addictions, I spent nearly all my free time watching Good Morning Call on Netflix. (Seriously. Each episode is 45 minutes long, and I finished all 17 episodes this week. I couldn’t stop myself. Not even a little bit. My writing time suffered, and I don’t even regret it one bit.) Good Morning Call is a Japanese romantic drama show based off a manga I’ve actually read, and I LOVED it. It’s super cheesy, it’s super ridiculous, and it’s super hard to stop watching. Even parts where the feminist inside me cringes, I have to admit I love. It’s such a guilty pleasure that I highly recommend, though you must be willing to read captions. The story follows a high school girl who finally gets her own apartment only to realize she’s been caught up in a rental scam and must room with the worst lover boy from her school…though maybe he’s not so bad, after all.

Good Morning Call

Good Morning Call

What I’m Baking, Making, and Drinking:

I made chili in the crock pot this week! But I have tons of plans on future desserts for this upcoming weekend. (My weekend is Sunday-Tuesday, by the way. I live in opposite land.)

What I’m Wearing:

Kiki and I were pretty in pink this week on Instagram.

What I’m Wanting:

La La Land with Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. I have the BIGGEST crush on Emma Stone. She’s perfect. Oh, yeah. And Gosling. I guess he’s okay, too. 😉

What I’m Dreaming Of:

So, do you all have reoccurring rooms in your dreams? I do. Which I’m not sure is normal or not. But I have this one room that (and this is going to sound stalkerish, because it is) that is dedicated to Lily Collins. (WHAT? I love her. SO WHAT?) So, I visit this room in my dreams, for some reason, and it’s just filled with fan art, but this time, it was destroyed, and I was distraught, so I picked up what I could, and then, as I was leaving, I realized the back lights were on…which is weird. Because these lights have never been on. Then, I remember I’ve “sold” this room (apparently in a dream I can’t recall), and the new owner is there WITH AN AXE. So he hits me on the head.

Yep.

I woke up.

What Else Is Going On:

My new author photos are on the way! But I can’t believe we’re only two days away from the Bad Bloods book release! Thanks for your support!

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.

~SAT

June’s Ketchup

29 Jun

Another month has passed, and with it, came the summer and my 25th birthday. GEEZ.

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 June.

Big Moments:

Other than turning 25 this month, I hosted two author panels and book signings at Barnes and Noble in Overland Park, KS and Barnes & Noble in Kansas City, MO for BFest, and BFest was a blast! I had a great time discussing writing novels with avid readers and aspiring writers.

BFest 2016

BFest 2016

We’re officially less than a month away from the Bad Bloods book release, and there are a million ways to win prizes, including signed paperbacks. Enter this Goodreads Giveaway, e-mail shannonathompson@aol.com to sign up for a release day post, and come to the CTP’s Sizzling Summer Reads FB Party on July 8.

This month, the free Bad Bloods Prequel continued on Wattpad with two more origin stories. Meet Violet and Ryne. Violet is directly connected to The Timely Death Trilogy, so if you want to know what happened to Eric and Jessica after Death Before Daylight, Violet’s origin story is a must-read. If you haven’t read The Timely Death Trilogy, book one – Minutes Before Sunset – is free on all platforms! In July, you’ll meet Catelyn, Niki, and Blake!

My #1 SEO Term was “November Rain by Shannon A. Thompson” and November Rain was my #1 clicked item this month!

THANK YOU. 

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

Top Three Blog Posts:

1. Writing Tips for Love Interests: I’m a sucker for love, so I love writing about love, and in this post, I discussed how you can round out your characters and their relationships with one another. One mistake I often see in aspiring romance writers is making the romantic interest just that: a romantic interest. Your romantic interest should have goals and a life of their own. Find out how.

2. So, You Want To Be A Book Blogger: Book bloggers are my best friends, and a huge part of my day job is connecting authors with book bloggers. I also used to be a book blogger, so I thought I would rewrite this popular post to explain how aspiring book bloggers can get started with their website.

3. How to Create Book Teasers on a Small Budget: Book teasers are so much fun, but they can be daunting. This is how I created 13 teasers for my book release on a relatively tiny budget. (It’s not impossible!) I’ll definitely keep creating teasers in the future, and I hope this article helps authors have fun creating them like I did.

Other Blog Posts:

#1 Referrer was WordPress' Reader

#1 Referrer was WordPress’ Reader

Taking a Writing Break (And Why It’s Important): After finishing a manuscript (or three), it’s nice (and important) to take a break. Let yourself recover. Clear your mind. Breathe a little bit.

Writing With Barbie: I use Barbies to write my novels. No shame. And I shared how Barbies affected my upcoming release, Bad Bloods.

Writing Tips: Build Your Vocabulary: Writers need words to write, but what happens when you don’t know that many words? This is how you can build your vocabulary naturally and NOT fall into the Thesaurus trap.

#SATurdate: BFest, YouTube Tropes, Thirteen Reasons Why, and My Library: A weekly update on what I’m reading, watching, baking, and listening to.

How Pre-Orders Help Authors And Readers: Pre-orders are definitely important, but they can also be fun! It’s not all about publishing. Readers can have fun with these tips, too.

#SATurdate: Peaky Blinders, Embassy Row 3, Dido, & Don’t You Cry: A weekly update on what I’m reading, watching, baking, and listening to.

#SATurdate: Me Before You, Thief of Lies, Pit Mad, & Bad Bloods Sequel: A weekly update on what I’m reading, watching, baking, and listening to.

#SATurdate: The Lobster, My 25th Birthday, Spotlight, and Outrun The Moon: A weekly update on what I’m reading, watching, baking, and listening to.

Website Wonders: A monthly classic.

YouTube Channel:

I returned to my YouTube channel – Coffee & Cats – this month by discussing Female Romantic Tropes…We Hate. Of course these tropes work for males, too, but I separated them due to how much it happens to that specific gender. I’ll cover males in July!

 

At the end of the month, I also like to take a moment to thank all of the websites who supported me by posting reviews, interviews, and features. If you want to be one of these websites, feel free to join my newsletter or email me at shannonathompson@aol.com. I always love speaking with new bloggers, writers, and readers! I will also share your post on all of my websites.

Reviewers:

“The best duology I’ve ever read! Action packed. Fast paced. Heartbreaking. The ending brought me to tears and made my heart melt.” Crazy Beautiful Reads, Bad Bloods: November Snow

“Captivating, strong and thrilling. I recommend November Rain to anyone who loves dystopian and learning the real meaning of trust in a world where trust is just an imagination.” – OMG Books and More Books, 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, Bad Bloods: November Rain

“A fast paced fantasy, sci-fi story full of exciting characters with their own fascinating abilities and background stories. Didn’t disappoint one bit!” – The Book Prints, Bad Bloods: November Rain

“November Rain was thrilling and exciting and gets readers excited for more. It really focuses on the attributes of family, friends and loyalty, which was really refreshing to see in a dystopian novel. I will definitely be continuing on with this duology.” – Ronnie’s World Blog, Bad Bloods: November Rain

“I’m looking forward to delving into the next book to see what unfolds for the characters as I get deeper into the story.” Babbling Books, Bad Bloods: November Rain

June2016

#WW How Pre-Orders Help Authors And Readers

22 Jun

The importance of pre-orders is not a publishing secret. Dozens if not hundreds of articles cover how, when, and why authors should make upcoming releases available for pre-order. Why? The main reason tends to be placement on various lists—such as best-seller lists and coming soon lists—before or on release day. These lists allow new or undiscovered authors to increase their chances of being seen by voracious readers, and I definitely recommended listing your book for pre-orders before it comes out! For more information, check out these awesome articles that include in-depth details about tackling pre-orders as an author.

Pre-Ordering Books

Pre-Ordering Books

But pre-orders aren’t only about writers; they can also help readers.

How?

Well, pay attention to your favorite authors on social media and beyond. Many authors and publishers offer special prizes, like early sneak peeks or signed swag, if you pre-order an upcoming release. Just last night, for instance, A.G. Howard – the author of Splintered (and one of my YA heroes) – offered advanced reader copies of her latest, RoseBlood, to readers, but if I hadn’t been following her, I wouldn’t have seen that. Pre-ordering also guarantees you’ll be one of the first people to read the latest and greatest novels, because—chances are—you’ll get your eBook delivered to your Kindle at midnight while others are waiting for the bookstore to open in the morning. Sometimes, authors might even pick out pre-order peeps for advance reader copies. So, stalk…I mean, check out authors and what they’re up to when you can.

Here are some ways to follow your favorite authors: Click the “Follow” button on their Amazon or Goodreads profile, subscribe to their newsletters, add them to a list you create on Twitter, like them on Facebook (and subscribe to notifications), follow them on Instagram or SnapChat, and don’t hesitate to reach out.

Pre-orders often help authors, publishers, and readers alike, but they can be a lot of fun, too!

~SAT

Bad Bloods Teaser

Bad Bloods Teaser

So, I turn 25 tomorrow. Yeah, birthdays! I’ll officially be a quarter of a century old…and I’ll be working, but if you want to help a girl celebrate, pre-order ANY book you’ve been dying to get!

Also, shameless plug, Bad Bloods releases next month. Did you see the new teaser? It’s honestly my favorite one. What can I say? I’m a sucker for love. And despite Bad Bloods taking place in the month of November, there is some romance in my upcoming duology. This is a direct line from the book, but I hope you fall in love with Daniel and Serena like I did.

Pre-Order Bad Bloods

November Rain, Part One, releases July 18, 2016

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboSmashwordsGoodreads

November Snow, Part Two, releases July 25, 2016

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboSmashwordsGoodreads

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

#MondayBlogs So, You Want To Be A Book Blogger

20 Jun

I must clarify one thing before I start: I am not a book blogger, but I used to be—for about three years—and I still post book reviews on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc. I also help authors connect with book bloggers every day. I’m an author myself, after all. I know how important book reviews are, and because of this, I absolutely adore book bloggers. In a metaphorical publishing world, book bloggers are authors’ best friends, and readers who don’t blog are the friends authors meet at the book blogger’s party. The reason I’m writing this is to make that party as enjoyable as possible. Below, I have outlined some tips to help aspiring book bloggers get started with a website, as well as how to create a fun and safe environment for bloggers, readers, and authors.

For Your Website:

1. Find a Host: Name Your Blog and Yourself

Pick out where you want to blog. Personally, I love WordPress, and it’s free! But you can also go to Blogger and many other places. Once you choose, consider the name of your blog carefully. It is your blog, of course, but try to avoid a name that contradicts the blog’s purpose. Ex: “Magical Book Reviews” when you don’t read novels with magical elements. This could cause a lot of confusion and frustration when it’s easily avoidable. If you can pick a name that sums up what types of books you plan on reviewing, even better. But once you have a name, name yourself by creating an About Me page. Have a name on your blog. It doesn’t have to be your REAL name, but readers like to be personal. We want you to know we truly enjoy your website, and using your name is one way we can prove we aren’t mass commenting or sending you spam messages. Knowing more about you also helps readers share your blog to others. For instance, if you’re a librarian, I will tell others to go check out an amazing reviewer who gets to work around books all day!

Books I've reviewed this summer that I totally recommend!

YA books I’ve reviewed this summer that I totally recommend!

2. Have a Contact Page, Review Request Form, and/or a Review Policy:

This advice is for book bloggers who are looking for authors, publishers, and other people to submit novels. Be clear about what you want to read and what you never want to read. Include types of information you want in a request, like a link to Amazon or the synopsis. If you are closed for submissions, put that at the top in bold. This way, requesters don’t read pages of information only to realize you’re not accepting anything. Clarify if you accept self-published and small press published authors. I would also suggest adding if you reply to all requests or only the ones you’re interested in. That way, you won’t get as many repeat emails wondering if you received their request. You could also include your favorite and least favorite novels—and if you want to get really fancy, tell us your ratings of well-known novels. This will help start reading discussions with fellow readers of that genre.

3. Include a Rating System and Other Websites:

Clarify if you will use the 5-Star Rating System and/or explain how you rate on other pages. For instance, if you say 3.5 on your blog, explain what you’ll do on websites that aren’t accommodating to that (like if you will generally lean up or down or if it depends on the novel). Readers will want to know if, how, where, and when you will be posting reviews. This is also a GREAT opportunity to send your readers to your Bookstagram, Vlog, Goodreads page, or other places where you review books. On a side note, if you are accepting review requests, I would suggest stating if you will or will not post your review no matter the rating. Unfortunately, there has been hostility in the past with authors/publishers requesting readers to only post reviews if it is a certain rating. Although I don’t agree with anyone who demands this, I still suggest clarifying that you will post your review, even if it is below 5 stars. That way, they won’t demand it from you later or send you nasty emails when it happens. By posting your rules, you lessen your changes of internet negativity.

A Note For Authors:

Remember that book bloggers are your best friend. Respecting boundaries is important. Don’t request a review from someone until you have read their review policy, and definitely do not contact them with your dinosaur erotica if they state they hate dinosaurs or erotica or both (even if you think you will somehow change their mind). If you receive a poor review, do not retaliate in any way. If you’re going to say anything at all, just thank them. They read your book, after all. If you promised to share their review, share it. If they promised to review a book but never did, be polite when asking them if they are still interested in reading your novel.

Sometimes, expectations fall flat, but surprises are sometimes better. Helping one another know what to do in certain situations can improve everyone’s relationship, but it does take two. Taking these steps might help our friendship grow more than ever before.

We want the author-reader relationship to be fun and exciting, so let’s be sure to celebrate one another with respect and enthusiasm.

Here’s to our love for books.

Original posted March 6, 2014

~SAT

On a side note, my YouTube channel – Coffee & Cats – is back! This month, I discussed Female Romantic Tropes…We Hate, and next month, I’ll discuss Male Romantic Tropes…We Hate. Granted, these tropes work for both genders, but I separated them due to how much each trope happens to that specific gender. I hope you like it! And, of course, let me know what tropes you don’t like, so we can continue to change fiction!

We’re less than a month away from the Bad Bloods book release! 

Preorder Bad Bloods

Pre-Order Bad Bloods

November Rain, Part One, releases July 18, 2016

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboSmashwordsGoodreads

November Snow, Part Two, releases July 25, 2016

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboSmashwordsGoodreads

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

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

2 Apr

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

What I’m Writing:

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

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

What I’m Publishing:

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

Add Bad Bloods to Goodreads: November Rain and November Snow

Visit the Facebook, Pinterest, and the Extras page.

Coming soon!

Coming soon!

What I’m Reading:

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

What I’m Listening To:

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

What I’m Watching:

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

What I’m Baking, Making, and Drinking:

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

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

What I’m Wearing:

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

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

What I’m Wanting:

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

What I’m Dreaming Of:

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

What Else Is Going On:

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

~SAT

Read Minutes Before Sunset, book 1, for FREE

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Seconds Before Sunrise: book 2:

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Death Before Daylight: book 3:

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takefofytseve

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