Life Update: Sondra

Life-Update

Hey guys, it’s Sondra. Whew. How have you guys all been?? I feel like it’s been forever since we got to talk at all! I’ve been so insanely busy. I’ve been figuring out life and all of those amazing things. Which leads me to one of my biggest excitements ever! I’m officially embarking down the road to become a Librarian! I should be going to school this fall, and starting to work at a library within the next couple months.

The flip side of this is that my anxiety and depression have been acting up. I’ve never been closed off about this side of my life. It’s not something to hide from, it’s something I have to deal with day in and day out. I want you all to know that sometimes I have to focus on myself before I can focus on this blog. But I feel like I’ve turned a corner. I’ve gotten my medication figured out and I’m going to be okay. I’m going to fight this monster that’s dogged me for so long.

This all being said I’ve gotten insanely behind in reviews which means that I need to kick my butt in gear and get working. As much as I want to say this blog will now be back to normal, well, I can’t promise that. All of the above mentioned things will probably get in the way now and then, but my promise to you is that this blog will never be forgotten, that whenever I can get my hands on this blog I will.

We’ve got some plans to bring about some new types of reviews to make life a little bit easier on us, since I know Polina is way busier than I am even. Which is saying something. They’re going to be shorter and simpler, but at least our thoughts will be out there, and the blog will be updating once again. But I want to say thank you so much to everyone who has stuck through this, to everyone who is reading this post now. Y’all are amazing and I love you guys. <3 <3 <3

Sondra

The Chasm by S. Usher Evans – COVER REVEAL!

It seems like just yesterday, we were talking about The Island. Oh wait, we were. Check out all the info, including the gorgeous cover, for Book 2, The Chasm!


 

They survived The Island, but can they cross The Chasm?

thechasmebook_600x900Four months after Prince Galian was discovered alive on a remote island, he’s adjusting slowly to life at the hospital under the Kylaen media’s glare. His promises to Theo remain unfulfilled as fear of his father keeps him from taking concrete action. And the more he learns about the machinations in Kylae, the less sure he is that it’s possible to make a difference.

Across the great Madion Sea, Major Theo Kallistrate struggles to navigate the tricky political waters of Rave’s presidential staff. To make positive change for her people, she must remain relevant and interesting to the Raven media and to the president. When he asks her to deliver a speech on her supposed two-month imprisonment at Mael, she’s not sure she can stomach the lies.

The Chasm is S. Usher Evans’ breathtaking, fast-paced follow-up to The Island, which readers say is “not to be missed.”

Buy the first book in the Madion War Trilogy today for Kindle, paperback, and hardcover, and see below for a special preorder promotion for The Chasm, coming July 12th.

Buy The Island for Kindle (free for KU Subscribers), Paperback, and Hardcover.

Special SGR-Pub Preorder Promotion

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Preorder The Chasm paperback or hardcover through Sun’s Golden Ray Publishing and get a signed Madion Trilogy bookmark, a signed map postcard of the Madion world, and a Very Special Surprise for The Union, the final book in the trilogy.

Preorder the paperback / hardcover

Preordering an eBook? Submit your receipt to SGR-Pub and get a signed bookmark!

Giveaway

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Sneak Peek

“Fellow Ravens, my countrymen, my ‘neechais and ‘nichais. The fifty years since we reclaimed our independence from the Kylaens has been a struggle to keep our great nation alive. Great sacrifices have been asked of every Raven man, woman, and child, and we, as a nation, continue to rise to the occasion.”

“Sacrifices, of course, being the conscription of twelve-year-old children,” the Kylaen announcer said, cutting off the rest of the speech. “It’s just sickening how Tedwin Bayard continues to be heralded as a savior when he’s responsible for tens of thousands of deaths a year—”

I tuned out the rest of the conversation, too tired to get my blood pressure up at either Bayard or the announcer. As far as I was concerned, both were liars. Like most of Kylae, I couldn’t give a rat’s ass about the so-called president of our disputed colony and would’ve completely ignored the minute-long segment…

…if not for the beautiful Raven woman sitting just behind Bayard.

Her eyes were locked on some unseen point beyond the cameras. When I was marooned with her on an island in the northern Madion Sea, she’d been fiery, full of life and passion. But there wasn’t even a spark in her now. Compared to Bayard, who swayed and gestured on the podium in front of her, she looked like a wax doll.

I ran a hand over my face. The Kylaen news had moved on to another story—the trade agreement with Jervan—and I was left with my guilt and a half-eaten sandwich. It was midday, and I’d finally been able to spare a few minutes out of my busy shift at the hospital to eat lunch. Seeing Theo had stolen my appetite.

I couldn’t blame it all on the news report as I’d already been in a foul mood. After working the late shift two nights ago, I was now on an early shift. The back-and-forth shift-switching had been going on since since I’d returned to my residency, and I could barely tell if it was morning or afternoon anymore.

To make matters worse, my mother had been hounding me to attend some stupid function at the castle for some person who’d done some thing for Kylae—I couldn’t care less. Aside from the fact that state functions were my least favorite part of being the third prince of Kylae, I hadn’t set foot in the castle in over four months. I’d stormed out of a family dinner and told the king of Kylae to kiss my ass. It was a miracle I wasn’t in Mael, our prison to the north.

I glanced at the television again and wished they’d replay the Bayard segment. Days like today, when I was tired and miserable, all I wanted was to talk to her. In the short months we’d spent together, I’d become addicted to her counsel. Hers was the only opinion I cared for anymore, though I was pretty sure I knew how she’d feel about my progress so far.

Theo was home and she was safe, but the larger issues—the war and the Kylaen death camp at Mael—remained nagging issues in the back of my mind. I was no closer to finding a solution to either of them than when I’d started. To make matters worse, the days were passing too quickly for me, and the more time that slipped through my fingers…

“Helmuth, break’s over,” came a disgruntled voice from behind me.

Dr. Hebendon was my new attending physician. Dr. Maitland had either been asked or forced to take a six-month sabbatical to a hospital in the country of Herin. In his place, they’d sent Hebendon. Like most Herinese, he was tall and pale with jet-black hair that hung in a curtain around his face. I was pretty sure that despite not being Kylaen, he’d been given a royal decree to make my life miserable whenever I set foot in the hospital. Thus my skewed schedule and, of course, the special privilege of having the best cases.

“Janna needs you in room fifteen for another impaction,” he said, a twisted grin curling around his thin face.

I forced a tight smile onto my face so he wouldn’t know how completely sick I was of pulling shit out of asses.

Hebendon left, and I pushed myself to stand, tossing my sad sandwich in the trash. When I’d been on the island, I would’ve done anything to eat so much food.

Now I would’ve done anything to get those half-starved, beautiful days back.

About the Author

View More: http://ashleyvictoriaphotography.pass.us/whitneyevansS. Usher Evans is an author, blogger, and witty banter aficionado. Born in Pensacola, Florida, she left the sleepy town behind for the fast-paced world of Washington, D.C.. There, she somehow landed jobs with BBC, Discovery Channel, and National Geographic Television before finally settling into a “real job” as an IT consultant. After a quarter life crisis at age 27, she decided consulting was for the birds and rekindled a childhood passion for writing novels. She sold everything she owned and moved back to Pensacola, where she currently resides with her two dogs, Zoe and Mr. Biscuit.

Evans is the author of the Razia series, Madion War Trilogy, and Empath, published by Sun’s Golden Ray Publishing.

Check her out on the below social medias:

The Island by S. Usher Evans – Giveaway AND Sneak Peek!!

TheIsland_eBook_600x900Prince Galian is third in line to the throne, but prefers his place as a resident at the Royal Kylaen Hospital. When his father urges him to join the military to help reclaim their colony, Galian is forced to put aside his oath to Do No Harm and fight a war he does not believe in.

Across the great Madion Sea, Captain Theo Kallistrate dreams of a day when she is no longer bound by conscription to fight for her country’s independence. But when the Kylaens threaten, honor and duty call her to the front lines to fight off the oppressors.

When an air skirmish goes wrong, both Theo and Galian crash on a remote island hundreds of miles from either nation. Grievously injured, Theo must rely on Galian’s medical expertise, and Galian must rely on Theo’s survival skills, to live another day in a harsh and unforgiving terrain.

Can they put aside their differences long enough to survive? Or will the war that brought them to the island tear them apart?

Buy The Island for eBook, Paperback, and Hardcover.

 

Giveaway

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The Island Sneak Peek

Theo_Ravelogo_h500

Theo

 

“Yep,” he observed, with a smirk on his face. Up close, he was every bit as handsome as I’d seen in pictures. “You definitely got what you deserved. Shouldn’t have shot at me.”

“You shouldn’t have invaded my country.”

His eyes widened for a moment and I thought I’d finally done something to wipe that smile off his face. To my supreme annoyance, he tilted his head back and let out a throaty laugh.

“Oh, you are witty,” he said, nodding. “And technically right. But it wasn’t my decision. I was, as they say, just following orders.”

“And I was just following orders when I blew you out of the sky.”

“Aren’t we at an impasse then?” He seemed to be enjoying this conversation. He looked down at the side of my ship and read the inscription. “Theo, huh? Well, you must be a pretty high ranking pilot then. I hear the Ravens only allow you to put your name on your ship after you’ve survived plenty of battles.”

I moved out of anger, but the pain in my legs came roaring up my body. “Please let me die in peace,” I asked, unable to look at him.

“Oh, you aren’t going to die today. But it would probably be safer if I pulled you out. I don’t like the look of that fuel leak.”

He leaned into my small cabin. If I’d had half a mind, I could’ve snapped his neck, but it was hard enough just to breathe. He found my seat strap and unhooked it, then lifted me out by my arms. I couldn’t help but scream.

“Yeow, buddy,” he said, stopping. He put one hand over his ear and muttered. “You sure got a girly scream.”

“My legs are caught. Just leave me here. I’m as good as dead anyway.”

“Naw, then who am I going to talk to while I wait to get picked up?” He sounded like he was waiting for dinner. “C’mon, we can get you out of here. Just take a deep breath. One…two…”

I didn’t hear him count to three as he yanked my legs out of the mess and I screamed again, the pain so bad I almost lost consciousness. But, blessedly, it subsided, and the next thing I knew, he was laying me on the ground.

“There, now, Theo of Raven, let’s take a look at you,” he said, taking my helmet off.

Galian_KylaeLogo_h500

Galian

Theo was a girl.

A pretty girl.

I’d always thought Raven women were more interesting looking than Kylaen women—with their olive skin and black hair, they seemed to draw my attention. And this girl, something about her made my head spin.

Even with her mangled, bloody legs.

They were a sight: dark red staining her gray jumpsuit.

“Thank you, Dr. Maitland,” I said, cracking open the bag he’d given me and sliding on the pair of latex gloves.

She murmured something. The amount of blood she’d lost was a real concern, and she was most likely concussed. I would worry about the head injury later; it wouldn’t matter much if she died from blood loss.

“What are you doing?” she croaked.

“Pardon the invasion of privacy,” I said, flashing her my trademark smile.

I unzipped her jumpsuit and pulled it down, exposing a white bra and underwear and nothing else. Immediately, her skin puckered with goosebumps as I tossed away the soaked dark gray suit.

“Are you still with me, Theo?”

She blinked, but didn’t respond.

“Okay, I’m going to examine you now,” I said, leaning over her bare legs. I pressed my hands to her hips, and she reacted, swiftly, sitting up so fast she nearly whacked her forehead to mine.

“Get your filthy hands off of me,” she hissed, her breath touching my face.

About the Author

View More: http://ashleyvictoriaphotography.pass.us/whitneyevansS. Usher Evans is an author, blogger, and witty banter aficionado. Born in Pensacola, Florida, she left the sleepy town behind for the fast-paced world of Washington, D.C.. There, she somehow landed jobs with BBC, Discovery Channel, and National Geographic Television before finally settling into a “real job” as an IT consultant. After a quarter life crisis at age 27, she decided consulting was for the birds and rekindled a childhood passion for writing novels. She sold everything she owned and moved back to Pensacola, where she currently resides with her two dogs, Zoe and Mr. Biscuit.

Evans is the author of the Razia series, Madion War Trilogy, and Empath, published by Sun’s Golden Ray Publishing.

Check her out on the below social medias:

My Favorite Childhood Book – The Library Project

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My Favorite Childhood Book

While this isn’t my true childhood favorite, it sure feels like my childhood in a book. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times and how many Baby Sitters-Club books I read in my young years. I still have them all actually, they’re double stacked on a shelf behind me, I can’t imagine ever getting rid of them. These girls were my friends for several years and I waited my package with four more books every month. I don’t know if these books shaped me but they certainly changed who I was in so many ways.

I wound up not being able to finish the entire series and I still plan on one day finding the rest of the books to fill in where I’m missing. Just because these books are a huge deal for me.

 

 The Library Project  Thelibraryproject_Apr11-02

 

I just recently found out about this project while I was part of a Street Team for The Island, but I knew instantly I wanted to be a part of it and help to bring knowledge about this group to people. The Library Project helps to bring books to children in rural communities in Cambodia, China and Vietnam. See, my sister is adopted from China, so hearing about this? Well it means a lot to me. It means that my sisters people are getting a chance to have a better life with better education. I might’ve cried while reading through the website. Because this is something that hits super close to home, which I really am okay with. I really hope that y’all will at least click the link and go take a look at their website, no matter if you donate or not, just help to bring some knowledge to this amazing organization.

You can visit them, and learn more here.

Femslash February–The Final Update

This week, thanks to midterms and other things, I only got through two books, and one of them was actually a novella. Oops.

The novella was Screaming Down Splitsville by Kayla Bashe, about superpowered teens in an alternate version of the 1950s falling in love after one rescues the other from an evil laboratory. I don’t have a whole lot to say about this one, but it was cute and gorgeously written and Kayla Bashe’s writing has grown so much since her earlier works. Her books are always so heartwarming and make me do that happy-crying thing.

The other book I finished was Ask the Passengers by AS King, about a teenage girl trying to understand her sexuality was dealing with the pressure from her family and her small town.  I had mixed feelings about that one. I loved Astrid’s voice and the way her relationship with her family developed and the idea of her sending love to passengers on airplanes and the passengers feeling it. I did not love Astrid’s relationship with her girlfriend Dee; I never saw a connection between them beyond the superficial, and while Dee constantly pressuring Astrid to make their relationship physical and to come out was addressed a little bit, it was excused far too easily. I also wasn’t thrilled with the way Astrid ended up coming out, but I can’t go into detail about that without giving spoilers. Finally, at one point Astrid uses ‘asexual’ as an insult and I am just not here for that. It was a generally enjoyable book, but definitely not my favorite.

This month I ended up reading 8 f/f books, which is actually more than I thought I would be able to do! My favorite was either Far From You or The Abyss Surrounds Us. On Monday I have work all day, so I don’t expect to get much reading done, but who knows…I might finish Adaptation or read Graveyard Sparrow. I’ll probably end up reading the others on my list next month, because honestly, I’m still excited about all of them. And I’m glad that now I’ll have more f/f books to recommend to people who are interested.

Sondra

Femslash February: Week 3 Wrap-up

And the third week of Femslash February is over! Once again, I didn’t get to read as much as I wanted because school is the worst.

The first book I finished is Wildthorn by Jane Eagland, which is about a young woman who is sent to a mental institution, for reasons you find out later in the story. Said reasons are actually pretty obvious, though. This isn’t the kind of book that you would read for plot twists and surprises; the story is pretty straightforward and particular. The pacing is also pretty slow, and slowed down even more towards the end by the amount of infodumping and explanations. However, still very worth reading! I loved Louisa’s voice, and the fact that she knew what she wanted and not just what she didn’t want, which is a problem I sometimes run into with her historical novels. (Specifically, to be a doctor, which of course most of her family isn’t crazy about). The historical aspect is well-researched and appropriately shudder-inducing, and the romance is adorable. The ending is happy, but not clear-cut; not everything is resolved or perfect. And of course, I loved reading about f/f romance in a historical setting. If anyone has any good historical f/f, please point it my way.

The next book is Far From You by Tess Sharpe, which I don’t want to say too much about because I’m planning on doing a full review at some point when I’m not drowning in midterms, but OH MY GOD it was wonderful. The writing is heartbreaking and intense, and Sophie, the protagonist, is wonderful, full of strength and jagged edges; I loved her determination in solving the mystery and her struggle to live with all the things she’d been through. Her relationship with Mina, her best friend/sort-of-girlfriend, is developed through flashbacks that made me cry a lot. If you’re looking for happy f/f, this is definitely not the book you want to read, since Sophie’s girlfriend is dead by the time the book starts, but it’s gorgeous and powerful and broke my heart in thousands of ways.

And this morning, I just read Gena/Finn by Hannah Moskowitz and Kat Hegelson, practically in one sitting. I won’t say too much this one either, partially because Sondra has a review of it scheduled already, and partly because I’m still not sure how I feel about it. I loved the writing (can we all agree that Hannah Moskowitz is BRILLIANT at raw emotion?) and the portrayal of fandom and internet friendship, but about 2/3 of the way through the story took a turn that felt very out of place; it was almost like two books were stapled together, and I don’t know if I liked that second book. One thing I will say, though, is that this isn’t an f/f romance, not really, for all it’s marketed that way. The f/f is touched on a bit, but it never goes anywhere. That was really disappointing.

I’m still reading Adaptation (which I’m liking, but not as much as I remember liking it), Ask the Passengers (which is pretty enjoyable but I have some problems with it, and I just started Otherbound (too soon to form an opinion but I’m excited about it). I’m going to see if I can squeeze in one or two more books next week, probably Inheritence and The Scorpion Rules. And Kayla Bashe has a novella has a book coming out at the end of the month that I will probably buy and read because Kayla Bashe is great.

Sondra

Top Ten Tuesday: Songs as Books!

TTT

 Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
This weeks theme is: Music Related Freebie!

1) My Favorite Book–Stars
And to this day
When everything breaks
You are the anchor that holds me

FRIENDS TO LOVERS TROPE! There are a lot of Stars songs that would make really good books, but this is one of the first ones I ever heard by them, so I have a soft spot for it. Two people who know all these little intimate details about each other, who only need to be in the same room to feel better, who hold on to each other when things go wrong. This is such a cute song, lighter than what I’m used to from the band, and it makes me happy.

2) Hurricane–Halsey
I’m a wanderess, I’m a one night stand
Don’t belong to no city, don’t belong to no man

I just want a book about a woman who travels the country and plays music and hooks up with people and gives zero fucks. I’m already in love with this woman, to be honest.

3) Run–Daughter
So we lay in the dark
We’ve got nothing to say
Just the beating of hearts
Like two drums in the gray

This song is so beautiful I honestly had trouble choosing lyrics for the description. But yay for relationships that are messed up but also kind of beautiful. If this was abook, it would make me cry a lot.

4) Antebellum–Vienna Teng
In the spring, we’d climb the rolling hills and talk about our budding plans
And we’d smile, our faces like a mirror showing us our secret selves
But then the fight, the sharp words splintering the night, how I couldn’t be what you need
But oh, how I could make you bleed

This one isn’t really a book so much as a prequel novella, maybe about a main character and a previous love interest, or the backstory of a secondary character. The best prequel novellas are always the painful ones.

5) Gun–Chvrches
Take a good swing at me and everything is even
Finally, we agree, no place for promises here

Rivalries are fun. I love a good rivalry. This sounds like it would make for an exciting, tension filled book. Bonus points if the characters end up kissing 200 pages later.

6) Devil’s Backbone–The Civil Wars
Don’t care if he’s guilty, don’t care if he’s not
He’s good and he’s bad and he’s all that I’ve got

This one also falls under the category of “slightly messed up but beautiful” love story.

7) Portal–Lights
The loneliest thing in the shape of a fist
That I wish I could bring from this bitter abyss
Is my petrified heart, still pounding

I’m not entirely sure what this song is about, but the lyrics and imagery are so beautiful that I just know I would love it as a book.

8) It’s All Okay–Julia Stone
And you might say we’re wounded, and I might say we’re hurt
But we knew the difference then between the fire and the earth

This is just such a painful song, one I forget how much I love sometimes until I’ve spent a while listening to it over and over with tears in my eyes, and I just want to know about the people in the song and how they met and how it all fell apart.

9) The Sword and the Pen–Regina Spektor
What if the sword kills the pen?
What if the god kills the man?
But if he does it with love, is it death from above?
Death from above is still death

Regina Spektor’s music is really important to me and this song is just beautiful. It makes me think of a dying world and lost beauty and people who love each other despite the danger they’re in.

10) New Romantics–Taylor Swift
‘Cause baby, I could build a castle out of all the bricks they threw at me
And every day is like a battle, but every night with us is like a dream

Look, all I’m saying is, this song would make a WONDERFUL contemporary girl-centric YA with morally ambiguous leads and complicated friendships.

Polina

Femslash February TBR

For those of you who may not know, Tumblr does this thing called Femslash February, where they devote February to celebrate fictional f/f romance through art, playlists, fanfiction, etc. That, in conjunction with the recent discussion in the book community about the comparative lack of attention paid to f/f romance and the sheer number of unread f/f books on my tbr, has inspired me to devote my February to reading all the f/f romances that I’ve meaning to read the past couple of years and not gotten around to. I can’t promise I’ll finish all of them, but I will certainly try!

My TBR:

24790901  17302571  18667779 10744752  15986094  20517739 11516221 17586458 45162

The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrutskie (which I’ve already started and really like!)
If You Could Be Mine by Sara Farizan
Everything Leads to You by Nina Lacour
Adaptation and Inheritence by Malinda Lo (I’ve read Adaptation but remember nothing about it)
Far From You by Tess Sharpe
The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow
The Summer I Wasn’t Me by Jessica Verdi
Fingersmith by Sarah Waters

And in case anyone was wondering, some of my favorite books with f/f romance and/or LBPQ female protaganists are:

The Engelsfors Trilogy by Sara B. Elfgren and Mats Strandberg (ensemble cast with prominent f/f relationship)
The Lynburn Legacy by Sarah Rees Brennan (secondary characters, but one of them has a POV and both characters and their romance are pretty significant in the story)
The Posterchildren by Kitty Burroughs (ensemble cast, one of the main characters is a lesbian)
Ash and Huntress by Malinda Lo
Santa Olivia by Jacqueline Carey
The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily Danforth
Not Otherwise Specified by Hannah Moskowitz
Under the Lights by Dahlia Adler
Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley
Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel by Sara Farizan
My Lady King and Make Much of Me by Kayla Bashe
The Legend Mirror by Saruuh Kelsey
Kissing the Witch by Emma Donoghue

If anyone has any recommendations, YA or otherwise, please let me know!

Sondra

#PassTruth Tour Stop Recap!

This will be a pretty short post, but basically I just came back from a tour event with Alexandra Bracken and Susan Dennard at Books Inc and I had a lot of fun, so I thought I’d just show off a little and make a post about it!

(For those of you who don’t know, Alexandra Bracken is the author of The Darkest Minds, a series that will make you cry about found families and cars and the word ‘inevitable’, and Passenger, which I haven’t gotten around to just yet but which seems like a really fun shippy book with wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey goodness. Susan Dennard wrote Something Strange and Deadly, a historical fiction series with zombies, cool ladies, and pain, and Truthwitch, a unique high fantasy full of action and beautiful friendships. They, along with Sarah J. Maas, make up one of the Power Trios of YA Lit.)

Anyway, highlights! (If you’re a Hamilton fan, I apologize for getting The Reynolds Pamphlet stuck in your head.)

  • There were a lot of writing advice questions, and both authors talked about semi-obscure things they had to research for their books, including, but not limited to, cross-sections of 1800s ships and the Adriatic sea’s type patterns.
  • “You know how there’s this piece of writing advice that goes, ‘Put your characters up in trees and throw rocks at them?’ Well, I put my characters up in trees and fire cannons at them.”–Susan Dennard
  • Alexandra Bracken was always obsessed with colonial history, and has six biographies of George Washington.
  • They both use playlists for writing (Alexandra Bracken’s can be found on Spotify, I believe) and they both had trouble writing in their hotel lobby because of the music there.
  • They got ask what their favorite books that they wrote were, and they both said whichever one they wrote recently, but Alexandra Bracken said The Darkest Minds was still closest to her heart, and Susan Dennard said A Dawn Most Wicked (the Daniel novella) was closest to hers (apparently because it was the hardest for her to write).
  • They’ve read and critiqued various drafts of Queen of Shadows but not the completed, in-print version. (Same goes for Sarah J. Maas and their books).
  • Susan wrote a sea shanty for one of her books and sang it and I’m kind of jealous of how nice her singing voice is. (and also of the fact that she apparently couch-surfed Croatia once?)
  • Here’s a picture of the tour stop audience that Alexandra Bracken posted on her tumblr! (I’m in the second row, with glasses and a blue top).

Anyway, Alexandra Bracken and Susan Dennard are both super cool and I was really glad to meet them and hear more about their writing process! With school starting, I probably won’t have as much time to devote to reading and blogging, but this tour stop was an excellent way to end winter break and start 2016 for real.

Sondra

 

Truthwitch, Thank you Sooz

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So by now you’ve all heard about this book I’m sure, it’s been all over social media even before the street team started. Now it’s finally here. The street team is over; the book is in my hands. Yet I feel the need to write one last post before I just review Truthwitch and put it on my shelf. Truthwitch has become so much more than just a book to me. I signed up with the street team when I first saw it going around because I’d never done a street team before, I just wanted to see what it would be like. Maybe it would drive some more people to my blog, y’know? I never expected to actually become a member of the team.

I was standing in a comic book store in Georgia when I saw my phone was literally blowing up with notifications, I freaked out, and then screamed across the store to tell my friend who I was visiting that I was on the street team. Lexi probably didn’t understand half the words I was saying, but in true best friend fashion she nodded along and got excited for me. I was thinking at the time that I’d earned some cool hits for the blog, and a chance to promote this book that looked so flipping cool.

What I wound up getting was a family. The Fire Clan started out as this group of girls who didn’t know each other well, we kinda had to get over some bumps in the road at the start but before long we had hours of conversations. Chats that lasted way into the night. Yes there was drama and yes there were awkward moments when new people got added. But we adapted and changed.

I’m not joking when I say Susan Dennard and Truthwitch changed my life. Before being part of the Fire Clan I was someone who had few friends, several acquaintances, but more often than not I was alone. Especially when one of my quite literally three friends was at work, or busy. Since being part of the Fire Clan I’ve gained so many friends. People I truly can call friends. There are amazing girls that I talk to, girls that I skype with all the time, girls that I have a huge insane number of inside jokes with, girls who I absolutely love and adore, and am honored to call my friend.

My life has been changed all for the better. This support system that has come out of the Fire Clan has given me friends that I honestly hope will last for a very, very long time. I didn’t even realize how badly I needed this in my life until I had it. I didn’t realize how badly I was floundering until I wasn’t. I had a pretty serious moment when I held Truthwitch for the first time. This book, these words on paper, written by an author I’ve never met, changed my life. This book had started to mean so much more to me than just a new release I was excited to read.

So this rambling post is really just a simple thank you. Thank you, Sooz. I’ve tweeted my thanks to you, but I wanted more of this story to be out there for people to read, and I hope you read this too. I’ve got tickets to meet you in March and I hope I don’t turn into a blubbering mess when I meet you because you’ve done so much for me. So much you don’t even know about. Well, technically you do now if you’ve read this far. But still. Just, thank you, again and again. Thank you for writing Truthwitch. Thank you for agreeing to the street team, even if it was a massive headache for you, and even if you don’t want or can’t continue it for Windwitch. Thank you for agreeing to do it this one time. Just long enough for me to meet these people that helped change my life.

Also thank you to the girls who’ve become part of my life. Thank you for dealing with my ramblings, thank you for fangirling with me, thank you for the hours upon hours of texting, skyping, game playing. Thank you for loving me as I am, awkward, but admittedly adorable. Thank you for helping me realize that I’m more than just a mess of anxiety and stress.

And thank you to God above for letting me get put on the Fire Clan. It might’ve started out as just a street team. But it ended as a home.

Sondra