Guest Post: Top 7 Fangirl Moments in Fantasy by Helen Scheuerer

Title: Heart of Mist (The Oremere Chronicles #1)
Author: Helen Scheuerer

Published: NEW RELEASE
Publisher: Talem Press

In a realm where toxic mist sweeps the lands and magic is forbidden, all Bleak wants is a cure for her power.

Still grieving the death of her guardian and dangerously self-medicating with alcohol, Bleak is snatched from her home by the Commander of the King’s Army, and summoned to the capital.

But the king isn’t the only one interested in Bleak’s powers.

The leader of an infamous society of warriors, the Valia Kindred, lays claim to her as well, and Bleak finds herself in the middle of a much bigger battle than she anticipated.

Heart of Mist is the gripping first book in The Oremere Chronicles, a fantasy series of epic proportions.

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Top 7 Fangirl Moments in Fantasy

When I was a teen, I was a massive fangirl. From life-sized posters of Aragorn (that I may or may not still have) to arguing with my bestie over which of us would marry Harry Potter… However, somewhere along the way, I forgot how much fun it was to ship a certain couple or gush with my friends about the latest development in our favourite TV show… Thankfully, in recent years I’ve definitely rediscovered my inner fangirl.

And so to celebrate this glorious occurrence, I wanted to share my top 7 Fangirl Moments in Fantasy with The Adventures of Sacakat!

Here goes nothing…

7. If you want him, come and claim him.

Arwen defending Frodo against the Servants of Sauron is a pretty epic moment in The Fellowship of the Ring. It’s how we’re introduced to Arwen and we realise that beautiful, feminine women elves can be just as badass as any warrior.

6. Kestrel’s cunning.

I’m of course talking about Kestrel from The Winner’s Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski. All too often we see protagonists who are epic warriors from the start, with these larger than life reputations… Kestrel breaks that mold. She’s completely and utterly cunning and clever, she knows where her strengths lie, and how best to use them to her advantage. There are so many fist-pumping moments in this series where Kestrel outsmarts and outmaneuvers those who oppose her.

5. I am Celaena Sardothien and I am not afraid.

Speaking of larger than life reputations… No matter how arrogant she is, I’ll always have a soft spot for Celaena from Sarah J. Maas’ Throne of Glass series. While it’s certainly not perfect, this series helped get me out of a serious reading slump – there’s so much girl power, sass and action that it’s utterly addictive.

My favourite moment? When Celaena/Aelin rescues Aedion from the king in a whirl of dancers and exploding roses.

4. “Fear can be good, Laia. It can keep you alive.”

Sabaa Tahir’s An Ember in the Ashes starts off with Laia making a choice she regrets. To me, her choice reflects one that the majority of us would make were we in her shoes. We’re not presented with the story of an immediate hero, but one of a young girl who seeks to right her wrong. Laia’s character development is one of my favourite moments in recent fantasy – we get to see her grow into herself, make mistakes, and live with the consequences…

“Fear can be good, Laia. It can keep you alive. But don’t let it control you. Don’t let it sew doubts within you. When the fear takes over, use the only thing more powerful, more indestructible to fight it: your spirit. Your heart.”

3. “I’ll thank ye to take your hands off my wife.”

While I don’t usually buy into the whole man-saves-woman nonsense, there’s nothing quite like Jamie Fraser rescuing his One-True-Love Claire from Black Jack Randall in Outlander. I mean, how can you not fangirl over a gorgeous, loyal Scottish warrior bursting in at the right moment?

In fact, I’ve only read the first four Outlander books by Diana Gabaldon, but I can safely say that pretty much anything involving Jamie and Claire is a top fangirl moment…

2. Not my daughter, you bitch

Ummm… Is there anything more badass than when Molly Weasley takes on Bellatrix Lestrange??? Both in the Harry Potter book and film, this scene always has a double effect on me: tears and goosebumps.

I love that J.K. Rowling gave us this fantastic scene where we’re shown just how absolutely fierce Molly is.

1. “I’d rather die on an adventure than live standing still.”

An adventure is certainly how I’d describe V.E. Schwab’s A Darker Shade of Magic trilogy. Arguably my favourite series in the last few years, there are wayyyyy too many fangirl moments to pick just one… But here are two of my favourite scenes…

“You look more ready to storm a city than seduce a man…” – sounds like an awesome dress-code to me!

“Aren’t you afraid of dying?” he asked Lila now.
She looked at him as if it were a strange question. And then she shook her head. “Death comes for everyone,” she said simply. “I’m not afraid of dying. But I am afraid of dying here.” She swept her hand over the room, the tavern, the city. “I’d rather die on an adventure than live standing still.” – Delilah Bard is basically a walking fangirl moment, in my humble opinion.

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I’m curious, what are YOUR top fangirl moments in fantasy fiction? Why not share them in the comments below!


Helen Scheuerer is a YA fantasy author from Sydney, Australia. Heart of Mist is the first book in her high fantasy trilogy, The Oremere Chronicles. It explores themes of identity, belonging, loyalty, addiction, loss, and responsibility.

After writing literary fiction for a number of years, novels like Throne of Glass, Elantris, The Queen’s Poisoner and The Queen of the Tearling inspired Helen to return to her childhood love of fantasy.

Helen is also the Founding Editor of Writer’s Edit (www.writersedit.com), an online literary magazine and learning platform for emerging writers. It’s now one of the largest writers’ platforms in the world.

Helen’s love of writing and books led her to pursue a Bachelor of Creative Arts, majoring in Creative Writing at the University of Wollongong and a Masters of Publishing at the University of Sydney.

Helen now works as a freelance writer and editor, while she works on the second book in The Oremere Chronicles.

Purchase Links:
Amazon AU | Amazon US 

Author Links:
Goodreads | Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Helen will be featured in the Australian YA Bloggers September author spotlight, so keep your eyes open for that.

Guest Post: Mallory McCartney, author of Black Dawn

Thanks for having me! 😊 Becoming a writer has always been a long dream of mine. When I was in public school, literature and reading was always a priority for me. I seriously couldn’t get enough, The Scholastic Book Fairs were always a highlight, I remember previewing the catalogue weeks before and deciding which books I would take home. This was the start of my book buying obsession. Once I reached the end of Grade Eight though, I knew I wanted to become a writer for a career, I even wrote it in my year book! Black Dawn took shape at the end of public school and heading into high school. I feel like this story was always waiting for me to write it, the first manuscript focusing on Emory and Brokk. I wrote it for my cousin’s birthday as a present, and then left it alone for seven years.

The inspiration for Black Dawn came from a collection of moments in my life. The first being with my cousin, and we had a sleep over at my family’s old farmhouse and spent majority of the night talking about our hopes and dreams for the future and the first spark of Black Dawn came into conversation. After writing the first manuscript and I left it alone, and I went to college for the Fine Arts, and then after this I travelled to Australia and New Zealand by myself. This experience was pivotal for me, not only did I learn a lot about myself and grow personally, but seeing the different landscapes of those countries was amazing, and helped me build the world of Kiero.

Once I came back home, it wasn’t until after I met my husband that the idea of becoming a writer came back into my plan. We were talking about Pierce Brown’s Red Rising Trilogy (which is a series we both love, go pick it up if you haven’t checked it out!) and the conversation landed back to the manuscript I wrote, and we revisited it. The original title for Black Dawn was Kiero, and we talked late into the night and the world we see in Black Dawn came to life. The next day I started writing. The book grew with me, elements from the original manuscript meshed with the current, the dynamics of the characters developing and growing as I did throughout my life. None of the characters specifically are based on people in my life, but the emotions they experience I pulled from some experiences I went through.

Looking back, I wouldn’t be here without the support of my family and friends, all my teachers throughout public school, high school and college. The love of reading sparked my love of writing, and above all not giving up on my dream of becoming an author.

Author: Mallory McCartney currently lives in London, Ontario with her husband and their two dachshunds Link and Lola. Black Dawn is her debut novel, the first in a series. When she isn’t working on her next novel or reading, she can be found dog grooming, book shopping and hiking. Other favorite pastimes involve reorganizing perpetually overflowing bookshelves and seeking out new coffee and dessert shops.

 

About the Book

Title: Black Dawn

Genre: YA/NA Fantasy

Author: Mallory McCartney

The end of an Empire, the rise of a Queen

Emory Fae enjoys leading a quiet, normal life. That is until two mysterious, and handsome soldiers show up at her apartment, and the life she knew is instantly whisked away. Memphis Carter and Brokk Foster come from the magical and war ridden world of Kiero, and upon Emory’s arrival she will discover she is the long-lost heir to the Royal Line and is thrown into the Black Dawn Rebellion with a dynamic role to ignite the rebels and reclaim her throne.

With both men being darkly woven in her past Emory uncovers hidden secrets, a power held long dormant, and will soon realize there are worse things than supernatural humans, love, loss, betrayal, and a Mad King.

Some things are better left in the shadows

Links: Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram

Guest Post: Author Yuri Hamaganov

What is your writing routine?

Practice makes perfect. It is extremely important for a novice writer to realize this simple and reliable wisdom. It doesn’t matter how big your talent is, no matter how good your idea is. Without practice – nothing will happen.

The GROND series will consist of eight novels. Four are ready, now I’m finishing the fifth, more than half of the work has already been done. And I reached this result only when I started working on my idea every day.

I live in a small town, next to a huge city. Every working day I go to Moscow to work by train, and then I return home. Two and a half hours there, two and a half – back. I used to spend this time without much benefit: I read, listened to music, slept, or just looked out the window. But then I started work on the first novel in the GROND series and realized that the usual routine must be radically changed, because I don’t have enough days off for my book. And then I wrapped this aimless loss of time in my favor.

Now I’m working on my book on the train, and you’ll be surprised at how much you can do there. The novel doesn’t write itself, it must be written. And then rewrite, edit, add new fragments, and re-edit. I’m going to Moscow and working on my book, putting on the headphones for a soundtrack to some sci-fi movie, a collection of old pop-music or rock radio. At work, I think about my book, and in the evening, on the way back, everything repeats. The screen of the laptop, text and music in the headphones.

Working on a book doesn’t mean writing a new chapter every day. Often I am engaged in planning – I state my thoughts on the new book in the text, I create notes and carefully explain to myself the logic of what is happening on the pages. I answer the question: why did these or those events occur, why this or that character behaved this way. Readers will never see these drawings, but without them the book would not be possible. You can also read the books of competitors in search of new, interesting ideas and watch the videos you need to work – anything for the benefit of the common work.

This is my writing routine – working on a book every day. Don’t wait for inspiration, there is always something to do. Write the text, read the text, edit the text, plan the text. Learn from others, get the information you need, develop a promoting strategy and again work on the text. The technique is simple, but reliable, I checked it on myself, which is what I wish for you.

All the best,

Yuri Hamaganov


GROND: The Raven High
by Yuri Hamaganov
Genre: YA Scifi
Release Date: April 2017

Summary:

In the year 2086, Earth is exhausted. The seas have been emptied, the bedrock and soil stripped of their resources, and the superheated atmosphere churns with terrible storms. Those who can afford to do so live in the limbo of virtual reality, and the billions who suffer in poverty have no work, no clean water, and no security from the chaos.

The only hope for those trapped on a dying Earth are the Changed—the seven bioengineered post-humans who work in their separate manufacturing facilities orbiting high above the planet. Raised from birth for their work and fully matured at ten years old, their genius provides the nanomaterials that have begun to cleanse Earth of the pollutants that have wiped out almost the entire ecosphere.

But for Olga Voronov, youngest of the Changed, the isolation and endless toil are not the greatest of her challenges. Down on Earth there are those who resent and fear her talents—and would prefer that humanity not be given the second chance that only she could make possible …

Links: GoodreadsAmazon US | Amazon AU

About the Author:
Yuri Hamaganov lives in Moscow. He created the eight-volume GROND series as a present for himself when he was twelve years old. This was the story he had always dreamed of exploring, and when he realized that nobody had written it for him, he set out to do it himself.


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Blog Tour Organized by: YA Bound Book Tours

Guest Post: The Writing Process By Taylor Hondos

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8284039Taylor is the author of the “Antidote” trilogy. She began studying at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2013 and is getting a degree in English. She enjoys reading and writing instead of doing her homework. She is currently working on “Prospect,” the second book in the trilogy.

Guest Post: The Writing Process

Truthfully, I had no clue what I was doing when I wrote my first book. I had written many short stories and poems. They eased my mind and I realized just how much I loved to write. One night, my brother put on the movie, I, Robot. I was writing a quite terrible short story about aliens (*shakes head in shame), and it hit me. What if the world was turning into robots? I was a senior in High School with a big idea. I thought I would just write a quick short story and call it a day. But my heart wouldn’t let this idea go. My short story turned into fifty pages, then eighty pages. This is when “Antidote” was born.

I wrote the entire book out in my journal. Mind you, it was a horrible rough draft. Words scribbled all over the page, but when I was done. It was all I thought about. I began to extend it. I wrote out an entire trilogy on paper. I told my family about it. I told it to anyone who would listen to me. I read it out loud to people who wanted to hear. When I realized that people were into the idea, I began to type it out.

I typed it pretty fast. It took me about a month and a half to finish. I typed every night. Sometimes even ditching the journal ideas and writing new scenes. It was such a good time for me. The book came so naturally to me that it was as if I was meant to write this book. I was just typing it for myself but when I got to 210 pages, I said to myself “why not try and get published?”

I started to send it out to many places and finally self-published in 2014. I began typing out the next two books and sent my second book to Booktrope. That is when my dream came true. I have my dream team, my dream cover. Most of all, my goals seem to be closer than ever.

In 2016, what I thought sent my world crashing down, was actually a small earthquake leading to something great. Booktrope closed down. I thought it was kind of the end of the world. That’s when Patchwork Press came into my life and changed it once more, and for the better. I feel in control. I feel like I am with a group of writers who appreciate me and are behind me every step of the way.

My publishing story is much different than other authors, but I wouldn’t change it for anything. I have gained experience from self publishing and being with a small press. I know that I can use this knowledge for the rest of my book writing days.

My writing process may be a little different than most, but it works for me. As a writer, you MUST find what works for you. Not what works for others. This is your dream. This is your passion. When the time is right, it will come to you. By “it” I mean the story or even the patience to tell your story to the world. For me, it came naturally because I feel like this was the story I was meant to share.

Writing the Story:

                Dialogue is my strong suit. Character building? Not so much. Since I know my own self, it is easy to begin to work on the things that don’t come so easily to me. When it came to sitting down to write, I found my own habits and tendencies. I found what worked for me. Since I was writing in high school, school came first. Now that I am still writing, I am in college. So I have to put school first (yeah right) and writing next.

I had to find the perfect time to write as well. I write at nighttime. It is my way of cooling down from the day. Sometimes I’ll put music on. It helps me find the right things to say when I feel like I can’t find them. I’ve been able to find the time and place that allows me to be free of the world and write my books. That is my advice to writers; find that one place that makes you feel like you can do anything and write. For me, that is alone in my room, particularly at 11 at night, with music to escort my thoughts.

My goal every night is to write at least one chapter. If what I am writing is complete crap (and trust me, there are days like that,) I stop and go to bed. I reevaluate my life (kidding) and by the morning, I am refreshed and remember why I love this. This is a passion. Without it, I couldn’t stay up countless nights and sometimes forget my homework for school the next day.

Editing Process:

Basically I go through a lot of editing. I will be the one who goes into my book fifteen times and still miss a lot. My eyes, and my great friend, Edee’s eyes, alone edited the first edition of “Antidote.” I have found, it takes more than us to fix a book and it’s problems. Now that I have edited the book so many times, I have found my bad habits. I see that I can have plot holes without even realizing it! Here is my advice to you: When you think you’re done, you’re NOT. So the editing/publishing process for “Antidote” went like this (2016 edition).

  • Wrote “The Antidote,” which is the self-published version.
  • Edited the book about four times over before sending it to my friend, Edee, who is also a self-published author.
  • Edited all the mistakes Edee fixed for me.
  • Edited the book about another four dozen times.
  • Sent it off to Self-publication Land.
  • Wrote “Prospect,” which is the second book in my trilogy and sent that off to Booktrope (wait for the squeals when I got accepted and asked to republish “The Antidote”).
  • And so it begins. Process begins with me submitting the Self-published version of “The Antidote” for rewrite and edit.
  • Change name from “The Antidote” to “Antidote.”
  • Edit number one from my editor. I fixed all the mistakes I was foolishly making.
  • Send off my first round of edits back to her.
  • Editor sends me the second round of edits.
  • I fix all mistakes and send to Proofreader.
  • Finally “Antidote” is ready.
  • Repeat steps 9-13 with “Prospect.”

Now that I have republished “Antidote” one last time with Patchwork Press, I have started to edit “Prospect” with its finishing touches.

That is just a super dry run of how it went. I was an amateur. I had to change a lot. Sometimes I would write things that didn’t make any sense and would have “What??” in the margins. I look at writing completely different now. My mind is stronger and sharper now by seeing the mistakes I made. The editing process takes a lot longer for me now because I thoughtfully/logically put words together. I know that it isn’t just the story that matters. Every single word must make a difference and an impact somehow.

What I’ve Learned:

I have learned a lot from my experiences with writing. I have learned my own strengths and most importantly, my weaknesses. Most of all, I have learned why I am here, as a writer. I am here to write for my happiness. I am here to write so I can bring joy to others as books bring joy to me. I want to change someone’s life. Make them crave books as so many books have done to me. Right now, it isn’t about being successful in book writing. It is about learning the ropes and one day I know I will be a fabulous writer. It is a long road ahead. But it is the road I want to be on forever.antidotemedia

Antidote (Antidote, #1) by Taylor Hondos

Life sucks, and then you rot. No one knows how Dermadecatis is contracted, but its existence has changed everything for 18-year-old Lena, in this riveting debut from Taylor Hondos.

No contact with other people.

Masks must be worn in public at all times.

Four months ago men, women and children alike began to rot from the inside out, and the world as we know it changed forever. Life goes on, but now everything revolves around the need to survive and find a cure for Dermadecatis, the disease that Lena Alona’s father discovered.

Unfortunately for Lena and everyone else who is desperate to survive, her father’s secrets died when he did.

Published June 1st 2016 by Patchwork Press (first published May 30th 2014)

Taylor’s Links: GOODREADS | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | WEBSITE