New Release!

It seems like only yesterday I’d started writing this piece of flash fiction for my patrons over on Patreon about a girl in an attic, waiting for the monsters to go to sleep for the day. All she had was a BB gun and a little bit of hope–and a little bit of a smart mouth. But I loved her. And now she’s out in the wild for others to read and get to know.

I really thought this was going to be a novella and a standalone. But once I hit the 40k word mark, I knew there was plenty of story left and when I got to the last chapter, I realized there was, not only a sequel to be had, but other stories from other supporting characters to be written.

I’m not sure if the next book in this spin-off series will be the sequel (though yesterday I thought of a perfect title for it) or if the next will be Maggie’s story. I’m really excited to write Maggie’s story because hers will take place before Containment and mass evacuations, which I think will be very interesting to see.

But one thing I do know is that I’ll be sharing the stories, one flash fiction bit at a time, on my Patreon page. So if you’d like to be able to read before it’s polished and packaged and released, you can sign up to be one of my patrons! Every little dollar helps! And if you sign up for more than $1 there are more rewards to be had! But I do make flash fiction pieces available to all patrons $1 and more.

Anyway. Happy reading if you’ve gotten your copy. If you haven’t, I hope you will. If you haven’t read my Ash & Ruin Trilogy, I think the book is clear enough to stand on its own, but you can always pick up the trilogy at your favorite retailer before starting Dandelions.

Dandelions 1 kobo

 

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Kobo Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | ibooks

(It, along with all of my other books, are available on all of Amazon’s sites, but there are so many to list, so just do a quick search for it and you’ll find it!)

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Holiday Sale!

15327252_1393851757306226_5354529373215996770_n.jpgHoliday shopping announcement! So, as many of you know I was recently at a Comiccon where I was selling and signing books. A lot of readers were bummed they couldn’t attend. Well, I came home with some overstock! I have 3 full sets of the Elemental Series (now down to 2 sets), 10 full sets of the Ash and Ruin Trilogy (now down to 9 sets), and quite a few copies of the first books in all three series, Earth, World of Ash, and Wytchcraft. I don’t have any full sets of the Matilda Kavanagh Novels.

If you would like any of these books, I’m offering them at Con prices. So Wytchcraft and WOA are $9 each and Earth is $8. The full Elemental Series set is $35 and the full Ash and Ruin Trilogy is $25. Shipping is $3 for 1-2 books and $5 for 3-5 books and $8 for 6-10+ books. I will sign and personalize all the books, you just let me know what name to make them out to and don’t be surprised if there are some pieces of swag thrown in.

 

The catch: You must put in your order by 12/15. That’ll give me enough time to get the books in the mail so you can have them by the holidays (whichever you celebrate).

If you’re interested just email me at shaunagranger82 @ gmail dot com. Place “Holiday Order” in the subject line, then just tell me which book(s) you would like, who to make them out to, and your mailing address. I will be sending out PayPal invoices for the total, so let me know if you need the invoice sent to a different email address.

Books make fantastic gifts; they’re unique and easy to wrap, so feel free to put in an order for yourself and others to get your shopping done! And don’t forget: you can gift ebooks to people. So if you’re in a bind on budget or ideas, ebooks are an affordable option and something that is as fast as an email so you won’t look like you forgot to send a gift to someone!

I am going to send the first batch of invoices out tonight to get the first orders in the mail Friday/Saturday. But if you email after that, it’s fine, you’ll just be in the second batch.

YA Scavenger Hunt – Team Purple Stop!

scavenger hunt

Hello all! Welcome to the next stop on the 2015 Spring #YASH! If you’re here, you’re competing to win the awesome prizes for Team Purple!

Team Purple (1)

If you’re new to the #YASH the rules are simple. You just need to check out each hosting blog for each team and find the secret numbers hidden in the post. Hint: for Team Purple, our numbers will all be in PURPLE! Then add up all the numbers and enter your answer here. Make sure to double and triple check your answer because only correct answers will be entered to win.

6FTWnj-KHere’s a little bit about me: Like so many other writers, Shauna grew up as an avid reader, but it was in high school that she realized she wanted to be a writer. She released the first installment of her Paranormal YA Series, The Elemental Series, Earth, on May 1, 2011 and has since released four sequels, with the series coming to an end with Spirit. In December of 2013 she released the first in her Paranormal Post-Apocalyptic trilogy (Ash And Ruin Trilogy), World of Ash. Be sure to also check out her newest series: The Matilda Kavanagh Novels about a spunky witch just trying to pay her rent in West Hollywood. Shauna is currently hard at work on one too many projects, trying to organize the many voices in her head. It’s a writer thing

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Goodreads | Facebook

If you keep going on the hunt you will find a never-before-seen scene from my upcoming release: AGE OF BLOOD – the final installment of the ASH AND RUIN TRILOGY! And for those of you who are fans, I am giving away three sets of pin-back buttons, all you have to do to enter to win is follow the options on the rafflecopter below!

10858467_981576398533766_8474774196472446231_n

On to the next!

I’m very lucky to be hosting E.E. Holmes on this stop of the scavenger hunt. And here’s the gorgeous cover of her book (I know it’s enough to get me to check it out!):

About the book: “The Gateway is open…”

These cryptic words wake college student Jess Ballard from a terrifying dream into an even more terrifying reality.
Jess’ life has never been what anyone would call easy; doing damage control in the wake of your nomadic, alcoholic mother doesn’t exactly make for a storybook childhood. But now her world has fallen apart just when it should be coming together: her mother gone—dead under mysterious circumstances; her life uprooted to stay with estranged relatives she’s never met; and there’s something odd about some of the people she’s been meeting at school:

They’re dead.

Aided by Tia, her neurotic roommate, and Dr. David Pierce, a ghost-hunting professor, Jess must unravel the mystery behind her hauntings. But the closer she gets to the truth, the more danger shadows her every move. An ancient secret, long-buried, is about to claw its way to the surface, and nothing can prepare Jess for one terrifying truth … her encounters with the world of the dead are only just beginning.

Spirit Legacy is the award-winning first installment in The Gateway Trilogy by E.E. Holmes.

Amazon | Goodreads | Website

Shauna here: I do love trilogies. As I said above if you find my exclusive content on this hunt, you’ll see I’m promoting a trilogy as well. Maybe it’s because trilogies are told in threes and 3 is my favorite number.


About the author
: E.E. Holmes grew up in Wakefield, Massachusetts, where she spent the majority of her childhood reading books. She read them all the time, and, as a result, perfected the art of walking and reading at the same time, a skill she can still perform to this day with remarkably few instances of falling on her face. She also wrote many books and poems in blank books and on the backs of legal pads her father brought home from the office. They remain some of her finest work.

She discovered a love of theater in high school. Her books were jealous at first, but they soon realized that she would always love them too. She earned a B.A. in Theater from College of the Holy Cross. After graduation, she set out to prove that her degree was, in fact, not useless, and worked as an actor in a summer Shakespeare festival and as a theater teacher, directing over thirty productions and numerous workshops for youth and high school students. She spent seven years as the theater director at Wakefield High School where she also taught English literature and public speaking. It was in her classroom that she discovered the horrible truth: a disturbingly large percentage of high school students hate to read. This revelation devastated and bewildered her. She decided she wanted to do something about it, and thus she started work on her first young adult novel, Spirit Legacy: Book 1 of the Gateway Trilogy, published in 2013. The book went on to win First in Category in the Dante Rossetti Awards for Young Adult Fiction and the Paranormal Awards from Chanticleer Book Reviews and Media. Spirit Prophecy: Book 2 of the Gateway Trilogy, was released in 2014. The series enjoys a rampant readership both in the US and the UK, and regularly enjoys time at the top of its categories on both Amazon and Amazon UK.
E.E. Holmes lives near Boston with her husband, two children, and small, but surprisingly loud, dog. When not writing, she enjoys watching unhealthy amounts of British television, procrastinating, and rediscovering her favorite books from her childhood all over again with her children. Her next projects are Spirit Ascendancy :Book 3 of the Gateway Trilogy, due for release in 2015, and another as-yet-unnamed YA series.

Here is the awesome exclusive content!

Originally Spirit Legacy was written as a Victorian Gothic novel before being re-written for present day Boston. If you’re a fan of the series, you’d probably like to see what that would have been like. So here is a scene from the original version set in London!

Future lessons with Madam Mishka brought no hitherto undiscovered wells of musical talent bubbling to the surface.  On the contrary, Lucy felt so discouraged with the futility of the whole affair that her weekly singing lessons had become associated with a feeling of utter despair.  And so it was on a sparkling winter morning in January, after three months of humiliation, that Lucy found herself dragging her unwilling feet yet again to the bright little room off the parlor, where the undaunted Madam stood waiting for her, smiling as though they were not about to endure an hour of torture.

“Ah, yes, good afternoon, my darling Lucy! And how have we done with our music this week?”  Madam purred indulgently.

“Oh, um… well, I tried of course,” Lucy faltered, trying to flatten her sheet music onto the waiting stand;  it kept reforming itself into the tight little cylinder she had nervously rolled it into.

“Have you been practicing your breathing and your posture?”

Lucy, who had stood with her back against the wall and a volume of Italian art songs balanced precariously on her head every day for a quarter of an hour, merely nodded.

“Very good, my darling.  Then we continue!” She raised that blasted walking stick.  Bang. 

            Mr. Meekins began to play and Lucy fumbled her way through Caldara’s Sebben Crudele, hoping her careful pronunciation of the Italian would somehow make up for her complete lack of tone.  She felt guilty as she listened to what would have been a lovely piano piece, were it not for her interference.

“Yes, darling, yes!  But you must remember that this song is about the unendurable pain of unrequited love!  Again, and I want you to feel the cruelty.” Bang, Bang!

Lucy sang it twice more, now with Madam Mishka warbling along with her, her be-plumed head nodding and her fleshy fingers gesticulating wildly through the air, presumably to help Lucy “feel the cruelty.”

“Brava, my dear!  I think you are ready now for more posture work.  Perhaps heavier book will help to keep your back straight.  Run to your rooms, dear and fetch heavier book.  We work on your posture, yes?  Then you have voice of an angel!”

Wondering  if the Madam could possibly mean the angel of death, Lucy left and returned with the heaviest book she could find in her mother’s bookcase.  It was covered in a tattered green fabric; the gold embossed words on the binding proclaimed it to be a volume of The English Horticultural Companion.  She reluctantly spent the next twenty minutes against the wall, singing scales as The English Horticultural Companion balanced on her head.

Bang.  “Enough!  Very good!”

Heaving a sigh of relief, Lucy relaxed her body, the book slipping sideways off her head and landing splayed upside down on the floor, where she would have been contented to let it stay forever.

Madam was beaming warmly.  “Excellent work, Lucy darling!  So like your mother, her voice was lovely too!”

“Really?  Do you think we sound alike?”  Lucy highly doubted this, as she had heard her mother hum many a pleasant tune.

“Oh, yes, darling!  And you look so alike as well!  As I was standing watching you there, I could remember your mother doing the very same thing!  Why she even used that book for her posture work!”

“This book?”  Lucy pointed down at The English Horticultural Companion, her eyebrows raised in surprise.

“Oh yes!  She brought that book with her every day!  Often I would find her sitting in this room before our lessons began, reading.  I would often startle her when I came in, she was concentrating so intently.”

Lucy looked down at the book again.  It seemed an odd choice for a young girl to be fascinated with.

“Told me she loved flowers and gardening,” Madam Mishka prattled on nostalgically.  “I don’t know if I ever saw her without that book in her hands.  I recognized it the moment you brought it in!  Of course, I don’t garden myself…”

Lucy stopped listening.  She picked up the book and examined the cover more closely, running her fingers over the cover and letting it fall open.  Her eyes found a sentence at the top of the page.

In order for initial contact with the chosen spirit to be made, one must first light the candle, being careful to…”

Lucy’s heart began pounding.  She slammed the book shut and looked up at Madam Mishka, who was still talking.

“… once visited the gardens at the Palace at Versailles, you know.  I was singing Salome at the time, a very demanding role, but I still took the time to see the city…”

“Madam, I, um- I think our time is up.  I wouldn’t want to be late for my French lesson.” Lucy interrupted breathlessly.

“Oh!  Yes of course,” the Madam replied, looking a bit perturbed at being pulled out of her reverie so suddenly but recovering quickly with her customary indulgent smile.  “So you shall continue to practice and I shall see you very soon, yes?”

“Yes, thank  you.  Goodbye.  Goodbye, Mr. Meekins.” Not waiting for a response, Lucy turned on her heel and walked quickly from the room, breaking into a run as soon as she was through the doorway.

Safely in the privacy of her room, Lucy locked her door and curled on the chaise, the faded green volume heavy in her lap.  She examined the cover more closely.  It was frayed and pulling away from the corners.  Black leather peeked through the rough weave of the fabric.  Her mother had tried to disguise it; somewhere, Lucy knew, a copy of the real English Horticultural Companion lay stripped of its cover.  Her breath coming quickly, Lucy opened the book to the first page.  In an old and crooked typeset, the first page bore the following verse.

Be wary  Reader, if ye do seek

That World of which we do not speak

For if thy longings wicked be

Encounters dire awaiteth thee

But if thy heart be good, proceed

If pure, this art shall not mislead

 

Lucy’s hand hovered over the page, her fingers twitching slightly as she gathered the will to turn the page.   With the strange sensation that many eyes were upon her, Lucy turned the page and began to read.

~

    Lucy did not go to dinner that night, sending word with Mrs. Spry that she was not hungry.  The housekeeper appeared two hours later carrying a tray of food and a pot of tea, which sat untouched on the fireside table.  Lucy read through the night, startled only once by the sudden appearance of Dinah, who had slipped in unnoticed and timidly asked if Lucy needed anything.  Lucy dismissed her and read on, until the sun had crept under the drapes and the breakfast summons had long since faded away.  She sat staring into the dying embers of the fire when a tiny knock sounded on her door.

“Lucy? It’s Miranda.  Tom’s here too. Can we come in?”  The voice was muffled and hesitant.

“Yes, come in,” Lucy replied, her exhaustion ebbing  away.   “And shut the door behind you,” she added, as her cousins appeared in her doorway.

“Are you feeling well?” Miranda asked, lowering herself carefully onto the corner of the chaise.

“We thought maybe something happened when you didn’t come to dinner last night.  And then when you didn’t come this morning…” Tom was staring at her searchingly, as though expecting to see an answer written somewhere on her person.

“No, I’m fine.  I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to frighten you.”  Lucy smiled wanly.

“So no visions or unexpected visitors?” Tom asked, crestfallen.

“Well, don’t sound so disappointed Tom, for heaven’s sake!” scolded Miranda exasperatedly.  “After all, we don’t want her to be scared out of her wits twice a day, do we?”

Tom looked slightly ashamed.  “Well, no, of course not.  I just thought…”

“No it’s okay, I’m really fine.  I’ve been reading this.”  Lucy patted the book still cradled in her lap.

“Thinking of taking up gardening?” Tom snorted, sinking into the chair by the fire and helping himself to the cold pheasant.

“Why, yes, I am.  I find this chapter particularly interesting.” Lucy handed the open book to Tom, who glanced at it, grinning while he chewed.  Lucy watched with a slight smirk as his grin faded away, replaced with a look of shock .

“What… where did you get this?!” Tom exclaimed, his half eaten pheasant leg dropping unnoticed to the carpet.

“It was in one of my mother’s trunks that arrived last week.  I didn’t know what it was until I opened it.  I’m still not sure what it is.”

“Well, did you read it?” Tom’s eyes were flying over the pages.

“Yes, I did.  And I’m not sure what to think.”

“What is it?” Miranda asked eagerly, appearing over Tom’s shoulder.

“It’s a book about… well, ghosts.” Lucy admitted hesitantly.

Miranda gaped. “But this is wonderful!  Maybe this can tell us what we need to know about Edward and…” Her voice faltered and died as she watched Lucy shake her head.

“I’m not sure what to make of it,” Lucy said again, staring thoughtfully into the fireplace.

“Why not?”  Tom was still thumbing through pages, but Miranda was watching her carefully.

“Well, most of it seems to be ghost stories, like the ones they publish in the penny dreadfuls, written to scare people and to give children nightmares.  I don’t think those stories have any real basis of fact to them.  But then at the end there…” Lucy shook her head.

“What?  What is it?” Tom prodded, flipping now to the end of the book.

“It seems to be a sort of… guide.  For contacting and speaking to spirits.  At the end there, the last twenty pages or so.”

Tom found the section and started reading it at once.  Miranda was watching Lucy shrewdly.

“ You don’t think its reliable?” Miranda asked.

Lucy shrugged.  “I’m just not sure what to make of it.  On its own it sounds as though it could be real, but paired with all of those silly stories!  And I just wonder why my mother had a book like this.  I just can’t imagine her reading such a thing!”

“Well I can certainly understand why she would disguise it.  Can you imagine Grandfather’s reaction if he saw a book like this under his roof?”  Miranda looked frightened at the very thought.

“That’s just it.  How would my mother have even come across a book like this?  It certainly wasn’t already in the house.  And besides that, why would she want to read it?”  Lucy asked no one in particular, as she was not expecting an answer,

Tom’s face shot up on a sharp intake of breath.  “Wait!  On the night you saw Edward you overheard Grandfather and Mother talking, isn’t that right?”

“Yes.”

“And Grandfather said something about having to cover up this sort of thing before?”

“I…yes.” Lucy was frowning now.

“So maybe this was it!  Something happened with this book, maybe your mother read it or… or maybe even tried this communicating with spirits!”

“I suppose that could be it,” Lucy admitted.

“Of course that’s it!  It makes perfect sense!  What else could it be?” Tom cried, and turned his attention back to the book as though the matter were settled.

Lucy had already considered the possibility that this very book was the reason for her grandfather’s animosity toward her mother.  She had played the entire scenario out in her mind:  her mother as a young girl, reading the book, perhaps in the very same spot where Lucy sat now.  Grandfather bursting into the room, eyes blazing, shouting about disgracing the family and shaming the church.  It was entirely plausible, and yet Lucy had her doubts.  If Grandfather had caught her mother with the book, why didn’t he destroy it?  Was simply reading a book of gothic stories enough to create such a rift between father and daughter?  No, there is something more to it. 

“I think we should try it.”  Lucy said suddenly.

Tom and Miranda both raised their heads at the same time and stared at Lucy as though she had just suggested they all leap from the balcony.

“You think we should try what?” Miranda asked, although it sounded as though she already knew the answer.

“Communicating.  I think we should follow the ritual in the book and see if we can make contact,” Lucy continued with conviction.

Miranda was already shaking her head.  “Lucy, I really don’t think-“

“Look, I know it’s probably a bunch of nonsense, but what other choice do we have?” Lucy pressed.

“But you just said yourself that you thought it was unreliable- a bunch of ghost stories!” Tom exclaimed.

“I know, and I wouldn’t be surprised if nothing came of it at all, but if all of these dreams and my encounter with Edward, if there is any chance these things can be explained, I want to give it a chance!  What if there was a reason my mother kept this book?  What if she meant for me to find it?  What if my mother could see them too!”

 

Now, continue on your way and make sure to keep track of those numbers! Next stop: Krystalyn Drown

 

(Remember! To enter to win my mini-giveaway, you have to follow the options on the rafflecopter below!)

Button Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

(We’re having technical difficulties with the Rafflecopter widget. Just click on the Rafflecopter link and you’ll find the entry form for your chance to win!)

I know the Rafflecopter ended early, my apologies for that! There were issues with the widget and I’m away From the computer. But if you leave a comment letting me know you followed on Twitter or liked on Facebook, I’ll count you in the entries for the extra giveaway.

2015 Spring YA Scavenger Hunt!

Hello Everyone!

I’m so happy to introduce to you the Spring 2015 YA Scavenger Hunt Authors!

We have eight outstanding teams this season. I am going to be a part of #TeamPurple! The Scavenger Hunt runs from April 2nd through April 5th beginning and ending at noon Pacific time on those days.

If you’ve never been a part of the hunt before you should give it a try. It runs like a giant blog hop, introducing you to new YA authors and books along the way. There are tons of prizes including a grand prize for each team. If you win one of the grand prizes you will get a book from each author on that team! For more information and to make sure you get hunt updates, sign up for news on the #YASH website.

I will be hiding an exclusive never-before-revealed sneak peek of AGE OF BLOOD! On my website I’ll be giving away 3 sets of ASH & RUIN cover pin-back buttons. You don’t want to miss out on this fabulous and fun event, but play fast because the hunt is only live for three days – that means we will all be taking down our posts on April 5th and you’ll miss your chance.

And now, here are the teams! (Hint: If you click on the image you can get a close up)

Blue Team 1

Pink Team

Team Gold (2)

Team Purple 1

Team Green

Team Red 1

Team Teal (2)
Team Orange

 

I hope you are all as excited as I am!

THE HUNT BEGINS 4/2/15!

Cover Reveal: AGE OF BLOOD

Age of Blood (Ash and Ruin #3) by Shauna Granger

Hope is a dangerous thing, but powerful. Hope keeps you going. Hope can keep you alive.

But hope can shatter your world.

Kat and Dylan have found a home, but the monsters are still out there. The pox and plague still ravage the world. They have hope of finding a vaccine, but their encampment isn’t equipped to develop it.

Dylan is still too weak from the pox to leave the encampment, so Kat must decide between staying by his side and protecting her last remaining family member as he leaves to find supplies. Separated for the first time since they came together, Kat and Dylan will have to fight their own battles to save what is left of their bloody world.

Kat will have to hold on to hope that she has anything left to save and someone to come home to.

If she can survive.

AGEOFBLOODAvailable 5/5/2015

Add on Goodreads
Preorder on Amazon
Preorder on Barnes and Noble
Preorder on Kobo

About the series:

World of Ash – book 1

WOA (1)

There are two inherent truths in the world: life as we know it is over, and monsters are real.

The Pestas came in the night, spreading their pox, a deadly plague that decimated the population. Kat, one of the unlucky few who survived, is determined to get to her last living relative and find shelter from the pox that continues to devastate the world. When it mutates and becomes airborne, Kat is desperate to avoid people because staying alone might be her only chance to stay alive.

That is, until she meets Dylan. Dylan, with his easy smile and dark, curly hair, has nowhere to go and no one to live for. He convinces Kat there can be safety in numbers, that they can watch out for each other. So the unlikely couple set off together through the barren wasteland to find a new life – if they can survive the roaming Pestas, bands of wild, gun-toting children, and piles of burning, pox-ridden bodies.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | Smashwords

Time of Ruin – book 2

TORThe world has ended, and hope is the most dangerous thing left.

Battered and bruised after barely escaping San Francisco with their lives, Kat, Dylan, and Blue press north – desperate to reach the possibility of a new home.

But strange, monstrous ravens are tracking the remaining survivors, food is becoming scarce, gasoline is running short, and people are becoming suicidal, making survival almost impossible.

And the Pestas are growing bolder. Somehow, their numbers are growing.

The further north they go, the harder it becomes to ignore the signs that they’ve made a fatal mistake. Kat must face the impossible truth that there is no escape, there is no safe haven, and their worst nightmares don’t come close to their new reality.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | Smashwords

About the author:

6FTWnj-KLike so many other writers, Shauna grew up as an avid reader, but it was in high school that she realized she wanted to be a writer. She released the first installment of her Paranormal YA Series, The Elemental Series, Earth, on May 1, 2011 and has since released four sequels, with the series coming to an end with Spirit. In December of 2013 she released the first in her Paranormal Post-Apocalyptic trilogy (Ash And Ruin Trilogy), World of Ash. Be sure to also check out her newest series: The Matilda Kavanagh Novels about a spunky witch just trying to pay her rent in West Hollywood. Shauna is currently hard at work on one too many projects, trying to organize the many voices in her head. It’s a writer thing.

Stalkables:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads 

About the Cover Artist Stephanie Mooney:

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

I am a 25-year-old graphic designer, artist, and aspiring author currently living in Cincinnati, Ohio. I’m a renaissance girl — a lover of all things creative and artistic. From the moment I learned to use my hands, I was writing stories about princesses and sketching ballerinas. I guess I never really stopped.

Most of my training has been informal, and many of my skills are self taught. In 2006-07, I spent a year interning at a church in Louisiana where I worked in their art and design department. In July 2007, they hired me as one of their designers. I worked there for three years, gaining experience in graphic design, advertising, set building, event planning, and product design. From there, I began my career in freelance design.

Many of my clients are indie authors looking for affordable cover designs. I love working with authors and getting excited about their stories with them. I’m still building my web portfolio, but I really enjoy designing and developing websites as well.

Stalkables:

Website | Flickr| Twitter | Instagram 

Fun Round Up

So lots of things going on. October is here, the heatwave may have finally broken, and I have a chance to win a Monster My Little Pony!

If you follow me and my writerly friends on The Spellbound Scribes blog, then you know I posted about Neil Gaiman’s All Hallow’s read. If you don’t follow the blog, then you should check out the post! If you haven’t participated in All Hallow’s Read, you should, if you’ve thought about it but feel intimidated by the idea, check out my post for a boost of confidence!

all-hallows-read12

If you’re into my new series, Matilda Kavanagh Novels, you’ll be happy to know the third book, the holiday story, Yuletide, is up for pre-order on Amazon! Every person who pre-orders will feel the warmth of my love and affection. You know you don’t want to miss out! So treat yourself to an early Christmas present and get your copy pre-ordered so when you wake up on December 5th, you’ll have something special for the weekend!

Yuletide

And finally, if you caught my post the other week, you know I’m in a battle to win a custom made My Little Pony. I designed my very own monster pony based on the creatures from my Ash and Ruin Trilogy, Pestas. The pony is both creepy and pretty, my favorite combination! But I need help to make sure I win and you can help! It is decided by popular vote, so all you need to do is click this link, scroll to the poll and choose “Pestas, by Shauna.” Only one vote per IP address so it literally will only take you fifteen seconds to help me (or longer, I don’t know what your connection is like). And again, you’ll feel the warmth of my love and affection!

myPony

So there you have it! A fun little round up! And if it turns out you knew about all that stuff already, you’ve got your pre-order, you’ve voted, and you’ve read, well then… here’s an adorable puppy for you!

l

Insecurities and Eppihanies

So, as many of you know, Time of Ruin the second installment in the Ash and Ruin Trilogy, releases in exactly one week.

I can’t express the level of anxiety I have about this. Trilogies are incredibly difficult to write, I’ve come to learn. With an open-ended series you have a while to develop your character arcs and have so many plot bunnies to chase down, the pressure is kind of spread out. But with a trilogy you’ve got three books. Three acts. Beginning, middle, and end. And you gotta get your shit done. And each book needs to have a whole, satisfactory story contained within it’s covers while carrying on the major plot arcing through all three books.

I thought the hardest book was the second one, the one coming out in a week. But truth be told, the first book was just as hard. This  is a fucking hard story to write. Harder than I anticipated. I realized this wasn’t a story I could have told before now because I needed to be a stronger writer to do it justice. And I hope I am doing it justice. And with that, I knew that the middle book of a trilogy often suffers as the least interesting book, often it’s just a bridge from book one and two and people say, “Shoulda just made it a duology.” I didn’t want that. I wanted book two to be strong and whole and its own. I wanted readers to hit the last page with an Ooof and make grabby hands for book three.

Oh but book three. Book three looms over my head like an angry little gray cloud. Book three clings to my neck like a dead albatross. Book three is my undoing. No, I haven’t even put one word to page for book three yet, but I finished book two a few months ago, got wonderful feedback and reactions from my team of betas, my editor loved it, so the pressure of book three just grew and grew. I have expectations to live up to. And I am terrified. I’ve stepped away from Ash and Ruin  for a minute and thrown myself into the world of Matilda Kavanagh, my series about a spunky witch living in a supernatural neighborhood of West Hollywood. It’s my escape, my world of magic and fun and adventure. It let’s me write for fun and put my characters in crazy situations and let’s them fight their way out of it and go home at night for a nice spiked cup of hot chocolate and a smush-faced cat. It is not a world of death and desolation where each page takes a piece of my soul.

I don’t talk about my fear of book three very much. Occasionally I’ll ask my husband (my alpha reader for A&R), “Hey, what do you think of this? or “Well, what if this happened?” Vague questions that he’d dutifully respond to with his impressions or thoughts and I would just nod and go about my day. I wouldn’t make a note of anything because it was just a passing thought. But inside I would be having a total melt down about the book. I had no idea how to end this story. I have no idea how it’s going to do. I don’ t know who’s going to die and who’s going to live and how they accomplish either task. Whenever I set out to write a story, even if I don’t know how many books it’s going to be, I have a sense of the ending, maybe even know exactly how it’s going to end. How the hero wins or loses. But not with A&R. I am lost, utterly and completely.

And then Saturday I was standing in my kitchen, making sandwiches for lunch. It was sunny and windy outside. I was barefoot and the kitchen floor was freshly swept. My husband was somewhere else in the house and the dogs were quiet. And like so many other quiet moments, my mind wandered to Kat and Blue and Dylan. I could see them at the end of book two and out of no where, among the cold cuts and vegetables, I knew. I just knew. It slammed into me like lightning and I couldn’t move until I followed the thought to the last page. I knew what is going to happen, how it’s going to happen and who lives and who dies to make it happen.

My husband walked in and jumped up onto the counter and I turned to him and said. “What if…” and I almost couldn’t keep up with the words. Before my husband could say anything my whole body broke out into chills, goosebumps covered my skin, and I teared up. Blinking back the tears, I started laughing and said, “Oh my god, I figured it out. I know what happens.”

And you better believe I wrote it down. I don’t know every detail, every twist and turn, but I know the core plot and suddenly, I’m not so afraid to write this book. I just had to wait until I was ready.

 

(This post was brought to you by all the puppy gifs ever in honor of Blue and the muse that inspired him, Brody, who is ten times this size now.)

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