Highlights Of February 2018

February 28, 2018

   February is over, and we are apparently heading into the last month of the first quarter of 2018?

   Who condoned this madness.

The winter months are always pretty quiet for my family (which is normally fine by me because 1) time for reading 2) time for writing 3) SNOW SNOW SNOW oh wait I mean time for school work), and February was no different, just another great month in which we celebrated some birthdays, watched the icicles glitter like Christmas lights from the gutters, and I tried very hard to beat my siblings in the million card games we played during our free time xD.

And I got to work on blog designs for a few more people too, which was quite fun, I love doing blog design :D.

Writing? What writing? I've just been over here holding my breath until April 2nd arrives! (please don't trip on that unconscious being on the floor, it is me)

Alright, I'm kidding kind of. My brain has been churning out enough new story ideas that I'm being swamped! But I started plotting and zero-drafting a new-ish one this month that has been all sorts of fun (want to know which one? Well, go check out THIS POST - it's the story entitled The Chained Circus. It's a tough one to write, but I'm having a good time with it. Love/hate relationship, you know? xD). I think I've written about 10k words this month, so I'm pretty happy with that number! <3

At some point I should show you snippets - maybe do a whole post full of them? Let me know in the comments if this is something you'd like me to do!


Yeah, that's MUCH better than what I read last month, haha. And so many of those books were very good! Want to hear about them? 

- Allegiant by Veronica Roth. So I am very late in reading the last book in the Divergent trilogy ... but now that I have, I kinda wish I hadn't? I honestly liked the series a lot better when I had only read the first two books. The pace in this one was just too slow, and the characters were getting on my nerves. I honestly was planning on giving this book only 2 stars, but *highlight for spoilers* then Tris sacrificed herself, and I almost feel like her death made the book a teeny bit better? Or maybe it was because I was annoyed at her, I dunno *shrugs* *end of spoilers* but because of that, I nudged it up a little and gave it 2.5. So there's my take on that book.

- The Evaporation Of Sofi Snow by Mary Weber. After reading Shilo, I absolutely had to go back and read the first book in the duology over again. And guess what? When I first read this book, I only gave it 2.5 stars, but after reading Shilo Snow and then coming back, I'm giving it a 3.5. Because somehow this is one of them strange books that can get better as a reread xD.

- The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I watched the Hunger Games movie for the first time last month, which meant that I badly needed to grab the book and reread it - because there's something in the book that the movie just didn't have. And a reread of this epic book has never disappointed me, so I'm giving it a shiny four stars again! I do not think my love for this book will ever die xD. 

I also reviewed Reclaiming Shilo Snow this month, so y'all can go check that out if you want more of my bookish thoughts ;).

Also, Mary Weber's book club started up this month (of course I joined it xD) and their first read was Renegades, so guess what author all of us book club people got to chat with as a part of that? Marissa Meyer! It was tons of fun to have her virtually there at the book club for half an hour (and I may or may not have felt a little starstruck because #majorfangirl xD) <3    

- Catching Fire. Because of course I couldn't stop after I watched Hunger Games last month! And Catching Fire was so. Good! I loved how they stayed pretty true to the book, it was all so epic. I'm going to give this one a shiny four stars! (and I may or may not have already rewatched some of it ... xD) 

- Alice Through The Looking Glass. So I didn't expect to actually like this movie - it seemed a little weird, but I thought I'd give it a shot - but I actually enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would! The actress they picked for Alice was just perfect, and I loved the rest of the characters. Such a fun watch. I'd give this one four stars. 

- Mockingjay. AJSGLJHAGSLHSJK. So much love for the last two movie in the Hunger Games series <3. Personally, I think I preferred Mockingjay 1 (which I'm giving 4.5 stars) to Mockingjay 2 (which I'm giving 4 stars), because I wish they had ended Mockingjay 2 a little differently - but honestly, other than that I can't find much to complain about. I just love these movies so much. I probably could do a whole post about them, but for now I shall refrain from turning this monthly highlights post into a 'why The Hunger Games is epic' post xD.   

- The Sparticle Mystery (season one and two). So this was a random show that my sister and I stumbled upon when we were looking for something new to watch, and it actually was pretty good. The first season was better than the second, and the quality of the show wasn't the best - but the characters were good (<3), and the storyline was interesting, so I'm giving it three stars overall. 








- Victoria from Wanderer's Pen did a post on writing lessons from The Greatest Showman, which was seriously epic. (I'm still dying to watch that movie xD)

- Katie Grace did the bibliophile sweater tag and I CAN'T with her gorgeous book pictures <3. (she also did a hilarious post about all the cringe-y things that authors have put in their first novels that I joined in on. So much fun!)

- Rosalie from Penprints did a fangirl post about the Tales of Goldstone Wood which was incredibly fun to read, because I adore that series so much <3.

- Lisa did the epic Comp Title Challenge, and OH GRACIOUS do I need her books now or what.

- The beautiful award-winning novel Martin Hospitality turned one! So proud of that gorgeous work of art <3.

- The fabulous Audrey Caylin has become a freelance editor, so definitely go check out her services!

- Pursue Magazine revealed the cover for the next issue of their beautiful magazine - and my sisters almost died when they realized that Brennley Brown was on the front cover (needless to say, they are massive fans of The Voice xD)!

- Three EPIC books released just yesterday - The Traitor's Game and By A Charm and A Curse and Tess of The Road - all of which I am dying to read them all! The covers are GORGEOUS, and the stories look even more epic. Thus, my tbr list just got three books higher xD.

- Also, there's some very exciting releases coming up in March - Reclaiming Shilo Snow (a book that I thoroughly adore) and the movie of A Wrinkle In Time! I'm really curious to see if A Wrinkle In Time will be good because, contrary to popular opinion, I actually don't like A Wrinkle In Time? The book just ... didn't interest me that much when I read it awhile back. But maybe I'll give it another shot, what with the movie coming out and all ;). 

- The sequel to Renegades has a TITLE! And I cannot wait to be able to read Archenemies <3.  

Fun author interviews, an interview with an epic creator, a new edition to The Cliche Flip - there's tons of fun things that will be happening in March! (also, if there's ever an author/creator that YOU would like me to feature, shoot me their name and website over on my contact page, and I just might be able to make it happen!) I've got tons of fun stuff planned for the next month (*cough* plus something very special *cough*), and I can't wait to show you. 

   So - I'll see you in March, oh scribbling scribes! Keep being epic <3. 

~ Savannah Grace 

how was your February?
are you excited to see A Wrinkle In Time?
chat with me, my friends! <3

Featured Author - February // K.A. EMMONS

February 24, 2018

   It's finally the 24th, which means its time for the second post in my series of featured authors - and guess who we've got here to chat with us, my friends? The incredibly talented indie-author K.A. EMMONS.

Featured Author - February // K.A. EMMONS

A few epic Kate-things you should check out: 

the blood race cover image
He’s spent his life running from who he is. She’s been trying to escape her past for 100 years…
Born with unexplainable abilities he struggles to control, college student Ion tries desperately to integrate into his new school and finally put his dark past behind him. But after making a serious enemy, which leads to an accidental rendezvous with the mysterious old man next door— and his hauntingly beautiful but troubled young protégée Hawk, Ion realizes his life will never be normal again.

Late one evening, Hawk drags him by the hand into a closet-turned-rabbit-hole to an extra dimension, and Ion finds himself stumbling involuntarily into a secret society of training for “anomalies,” teenagers with a special set of abilities. Just like him.

As they train to become Protectors of future Earth, battling each other as well as their own demons, both Ion and Hawk begin to realize that they are far more alike than they realized. Unsettlingly so.

When the Dimension is shaken by an unthinkable betrayal, will an ancient prophecy bring Hawk and Ion together—or will a deadly threat hidden in plain sight cost them both their powers… and their lives?

her debut novel, The Blood Race

her author site, kaemmons.com

kate's beautiful instagram, @emmonswrites

Savannah Grace: Hey, Kate! Thanks for taking some time to stop by and chat today - I'm excited to get this interview going. And we'll start with the first question first - what are a few quirks about yourself that people might be surprised to know?

K.A. Emmons: Oh, good question, Savannah! Three quick things come to mind:
I think people would probably be surprised to learn that I am not a big fiction reader *at all.* In fact, it’s a very, very rare sight to see me with a fictional book in my hands. I don’t read very often in general, but when I do, I love reading non-fiction military books, biographies, spiritual, and self improvement books.
I’m also a martial artist - which is something I’ve very passionate about, love doing, and highly recommend! I live a very active lifestyle, in part to offset the thousands of hours I spend sitting at a desk.
And I am also an activist! My sister Abbiee and I co-founded a student organization called Blue Freedom, a non-profit about keeping cetaceans out of captivity, and protected in the wild. We even made a film about it called ‘Voiceless’, which is available for free on Youtube.

the blood race instagram image [credit: @emmonswrite]
image credit: kate
Grace: Alright, so I've been following you on social media for some time now, and I was still surprised by every one of those facts! It's super cool that you take martial arts (and Blue Freedom sounds awesome) - and what, you don't read fiction much?? Wow, I didn't see that one coming xD. But it's cool that you still love a ton of non-fiction books ;). Alright, here's the question that I'm dying to ask now that I know you don't read fiction very often - where did you get your idea/inspiration for The Blood Race?
Emmons: The idea for The Blood Race came out of left field - literally just dropped into my head one day. I’m a very visual person, I could literally just see the whole thing in my head like one big panoramic snapshot. The inspiration behind the story stems from an concept that I believe in with every fiber of my being: that we are powerful beings. Far more powerful than we realize. That we are complex and gifted - that we each have a ‘warrior within’.

Grace: That's seriously so epic, I love how you were able to see the whole thing in your head! And your inspiration behind the story is so epic <3. When did you decide that you wanted to self-published The Blood Race?
Emmons: It was actually after the first draft was written in its entirety. While The Blood Race is the first novel I’ve published, it’s not the first book I’ve written. I was literally smack in the middle of marching down the trad-publishing process with another novel of mine (a stand-alone, yet to be published), and in short, it was a nightmare. I had this very positive, hopeful outlook on the traditional publishing industry that just did *not* match the reality of the nature of the beast. My work was being compromised just to “fit into the box” of what my manager at the time knew the industry was looking for. But I’m a rebel to the marrow of my bones and I really didn’t care what the industry was looking for. In fact, I resent many of the standards of the industry, which have, in my opinion, degraded beyond all reason. I have very, very, principled spiritual and moral beliefs, and I wasn’t going to compromise any one of those standards. So I pulled back on that book, and decided that I was going to indie publish from here on out. I am a huge believer in indie publishing, because it’s the future. It really, really is. Everything in the current market is pointing to indie publishing, and I would be the first to attest to the fact that this is true based of the success I’ve had with The Blood Race already. This is but the cutting edge of where the market is headed. And it’s a beautiful and fulfilling thing to have control over your own art - rather than allowing it to be chewed up by the machine, just so it can fit into a box. I’m a huge supporter of indie publishing for that very reason.

Hawk, one of Kate's characters (image not mine)
Grace: "I have very, very, principled spiritual and moral beliefs, and I wasn’t going to compromise any one of those standards" You go, girl - I love how you won't compromise your beliefs just to get into the traditional publishing industry. And I agree about the indie publishing getting bigger in leaps and bounds, so many people are doing incredibly well with their indie published books.

Alright, about the inside of your gorgeous debut novel - everyone who’s read your book raves over the epic characters. Do you have a personal favorite out of all the characters you’ve written?  
Emmons: Well first off, thank you - it’s always so touching and humbling to hear that people love and connect to a character that I had the privilege to create.
Oh, man. This is a TOUGH question! Can I even answer that? I feel like I’m publicly choosing my favorite child, haha! Hawk, Icarus, Fin and Sensei. I wouldn’t really give an order to that list, but I love those characters with a passion. They’ve taught me so much - especially in the coming book Worlds Beneath. The concepts and areas of growth the characters go through in the series are not things that I’m like “been there, done that” about. The struggles and the pain and the warring with the thoughts and self talk - am there. I’m growing through those things myself. I’m learning to deal with those myself, and oftentimes I will write a line, sit back, and be like “wow, God… I need to apply that to my own life. Thank you for that.”
I can so relate to C.S. Lewis when he said “I never actually made a book. It’s rather like taking dictation. I was given things to say.” My brain and intellect as precious little to do with it; I often feel as though I am just sitting back and watching the words roll out - and learning just as much from it as the characters themselves are.

Sensei, another of Kate's characters (image not mine)
Grace: So can I just mention how epic your character's names are? I can already tell that I will ADORE them <3. And its so neat how you're learning right along with your characters - I always love and admire books like that, where you can tell the author didn't just write it, but that they've really been there. Though, honestly, I feel like that can sometimes make the book harder to write - but the end result is always worth it ;). Out of all three books in the trilogy, which was your favorite to write (and which was the hardest), and why? 

Emmons: My favorite is book two, Worlds Beneath. It was also probably the hardest, because the story is so personal and something I feel so, so strongly about. I think it’s always going to be harder to write the things that are true and real for us - truth is a complex, beautiful, layered thing. It’s easy to write something that has no meaning. It’s easy to write what everyone wants to hear - or what the market is looking for. It’s easy. What’s hard is to get quiet with yourself, to unplug, disconnect, and dig deep inside yourself and ask your maker what it is you were put on this earth to say. It took me a long time to write the book (about a year), because it was a learning process for me, and it embodies things I was working through (and am still working through) myself.

Grace: And now I know for certain that Worlds Beneath is going to blow The Blood Race out of the water - whenever a book is both the hardest to write and STILL the author's favorite, it's bound to be amazing ;). I'm so excited for it to release, Kate!  

Do you listen to music while you write? If so, what were some of the songs you listened to while writing The Blood Race trilogy?

Worlds Beneath cover image
Emmons: It really depends on how I feel at the time, and what my headspace is looking like. Sometimes I need closed doors and total silence to focus, other times I’m overthinking and I need to get out of my head. I find that I write best when I think least, so sometimes I will literally distract myself to snap out of my thinking mind and get into that zone I need to be in. I listened to a LOT of Hans Zimmer and Steve Jablonsky. Soundtracks like Dunkirk, The Last Knight, etc. Other times you can find me listening to heavy rock, haha. It really depends on what headspace I’m in. I released the playlist for Worlds Beneath on my spotify, all songs I listened to while writing the book, and curated in a soundtrack-like style. 

Grace: Yeah, same here - though, for me, I only listen to music while writing at night, oddly enough xD. Hey, do you plan on putting more books out there after The Blood Race trilogy is finished?
Emmons: Absolutely. Writing is how I understand the world and myself. I don’t write because I want to, (though of course I do), I write because I have to. That might sound a bit dramatic, but for me there were never truer words spoken. Writing has always so encompassed who I am as a person, how I learn, grow, how I talk to God, how I learn the things he’s given me to learn. Writing is a gift that I don’t take for granted, and while I’m a firm believer in the fact that I am not defined my the word ‘writer’, that I am above all defined as a child of God, I will never stop writing, and putting things out there. I feel an extremely strong conviction to do this forever.

Grace: So I didn't expect such an epic answer to a question like that, but WOW you put that perfectly! I love love love everything you said, especially about not taking writing for granted. I think we do that a lot, and we really shouldn't. Alright, last question and then we'll let you get back to writing your epic books - who are three of your greatest inspirations, and why?
image credit: kate

Emmons: My parents, Martin Luther, and Martin Luther king, Jr. My parents because my mom is an iron woman. She’s always been the one who will speak what she believes is right even when she’s in an uncomfortable circumstance, and she never, never, never gives up on anything. Literally, I have never seen her give up when solving a problem. She’s an extremely spiritual person, and she’s fostered that in me all my life. I give her so much credit for nurturing that rebellious hunger in me for something more. My dad because his work ethic is next level. My dad has taught me so much about dreaming huge and rolling up your sleeves and doing the work. He’s a superhero and a true visionary. Martin Luther because he was such a rebel with so much light to speak - he risked so much to speak and stand for truth. I’ve devoured a lot of his writings and he’s an amazing example to me. MLK, Jr, for many of the same reasons. He gave his life for what he believed in - standing for truth even when the tidal waves of opposition were crashing down. And most of all, because he faced all of this from a firm foundation of LOVE. That is so important, and something I constantly aspire to do.

Grace: That's epicness, and I love that your parents are two of your greatest inspirations <3. ... aaaand I think that's the last question! It was awesome having you here, Kate - you're such an awesome person, and I hope that everyone who reads this gets inspired by your epic words. Thanks for taking some time to chat with us today! Keep being awesome <3.   

Kate: Thank you so much for having me on your beautiful and inspiring blog, Savannah Grace! Keep shining that light <3.  

When she’s not hermiting away in her colorfully-painted home office writing her next science fiction, passionate story-teller and adventurer Kate Emmons is probably on the road for a surf or hiking trip, listening to vinyls, or going for a power run. Emmons’ debut novel The Blood Race is the first book in her YA science fiction/fantasy thriller series. She lives in the often-snowy hills of rugged Vermont with her husband and dog named Rocket.

   Kate's such an epic person, you guys - if you haven't checked out her debut novel yet, you really need to (and the cover is epic, so that always helps ;)). I hope you guys had a ton of fun reading that interview. I've got some more epic author-ly stuff coming up in early March, so if you guys enjoyed reading this, you'll want to come back and check it out ;).

   But ANYWAYS I'm getting sidetracked - I hope you guys were inspired by this and that it was a lot of fun to read. Keep being awesome <3. 

~ Savannah Grace

which do you read more often - fiction or non-fiction? 
chat with Kate in the comments! 

Book Review - Reclaiming Shilo Snow by Mary Weber (+giveaway!)

February 20, 2018

   So today is a very special day. Why? Because I finally get to tell you all my thoughts about Mary Weber's newest book, Reclaiming Shilo Snow!

   Let's get right to it, because I've already waited long enough xD.

Book Review - Reclaiming Shilo Snow by Mary Weber [post title image]

5 Stars 

   Whoa. My first five-star read of the year, can you believe it? I was quite shocked, because the first book in this duology (The Evaporation Of Sofi Snow) only got three stars from me, and wasn't my favorite - but I decided to give Shilo Snow a chance, and I am SO GLAD that I did! Hopefully I can get through this post without it becoming a mile-long rave ... but I guess we'll have to wait and see ;).

From The Back Cover

reclaiming shilo snow cover image
Trapped on the ice-planet of Delon, gamer girl Sofi and Ambassador Miguel have discovered that nothing is what it seems, including their friends. On a quest to rescue her brother, Shilo, a boy everyone believes is dead, they must now escape and warn Earth of Delon’s designs on humanity. Except the more they unearth of the planet and Sofi’s past, the more they feel themselves unraveling, as each new revelation has Sofi questioning the very existence of reality.

Meanwhile, back on Earth, Sofi’s mom, Inola, is battling a different kind of unraveling: a political one that could cost lives, positions, and a barely-rebuilt society, should they discover the deal made with the Delonese.

But there’s a secret deeper than all that. One locked away inside Sofi and ticking away with the beginnings, endings, and answers to everything. Including how to save humanity.

Reclaiming Shilo Snow, published by Thomas Nelson, releases on March 6th, 2018

the author

Mary Weber is the award-winning HarperCollins author of the bestselling young adult Storm Siren Trilogy, and The Evaporation of Sofi Snow series. An avid school and conference speaker, Mary's passion is helping others find their voice amid a world that often feels too loud. When she's not plotting adventures involving tough girls who frequently take over the world, Mary sings 80's hairband songs to her three muggle children, and ogles her husband who looks strikingly like Wolverine. They live in California which is perfect for stalking L.A. bands and the ocean. She gets nerdy at @maryweber.com, FACEBOOK @MaryWeberAuthor, INSTAGRAM @MaryWeberAuthor, and GOODREADS.

the epic stuff

Honestly, I can barely get my thoughts together for this book, I don't know where to start! I buddy-read this book with the epic Soleil, which made it all the more fun. And we read at roughly the same pace, so it was heaps of fun to sit down for a few hours with her (virtually) over the weekend and shriek as we read through it together. So much fun.

ANYWAYS I'm getting sidetracked xD.

The Evaporation Of Sofi Snow (the first book in this duology) released back into 2017, and I snagged it as fast as I could ... but then didn't enjoy it as much as I'd hoped to? But I knew that Mary Weber was an epic author and still held lots of respect for her (and I still DO hold lots of respect for her!), so I decided that I would give the duology another shot and read Reclaiming Shilo Snow.

And I am SO GLAD that I did <3.

There's so much epic stuff that happened in this five-star read that I can barely even sum up, but I'm going to take my best shot at it, because you guys deserve to have this epic book shoved in your faces *ahem* know about this amazing book ...

- The characters. I just can't with the characters! <3 They've all improved so much from  the first book, and I couldn't help but be quite attached to all of them. And everyone knows that I will ABSOLUTELY FALL FOR any book with epic characters, so of course this is a point I need to cover :D. It was so fun to follow Sofi and Miguel (and Inola!) throughout the whole book, and I honestly can't say that I have a favorite point of view - and normally I do. But in Reclaiming Shilo Snow, it was impossible not to enjoy them all. Also (highlight for spoilers) can I just say that I may have been grinning from ear to ear when Shilo was found? I LOVE HIM TO DEATH, he's just amazing. (end of spoiler). So ... maybe I should stop talking about characters, or we'll be here all day xD. 

- Cliffhangers galore. I kept telling myself "alright, you need to stop reading once you finish this chapter", BUT. Cliffhangers! Literally, there was a cliffhanger of sorts at the end of almost every single chapter, and I don't think I've ever seen so many cliffhangers handled so well in one book. Be thee aware that when you start this book, you literally will not be able to put it down. There, now you've been warned xD. 

- The theme and deep questions. Alright, so I pretty much always got into a smol bit of shock whenever has a book has a theme that's really epic (... can you tell that I struggle with writing themes in my own books? Haha), but Reclaiming Shilo Snow has such epic themes woven into it, and Mary Weber's beautiful heart really shone through. And this book asked some really awesome questions, too - and I'd quote them, but I think they're more powerful when you find them on your own ;).

   ... alright WE MUST LEAVE this "epic things" section because this post is getting mega-long. 


Hmm, was there anything I disliked? I can't think of much - the resolution might have come a bit quickly have the climax, but that's probably just me xD. Honestly, this is one of the best books I've read in a long time, and I'd have to scrape the bottom of the barrel to find anything to really complain about.
final thoughts

Well, I think I've about said it all! Reclaiming Shilo Snow knocked The Evaporation Of Sofi Snow out of the water, and I loved it so, so much <3. It's such a masterful work of art. If you guys haven't pre-ordered this thing yet, you need to - I can't wait to squeal over it more with you once it releases!

   Alight, that's about all I've got time to rave over - BUT, don't go running away yet, because this isn't just a book review post. This post is part of the Reclaiming Shilo Snow book tour and scavenger hunt (hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours), which means we have a GIVEAWAY and scavenger hunt going on!

Reclaiming Shilo Snow Scavenger Hunt [banner image]

   So I'm pretty sure I've caught your interest with that statement ;). My word for the scavenger hunt is FATHOM - and you can check out the schedule for the other stops on the tour here, so that you can find the rest of the words. In a nutshell, each of us on the tour have a word, and all the words make up a phrase from Reclaiming Shilo Snow - you'll need to know the whole phrase to enter the Grand Prize Giveaway (hint: the blog that comes after mine on the tour is Blooming With Books, and I'm one of the last stops in the tour, just to get you started - but here's the link to the full schedule again, and the full list of rules if you aren't familiar with scavenger hunts) ...

Reclaiming Shilo Snow Scavengar Hunt Grand Prize Giveaway image

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 Once you've collected all the words, enter the phrase into the Grand Prize rafflecopter above (or go HERE if its not working). The giveaway closes on the 24th, so make sure you don't miss it! Who wants to lose the chance to snag those epic prizes? ;)
   ... alright, and I think all the bases have been covered - I hope y'all have a ton of fun with the scavenger hunt, and that you get the chance to read this incredible book very soon! It's officially my first five star read of 2018, and I hope you guys will enjoy it just as much <3.

~ Savannah Grace

have you pre-ordered Reclaiming Shilo Snow?
have you read any of Mary Weber's epic novels?
chat with me in the comments, y'all <3

disclaimer: i received a copy of Reclaiming Shilo Snow from the publisher in exchange for my honest review