Today we have a very special treat: a guest blogger. I hardly ever have a guest blogger here, but I think I should start doing so more often. All the fun of blogging, none of the pressure of staring at that damned blinking cursor. (Ah, Hemingway, your white bull has been replaced by something even more phallic).
But I digress. Today we are visited by the utterly awesome Saundra Mitchell, whose debut novel, SHADOWED SUMMER, knocked off my flip flops when I read it last year. (I wasn’t wearing socks because her descriptions of a steamy Southern summer were so spot on I felt like I was getting heatstroke just turning the pages.) It’s a very creepy ghost story, and to my genre-loving heart’s eternal delight, it’s been racking up the award nominations and wins ever since it was published. (I am the girl who defiantly turned in a ghost story as a final project after the instructor of the one creative writing class she ever took sneered to another student that he did not accept genre works in class.) This book was an ALAN nominee, a Junior Library Guild pick, on the VOYA summer reading list, and up for an Edgar Alan Poe award. Y’all — read it.
Oh, how I love it when the ghosts win, and when savvy genre writers like Saundra show the world that family secrets and coming-of-age can fit perfectly into stories that go bump in the hot, humid night.
Today, Saundra is here to promote hte release of the SHADOWED SUMMER paperback and to talk about one of my favorite topics: strong, kick-ass heroines. And — I blush to type it — she is talking specifically about Astrid. Take it away, Saundra!
Astrid Llewelyn is the ideal kind of awesome. I found myself thinking this often while reading RAMPANT on a train toward Chicago. I forgot to be nervous about the trip, because I was so wrapped up in watching Astrid grapple with her unexpected destiny.
Now, there are a lot of awesome female characters in fiction and in film. Gwen from Merlin is awesome. Hermione Granger from Harry Potter is awesome. Katara from The Last Airbender is awesome.
And Astrid is awesome, not because she’s perfect at everything, or gets it right all the time, or makes ideal decisions–but because she’s not, and she doesn’t. In fact, her reaction to discovering that her mother’s seemingly dippy attachment to killer unicorn stories is true is one of the best portrayals of dumbstruck incredulity I’ve ever seen.
In short, Astrid is exactly what a real girl would be, if confronted with an Ancient Destiny, a Mystical World, and Her Part In It: conflicted, and confused. And I love that she doesn’t rebel just for the joy of it. When she comes around to her mission, it’s not for the convenience of the plot.
Even though RAMPANT is full of mythology and mystical creatures, it’s completely honest. I believe in it, and that’s why I eagerly await September, when I can dip back into this amazing universe with ASCENDANT. It’s why Astrid Llewelyn is the ideal kind of awesome for me:
Hey, guys. It’s Diana again. So, who wants to read SHADOWED SUMMER NOW? I hereby provide you with six easypeasy ways to do so:
- Buy it though Indiebound at your local independent bookstore
- Buy it at the Book Depository (international shipping!)
- Buy it at Powell’s
- Head to Amazon
- Borrow it from your local library (Since it’s a JLG selection. you can find it at a lot of libraries)
- (I know this is the one you’re waiting for) — win it here, today!
All you have to do is leave your name in the comments. And yes, I know i never announced winners from the ASCENDANT ARC giveaway contest. Oops, sorry. But I will on MONDAY, as well as announce winners for this contest. That means you have until Monday to enter this contest and the other one.
Have at it!