Shadowed Summer Author Saundra Mitchell (and a Giveaway)

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 (Ah, Hemingway, your white bull has been replaced by something even more phallic).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:

She’s real.


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:

  1. Buy it though Indiebound at your local independent bookstore
  2. Buy it at the Book Depository (international shipping!)
  3. Buy it at Powell’s
  4. Head to Amazon
  5. Borrow it from your local library (Since it’s a JLG selection. you can find it at a lot of libraries)
  6. (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!

Posted in feminism, giveaways, other writers, story

44 Responses to Shadowed Summer Author Saundra Mitchell (and a Giveaway)

  1. Leah says:

    I’m game, sounds like a great book!

  2. Nina says:

    I’m not one for ghost stories, but I’ll check this out since Saundra Mitchell has awesome taste in heroines. Although personally, I think Toph beats the pants off Katara 😛

  3. Tiff says:

    I’m not sure I’m a ghost story person either (although I quite enjoyed Niffenegger’s Her Fearful Symmetry), but I’ll enter and hope to get my socks knocked off!

  4. Nicola says:

    *sigh* I just got back from the library in my parent’s town. Turns out it has a t’riffic young adult section. I lugged home a green canvas bag filled with books by Scott Westerfield, Justine Larbalestier, Carrie Ryan, Cory Doctorow, Meg Cabot, Suzanne Collins and (of course!) Diana Peterfreund. I was like the Santa Claus of books if he, you know, kept all the presents for himself! But, since I am obviously a selfish book Santa, I would love to add Saundra Mitchell to my TBR pile!

  5. Beth says:

    I am on a huge gothic literature kick at the moment and this would definitely be a superb addition to my list.

  6. Mariska says:

    I love ghost story ! so really like to read this book !

  7. camille says:

    This book sounds great. I’d love reading it. Thanks for the opportunity.

  8. Meg says:

    Sounds like a great read–I love a good ghost story, and there’s something about the south that really clicks with a good paranormal tale.

    Plus, I’ve gotta love any author who references Merlin and Avatar in the same paragraph! <3

  9. Snazel says:

    My name is Jasmine Stairs, and I’d certainly love to win the book. 😀

    But in terms of awesome avatar women, Toph rocks the WORLD. So does Mai. My, how I love Mai. *cough*

  10. Alexa says:

    I agree Sandra I love Astrid, she is awesome, and I am counting down to September (and Monday). Shadowed Summer sounds great, I’ve just discovered Supernatural and am on something of a ghost kick right now, so I’d love to win.

    Oh and my verification word was Poe 🙂 which I take as a good luck sign.

  11. Meg S says:

    I agree with the other Meg – I love ghosts and I love books that take place in the South! This looks like a great book, and my library doesn’t have it yet.

  12. Andrea C. says:

    This sounds like a really good book and I would love a chance to read it I read all your other suggestions on how to do that but 6 has always been my luck number (honest! *looks shifty*) so I went with that one

    Oh, I hope this give away is international as I’m in the UK If not – please ignore this entry (sob!)


  13. Cindy C. says:

    What a great blog by Saundra! I’m so excited to read Shadowed Summer. Thank you for the chance to win it. 🙂

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  15. JenP says:

    This sounds so intriguing. Great guest post, Saundra!

  16. Elena says:

    Shadowed Summer looks awesome. I’ll have to check it out, contest win or no. 🙂

  17. Lena says:

    I keep hearing amazing things about Shadowed Summer.

    Psst. Astrid is the ideal kind of awesome for me too 🙂

  18. Lisa S. says:

    I love ghost stories and love Saundra’s take on Astrid! Totally agree with her. Really excited to read Saundra’s book!

  19. Diana says:

    Right, just when you think you can’t love Saundra anymore, she talks about Katara.

    Perhaps I’ll have to devote a whole post to the eternal debate: Katara vs. Toph. I love ’em both, for different reasons, though. And I would argue that even though Toph is the greatest earthbender alive, Katara is the greatest bender warrior in the series (Suki probably gets my vote for non-bender warrior). I mean, Katara can blood bend WITHOUT the full moon. Plus, she’s the only one who manages to kick Azula’s ass.

    Ah, Avatar, where you can’t swing a beavercat without hitting an awesome girl.

  20. Saundra says:

    Seriously, I could write a whole post on how hard Toph, Katara and Suki all rock my world. I defer to Katara in this post simply because she, through sheer force of will, dragged the Avatar back from his tantrum-coma, and then spent the next three years making *herself* the most powerful bender-warrior, like, ever.

  21. Karina says:

    Hiii, I’m Karina! I sooo want to read this. Can’t find it anywhere in Brazil!

  22. Bookworm134 says:

    Count me in!

  23. PurpleRanger says:

    Okay, now I’m curious. What award nominations has SHADOWED SUMMER garnered?

  24. Chelsea B. says:

    Great post! And wow, this book sounds amazing!

  25. Meg says:

    See, I would have to weigh in on Toph being the most awesome here, except that Katara becomes truly scary badass by the end of the series. I was firmly in the Katara/Zuko camp, and so I’ve never quite forgiven Katara for choosing Aang (he’s a kid! she’s been his mother figure! oh, the freud! help!). Of course, who she chooses to swoon over has absolutely no reflection on her asskickery, so I’ll just have to do my best not to let that affect me. Because yeah, okay, Katara vs. Azula was definitely a high point in the series for me.

    Tantrum coma. Loooove. Now I have to read this book, because clearly I’m destined to love Saundra’s writing as much as Diana’s. 😉

  26. Sounds like a really great read! Please enter me!
    Kate aka YzhaBella’s BookShelf

  27. Andrea G says:

    Toph wins Miss Independent from me.

  28. Britta says:

    It sounds like a good book, I definately will read it either way.

  29. AnnswerMe says:

    I love Saundra Mitchell and I really want this book, YAY

  30. Lauren says:

    ghost stories are awesome! YA needs more of them

  31. Alannah says:

    I’ve heard so many good things about this book! I can’t wait to read it!!

  32. I’ve been meaning to check this one out for a while now. Thanks for the contest!

  33. S. says:

    Shadowed Summer is amazing and one of the few 2009 Debs books I haven’t gotten my hands on yet. Please enter me in the contest!

  34. Jessy says:

    Sounds good to me!


  35. Nina says:

    I’d agree that as a bender, Katara owns pretty much everyone by the end of the series. (It sometimes makes me wonder why Aang was even necessary to defeat Ozai.) But physical power alone doesn’t make a favorite heroine: I adore Toph for her winsome personality!

  36. Kaya says:

    wow, great giveaway!:)
    is this international? If so, count me in!

  37. Lili says:

    Man, do I love badass heroines. One of my personal favorites (besides the ones mentioned and Astrid, of course) is Rose from the Vampire Academy series. Anyone else know what I’m talking about?

    And, wow, Shadowed Summer looks great! I hereby enter the giveaway.

  38. Diana says:

    Me! I love Rose! I love all those books. I was totally going to fangirl all over Richelle Mead when I saw her at BEA last month, but then I resisted, because um, we were in a public restroom. 😉

  39. Beth says:

    Wait, there’s another Beth whose on a Southern Gothic kick too? Weird. Also, I’m kind of sad I only have to leave my name. I got all my friends turned onto 6 word stories! Well, I’ll put myself as Beth2 so not to confused with other Beth!

  40. Dayan Ballweg says:

    Sounds great! Sign me up!

  41. nymfaux says:

    Just found your blog!–Super exciting!!!

    love contests, good luck to everybody–and sign me up!


  42. Liz says:

    I love ghost stories! Anything supernatural really :P. But ghosts especially. This sounds like my kind of book! Thanks for telling us about it.

  43. MD says:

    Never heard of the book before, but it sounds great!

  44. Virginia says:

    Am I to late to enter the contest? Hope not 🙂