S.F.D. Mission: Open Letter to Janet B. Taylor, author of Into the Dim

Just in case you missed my post yesterday all about what S.F.D. is, you can check it out here. Basically, we’re a team of debut author supporters started by Talina from Sassy & Dangerous, who’ll be going on a series of missions to help promote some seriously amazing authors. Today I’m super pumped to be going on a mission for Sassy’s Fangirl Debuts – my mission, which I’ve chosen to accept, is an open letter to a debut author, and I have been assigned Janet B. Taylor, author of one of my most anticipated 2016 releases.

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Janet B Taylor

Dear Janet (can I call you Janet? I’m going to call you Janet),

I know you already know how freaking excited I am for your book. I’ve already got a review of it on Goodreads (all in caps) and I’ve done a Waiting on Wednesday post about it and I’ve told you on Twitter a few times, but, if it’s cool with you, I’m going to talk about it a little more.

I don’t know if you know, but I lived in Scotland for over a year. I’m completely in love with that country, so as soon as I saw the setting of your book, I was super intrigued. BUT then you added in freaking TIME TRAVEL, and, like I said on Goodreads, I realized there couldn’t possibly be a more perfect book for me.

Let’s just see. Some things I know about you and your book:

  • Favorite things to do (other than reading): Travel. And um…let’s see…did she mention travel? [from your Meet the Author post] Let’s go on a trip together, okay? I LOVE to travel, and I take at least one road trip a month. I love that you enjoy travelling and that you travel to all the places your book is set because, though I haven’t read Into the Dim yet, this makes for seriously amazing and well-developed settings. I can’t wait to travel to Scotland again in your book.
  • You’re a Whovian. Enough said.
  • “[Hope’s mother is] also a member of a secret society of time travelers, and is now trapped in the twelfth century during the age of King Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine.” Now Hope has to travel back in time to rescue her. I mean, are you kidding me? Plus there’s a “mysterious boy” and romance and effing SCOTLAND. I want to read this book SO BADLY. Here’s hoping your book takes places sometime around when Scotland rebelled against Henry’s rule along with Henry’s kid, “Young Henry”, because that will make for some interesting conflict. Even if it doesn’t, freaking time travel and Scotland added together makes for a very excited Stefani. I’m really looking forward to reading this. Not like you couldn’t tell or anything. I’m not even usually a big fan of historical fiction, but this? This I KNOW I will like.
  • Into the Dim got two amazing covers. The first one, with the mountains and the snow and the girl in a fur cape and the font, is what made me click on this book on Goodreads. It’s what initially drew me in. It was absolutely gorgeous! And then you got a new cover and I’m kind of in love with the font on that one too and the tagline – “Her future is a thousand years in the past.” Color me intrigued.
  • Your Into the Dim Pinterest Board. YES. Love all the characters’ looks and that picture of Glencoe (which I’ve been to and which is absolutely gorgeous). I usually prefer imagining the characters’ appearances myself, but if your boys look like THAT? Yeah, I can deal.

I could probably keep going, but I’ll stop there. Basically, I just wanted you to know that I am REALLY excited to read Into the Dim. I honestly don’t know if there could be a more perfect book for me. Scotland and time travel mixed together? Could there be anything that appeals to me more? I really don’t think so. Like I said in my WoW post, could I time-jump to March 2016, please and thank you?

Sincerely,
Stefani
Into the Dim fangirl

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What to know more about Janet B. Taylor’s debut Into the Dim? Of course you do.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Into the Dim by Janet B. Taylor

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers // Publication Date: March 1, 2016

Add the book to your Goodreads shelf!

When fragile, sixteen-year-old Hope Walton loses her mom to an earthquake overseas, her secluded world crumbles. Agreeing to spend the summer in Scotland, Hope discovers that her mother was more than a brilliant academic, but also a member of a secret society of time travelers. Trapped in the twelfth century in the age of Eleanor of Aquitaine, Hope has seventy-two hours to rescue her mother and get back to their own time. Along the way, her path collides with that of a mysterious boy who could be vital to her mission . . . or the key to Hope’s undoing. Addictive, romantic, and rich with historical detail, Into the Dim is an Outlander for teens.

ABOUT JANET

Janet B. TaylorJanet Taylor lives in such a small town in Arkansas that if you happen to sneeze when you pass by, you’ll totally miss it. (Cause, you know, you can’t sneeze with your eyes open. For real–try it–it’s impossible)

Her debut novel, INTO THE DIM (coming 3/1/2016 from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) is about a 16 year old girl who travels through time. Totally on purpose and stuff.

She’s a reader/fan first and a writer second. She lives with her fantastic husband, two hilarious sons, and Dorda the diabetic dog who won’t win any beauty contests, but has a “nice personality”.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr | Pinterest | Goodreads

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Check out the full S.F.D. team and head to their blogs to see who they wrote a letter to!

Talina, our fearless leader // Emily // Heather // Eileen // Karina // Deanna
Claudia // Kaitlin // Jasmine // Angel // Bex // Melissa // Kaitlin S. // Aila // Jess // Jaime
Lauren // Lizzie // Erin // Aimee

ARC Review: A Portable Shelter by Kirsty Logan

A Portable Shelter by Kirsty LoganAuthor:  A Portable Shelter
Genre: Short stories, fairy tales
Publisher: Association for Scottish Literary Studies
Publication Date: August 10, 2015
192 pages, hardcover

Check out the full synopsis on Goodreads.

NOTE: I was provided with an e-ARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. THANK YOU SO MUCH, KIRSTY!

We all know how much I loved Kirsty’s The Gracekeepers, so when she asked if I’d like to receive a review copy of A Portable Shelter, I jumped all over that. I read this entire collection in ONE day and pre-ordered a physical copy immediately.

Two women, Liska and Ruth, are awaiting the birth of their first child. They’ve agreed to only ever tell each other, and their baby, the truth, but while one is at work or the other is sleeping, they tell Coorie a series of stories in an attempt to pass on all the lesson they’ve learned. Coorie hears stories of bears and circuses and werewolves, witches and dragons and stars. What unfolds is a beautiful collection of fairy tales and truths wrapped up in stories.

Kirsty’s writing is unbelievably beautiful. Her words paint these gorgeous, sweeping pictures of a sky full of stars, palaces made of beach debris, wolves running through the woods, big circus tents, and lovely cottages on a Scottish beach. “The morning was my aching eyes and the mist not yet burned off the trees” (105). Liska and Ruth’s stories are haunting. Kirsty’s got this wonderful gift for magical realism, weaving together Scottish mythology and fairy tales.

The bottom line: I really just wanted this review to be: OH MY GOODNESS I LOVE KIRSTY AND THIS COLLECTION AND HER WRITING AND YOU SHOULD ALL READ EVERYTHING SHE WRITES. It took a lot to not say that but just know that’s what I wanted to say. I am continuously amazed by how talented Kirsty is and I can’t wait to read what she writes next.

Rating: 9 – practically perfect

Waiting on Wednesday: Into the Dim by Janet B. Taylor

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

Into the Dim by Janet B. TaylorPublisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

Author: Janet B. Taylor

Release date: March 1, 2016

Synopsis from Goodreads:

“Seventy-two hours, then we have to be back at the clearing. Sunrise on the third day.”

Being “the home-schooled girl” in a small town, Hope Walton’s crippling phobias and photographic memory don’t endear her to her dad’s perfectly blond, very Southern family. When her mother is killed in a natural disaster thousands of miles from home, Hope’s secluded world implodes. After being shipped off to an aunt she’s never met, Hope learns there’s more to her mother’s “death” than she ever dreamed. At her aunt’s manor, high in the Scottish Highlands, Hope begins to unravel the shocking truth about her family. Her mom isn’t just a brilliant academic. She’s a member of a secret society of time travelers, and is currently trapped in the twelfth century in the age of King Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine. To stage a rescue, the sheltered teen must join the Indiana Jones-wannabe team of time-jumpers, before her mother is lost for good. In a brutal, medieval world, Hope will discover more family secrets, and a mysterious boy who could be vital to setting her mother free…or the very key to Hope’s undoing.

Addictive and rich with historical detail, INTO THE DIM (Coming Spring 2016 from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) is an unlikely heroine’s story of adventure, sacrifice, and first love, in a high stakes race against time itself.

Why I’m excited: I’ll start by saying what I said on Goodreads: SCOTLAND AND TIME TRAVEL?? Could there BE a more perfect book for me?

Like, seriously. You guys know how much I love Scotland and any excuse to be that much closer to that country, and I’m all in. But then you add in freaking time travel. AND a medieval world and mysterious boys and mystery and secrets and adventure and history about Scotland and that gorgeous cover, and you pretty much have the definition of the perfect book for Stefani. I NEED it right now! Can’t I time-jump into March 2016?? I know it’s like a million years until release date but I just had to share this one with all of you so you can get excited with me!!

Life of a Blogger: School

Life of a Blogger is a weekly meme hosted by The Novel Heartbeat. You can see the full list of topics HERE.

This week’s theme is school.

(There’s lots of links because I want everyone to know about these things. Haha)

I won’t go into discussing my high school, other than to tell you I graduated with only 68 other people and I was third in my class.

For college, I attended Mississippi University for Women (hence the “W Blogger” badge on the side of my blog). I was a member of the residential honors college and received a full scholarship to the school! MUW is located in Columbus, MS, and it will always hold a special place in my heart. I love that school. At “the W”, I was a member of the Revelers, one of several social clubs unique to the W’s campus. The Revelers are my family, forever, and I’ve met some of my best friends through my club.

We like to have fun. :)

Revelers like to have fun. 🙂

Love my Revelers

Love my Revelers

While at the W, I majored in English and minored in Spanish. As part of the residential honors program, I studied abroad in Edinburgh, Scotland for a month after my sophomore year. Because of my job in the honors college, I was able to do it again after my junior year as a mentor. This is when I met and interviewed Ian Rankin for my honors thesis (which was published).

Me with the lovely Ian Rankin

I graduated Magna Cum Laude and received the MUW Spirit Award (I seriously love that school!). I could go on and on about all the things I did while at the W and how much I love that school, but I’ll leave it at that.

I will say that it was because of the W that I studied abroad in Scotland, obviously, and it was because of my time studying abroad that I chose to attend the University of Stirling in Scotland to pursue my Master’s degree in Publishing Studies. I freaking loved this program (MLitt in Publishing Studies). Through this program, I found out about Bloody Scotland; its inaugural year was 2012, which is when I moved over to Scotland. I volunteered that first year and then went back in 2013 as the Volunteer Coordinator.

My 2012 Bloody Scotland program, signed by 24 amazing authors

My 2012 Bloody Scotland program, signed by 24 amazing authors

I also interned at Freight Books and Pitch Publishing after meeting the owners through my program; each Thursday we had a publishing professional come talk to us about different aspects of the publishing industry (how cool is that?!). My dissertation was on the UNESCO Cities of Literature, and I was able to intern at the Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature (the world’s first City of Literature!). AND I interned at Canongate Books in the publicity department last summer, which is probably my favorite internship so far. In addition to my internships, I took classes on marketing, design, and editorial practice. I created content for, designed, and wrote a marketing plan for my publishing project, a 16 pages sample of a magazine I created. That was super fun!

This is the cover of my magazine, titled 808 Magazine

This is the cover of my magazine, titled 808 Magazine

I gained so much experience and had so many amazing opportunities during my program, and I got to live in Scotland for a year! I definitely don’t regret choosing this school.

What about you? Where did/do you go for school? Tell me in the comments!