Victoria Schwab: A Gathering of Shadows Launch

Yesterday I had the pleasure of traveling to Nashville to attend the launch for Victoria Scbwab’s newest book A Gathering of Shadows. It’s the sequel to A Darker Shade of Magic. I wasn’t sure if I was able to because the weather had been uncooperative all day and right when we started the drive out there it started pouring rain. Luckily it turned into a steady rain about thirty minutes into the drive.
I haven’t been able to attend one of Victoria’s event’s since the launch party for The Archived and I was so excited to make it out there.

Four months have passed since the shadow stone fell into Kell’s possession. Four months since his path crossed with Delilah Bard. Four months since Rhy was wounded and the Dane twins fell, and the stone was cast with Holland’s dying body through the rift, and into Black London.

In many ways, things have almost returned to normal, though Rhy is more sober, and Kell is now plagued by his guilt. Restless, and having given up smuggling, Kell is visited by dreams of ominous magical events, waking only to think of Lila, who disappeared from the docks like she always meant to do. As Red London finalizes preparations for the Element Games—an extravagant international competition of magic, meant to entertain and keep healthy the ties between neighboring countries—a certain pirate ship draws closer, carrying old friends back into port.

But while Red London is caught up in the pageantry and thrills of the Games, another London is coming back to life, and those who were thought to be forever gone have returned. After all, a shadow that was gone in the night reappears in the morning, and so it seems Black London has risen again—meaning that another London must fall.

I loved getting to hear Victoria talk about her process for writing. As an aspiring author myself it’s always great to get advice from author’s that you admire and this was no different.

Someone in the audience asked what advice Victoria would give to people who want to be writers. One of the things she said was to make it to the end. I loved this advice because it is so true. You can’t do anything unless you get to the end. Once that happens you can go back and work on what you already have, you can spend the time to shape it and make it better. You can’t do any of that unless you already have the words on the page.
Another person asked her about world building and I loved her answer. This is something that I misunderstood until about a year ago and Victoria explained it so well. In the Shades of Magic world, it’s not the location or the physical geometry that makes the worlds so rich, it’s their relationship to the magic within them. That is such a fantastic way to build and create worlds. Too many people focus on other things when building worlds, I know I am guilty of focusing only on what something looks like instead of how something functions. The actual workings of the world are so much more important that what something looks like. Something can look pretty, but it’s not going to mean anything if it actually doesn’t work.
It was so cool getting to go to this event. The first time I got to see Victoria was 4.5 years ago when The Near Witch was released. I love that book so much! As as I was writing this I went back through my blog to get pictures from other times I’ve gotten to see Victoria. There are so many awesome things she has done for me that I totally forgot about! She was one of the very first interview’s I ever did for my website, The Near Witch was the very first giveaway I ever did. She also was the second blog tour that I ever organized! It was for the paperback release of The Near Witch (are you guys noticing the trend here? I love that book!) She took part in my first ever Birthday Bash post. I had to take time off from events during my last two years of college, but now that I’ve graduated I am back! And I am so happy that one of my first events after graduation was for Victoria Schwab’s A Gathering of Shadows

August 2011

November 2011

Yallfest also includes That time I hunted down cake pops for Victoria Schwab

February 2015

First Look! Ashes in the Snow

You guys, it’s here! It’s finally here! I am still amazed that they are FINALLY filming this movie. I have been waiting for this moment since the second I read the book in 2011. I have shown love for this book and this film so many times on this site and it’s not going to stop. If you haven’t read Between Shades of Gray yet then I suggest running out to get it. If you can’t buy it new then buy it used or go to your local library. Libraries are often forgot about now, but they are such great resources.

The link to The Hollywood Reporter for the picture:


I am so excited for this and I hope you will all support such an important story as well.

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

How lucky are we all to have people like Ruta Sepetys in the world who refuse to allow us to forget humanity’s tragic past? With her newest novel Salt to the Sea we are forced once again to examine things that history would prefer we forgot. World War II and all the atrocities that went with it are an ugly stain in the twentieth century. All throughout my school career I’ve heard what was done to the Jews in Europe and how they were slaughtered simply for what they believed in. What I had never heard about until I read Between Shades of Gray was what happened to the people of the Baltics. Their story is something we were not allowed to know. Just like the story of the Wilhelm Gustloff was not something we were allowed to know.
It was a single moment in history that killed thousands of people and yet it took until Ruta told me about it for me to learn about it. We’ve had tons of movies and books and specials about the Titanic hitting an iceberg and sinking. On that ship between 1,500 and 1,700 people perished in the ice-cold sea. The Wilhelm Gustloff sinking by a Russain submarine caused around 9,000 deaths. This was wartime though, the Germans couldn’t report about the sinking of this ship because it would cause those fighting for Hitler to lose hope so they let the memories of all the victims drown too. I live in a 2016 world and I had never heard of this until Ruta mentioned it, most people have never heard of it at all. When I got to the point of the sinking in the book some of the characters mentioned how this was going to be huge news and how no one would be able to forget it. That part hit me more than any other part of this story. It should have been news. We should not have forgotten it, but we did.
This is a heartbreaking story of truth that has been covered up for so long. It’s part of our history and I knew going into this book that history is sometimes ugly and Ruta was not going to cover that up. She does a fantastic job of showing up the realities of the lives of people living in Europe during the war. It makes you wonder how many other stories are out there that we don’t know about yet. How many more voices are begging to be heard?