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Snow Like Ashes is the debut novel from Sara Raasch. Featuring a strong female heroine, magic, and a kingdom struggling to survive, Snow Like Ashes should be on everyone’s reading list.

Synopsis

A heartbroken girl. A fierce warrior. A hero in the making.

Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now, the Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.

Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee, raised by the Winterians’ general, Sir. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, and future king, Mather — she would do anything to help her kingdom rise to power again.

So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore Winter’s magic, Meira decides to go after it herself. Finally, she’s scaling towers, fighting enemy soldiers, and serving her kingdom just as she’s always dreamed she would. But the mission doesn’t go as planned, and Meira soon finds herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics – and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.

Sara Raasch’s debut fantasy is a lightning-fast tale of loyalty, love, and finding one’s destiny.

"Snow Like Ashes"

Interview with Sara Raasch

Tell us 5 random facts about yourself.

I have an unhealthy obsession with Zutara (the Zuko/Katara pairing from Avatar: The Last Airbender); my husband and I named our cat after Ezio from Assassin’s Creed; during college, I worked as a marketing writer for a Russian travel agency (and still get all squishy whenever Russian history/culture is discussed); I have three tattoos — two quotes from books/poems, one of an iris; and my favorite season is autumn (winter is a close second though!)

Why do you feel you had to tell this story?

This story has been a part of me for half my life — I started writing the first draft when I was around twelve years old, and I’ll be twenty-five when Snow Like Ashes hits shelves. No matter what other projects I worked on, these characters and this world always screamed at me from the sidelines. The loudest screamer, Meira, the main character, demanded she share her story with the world — a story of triumphing over obstacles (internal and external), a story of coming to terms with different kinds of love and how they fit into our lives, and, most of all, a story of perseverance.

What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author?

Any criticism about the world building. Not because it was painful to hear, but because building a world is HARD. Every time my editor/agent would point out holes in my world, I’d of course be grateful for their advice and know they were right about what needed to be changed — but in my head, I’d be more like Jack Sparrow in POTC: “Stop blowing holes in my ship!”

"Sara Raasch"What has been the best compliment?

At this stage, I’m thrilled to tears simply by hearing that people are excited for my book! I still have a hard time grasping the fact that OTHER PEOPLE will get to explore a world that has only been in my head for so long. Every time someone says they’re looking forward to SLA, I always have a moment of “Really?? Me too!”

Do you most relate to your main characters, or your secondary characters?

I definitely relate to Meira most. She is so passionate about the things she wants in the same way I was passionate about getting published. There’s a line in Snow Like Ashes that perfectly encapsulates both her journey as well as my own:

“Someday we will be more than words in the dark.”

A battle cry of hope; a promise that things will get better. Whenever things got hard with publishing — I got rejections, the book wasn’t cooperating, everything just sucked — I’d remember that line, and I’d remember Meira’s unstoppable stubbornness, and it would help me keep moving forward, fighting for my own someday.

What is easier to write: The first line or the last line?

For me, beginnings trip me up the most — everything from the first line to about 1/3 of the way into the book gets rewritten more times than I like to remember. This, I feel, is why Godiva Lava Cake Truffles exist.

What are you working on now?

Right now I am working on editing Snow Like Ashes’ sequel while also drafting the third and final book in the trilogy. The timing of books is kind of wonky — I have all these epic sequel feelings but no one has even read SLA itself yet, so I have no one to make inaudible squealing noises with. Publishing likes to leave you alone in a corner with your feelings for way, way too long — exhibit A is this cover reveal!

I’ve been sitting on this beauty for MONTHS, and I’m pretty certain my husband got tired of me showing him my cover and giggling incessantly. Now that I get to share it with EVERYONE and squeal publicly…DUDE. The dam of joy has burst!

About Sara Raasch

Sara Raasch has known she was destined for bookish things since the age of five, when her friends had a lemonade stand and she tagged along to sell her hand-drawn picture books too. Not much has changed since then — her friends still cock concerned eyebrows when she attempts to draw things and her enthusiasm for the written word still drives her to extreme measures. Her debut YA fantasy, Snow Like Ashes, the first in a trilogy, comes out October 14, 2014 from Balzer + Bray. It does not feature her hand-drawn pictures.

Places to find Sara Raasch and information on Snow Like Ashes
Website
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Uh oh — fans of Nick and Jess aren’t going to like this news! Megan Fox is returning to New Girl in season 6 for a major arc.

Last season, Megan Fox stepped in to fill in Jess’ place while Zooey Deschanel was on maternity leave. During that time, Fox’s character Regan grew quite close to Nick! They even ended up going to Cece and Schmidt’s wedding together and made plans for the summer. With awful timing too, since it seemed like Jess was just about ready to admit her feelings for Nick.

Now TV Line is reporting that Fox will be returning for a huge story arc in New Girl season 6. It’s believed that Nick will return home from his summer with Regan alone, but she will appear around the middle of the season. The timing of her appearance is due to Fox’s own pregnancy with her third child.

If we had to guess, we’d say that the writers will definitely be throwing some angst into the script. It always seems like either Jess or Nick is pining for the other while they’re in a relationship. Will Jess try to get over her feelings for Nick with someone else? Or will she just try to show him why they should be together? Fans will have to wait and see when the show returns!

New Girl season 6 returns to Fox on September 20 at 8:30 p.m. ET!

Are you excited to see Megan Fox return to ‘New Girl’?

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Tyler Hoechlin as Superman! We have our first look at the Man of Steel on Supergirl.

Supergirl has released its first look at Teen Wolf alum Tyler Hoechlin as the Man of Steel. Hoechlin will appear in the first two episodes of Supergirl season 2, and he and Kara won’t be completely on the same page.

“Clark has a very different experience of what it means to have super powers on earth,” EP Sarah Schechter said at SDCC. “There’s some head-butting and philosophical approaches that are different. We’ll get into that.”

Check out the shot of the super-cousins below. The Superman suit was designed by Kiersten Ronning, the Supergirl costume designer.

Supergirl season 2 Superman

Clark Kent/Superman appeared in a mostly off-screen capacity in season 1 as Supergirl sought to keep the focus on Kara and establish her as the hero of her own story. With Kara’s story now established and the audience invested in her as a person, the show will be bringing in her famous cousin.

“In season 1, the show is about Kara and the show is about Supergirl. It would confuse matters to have Superman there,” Schechter explained. “This show is about family, the family you make as an adult and the family you came from. It makes sense for Kara to reconnect with him now.”

Hoechlin previously said of his approach to Clark/Superman:

“I don’t think that I’m going to try to take any inspiration from previous ones. For me it’s more about finding who he is in this story that we’re telling, and pulling that from the tradition of Superman as a whole, so I really want to be able to get through as many of the comics and things that I haven’t seen and really pull from things like that, and then within the story that we’re telling, find how that best serves that story.”

Supergirl season 2 premieres Monday, October 10 at 8:00 p.m. ET on The CW.

What do you think of Superman’s look for ‘Supergirl’?

Intellectual property law may prevent Stephen Colbert of The Colbert Report from appearing on The Late Show, but it cannot stop his identical twin cousin.

Last week, Stephen Colbert brought a familiar face to visit The Late Show. Tucked away in the woods living happily ever after with Jon Stewart was Colbert’s character, host of The Colbert Report, champion of America, Her Excellency The Rev. Sir Doctor Stephen Tyrone Mos Def Colbert, D.F.A., Heavyweight Champion of the World** featuring Flo Rida La Premiere Dame De France. Or Stephen Colbert for short.

Colbert resisted bringing the character to The Late Show, choosing to introduce the world to the real Stephen Colbert. But the Republican National Convention selecting Donald Trump as their candidate for President demanded that Colbert dust off his Captain America shield and return to glory for one night only. And one night only is all we are going to see of that man.

Colbert late show colbert returns

Colbert announced on The Late Show that immediately after the live show on July 18, 2016, Viacom’s lawyers called up CBS and said that “the character Stephen Colbert is their intellectual property.” And so, Stephen Colbert revealed that Stephen Colbert, host of The Colbert Report would never be seen again.

Luckily, Stephen Colbert had an identical twin cousin! How might that work, you ask? Well Colbert’s mother was an identical twin and she and her sister married identical twins and gave birth at the same time and both named their sons Stephen Colbert. Rest assured attorneys, the two men are very different people. The banned Colbert went to Dartmouth, the cousin Colbert only applied there. The banned Colbert wears smart fitting suits, the cousin Colbert prefers a breezy American flag button down. Night and day those two.

Colbert late show werd

Real Stephen Colbert (are you confused yet?) asked cousin Colbert if he’d be willing to make himself available for future appearances on The Late Show, a task cousin Colbert was more than willing to take on. Loopholes!

Another intellectual property to fall to the wayside was “The Word,” a segment Colbert revived from The Colbert Report to introduce the word, “Trumpiness.” There’s a way around this one too. Introducing, “The Werd.”

Watch all of the Stephen Colberts in action and get the lowdown on “The Lesser of Two Evils” in the full segment from July 27.

The Late Show continues its live coverage of the Democratic National Convention tonight at whatever time Hillary Clinton is done speaking on CBS.