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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
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Robbie Reyes met an unexpected fate in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×08, and the cast and crew weigh in on what’s next for Ghost Rider.

Robbie’s decision to take out Eli Morrow in an act of self-sacrifice has left fans (and characters) wondering if Ghost Rider still has a future on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, showrunners Maurissa Tancharoen and Jed Whedon were classically noncommittal — but their answer definitely gives fans something to think about.

“We get the sense that some of these otherworldly elements might be coming from this other place, wherever that may be,” Whedon says, citing Doctor Strange’s Dark Dimension.

Read full article

Robbie Reyes met an unexpected fate in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×08, and the cast and crew weigh in on what’s next for Ghost Rider.

Robbie’s decision to take out Eli Morrow in an act of self-sacrifice has left fans (and characters) wondering if Ghost Rider still has a future on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, showrunners Maurissa Tancharoen and Jed Whedon were classically noncommittal — but their answer definitely gives fans something to think about.

“We get the sense that some of these otherworldly elements might be coming from this other place, wherever that may be,” Whedon says, citing Doctor Strange’s Dark Dimension.

“We do get the sense that things can come from there, things live there. [Robbie has] been dragged to that place, wherever that is. What happens to him there or where that goes is a ‘wait and see.'”

agents of shield 4x08

Tancharoen adds that, though Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will move into a new “pod” of story when the show returns in January, “That doesn’t mean that [Robbie] is gone.”

“Or that he will not be involved at some point,” Whedon says. “But it will definitely have a different feel.”

As for Gabriel Luna, the actor who brought Robbie and Ghost Rider to blazing life is optimistic about his character’s future.

“I’m not too worried about it being finite at this point,” he tells EW.

After all, he and Robbie still have a few loose ends to tie up. “My car is still parked on the cargo bay on the Zephyr, so I have to come back for that,” Luna says. “I’m not going to leave her in the hands of these jokers.”

And though his character was left on an emphatic question mark, Luna appreciates the culmination of Robbie’s story.

“He makes a really great heroic choice, and he makes it while in a form that usually has all the power,” he says. “So that’s really, really cool. I’m really excited to see how that plays out. It’s a first for us, in terms of story, actually seeing a decision being made while Robbie isn’t Robbie. That is pretty special.”

agents of shield 4x08

Luna is also looking forward to seeing the impact of Robbie’s apparent disappearance on Daisy Johnson.

“She seems to lose a lot of people,” he observes. “Even though we just met, we built this understanding between each other because of similarities in our lives, and we leave her in a moment of questioning and of hoping that this isn’t the end for Robbie.”

And the actor, like Daisy, and like all good constituents of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., has faith in a certain former Director.

“Agent Phil Coulson comes in and drops knowledge like a clumsy librarian, as he tends to do, and lifts her spirits and says to her, ‘I don’t think this is the last we’ll see of him,'” Luna says. “So that’s a good sign for everyone who loves the Ghost Rider.”

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns on Jan. 10, 2017.

What do you think of Ghost Rider’s fate on ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’?

The biggest online retailer in the world has revealed the best-selling books of 2016, showing what Americans dived into most over the past year.

Can you guess? Can you guess the #1 best-selling book of 2016?

We’ll give you another second to think about it.

Read full article

The biggest online retailer in the world has revealed the best-selling books of 2016, showing what Americans dived into most over the past year.

Can you guess? Can you guess the #1 best-selling book of 2016?

We’ll give you another second to think about it.

Yes, duh, it’s Harry Potter eight (or at least the book marketed to be the “eighth story”), The Cursed Child. The script book that some people want to burn at the stake is the top selling book of 2016. Amazon says Cursed Child is the first script book to make one of their year-end Top 20 lists.

harry-potter-cursed-child-script

Adult novels mostly eat up the list’s top 20 spots, with the exception being the latest Diary of a Wimpy Kid novel. Take a look:

Best-selling books of 2016

1. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts 1 & 2, Special Rehearsal Edition Script by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany
2. When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
3. The Whistler by John Grisham
4. The Last Mile (Amos Decker series) by David Baldacci
5. Killing the Rising Sun: How America Vanquished World War II Japan by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard
6. Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance
7. Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty
8. Night School: A Jack Reacher Novel by Lee Child
9. The Black Widow: Book 16 of Gabriel Allon Series by Daniel Silva
10. Diary of a Wimpy Kid #11: Double Down by Jeff Kinney
11. 15th Affair (Women’s Murder Club) by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
12. Before the Fall by Noah Hawley
13. Fool Me Once by Harlan Coben
14. Crisis of Character: A White House Secret Service Officer Discloses His Firsthand Experience with Hillary, Bill, and How They Operate by Gary J. Byrne
15. The Wrong Side of Goodbye: A Harry Bosch Novel by Michael Connelly
16. The Magnolia Story by Chip Gaines and Joanna Gaines
17. The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney
18. One with You: Book 5 of A Crossfire Series by Sylvia Day
19. The Obsession by Nora Roberts
20. Everything We Keep by Kerry Lonsdale

Purchase any of the books on Amazon!

Meanwhile, the kids and teens best-selling books list shows a variety of favorites we’ve loved here on Hypable this year, including new entries from Rick Riordan, Kiera Cass, and Cassandra Clare. In addition, two more Harry Potter books (the Fantastic Beasts script book and the Chamber of Secrets Illustrated Edition) join Cursed Child.

Best-selling kids books of 2016

hidden-oracle-book-cover

1. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts 1 & 2, Special Rehearsal Edition Script by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany
2. Diary of a Wimpy Kid #11: Double Down by Jeff Kinney
3. The Trials of Apollo, Book 1: The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan
4. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay by J.K. Rowling
5. Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, Book 2: The Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan
6. The Last Star: The Final Book of The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
7. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: The Illustrated Edition (Harry Potter, Book 2) by J.K. Rowling and Jim Kay
8. The Crown (The Selection) by Kiera Cass
9. Empire of Storms: Book 5 of Throne Of Glass Series by Sarah J. Maas
10. Lady Midnight: Book 1 of The Dark Artifices by Cassandra Clare
11. Take Heart, My Child: A Mother’s Dream by Ainsley Earhardt and Kathryn Cristaldi
12. Glass Sword (Red Queen) by Victoria Aveyard
13. Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier
14. A Court of Mist and Fury: Book 2 of A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
15. Gravity Falls: Journal 3 by Alex Hirsch and Rob Renzetti
16. Calamity (The Reckoners) by Brandon Sanderson
17. Give Please a Chance by Bill O’Reilly and James Patterson
18. Pax by Sara Pennypacker and Jon Klassen
19. The Thank You Book (An Elephant and Piggie Book) by Mo Willems
20. Broken Prince: Book 2 of The Royals Series by Erin Watt

Cursed Child was Amazon’s top-selling book overall, the top-selling Kids & Teens book, the most wished for book, and the most gifted book. Damn.

A new Fifty Shades Darker trailer was released on Wednesday and ups the sexy for the sequel.

Ana and Christian are getting back together in the Fifty Shades of Grey sequel, but the former has a couple of new rules: No secrets, way less BDSM. Christian agrees, but new problems come to light: Is someone from the millionaire’s past haunting him?

Read full article

A new Fifty Shades Darker trailer was released on Wednesday and ups the sexy for the sequel.

Ana and Christian are getting back together in the Fifty Shades of Grey sequel, but the former has a couple of new rules: No secrets, way less BDSM. Christian agrees, but new problems come to light: Is someone from the millionaire’s past haunting him?

Dakota Johnson continues to bring a fun vibe to Ana Steele, playing the awkward lines with self awareness better than Kristen Stewart ever did as Bella in Twilight. “Have dinner with me,” Christian begs. “Okay fine, I will have dinner with you, because I’m… hungry,” Ana replies. The line could come off corny if executed poorly, but Dakota has a strong hold on playing this character for fun.

Tickets for Fifty Shades Darker are now on sale. Check out a new poster for the movie below:

fifty-shades-darker-poster-2

The Fifty Shades Darker synopsis reads, “When a wounded Christian Grey tries to entice a cautious Ana Steele back into his life, she demands a new arrangement before she will give him another chance. As the two begin to build trust and find stability, shadowy figures from Christian’s past start to circle the couple, determined to destroy their hopes for a future together.”

The movie hits theaters this Valentine’s Day. It stars Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Eric Johnson, Jennifer Ehle, Victor Rasuk, Luke Grimes, Rita Ora, Eloise Mumford, Max Martini, Bella Heathcote, Kim Basinger and Marcia Gay Harden, and is directed by James Foley.