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TOG US
[Note: I originally wrote this post on November 24th, 2010. Today I sat down to write a Thanksgiving post about everything I'm grateful for this year--which is a very, very long list, as this has been a very, very good year for me--but I kept circling back to this post, this story. My grandmother's story. Her story is one I have been proud and honored to tell to anyone who will listen. So I'm reposting it today, exactly as I wrote it back in 2010. It's a long post, and sometimes a sad one, but in rereading it today, I was again completely overwhelmed by the kindness and courage of strangers--the people to whom my family and I owe everything. We still don't know their names; we still don't know if they made it out of the war alive, or where they wound up living. But we are--and will always be--forever grateful.]

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Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday—mostly because I love to eat until I’m about to explode, but also because I love seeing my family. I love waking up on Thanksgiving morning to the smell of apple pie and the clamor of the Parade on TV. This is my first year not spending Thanksgiving on the East Coast—and my first year not sharing the holiday with my family, or my in-laws. It’ll just be me, Josh, and our dog—and while I’m excited for our first Thanksgiving as a married couple, I definitely feel like there’s something missing.

When I sat down today to write a post about what I’m grateful for this year, I was overwhelmed by the sheer number of wonderful things in my life. My book deal, my agent, my friends, my husband, my family. The privilege of living in America and having food to eat and clean water to drink. I tried to find some common thread between them all—some way to make this post more than a list of things for which I’m grateful—and when I tried to think of some connection, some point that they all share in common, I thought of my grandmother, Camilla.

My grandmother is one of my favorite people in the world. She's warm, enthusiastic, clever, and has a passion for life and new experiences that I've rarely found in others. But her survival—and my entire life—can be attributed to the kindness and bravery of strangers. And this Thanksgiving, I’d like to give thanks to those people. It’s a long story, and not always a happy one, but I feel some amount of duty to tell it today, for this holiday, in honor of the people who aren't here to do so.

In 1930, my grandmother was born into a well-off Jewish family in Frankfurt, Germany. She and her little brother, Manfred, had a happy early childhood, complete with wonderful, doting parents (Chaskel and Bertha Tydor). But as the Nazis rose to power, their world became increasingly darker and deadlier: my great-grandfather’s car was seized by the authorities, his factory was boycotted, and my grandmother was banned from her local swimming pool.

During 1936-1938, my great-grandfather made plans for his family to emigrate to England to escape the growing anti-Semitism. He liquidated their assets and shipped valuables like jewelry, leather-bound first-edition books, and Leika cameras to his friends in Holland and Switzerland for later recovery. They finally attained their papers, as well as papers for my great-grandmother’s parents (who lived in Poland). But my great-grandmother's family refused to abandon their textile factory in Poland--and my great-grandmother refused to leave her parents in Europe. So they remained in Frankfurt. All of them.

In October 1938, my great-grandfather was deported to Poland.

A month later, my grandma (along with her mother and brother) endured the horrors of Kristallnacht. She still does not remember the details of that night.

While in Poland, my great-grandfather managed to write to his wife and begged her to send the children out of Germany. She didn't. But in December of 1938, while on her way home from school, my grandmother was viciously stoned by people in the street. One stone hit her in the head and knocked her unconscious. My great-grandmother stopped objecting after that.

So, in March of 1939, my grandmother and her little brother, along with other Jewish children, boarded a train to Belgium. She had no idea that she would never see her mother again.

The Gestapo arrested my great-grandfather and deported him to Buchenwald, one of the most notorious concentration camps. With my grandmother and her brother off to Belgium, my great-grandmother raced to her parents in Poland.

My grandmother and her brother were escorted from Frankfurt to Belgium by the Kindertransport, an organization that smuggled refugee children out of Nazi-occupied countries. My grandmother was placed with a family in Brussels, while her little brother went to a children’s group home elsewhere in Belgium.

From there, they lost track of each other.

The Catholic family that welcomed my grandmother also sheltered two other German Jewish girls. In her private memoir of her journey, my grandmother wrote:

They…operated a Catholic day school within their townhouse. I remember sitting in on classes and learning French. Occasionally, I went with the family to church, but only if I wanted to go. I recollect [their son] curiously asking his parents why I could not be Catholic and they answered, ‘Because she is Jewish and we are taking care of her for her parents.’
She remained with that family for about fifteen months before the Nazi occupation of Belgium in May of 1940, and heard nothing about her brother's welfare, or the fate of her parents. During the aerial bombardment of the city, they hid in the basement, and that very night, the parents decided to flee to France. They also decided that they would bring my grandmother with them. The other two Jewish girls were sent to a refugee organization.

My grandmother wrote of their escape:

I shall never forget the trip from Belgium to the Southern part of France. We went by car and the highway was jammed with thousands of others who were fleeing as well. At first we rode in the car and progress was slow, at the rate of five to ten miles an hour. We soon found we had to push the car a great deal to save on gasoline. Then the Nazis began strafing the cars and people who were on the road, and it was no longer safe to stay on the highway. The first couple of days we spent out of sight, in the ditches along the road, driving or pushing the car when there were no German airplanes in the skies. The last part of the trip to the French border was made on foot during the safety of the night. At the border we abandoned the car and took a train to the interior of France.

It was then that this wonderful family, who had brought me to safety with them, realized that I, as a Jew, was a danger to them. They turned me over to the authorities of Oeuvre de Secours aux Enfants (OSE), a children’s aid service.
She was taken to Masgelier, a castle in Southern France, which the OSE had converted into a children’s shelter. And after living in Masgelier for about a year, despite no news and little hope for over two years, she learned from a social worker that her brother, Manfred, was still alive.

And, of all the places in Europe he could have been, of all the horrible, unspeakable things that happened to so many Jewish children, by some stroke of luck, of fate, of some higher power, they found Manfred living in France.

After the German occupation, Manfred had been transported to Southern France, where he was currently living at the Chateau de La Hille, another shelter for refugee children. Thanks to the hard, tireless work of social workers, plans were made to have my grandmother and her brother quickly reunited at Masgelier.

With the advancing war, many brave, selfless, and incredible efforts were made to bring the children out of danger, often to the UK or America, and my grandmother soon learned that she had been placed on a list of children who were to be evacuated to the latter. But her brother hadn’t yet been brought to Masgelier. In fact, he wasn't on any list to get out of the country.

After so many years without him, my grandmother refused to leave her brother behind, and the ship to America departed without her.

But, again, by some stroke of luck or fate, when Manfred finally did arrive at Masgelier, they made it into the last major transport of children to the United States.

In August of 1941, my grandmother and her brother, along with fifty-one other children from Masgelier, left by train for Marseilles. Once in Marseilles, they received the inoculations and vaccinations necessary for emigration, and affidavits that secured their travels. They then took a train to Lisbon, Portugal, and on September 9th, they boarded the S.S. Serpa Pinto to the United States.

Two weeks later, they arrived in New York Harbor on September 24th, 1941. My grandmother recalls:

“The most vivid picture for me, as a ten year-old child, was sailing into the harbor and seeing the Statue of Liberty. The passengers aboard came out on deck to stare and gaze at Lady Liberty. In my mind, it symbolized safety.”
They passed through Ellis Island, and were taken to Pleasantville, NY, where they were quarantined before being placed in foster homes. Refusing to be separated from her brother again, my grandmother demanded the caseworkers place her in a home with her brother.

On Thursday, September 25th, 1941, a day after arriving in America, she wrote this letter to her parents in Europe:
My beloved parents,

We are no longer on the ship, no longer on the train, but we are now in New York…In America. We arrived the 24th of September. I am in a children’s home for 12 girls. The boys are not in the same home. I hope that you, too, my good beloved parents, will get a visa to come to America. We are very glad that we are here. We are always very well and I hope that you, too, are very well. The address here is: Pleasantville Cottage School, Pleasantville, New York. Thousands, thousands upon thousands regards and kisses to you today.

From your daughter who always loves you,

Camilla
My grandmother was then placed into the home of a Jewish Family—the Lapides family—in Rochester, New York. While she adjusted somewhat easily, and quickly became fluent in English, her brother had a difficult time. My grandmother wrote: “I had adjusted to these hardships and challenges because there were no other choices.”

The Jewish Social Services Bureau visited their home at least once a month, and one of those social workers wrote in January of 1942:
Neither child has spoken of his or her experiences prior to their coming to this country. They also would not answer the questions of their foster parents regarding their past. It is as though they were frightened into silence and still do not feel secure and free enough to talk about what happened to them. They rarely mention their parents. Camilla regularly writes her weekly letter to her parents, but Manfred had to be coaxed before he will write his.
It was years later that my grandmother finally learned the fate of her mother.

After arriving in Poland, my great-grandmother moved in with her parents and helped run their textile business. Their factory was commandeered to make Nazi uniforms, but they were allowed to remain and run the factory. In 1941, my great-grandmother learned that her children had been placed on a ship to New York, and began corresponding with her friends and family in NYC with the intention of immigrating to the US. However, money was a huge obstacle, and though an aunt planned to help her, the funds had to be in foreign currency in order for her to purchase a ticket.

But before she could receive the money, the Nazis discovered that my great-grandmother’s family had been falsifying factory records to help Jews escape.

My great-grandmother and her family were arrested, and sent to an extermination camp in Lublin (Majdanek). There they were all murdered.

Living with the Lapides family, my grandmother also finally managed to learn what happened to her father. He’d been sent to Buchenwald, then transferred to Auschwitz, and then was sent back to Buchenwald. And when the war was over, after five and a half years in concentration camps, my great-grandfather walked out of Buchenwald.

My great-grandfather is an inspiration in his own right. He attributes his survival to faith—and even managed to continue practicing his religion right under the noses of the Nazi guards. And when the American army liberated Buchenwald on April 11th, 1945, he remained at the camp to help the surviving children get transferred to Switzerland and France. One of those children was a 16 year-old named Elie Wiesel.

But when the Swiss resisted the influx of refugees, and when it became apparent that many children, teens, and even some young adults would not get the help and sanctuary they so desperately needed, my great-grandfather began forging papers and medical records to get the surviving kids into Switzerland. In the end, he forged documents for 500 children.

One of his daughters from this second marriage, Judy, has written a novel about his incredible survival story, as well as several articles on how he endured Buchenwald, and how he forged those papers to save the children.

My great-grandfather eventually found his own children, thanks to the hard work and correspondence of many, many people. However, before he journeyed to see them, he escorted the surviving Buchenwald group to Palestine to build a Jewish state, where he established Kibbutz Buchenwald.

Once the kibbutz was settled, he lived with his late wife’s brother and family in Tel Aviv. Dwelling in Palestine, he rebuilt his life while raising money to not only see his children, but to also bring them to live with him in the new Jewish homeland.

In 1946, he was finally able to visit them in Rochester. But, by then my grandmother and her brother had become so enmeshed with their new, American life that they did not want to join him in Israel.

However, my grandmother did visit him in Tel Aviv for six weeks, and though he had high hopes that she’d join him there permanently, my grandmother chose to remain in America in order to attend college and become a United States citizen at the age of 21. For years, my great-grandfather traveled between Israel and New York, and he eventually remarried and attained a permanent visa to the US.

In the epilogue of her family memoir, my grandmother wrote:
I have been asked, what were my feelings when my mother put my brother and I on a train to an unknown destination in Belgium? Was I scared when I evacuated Belgium while the German airplanes strafed the evacuation lines along the roads? What was it like to be in a group home with children from all over German-occupied Europe in France? The answer is: ‘I don’t remember.’ No, I do not recall feeling scared, crying, or feeling lonesome for my parents—I do not remember emotions.
My grandmother married, and gave birth to my father in 1952. She then had three more children, and now has nine grandchildren. Her brother, Manfred, attended M.I.T., and earned a Masters from Carnegie Mellon.

To this day, she travels around the world, and just came back from a trip to Nepal, where she flew around Mt. Everest, and rode an elephant in a river.

She’s turning 80 a few days, and shows no signs of slowing down.

On the final page of her memoir, my grandmother writes:

“My legacy is, of course, the four children I have been blessed to have…They gave me pride and joy while they grew up and continue to in their adult years through their many accomplishments…Their children, my grandchildren, are the joy of my life…You all mean the world to me, and being the fatalist that I am, I am certain my journey to America was so that you could all be in my life.”


So, this Thanksgiving, I’d like to thank those nameless people who made that possible. The people who hid my grandmother and got her safely across Europe. To the families, to the teachers, to the everyday people who concealed my grandmother and other children of strangers despite the unspeakable consequences. To the social workers who went beyond the call of duty to reunite two seemingly ordinary Jewish children and kept them together after that. To all of the people who worked so tirelessly to reunite my family. You’ll never know what good your kindness and bravery brought into the world—what joy your selflessness gave birth to.

Countless Jewish children didn’t make it out of Europe—but my grandmother did. Thanks to the courage of strangers.

Maas family, May 30th 2010My grandmother’s story is my legacy—and I consider it my privilege and duty to pass on her story, and the story of all those selfless people who helped her, to my future children, who will hopefully tell it to their children, just as my parents told it to me.

My family has never learned the names of the people who saved my grandmother and her brother, but we still honor them. Their incredible courage in the face of great evil, their unshakable conviction of basic human decency, their willingness to risk everything because of their firm belief in the difference between what is right and what is easy—all of that inspires me every day. I have had a wonderful, magical, incredibly privileged life because of those strangers.


So on Thanksgiving, when I sit down for my meal and have my beautiful family present via Skype, I’ll give thanks to them.

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Upcoming Events at YALLFest & NCTE!

TOG US
So, I just turned in my second round of edits on Throne of Glass numero 4, which means I'm back to drafting the sequel to A Court of Thorns and Roses, and maaaaaybe drafting up some new Starkillers stuff with my best bud, Susan Dennard. (If you have no idea what Starkillers is, click here. It's basically a free serialized space opera that we've been writing/sharing for a while.) I've been crazy-busy juggling deadlines, so I apologize if I've been slow to respond to emails/asks/tweets! But despite the deadline craziness, one of the highlights of my week/month/year was hearing that Heir of Fire is a Goodreads Choice Awards nominee--YAYYYYYY!

Anyway! I thought I'd pop in to mention a few exciting upcoming events!

THIS SATURDAY (November 8th), I'll be at YALLFest in Charleston, SC! I'm so, so, SO ridiculously excited to attend, especially because I'm on some truly amazing panels (and will probably be fangirling all over the place over some of my fellow panelists).

Screen Shot 2014-11-05 at 1.24.29 PM

1PM: Outlandish! Panel: YA fantasy romance authors ken the powerful Outlander Effect.
Location: Charleston Music Hall
Panelists: Jennifer Armentrout, Leigh Bardugo, Kiera Cass, Susan Ee, Marie Lu, Sarah J. Maas, & Morgan Rhodes
Moderator: Melissa de la Cruz

3 PM: Incurable Romantics Panel: The New Romantics--we've come a long way, baby!
Location: Charleston Music Hall
Panelists: Lauren Billings & Christina Hobbs (Christina Lauren), Ann Brashares, Kiera Cass, Becca Fitzpatrick, Michelle Hodkin, & Sarah J. Maas.
Moderator: Lauren Oliver

4 PM: Signing
Location: Big Tent in BBB Parking Lot, 420 King Street

Hope to see you there!

And then on November 21st, I'll be at NCTE in Washington, D.C.! I'm on the "Capturing Our Hearts and Leaving Us Coming Back For More: Popular Authors of Series Novels For Middle Grade and Young Adult Readers" panel, from 12:30-1:45 PM with Stephanie Perkins, Adam Rex, and Graham Salisbury (with a signing afterward). Yay!

Anddd I think that's it for the rest of my events for 2014! (I'll hopefully have info about my 2015 schedule soon!)


<3
TOG US
Okay, so I’m pretty sure that any intro I write will be skipped over (let’s be honest, you’re not even reading this, are you?), so I’ll put my commentary/excitement below (including some TOG4 info at the very bottom), BUT…We revealed the UK & US covers for my brand-new fantasy series, A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES, earlier today on USA Today & Sugarscape, and the former includes an interview with yours truly (along with some glimpses into what to expect in upcoming TOG books!).

And just because we've had some requests, here are the hi-res US & UK covers (click for the full image)! The differences between them are pretty small (mostly background & name placement), but I adore them both so, so, SOOOO much.

USA:
US ACOTAR

UK:
UK Acotar

So, to be honest, this might be my favorite cover of all my books so far. It’s gorgeous, detailed, lush, deadly… It’s like the illustrator reached right into the pages of the book and plucked out Feyre. (Including some spoiler-y elements regarding that tattoo!) In case you have ZERO idea what I’m talking about, here’s a nifty little synopsis (again, click for full-size):

Synopsis

And here are some fun, exciting facts about the series:

-A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES (aka Book 1) will be out on May 5th, 2015.

-Because A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES is a wee bit of a mouthful, we (AKA: my CPs, agent, publisher, hubby, dog, neighbors, people with common sense, etc.) usually just call it ACOTAR. :P

-I began writing ACOTAR in spring of 2009 and wrote the first draft in about 5 weeks (in an absolute FRENZY OF INSPIRATIONNN, I might add). Then I let it sit on my computer for 4 years, until we sold it in spring of 2013. During those years, I’d occasionally open up the manuscript to revise or tweak it or just reread it because I loved the characters and world of Prythian so much. So it’s super, SUPER surreal to have it actually be a BOOK with a REAL COVER.

-It’s a trilogy, and I’m currently drafting the sequel.

-It’s definitely intended for an older YA audience, so…there ARE some sexytimes. (AKA no fade to black.)

-There are several delicious dudes in this book, and if you want a glimpse of them, you can check out my Pinterest board for the series. There are also images of, you know, other characters and the world of Prythian. :P

Annnnd:

Because I’ve been getting these questions pretty often, I thought I’d clarify two things about the THRONE OF GLASS series:

1) It is NOT a trilogy. I know some retail sites mislabeled HEIR OF FIRE as the final book, but I can assure you it is NOT. I'm currently signed on for a six-book series, AND…

2) I’m working on Book 4 right now. If all goes according to plan (so, no official date yet), Book 4 should be out in Fall 2015.

And that’s it for now! Thanks, as always, for all of your incredible support and enthusiasm. You guys are the absolute BEST, and I can’t wait to share ACOTAR with you this May!!!
TOG US
So, this will be a super-quick update, since I’m finally back from tour….and juggling two intense deadlines PLUS all the drama/excitement of buying a house (...which is one of the most traumatic/miserable processes ever. UGHHGHGHG.). Just a heads up: I’ll probably be MIA online for the next several weeks, BUT I wanted to mention a few things before I vanish into the wilds of Deadline Land…

First of all, thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who came to one of my events in the UK & US!

I had an absolute blast meeting all of you—and, to be honest, I was totally NOT prepared for SO MANY of you to be at these events! Seriously, it blew my mind—and it meant so, so much to me that you guys were willing to wait in line for HOURS, that you brought me hand-written letters, and gave me the most beautiful and thoughtful gifts. I’ve only got one cup of tea in me at this point (side story: being in the UK for several weeks both cured my coffee addiction AND got me hooked on tea.), so I’m failing at articulating just how deeply it moved me to have you guys come to my events, but… Thank you. I had the best time, and I’ll never forget a moment of it. <3

And while I’m feeling slightly weepy… I don’t really have the words to express just how grateful I am, but getting the news that Heir of Fire / The Throne of Glass series debuted on The New York Times children’s series bestseller list at #4 was…overwhelming. To say the least.

True story: I started sobbing so uncontrollably that when I called my husband, he had no idea if I was crying happy or sad tears (since I was totally incapable of forming words or making any sound beyond weepy hu-hu-hu’s). And it was such a wonderful surprise to wake up the following morning to the news that Heir of Fire was also a USA Today Bestseller. I’ve pretty much spent the past week just staring & sighing at this little graphic Bloomsbury made me:

photo (73)

So, thank you guys so, so much for all that you’ve done for this series, for your support, enthusiasm, and overall awesomeness. Learning that HOF/TOG has remained on the NYT series bestseller list for a second week (at #8!) was BEYOND anything I’d hoped for, and just… Thank you. I’m honored to have you guys as readers, and getting to meet some of you while on tour this past month has been such a privilege and delight.

Annnnd before I go, since I got asked this a bunch at my various events, here are two pieces off my Heir of Fire playlist (with enough commentary to explain WHY posting the 500+ song playlist would take SO long)… I've mentioned them before on my blog, but now that the book is finally (finally!) out, I thought I'd share them again. I suggest listening to both as loudly as your speakers will allow. ;)

Both of these inspired Chapter 55, which is *probably* my favorite chapter/part of the book (though there are a few other close contenders), so…. SPOILERS AHEAD (though I’ll try to avoid specifics).

So, this track lines up with the Rowan scene on pages 470-473 (in both the UK & US editions). And even though it's called "What Are You Going To Do When You Are Not Saving The World?" I've unofficially retitled it for my HOF playlist to: "Rattle the Stars."



You can probably tell where/how this piece lines up with the text, and the build-up is pretty much note-for-note perfect with that scene ("A rumbling shook the earth..." on pg 471 = the 2:19 mark), but at the 2:37 mark, I imagine the music aligning with the sentence that begins: “As if in answer…”

And then that killer drum-beat moment at the 2:47ish range is 10000% when a certain someone puts their hands over the mouths of certain Big Bads & obliterates them.

And then there’s this piece. Officially, it's called "Shenzou" from the absolutely stunning Gravity soundtrack (by Steven Price). Unofficially, I totally call it "Do Not Let That Light Go Out."



This was one of the pieces that wound up forming the emotional backbone of this book. I can’t quite put my finger on why, but it’s still really rare for me to go a day or two without listening to this piece. Last year, when I got home after seeing Gravity (which was a film that profoundly moved me & I saw at a time when I desperately needed to hear/internalize its message), I immediately bought the soundtrack and sat at my desk, listening to this piece on repeat for HOURS.

And as I listened, the scene on page 473-475 began to form. I think the music speaks for itself (the 1:55-ish mark is totally “To whatever end?” and the 2:43-ish mark is the “I claim you, too” line, and the rest lines up perfectly with the remainder of the scene), but the swell of the music at the 3:25 mark will always remind me of this line (emphasis mine, obvs):

  • "Yet this was not the end—this was not her end. She had survived loss and pain and torture; she had survived slavery and hatred and despair; she would survive this, too. Because hers was not a story of darkness. So she was not afraid of that crushing black, not with the warrior holding her, not with the courage that having one true friend offered—a friend who made living not so awful after all, not if she were with him."


That was a paragraph that poured out of me, tapped from some emotional vein I’d never really dared open up, and is pretty much word-for-word identical to how it was written in the first draft.

I think it’s fairly obvious who inspired some of it, especially if you look at the dedication of the book, but… I wrote that scene in tears, completely overwhelmed with gratitude to have a friend like my soul-twin, Susan Dennard, in my life. Truth be told, there have been hard days and moments that I was only able to get through because I knew that Sooz was out there, because I knew she’d have my back no matter what, and that regardless of what happened, I could call her when it was over.

At it's heart, I honestly think Heir of Fire is a story about the power of friendship—about how it can change us, how it can heal parts of us we didn’t know were broken, and alter the course of our lives forever. How friendship can change the world. And when I hear this piece of music, I’m again transported to that moment when Aelin herself realizes that—when she embraces it, and chooses who she wishes to be and what her future will be like, knowing that every part of her, good and bad, is loved.

Annnnd now that I'm well and truly weepy, I'm going to catch up on Outlander (JAMIE!!! MY LOVE.) before Deadlines drag me back to work.

But just to reiterate: thank you, thank you, THANK YOU ALL for everything. You guys are incredible.

Even MORE UK & US Tour Info!

TOG US
Well, I'm days away from getting on the road for a solid month, so I thought I'd post all of my upcoming events for my UK & US Heir of Fire tours again, in one easy-to-find place! Because I'll be away for so long, I'll probably be pretty MIA in terms of replying to emails/tweets/asks/etc., but I'll do my best to respond as soon as I can!

Part of the reason why I'll be gone for so long is because I'll also be spending 9 days in Scotland, doing book research! Areas of Scotland have always reminded me of Terrasen (aka Celaena's home kingdom), and (not to give away any spoilers) I realized I really wanted/needed to explore it firsthand & see what inspires/strikes me. And parts of A Court of Thorns and Roses (side note: *that* is the official title of the book--not MORTAL.) were inspired by the UK as well, so...lots of note-taking & wandering awaits!

Anyway! I think I forgot to mention this last time, but... For those of you who have been asking & waiting & wishing for a Throne of Glass hardcover to match the Crown of Midnight & Heir of Fire hardcovers... Bloomsbury is rereleasing the Throne of Glass hardcover with the illustrated design! I am so, so, SO excited about this, you have no idea. It'll be available on September 2nd (the day HOF releases). Hooray!

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Annnnd here's my UK & US tour info!

UK TOUR : August 15th-21st:

(FYI: Because this is my only UK tour for 2014 and we wanted TOG readers to get a chance to have their books signed, early finished copies of Heir of Fire WILL be available at my signings!)

Friday, August 15th:
LonCon 3 – The 72nd World Science Fiction Convention
ExCeL London, Royal Victoria Dock, London E16 1XL

10:00 -11:00 am: Capital Suite 15: The Exceptional Girl Warrior panel
with Elisabeth Waters, John Dodd, Kate Elliott, Sarah Rees Brennan, Leigh Bardugo.

11:00 - 12:00: Capital Suite 1: Kill the Parents panel
with Todd McCaffrey, Leigh Bardugo, Grá Linnaea, Amy McCulloch.


Saturday, August 16th:
LonCon 3 – The 72nd World Science Fiction Convention
ExCeL London, Royal Victoria Dock, London E16 1XL

10am – 11am: Autographing Space: Signing session!

12pm – 1pm: London Suite 4: Kaffeeklatsch with author Michael Swanwick.


Sunday, August 17th:

Edinburgh International Book Festival
Box Office: boxoffice@edbookfest.co.uk or +44 (0)845 373 5888
https://www.edbookfest.co.uk/

2:30pm: Public event with author Justin Somper!
Venue: Peppers Theatre, Charlotte Square

3:30pm: Signing in the festival bookshop


Tuesday August 19th:

3pm: Signing at Waterstones Newcastle upon Tyne
Emerson Chambers, Blackett St, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7JF
Further details: 0191 261 7757
Event Details Here

6pm: Event with Leigh Bardugo at Seven Stories in Newcastle
Seven Stories, National Centre for Children's Books, Ouseburn Valley, Newcastle. NE1 2PQ
Tel: 0845 271 0777
Event Details Here


Wednesday August 20th:

12:30pm: Signing at Waterstones Leeds
93-97 Albion St, Leeds LS1 5JS
Further details: 0113 244 4588
Event Details Here

6:30pm: Event with Leigh Bardugo at Waterstones’ Liverpool One
12 College Lane, Liverpool L1 3DL
Event Details Here

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US TOUR: SEPTEMBER 2nd-13th:

Announcing: HEIR OF FIRE US Tour Dates!

TOG US
So, I’m finally back on the east coast, and in the process of house-hunting (it’s just as stressful as I’d expected it to be, but also fun & exciting), BUT I have a bunch of suuuuper-awesome THRONE OF GLASS news to share with you! US Tour Information! Reviews! Covers!

Before I dive into today’s big news (aka tour info), I have a few absolutely amazing reviews for HEIR OF FIRE to share with you guys!

First of all, HOF received a Top Pick rating from RT Magazine, which is just…beyond incredible. I’m honored & thrilled. (Click for a bigger image.)

RT Review 3

Then, it received a truly lovely review from School Library Journal, which has some spoiler-y stuff, SO I’m just going to post these tidbits:

  • “Readers will devour Maas’s latest entry. The plot remains fast paced, balancing scenes of intense action with emotionally wrenching interactions between characters. Intriguing backstories continue to develop, vacillating between thrilling and heartbreaking, leaving readers to guess where alliances truly lie. While the story continues to be told from multiple perspectives, the addition of new characters brings tangled new relationships and dimension to the plot. …A must-purchase for libraries…”

Annnnd lastly, it received a wonderful review from Kirkus (again, trimmed for spoilers and/or a bunch of synopsis stuff):

  • “…Tension snowballs into devastating twists and an absolutely riveting ending. Maas’ usual hallmarks—an epic fantasy setting and the little-exploited truth that platonic relationships can be more intense and compelling than romantic—are present in force. Will leave readers ravenous for more.”

So, thank you RT Magazine, SLJ, and Kirkus, for such fantastic, thoughtful reviews!

And speaking of HEIR OF FIRE… It’s been so hard keeping quiet regarding details about my upcoming US tour for the book, but I can finally, finally announce tour stops and dates! (Click for a larger image.)

HeirofFire_tourTwitter_a.jpg
You might notice that this year’s tour is a bit different from the one I had for CROWN OF MIDNIGHT. This year, I was fortunate enough to be able to invite my closest friends & favorite authors to join me at every stop, and I couldn’t be more excited about it! (Also, my publisher, Bloomsbury, is the GREATEST for making this happen.)

I’ll be kicking off the tour with a launch party at Books of Wonder (aka my childhood bookstore & one of my favorite places on the planet) in New York City with my two best friends, Susan Dennard and Alex Bracken, and then getting on the road for a few weeks! I cannot wait to see some of you at these stops—I have a feeling this tour is going to be a total blast. <3

(Also, I’ll have a final schedule for my upcoming UK tour in a week or two! Stay posted, because I’ll be adding more events to my preliminary list!)

Annnnd in case you missed it a few weeks ago, here are the GLORIOUS back covers for the US and UK editions of HEIR OF FIRE!

USA:
HeirOfFire_back_YS_reveal.jpg (1)

UK & ROW:
HOF BACK COVER.jpg (1)

YAYYYY!

TOG US
So, this is just a super-quick update to let you know that I might be a little MIA for the rest of the summer!

After six years in SoCal, I’m finally (finally!) moving back to the east coast! Long story short: my husband was offered a position in Philadelphia, and we jumped at the chance to move back. Honestly, we’ve both been wanting to return to the east coast for a few years now—not just to be closer to family & friends, but also because we actually miss everything about living there (...even winter).

If you’d asked me six years ago if I’d ever move back to the northeast, I would have said hell no, but… I slowly began realizing how much I missed it. How I missed things like rain. And thunderstorms. On the rare, RARE occasions when it rains in SoCal, I’d open up all the windows in my house so I could savor every sound & smell. That’s how much I missed it. And then seasons… Every fall, I’d find myself massively & deeply homesick for changing leaves & autumn atmosphere… And don’t get me started on the weirdness of the winter holidays in 80-degree weather. Nice for a few years, but…ultimately not for me.

So, I’m pretty ecstatic that as of this Saturday, I’ll be getting on a plane and going home. (Another plus of being in the Philly area: super-close to NYC, aka my hometown & one true love.)

When I’m not busy with moving & getting settled, I’ll be working on my edits for the fourth THRONE OF GLASS book, drafting the sequel to A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES (my new adult fantasy series), and preparing for my upcoming UK and US tours (details on those SOON!).

Andddd speaking of my books, Booklist gave HEIR OF FIRE a pretty damn awesome review (emphasis mine):


  • In the last installment of Maas’ best-selling series, Celaena discovered long-held secrets not only about her heritage and destiny but also her immense inborn power. Almost all of the tantalizing questions posed in that volume are answered in this hefty follow-up, and it doesn’t disappoint. After wallowing in hopelessness while on the run, Celaena is scooped up by a gruff fae warrior who helps her shape and control her terrifying power, a power great enough to crumble the tyrannical regime she served as King’s Champion. Meanwhile, Celaena’s friends secretly work together to undermine the wicked king’s unspeakable cruelty, and a legion of witches—perhaps the most fascinating characters so far—lie in wait to make their own power grab. … Maas has a screenwriter’s eye for plotting, and...the pages fly by. Series fans will be relieved to hear that this installment is only the halfway point, and thanks to Maas’ adroit plot maneuvers, well-wrought characters, and immersive world building, they’ll be positively hooked for the forthcoming volumes.


Excuse me for a moment while I freak a bit over the “and a legion of witches—perhaps the most fascinating characters so far” line. There’s lots to love about this review, but…that line is 100000% my favorite (…I think you guys know about my love for Manon/the Thirteen by now). So, thank you, Booklist, for such a lovely review!

I think that’s it for now! Between moving & being on deadline for a few projects, I’ll be online kinda sporadically for the rest of the summer, but I’ll pop back in to update you guys with any exciting TOG & ACOTAR news!

Annnnd here’s what I’m listening to as I finish packing up my house (oldies, but goodies--though be warned of fairly explicit language):






Um, I literally just realized how truly, truly explicit those songs are, so… if that sort of thing offends you, just pretend this is my packing song (technically, it IS on my “Get Your Ass Back To The East Coast” playlist—and is ALSO on my TOG Book 4 playlist):

TOG US
So, I’m emerging from my mini vacation with a bunch of super-exciting announcements!

Some of you might have already heard a little bit about this, but… I’m so, so thrilled to announce that I’ll be returning to the UK for another tour this August!

I had the time of my LIFE on tour in the UK & Europe last fall, so it’s beyond wonderful to get to return this year! We’ll be announcing more events over the summer, but as of right now, here are a few places to find me (and fellow YA fantasy author, Leigh Bardugo!):

Sunday, August 17th:
2:30pm Public event at Edinburgh International Book Festival with Justin Somper!
Venue: Peppers Theatre, Charlotte Square
Tickets go on sale on June 24th
Box Office: boxoffice@edbookfest.co.uk or +44 (0)845 373 5888
https://www.edbookfest.co.uk/


Tuesday August 19th:
3pm Signing Waterstones Newcastle upon Tyne
Emerson Chambers, Blackett St, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7JF
Further details: 0191 261 7757
Event Details Here

6pm Event with Leigh Bardugo at Seven Stories in Newcastle
Seven Stories, National Centre for Children's Books, Ouseburn Valley, Newcastle. NE1 2PQ
Tel: 0845 271 0777
Event Details Here


Wednesday August 20th:
12:30pm Signing at Waterstones Leeds
93-97 Albion St, Leeds LS1 5JS
Further details: 0113 244 4588
Event Details Here

6:30pm Event with Leigh Bardugo at Waterstones’ Liverpool One
12 College Lane, Liverpool L1 3DL
Event Details Here

--
AND! Here are some other awesome/exciting announcements:
Screen Shot 2014-06-13 at 12.27.38 PM
This was just announced the other day, but if you want a signed copy of HEIR OF FIRE, you can pre-order one from Books of Wonder (my childhood bookstore & one of my favorite places on earth)! Click here for more info!

--

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My amazing publisher, Bloomsbury, is hosting a THRONE OF GLASS readalong this summer! They’re offering some INCREDIBLE prizes for participating ($500 Topshop gift card?! I am SO there.) Click here to sign up!

--

Screen Shot 2014-06-13 at 12.53.02 PM

Even though HEIR OF FIRE doesn’t release until September, if you’re just dying to get your hands on a copy AND you feel like donating to an incredible charity, you should check out the YARunsA5K fundraiser (hosted by my soul-twin/jaeger co-pilot, Susan Dennard). I’m donating signed copies of ALL my books PLUS a signed galley of HEIR OF FIRE for one of their auctions. Click here for more info!
--

Annnnd I think that’s it! I’ve been reading a ton this past week (currently devouring all of Jennifer L. Armentrout’s/J. Lynn's New Adult books. Her WAIT FOR YOU series is awesomeeeee, and I’m madly in love with Cam), and taking some much-needed time for myself to relax.

Also, because I can't resist sharing music, I’ve had all of First Aid Kit’s albums on repeat thanks to their latest (STAY GOLD) recently releasing, and this band… Guys. Where has First Aid Kit been my whole life? I swear, half the songs on their new album could literally be about HEIR OF FIRE (“Stay Gold” “Master Pretender” “The Bell” and “A Long Time Ago” could pretty much be written by/about Celaena, and “I Met With The King” from one of their earlier albums). It’s been a while since I’ve fallen so head over heels in love with a band—some of their songs are like a freaking punch to the HEART (“I Met With the King” completely destroys me, and I will be shocked if there’s ever a day when I can get through that song without crying.)

So, that’s my super-long way of saying GO LISTEN TO THEM. Buy every song and album. In case you think I’m full of shit, here are some of my favorite songs:
“Wolf" (this was my gateway drug to First Aid Kit)


“Silver Lining” (this song SPEAKS TO ME AS A HUMAN BEING)


“I Met With The King”


“Stay Gold”


"Waitress Song"
TOG US
SO, the past few weeks have been an absolute whirlwind of super-fun, super-awesome stuff! I had an absolutely AMAZING time meeting readers and fellow authors at RT in New Orleans (I learned SO MUCH about writing while attending various panels, and came home totally inspired to write!), and completely fell in love with NOLA, too (THE FOOD! the architecture! the MUSIC!).

And, as always, it rejuvenated my heart/soul/creative spirit to be around my BFFers & fellow writers, Susan Dennard, Erin Bowman, and Biljana Likic. Here we are, about to listen to some incredible big band jazz at Snug Harbor:

Bnoy8hECYAA3wT2

Last week, I had the privilege of attending BEA in NY for the third year in a row, and, as usual, I had a WONDERFUL (if not very, very busy) time! BEA is one of my favorite events of the year, mainly because it’s usually right when ARCs of my books finally start finding their way into the hands of readers/reviewers, so…it was really, really cool and surreal to get to sign HEIR OF FIRE (and it blew my mind that readers lined up two hours before the signing—you guys are the BEST).

And speaking of HEIR OF FIRE… So, the other week, I got some crazy-awesome good news about the book. Like, when I read the email from Bloomsbury, I actually burst into hysterical hu-hu-hu tears at my desk, and then cried on and off for the rest of the day. Because….

Tamora Pierce blurbed HEIR OF FIRE.

And said:

“Celaena balances between the living and the dead, humans and faeries, while her world creeps toward a dreadful war between the great and the monstrous. I was afraid to put the book down! ...Celaena is as much an epic hero as Frodo or Jon Snow!”

Tamora Pierce. Said that. About my books. About Celaena.

Annnnd okay, 10 days later, and I’m actually tearing up as I write this because it still doesn’t feel real, because Tamora is one of my personal heroes, and I GET TO DO MY DREAM JOB BECAUSE OF HER BOOKS, and because “Celaena is as much an epic hero as Frodo or Jon Snow!” is pretty much beyond ANYTHING I ever dreamed of anyone saying about the series/Celaena, let alone Tamora EFFING Pierce.

So…that is my news. I keep pinching myself over it. Thank you SO MUCH, Tamora, for the blurb, the kindness, and being such an inspiring person. <3

Before receiving her blurb, I had the pleasure and HONOR of being on a panel at RT with Tamora (confession: I actually burst into tears as I explained how much her books and her career meant to me), and she is just….a wonderful, clever, gracious, charming, and supremely badass person (getting to be on that panel with her was ALSO a dream come true for me). So, I’m just…over the moon right now.

And in other news, I turned in THRONE OF GLASS Book 4 this week. Hooray! It’s ginormous and I’m already wincing at the thought of just how many words I’ll have to revise. But while it’s in my editor’s brilliant hands, I’m taking a few days off before starting work on drafting Book 2 in the A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES series (crazy that I’m already starting to work on it when Book 1 hasn’t even released yet!).

So, busy summer ahead, full of juggling various deadlines, but… I like being busy. It’s been two days since I turned in TOG 4, and I’m already antsy about not working (don’t get me wrong, I LOVE reading for hours on end & not having deadlines breathing down my neck, but… not writing every day makes me restless). So, we’ll see how long my self-imposed vacation actually lasts. ;)

Annnd, just because I can't resist the urge to recommend music... I'm currently obsessed with CHVRCHES' The Bones of What You Believe album, especially this song ("Gun"), which I've been listening to on repeat for weeks:

THRONE OF GLASS
SO, I’m just going to announce all the news-y/event stuff first, so I can ramble for the rest of this post about the HEIR OF FIRE excerpt that’s now online.

I have TWO upcoming events:

logo

Thursday, May 15th:
10 AM: "Fantasy: Breathing Life Into It" panel with PJ Schnyder, Kristen Callihan, Mary Robinette Kowal, Mur Lafferty, and Tamora Pierce (!!!!!).
Location: Canal Street Marriott, 2nd Floor, Studio 4 (Preservation Hall)

1:30 PM: "How To Market Yourself Like A Celebrity While Maintaining Approachability" panel with my partners in crime, Erin Bowman and Susan Dennard, along with Victoria Scott, and Tessa Gratton.
Location: Canal St Marriott, 4th Floor, Balcony K.

Saturday, May 17th:
11AM-2PM: Giant Book Fair. I’ll be signing THRONE OF GLASS & CROWN OF MIDNIGHT in the YA alley (authors are seated alphabetically).
Location: Canal St Marriott, 3rd Floor, Grand Ballroom & Mardi Gras Ballroom

6:15pm-8:00pm: Teen Day Party
Location: Canal St Marriott, 3rd Floor, Mardi Gras Ballroom


BookExpo America (BEA):

I’m so honored and thrilled to be coming back to BEA this year!

I’ll only be there on FRIDAY, May 30th, and will be signing ARCs of HEIR OF FIRE from 11-12 (Table 5, Autographing Area).

I’ve been told that this is the ONLY time Bloomsbury will be giving out ARCs of the book during all of BEA, so… definitely drop by if you want a copy!



Speaking of HEIR OF FIRE, Bloomsbury is doing something SUPER awesome for the book trailer. They’ve known pretty much from Day 1 just how SPECTACULAR TOG readers are—and they’re so amazed by all the fan-art, videos, and music that you guys have created over the past few years that they want to share it with the world by incorporating it into the HEIR OF FIRE trailer!

I think this is pretty much the COOLEST idea ever, and couldn’t say YES fast enough when they pitched the idea to me! So, if you’ve ever made any TOG artwork, or videos, or music--or if you've been wanting to do it but haven't had the chance yet--then you can find more details here:

HOF Trailer


ANNNND, I just want to say a HUGE thank-you to everyone who came out to celebrate Celaena’s birthday party the other weekend! I had SUCH a blast answering questions and talking about the books—and sharing an excerpt of HEIR OF FIRE with you all!

If you missed the party, or just want a first look at HEIR OF FIRE, you can read the chapter HERE.

So, you’ll notice right away that this is chapter FOUR of HEIR OF FIRE—and introduces Manon Blackbeak, who is a brand-new character to the series and is one of the Ironteeth witches.

If you’ve read the novellas (especially THE ASSASSIN AND THE DESERT), or CROWN OF MIDNIGHT (*cough* Baba Yellowlegs *cough*), you might already know a few things about the Ironteeth witches. The witches of Erilea had always been part of my later plans for the series, and Manon was a character that lurked in the back of my mind for years, but I honestly hadn’t really planned on introducing her *this* soon.

But I had this perfect storm of inspiration right around the time that I was finishing up CROWN OF MIDNIGHT—mostly triggered by tons of totally random music (the soundtracks to Fright Night, Hocus Pocus, Matrix, Rescuers Down Under, and Free Willy (Yep. NO SHAME IN ADMITTING IT.), among many others).

And Manon Blackbeak just…stalked right into my head, and demanded that her story be told now. Not in Books 5 or 6, but in right now, in HEIR OF FIRE, if I wanted to do her any justice later on. And her voice was so clear, so…different from anything I’d written before, that her story just poured of me. She was wicked, and cruel, and a natural-born predator—hell, she wasn’t even human—and I somehow had a freedom while writing her character that I didn’t necessarily have with others.

So, this introductory chapter of Manon’s is actually the first thing of hers I EVER wrote—and it pretty much gushed out of me while I listened to these three tracks (random aside: the new Fright Night, both in terms of music and as a movie, wound up providing a big kernel of inspiration for Manon). In the order that they appear/inspired this scene:

"A Terrible Vampire Name." <--the 35-second mark is EXACTLY when I imagine Manon saying "Wrong kind of witch." And the 40-second mark is pretty much what I imagine playing when she reveals her iron teeth & nails.


"There's a lot of bad people out there."


"Welcome to Fright Night." <--This inspired the last paragraph of the chapter:



Very, very little of what I write as a first draft ever winds up intact by the time my books are on a shelf. Almost every scene get heavily revised, rewritten, trimmed… But this opening chapter of Manon’s is pretty much exactly as it was when I first wrote it.

Honestly, I have no idea where this scene came from—only that those three tracks from the Fright Night soundtrack just…triggered something in my head, and the scene unfolded so quickly that I could barely type fast enough. I’m a pretty visual person—when I daydream about my books, I usually SEE them in my head, as if they were a movie.

So when I heard this music, I just saw an opening scene where this young witch is hiding in a closet while these three men ransack her cottage (and are also planning to do reallyyy bad things to her, thinking she’s alone, defenseless, & a “good” witch)… And none of these men realize that she isn’t hiding at all, but biding her time—and that she’s actually arranged her house as a trap for them.

My favorite moment in this scene is when the first of those men realizes it (pretty much at the same time the reader does)—that these three predators have actually just walked into the den of an Apex Predator….and that they’re not predators at all but merely PREY to her... That she’s not a “good” witch (aka the Crochan witches) but a Blackbeak witch—belonging to one of the three Ironteeth Witch-Clans, and very wicked indeed.

cfc56d8b28737f91be21426ac90e702fAnd despite daydreaming about her for a while, it wasn’t until I wrote this scene that I really GOT who Manon is, what her history was, what her LIFE was like—what it was to be a 100+ year-old Ironteeth witch, vicious and bored and more than a little arrogant. And I just…fell in love with her. (I don’t know what this says about me as a person, considering that she tears out the throats & disembowels three men in this scene.)

SO… That’s a little about this scene, and Manon. I could probably write 20 pages about her origins and what writing her narrative was like, but… I’ll stop now.

In a nutshell, I had an absolute BLAST writing her POV in HEIR OF FIRE, and I adore her beyond all reason, and hope you guys enjoy this little excerpt & introduction!


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I'm Sarah J. Maas, the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Throne of Glass series (Heir of Fire, Book 3, will be out in September 2014). The Assassin's Blade, a bind-up of all five TOG novellas is now available!

I'm represented by the awesome and lovely Tamar Rydzinski of The Laura Dail Literary Agency. Starting in Spring 2015 - my new fantasy series, A Court of Thorns and Roses, will be published by Bloomsbury as well! Hooray!










For more information about me and my books, please visit my (very rarely updated) website: http://sarahjmaas.com/

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