SHADOW STUDY Blog Tour {Guest Post + Giveaway}

SHADOW STUDY Blog Tour {Guest Post + Giveaway}

SHADOW STUDY Blog Tour {Guest Post + Giveaway}
by Maria V. Snyder
Series: Soulfinders #1
Published by MIRA on February 24, 2015
Genres: Epic Fantasy, Fantasy
Provided by: NetGalley


New York Times bestselling author Maria V. Snyder wowed readers with Poison Study, the unforgettable story of poison taster Yelena. Now she’s back with a new tale of intrigue.

Once, only her own life hung in the balance…

Oddly enough, when Yelena was a poison taster, her life was simpler. But she’d survived to become a vital part of the balance of power between rival countries Ixia and Sitia. Now she uses her magic to keep the peace in both lands—and protect her relationship with Valek.

Suddenly, though, they are beset on all sides by those vying for power through politics and intrigue. Valek’s job and his life are in danger. As Yelena tries to uncover the scope of these plots, she faces a new challenge: her magic is blocked. She must keep that a secret—or her enemies will discover just how vulnerable she really is—while searching for who or what is responsible for neutralizing her powers.

Yes, the days of tasting poisons were much simpler. And certainly not as dangerous…


I am super excited to be today’s stop on the SHADOW STUDY Blog Tour with an awesome Guest Post by Maria V. Snyder on writing a continuing series with characters readers have come to know and love. As a reader I love returning to stories with characters I’ve gotten to know before, catch up with what’s been going on with them, and embark upon new adventures with them.

And I can’t wait for SHADOW STUDY’s release next week to see whether my favorite exchange matches the author’s. Of course if you can’t wait until next week, you can start reading Chapter One right now on the author’s website, HERE.

And if you follow along with the tour you can learn more from the interviews, guest posts, deleted and alternate scenes.

Guest Post

On writing a continuing series with beloved characters – pros, cons, challenges, benefits…

by Maria V. Snyder

Writing a continuing series is tough. It’s a constant balancing act of how much information do you include from the previous books and how much do you need to explain so a new reader doesn’t get lost or confused. Some readers remember everything and get annoyed by the extra details that they don’t need, while others have forgotten over the year(s) between books and like those little reminders. Like I said, it’s all in the balance!

Returning to characters that I’ve written before was like visiting with old friends. I’d missed them and enjoyed getting reacquainted. And with having an established world and magic system, I spent more time on characterization and had fun exploring Valek’s past, and showing how he turned from this young teen boy to the most feared assassin in the land.

One of the challenges was remembering all those thousands of details (and names) from the six previous books. While Yelena and Valek didn’t spend that much time “on screen” in my three Glass Series books, they were there along with many of the other characters like Leif, Ari, Janco, and Opal who are also in the new Study books. So keeping track of everyone, the timeline throughout the books, and everyone’s ages was a huge task. You know how authors suggest you keep a series “bible”? I wish I followed that suggestion! I did eventually get help. One of my readers, Natalie, offered to assist me and she put together the most awesome Excel spreadsheet I’ve ever seen! It’s made my life so much easier, I wish I had it back when I was writing Magic Study! And now she’s doing it for my other series – she’s my organization angel!

Another factor with writing a series is worry that I’ll disappoint my readers. They are the reason I’m writing more books in the Study series because they love Valek and Yelena and I really didn’t want to upset them. However, I had to get past that and write. If nothing bad happens to my characters, then it’ll be a boring book. And I had to be pretty ruthless because, by this point, they’d been through so much, coming up with new challenges was a…well, a challenge!

I am having a blast writing these books despite the obstacles and problems. One of the new things I’m doing is having chapters from Valek’s POV and scenes from Janco’s POV (and he’s my favorite character of all my books!) and exploring them more in depth has been rewarding.

I’m super lucky that my readers want more stories, and I’m very thankful for my wonderful readers! You guys rock!

Favorite exchange between Yelena and Janco from Shadow Study they are speculating on their chances of being rescued by Onora, the new assassin:

“She’s [Onora] smart. And she has no reason to be loyal to us. Ari would charge in here like a bull seeing a lady bull wearing red.” [Janco said.]

“There are no lady bulls.” [Yelena said]

“Sure there are. How do you think we get baby bulls?”

It required too much energy to explain the bulls and the bees to Janco. “Ari would get caught right away.”

“That’s besides the point. Onora’s like Valek—cold and calculating. Well, like him when he’s not with you.”

Favorite Janco Quote from Shadow Study he’s talking to Onora:

“Cause Valek scares you. While my mother…Nobody scares her.”

About Maria V. Snyder

MariaMaria V. Snyder changed from being a meteorologist to a novelist in 1995, when she began writing to keep her sanity while raising two children. Since then, she has published numerous freelance articles in magazines and newspapers, and teaches fiction-writing classes at the local college and area libraries. The classes give her the wonderful opportunity to encourage fellow writers, and to keep improving her craft.

Born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Maria always had a fascination with big storms. Dreaming of chasing tornados, Maria earned a bachelors of science degree in meteorology at Penn State University. But she discovered, much to her chagrin, that forecasting the weather wasn’t one of her skills. In order to chase tornados you had to predict where they might form. Creating fantasy worlds where she has complete control of the weather was more agreeable to her.

Maria’s research on food-tasting methods with an expert chocolate taster, her husband, turned out to be a delicious bonus while writing Poison Study.

Maria has a brown belt in Isshinryu Karate, and enjoys playing volleyball and the cello. Traveling in general and via cruise ship in particular are her biggest distractions from writing. Maria has traveled to Belize, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Europe, Mexico, the Caribbean and through the Panama Canal.

Maria lives with her husband, son, daughter and yellow lab, Hazelnut, in Pennsylvania where she is at work on more LUNA novels. She is also pursuing a master’s degree in writing popular fiction from Seton Hill University.



There is a tour-wide giveaway for…

10 copies of SHADOW STUDY – International

Enter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule

Week One

Feb. 16th – a GREAT read – Guest Post

Feb. 17th – Alice Marvels – Review

Feb. 18th – Reading YA Rocks – Guest Post

Feb. 19th – Tales of the Ravenous Reader – Interview

Feb. 20th – Read Now Sleep Later – Review

Week Two

Feb. 23rd – Two Chicks on Books – Guest Post

Feb. 24th – Seeing Double in Neverland – Review

Feb. 25th – Magical Urban Fantasy Reads – Guest Post

Feb. 26th – Mundie Moms – Review

Feb. 27th – Parajunkee – Interview




Rachel (a.k.a. Fiktshun) has been blogging about (mostly YA) books since 2010. She always has and always will believe that reading YA rocks and thinks she's found the perfect place to ramble here at RYAR.