Back to School Young Adult Sci-Fi & Fantasy Contest

School is back in session at Vita Post Mortem Academy.  As the visumary students meet their famous dead teachers and begin their classes, I wanted to share a contest that I am participating in!  For a limited time, you can enter to win 25 fantastic YA Sci-Fi & Fantasy from an amazing collection of authors, AND a brand new eReader – along with a collection of FREE reads just for entering!

Enter the contest by clicking here: https://booksweeps.com/book-giveaway/ya-sci-fi-fantasy-september-2019/

When you’re done, tell me which books you’re most excited to win!

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Which famous dead person would you want to teach at Vita Post Mortem Academy this year?

George Washington? John Lennon?  Isaac Newton?  Charles Dickens?  Mary Shelley?  Who else?  Respond to this email and let me know!

Or you can share your thoughts on the (after)life lessons Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AfterlifeLessons/

Or connect with me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/alanasiegel/
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Here are the links to the (after)life lessons books on Amazon:

The Light of Supremazia: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B015M3KJGE

The Curse of the Winklevoss Twins: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077Z9CCW4

The Betrayal of Bloodlines: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07NCF6V1H

Check out my website: https://www.alanamagbooks.com/

Learn about the rest of my books on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Alana-Siegel/e/B006O3NOAK

Pre-Order The Betrayal of Bloodlines Now!

https://www.amazon.com/Betrayal-Bloodlines-after-life-lessons-ebook/dp/B07NCF6V1H

Bringing Your Characters to Life…Literally

I thought it would be fun for readers to get a visual of the characters in my book series, (after)life lessons.

Jake T. Austin responded! Loved him with Jenna on Dancing with the Stars.

His character, Chase Hastings, is the classic good looking, sarcastic, high school boy in the popular crowd.

Check out the book series here: (after)life lessons book series on Amazon

When You Believe in Fantasy Worlds

There is something exhilarating about happening upon a blip of a fantasy world in everyday life. For a fraction of a second you believe you have actually been transported to an alternative universe, or the secret world was there all along, and miraculously, you managed to get a glimpse of it. Are talented authors taking everyday experiences and making you believe it’s special? Or is life imitating art? I don’t know the answer to that, but I love stepping into my favorite fantasy realm, and I try to do it as often as possible.

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I looked for Percy Jackson in front of the St. Louis Arch!

 

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I attempted to get into the Ministry of Magic from a phone booth!

 

 

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I fought the mist at the Lotus Room so I could get back to Camp Half-Blood!

 

Finding fantasy in everyday life is a thrill. That’s what I hope to create in my next series (after)life lessons! Check the first beta review I received from an 8th grader!  Comment if you would like to be a beta reader!

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Check out the pinterest page: http://www.pinterest.com/alanasiegel/afterlife-lessons/

 

 

Dedicated to the Girls Who Used to Stand in the Back Row in Dance Class

Don’t be mad. I just googled the band, Mötley Crüe. I know its a heavy metal band formed some time in the 80s, but why were they a “motley crew?” One picture solved the mystery for me:

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Don’t be surprised, but this is where I relate Mötley Crüe to young adult fantasy books.

I’ve been doing lots of research on character introductions and came to the realization that most of my favorite books have some sort of motley crew – a group of underdogs who beat all odds and save the day.

The obvious one is Harry Potter.  Wasn’t Luna a little looney?  Neville Longbottom accident-prone? And Ginny Weasley just a little girl? But you loved the ragtag bunch.

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Percy Jackson wasn’t any better – his best friend was a satyr and his brother was a cyclops.

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Don’t even get me started on Lord of the Rings.

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How about the New Directions in Glee?  Definitely your standard geeky bunch.

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Well, my next book series starts the same way – a mismatched gaggle of kids, looking for a brave leader, getting into trouble, and of course, attending a school taught by famous ghosts.  Look for it soon, called (after)life lessons.

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I feel like real life isn’t so different.  Didn’t everyone in San Francisco cheer for the 49ers?

I take jazz classes with a talented teacher named Ann twice a week.  There are a group of us who joined about a year ago.  We started in the back of the class, our own version of a motley crew, tripping through combinations and embarrassing ourselves.  Through dedication and hard work, we improved.  Most recently, the teacher suggested we stand in the front of the room.  I felt like my own personal underdog, able to keep up with her challenging routines and perform next to beautiful dancers without missing a beat.   [Perhaps I’ll attache a video soon!]

Traveling Superheroes

Four plane rides, five diligence meetings, four states, six coffee catch-ups, and one Bat Mitzvah.  That’s how I spent my first week of December.  I was impressed.  Okay, so I wasn’t attacked by monsters, I wasn’t gallivanting around Rome, and I wasn’t traveling on a trireme, but we can’t all be demigods searching for the House of Hades like Percy Jackson’s friends aboard the Argo II.

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I did manage to find time to write a few more chapters of my next book series, Bone-Chilling.  As I approached the last few chapters, I noticed the characters suffer from time travel whiplash.  If you were able to see ghosts, like the main character, Juliandra Winklevoss, you would also have a hard time keeping track of which time period your teachers were from.

She knows one thing for certain, if they teach at Vida Post Mortem Academy, they must be superheroes.  President John F. Kennedy, Albert Einstein, William Shakespeare, Eleanor Roosevelt, are just a few of the spirits that make a translucent appearance.

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Dead or alive, historic or unknown, traveling or stationary, there are many different types of superheroes.  They can make sweeping changes or simply bring a smile to your face.  My mom forwarded this picture of one of my favorite dancers from So You Think You Can Dance, Twitch.  He is the king of optimistic superheroes.

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At the end of the day, one of my favorite reasons to travel is to see my rag-a-muffin cat, Zeus.  Named after a Greek God, he too, likes to dress the part.  Happy Holidays!

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Blast from the Past, ’90s Style

When I look back at pictures, will I be cringing at my chunky necklaces, peplum dresses, and other trendy styles of the day? The answer is probably yes. When I look at photos of my mom with thick-rimmed glasses in the ’70s and poofy Madonna hair in the ’80s, I giggle (a little). Don’t get me wrong – she was adorable, and she was stylish, but now I’m laughing at the trends.

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This week seems to be about the ’90s. In the most recent chapter of my new book series, Bone-Chilling, the reader is introduced to two grandma-aged spirits named Roberta and Shauna. You wouldn’t know it from their jovial dispositions, but both women died abruptly in the ’90s while visiting their alma mater and haunted-mansion-turned-school, Vida Post Mortem Academy. Spirits who have not passed on through the light look like frozen images of themselves the day they die.  My question is, what did grandmas wear in the ’90s?

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To figure it out, I thought about my life in the ’90s as a middle school student. I had a minor breakdown when my sponge brain seemed momentarily saturated, and I couldn’t figure out who was my 7th grade English teacher. Have no fear, it was Ms. Mayer. But I wasn’t any closer to an answer about grandmas in the ’90s.

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And then Saturday afternoon, the problem was solved. I attended an amazing ‘I heart the ’90s’ Zumba class and realized the decade was about grunge and saying no to scrubs and young people as well as grandmas doing ridiculous dance moves like the tootsie roll and hammer time. The class was uplifting and a fantastic workout, and just like the ’90s it was a sweaty party.

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Thank you Zumba teachers!