Thursday, October 8, 2015

Blog Tour Guest Post with Sherry Thomas, Author of The Immortal Heights (and GIVEAWAY!)

Welcome to the blog tour for The Immortal Heights by Sherry Thomas! Guys. I am SO thrilled to help promote this book (and series)! It is hands-down one of my favorite series ever. The Immortal Heights was an excellent conclusion novel! Check out this lovely guest post by the one and only Sherry Thomas, and enter to win fabulous prizes!

On Choosing the Titles for this Series
By Sherry Thomas

Oh, titles. What a trip down memory lane.

The working title for book 1 of what would become the Elemental Trilogy was always POWERFUL. I loved that title. I felt that it conveyed everything that needed to be said about the story, which was about powers and powerful mages, with a powerful romance attached to boot. And the sequels would have one-word titles too: INDELIBLE, for the one that dealt with magical amnesia; and INDOMITABLE, for the final volume, of course.

I was so committed to POWERFUL that when I was talking to editors who were interested in the book, I asked them whether they would be willing to keep the title: I was going to let that factor into my decision making. Unfortunately, every editor said no. I sighed and bowed to the inevitable. I’d been around the publishing block a couple of times and knew that marketing always made the final decision on titles. 

Once I signed with Harper, we began hashing out a new title for book 1. This is me replying to a bunch of suggestions from marketing. 

I am rather fond of THE LAST ELEMENTAL MAGE, since the original series title was THE LAST GREAT REBELLION--or at least in my mind it was.  THE LAST GREAT ELEMENTAL MAGE?  A GREATER ELEMENTAL MAGE?  Or maybe we should echo A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES and call it A REVELATION OF MAGES.  :-)

Here’s another one of my replies:

Senior Kidlet's latest contribution: SKYSPARK

Was talking with my friends and they liked LIARS' CONSPIRACY.

There are some interesting titles to be had once you introduce the words LIES or LIARS.  

ELEMENT OF LIES for example.  

The process went on for months! Nothing conveyed both the magic and the romance aspects of the story, at least not economically. I don’t think anyone is unhappy, for example, that Book 1 isn’t called ENCHANTRESS OF FIRE AND AIR. Although I do think THE LIGHTNING PROPHECY would have worked.

And then all of a sudden it was settled. Marketing decided on THE BURNING SKY. I didn’t love it but by that point I was like yay, at least we’re done with the title. :)

Once you have a title for Book 1, then the sequels’ titles have a model to follow. In my case, an adjective, followed by some sort of natural feature. Book 2 was at first called THE SHIFTING SANDS. Anyone who’s read it will see that it’s quite fitting, since one entire timeline takes place in the Sahara Desert. But there was concern that “shifting” wasn’t a very strong word, kind of wishy-washy. And then the nail was on the coffin when art department tried to implement our original cover idea, that of a dragon made of sand, and realized the palette was too monochrome.

At that point in the writing of the book, I’d moved away from the desert timeline. I know, shocking, but there is a version of that book in which nobody sets foot in the Sahara and nobody suffers magical amnesia. That particular draft opened like this:

History has no record of it, but the time was early September, 1883, and the place, a nondescript patch of ocean floor at the bottom of the Firth of Clyde, off the coast of Scotland, some thirty, thirty-five miles southwest of Glasgow. 

It was not terribly deep, three hundred feet or so. Though the water was murky, enough sunlight still seeped through to sustain life. Currents flowed slowly, following patterns established by millennia of heat exchange, barely disturbing particles of sediment. 

But on that day, the sea churned violently. Had a boy been standing at that spot—and managed to somehow avoid being swept away by the ferociously roiling waters—he would have been witness to an amazing sight: a vertical tunnel, like the eye of a storm, delineated by a furiously spinning wall of water, that allowed him to see all the way to the cloudless blue sky far above.

A moment later, however, a ship would come crashing down, followed by the mass of all the water that had been earlier displaced. So it was fortunate that there was no one on the ocean floor to bear witness to this singular occurrence.
There was, however, someone who saw it from a safe distance. 

Someone whose fate would now be decided by the perilous sea.

You can see why we decided on THE PERILOUS SEA. Even after the desert timeline was reinstated, the title still applied. Since what happens that day at sea still plays a pivotal role and the sea is still definitely perilous.
Book 3 was the easiest yet. My editor asked if I had any ideas for titles, I wrote,

I'm thinking of some synonym of mountains for the noun, maybe "heights", to keep it one syllable.

I still love incandescent for the adjective. Lucent, adamantine--guess I just like obscure words. Or "fiery" could work in a pinch.


The Immortal Heights?

My editor was on board. With a grand total of 6 emails exchanged, we got ourselves a title. 

And I hope this was an interesting peek into the sausage-making process!

About the Author:

Sherry Thomas is one of the most acclaimed romance authors working today. Her books regularly receive starred reviews from trade publications and are frequently found on best-of-the-year lists. She is also a two-time winner of Romance Writers of America's prestigious RITA® Award.

English is Sherry's second language—she has come a long way from the days when she made her laborious way through Rosemary Roger's Sweet Savage Love with an English-Chinese dictionary. She enjoys digging down to the emotional core of stories. And when she is not writing, she thinks about the zen and zaniness of her profession, plays computer games with her sons, and reads as many fabulous books as she can find.

Sherry’s next book, The Immortal Heights volume three of her young adult fantasy trilogy, will be available fall 2015.

Author photo by the lovely and talented Jennifer Sparks Harriman at Sparks Studio.

About the Book:

The Immortal Heights by Sherry Thomas
Book Three of The Elemental series
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: October 13, 2015

Official Summary:

In a pursuit that has spanned continents, Iolanthe, Titus, and their friends have always managed to remain one step ahead of the forces of Atlantis. But now the Bane, the monstrous tyrant who bestrides the entire mage world, has issued his ultimatum: Titus must hand over Iolanthe, or watch as his entire realm is destroyed in a deadly rampage. Running out of time and options, Iolanthe and Titus must act decisively to deliver a final blow to the Bane, ending his reign of terror for good. 

However, getting to the Bane means accomplishing the impossible—finding a way to infiltrate his crypt in the deepest recesses of the most ferociously guarded fortress in Atlantis. And everything is only made more difficult when new prophecies come to light, foretelling a doomed effort.... 

Iolanthe and Titus will put their love and their lives on the line. But will it be enough? 

With The Immortal Heights, Sherry Thomas brings the acclaimed Elemental Trilogy to its breathtaking conclusion.

Check out the first two books!


(Click on the covers for more information.)

The Giveaway:

For First Place US Only:

1 winner will receive The Burning Sky, The Perilous Sea, The Immortal Heights, and a handmade solid lotion bar and some homemade face scrubs, plus a burning sky bag. US Only

Runners Up US Only:

 2 winners will receive The Burning Sky, The Perilous Sea, and The Immortal Heights. US Only

Follow the Tour:

10/5/2015- Reading Teen- Review
10/6/2015- City of Books- Interview
10/7/2015- Fiction Fare- Review
10/8/2015- The Eater of Books!- Guest Post
10/9/2015- Fall Into Books- Review

10/12/2015- Carina's Books- Interview
10/13/2015- Nicks Book Blog- Review
10/14/2015- Fiktshun- Guest Post
10/15/2015- Reading with ABC- Review
10/16/2015- Two Chicks on Books- Interview


  1. Great post and giveaway I love reading.

  2. Great post and giveaway I love reading.

  3. Interesting post about the titles. I am not sure the publisher's always know best. :-)
    sherry @ fundinmental

  4. As you know, I absolutely love this series. I'm so happy that you and Andye convince me to read The Burning Sky. Thanks! :)

  5. I'm so in love with these covers!! This is definitely my fave. I just recently won the first two books, so I'm looking forward to reading them now. :)

  6. Yay :D Gorgeous blog tour post Alyssa. <3 Ugh, how much I love this trilogy. SO MUCH. And this story about the titles are so awesome :D I love it. Sherry is the best. <3 Thank you for sharing sweet girl ;)

  7. Sherry writes amazing stories, whether they're romance or fantasy!

  8. Awesome covers for all the books. Sound like good reads.

  9. Ohhh, what a great guest post! I love learning those tidbits about how publishing goes about things!
    And I so cannot wait till the third book downloads to my Kindle so I can finally read it!

  10. Thanks for the post. That was an interesting insight on picking titles.

  11. Thanks for the giveaway. All of these books sound amazing!

  12. This series sounds like a fantastic read! The cover art is amazing!


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