Two nightmares. One memory.
“Chaos within destiny. It was the definition of our love.”
Eric has weeks before his final battle when he’s in an accident. Forced to face his human side, he knows he can’t survive if he fights alone. But he doesn’t want to surrender, even if he becomes the sacrifice for war.
Jessica’s memory isn’t the only thing she’s lost. Her desire to find her parents is gone and so is her confidence. But when fate leaves nightmares behind, she decides to find the boy she sees in them, even if it risks her sanity.
Opening lines - It was a humid night in August, and the river trickled past us as if most of the water had disintegrated during the previous months. It skimmed over the rocks, and I hesitated to add to the collection by tossing pebbles across the already waning surface. The darkness was enough....
My Review - Seconds Before Sunrise:
The second book, successfully, pick up the line of the story from where the first one had end. I love how, from the the title Shannon, created the ominous feeling of trickling of time same like the granules of sand in an hourglass. Until the end of the book, She, build the tension towards the epic battle , kept very nicely, with the Dark and the Light still not able to recognize each another in their human forms. at the same time, the readers familiar only with the dark characters, both in their human and Shade forms and the same knowledge about the light left in the dark ..... Oh I so love this word's play....
Shannon also, kept her written of each chapter from the different perspectives of Jessica and Eric, all this contribute to the feeling of the continuity.
Jessica (Jess) - decided to have her memory erased to save those she loves, but she feel that something is terribly wrong, there is kind of hole inside and what are those strange dreams? they seem so real.
She is keep dreaming of a boy... it's the only thing that brings her comfort among her nightmares. Another thing that feel wrong is that she doesn't feel connected to her group of friends as she should be. On top of this she have this weird drawn toward, the mysterious boy in her class......Eric Wellborn
Eric continue to train for the epic battle that is to happen on his 18th birthday and at the same time struggle to stay away from Jessica. He becomes so frustrated and mad at that at one point he becomes reckless, ending in a car accident with serious injuries . He had been taken to a human hospital there he couldn't transform to his shade form. If he transform he will heal too fast and the human doctors will suspect that something is wrong plus the light will find about his identity.
So he ends up spending a lot of time in his human form, which made him realize that it's a lot harder to exist in their world than he thought it would be, weeks before the big battle.
Al along the plot, I could identified with Jess and Eric's emotions, the confusion and frustration, very strongly.
In this book we also were given a little more insight to Jess' friends - Crystal, Zac and Robb. There's a lot of tension between everyone, which lead to local explosions.
Again it was a page turner and full of action and it i couldn't stop reading until I reached to it's end.
Eric Welborn isn’t completely human, but he isn’t the only shade in the small Midwest town of Hayworth. With one year left before his eighteenth birthday, Eric is destined to win a long-raging war for his kind. But then she happens. In the middle of the night, Eric meets a nameless shade, and she’s powerful—too powerful—and his beliefs are altered. The Dark has lied to him, and he’s determined to figure out exactly what lies were told, even if the secrets protect his survival.
He had gotten so close to me—and I couldn’t move—I couldn’t get away.Jessica Taylor moves to Hayworth, and her only goal is to find more information on her deceased biological family. Her adoptive parents agree to help on one condition: perfect grades. And Jessica is distraught when she’s assigned as Eric’s class partner. He won’t help, let alone talk to her, but she’s determined to change him—even if it means revealing everything he’s strive to hide.
My Review- Minutes Before Sunset:This is the first installment of what I'm pretty sure is going to be an awesome trilogy. It's about a "Prophecy" which talks about the Ultimate Battle between the Light and Dark, only this time, the Dark is actually the good side and the Light is the one that's evil. I loved how this book made me see the big bad dark in a whole new light, and I'm hoping to learn more about the light in the sequel. As we read we learn about the dark and the light very quickly from Eric explanations about their history as far as he knows it. We find why they the Shade’s and the Lights no longer work together and why they are out to kill each other.
I can always appreciate a female character whose purpose is not only to look cute and pretty in the arms of her leading man but to actually show some attitude and who knows how to fight back. Jessica "Jess" Taylor is typically the mysterious new girl in Hayworth Kansas school. She is moving back to town after her parents died and she find she was adopted. She wants to know more about what really happened to her real parents.
Throughout the plot we follow Jessica's struggle to handle school work, search for her parents, adjusting to a new school, handling her run ins and school projects with Eric, and discovering who she really is.
We have brooding Eric (Welborn) 17-year-old that by night, Eric transforms into Shoman the "Prince" of Shades. I have not read many stories of Shades but I love I read very much. Eric is the First Descendant - from the Dark community and destined to battle the Second Descendant (Darthon), from the Light, on his 18th birthday.
But those prophecy can result his death. Eric’s intelligent, and powerful Shade but he’s damaged from losing some of the most important people to him then you add the big battle he has to fight in – if he lives that long. In his human form, Eric Welborn is the son of a prominent family in Hayworth - a family touched by repeated tragedy. The deaths of his mother and girlfriend - although years ago - continue to haunt Eric's every step. So Eric stays away from everyone. He doesn't get involved with school, and simply has become a loner.
What Shoman/Eric never expected was to meet a mysterious Shade who doesn't know what she is, who her parents are, and what she is capable of. He knows that he needs to report her to the Elders but doesn't want to because outside Shades have to be killed. He breaks the rules by not reporting her to his Elders and trains her to develop and control her powers, but cannot reveal all his secrets to her.
Eric finds himself in a annoying situation with the new girl town - Jessica. Jessica in purpose to find about her real parents from her adoptive parents, they require her to obtain perfect grades. This task appears impossible as she is paired with the taciturn Eric Welborn on a key science project. Eric is distant and preoccupied, often skipping class and is disinterested in completing the project with her. However, not only will Jessica not fail her science project, but she also wants to find out more about his secrets and at the same time feels drawn to him.
Because they their human forms is so different from their shade form and the prohibition revel it to others it make the relationship between Eric and Jessica interesting - Jessica can hardly get Eric to speak to her let alone be around her. While in their Shade forms these two spent so much time together.
I loved the character development. There’s the relationship Eric shares with his step-mother and step-brother, which I find very human considering Eric isn’t. I think a lot of people whose families have come to have step’s feel the same way Eric does . We get to see clearly how he feels, how he deals with it and Shannon even touches on how they feel or at least the adorably-annoying step brother. Then there’s the relationship Eric with his guardian, Camille. I like how she cares so much for him like his older sister, but she too struggles with her own past and future as interbreed of light and dark.
Shannon joggles cleverly with the first-person view between her two main characters, making it impossible not to become intimately involved with them.
Overall - I think young adult readers will be able to identify with them. I'm looking forward to reading the the other books in the series.
About the Author:
With the release of Seconds Before Sunrise only one week away, I have been thinking about how much The Timely Death Trilogy has changed from the original version to the published novels. Since the second book isn’t released yet (but is available on Amazon)
I thought it would be neat to share some of the major changes that happened in Minutes Before Sunset from the original version to the final publication. That way, when the second novel is out for a little while, I can share those changes, too.
Now, as many of you know, there are many drafts of one novel – sometimes a lot more than what writers want to be reminded of. The changes you are about to read about happened over a series of rewrites and edits, so that’s why there are so many changes. If I had to guess, there was one absolute rewrite and an uncountable number of edits. I had about six beta readers on the original versions of the trilogy, but I had three on the version read today. This isn’t my norm. This just happened because I wrote the novels between 2005 and 2009, so Minutes Before Sunset had seven years between writing and publication. I had many opportunities to refine it both as I was writing the last two novels and when I went back the last time before its second version was published. But – alas – here we are:
Length: Be open to cutting it down (or even expanding it!)
For me, most of my novels are 136,000 words, but I almost always cut it down to 80,000 by often combining scenes and characters or by cutting them out completely. Minutes Before Sunset was my first instance where this happened, and maybe I’ll share cut scenes one of these days, but they might not even work anymore with the current storyline. I actually love cutting down the word count. It challenges me to create more meaningful scenes, and it definitely forces me to push the plot forward with numerous reasons (like action and detail) rather than having separate chapters for everything.
Character names: (It’s okay to change names. Just have a purpose)
I’m sure why this one stuck out the most to me, although my guess would probably stem from the fact that I still see them as their original character names. So why change them? I’ll get to that in a second. Below you’ll see a small list of original character names followed by their publication name.
Colton changed to Noah. Brent to Jonathon. Jonathon to Pierce. Brethan original had both a dark and a human name, but now he is only referred to by his Dark name. Jessica had a Dark name as well. And Eric’s previously girlfriend is almost impossible to remember how many changes she went through.
These changes happened for many reasons, but they mainly happened to keep a character distinct from one another. I couldn’t have a “Brent” related to a “Brenthan.” I mean, I could…at first, I wanted it that way because they were brothers, but I realized I could play on identities in a more psychological way rather than physical name. In the future, I will write more tips on naming characters, since I’ve done it before. Fun fact: a lot of editors/publishers changes character names to be more memorable. My publisher didn’t do anything like that, and I’m really happy I got to keep my “common” names for my human characters, like Eric, Jessica, and Teresa – because the normalcy of their names was intentional, allowing their paranormal names to be more effective, like “Shoman” “Bracke” or “Eu.”
Location: It can be really hard to change this, but it can also be worth it.
Kansas – Originally, I wasn’t going to have a town at all. (Of course, there would be one, but it wouldn’t have a name, and I definitely didn’t want to mention the state.) At first, I wanted this town to seem like it could be anywhere, but then I realized it could seem that way while still being physically located somewhere, so after much consideration, I went with Kansas for many reasons, mainly because I don’t feel like many novels take place in the Midwest, especially paranormal or YA books.
Events: Don’t be afraid to add or take scenes away.
The Naming – the ceremony at the beginning of Minutes Before Sunset was actually added last minute. It was in the trilogy, but it was shown much later. I decided to show it in the beginning because I realized it could help ground the rituals of the Dark while also showing where the identities happen.
The ending – I actually don’t want to spoil too much, but the actions Jessica took in the final scenes with Darthon originally didn’t exist. The way to kill him wasn’t in it either. But she’s a fighter – more than most characters actually – and I knew in the editing that I had to include her in the fight. Plus, it allowed a foreshadowing for the third novel I’ve been dying to add without changing the story too much.
Other than that, a lot of dialogue changed and a few character appearances weren’t originally there. I even flipped a few chapters around and cut out other chapters completely. But it all ended up being the same story – I just needed to edit it to find out where certain scenes actually took place.
Perspective: Another difficult area to change.
At first, I showed Jessica’s shade side, but in the rewrite, I choose not to show her paranormal perspective in the first novel. She originally was named at the end of the first novel, too, but it didn’t feel right for reasons that will be explained in the third novel, Death Before Daylight. (Dun. Dun. Dun.) I also wanted to show a few scenes from Darthon’s perspective, but I never wrote one, because he’s a loud mouth. His identity would’ve been revealed in seconds. That doesn’t mean I didn’t consider it during rewrites, though. It just didn’t work out.
Other: Have fun with the small stuff, but it can shape a character.
I already wrote about cars, but Eric originally drove a 2009 Charger instead of an older version. Mindy had a more important role (I even considered having her completely aware of the Dark and the Light) in the first novel. And some of the characters’ descriptions changed. Surprisingly, the attitudes of the characters didn’t change a lot through the first novel, but they do later on! In my other novels, I have found that my characters have chanced dramatically from one version to the next, but this trilogy is an exception, probably because I wrote the second book first.
My changes in the first novel actually heavily impacted the changes in the second novel, and I am looking forward to being able to share that with everyone once the second novel has been released for some time. In fact, I think most manuscripts change a lot from the first draft to the final piece. I actually had to look a lot of my changes up in my notes from the first draft because it becomes difficult to remember everything that you discard or morph into something new.
What about you? What has changed from your first draft to your published work? I feel like this has an endless array of possibilities, but these are just a few of mine. I would love to hear about your novels and manuscripts. Share below!