#TRTCGiveaways + Guest Post: Starswept by Mary Fan!

It's Day 31 (first of two giveaways on the last day) of the 31 DAYS OF INTERNATIONAL GIVEAWAYS on Instagram! Today we are super happy to feature STARSWEPT by Mary Fan! This is the first book in a YA Sci-Fi series about a futuristic Earth contacted by an advanced  telepathic humanoid race that treasures music & perfection, leading them to build a prestigious performing arts school powered by their techonology!  Doesn't this book sound beautiful? Read more about it below and check out the amazing giveaway we are hosting found at the end of this post. Enjoy! ♥
Starswept by Mary Fan
August 29th, 2017 from Snowy Wings Publishing
YA Sci-Fi
Some melodies reach across the stars.

In 2157, the Adryil—an advanced race of telepathic humanoids—contacted Earth. A century later, 15-year-old violist Iris Lei considers herself lucky to attend Papilio, a prestigious performing arts school powered by their technology. Born penniless, Iris’s one shot at a better life is to attract an Adryil patron. But only the best get hired, and competition is fierce.

A sudden encounter with an Adryil boy upends her world. Iris longs to learn about him and his faraway realm, but after the authorities arrest him for trespassing, the only evidence she has of his existence is the mysterious alien device he slipped to her.

When she starts hearing his voice in her head, she wonders if her world of backstabbing artists and pressure for perfection is driving her insane. Then, she discovers that her visions of him are real—by way of telepathy—and soon finds herself lost in the kind of impossible love she depicts in her music.

But even as their bond deepens, Iris realizes that he’s hiding something from her—and it’s dangerous. Her quest for answers leads her past her sheltered world to a strange planet lightyears away, where she uncovers secrets about Earth’s alien allies that shatter everything she knows.
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository


A Few of My Favorite Things
(A Guest Post by Mary Fan)

One question I often get asked is, “Mary, where do you get your ideas for your books?” I wish I had some cool, cerebral answer, like “holding a mirror up to society” or “delving into my dreams and subconscious,” but the honest answer is: I write about my favorite things.

Robert Penn Warren once said, “You don’t choose a story; it chooses you.” In my experience, that is absolutely true. Just last year, I spent months planning and researching and plotting the book I thought I wanted to write. It would be ambitious and different, I thought. But also… not a lot of fun compared to what I’m used to writing. I hit a wall with that manuscript and set it down, hoping that a writing break would revive my interest.

Instead, I got a brand-new idea out of nowhere. What happened next, from here, feels almost like a fever dream. I spent two days scribbling brainstorms by any means necessary… sending emails to myself from my office computer at work, scribbling in the margins of my score during choir rehearsal, tapping out notes on my phone on the subway. Now, up until this point, I’d always considered myself a meticulous plotter. All my past books had firm outlines in place before I dared create a document for the new WIP. Some of them were over 10,000 words long.

Not this time. Somehow, this book just wanted to be written so bad, I started writing it before I even knew where it was going, really. I mean, I had a general idea of its direction and how it would all end, but I was totally making it up as I went along. My eagerness wouldn’t wait for my rational brain to figure things out. The story had chosen me. (In case you’re curious, it’s a steampunk fantasy about a sword-wielding warrior girl set in a world inspired by Qing Dynasty China.)

Something similar happened when I wrote STARSWEPT, which I completed the first draft of in just six weeks (seems crazy from here, but I was less busy then!). This, too, was a book that happened almost by accident. I’d been kicking around the idea of writing a book about an orchestra musician… specifically, a viola player. I’d seen lots of books about dancers, singers, guitarists, pianists, and more, but never one about someone who actively played in an orchestra (especially not as a violist—not violinist!).

Because I’m obsessed with sci-fi and especially space operas, the next thing I knew, I had an idea for a book about a teen musician playing in an orchestra in the future. But what really set it off was: What if there were no adult musicians around? Our world is obsessed with youth… what if by the time we reach this future, you either have to make it in your teens, or you’re out?

Thus, the world of Starswept was born. It went through a few revisions, but eventually, it settled on this: The story of an orchestra girl at an elite performing arts school where she must either find a patron by twenty-one or be kicked out and left with mountains of student debt to repay (I guess there was more “mirror up to society” and “dreams and subconscious” going on there after all… I’ve been told that it’s a very Millennial premise). The sci-fi part came in with the introduction of an alien world without music… where people use telepathy to communicate so easily, they don’t have to come up with creative ways (like music and other performing arts) to express themselves. After these aliens encounter Earth, they become obsessed with what they don’t have and willing to trade their advanced technology for access to music, dance, acrobatics, and more. And so our heroine is born into a world where her best chance at life is to find an alien patron to her to their faraway planet.

I originally didn’t set out to write Starswept. I already had two series going, and I was going to try finishing those before starting something new. But this book wanted to be written so badly, I couldn’t stop myself. It was all I could think about, burning a hole in my brain until I released it into a manuscript.

And so I write about my favorite things, because those are the stories I love best. And only when I truly love a story can I get it down in words. 


Instagram Giveaway!

The amazing Mary Fan is giving away a SIGNED hardback copy of STARSWEPT! Giveaway is open International! Enter by clicking the first image below. ♥


About Mary Fan

Mary Fan is a sci-fi/fantasy writer hailing from Jersey City, NJ. She is the author of the Jane Colt sci-fi series, which comprises ARTIFICIAL ABSOLUTES (Red Adept Publishing, 2013), SYNTHETIC ILLUSIONS (Red Adept Publishing, 2014), and VIRTUAL SHADOWS (2015), and STARSWEPT (Snowy Wings Publishing, 2017), a young adult sci-fi romance. Her works also include several young adult fantasy novellas: THE FIREDRAGON (Glass House Press, 2014), FIREDRAGON RISING (Glass House Press, 2015), TELL ME MY NAME (Glass House Press, 2014), and LET ME FLY FREE (Glass House Press, 2016). These serve as prequels to two full-length series,  Flynn Nightsider and Fated Stars.

In addition, Mary is the co-editor (along with fellow sci-fi author Paige Daniels) of Brave New Girls young adult sci-fi anthologies, which feature tales about girls in STEM. Revenues from sales are donated to the Society of Women Engineers scholarship fund.

Mary has been an avid reader for as long as she can remember and especially enjoys the infinite possibilities and out-of-this-world experiences of science fiction and fantasy. In her spare time (when she has any), she enjoys kickboxing, opera singing, and exploring new things—she'll try almost anything once.

Mary graduated Magna cum Laude from Princeton University in 2010 with a Bachelor of the Arts in Music, specializing in composition. Although she is currently focusing on writing, music is still her first love, and so in her spare time she composes songs and soundtracks.


  1. This looks so cool! Always seeing this book from posts of IG friends and I wanted one for myself because who will not fall in love with a story about music and sci-fi. Also the illustrations!!! Entered the GA and hoping I win. IG username is @ireadwonders

  2. Beautiful , I just want it. It's minnie_0627. You guys are awesome, so many books, that I want all of them 🙈💟. Happy New Year. Really want to start my new year with a beautiful book .

  3. Omg! Im so excited to read this book! Especially it contains musical instruments!! @isabellaprimrose

  4. The cover is gorgeous and I love the inside of the book as well. The cover beneath the jacket is exquisite as I am sure your writing is! Flattery? Perhaps. But thank you so much for this, I've been thinking of expanding my horizons on the books I read and I think Starswept is a book that will help me <3