I’m In The Query Trenches !!

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It’s been a while since I last logged in and wrote a blog post. In the past, I have talked about writing my book and revising it, but last month I started my querying journey to try and find someone who will love my not-so-little dragon book as much as I do. I won’t lie, it hasn’t been easy and while I’ve tried my hardest to manage the stress, it caused me to enter into a big reading slump and I kind of disconnected from my blog for a little bit. Not to mention my revision process took up all my energy as I took on the advice and suggestions of my beta readers.

At the beginning of the month, on the 8th to be precise, I passed the one year anniversary since I got the idea for Beneath the Empty. A book I love with all my heart filled with dragons, magic, family, romance and darker themes about dealing with loss and overcoming prejudices. It’s changed quite a bit in places from that first draft, but the help I have received from my critique partners and beta readers has made it even better. Then it was time to query.

Once I had my query letter written, first few chapters polished and synopsis ready, a bundle of nerves hit me in the stomach. As I prepared myself to press send on the first letter, a hundred thoughts rushed my mind. What if I wasn’t ready? What if my writing isn’t good enough? What if no one likes my story? But if I didn’t take the leap, I would never know if it was good enough or if there is an agent out there who will love it as much as I do.

Since mid-May, I have sent out 20 queries altogether and have received 5 rejections, one of them being a no-reply. The best rejection was from an agent who said my book isn’t something they are currently looking for, but they hope I query them again if I find myself with another book to query. I’m taking that as meaning they liked my style of writing, but the dragon book isn’t right for them. Nearly all the rejections have been form rejections apart from that one, so it’s hard to know what’s gone wrong. Is it truly just not the right book for them? Did they think the query letter was bad, is the first chapter or the first 5-10 pages boring/not good enough? Unless I receive a personal rejection, I’ll never know.

Something I did after I started getting the first few rejections back was to send out my first chapter and query to another writer who helped me tweak it a little. She also assured me that she would want to read more just based on those things. Now that I’ve done that, I’ve recently sent out more queries in the hopes of *maybe* getting a full or partial manuscript request. It’s the most I can hope for.

It’s gotten a little bit easier to send out the queries now, although I still have that small knot in my stomach whenever I press send on an email. It’s hard to put yourself and your work out there. You have to detach yourself from it and realise that rejection of the book doesn’t reflect onto you as a writer. So far I think I am handling it. At least I haven’t cried, so maybe I’m stronger and tougher than I think.

I might write a more in-depth post soon about how I am dealing with being in the query trenches, mainly by working out a lot and starting to write a new book (which I am super excited about and already have 25k words written). As nerve-wracking as querying is, it’s also exciting! I’m quite an optimistic person, often daydreaming about what I would do if I got a request or offer of representation, so that’s what I’m hoping for. Until then, I’m going to keep sending queries out and work on my next book in case this one doesn’t pan out.

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Any other writers out there querying their book? Let me know in the comments below.

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Why CPs and Beta Readers Are So Important

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I started writing my own books when I was about 13/14 years old (it could have been before then because my memory is terrible sometimes). Back then, no one saw my writing apart from my best friend at the time and even then, she never offered a critique of my work. She just told me it was good or that she enjoyed it. Of course, I was practising, and I wasn’t as serious about publishing as I am now.

During my time at school, I wrote 3 completed novels, but I never edited them. Another idea always popped up to drag my attention away. There were also a number of ideas I started and never finished. When I completed my 4th novel in March of 2018, I thought that was the one. I started revising it, but then I got the idea for my dragon book. I couldn’t ignore this one because everything about it felt so right. I could see the world, the characters and where I wanted the story to go. I finished the first draft in 4 months and managed to find an incredible critique partner who has helped me along the way and become such an amazing friend in the process.

Working with A CP

My CP, Noelle, started reading my chapters while I was still writing, so she has literally been there since the beginning and has seen the messier stuff. I’ve sent chapters to her with little apologies and emails saying, ‘this is probably trash but here we go!’ However, she normally lets me know those doubts are just in my head and that for a first draft, it was pretty good. I suppose that’s the perfectionist in me making sure I get it mostly right the first time, even though I don’t outline. Don’t worry, I don’t understand it either.

Noelle has shown me when I use ‘and’ and ‘that’ too much, which I am slowly fixing as I go through my third draft and has been so supportive. She knows when I can do better, urging me on with comments along the lines of, ‘use your descriptive powers, show me what it feels like’ because I can admit that description is one of my strong suits when writing. When it comes to sentencing structure and pacing, her advice is invaluable in helping me improve. She is also my biggest supporter. She will scream in the comments when a plot twist occurs and tell me how much she loves my characters, so much so that she wants me to promise I won’t hurt them (which I can’t do, unfortunately – sorry Noelle).

Of course, there are things I need to work on, like all writers, but having a CP who looks at a story beyond the words on the surface is invaluable. All the advice she has given me sticks in my brain and has made my second and then third drafts even better. A CP also helps when there’s a plot point that you’re stuck on. Noelle helped me smooth out the kinks with the backstory of the enemy in my story and notified me when things might get tricky for a reader to understand. After all, I want this story to be as smooth as possible when I send it to agents for querying. They will want to know I can put in the work before I ever had an agent and that I’m taking this seriously.

While Noelle was my first CP, one of my beta readers has become another CP as her comments are so detailed and helpful. The more eyes on my manuscript, the better. However, when it comes to choosing a CP, make sure they are people you trust and who have similar views and tastes as you. It will make the process a lot smoother.

Taking It Up A Notch with Beta Readers

After smoothing things out in the second draft with the help of Noelle, I knew it was time to get other people to look at my words. This is when the beta readers come in. Personally, I chose four (making it 6 people in total who are helping me). For me, four is the perfect number as some of them don’t make a lot of comments, whereas others do. It also allows me to know when there is truly a problem with the book. If only one person picks up on something, it’s likely to just be their opinion, but if three of my betas pick up on something, I know it needs changing. However, that isn’t always the case. I had one beta reader let me know why my beginning might not make sense and suggested a way to change it (which I loved), but I wanted to run it by my other betas. They agreed, saying they hadn’t thought of it before and instead of sending them the second half after reading the first, I wanted to do a third draft so they could see if it flowed well. Two of my betas also suggested altering the character of Afira slightly, as well as having more of her voice in the story, and it made me realise it’s what I always wanted her to be like.

Another reason having beta readers is great is because it allows you to know when you’ve done something right. There have been certain scenes and sentences where all my beta comments were along the same lines. Whether that is telling me it shows great character or made them emotional, it lets me know I’m doing something right. On the days where I’m feeling down about my writing, I simply open up the document with their comments on and read it. Seeing those positive comments does so much for me mentally and gives me the drive to keep on going.

I know with the help of my betas I will be ready for querying in the summer, hopefully before I hit the first anniversary of working on this book (which is in June). I trust them all and listen to their comments. Criticism wasn’t something I dealt with well when I was younger (something my mum likes to remind me of), but I’ve grown a lot recently. Sometimes I get that ‘oh no, they hate it and think it’s terrible’ feeling when I see the comments, but after a little time, I realise they only say it because they want to help. Because they believe in me and this story and want to make it better. I couldn’t ask for anything more.

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If you’re a writer and you’re at the point where you think you need some more eyes on the draft, go for it! Choose friends and people you trust who will be able to give both praise and criticism. It’s a great way to prepare you for if you do get an agent because it’s likely they’ll want you to rewrite parts or cut whole sections.

I’m happy to have found people who will hopefully stick around for all my other magical ideas!

How I’m Staying Motivated While Revising My Novel

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Back at the beginning of June, on the 8th to be exact, I got an idea for a YA Fantasy story about dragons, which is now called Beneath the Empty. I won’t go into too much detail because there’s been a lot of plagiarism lately, but it’s about a princess who has the ability to shift between her human and dragon form. With her dragon guardian by her side, she goes against her mother’s wishes and ventures into enemy territory to figure out why her kind are being killed. Obviously, there’s a lot more to it than that, but that’s how it gets started.

I finished the first draft in October and the second draft in February, but my work wasn’t done there. In that time, I got an amazing critique partner (CP) and several beta readers who have helped me so much. Their help has been invaluable, but I’ll go into detail about why you need a CP and beta readers in another blog post. With their detailed notes, I have started writing the third draft of my book, which is currently sitting at 54,000 words (it was 109,000 at the end of the second draft). So far, they have only read the first half as I was writing the second half while they read it, but after this round of revisions, they will be able to read it all, which makes me slightly nervous.

I’ve lost count on the number of times I have read through my book, but I know it so well and the changes I am making have made it much stronger. However, it hasn’t always been easy to stay motivated, especially when new ideas start to pop into my head (which happened a couple of weeks ago).

Creating an Outline

A few of my betas suggested big changes which would have meant rewriting most of the first act, which was daunting in itself. However, I embraced the changes because I knew it would make the story better and improve character development. One of the ways I managed to stay on track was creating a detailed outline for all the changes I would be making. It’s hard to keep your mind focused when you’re jumping around from document to document, so having everything in one place helped.

I started by going through all my beta readers notes, jotting down all the changes I needed to make, before visualizing what the story needed to be, what I wanted it to be. I wrote down where I needed to expand on details or cut any info-dumping, as well as drafting completely new chapters that hadn’t been there before. The outline I made helped keep me on track instead of feeling like I was losing my mind trying to sort it out.

Setting a Goal

This may not work for everyone, but I am a very goal-oriented person. When I set myself a goal, most of the time I am able to achieve it. When I was first drafting my book, I set myself a target of writing at least 1,000 words a day, which I suppose is the reason I was able to complete the 92,000-word draft within 4 months. Of course, I didn’t always write that much because life gets in the way sometimes and I also went through a low period when I was made redundant at my previous job. But it worked and I decided to set myself a similar goal for this draft.

If I want to finish this draft by the end of March, I need to be writing at least 2,500 words a day. Recently, I’ve been writing more than that because I am at the point in my revision where I can copy and paste certain pieces into the new draft as they don’t need any changes. This will be the case for the second half as I don’t have any beta notes for it, only a few CP ones, but some of the earlier changes will echo through the later chapters, causing dialogue and descriptions to change. At this point, I feel confident I will be able to send the new and improved document to my betas by the end of the month.

Listening to a Playlist

Unfortunately, I can’t write all day, not when I have a job to do and an art commission to finish. Even when I’m not writing, I am still thinking about my characters and the world, and having a playlist dedicated to my book helps a lot. The one I created for Beneath the Empty is full of haunting and cinematic songs which represent the book perfectly. Some songs make me feel emotional and others have me wanting to ride into battle on a dragon. Some have provided a lot of inspiration for certain scenes which wouldn’t have happened without it.

On the days where I’m feeling a little unmotivated to sit down in front of my laptop, I simply pop my headphones in and listen to the playlist. It’s amazing how much my mood can change by doing that and before I know it, I’m typing away. I don’t listen to it while I’m writing (I need to be able to hear the characters in my head, which doesn’t sound creepy at all) but I do when I’m stuck on something.

Rewarding Myself

When I finished the first and second draft of Beneath the Empty, I rewarded myself with my favorite meals, a bottle of wine and a new book. I’ll probably do something similar when I finish this draft, but in between, I give myself smaller rewards. When I reach the end of a chapter, I allow myself to indulge in my favorite treat or watch my favorite TV show. It helps keep me motivated, especially if I’m addicted to what I’m watching. Everyone loves to be rewarded, so don’t be afraid to do it for yourself when you’re writing.

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That’s all I have at the moment and so far, they have been working. I feel so excited every day when I finish work to get home and improve on this story. Before my current manuscript, I never edited a book, ever. I always got better ideas, but Beneath the Empty has my heart and I cannot wait until I can start querying it.

Let’s Catch Up…

So, if you’ve been following my blog for a while now you may have noticed that for the majority of July I was pretty absent. The last blog post I sent out was the 11th, and while I wished I had the motivation to blog…I just didn’t. I’m writing this post to explain a couple of the reasons why I disappeared and how I’m going to try my best to make this blog what it used to be. If not better.

July was a really tough month for me and a lot happened in such a short space of time that I lost a lot of motivation, not just with my blog, but also with my writing (which you all know is something I love). In the first half of the month I was ill twice, which really zapped it out of me, and towards the second half I had some personal issues to deal with, as well as being made redundant. That last one was the hardest to deal with as it happened suddenly and I didn’t have a lot of time to adjust.

Luckily, I had an amazing manager who helped me make my CV and cover letter the best it could be and I managed to get 3 interviews before my notice period was even over. I also have another one to go to this week and I’m waiting to hear back from two on whether I am being offered the job. It’s been so stressful because I’m not living at home anymore and there are a lot of bills to pay, so ideally I need someone to offer me a job this week. Somehow I’m managing to hold it together, but while all this has happened I let all my hobbies slide to the side.

I only read two books throughout the whole month, which is very unlike me and I am behind on reviewing 5 books (which probably won’t get reviewed now but I might do mini ones instead). The books I read (and that I absolutely loved) were:

However, I managed to work on my drawings as well, as I am hoping to open up a website and take commissions soon. So, if any of you are interested in that be sure to drop me a message! Here are the two pieces I worked on, one of which is completed and I gave to my mum for her 50th birthday (she cried):

In terms of my writing, it started off really well in the month and my WIP currently stands at 50,000 words. It is the story of my heart and is so special to me in so many ways. I adore the characters that I have created and I genuinely feel proud of the story, which is something I have never felt before. Then everything went bad and I stalled once I’d reached the major conflict in the novel. However, I started re-reading my work that I’ve written so far to make notes for each chapter (because I have a brain like a sieve) and it’s given me so many ideas to progress the story.

One amazing thing that came out of July is that I found myself an incredible critique partner (CP) called Noelle, and honestly, she is amazing (it just sucks that she lives in Florida). Working through my first five chapters with her has made them 100 times better and she pushes me to work harder because she knows I can do better sometimes. It’s also been incredible to get another persons viewpoint on my story and to hear that it’s amazing and has so much potential is the best thing ever. My confidence as a writer has grown and I truly believe that I could one day publish this book.

I suppose another great thing that happened recently was that I met Tomi Adeyemi, author of Children of Blood and Bone! I won’t talk about that too much as I want to write a blog post on the experience but it was amazing! I’ll just show off one picture of the book that she signed for me and the motivational words she wrote.

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There we have it! Everything that has happened over the last month or so. I just wanted to get all this off my chest and explain to you why I was gone, especially when I didn’t post that I was taking a hiatus. Also, seeing the fact that I have over 350 followers is giving me the motivation to bring you quality content. No, it may not always be book tags and book reviews, there might be the odd post thrown in about my art, my writing and how life is going in general, but that’s what I want this blog to be about.

A great way to also keep up with me is on Twitter (over here) because I am very active there and it’s the perfect place to keep up with my writing and see weekly snippets.

I can’t wait to dive back in the blogging world and catch up with all that I’ve missed!

Wrapping Up The Week (25th June – 1st July)

I feel like this week has been one of the longest ever. It’s been a bit all over the place as I was ill, my boyfriend was ill, I was working from home for one of the days, and now I am ill again as my boyfriend has given me his cough/chest infection thing. Saying that, I have done quite a bit this week and I definitely managed to blog a lot more than I have been doing recently.

This weekend has gone by super quick and I only wish that I had done more reading. Although, I did have my friend over for a couple of hours yesterday, which was great. It was so good to talk about everything we had been up to as we worked out it was almost a year since we last hung out. I find that since she went off to uni and I stayed put working, we fell out of touch, but now that she is home we can hopefully she each other more. Especially as she lives literally ten minutes away in the next village.

Books I read and reviewed…

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Earlier on in the week I got around to writing my review for Thunderhead, which I can say is probably one of my favourite books of the year. If you haven’t read Scythe, then go pick that up first because this series only gets better. It’s one of those books that I can’t get enough of and it’s going to kill me to have to wait until next year for the final one. If you’re interested in reading my thoughts, then check out the review here. It’s a very long one because there is so much to talk about and I pretty much love everything about Thunderhead.

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I haven’t written a review yet, but I finished An Ember in the Ashes last night and it was amazing! So much was being said about this series and how great it is, so of course I had to give it a try and I am so happy I did. I love the Roman influence on the Empire and Blackcliff, as well as the two main characters whose perspectives tell the story. It’s hard to say who I loved more because I looked forward to reading about both of them. I can’t wait to tell you all about my views on the book in my upcoming review.

I am currently reading…

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Finally, I am starting this trilogy. So many people love these books (and I think they prefer them to ToG) and as it is Sarah J. Maas my expectations are pretty high for this one. It’s not too long at just over 400 pages, so I am hoping I can finish it before next weekend. I am starting to get into books about the Fae more now and can’t wait to see Maas’ take on them.

Posts from the week…

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Series I Gave Up On

WWW Wednesday – An Explanation

A pretty simple week with a couple of blog posts going out. Next week will be different as there will be my June wrap ups and July TBR lists which I can’t wait to get to. So many amazing books to read over the summer that I just can’t choose!

My WIP…

As I haven’t been feeling my best, I haven’t done a lot of writing over the last week. However, I am about 800 words away from reaching 30,000 words on my dragon WIP and I am so excited. I am just about the start getting into the exciting stuff, but I need to get some more planning done so I have a clear focus.

I used to be one of those writers that just winged it, but with this book I can’t. Mainly because there are so many moving parts to the story and I want to keep the plot holes to a minimum, so that it is easier to get through the second draft. As I’m reaching the end of the first act (of three) I am going to go back and read through what I’ve got written so far, just to jot down important information that I can relate back to later on in the story. Fingers crossed it all goes well because I would love to have this written and finished before #pitchwars in September (which is on Twitter).

Other Fun Stuff…

Well, I already talked about meeting up with my friend, but I also started a new TV show which is The Shannara Chronicles. So far, so good. It’s not the best show I have ever seen (mainly because I find the dialogue a little stiff) but the action is pretty good and I love the story elements to it. I’m over halfway through season 1 already and I’m hoping to finish it by the end of the week.

Something I don’t talk about too much on my blog is my artwork and drawing ability. I took art at school from year 7 up until year 13 for sixth form (although I began drawing at a much younger age, probably for as long as I can remember). However, with work and all my other hobbies, it fell to the side four years ago and up until recently I hadn’t touched my drawing equipment in a while. However, I changed that this weekend and started working on a piece from over a year ago, which is pictured below.

I made quite a bit of progress on the horse yesterday and by the end of the two hour session, my hand was aching from shading in the dark section. I had forgotten how enjoyable and relaxing it was to just put on some music and get lost in the drawing. You can probably expect to see more of my artwork on the blog from now on.

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So, there we have it. My week in a nutshell, which now I think about it, has been quite busy. I’m just praying that my throat and cough don’t get much worse, but unfortunately I have terrible luck when it comes to being ill.

What have you all been up to this week? Let me know in the comments below!

Wrapping Up The Week (4th June – 10th June)

I feel like I have been having the best weekend ever. While I haven’t done a tonne of reading this week, I did get hit with an amazing story idea that I have thrown myself into since Friday (which I will discuss later on in the blog post). Not only that, but I’ve also taken some time to watch some TV and just relax a little.

Blogging was a little tough to keep up with this week, with Tuesday being a pain thanks to my laptop taking two hours to update leaving me unable to write my Top Ten post, and just being busy in the evenings. I am hoping to get a schedule in place for next week that means I can do some more blogging.

Books I read and reviewed…

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This week I finally got around to finishing and reviewing Empire of Storms, which was just amazing. It was incredible to see everything fall into place, knowing that all of this was set into motion in the first book. I was blown away and I hate that I have to wait so long to find out what happens to them all. At least I have Tower of Dawn still left to read and the Assassin’s Blade, too. There were a few places in the book that seemed a little slow and for this reason I ended up giving it 4 stars, which you can read about here.

I am currently reading…

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Still making my way through this, mainly because I’ve been so distracted and NOT because it is boring. The exact opposite really, as I am loving the fourth instalment in the series. I would say I am around 65% of the way through and I feel like a few major incidents have happened. This series is definitely more character driven and I kind of like that. Too much action can get a little boring at times. Fingers crossed I can possibly finish this tomorrow night.

Posts from the week…

WWW Wednesday – Shocking Twists

May Book Haul – Some of My Favourites (Plus a Little Chat About My Writing)

A much quieter week, as mentioned before, but I still feel like I have accomplished a lot. I also went to a convention with work on Wednesday which completely tired me out. I’m surprised I even managed to write a blog post on that day. Who knew socialising would be so tiring?

My WIP…

If you follow my blog you will know that for the last 7/8 months I have been working on a novel called The Lost Heir. Well…I kind of shoved that to the side to make room for a new work in progress that features dragons, and I’m pretty sure it was inspired by the third How To Train Your Dragon trailer. Not that it features any of their story ideas, but it does feature some kick-ass dragons.

I’ve managed to write nearly 5,000 words so far for the first draft, with the first chapter being completed. I have to say that already I feel like this is the book I should be writing. Everything is so clear in my head. I managed to write 900 words for the character descriptions (just so I don’t change things by accident) and even managed to do a rough outline for the first half of the story in 1,400 words. I don’t want to say too much but it involves a race of humans that can turn into dragons called the Dracari, dragon guardians, hunters, blood mages, and lots of politics. I can’t wait for all the drama to unfold. I’m not sure whether it will be a standalone or a duology, but I will find out soon.

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And that is all folks! I hope that you managed to read some amazing books this week.

Let me know in the comments how your week went.

 

 

May Book Haul – Some of My Favourites (Plus a Little Chat About My Writing)

I cannot tell you how happy I am that it is the weekend, not because work was bad (it was very good and the week flew by), but because I am so excited to get reading and writing. I was sat at my desk in work and was hit by a book idea out of nowhere and I am obsessed. I’ve been editing my other book for a little while now and was getting stuck with it, so I’m hoping that this burst of inspiration will help me in the future. I just need to get the creativity flowing again.

For now I am going to be taking a break to focus on this new story, which features dragons, and I am so excited! I already have the characters in my head and I can see where the story is going to go. For now I am getting the first couple thousand words written to get a feel for the world and then I will probably get to work on doing a vague outline. I did just want to share two aesthetics that I created for the idea (which I am quite proud of).

Everybody, meet Afira and the darkness that is threatening to destroy her world. I won’t say much else at the moment apart from the fact that there are dragons and elemental magic.

I should probably talk about the main thing here, which is my book haul for the month of May!

My Haul…

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Rebel Spring by Morgan Rhodes

Gathering Darkness by Morgan Rhodes

Scythe by Neal Shusterman

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Frozen Tides by Morgan Rhodes

Crystal Storm by Morgan Rhodes

Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman

Out of these six, I have read the three in the first image, and I’m currently reading Frozen Tides (which I am loving). I feel like Morgan Rhodes took over my book haul a lot this time, but when the books are on offer you’ve gotta buy them.

Books From NetGalley…

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Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody

Only one book from NetGalley because I haven’t been requesting many. There just aren’t any that have caught my eye, although I did get accepted for one earlier on in the week that I’m excited about.

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This is an average haul for me and I think it’ll be my last for a little while (until I have to buy the last book in the Falling Kingdoms series). I’m trying to make my way through all the books I haven’t read yet, which will probably take me all summer.

Wish me luck!

Wrapping Up The Week (28th May – 3rd June)

Even though I was only at work three days this week (thanks to a bank holiday and extra day off) I still felt so drained. I’m pretty sure it’s due to the humid weather we’re having at the moment in the UK and it is making me realise how much I miss Autumn and Winter. I prefer prefer being cosy in a jumper and wrapped in a blanket in the evenings. Still got a while to go until I can do that again.

I would say that this week has been a good one for reading, finishing two books and being over halfway through another one. I doubt I will get as much reading done this week with a full week at work, but I will try my hardest!

Books I read and reviewed…

ace of shades

The first book I finished this week was Ace of Shades, which I was approved to review on NetGalley. This was the first novel I had read from Amanda Foody, even though I have her debut on my shelf, which I am going to get around to soon. I first heard about Ace of Shades from twitter and it really intrigued me. Once I got into the flow of the story I found myself enjoying the world of New Reynes and all the mystery that surrounded the characters. While this isn’t the best book I have ever read, I thought it was a fun and light read, and I am looking forward to the sequel, King of Fools, next year. You can click here to see my review.

ruin and rising

I finally finished off the Grisha trilogy with Ruin and Rising, and I’m honestly sad to have finished with these characters and their story. I thought that the ending was great, with a few twists thrown in for good measure, and it was perfect for me. There was a lot of action in the last 50 pages that kept me wanting to reach the end. I found myself still wanting to know more about the world, so I guess it’s a good thing that I have the Six of Crows series to read and that King of Scars comes out next year. You can check out my full review here.

I am currently reading…

empire of storms

I put Empire of Storms down for a bit to read the two books above, but now I am back to reading the 600 plus page book and I’m enjoying it. There were a few slow bits in places, but it has started to pick back up now. There’s a lot of events and characters to keep track of, but their paths are crossing more now which makes it easier. I still have about 280 pages left to read, so there is a lot that could happen between now and then. I better get reading tonight if I want to finish it in the first half of the week!

Posts from the week…

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Worlds I’d Never Want to Live In

WWW Wednesday – Finishing Off a Trilogy

Wrapping Up May -18 – Hitting New Targets

My TBR For June – An Exciting Month

A busy week for the blog, with four posts going out and that doesn’t include the two reviews either. I am also happy to say that I finally reached 300 followers! I cannot wait until I have 500 because then I can treat you all to a fun giveaway!

My WIP…

Over the bank holiday I didn’t do any editing, mainly because I was focused on reading two books so I reached my goal of 7 for the month. However, I still managed to write another 8,000 words this week, bringing my second draft to a total 41,111 words (very accurate and a great number to end my editing for the day today). I was just editing one of my favourite chapters today where my main character’s life begins to change and it’s gotten me so excited for what comes next.

Each chapter that I edit reminds me that changing details about the story isn’t as scary as I thought it would be, or as daunting. I know that I will probably have to do another draft after this before it’s ready to head out for querying, but I’m excited.

On another note, I have had some great ideas for the sequel that I have written down in my notes. I just wish I could crack on with writing it, but I have to wait until the first is complete. A lot of things could change between now and then.

Other Fun Stuff…

I haven’t really done too much this week, apart from reading and writing that is. I did order my tickets for a book event to meet Tomi Adeyemi, author of Children of Blood and Bone, when she goes on tour in the UK. I will be heading to the event in Nottingham and I am so excited! A re-read will probably be in order before then, just so it’s all fresh in my mind. My ticket includes a special edition of the book, along with a signed map, but I’ll probably ask her to sign the book as well.

On Tuesday my boyfriend and I went to see Deadpool 2 in the cinema, and honestly I think I enjoyed it even more than the first one. I don’t know how they managed it, but the sequel was just as good and so funny. Ryan Reynolds plays the character perfectly and I couldn’t imagine anyone else doing it.

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I’m looking forward to next week as I have some great books lined up to read this month. I hope you all had a great week as well!

Let me know in the comments what the best part of your week was.

Wrapping Up The Week (21st May – 27th May)

I can’t believe it’s almost the end of May already. This month has just flown by and it has been filled with some amazing books. This week was no different, and I managed to read a book from a genre that I don’t normally like. Spoiler, the book was amazing!

It is a bank holiday over here in the UK, which means I get tomorrow off from work and I also booked off Tuesday to have an extra long break. Of course, I plan on spending the next two days doing a lot of reading because I am going to try and read two more books before Friday to reach a total of 7 this month. Wish me luck!

I also got a delivery of three books today from Amazon, which I am so excited to read! They have already been added to my June TBR list that I will be posting about next weekend.

Books I read and reviewed…

scythe

This book was incredible! It completely took me by surprise, considering I don’t read a lot from the sci-fi genre, but this book was so unique. The idea that there is no more death and the only way to die is to be gleaned by a scythe is brilliant, and something I’ve never heard of before. The characters were great, as were the plot twists and there was some politics involved as well. If you are a fan of The Hunger Games I would suggest checking this out. You can read my full review here.

I am currently reading…

empire of storms

The first book that I am currently reading is the massive,Empire of Storms. This book is literally making my wrists hurt from having to hold it, but it is so good! I am just under a third of the way through and I’m really enjoying the way the story is going. A lot of things are happening, plans are falling into place. I’ve grown to love certain characters a lot more, especially Manon Blackbeak, who is literally the most badass witch ever! I can’t wait to see what happens to her later on in the story and where her allegiances lie in the end.

ace of shades

I also started reading Ace of Shades. Funny story, I actually requested this on NetGalley and never heard anything back. Then I signed into my account this morning (mainly to browse for any new titles) and saw that I had been accepted, I just never got an email about it. I’m a little past the publication date, but I figured better late than never. I’m only 17% of the way through but I’m already drawn in and really intrigued by the world. There are a lot of comparisons to Las Vegas which I am enjoying, and the characters are interesting. I’m hoping to finish this over the bank holiday.

Posts from the week…

WWW Wednesday – Finally Reading Sci-Fi

Award: Sunshine Blogger Award

It’s always lovely to be nominated for awards because it lets me know that people love what I am putting out on my blog. I always try to be myself and it’s great to see that being so well-received. I am so close to 300 followers and I am so thankful for each and every one, so thank you for sticking with me.

My WIP…

This week was another successful one in terms of my writing/editing. I managed to write another 10,000 words, bringing me to a total of 33,000 on my second draft. It is definitely shaping together nicely and I am ironing out some of the plot holes, as well as writing all the important details down so I don’t forget. I even managed to create a map for the Kingdoms so I can reference them accurately. Not to mention the fact that I am adding the meat to the bones of my characters and they are feeling more real.

I definitely find dialogue to be one of my strong suits when it comes to writing, and find it easy to create a conversation that could feel real. I want my characters to react how anyone else would, especially my main character Raegan, who has her world turned upside down. Let’s just say she swears quite a few times.

I actually took a break from writing this weekend, just because I’ve been so tired (my fault though, I forgot to take my iron tablets and now I’m paying for it), but tomorrow is the start of a new week!

Other Fun Stuff…

We finally got our new sofa and I love it! It has been a month since we moved in and it was so good to finally be able to sit down on it. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the easiest to get into the house. Turns out it was too big to fit around the staircase to get up to our living room, so the two delivery men were kind enough to help us lift it up onto the balcony.

It was probably hilarious to see, my boyfriend and I holding onto the top of the sofa, while one of the men ran up to help us. We eventually got it over the edge and safely into the room. Although, I don’t think we’ll be moving anytime soon.

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And that was my fun-filled week! I am hoping and praying I get to reach my goal of seven books this month, mainly because it’ll be my current record.

I hope you all had a great week as well! Let me know what books you loved in the comments.

Wrapping Up The Week (14th May – 20th May)

Guess who finally caught up on all the reviews she needed to write this week? This girl right here! It feels great to be back up to speed and now I can fully focus on the book I am currently reading. It’s hard to review a book when you’ve read two in-between it and you end up not remembering as much (damn these good books taking up space in my head). It’s fine though because I am all sorted.

This week has been a pretty good one for reading. I am now onto my fifth book of the month and, while I know it’s a little ambitious, I am still aiming for a total of seven. I have 11 days left to do it, but it would mean finishing two books this week and I’m not so sure about that one, especially when I’m not even halfway on my current read.

Books I read and reviewed…

Queen of Shadows review

Rebel Spring review

Gathering Darkness review

All three finally have reviews! I feel like it’s been a great couple of weeks for reading and I hope that it can continue that way for me. All of these books were amazing and left me wanting more of the series, which I will probably finish reading next month for both of them.

I am currently reading…

scythe

Finally, I am reading Scythe. I have heard so many amazing things about this book and so far it is living up to my expectations. I think I am just over a third of the way through and it has definitely captured my attention. This world is so unique, with the idea that there is no more death and the only way to die is to be gleaned by a scythe.

It is so interesting to see how people are chosen and why (with a lot of stats), and already we are noticing something odd with a certain group of Scythes that like to do mass gleaning (sounds as horrible as you’d expect). I’m really enjoying reading about the two apprentices of Scythe Faraday, Citra and Rowan. I can’t wait to see what else this book has in store for me.

Posts from the week…

WWW Wednesday – My New Favourite Series

I missed out on this weeks Top Ten Tuesday because I couldn’t think of anything for the topic, but I am looking forward to this weeks one!

My WIP…

For the last couple of weeks I have been saying that I have wanted to start editing again, but the prospect seemed so daunting. My first draft is 100,000 words long and the thought of going through that and trying to sort it out was terrifying. There is so much that needs to be changed and sorted out. However…

I started again on Tuesday this week and wrote nearly 10,000 words altogether. I have no idea why I was worried because now I have started again, I can’t stop! The ideas are forming a lot better and everything fits together nicely. Some chapters and scenes have been cut, and others have been added it, but it is all for the better. With the rate at which I am writing (having a total of 24,000 words on my second draft already) I am hoping to finish it before the end of July if I can.

This story has my heart and I believe in it so much, I just hope that someone else will too.

Other Fun Stuff…

lucifer

This weekend my boyfriend and I binge-watched the last four episodes of Lucifer, season 3, and it was amazing. Which only makes it a hundred times worse that the show has been cancelled! I can’t tell you how sad that has made me because this show is amazing.

Tom Ellis is brilliant when it comes to playing Lucifer and makes him so loveable. The characters are so diverse, with Latinos and African-Americans, and the writing is incredible with genuine humour that doesn’t seem forced. I just can’t understand why FOX would cancel it, but I know there is a movement on twitter to get it saved (hey, Netflix, check this out!)

Apart from catching up on my TV shows and doing some cleaning, I haven’t done anything out of the ordinary this week.

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I hope all you had a great week and spent the weekend doing something enjoyable! Let me know what book you are currently loving (or hating) in the comments.