What I’ve Been Reading Lately (June, 2022)

After a lot of rereads last month, I brought home a big bag of books from the library and have been off on a lot of new reads more recently.

I continued my T. Kingfisher reading with Paladin’s Strength, sequel to Paladin’s Grace, focused on a supporting character from the previous book.  It was very good with some nice turns to the story, if not quite as good as the first in the series – but Paladin’s Grace is a serious contender for best of the year right now, so it’s hardly fair to set the bar that high!  I very much enjoyed the second one too, and plan to finish the trilogy.

I got up to date on the Morrigan Crow series with Hollowpox by Jessica Townsend.  I believe the next book is due out later in the year.  I liked Book 3 better than Book 2 in this case, as Morrigan got to do much more with her magic and that was very fun.  I was not prepared for a plague story, though.  I guess the title should have tipped me off, but I genuinely didn’t make the ‘pox connection!  Still good, but I’m glad I didn’t read this a year ago – and I think some of the “terrible” government restrictions trying to curb the pox (like…a curfew) may read differently now than they would have pre-Covid…

Continue reading “What I’ve Been Reading Lately (June, 2022)”

Writing Update (June, 2022)

Writing has been less intense since last month, with the unexpected novel I ended up drafting!  My focus has been spread out to a few different projects ever since.  I made some revision notes for future reference for that unexpected novel, which may end up being Book 3 in my growing Thorns series (or possibly Book 4…)

After that I worked on some revisions for Thorns 2, which I did a full first draft on a couple of years ago – but I wanted to substantially rewrite the last several chapters.  So I did some of that work, made more notes for the future, and decided I was better off holding on that until I did more final revisions on Thorns 1.

Which brings me to what I’m currently working on – my beta-readers returned feedback to me recently for Thorns 1, so in the past week I’ve begun sifting through that for revising.  So I have one book in Stage 3 revisions, another in Stage 2 revisions, and a third that’s drafted and waiting for Stage 1 revisions, all within the same series.  Oh, and I have ideas for an additional two books in the series, probably Books 3 and 5, but I haven’t actually started writing them.  It’s gotten complicated! Continue reading “Writing Update (June, 2022)”

Free Today: Nocturne, Book 1 of The Guardian of the Opera

I’m excited to share today that the first book in my Guardian of the Opera series, Nocturne, is currently available free in the Kindle store!  If you haven’t started the series yet, want to add an ebook to your paperback copy, or know someone who would enjoy the series, don’t miss this offer!  It’s only available until June 8th.

Here’s the book blurb to tell you a little more about it, in case you need to convince a friend!

A delightful retelling of the Phantom of the Opera from a new perspective, exploring love, betrayal, and the masks we all hide behind.
 
Paris, 1881. Ballet dancer Meg Giry befriends a newcomer to the Opera Garnier, soprano Christine Daaé. As their friendship grows, both women are hiding secrets: Christine is receiving singing lessons from a supposed Angel of Music, and Meg once met a very human Opera Ghost, forever changing her view of the Opera’s specter.
 
Behind the Phantom’s disguise is Erik, a man of many talents and many masks.  When he falls in love with Christine, he can’t resist at last allowing himself to be seen.  But love without trust can only lead to heartbreak, as events escalate and the Phantom of the Opera begins to lose control.
 
With strange events unfolding and the pieces failing to add up, Meg tries to unravel the truth about the Phantom – and about Christine.  Meg will discover that not all is as it seems and the masks we can see may be the least concealing ones.
 
Fans of the beloved Phantom of the Opera story as well as newcomers to the tale will enjoy this story of mystery and romance set at the Opera Garnier.  Enjoy seeing characters you think you know, and come away with a new view of the Phantom of the Opera.

What I’ve Been Reading Lately (May, 2022)

I’ve been so busy writing the last few weeks, I’ve done less reading than usual!  I have enjoyed rereading some old favorites, though, and trying a couple new books too.

Gordon Korman was my favorite funny author of my childhood.  A couple of librarian friends tell me he’s known for survival stories now, but back in his early career he wrote some hilarious stories, including my favorite and one of the earliest reviews on this blog, A Semester in the Life of a Garbage Bag.  I recently bought one missing from my collection of his early books, Son of Interflux.  I got a used copy online, and was pretty delighted to open it and unexpectedly find a signature!  The book was also as fun and hilarious as I remembered.  In the same mold as Semester, it’s a high school setting full of kooky characters and increasingly escalating chaos.  In this case, an art school takes on a big corporation to save a forested area – but it’s not remotely as serious as that plot makes it sound. Continue reading “What I’ve Been Reading Lately (May, 2022)”

Writing Update (May, 2022)

I’ve been having an unexpectedly busy past month in my writing.  On my last update, I mentioned revising Thorns 2; I was focused on that until mid-April, on track to finish this particular revision pass by the end of the month.  And then very suddenly I got hit by an idea for a companion story–probably a novella.  I thought I’d just jot down a scene or two…and it completely overtook my brain.

Penelope is a minor character in Thorns 1 – she’s married to Prince Gregory, Terrence’s brother and one of the chief villains of the series.  She’s sent away from the castle halfway through the book, which was fully a plot device for Rose and Terrence’s story.  But I started to wonder about Penelope, to wonder what had become of her when she was sent away.  And once I started wondering, she took up residence in my brain, with apparently no intentions to go away until I wrote her story.

The “novella” kept getting longer, turning into a full novel.  And with Penelope more or less shouting at me (even though she doesn’t shout in the entire book), and bringing along a few new characters to join her, I ended up writing a 60,000 word first draft in three weeks.  That’s the most I’ve ever written in three weeks, and the fastest by far and away that I’ve ever completed a first novel draft.  She just really, really wanted her story told! Continue reading “Writing Update (May, 2022)”