It’s finally fall in Texas! According to the calendar anyway… The temperature and the leaves haven’t quite gotten the message over here.
As I worried last month, I did jinx myself a little when I said the craziness was dying down. That definitely hasn’t been the case, and it’s been an emotional whirlwind. The good news is that I was still able to accomplish a lot, read some great books and start to wrap my head around a potential new project. So let’s dive in!
What I Read
GRAND TOTAL: 3
Unbreak Me by Michelle Hazen ★★★★★
You know I love a good New Orleans novel. Add in some horses and a man who can cook, and I am sold. But Hazen’s novel went far beyond that. Some amazingly developed characters, a thoughtful approach to PTSD, and a very meaningful and romance. It had so much nuanced depth as well as plenty of lighter moments to balance it out beautifully. I loved every minute of it. NOTE: I listened via audiobook and the narrator wasn’t my favorite. So if you are planning to read this book – and you SHOULD – I’d pick up a paperback.
Well Met by Jen DeLuca ★★★★★
This is officially my favorite new rom-com! I read it twice back to back (actually listened to it – this narrator is fantastic)! Not only is the setting of a Renaissance Faire unique and evocative, the characters – main and secondary – swept my off my feet. They were flawed but so relatable. I laughed out loud, blushed, cried. This is a must-read, and I can’t wait for the next installment!
House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig ★★★★★
Holy horror, Batman! This is a loose retelling of Grimm’s Twelve Dancing Priestesses in a nautical fantasy world and in that Craig definitely delivered. The world building was perfection, and despite the large cast, everyone stood out as distinct characters. The romance was also lovely. I wasn’t expecting some elements to be quite as dark or graphic, but it didn’t bother me. In fact, they were executed so well and I loved never quite knowing what was real. There were a few things toward the end that felt a little convenient or unbelievable, but I was able to suspend that belief because I was so enthralled with the story. It’s stands out in a sea (pun intended) of other YA fantasy!
What I Wrote
Just because I got my word count down last month didn’t mean I was done with revisions. I had five or six overarching plot points that needed adding/enhancing, a final read to get through, and a query and synopsis to write. I also had to narrow down the list of Pitch Wars mentors to the four who were a best fit for my novel – an almost impossible task!
But I was able to get it all done (literally minutes before the submission window opened), and I feel pretty good about it all. I am confident I did my best work, and I am so excited to see how Pitch Wars plays out!
So as I wrote last month, my biggest challenge for this round of TBBU revisions is to cut my word count. I started at 137K, and my goal was to get to at least 115K. I was extremely stressed, nervous, doubtful – you name it – that I could accomplish that goal without losing important scenes.
I won’t know if I was accepted to Pitch Wars until November 3, so I’ve got a long month of waiting – which means I will need some distractions! I am really hoping to catch up on my reading, get back on track personally by actually leaving my house instead of being trapped in my revision cave, and refocusing on the good ol’ day job.
But I am super excited about a new potential project that I’ve hinted at before. I am putting myself under zero pressure to get any work done on it this month. Only if I happen to get the urge. That being said, I have decided to share a few juicy tidbits with you today:
- This new WIP will be a contemporary romance.
- The soundtrack so far consists of several songs from Taylor Swift’s Lover.
- It will be dual POV – alternating between the female and male main characters.
- The story is based on the reality dating TV show The Bachelor.
- The conflict revolves around giving someone a second chance – a trope near and dear to my heart that I don’t think gets enough showtime!
I can’t wait to see what the next few months bring and am so happy to have you all along for the journey!