April in Review

April was supposed to be a huge month for swimming. In fact, right now I was supposed to be racing in North Carolina at US Masters Nationals. Instead, I threw all my competition plans out the window so I could focus on my writing. I’m a little sad that I’m missing all the racing fun, but I’m also really happy with the edits I made to The Lost Empire this month.

My April writing calendar doesn’t look super impressive, but those silver dots are hiding a TON of work.


Each dot means that I edited at least one chapter that day. Sometimes “editing” included writing new scenes and/or heavily overhauling old ones. By the time I was done, I think I added about 8k *new* words to The Lost Empire. That long break between 4/18 and 4/27 was my well-deserved, post Pitch to Publication contest, break. Now, on to the next manuscript…

Even though I spent nearly every spare minute in April working on edits, I did manage to read some books.


One sci-fi novella (Binti), one non-fiction audiobook (Pirate Hunters), one paperback ARC from one of my Indiespensible shipments (Fever at Dawn), and a contemporary new adult romance by one of my favorite romance authors (Trade Me). I might have given everything except the ARC five stars (but the ARC was outside my wheelhouse from the start, so it shouldn’t count). Either I was feeling generous (writing and editing a book is HARD, people), or they were amazing and hit me at just the right time to leave a mark. Highly recommend. Links above take you to my Goodreads reviews.

So, that was April, now let’s talk about May. I can’t believe it’s May already! In case you didn’t know, May is my favorite month, and not just because it’s my birthday month. I have a lot of cool stuff to look forward to this month, but I also have a lot of hard work in front of me, as well. As a reward for hard work and my birthday, I’ve gone a little crazy with the pre-orders…

So far, I’ve ordered these four beauties:

2016 Pre-Orders

A Court of Mist and Fury comes out on Tuesday. I had mixed feelings about the first book in this series, but the world-building was just amazing. SJM gets all the gold stars for building rich magical worlds that make you want to keep coming back for more. This is why I also have book five in the Throne of Glass series on pre-order (Empire of Storms <– what a great title!). I’ve had some issues with the romanic sub-plots in both of these series from time to time. But, book four in the Throne of Glass series made it all worth it for me and gave me hope that book two in the Court of Thorns and Roses series would be better (please let it be better…).

As much as I love SJM’s world-building and swoon-worthy heros, nothing beats Victoria Schwab for examining complicated aspects of human nature. Vicious was one of my favorite books I read last year, and I haven’t even started her most popular series (first book: A Darker Shade of Magic). Her latest, This Savage Song, comes out in July and I can not wait to read this book.

The blurb for Laini Taylor’s new book, Strange the Dreamer, sounds heartbreakingly beautiful. If her Daughter of Smoke and Bone series is any indication, I will love this one, too. Laini Taylor is another writer who is top notch at world-building and romantic sub-plots that add just the right amount of heat to an already edge-of-your-seat adventure.

You know it’s a good year for reading (and a bad year for your book budget) when three of your most favorite YA authors are all releasing new books!

Since only one of those comes out in May, here’s what I put on my May TBR:


You may notice a few repeat offenders on this list… oh, who am I kidding? This is basically the same list as last month. I did add Lagoon to the list after finishing Binti this month. I’ve had Lagoon on my Kindle since October, and I’ve had my eye on it since around this time last summer. So, it’s about time I read it.

But first, I have to do some edits on Godda’s War (which may also need a new title…), and I really want to start working on the outline for a new book that’s been bouncing around in my head for far too long. Maybe I can add some stars to May’s writing calendar in addition to the silver dots…

Since this post is now epic-length, I should get back to work. Happy May, everybody!