Magical Readathon: Christmas at Hogwarts

What’s this? Two posts in one day? It must be holiday craziness. 🙂

I’m a little late to the party on this one, but I’m thinking about jumping into the “Christmas at Hogwarts” Magical Readathon, going on now. It started on the 17th and goes through the 26th.

I’ve decided that, since we’ll have family in town for the holidays, and since I deserve a bit of a break after yesterday’s book launch, I’m going to take some time off from writing to enjoy the holidays and some good books!

The task sheet for this readathon is part of what hooked me. It’s super creative and modeled after the Marauder’s Map. Honestly, how can I resist? She’s even made versions in different colors (check out the video linked above for those), but I like the parchment style best.

The readathon tasks are decoded as follows:

  • Finish your coursework = finish your current read
  • Help Hagrid decorate the trees = book with a golden detail
  • Have a snowball fight with the Weasley twins = a book you think will be humorous
  • Visit 3 Broomsticks for muller pixie wine = a read that should only take you a day/evening
  • Exchange presents at your Common Room = read featuring/about friendship
  • Sneak into the kitchen to gift Dobby odd socks = read that has an item of clothing on the cover
  • Attend a Yule Ball = book you’ve been preparing yourself for
  • Fly around snowy Hogwarts grounds = building on the cover
  • Put on your knitted sweater from Molly Weasley = read with present parents or a focus on family
  • Use your Invisibility Cloak to get to the Restricted Section of the Hogwarts Library = read a banned book
  • Bring a festive treat to Hedwig at the Owlery = animal on the cover/title/series name
  • Attend the Christmas Feast = watch a Harry Potter movie (optional)

I am currently (and have been since the 17th) working on finishing Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse. So, that’s going to be my “finish your coursework” book. 37864158

Then, I think I’m going to “help Hagrid decorate the trees” by reading a book with gold on the cover. I think there’s enough golden hair on the cover of this one to make it count, right?

Jane Doe

Can we agree that Jane Doe by Victoria Helen Stone counts? Please? Because I really want to read this next… I have more planned, but I’ll keep those to myself for the moment and post when/if I manage to finish these two.

Are any of you participating in this Magical Readathon? If you need a “help Hagrid decorate the trees” book, might I recommend my novella, Vivian’s Promise? It’s a short, fast read and has a lot of gold on the cover…

Definitely let me know if you’re participating, and tell me what you’re reading in the comments. Happy holidays and happy reading!

New Modern Fae book coming soon!

I’ve been so busy with NaNoWriMo and writing book two in the Modern Fae series that I *almost* forgot to tell you about the Modern Fae prequel novella that’s coming out in three weeks! Yikes!

Here are the top five reasons you want to go pre-order this book right now:

  1. Vivian’s Promise can be read as stand-alone novella. That’s right, you don’t have to read Eve of the Fae to get what’s going on here. The two books are definitely connected, but if you haven’t read book one, yet, or if you aren’t sure you’ll like it, the prequel novella is another perfectly acceptable place to start with my series.
  2. Do you like your Fae on the creepy side? My world has both creepy Fae and more friendly Fae, but this book happens to feature a trickster Fae who is definitely on the creepy side.
  3. How about fake relationships? The two main characters in this novella (Vivian and Oscar, both humans) are strangers at the start of the story, but have to pretend to be engaged in order to survive an encounter with the Wild Hunt.
  4. Are you a fan of gruff heroes who are sensitive but not necessarily forthcoming with their emotions? If so, you’re probably going to fall in love with Oscar.
  5. How about short and spunky heroines who aren’t afraid of speaking up? Regardless of whether she’s facing off with the leader of a gang of ghosts or standing up to her parents, Vivian may be the sweet auntie in Eve of the Fae, but she’s definitely got a salty side.

Bonus reasons to grab a copy of Vivian’s Promise: it’s a short, fast, fun read, and it’s only $1.99.

Vivian’s Promise will be released on 18 December in ebook format, only (because it’s a novella). Pre-orders are up on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo. Google Play and iBooks links are coming soon. You can also add it to Goodreads. And, please feel free to request the ebook from your local library.

Thanks for your support! I can’t wait to share this new release with you!

October reading recap and end of year TBR

It’s officially NaNoWriMo time, and I should be writing my novel right now. So, I’m going to try to keep this post short. But I wanted to get my October reading recap out there and share my end of year TBR. Yep. That’s right. I’m doing a TBR. Because there are still two more months to go in this year, but I’ve already hit 2018 my reading goal! Whoohoo!

First, what I read this month:

I started the month already in the middle of reading Obsidio and Aru Shah and the End of Time. These two took me a little longer than normal to read. The first (Obsidio) because of the format. I don’t like to carry paper books around with me, and I especially don’t like carrying around large hardcovers. Plus, I couldn’t read it in bed at night without a light on. So, it limited my reading opportunities. But, ultimately, I thought this was a great end to a really fun series. These are some of the best YA sci-fi that I’ve read recently. I highly recommend them. But I also highly recommend you get paper copies because the interior layout takes the form of a compiled file of documents (hence the series title: The Illuminae Files).

Aru Shah took me even longer to finish reading, but not for the same reasons. I think I’ve mentioned this before, but middle grade books are getting increasingly harder for me to read. No matter how good they are, they just don’t hold my attention. Which should be expected. I’m an adult. But, it’s kind of a bummer because most of the kids in my life are just getting to chapter books and breaking into middle grade books, and I like to be able to read whatever I recommend to them so we can talk about it and share favorite bits of the story. I enjoyed Aru Shah and the End of Time, and if you have a kid in your life that loves the Percy Jackson books, but you maybe want to expand their world-view and toss some heroines their way, you should definitely get them a copy of this book.

Somewhere in there, while I was finishing up those books, I read the third book in the Three Dark Crowns series, Two Dark Reigns. I’ve been gushing about this series for a while now, and I also really enjoyed this book. But…the plot has taken a couple of turns that I’m not fully into, and I’m reserving judgement until I see what happens in the next (final?) book. I don’t want to spoil anything, but I feel like at this point in the series we should be reducing the number of contenders for the crown instead of adding more to the mix. If you’ve read this series, let’s discuss in the comments.

In preparation for NaNoWriMo, and because I’m still learning how to do this whole “indie author” thing, I also read a few writing books in October. The only one that I read cover to cover was Marketing Steamy Romance. My books aren’t super steamy. The potentially super steamy scenes fade to black, and I like to try to find a 50/50 balance between romance and fantasy plot in my stories. But, I still found this book super helpful. Finding your readers is really hard. I write what I like to read. But the world is full of great books. Every time I consider my TBR, I’m reminded of that. So, you really have to work to convince readers that they want to try your book next. This book offers a lot of great options that I hadn’t necessarily considered. Plus the author offers pros and cons for all the things she discusses, so you can sort of “choose your own adventure” based on what you’re willing and able to do from a time, talent, and/or budget perspective. If you’re an author, I highly recommend you check out her book, even if you don’t write “steamy romance.”

Now, about that TBR…

I’ve suspended all my library holds for the rest of the year so that I can focus on writing book two in the Modern Fae series. November is going to be mostly writing, and I have a feeling that may bleed into December as well. But, there are a handful of 2018 and 2017 releases that I bought (or received as a gift) that I haven’t had a chance to read, yet. I was (and still am) really excited about these books, and I’d really like to try to finish at least a few of these before the end of the year.

So, when I need a break from writing, this is my end of year TBR:

I’m also starting to think about my reading goals for 2019, because tracking my reading the way that I’ve been doing it is starting to feel like a chore, and it’s sucking some of the joy out of reading. I really love keeping track of what I’m reading and various other related stats (book lengths, genres, diversity of authors and main characters, etc.). But, managing a spreadsheet, plus my Goodreads shelves, plus tracking in my bullet journal is getting to be way too much. Also, library hold availability has started to drive when I’m reading books instead of me just reading what I want to, when I want to.

Now that I’m writing full time, reading has definitely become part of my job, but it’s still also something I do for fun and pleasure. So, I want to try to find a better balance next year. I may do a post on that as we get closer to the end of the year, or once I decide on my 2019 reading goals.

As for what I’m writing for NaNoWriMo this year…If you like Pride and Prejudice, and if you liked the magic competition in book two of V. E. Schwab’s Shades of Magic series, you are probably going to love book two in my Modern Fae series. I highly recommend that you read book one now because there are two novellas coming out very soon, and book two will be out in Spring 2019. Click on the image below to read the first chapter and get links to buy at all retailers.

That’s it from me, for now. This post turned out to be much longer than I’d planned. Time to get back to writing. Talk with you more in the comments!

Book announcement, cover reveal, and release date!

And now we will interrupt my usual reading-related posts for an important writing announcement…

Eeek! My book has a cover and a launch date! Check it out!

The cover was designed by Elizabeth Mackey. I think she did a fantastic job, and I hope you love it as much as I do. Definitely check out her other work on her website. She’s designed a lot of excellent covers.

I’m almost done making all my final changes to the manuscript. Which means…I have scheduled a launch date!

Mark your calendars. The release date for Eve of the Fae will be the 2nd of October! Pre-orders should be live on Amazon very soon. I’ll update this post with a link and post an announcement on social media once everything is live. (UPDATE: Pre-order here.)

So, make sure you’re following me on Twitter and/or Instagram and watch for that post. Plus, if you want access to be the first to know about book news, plus get exclusive giveaways, you should definitely sign up for my newsletter.

If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you’re probably wondering why you’d want to subscribe to my newsletter. First thing you should know is, the newsletter is not the same content as the blog. This blog is primarily for talking about what I’m reading, random posts about my adventures in bullet journaling, and general life updates. Newsletter subscribers get exclusive updates on my writing projects, plus book recommendations, behind-the-scenes book info, and other content that I don’t share on the blog or on social media. Similar to the blog, I send emails once a month. I promise not to spam you with promo junk.

If newsletters aren’t your jam, I’ll also be posting book news on my Facebook Page. Please like and follow that page for announcements and other fun stuff.

And, since launches deserve celebration, I’m planning a virtual launch event! It will probably be via YouTube so you don’t have to be on social media to participate. I’ll probably do a Q&A and maybe even a reading. I’ll post details closer to the launch.

Now we will return to our reading-related posts…Stay tuned for my August reading update. 🙂