ARC Roundup · Blogging

ARC Roundup | August 2017

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Time for round 2 of my ARC Roundup! I want to share the ARCs I’ve requested and my excitement to read them!

Starfish

Akemi Dawn Bowman

September 26th, 2017

29456598.jpgKiko Himura has always had a hard time saying exactly what she’s thinking. With a mother who makes her feel unremarkable and a half-Japanese heritage she doesn’t quite understand, Kiko prefers to keep her head down, certain that once she makes it into her dream art school, Prism, her real life will begin.

But then Kiko doesn’t get into Prism, at the same time her abusive uncle moves back in with her family. So when she receives an invitation from her childhood friend to leave her small town and tour art schools on the west coast, Kiko jumps at the opportunity in spite of the anxieties and fears that attempt to hold her back. And now that she is finally free to be her own person outside the constricting walls of her home life, Kiko learns life-changing truths about herself, her past, and how to be brave.

From debut author Akemi Dawn Bowman comes a luminous, heartbreaking story of identity, family, and the beauty that emerges when we embrace our true selves.

I’m not the biggest fan of contemporary books. But I was drawn to Starfish for a few reasons: one, the struggle for identity has always been something close to my heart, two, that cover is so pretty and three, I’ve seen people rave about it on Twitter so I wanted to see for myself what they were talking about.

Beasts Made of Night

Tochi Onyebuchi

October 31st, 2017

33395234.jpgIn the walled city of Kos, corrupt mages can magically call forth sin from a sinner in the form of sin-beasts – lethal creatures spawned from feelings of guilt.

Taj is the most talented of the aki, young sin-eaters indentured by the mages to slay the sin-beasts. But Taj’s livelihood comes at a terrible cost. When he kills a sin-beast, a tattoo of the beast appears on his skin while the guilt of committing the sin appears on his mind. Most aki are driven mad by the process, but 17-year-old Taj is cocky and desperate to provide for his family.

When Taj is called to eat a sin of a royal, he’s suddenly thrust into the center of a dark conspiracy to

destroy Kos. Now Taj must fight to save the princess that he loves – and his own life.

A gritty Nigerian-influenced fantasy.

Did you read that summary? Cause, yeah, I’m pumped for this one.

Shadow Weaver

MarcyKate Connolly

January 2nd, 2018

31246863.jpgThe shadows that surround us aren’t always as they seem…

Emmeline has grown up with a gift. Since the time she was a baby she has been able to control shadows. And her only friend and companion is her own shadow, Dar.

Disaster strikes when a noble family visits their home and offers to take Emmeline away and cure her of magic. Desperate not to lose her shadows, she turns to Dar who proposes a deal: Dar will change the noble’s mind, if Emmeline will help her become flesh as she once was. Emmeline agrees but the next morning the man in charge is in a coma and all that the witness saw was a long shadow with no one nearby to cast it. Scared to face punishment, Emmeline and Dar run away.

With the noble’s guards on her trail, Emmeline’s only hope of clearing her name is to escape capture and perform the ritual that will set Dar free. But Emmeline’s not sure she can trust Dar anymore, and it’s hard to keep secrets from someone who can never leave your side.

The first in a dark middle-grade fantasy duology, MarcyKate Connolly weaves a tale filled with shadows, danger, and magic that has the feel of a new classic.

I snuck a peek at the opening chapter to this piece and lemme tell you, it’s wonderful. My good friend JM Tuckerman also read this one and she loved it, so I’m already anticipating loving this one too.

Blogging

August Updates

Hello, lovelies.

I’m back from residency, back from spending time with family, and back to the blog. Things have been a little rough, but with time, I feel healed and ready to go again.

Blog Updates

I’ll try to maintain a steady posting schedule, at least twice weekly, with updates, book reviews and more ARC Round Ups, updates on my TBR and writing progress. I’m always putting too much pressure on myself when it comes to this blog and I’d like to try and see it less as a stress factory and more of a place to unwind and open up.

Semester Updates

My semester at SNC started up again and my first packet is due in less than two weeks. Yikes! Reading ten books a month is hard to do, plus I’m trying to get a draft query ready by winter. But I’ve got a great mentor this semester (as if my previous mentors haven’t been great. Pablo and Lisa changed my life.) and I’m ready to get to work.

Reading Updates

I’ve been reading more lately than I have in the past, and not just because of school. Maybe I’ll actually finish ACOWAR this month… But I’ve got plenty of ARCs waiting for me and I’m very excited for many of them. Especially Mask of Shadows!

Writing Updates

During residency, JM Tuckerman and I holed ourselves up in a classroom, took over the whiteboards, and wrote a whole bunch. I broke 30k on this manuscript and I’m getting very close to the end. This might be the first draft I’ve ever written that’s come under my word count goal. Well, revisions are there to help boost that and I love the revision process.

I know, I’m a weirdo.

Blogging

Taking A Break

These past few days have been incredibly hard on my family and myself. Dealing with loss is not easy, and especially watching it happen to someone very close to you is even harder.

I’ll be taking a short break from blogging and from social media for a few weeks. I’m flying out to Poland to visit family in the next week and will be gone for a bit. You can still find some of my reviews and my podcast, Booked All Night, over at BookedAllNight.blog.

I’m still going to keep writing, since that seems to be the only thing that’s easing the hurt, but it won’t be on the blog.

Thanks for sticking with me, lovelies.

Blogging · Writing

Weekend Writing Goals

I’ve been working at my Day Job non stop this entire week, and I’ve got doubles all weekend so I’ve got even less time than usual to write and read.

Sometimes, I have to wonder, when does my Day Job stop becoming just that? A day job is meant to be a supplementary place of income, something to get me by in the winter months. But I’m practically working over time—of course, the summer is the peak of BBQ season so of course I’m working plenty—and it’s leaving me more drained and less likely to want to get my writing done.

But I’m coming on 30k in this draft of my YA Fantasy and I’m nearly at the end of Act 1. Someone’s about to get kidnapped! I’m excited.

It’s been a lot of fun getting back into this manuscript. Every time I take a break from the story and the world and instead focus my writing on a different project, this world is just sort of sitting at the back of my head. It’s always so tempting to go back to it, even if I know I need to take time off from it.

So this weekend I’m hoping to hit 35k and get as close to the end of Act 1 as I can.

What are your weekend writing goals?

Blogging · Reading

ARC Roundup

I’ve got some new ARCs from Netgalley to read and I’m pretty excited about diving into these because they all sound like books I’d love, so I figure I’d share them with y’all!

Witchtown

Publication Date: July 18th, 2017

I requested a couple different witch themed books around the same time, including the first book in the Windy City Magic series, The Best Kind of Magicand Witchtown was requested shortly after. I love witchy stories and urban fantasies about witches so we’ll see how this one goes!

30971734.jpgWhen sixteen-year-old Macie O’Sullivan and her masterfully manipulative mother Aubra arrive at the gates of Witchtown—the most famous and mysterious witch-only haven in the world—they have one goal in mind: to rob it for all it’s worth.

But that plan derails when Macie and Aubra start to dig deeper into Witchtown’s history and uncover that there is more to the quirky haven than meets the eye.

Exploring the haven by herself, Macie finds that secrets are worth more than money in Witchtown.

Secrets have their own power.

Zero Repeat Forever

Publication Date: August 29th, 2017

I have a secret love for sci-fi and space books, and also just look at that beautiful cover!!

28945665He has no voice, or name, only a rank, Eighth. He doesn’t know the details of the mission, only the directives that hum in his mind.

Dart the humans. Leave them where they fall.

His job is to protect his Offside. Let her do the shooting.

Until a human kills her…

Sixteen year-old Raven is at summer camp when the terrifying armored Nahx invade, annihilating entire cities, taking control of the Earth. Isolated in the wilderness, Raven and her friends have only a fragment of instruction from the human resistance.

Shelter in place.

Which seems like good advice at first. Stay put. Await rescue. Raven doesn’t like feeling helpless but what choice does she have?

Then a Nahx kills her boyfriend.

Thrown together in a violent, unfamiliar world, Eighth and Raven should feel only hate and fear. But when Raven is injured, and Eighth deserts his unit, their survival comes to depend on trusting each other…

Girls Made of Snow & Glass

Publication Date: September 5th, 2017

Fairy tale retelling? Check. Feminist retelling? Double check. Two girls made magically? Heck yeah! I’m a little hesitant on the present/past alternating stories since we already know that Mina ends up as the stepmother, but hopefully I’m proven wrong and it’ll be a great story!

34932579Frozen meets The Bloody Chamber in this feminist fantasy retelling of the Snow White fairytale as you’ve never heard it before, tracing the relationship of two young women doomed to be rivals from the start: the beautiful princess and stepmother queen.

At sixteen, Mina’s mother is dead, her magician father is vicious, and her silent heart has never beat with love for anyone—has never beat at all, in fact, but she’d always thought that fact normal. She never guessed that her father cut out her heart and replaced it with one of glass. When she moves to Whitespring Castle and sees its king for the first time, Mina forms a plan: win the king’s heart with her beauty, become queen, and finally know love. The only catch is that she’ll have to become a stepmother.

Fifteen-year-old Lynet looks just like her late mother, and one day she discovers why: a magician created her out of snow in the dead queen’s image, at her father’s order. But despite being the dead queen made flesh, Lynet would rather be like her fierce and regal stepmother, Mina. She gets her wish when her father makes Lynet queen of the southern territories, displacing Mina. Now Mina is starting to look at Lynet with something like hatred, and Lynet must decide what to do—and who to be—to win back the only mother she’s ever known…or else defeat her once and for all.

Entwining the stories of both Lynet and Mina in the past and present, Girls Made of Snow and Glass traces the relationship of two young women doomed to be rivals from the start. Only one can win all, while the other must lose everything—unless both can find a way to reshape themselves and their story.

Blogging

A New Podcast Appears!

bookedallnightI’ve been hard at work lately with my good friend JM Tuckerman over at our new YA blog BookedAllNight.blog and we’ve been two busy birds making a new podcast! We used to podcast once upon a time over at Round Robin Writes but we always ended up falling behind because it was a “Whenever Our Adult Lives Allow Us” type of thing.

But now we’ve got a schedule and a plan to keep to so we’re going to have a constant stream of neat YA bookish content coming to your earbuds.

Our premiere episode will be coming out tonight Thurdsay June 15th, at 11 PM EST. It’s a late night podcast so it’s to theme!

Follow our RSS feed here: https://bookedallnight.blog/category/podcast/feed/

And our Feedburner: http://feeds.feedburner.com/bookedallnight/jOjU

It will be going out to iTunes and Google Play at that time as well.

Blogging

Weekend Writes

Yesterday, I spent some time with my good good friend JM Tuckerman. We’ve been working on some fun projects together, including our new YA book blog, bookedallnight.blog!

We’ve had a little writing project in the works for a little bit now and I’m excited to see it evolve, but we’ve also started podcasting again. The first episode of our new podcast, the Booked All Night podcast, goes live next week. It’s a late night YA podcast, so keep your eyes peeled for a late night release!

Besides that, I also started getting back into the groove of writing my YA Fantasy again. I wrote 3k last night and if I can do half as much each day this weekend, I’ll feel like I’ve accomplished something again. It’s been hard to get back into a pattern of writing daily, but I’ve got plans to finish this YA Fantasy before my birthday and I plan on writing a lot this July when I’m in Poland with family.

So this weekend, I’m hoping to get through the first act and see where that leaves me. I did hit 25k last night though, and that’s a great accomplishment!

What are y’all writing this weekend?