Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Review: Halfway To The Grave by Jeaniene Frost

*This is not YA

For years I've kept hearing about this guy named Bones, and I sat there thinking, "Who the heck names their romance hero Bones?". I knew the series was about vampires, and later learned that it was urban fantasy, but that (at the time...) silly, silly name kept making me decide to stay away.

Plus, I was relatively committed to keeping this (mostly) a YA blog. I wasn't sure back then if I really wanted to dive into an adult paranormal romance or urban fantasy series, even though that's what my main background as a reader was before I started blogging. After all, I'd read Christine Feehan and Sherrilyn Kenyon. I'd seen it all, right?

Um, no. Nothing against either of those ladies--they've both written books I love immensely--but there is much more out there. These two sister genres are both totally alive and kicking.

It was actually seeing Marie over at Ramblings of a Daydreamer review a few of the books, and receiving First Drop of Crimson at this year's Ontario Blogger Meetup that made me decide to give the series a go. I wanted to at least read the first book before I looked at that one, since it's a spin-off.

So, curious to see what I thought of Bones and Cat? (Whose middle name is Kathleen. You're killin' me here.) Read on and find out.
(Summary from GoodReads)
Half-vampire Catherine Crawfield is going after the undead with a vengeance, aiming for the father who ruined her mother. Bones, a vampire bounty hunter, captures Cat, and agrees to train her until her battle reflexes are as sharp as his fangs. But a group of killers pursue them. Bones is as tempting as any man with a heartbeat.
Don't let the rather short summary fool you: this book totally kicked ass.

I wasn't sure what to expect when I opened it. I've been in a reading slump and I was dealing with some seasonal moodiness that tends to hit me this time of year when I started reading. Yet despite having odds against it, Halfway To The Grave drew me away from everything going on with me and totally sucked me into Cat and Bones world. Which is exactly what a good book should do.

Jeaniene Frost did an excellent job of combining great characters, awesome fight scenes and page scorching chemistry. The more I read, the more I rooted for Cat--in her situation with her mom, her quest to help Bones take out 'bad' vampires, and her growing attraction to Bones. As for Bones--OMG, people, this is a man (well, Vampire...) I totally loved. He's the exact type of guy I like in paranormal / urban fantasy: a total badass who can be utterly ruthless and totally devious when dealing with the villains, yet who develops a fiercely loyal heart of gold toward the heroine. Yes, Yes, Yes! Bones may very well be my favorite "new" (to me at least) male character I've read this year.

I also like how Jeaniene Frost set up her world building. She didn't drop twenty tons of info dump on her readers. Instead, she gives the reader what they need as they need it. She seems to have an almost chess-like process in choosing when to share something, and does so in a way that allows the reader to 'play along' and be able to think about things, while not getting so bogged down that they fall asleep. I sincerely look forward to learning more about vampire lore, ghoul lore and whatever else she decides to throw at me.
Halfway to the Grave grabbed me from word go and didn't let go until the last page. I zipped through it in two days and was so freaked over the ending that I immediately downloaded--and read--the second book as well. So I think it's pretty safe to say my verdict is obvious. Buy it! Buy it now! This is totally fabulous!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Changed My Life

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish where we discuss various book or book blogger related topics via top ten lists.
As a writer who dreams of sharing her words with the world, I'm sure it comes as little surprise when I tell you that I feel that words--and by that extension books--have power. This week's Top Ten Tuesday post is suppose to be about gratitude, so I decided that I would write about the books that have:

-- Inspired me as a reader
-- Brought me new friends
-- Most effected me as a blogger.
-- Strengthened me as a writer
-- Changed me life in ways you might not imagine.

I'm not here to talk about how fabulous these books were or are. Their greatness (to me) should be obvious if something about them stuck, or if reading them inspired something in my life. Oh, and just an up front warning: there are going to be thirteen books listed here. Not ten. Let's get this party started. :D

...As A Reader

We spend a lot of time obsessing over the stories of the characters we meet in the books we read. But how often does one stop to think of the effects that reading can actually have on their own story, or life? Before I can delve deeper into books that have effected me in very specific ways, I must start with ones that effected me in the most simple ones.

I learned several important things from Wizard's First Rule by Terry Goodkind. Sometimes it's important to give a book a second chance--and sometimes, for one reason or another, an opening scene isn't always gonna click with me. (Hence the need for that second chance.) Book books don't have to be scary--this was one of the first really large books I read when I was in high school. Lastly, fantasy is awesome. And things aren't always 'easy', 'black and white', or purely 'good' or 'evil'. While the story itself, looking back, was fairly straight forward...I would be lying to you if I didn't admit to toying with pieces of it in my head. It made a fine introduction to the genre.

I bought Dark Magic by Christie Feehan at Chapters in Peterborough after crossing four lane traffic for the first time in my life. I'm legally blind and come from a (sometimes neurotically) sheltering family, so this was a rather big deal to me. More directly related to this post, this was my introduction to Paranormal Romance, which is my main genre of choice as a writer. If I hadn't loved this book the way I did, I wouldn't have looked for more. And amid that looking, I wouldn't have reached the conclusion that THIS is what I want to do. When talking about books that had a life changing impact, the discussion would not be complete for me without mentioning this.

And of course a discussion of how books have changed my life as a reader would not be complete without mentioning the House of Night series. It was my introduction to modern YA (as opposed to what constituted this category prior to things like Twlight and Harry Potter. What we have today is much larger and quite different.) It was also the initial catalyst that got me writing again after years of (basically) dormancy because it is what helped solve the one puzzle I was having in setting up Sealer's Promise. My characters kept telling me that people knew they existed, and this series proved to me that can work.

...As A Writer

The old adage goes, "If you want to write--read." This is true in many ways, in my opinion. By reading you are most likely to learn the natural flow of 'story', you are also able to learn what elements of storytelling work for you and which don't, which can effect genre, technique, and personal development. But rather than this, there are often more personal, unique benefits that others books can have on us as writers. At least, I know that this has been so for me.

The Harry Potter series is totally fabulous. I'm pretty sure a fair number of you will agree with that. But would you also guess it got me into fan fiction? And that while I don't necessarily think it's great that fan fiction is getting people writing (I'm neutral on this--I don't wanna touch it) that I do feel it's a fantastic way to learn. I believe that it can teach consistency, story structure, plot structure, and allow authors to work on developing their own style in implomenting voice, dialogue, and description. It's also a great shot for someone who is learning to actually get readers. Lemme tell you, it's TOUGH getting people to check out an original piece of fiction. I do feel that people need to eventually write their own stuff, but I'm not from the author camp who feel fan fiction is the end of the world. If nothing else, fan fiction is a great way to START to get an idea of whether you like writing, and things can progress from there.

When I started blogging, Marie over at Ramblings of a Daydreamer was one of the first friends I made. It certainly doesn't hurt that we live half an hour from each other, we both like a variety of different genres of books, and we both write, as well as read. Her debut novel, Blue Sky Days, is a book that I really loved. (And on that subject, I've loved each of her books since. And no, FYI, it's not that she's my friend. I'm a really finicky, moody reader.) What people may not know, and the thing Blue Sky Days did that I'm sure no one intended, was that it was the book that made me decide that I should go the self publishing route. I have the utmost respect for Trade Publishing. And someday, perhaps, I'll pursue that. But the quality and beauty of Marie's book, and the fact that she had found a way to share it with people, was the final straw that made me decide, "Hey, I bet I can do that too.". (Marie's not the first person to inspire me in this way, but she was the turning point.)

Wanna know how and why Sealer's Promise ended up finally getting it's third rewrite, and why it's now a new adult novel? Many thanks must be given to Strength by Carrie Butler. This is the book that showed me that New Adult can go beyond contemporary, a reality that totally blew my mind. For what it's worth, I really should go back and re-read this again. I reviewed it for a tour, which is not me at my finest if we're being totally and brutally honest. This book itself deserves another go since it did something so important for me.

...Through Friendships

The only thing cooler than reading a really good book is also having the great fortune to either be friends, or become friends, with the person who wrote it. As a person, it's just neat to have that level of connection. As a writer, it's vital to make friends to help with the solitude that the quest of writing, revising and releasing a book can take. I've already talked about Marie Landry. Now here are three other friends I'd love to spotlight.

In fall of 2011 I received a request to review a novel. I'd only started my blog a few months prior and I was still learning when to accept and decline things. Little did I know that this book, The Scarlet Dagger, would be the best book I've been requested to review since starting I Write, I Read, I Review, and that it would lead to a friendship that I value deeply. I'm always careful to note when I'm friends with someone whose work I review, but the thing is, I reviewed Krystle Jones' novel before we became friends. Still, the Sealers and I owe her a great deal. She was my main beta for the last draft and she gave some extremely useful insights. If I hadn't read The Scarlet Dagger (or she hadn't written it) I would have missed out on both the knowledge and a great friend. (Not necessarily in that order.)

Time and again I have praised the Absolute Write Water Cooler as being my absolute favorite hang out when I want to talk about writing. That definitely extends to the friends I made on the Self Publishing & POD forum when I started learning more about self publishing so I would be able to help my characters story actually become a real, tangible thing. Merri Hiatt, author of Winter Love (and a lot of other great romances; this one just fit the season.) is one of the friends I've met there. An extremely encouraging, upbeat presence on the forums, and a talented writer to boot, I'd try and list all the useful things I've learned from Merri--directly or not--but then I'd run of space in this post.

And of course this section would have a big gaping hole if I didn't talk about Robert Bevan, author of the hilarious beyond words Critical Failures. In addition to being the person who wrote (and writes) one of my favorite series, Robert is also the person who encouraged me most to actually GET the third draft of my book written when I realized a third draft was needed; along with *all* of the other authors I've listed as friends here, he is one of the first people who sees (and acknowledges) the samples I put up when I'm writing something (When any of my friends do this it's helpful in more ways then they possibly know. I'm very social and it keeps me motivated to keep going.) and as another friend from Absolute Write, I've learned much from following his journey with his series and from opinions he has given on posts that I've done.

...As A Blogger

Before we go any further, I want to take a moment to tell all of you that it means a great deal that you take the time to come and check out my posts here at I Write, I Read, I Review. I've made some totally awesome blogging friends in the 2.5 years I've been doing this, and I've had some totally awesome experiences thanks to blogging as well. My life as a reader, writer and person has been blessed by choosing to open this blog and that would not be so without you guys. Words only live when someone reads them. Thank you. As for the books I value most deeply as a blogger, here are three pretty memorable milestones for me.

In summer 2011 I randomly entered a giveaway happening on Absolute Write where I won a copy of Summer on Fire by Kevin Craig. I had just started a blog after finishing the first draft of Sealer's Promise (then called Moon Dance) and that (this) blog had no real structure yet. When I received the book and read it, three really cool things happened. (1) I really liked the book. (2) I reviewed the book and discovered that I liked reviewing. (3) My aunt and I ended up having an 80s music videos marathon--it was Summer on Fire that taught me the idea that books can effect lives; in many ways it's the catalyst for this post.

A few months after starting my blog, one of the books I kept hearing about on Absolute Write was Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley. I had just recently gotten into contemporary YA and I kept being told this was *the* book, apparently out of this world amazing. (For the record: they were right.) The problem was that this book wasn't being released until next year. Then someone told me about Net Galley and I made an account, requested the book, and was approved. For a book blogger, being approved for that first ARC--whether digital or physical--is pretty exciting. While I'm not *as* big on those now (my priority is writing and my personality doesn't mesh well with trying to have reviews up by certain dates) I will always be grateful to Random House for the opportunity to check out a book I was extremely hyped for months prior to its release.

The last book I want to highlight as something I'm grateful for as a Blogger is Mortal Obligation by Nichole Chase. Like Marie and Krystle, Nichole was one of the first authors I came into contact with who had decided to go the self publishing route. She gave some really great advice and thoughts in the interview she did on my blog. Which leads us to the actual reason I'm listing her here. Mortal Obligation is the first book I was part of a blog tour for. Again, that's not something I do a lot of, but at the time it was a huge deal to me and looking back it's something I recall fondly. (Also, I need to review them but her books Flukes and Suddenly Royal are also great.)

...In More Ways Than I Can Count

King Arthur pulls excalibur from the stone. Romeo meets Juliet. Harry Potter goes to Hogwarts. Zoey Redbird is Marked. Kelsey Hayes takes a job at a circus. In fiction, there is often something a protagonist does that in some way causes them to cross a threshold, and in doing this, the changes they need are able to happen in their life. For me, that transformative moment didn't come from any of the above. In fact it came from something much more humble and simple. Meet the book that changed my life...

I can hear what you're probably thinking. "Uh, Kat? That's not a book at all." And you're totally right. It's issue #30 of Nintendo Power Magazine, which released in November 1994. I don't have any idea how or why my family had a subscription to the magazine when I was eleven. I think there may have been a free trial or something and my dad signed us up. But that's beyond the point. This magazine is how I found out about Final Fantasy IV (which back then was known as Final Fantasy II in North America). You've ALL heard me talk about that. But for those who haven't, let me fill you in.

Back in the 90s you had to read text when you played RPGs. Through playing Final Fantasy IV (III) I discovered my love of reading.

Because I played the game multiple times during my choldhood and used it to learn to read better, spell better and in turn want to write better, i started writing Final Fantasy IV (II) fan fiction probably a decade before I read a Harry Potter book. At the time I had an audience of one: me. And I wrote because I didn't want the story to end, or because I wanted to make changes to the story. Yes, my eleven year old self did create characters and do lord knows what else to this world. This game, which I discovered through this magazine, is what made me want to be a writer.

Of all the games I've played, this is the only one that I have beaten multiple times, and it is the game that made me decide that I was (and am) a gamer.

And because of that decision, I continued gaming. Since I continued gaming, I eventually discovered MMORPGs (Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games). My main introduction to MMOs as a game called Phantasy Star Universe. And through Phantasy Star Universe, I met my boyfriend, Jay. We've been together nearly 5 and a half years now. So you could say, yes, that in it's way that humble Nintendo Power Magazine helped bring me love.

Now that I have shared how books have changed my life, it's your turn. Have books done anything remarkable or exciting for you? Or perhaps you posted about something else you are grateful for this week? Either way, feel free to link me up or leave a comment. Have a great day!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Get Read-y for 2014 -- Reading List!

Get Read-y is an event being hosted by Loving Books. It runs from December 1st 2013 to December 31st, 2013. The goal is to read some of the stuff on our TBR Piles to help clear up some space for 2014 books, or to re-read series favorites so they are fresh in our minds when new books come out.

I haven't been reading much since I sat down in August to do the (*hopes, prays*) final re-write of Sealer's Promise. And I still haven't read much since completing it. In fact, I've kinda been...stuck. I need to give myself more time before I do the final revision, even if that means pushing the book back.

I have several books on my shelf that I'm totally DYING to read. I'm gonna list a bunch and y'know what? If I don't get to them all, that's OK! (For my benefit there, not yours. :) The only one who puts pressure on me here is me, after all.) Anyway, enough babbling about me. Let's get to the books!
The weather might turn frightful, but I'm sure these books will be delightful! Ready to see what I'm hoping to read?


1. The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead -- I read Bloodlines earlier this year and really enjoyed it. I've also read several of the Vampire Academy books as well, and liked those too. So this should be an easy, fun read and I'm behind on this series so I'd like to move a little more ahead before requesting The Fiery Heart as a Christmas Gift. (The Indigo Spell is on my shelf.)

2. The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas -- I know, I know! I promised I would read this and I intend to. The Burning Sky sounds like it should totally be my kinda book--except I didn't know it had a historical element when I chose it. I don't *hate* historical fiction, but when I don't see it coming it can throw me for a loop. I hope I love this as much as I *think* I will.

3. The Art of Wishing by Lindsay Ribar -- I can't choose a book as my most anticipated read of 2013 and not read the darn thing. This is a terrible injustice and I need to fix it. It also doesn't hurt that I read and loved the sample from Amazon last week.


4. Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas -- I totally loved Throne of Glass and I've put off reading the sequel way too long. This book + a hot mug of cocoa should be an absolute joy.

5. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell -- I just grabbed this tonight after checking out the sample a few days ago and I totally can't wait to dive in. I may or may not wind up waiting til December to read it, but I'll jot it down anyway.

6. The Elite by Kiera Cass -- My most anticipated sequel for 2013, which is probably why I've put off reading it for so long. I may or may not read it this month--I've heard it's a very 'middle-y' middle book so this may get read in March. We'll see.


7. Finding It by Cora Carmack -- I totally loved the first two novels in this series, so I'm betting that Kelsey's book will be no different. It's also great to have some stuff I can dive into on my Kindle and this is one of the series that has wound up there.

8. The Liberator by Victoria Scott -- Considering how much I loved The Collector I'm way behind on this one. I know that the next book doesn't release til May, but this is one of those series that make me want to read *now*, so it's time I finally did that.

9. This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith -- Another book from my list at the start of the year. I really need to go back to that thing and make sure I've at least checked the sample for each of them. Anyway, I got this in a trade at the Ontario Book Blogger Meet Up a couple weeks ago, and I'm really excited to read it.


10. Prodigy by Marie Lu -- I ordered this for my birthday in February! Why on Earth haven't I read it yet? I really need to move it on this book, because I plan to ask for Champion as a Christmas gift.

11. Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo -- After the fuss (all good) I made about Shadow and Bone, I think it's way past time that I read the sequel. This should be a super easy read for me if this book is as good as the first (and I'm really hoping it is.). I guess I'll find out soon. :D

12. Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi -- Rumor has it that Tahereh Mafi might wind up beating me at my own game--namely, I'm very much Team Warner. I don't plan on wasting any time find this out when Ignite Me comes out in February, so I'd better get Unravel Me read so I'll be ready!


13. Revealed by P.C. & Kristen Cast -- The House of Night is the series that got me into YA fiction, so it usually doesn't take me long to grab and zip through the latest book. My brain is totally reeling with what might happen in this book, but I'll keep quiet about that here since I don't want to spoil anything for those who haven't started this series.

14. If You Leave by Courtney Cole -- I keep saying I'll read this and crap just gets in the way. It's not the book's fault at all. It's that I need to slow down and read some stuff. If this is anywhere near as good as If You Stay, though, life will get put on pause the moment I've read page one and won't get resumed until I finish reading.

15. My Soul To Steal by Rachel Vincent -- Did you know I love the Soul Screamers series? Might be a little hard to tell with the fact that I only have a review up for book one. But there's a reason for that! My reviews of My Soul To Save and My Soul To Keep are on my video camera. I need to quit being lazy and format them and get 'em up on YouTube.

And the number one book I'm absolutely DYING to read in December is... 

Wild Cards by Simone Elkeles -- Words cannot describe how anxious I am to actually download this onto my Kindle and read it. But there's a reason I'm waiting. I'm getting a brand new Kindle Paperwhite for Christmas and Jay's getting me a case for it. This will be one of the first books that go onto my new Kindle, so I'm waiting on purpose. (Yes, I know that sounds insane.) Considering that I gave 5 heart reviews to all three books in the Perfect Chemistry series, this seems like the perfect book to be my first read on my new Kindle. :D

And that's "it" for me. :D I know, I listed a *lot* of books. It just shows how much I've actually missed this year--and I didn't list everything I have here / am dying to get to.

Anyway, are any of you taking part in Get Read-y for 2014? What are you hoping to read in December? I'd love to know, so feel free to leave a comment.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Stacking The Shelves / What's Up This Week?

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly event hosted by Tynga's Reviews where we share the books we bought, borrowed or received this week.

Well, this week has certainly been "unique". My parents went to Cuba, and I stayed here with my brother Shawn and his girlfriend Kate. On Wednesday night we went into Kingston for shopping and some dinner at 5 Guys Burgers and Fries. While there I picked up these two lovelies at Target.

I've been a huge fan of the House of Night series for several years now, so picking up Revealed, the latest book in the series, was just a matter of time. Most of them I've just grabbed around town but for some reason the amount of YA in Napanee has been on the decline. So when I saw this I grabbed it purely for convenience.

I don't have the same history with Rainbow Rowell, but Fangirl has been on my radar for a while now. It seemed quite popular at this year's Blogger Meetup. As someone who is releasing her first novel next year, and someone who was both a wannabe author and rather awkward during college (University) I think I can relate to this one. I hope I love it as much as I *think* I will. :)

My Kindle also got some love:

So I finally started reading the Night Huntress series. I'm pretty sure the fact that there are two books here from it makes it pretty obvious I'm liking it quite a bit. It's by far one of the most action oriented series I've ever read with a female lead and romance. Most of the stuff I've read in the past that blends paranormal, action and romance tends to either have the heroine in a less active role, have less "action" in general, or have people freaking out that the heroine is being heroic. I wouldn't want ALL the books I read to be this way, but right now? It's refreshing.

As for Everneath, I was sold when I read the words "Underworld" and "bring her back as his queen". Um, yeah. I don't think any further explanation is needed for anyone who knows me. :D It also doesn't hurt that it was on for $2. Again, you guys know how much I love a sale. Anyone read this? I'd love your thoughts. :)
So, yeah. This was suppose to be the perfect week to get Sealer's Promise revised and ready for betas. And I'll be totally up front, people: that totally didn't happen. For most of my life I've been one of those people who can get into a total slump when the sun starts to hide itself for the majority of the day, and this year that crap hit me hard. I'm talking I slept for 10-14 hours a day hard. I had absolutely no drive. Zip. Zilch. Nada. And I was freakin' weepy to boot. Not fun.

Fortunately, a bit of retail therapy and drag-your-butt-outta-the-house therapy on the part of Kate and Shawn has me feeling much more normal. Aside from the two pretties above and the yummy food at 5 Guys, I also found the Skylanders bargain to top all Skylanders bargains:

This is Granite Crusher. He's a series 2 (Giants) figure that was exclusive to Target before there were target stores in Canada, and before Jay and I got into Skylanders. We figured we'd never get this figure because it sells for $45--$70 online. ...Until I found two at Target and bought them for retail price ($15). I even got the 2nd one for 5% off because there's some wear on the packaging. Like we care: these bad boys will get taken outta their packaging the next time Jay visits and I can't wait to see them light up. I hear they glow blue and they're one of the figures that actually looks different in-game.

It's also been a good week for music. I bought Lady Gaga's new album, Artpop, just before my parents left for their vacation and I'm quite impressed with it. More shocking is my reaction to the two CDs Kate bought. I really didn't have any intention of listening to "Wild Life" by Hedley--it wound up on my iPod by accident. But the Sealers have claimed a couple songs. (Might as well give it a listen--it was already there anyway.). As for "Pure Heroine" by Lorde we listened to it on the way to Kingston and I'm very eager to sit down with it and get more time with the music. My initial takeaway was extremely positive. Odds are high I'm going to start doing some album reviews on here (I love music.) and these will likely be among the first albums I talk about.

Something new is happening in the Coleman household this holiday season: we're doing Christmas "secret Santa" style. So with only Shawn, Jay, Merissa and my Grandma to shop for, I needed to find a way to fill the gap because I *love* Christmas shopping. I have found the solution in adding two bookish Secret Santa events to my holiday plans (thanks Mom for agreeing to help me mail the package for the Broke & Bookish one!). I've done RAK before and I'm excited about that too. I already have my Broke and Bookish person and I need to send in my response for the RAK Secret Santa because it's due Monday. But I wanted to be sure and list both of these events because I think they're really neat.
I Just Finished...
In Short: Loved.

Longer: Bones is hot and Bones and Cat together kick ass.

Want to know more? Check out my full review later this week.

If it tells you anything, I'm already 15% of the way through the next book.

What's Up Next...
Two words: That Ending!

A bit more: I had to jump right into the next one. And I plan to do that a lot more often. It's how I read before I started reviewing.

Thoughts so far: Where the hell is Bones?

And if I finish this...

Fangirl was the most popular pick from this week's What's Next post. (I tried Cinder, guys, and it wasn't for me. Rather annoying since I also have Scarlet.)

I wanted this book enough that I bought it in print. Lets not have it sit for a year like oh, say, Prodigy and Unravel Me. (Sorry, books! I will get to you!)

I really hope this is good. I am not in a patient and 'forgiving' mood toward books that don't grab me right now. Fortunately, I did love the sample.
I haven't been focusing well on the task of writing. Which is one of the reasons that I am focusing so much on blogging and reading. It's clear to me that my brain needs to untangle the two yarns I'm working on--editing / revising Sealer's Promise, and outlining / planning Sealed With A Kiss. (No, we're not going to talk about how I blew NaNoWriMo. I wrote 60k of my Sealer's Promise rewrite in August.)

I really, really hate to say this but I may end up having to delay the Sealer's Promise launch. Why? Because (1) It's not ready for betas yet. And (2) I'm not a soulless yeti who would try and get people to beta my work while they're trying to get ready for Christmas. They're doing *me* a favor. Meaning that as it stands SP won't be with betas until at least January (I am finally starting to get some energy back, thank goodness.) and I probably won't get it back from them until February. (If I do great, but I'm not one to expect things.) I set up the date I did to get myself to write a draft I was really freaked out about writing and that worked. But ultimately the most important thing for me, as a (future) author, is making sure that I release the absolute best book I can. I owe it to myself, my readers and my characters.

I think the time away has done some good. I understand a few things both inside this book and inside the overall Sealer Saga that I didn't a few weeks ago. While it might be frustrating now, I believe that it will pay off in the end.
So, did you get any fabulous bookish goodies this week? Did anything exciting happen? Feel free to link me to your Stacking the Shelves / In My Mailbox / Book Haul, or whatever you're calling it so I can find out. :) Have a great day!

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