MONTHLY UPDATE: January-February 2018




As announced in my Back in business! post a few weeks ago, this year I am starting a new segment called UPDATES. Here, at the end of each month, I will summarise my writing progress, the books I’ve read, and any other matters of significance. For those of you interested in my writing, this will keep you informed about the status of my WIPs (and I MIGHT occasionally include a little snippet, if I’m feeling kind), and will hopefully stimulate some book-related discussion with my bookworm friends!


Obviously, since I was away in January, I’ve combined my UPDATE posts for the first two months of this year. In that time, I’ve made some excellent progress on the first draft of my fantasy novel Old Blood, I’ve read nine novels (it was summer holidays okay!), and reluctantly started back at university this week. Please check out all the details below and let me know what you think!





Holding Up the Sky


Holding Up the Sky x3

Mock-up cover

My contemporary YA novel Holding Up the Sky was on hold throughout January and February while I scrambled to finish the first draft of Old Blood. So I haven’t made ANY progress on it so far this year. But never fear! The break has actually been good for my brain, and I will soon be diving head-first into line editing, which is my focus for the current draft (you can track its status here). In the meantime, check out Chapter 1 and let me know what you think!


WORKING ON: draft #3

WORD COUNT: 8,200 / 90,000 (~9%)




Old Blood (Graceborn #1)



Mock-up cover

I AM SO CLOSE!! I’d hoped to have the first draft of Old Blood finished by the end of February, but I’ve fallen just a little bit short. Since the start of 2018, I have written 6 chapters totalling around 30,000 words–an effort I’m proud of, since it was all done in 3.5 weeks! I now have only 3 chapters left to write, which should be done by mid-march at the absolute latest. Squeeeeeee!! Once that’s done I’ll be taking a nice long break to let everything stew before getting on with the second draft. You can track this WIP’s progress here.

WORKING ON: draft #1

WORD COUNT: 152,000 / 170,000 (~90%)






Crystal Storm by Morgan Rhodes


23367261Uncertainty looms over the three kingdoms of Mytica. The ruthless Amara has seized the throne, people are being mysteriously resurrected, and a dark prophecy is set to be fulfilled. Sworn enemies must now cast aside old grudges and work together if they wish to survive the coming storm.

MY THOUGHTS: And the plot thickens! I have immensely enjoyed watching the characters change and grow over the course of this series as their loyalties are tested again and again. I could have done without that cliffhanger ending though…

GENRE: high fantasy | YA

SERIES: Falling Kingdoms #5



Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas


31450852Chaol Westfall journeys to Antica, the stronghold of the mighty southern continent, hoping against hope that its legendary healers can mend his broken body. But what Chaol discovers in Antica changes everything, and may turn the tide of the battle his friends are fighting back home.

MY THOUGHTS: I’ve never been the biggest fan of Chaol, so it was no surprise that I didn’t enjoy the book about him quite as much as the others in the series. However, the intriguing truths revealed about the overall storyline more than made up for it!

GENRE: high fantasy | YA/NA

SERIES: Throne of Glass #6



The Boy Who Couldn’t Fly Straight by Jeff Jacobson


19145835The life of closeted teen Charlie takes a turn for the bizarre when a dog crashes through his window and demands his mother hand him over. In order to avoid the clutches of a murderous coven of witches, Charlie must now accept who he is and unlock the power growing inside him.

MY THOUGHTS: I adored Charlie as a character–his vulnerability, his painful shyness, his surprising self-awareness. The novel itself got clogged down with too much superfluous detail at times, but the way it wrapped up at the end was very satisfying.

GENRE: low fantasy | YA | LGBT

SERIES: The Broom Closet Stories #1



The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas


18243700Celaena Sardothien is the most feared and revered assassin in Adarlan–perhaps on the entire continent. But she is starting to question the motives of her master, Arobynn Hamel, and to get to the truth she will have to break the rules. If she is caught, the consequences will be dire…

MY THOUGHTS: As these novellas are all prequels to the Throne of Glass series, I went in knowing how it would end. And STILL I wasn’t emotionally prepared for the tragedy of it all! Damn you Sarah J. Maas!

GENRE: high fantasy | YA/NA

SERIES: Throne of Glass #0.1-0.5 (novellas)



Half Bad by Sally Green


18079804Sixteen-year-old Nathan lives in a cage, beaten, shackled, and trained to kill. His only hope for survival is to escape and find his father, the world’s most terrifying and violent witch, who will bestow upon him three gifts that will unleash his own magical powers…for good or for ill.

MY THOUGHTS: Wow. Just…wow. The way this book was written was quirky but incredibly effective, and my heart went out to Nathan from beginning. His desire for freedom, for a place to belong, literally drips off every page, and it’s impossible not to cheer for him!

GENRE: low fantasy | YA

SERIES: Half Bad #1



Half Wild by Sally Green


20814989Nathan is an abomination, half White Witch, half Black Witch, and he is being hunted from all sides. With his pursuers hot on his tail, Nathan must not only make a deal with the rebel Alliance to rescue the girl he loves, but learn to control the dark Gift growing within himself.

MY THOUGHTS: So I gobbled this book up in one night, which surely says something about how much I loved it. All that blather about Annalise (the love interest, who I did NOT like) aside, it was awesome to see Nathan come into his own and start fighting back against those who have persecuted him all his life.

GENRE: low fantasy | YA

SERIES: Half Bad #2



Half Lost by Sally Green


20814993Nathan will stop at nothing to end the rule of the tyrannical Council of White Witches and get revenge on the girl who brought the rebel Alliance to its knees. But as his tally of kills rises, Nathan loses himself a little more, and even the love of his best friend, Gabriel, may not be enough to save him.

MY THOUGHTS: Gah! I don’t have the words to describe how much I loved this book–this series! Not only did I love the representation of what war can do to a person (let alone a seventeen-year-old), I loved watching the characters grapple with what peace and freedom meant to them. And I loved Gabriel ❤

GENRE: low fantasy | YA | LGBT

SERIES: Half Bad #3



The Steel Remains by Richard K. Morgan


3314369When cynical war-hero-turned-mercenary Ringil Eskiath sets out to track down a cousin sold into slavery, it soon becomes apparent that far more is at stake. The dark sorcery of the Aldrain is awakening in the land…and Ringil and his friends may be all that stand in its way.

MY THOUGHTS: Well that was…dark. Grim. But that makes sense, since it’s a grimdark fantasy novel. I was left feeling completely worn out by the end, which is a feeling I kind of appreciate at the end of an epic like this. And I loved the character of Ringil and his world-weary cynicism.

GENRE: epic fantasy | LGBT

SERIES: A Land Fit For Heroes #1



Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo


29975820Criminal mastermind Kaz Brekker, known as Dirtyhands, has been offered the deal of a lifetime. But in order to carry out the most daring heist the world has ever seen, he first requires a crew dangerous and desperate enough to pull it off. The thing is–they’re more likely to kill each other first.

MY THOUGHTS: Given all the hype around this book, I was cautious going into it…but I was not disappointed! It had all the elements I adore in a YA fantasy story: flawed characters, deadly magic, questionable morals, and forbidden love. I can’t wait to pick up the sequel!

GENRE: high fantasy | YA

SERIES: Six of Crows #1





In my neck of the woods, January and February are prime summer holiday time. Therefore, except for my time in the middle of nowhere, pretty much every waking hour has been dedicated to the following activities:

  • reading
  • writing
  • practicing my blogging and social mediaing
  • eating an absurd amount of chocolate
  • sleeping, usually from 4am to 12pm
  • spending time with this guy (below) who, in his old age, has developed an unfortunate habit of obsessively licking his foot




Unfortunately, I started back at university on Monday for what is (I hope) my penultimate year. I spent most of my first day’s worth of lectures daydreaming about my writing and deciding what book to read when I got home, so…yeah. It’s like that. My writing time is going to be a bit more restricted now, but I’m going to try my best. Wish me luck!



What progress did you make with your writing this month? Did you read any good books?



RA_logo _backdrop-01_miniRebecca Alasdair


  One thought on “MONTHLY UPDATE: January-February 2018

  1. Ari
    03/03/2018 at 6:49 AM

    Great books, there are a few you listed that I’ve added yo my THE pile. Aww what a cutey, that must be difficult that he licks like that.

    As for books I read Haven and Fated, two additional books that tack on to the Relentless trilogy which I love

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Cait @ Paper Fury
    06/03/2018 at 9:46 PM

    OMG THE HALF BAD SERIES IS MY FAVOURITE CAN I JUST FLAIL WITH YOU FOREVER!??! (Also I just got a copy of Sally Green’s new book today so I’m scREAMING with happiness.) Basically Gabriel and Nathan are everything and my little heart is thumping all over the place. ❤️💔
    And yay that you got some solid work done on your projects! You are an inspiration! I finished some super tough edits in January but did exactly zlich in February except do a last read through of my finished book. 😂 Which was definitely not hard ah haha. I’m hoping March is a bit more productive.😂

    Liked by 1 person

    • 06/03/2018 at 10:06 PM

      I know I whizzed through the trilogy in like 3 days and I am still emotionally traumatised!! 😭 The new book has recently been added to my TBR but now I have to wait until it comes out in May (hurry up time!)… Editing is a tough gig so I wouldn’t stress about having some time off. Best of luck with the book!!


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