Well I don’t know about you, but my July has been a blast! Not at all productive on the writing front (more on that below), but that was a price I was willing to pay for my first-ever trip to Europe. In summary, some of my “life” highlights and key milestones reached over the course of this month are:

  • publishing my 50th post on this website/blog!!
  • starting semester 2 at university, which should (hopefully) be my second-last semester EVER





Holding Up the Sky


Holding Up the Sky x3

Mock-up cover

So it turns out that overseas travel is way more taxing than I expected, so I didn’t do as much work on my contemporary YA novel Holding Up the Sky as I wanted to this month. The good news is, I’ve been on a roll this past week! One more chapter edited/re-written has taken my progress up from 24% to 28%…and at the rate I’m cutting things out it’s highly likely I’ll fall short of my 90,000 word maximum target—which is a VERY good thing! This novel is the first I’ve ever edited beyond proofreading a first draft, and while progress is slow, I find I’ve been learning a lot. While I labour away, please check out Chapter 1 here and let me know what you think!

STATUS: writing draft #3

WORD COUNT: 25,500 / 90,000 (28%)



Old Blood (Graceborn #1)



Mock-up cover

This month, I’ve continued to tinker with the world-building  for Old Blood, the first in my WIP fantasy series. I made a list of what I need to confirm/decide and…well…there’s a lot. To make the process run more smoothly, I went all the way back to the Beginning and wrote the world’s creation story, which has serious implications for both my “magic” system, a couple of MCs, and ultimately the entire plot line of the series. So exciting stuff! I’ve also been working on a new “mock cover” and new blurb/premise that I hope to publish on this website sometime in August. Stay tuned for the announcement, and in the meantime, you can read a special excerpt here.

STATUS: conducting first-round edits

WORD COUNT: 166,000





Cover_France Cover_Switzerland
Cover_Italy Cover_Germany




Fence by C.S. Pacat & Johanna the Mad


36373825Sixteen-year-old Nicholas Cox is an outsider to the competitive fencing world. Filled with raw talent but lacking proper training, he signs up for a competition that puts him head-to-head with fencing prodigy Seiji Katayama…and on the road to the elite all-boys school Kings Row.

MY THOUGHTS: I read volumes 1-8 of Fence this month, so I’ll combine them in the one section here. This is the first comic I’ve ever read! I’m loving it so far, mainly because the characters are brilliant, but I wouldn’t expect anything less of C.S. Pacat. Bring on the next volume!

GENRE: comic| YA

SERIES: Fence #1 to #8



Running with Lions by Julian Winters


37830514Sebastian Hughes is Bloomington High’s star goalie, front-runner for team captain, and has a coach who doesn’t ask him to hide his sexuality. But when his estranged childhood friend Emir shows up to summer training camp, Sebastian realise’s the team’s success may end up in the hands of the one guy who hates him.

MY THOUGHTS: I was a little disappointed with this one TBH. Sebastian was great, and I totally related to the pressure and sky-high self-expectations he felt, but with one or two exceptions I disliked everyone else 😦

GENRE: contemporary| YA | LGBT

SERIES: (stand alone)



An Echo of Things to Come by James Islington



The devastating attack on Ilin Illan was just the beginning. Davian and his new allies hurry north towards the ever-weakening Boundary, while Wirr and Asha are drawn into a web of political intrigue. And as more of Caeden’s memories return, he realises that the motivations of the two sides in this ancient war are not as clear-cut as they seem…

MY THOUGHTS: AHHHHHHH THIS BOOOOOOK!!! It has everything I adore in a fantasy: magic, epic battles, powerful hero/villains and the age-old debate of fate vs. freewill. I gobbled this up in, like, 3 days while on the road and literally cannot wait for the conclusion!

GENRE: epic fantasy

SERIES: The Licanius Trilogy #2



Akarnae by Lynette Noni



Alex Jennings is stunned when she walks through a doorway and finds herself stranded in fantastical Medora…and promptly enrolled in a school for gifted teenagers. But Alex is an unwilling pawn in a deadly game: only she can save the Medorans, but what if doing so prevents her from ever returning home?

MY THOUGHTS: After the aforementioned book, I was in dire need of a “light” easy-to-read fantasy, and boy did this one deliver! Alex was sassy, brilliant and brave, and the lack of obvious love-interest (and associated drama) was actually quite refreshing.

GENRE: SFF (portal) | YA

SERIES: The Medoran Chronicles #1



Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann



When Alice’s girlfriend dumps her because of her asexuality, Alice decides she is done with dating. But then she meets Takumi. She can’t stop thinking about him, and Alice will have to decide if she’s willing to risk their friendship for a love that may not be reciprocated—or understood.

MY THOUGHTS: This was the first book I’ve read with an explicitly asexual MC and I LOVED it. Alice was an absolute gem, the side characters were awesome and the frank but heartfelt discussion of asexuality was eye-opening!

GENRE: contemporary | YA | LGBT+

SERIES: (stand alone)







I’ve spent quite a bit of time over the years pondering the idea of destiny vs. free will. Without going into it too much, I’m of the view that the two are not mutually exclusive, though I often struggle to put it into words in a way that makes sense. Imagine my excitement when I came across this gem in James Islington’s An Echo of Things to Come! The trilogy deals with the free will vs. fate dilemma in a very literal/horrifying/thrilling way, and this particular quote is spoken by one of the MCs while trying to explain that, even if everything is predetermined, individuals are still responsible for their own choices. I love this kind of philosophical depth in fantasy novels!!





Did you travel anywhere new this month? What were your favourite July reads? Tell me about your writing progress (or lack thereof)!



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Rebecca Alasdair

  One thought on “MONTHLY UPDATE: July 2018

  1. 31/07/2018 at 8:50 PM


    Liked by 1 person

  2. 01/08/2018 at 1:08 PM

    First of all, way to get anything written while traveling the world! And secondly, those mock up covers are GORGEOUS!

    Liked by 1 person

    • 01/08/2018 at 1:38 PM

      Thanks Madeline! I do love making mock covers…it’s such an awesome way to procrastinate from doing ANYTHING 😂 These were made using Canva, with the images licenced from Adobe Stock.

      Liked by 1 person

      • 01/08/2018 at 9:48 PM

        Haha that’s how I feel about aesthetic boards! And that’s so awesome, I use Canva to make graphics for my blog, so maybe I should try a mock cover! Whenever I visualize finding my book on bookshelves in the future, it never has a cover haha.

        Liked by 1 person

      • 02/08/2018 at 12:05 AM

        It’s really hard to know what to put on a cover! I just browse through stock images until I find something that “feels” right. Text etc comes later.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. 02/08/2018 at 12:45 PM

    I’ve heard so many good things about Let’s Talk About Love; you’ve convinced me to read it! Congrats to reaching 100 Instagram and 350 Twitter followers! Also, I just read the synopsis for Holding Up the Sky and can I just say wow wow wow. *insert heart eyes*

    xoxo Abigail Lennah

    Liked by 1 person

    • 02/08/2018 at 12:53 PM

      Aww thanks Abigail that makes me so happy 😍 I definitely recommend you give Let’s Talk About Love a read. There need to be more books like this out there!!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. 03/08/2018 at 4:28 PM

    I hope you had a great time in Europe! I lived in Italy for three years.

    Looks like your writing is going well. I did have one idea for NaNoWriMo this year, but I think I’m going to hold off on that idea in favor of one that came to me while I was trying to sleep this morning… now I have to get to world building!

    Liked by 1 person

    • 03/08/2018 at 4:52 PM

      Italy was BEAUTIFUL!! So different to Australia. I’ve been playing with a new idea for NaNoWriMo but I also feel I need to prioritise the WIPs I already have. I’ll have to wait and see closer to November. It’s hard to resist those bright ideas when they strike, right? Best of luck 😊


  5. CG @ Paper Fury
    03/08/2018 at 10:52 PM

    Ahhh SO awesome you were travelling Europe!! ALL THE CONGRATS. I would absolutely love to travel there someday. 😍The most I travelled this month was, erm…walking around the block.😂But August will have me traveling across the state to visit my sister so eep, that will be exciting haha. And I can imagine it’d be ridiculously hard to write + travel, so you did amazingly to get anything done!! All the best with continuing the edits!

    I looooved Let’s Talk About Love too! IT IS SO CUTE. Alice is the actual most adorkable flailing thing. And sadly I felt the same way about Running With Lions. I thought it’d be like such a me book but the writing didn’t really click for me tbh? Even though the romance ended up being super cute tho. Ah well. I think my favourite reads in July were Obsidio and Bright We Burn!

    Liked by 1 person

    • 03/08/2018 at 11:30 PM

      Travel is definitely good for stoking the creative fires and recharging the batteries (well, if you don’t race around like we did haha). I hope you enjoy your trip to see your sister!!

      I just bought Illuminae last week, so I imagine I’ll be getting round to Obsidio soon enough…if all the hype is anything to go by!! There’s just NOT EVEN TIME to read all the books 😫


  6. Ari
    08/08/2018 at 8:31 PM

    Congratulations on reaching your 50th post. Your Europe posts have been great, I am so jealous! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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