MONTHLY UPDATE: August 2018

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LIFE IN GENERAL

 

My August has, unfortunately, been BUSY BUSY BUSY!! A part of the reason for that is I’m now in my penultimate semester of university, and the other…well…the rest of this post probably speaks for itself. Other life highlights and key milestones over the course of this month have been:

  • celebrating my 24th actual birthday, and treating myself to the SCRUMPTIOUS lunch pictured below!!
  • having three separate splurges on books…and not feeling sorry in the slightest
  • reaching 100 followers on this blog and 500 followers on Twitter (feeling loved <3)

 

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WRITING PROGRESS

 

Holding Up the Sky

 

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I’ve made some really good headway with my contemporary YA novel Holding Up the Sky this month! Approximately 2.5 chapters have been rewritten, and these include some significant structural and scene changes I feel have massively improved the flow of the story. Plus, I’m nearing the 40% completion mark, which is exciting in itself!! As a part of my website makeover, I have also reconfigured the Holding Up the Sky blurb & progress page, so be sure to check it out! You can also read Chapter 1 here—let me know what you think of it!!

STATUS: writing draft #3

WORD COUNT: 33,250 / 90,000 (37%)

 

 

Blood of Old (Graceborn #1)

 

Blood of Old (1)No, you’re not imagining things! The title and mock cover of my WIP fantasy novel have changedBlood of Old is the first installment of the Graceborn series, and I am still hard at work conducting first-round edits. I’ve made a few exciting breakthroughs in the world building over the last few weeks, which have important ramifications for how the story is going to play out. Motivation is high!! As a part of my website makeover, I have also reconfigured the series blurb & progress page, and you can check out a few excerpts from Blood of Old here and here.

STATUS: conducting first-round edits

WORD COUNT: 166,000

 

 

NEW BLOG POSTS

 

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BOOKS I READ

 

Raelia by Lynette Noni

 

26077971Returning for a second year at Akarnae Academy with her gifted friends, Alex’s life remains threatened by Aven Dalmarta, the banished prince who is out for her blood. To protect the Medorans from Aven’s deadly quest, Alex must seek out the Lost City of Meya…and what remains of its ancient race.

MY THOUGHTS: Alex is back, and she’s just as brilliant—and trouble/accident-prone—as ever! I love the setting in this series, especially Akarnae Academy, and the character development is coming along nicely. Definitely going to check out the rest of this series!

GENRE: SFF (portal) | YA

SERIES: The Medoran Chronicles #2

 

 

Guyliner by J. Leigh Bailey

 

32074333Seventeen-year-old Connor has worked his butt off to maintain the Golden Boy persona he’s created. The last thing he needs is an unexpected attraction to Graham, an eyeliner-wearing soccer phenom who makes him question his goals and his sexuality. And as he and Graham grow close, the rest of Connor’s life falls apart…

MY THOUGHTS: This book has kind of a similar premise to my YA WIP, so I was SUPER excited to check it out! It was fairly angsty, and I really felt for poor Connor and the pressure he’s under, but the true star of the story was Graham. He deserves a million hugs ❤

GENRE: contemporary| YA | LGBT+

SERIES: (stand alone)

 

 

Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli

 

31180248When it comes to drumming, Leah Burke is usually on beat—but real life isn’t always rhythmic. So she really doesn’t know what to do when her rock-solid friend group starts to fracture in unexpected ways. It’s hard for Leah to strike the right note while the people she loves are fighting…or when she’s been keeping a big secret from them all.

MY THOUGHTS: I’m going to be honest here: I didn’t LOVE this one the way I loved Simon. While I can’t quite put my finger on why, what I do know is that there were a few to many “in-jokes” and cultural references I didn’t understand. But overall, I did enjoy the story.

GENRE: contemporary| YA | LGBT+

SERIES: Creekwood #2

 

 

Scorpio Hates Virgo by Anyta Sunday

 

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Percy Freedman is entirely sure that selling his dead aunt’s house is the right thing to do, but all his cul-de-sac neighbours want him to stay. Even his nemesis, Callaghan Glover. Lured into a game of Sherlock Gnomes and dodging new verbal grenades from Cal, Percy starts to wonder if selling might have been grief talking after all..

MY THOUGHTS: Eeeeeeeeee!! I love the Signs of Love series, and Percy and Cal were such adorable frenemies. I especially enjoyed the neighbourly vibes within the cul-de-sac where most of the story was set, and a massive shout-out for the demipan rep!

GENRE: contemporary | LGBT+

SERIES: Signs of Love #2

 

 

Wolves of Black Pine by S.J. Himes

 

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Peaceful for thousands of years, the wolfkin clans are mysteriously losing packmates, kidnapped and killed by unknown foes. Among the dead is Luca, youngest grandson of the two most powerful wolves in the Northern Clans. Only Kane, Heir to the clan Black Pine, believes Luca still lives, and the guilt of his failure is eating him alive.

MY THOUGHTS: A friend recommended this to me, and I started it at SUCH a bad time. I was so busy, but I literally sacrificed HOURS of sleep to get through it. If you enjoy shifter stories that really delve into mythology and the spiritual side of things, READ THIS BOOK!!

GENRE: paranormal | LGBT+

SERIES: The Wolfkin Saga #1

 

 

Wolf of the Northern Star by S.J. Himes

 

29652776Ghost, once Luca, is finally back among his kind and learning what it means to be both man and Shaman. Kane,  Alpha and Heir to Black Pine, is freed at last from guilt and pain, but now has a new enemy to face: his own people. A union between Alpha and Shaman is anathema—but how can that be when their soulbond was forged by the Goddess?

MY THOUGHTS: A continuation of the above book, I loved this one just as much! Lots of shifter lore—and shifter law!—as well as a forbidden romance, a meddling Goddess (in a good way), and evil people conducting evil experiments, this story had everything I love about paranormal books 😊

GENRE: paranormal | LGBT+

SERIES: The Wolfkin Saga #2

 

 

More Than This by Patrick Ness

 

21969786A boy drowns, desperate and alone in his final moments. He dies. Then he wakes, naked, bruised and thirsty, but alive. How can this be? And what is this strange deserted place? As he struggles to understand what is happening, the boy dares to hope. Might this not be the end? Might there be more to this life, or perhaps this afterlife?

MY THOUGHTS: This book. Where do I start? It’s been a while since I last read Patrick Ness, but I quickly remembered why I was so distraught after the first time! So many twists and turns and incredible characters, and I still can’t sort out the mess of my emotions!

GENRE: sci-fi| YA

SERIES: (stand alone)

 

 

Fence Vol. 9 by C.S. Pacat

 

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Nicholas Cox is determined to prove himself in the world of competitive fencing and earn his place on the Kings Row fencing team. The last day of tryouts has arrived, and Nicholas’ nemesis Seiji Katayama sees something in him that will change his opinion forever…

MY THOUGHTS: Oh man, the CLIFFHANGER on this one!! I literally cannot wait to see Seiji’s reaction when—or if—he learns Nicholas’ secret, and I am SO looking forward to what Harvard and Aiden have to say about the position they’ve just found the two MCs in hahahaha 😂

GENRE: comic | YA

SERIES: Fence #9

 

 

Wolfsong by T.J. Klune

 

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Ox was twelve when his daddy abandoned him. He was sixteen when he met the boy on the road, and seventeen when he learned the boy’s secret. Ox was twenty-three when murder came, and the boy chased after the monster. It’s been three years, and the boy is back. Except now he’s a man, and Ox can’t ignore the song that howls between them.

MY THOUGHTS: Oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy…Ox, Ox, Ox, I love you! I spent the whole book just wanting to give you a hug and tell you how amazing you are! T.J. really outdid himself with this one, both in terms of the story and the STUNNING way it was written!!

GENRE: paranormal| LGBT+

SERIES: Green Creek #1

 

 

More Than This by Jay McLean

 

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In one night, everything Mickayla ever loved and everyone she ever relied on are tragically, irrevocably gone. Jake, a boy she just met, bears witness to her loss, and Mickayla is forced to depend upon this near-stranger and his family. But dare she let love in again…?

MY THOUGHTS: I have mixed feeling about this book. On one hand, I rather enjoyed it, but on the other? Miscommunications, caveman-like possessiveness, unfounded jealousy and a heroine that started to annoy me—I’m getting kinda sick of these things in NA romance…

GENRE: contemporary | NA

SERIES: More Than #1

 

 

The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson

 

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Vin, now the most powerful Mistborn in the land, and Elend Venture, the idealistic young nobleman who loves her, must build a healthy new society in the ashes of an empire. An ancient legend seems to offer a glimmer of hope, but no one knows where to find the Well of Ascension…or what manner of power it bestows.

MY THOUGHTS: Anyone who has read this book can understand why I was up past 3am to finish it!! All the characters are fantastically developed and the plot contains the PERFECT mixture of politics, war and magic that makes epic fantasy one of my favourite genres ❤

GENRE: epic fantasy

SERIES: Mistborn #2

 

 

QUOTE OF THE MONTH

 

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One of the recurring themes throughout Patrick Ness’ More Than This is the very human desire to believe that there is “more than this” life—that there are patterns and some greater meaning to the chaos all around us. Most of the time, I believe in the fact that life is actually random, something human beings find this difficult to comprehend, and therefore this quote really spoke to me. Something I really liked about this story, however, was the way the MC came to find said “greater meaning” in the love he felt for his family and friends. What a powerful message!!

 

 

 

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Did you celebrate a birthday (blog or actual) this month? What were your favourite August reads? Tell me about your writing progress (or lack thereof)!

 

 

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Rebecca Alasdair

  One thought on “MONTHLY UPDATE: August 2018

  1. 31/08/2018 at 11:13 PM

    To be 24 again and I have my act together the way you do would have been nice. Excellent work!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • 31/08/2018 at 11:32 PM

      Haha thank you!! I do try to get – and keep – everything together…which isn’t always easy when there’s so much going on. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned so far in life it’s that the busier you are the more productive you are because you have to be good at managing your time 😊

      Like

  2. 31/08/2018 at 11:36 PM

    I was 24 going on 17. Thankfully those days are over. You are right, stay busy. Have goals and learn from your mistakes.

    The most important thing I learned: Make a mistake but don’t make it twice.

    Have a great weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. CG @ Paper Fury
    01/09/2018 at 10:08 PM

    This makes me want to reread More Than This SO badly! I read it yeeears ago and barely remember it except I loved it at the time afjdslad. I adore Patrick Ness though. His books have SO much heart. 😍Also congrats on all the reading and getting through a lot of writing there too! Amongst all the busyness ahhh. AND ALSO HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! *sends you cake*

    Liked by 1 person

    • 02/09/2018 at 1:10 AM

      Thanks Cait ❤ More Than This was certainly different from anything I’ve ever read, but so powerful too! I just want to know what happens NEXT (but also not…)

      Like

  4. 05/09/2018 at 2:40 PM

    I have never read Patrick Ness, but I’ve heard very positive things…. I read the Sacrifice Box this month, which I really really loved, it’s basically a cross between Stranger Things and IT, 80s set horror vibes and a bunch of funny misfits. I thought it was really fun!

    In terms of my WIP I am trucking along really well! Maybe halfway through the first draft I think, so that is exciting. I have no idea if it’s working or not yet, but I think that is a problem for future me! 🙂

    Congratulations on all your editing and overhauling this month. You have been very busy! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • 05/09/2018 at 11:45 PM

      I’ve certainly had a busy month, but those are the best ones!! I’ve heard of The Sacrifice Box and it sounds like one I need to add to my TBR. Well done with your WIP – I always wonder whether things are working during the first draft, but I’ve learned to just push through those doubts until I get to the end. You’re so right – it’s definitely a “future me” problem!! 😀

      Like

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