The last few months have been crazy busy! A Shift in Fate was released in August and as an indie author, all of the admin type work that comes with a book release falls on me. That includes things like uploading all the manuscripts, writing taglines and blurbs, marketing on social media and other platforms, etc. It’s a lot and honestly way more draining that writing and editing. But I made it through all that! During this time I also had an idea for a prequel novella for the series, A Shift in Darkness, so I started writing that. My goal was to finish writing it in July but I didn’t end up completely finishing it until end of August, which has put me a little behind on the first draft of Book 3. Luckily, I’ve been obsessing about Book 3 for quite some time and already have a lot of scenes written out either in my head or on notes, so the writing is coming along really fast. Cover and title reveal will likely be coming towards the end of October along with preorders.
Despite how busy I’ve been the last few months, I’ve gotten a lot of reading done so I wanted to throw some of my book recommendations out here. If you follow me on Instagram or TikTok, you may have already seen some of these. I’ve also mentioned a couple in my newsletter.
First up, pirate fantasy romance! I can honestly say I’ve never read any pirate books in my life, but I really enjoyed On These Black Sands by Vanessa Rasanen! The second book came out recently and I haven’t read it yet but it’s currently at the top of my TBR stack. Next up we have some folklore/fairy tale retellings. Again, this is something I don’t normally read. I’ve definitely read books that were “inspired” by folklore and fairy tales but they weren’t specifically retellings. I read For the Wolf & For the Throne by Hannah Whitten. These are kind of a mix of Little Red Riding Hood and Beauty and the Beast retellings. The books are written in a really beautiful way and I enjoyed them. I think I definitely liked For the Wolf a little bit more than For the Throne, but still a really good duology. Then there is the sapphic fantasy romance that is a retelling of Sleeping Beauty from the villain’s perseptive, Malice and Misrule by Heather Walter. I went into these books expecting to really like the villain character, Alyce, which I absolutely did. But I think I actually liked Princess Aurora more. The author did a really good job of making her more than just a princess filling the “damsel in distress” role. She makes a lot of tough decisions throughout the book and is very determined to protect her own personal soveigntry as well as that of her kingdom. Really good read!
Lastly we have some YA fantasy stuff, both of these are also duologies. I generally prefer to read long running series because I love getting to know characters more and revisiting worlds. But these dulogies have been really fun to read and its definitely something I’m going to keep in mind as an author. I learned about the Bladesmith duology by Tricia Levenseller while I was at San Diego Comic Con. I would categorize this more as “adventure fantasy” maybe? There is a romance subplot which is sweet, nothing spicy, and the main story is really good. I also like the main character because she deals with a lot of social anxiety and I really identified with a lot of her thoughts and feelings throughout the book. I just finished These Hollow Vows & These Twisted Bonds by Lexi Ryan this weekend. I don’t read a lot of YA and I usually lose interest when I hear that a love triangle is a major theme of a series. So the first book in this duology had been sitting on my TBR stack for months before I picked it up on Friday. I should not have liked this book. But I inhaled both of these books in less than three days. I loved the writing. I loved the characters. I loved the inner strength of the main character and that she never really became a love-sick idiot at any point. Fantastic read.
That’s all I got for now. I need to get a bunch of writing done before I pickup the next book on my TBR stack. My editor is scheduled for November 1st which means I need to get about another 50,000 words written in the next month and give myself time to read through that once before I hand it off to her. I almost never do the latter, usually the night before the deadline I’m finishing the ending of the manuscript and then sending it off in an email the next morning with an apology to my editor. But I’m going to try and not do that this time : )