It’s been a minute, friends. Sorry! But hey, if you’re curious to know what I’m up to in a more regular way…Instagram is where to find me.
I can hardly believe it’s already July? And the 4th is over?? How? Impossible.
Writing is…I don’t even know right now, haha.
Let’s see…last update, I had written a Beauty and the Beast re-imaging, working title A Thieving Curse. Since then, I have gotten reader feedback from four awesome people, done several edits, completely redid a minor character’s arc, adjusted the climax, and added 4,000 words (plus deleted I don’t even know how many words. I should start tracking changes instead of just saving multiple versions.). I also have around 20,000 words of a sequel/spin-off about a secondary character written/plotted. It will be a 12 Dancing Princesses re-imagining, and I’m excited.
I also have done some more editing of Prince of Shadow and Ash, and am working with an awesome critique partner, which has been lots of fun, not least of all because I get to read her WIP urban fantasy. I also did major rewrites of the ending of Book 2 (possibly Staff of Nightfall). If you missed those character interviews, they are here.
And, because I can, here’s a quick snippet from one of Adelaide’s chapters, where she is stuck at a party with unfortunate company.
“I notice Lord Hargreaves is not in attendance.”
“The mercenary?” Nolan grunted derisively. “Of course not.”
Adelaide looked at him, her brow furrowed. “I understand he used to be a mercenary, but he is a nobleman now, isn’t he?”
“He’s a petty lord of little account. And the only reason he’s a noble at all is because his philandering father was so taken with his peasant mother he added their mongrel son to his will. Arrano even buried her in a limestone tomb engraved with the figure of an angel. Disgraceful.” He plopped a grape in his mouth.
“You’re saying…Lord Hargreaves wasn’t invited?” Her heart twisted. Oh, no. My letter… She felt horrible she’d assumed, and hoped Regulus hadn’t taken it as an insult.
Nolan cocked an eyebrow. “Why should the Baron and Baroness Carrick invite the son of a washing wench into their home?”
She stared at him, unable to hide her surprise and disgust.
Nolan sighed. “Look. Some people…you should just avoid. Hargreaves may hold the title of lord, but it’s not who he is. He could have been knighted, but he took off and became a mercenary. Mercenaries are not men of honor. Hargreaves only left the life of a mercenary because he inherited Arrano’s land and title. He likely killed Lady Arrano and her daughter-in-law. Then he had the audacity to knight his mercenaries.”
He shook his head, his repulsion clear. “Hargreaves keeps mostly to himself, and often disappears alone. No one knows where he goes or why, but I have a theory: once a mercenary, always a mercenary. I suspect he misses the life, and runs off to satiate his blood-lust.” He rested his hand on her arm and looked into her eyes. “Hargreaves is not to be trusted. I advise you keep your distance, for your own safety.”
“I can take care of myself.” She looked away. “Can you prove all this?”
“Unfortunately, no. But a knight’s intuition is never wrong.”Prince of Shadow and Ash, Selina R Gonzalez
And one for Regulus, because why not?
The rhythm of the dragon’s breathing had changed. Clink. Clink. A metallic rustling of a mound of metal rubbing and knocking together echoed as the dragon shifted. Regulus pressed his eyes closed. You couldn’t stay asleep, could you? He adjusted his grip on his shield. Set the torch down on the pillow, which immediately caught fire, and drew his sword. A low growl reverberated around the room and resonated in his chest. He turned, praying dragons didn’t really breathe fire.
Regulus barely had time to panic at the sight of the dragon, now towering over him, its red serpentine eyes flashing, before it snarled, its mouth glowing orange. He yanked his shield up, hiding as much of his body behind it as possible, as fire pummeled the shield. The heat was terrible, the roar of the flames loud, the force of the blast startling. He leaned into the shield, pushing hard against the rock floor of the cave to brace himself. Without his enhanced strength, he wouldn’t have withstood the onslaught. The stream of fire finally ended, and Regulus blinked sweat out of his eyes.Prince of Shadow and Ash, Selina R Gonzalez
Finally in regards to writing, in under two weeks, I will be attending the Realm Makers Writer’s Conference in St. Louis. I am super excited to meet other Christian speculative fiction writers, nerd out a bit, and learn more about writing craft, writing life, and being an author.
I’m still working part-time. I’ve applied to a few other things and never heard back, which was discouraging and frustrating, so I’ve just been focusing on writer-ly pursuits.
Also, my sister got married! Just a super minor thing, no biggie. 😉
New Year’s Resolution update:
*thumbs down, raspberry noises*
Uhhhhh. I could be doing better, tbh. But rather than counting places I’ve fallen short, resolutions I am succeeding at:
I am not attending church as regularly as I should be, but my attendance is better than it was last year, so I’m counting this as a win.
I did become a member of my church.
I have not made a new in-real-life friend, BUT I have made a few new online friends that I love. And in particular, an excellent new online friend that I am so blessed to have found! (Yes, if you’re reading, Becky, that’s you.)
I DID figure out the end of Book 2, I HAVE edited Prince more than twice (although I am STILL catching typos, ugh), I AM attending Realm Makers, I HAVE BEEN keeping up my bookstagram account, I DID read a book outside my usual genre, and I am ahead of my reading goal for 2019! On that note…
Time for a half-year reading wrap-up! I have read 25 books so far this year, plus a some beta reading and I’ve read my own books so many times I’m going cross-eyed. 😉
For full reviews, click on the hyperlinked title. For future reviews, follow my Goodreads.
Mark of the Raven by Morgan Busse — 4 stars
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas — 4 stars
(Note that this book has a lot of cussing, a little inappropriate content, and deals with heavy subject matter. But if it hadn’t been for the prevalent and intense cussing, I would have given in five stars.)
Magic by Midnight by Allison Bass — 3 stars
The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken— 3.5 stars
Beast by Chawna Schroeder — 4.5 stars
(One of my favorite reads so far this year.)
Space Drifters: The Iron Gauntlet by Paul Regnier — 4 stars
Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard — 2.5 stars
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer — 4 stars
The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan — 4 stars
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo — 4 stars
To Court a Queen by HL Burke — 5 stars
The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan — 4 stars
Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo — 4 stars
The Shadow Queen by CJ Redwine — 4 stars
Soldier On by Vanessa Rasanen — 5 stars
The Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan — 5 stars
To Best the Boys by Mary Webber — 3.5 stars
Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo — 5 stars
One of my favorite reads so far this year.
The Malleville Conspiracy by HL Roethle — 3 stars
A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer — 4 stars
Villager by Savanna Roberts — 4 stars
Caraval by Stephanie Garber — 5 stars
(This is a new favorite. But do note that this series has fairly physical romance (PG-13), and some blood magic.)
Romanov by Nadine Brandes — 5 stars
(Possibly my top favorite read this year.)
Legendary by Stephanie Garber — 5 stars
(Sequel to Caraval, another new favorite. I’m almost a third through Finale, the final book, now.)
And that’s my half-year wrap-up! Tied with a ribbon. How’s your year looking, friends?