Rise of the Sparrows is FREE today and tomorrow!

In anticipation of Shadow in Ar’Sanciond coming out on Monday, Rise of the Sparrows is free right now–but only today and tomorrow!

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ‘Brilliant!’
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ‘I absolutely loved this book.’
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ‘This book’s pacing is as wonderful as the world-building, characters and the overall narrative.’

Go on–treat yourself!

Grab it while it’s free!


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December Goals | Release Day 2/3 & Two Potential WIPs

Happy December, friends! <3

This half of the year is my favourite. First, autumn arrives with its beautiful leaves, foggy mornings, and warming flavours. Then comes Halloween, when the veil between worlds is thinnest, and then NaNoWriMo comes right after that!

But then, after so much excitement, comes Christmas–and for me, that holiday lasts all month. Everything just looks so magical with lights everywhere, and there’s an undeniable buzz when I go into town. At home, everything gets a little more comfy. The house smells of cinnamon and vanilla a lot, because I love baking.

It’s also a time for me to slow down and reflect. I look at what I wanted to achieve this year back in January, and what I have achieved. I remind myself not to be hard on myself when one thing or another didn’t go to plan–I know it’s not because I was lazy this year, but because other things outside my control came up or because some things simply took longer than I expected. All that’s fine.

But there’ll be time for that at the end of the month. Right now, I still have a whole month left to get stuff done!

Relics of Ar’Zac

Shadow in Ar’Sanciond will be out in one week, so I’ll be booking a few promotions this week. If you want it on your kindle as soon as it’s out, you can pre-order it before the price goes up!

Soon after that’s live, pre-orders for the box set will follow. It’s pretty much done, so this shouldn’t be too stressful–just a few clicks here and there.

I also have a surprise later this week, so watch this space!

Dreamer

I’m half-way through the first draft, and since it’s only a short book (or I planned it that way, anyway) I should be able to finish the first draft this month.

Once that’s proofing…

Well, I’m torn. I could jump into plotting the sequels and start writing Book 2–I’m here now, after all–or…

Blood Wisp

I haven’t forgotten about this trilogy. I want to read over Blood Wisp again before I write Blood Song, but if I do it halfway through December and then take my Christmas break, will I need to read over it again in January? Should I just wait for the new year and do it then?

Or should I finish the Dreamer series first?

I wanted to stick to writing one series at a time, but things have worked out in a strange way and now I have two first drafts from two very different series, and I’m not sure which one to continue first. The one I’m currently invested in, or the one I started and promised first?

I’m hoping December will bring some clarity.

Beyond the above, there are Christmas catch-ups, boring but necessary tax stuff, and some last-minute presents to buy. I won’t bore you with the details.

What are your plans for December? Do you wind down, too, or is this your busiest month?


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November Recap | … or How to Destroy NaNo Between Release Dates

November has been a super busy month for me (hello, NaNo!), but it’s also been super productive. In fact, I’m doing so well for time for once that I’m scheduling this post one day ahead! :O AND I’ll schedule my December goals right after! :O :O

Must be all the tea I’ve had this month.

Relics of Ar’Zac

I published Blood of the Dragon without a hitch, and now Shadow in Ar’Sanciond is ready for its big day too. It’s currently up for pre-order at only 99p/99c, so go get it while it’s cheap!

I haven’t looked at the box set again, but that file came back ready from my formatter and I’m not doing a paperback for it, so that’s pretty much there too.

NaNoWriMo

Friends, I destroyed NaNo this year.

I hit 50k words in just 15 days (and then I slept for a year) on Day 21–take off the weekends I didn’t write, and that’s 15 days of NaNo dedication!

I reached 40k on Day 20 (a Wednesday) and realised I could technically finish NaNo that week if I wrote 5k on Thursday and Friday. Finishing NaNo a week early and in time for the weekend sounded nice, so I decided to give it my best shot.

I then wrote 10k on the Thursday.

Friends.

I’ve never written this much in one day in my life! NaNo truly brings out the best in me.

I’m beyond chuffed that I unlocked all my rewards this year. My shirt is on its way <3

Despite that, it didn’t quite go to plan. I finished the first draft of Brightened Shadows and that’s now proofing, but I didn’t move on to Blood Song as I had planned to. I tried, but it’s been roughly half a year since I last looked at Blood Wisp. I just wasn’t in the WIP anymore. The characters felt forced when I wrote the first chapter.

I realised that, to write Blood Song, I’ll first need to read over Blood Wisp again and take notes, but there’s no time for that during NaNo, so I decided to put it aside for now rather than force it and be unhappy with everything.

Instead, I started Dreamer, which doesn’t even have a name yet. I did have some notes since I originally planned on starting it during Camp NaNo in July, but that didn’t work out for work reasons and I hadn’t looked at it again since. I figured I’d start it some time next year maybe, so this was the closest to pantsing a novel I’ll ever come XD

I did have a whole notebook full of ideas and character profiles and I knew where the plot needed to go and how it would develop, but to go in without Scrivener index cards was surprisingly jarring.

Because I wanted it to be a novella, I set the target word count to 20k. It’s currently at 25k and I’m only just at the midpoint, so we’ll see how long this will actually be.

BUT the words are flowing and Esta is so easy to write, which is all I really wanted for NaNo.

How was your November? Make a tea and tell me all about it <3


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My NaNoWriMo ‘Prizes’ for Motivation

If you’ve spent any time on this site, you probably know that I love NaNoWriMo. It’s super stressful and I’ve burnt out more times than not and the deadline is glaring at me with shiny red eyes–

And I love every second of it.

I ‘won’ my first ever NaNo three years ago, burned out bad the year after that, and didn’t even try it last year, because I knew I was too busy and I was burning out even without that pressure.

When I did it before–both when I smashed it and the year after, when I failed miserably–I set myself three rewards to keep me motivated, and I’ve done the same again this year.

And the best part? I don’t even need to make it all the way to 50k to get something 😀

Here’s what I’ve set for this year:

15k of NaNo Success

These cards are so beautiful, and as someone who prefers animals to people most days, they were an easy first reward. I’ve been looking for new cards for ages, and these speak/meow/bark to me.

Earned and moved into my basket ^-^

30k of NaNo Success

It’s the entire trilogy, actually! I’ve been meaning to read them for years, and then a friend posted a picture on Instagram while I was considering my rewards, so I saw it as a sign.

Not far off earning this one. 25k there, 5k to go.

50k NaNo Triumph

Despite my obsession with this mega-monster event, I’ve never bought the shirts :O

I can’t find a good picture of this year’s or any of what the winners can claim, but if I make it all the way to the end–and it’s looking good right now! –then I’ll finally buy one of these pretties.

It’s about time, honestly.

Stand by to see pictures.

(unless I fail, in which case… better luck next year? *shrug* but damn, I want this shirt!)

Do you set yourself rewards if you participate in NaNo or for other milestones? Make a tea and tell me what you’re writing for! <3


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RELEASE DAY: Blood of the Dragon | My first trilogy is complete!!

Today is the day, Sparrows! Blood of the Dragon is live on Amazon, and with it, my first trilogy is officially complete!

My heart is so full with emotions today <3 <3 <3

To celebrate, you can get all three books at 50% off all week! *throws dark confetti*

Treat yourself!

Paschros kai zo. Fight strong and live.

And so she took one step at a time.

Without ever looking down.

‘Rachael’s worst nightmare and feared vision has come alive. Imprisoned on Kaethe in the Dark One’s temple, guarded by shadows, she can’t do anything but wait for death.

If only she could force her visions, or contact Cale and her Sparrows… but she’s never been able to control her gift, and her only friends are an ocean away, unaware that Rachael’s been kidnapped.

Even worse nightmares rise from the shadows. The Dark One grows stronger every day, and He’ll destroy the world if Rachael doesn’t find a way out.

To do that, she needs to force her visions, break the Dark One’s barrier on her mind, master her gift, and find a dragon willing to shed its blood for humanity…

But will it cost Rachael her life, her sanity, or both?’

“Dark, gritty and yet purely magical!”

Get Blood of the Dragon


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November Goals | One Release Day & NaNo Madness

Happy November, Sparrows!

November is always a busy month for me, and this year is no exception–in fact, I’d say that this November is one of the busiest I’ve ever had!

Here’s what’s happening:

Release Day

Blood of the Dragon is out in one week, and everything is ready.

Which, naturally, makes me feel like I forgot something.

I usually wrangle with the formatting right up until release day, but this time, I had PlatformHouse Publishing format it for me, which has made the whole process more relaxed on my end. The book looks beautiful, and I think you’ll approve.

Relics of Ar’Zac

Shadow in Ar’Sanciond is as good as ready for its release day next month. I’ve received the formatted files late last week and will check them tomorrow or on Wednesday. All being well, they’re perfect and I can call another book’s release day prep done!

(or mostly, anyway)

I also had the finished box set cover back on Friday, and the formatted ebook should be with me any day now, so that’s also going well.

After my hectic October, it’ll be nice to not prepare a book for release day for a while and just write instead.

Because of all this preparing, writing took a backseat for a few weeks, but…

NaNoWriMo

I aim to rectify that this month. So far, I’m a tiny bit ahead (even if the website says I’ll finish on December 6th–it just doesn’t get that I don’t work weekends!), which takes the pressure off me a little. Not much, but it’s something.

I’m working on two WIPs. My top priority is finishing the first draft of Brightened Shadows. Once that’s done and proofing, my second priority will be starting Blood Song.

I’m hoping that changing WIP (and therefore world, characters, plot, etc.) will give me a push halfway through NaNo and help me reach the end. Technically, it’s very doable, but when you have that deadline over your head and all these other writers bashing out more words than you…

It’s on. *rolls up sleeves*

Are you excited for Blood of the Dragon’s release day?

Are you taking part in NaNoWriMo? What are you working on?


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October Recap | Where did the month go? o.o

Happy November, Sparrows!

October was such a busy month for me that I completely forgot to update you with my progress! :O I keep thinking we still have half the month left, so November really has sneaked up on me. Somehow.

I’ll keep this brief, because I’m still rushing!

Release Day Prep

Blood of the Dragon is fully edited, formatted, and ready on Amazon. The links aren’t live yet, but they’re good to go. I’ll just check them again next week–just in case–and then we’re good to go for the 11th.

Much the same story with Shadow in Ar’Sanciond. My formatter sent me back the formatted paperback and ebook versions yesterday, but I haven’t had time to check them yet–that’s how busy it’s been!

The box set is nearly ready too. It’s with my formatter now, and the cover just landed in my inbox today. And you know what that means? There’s a cover reveal coming your way 😉

NaNoWriMo

This gorgeous beast started today, and so far, I’m ahead by roughly 500 words XD I don’t work at the weekends though, so I know I’ll fall behind tomorrow.

I’ll talk some more about this on Monday, when I share my November plans 🙂

And that’s it :O

This is possibly my quickest ever update! I knew October was mostly about the release day prep, and I nailed that. So, while this doesn’t look like much, there was a lot of work involved on my end, on my editor’s end, and on my formatter’s end, who’s still working on making the box set beautiful! My review team has also been on fire, and the first reviews have already come in.

Was your October as busy as mine? Make a tea, get some biscuits (kittens know we earned them!), and tell me how you’ve done last month <3


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October Goals | Pre-Release Day(s) Rush

Happy Spook-tober, Sparrows!

There’s much to do this month and not a lot of time to do it in, so let’s hop right to it, shall we?

Release Day Prep

October is all about my next two releases. Their dates are close now (*deeeeep breaths, Sarina*), and the run-up is always busy, so I won’t throw too much else at my to-do list.

Blood of the Dragon went back to my editor for its final proofread yesterday, which means I need to get the ARCs done and I need/want to read over it again too, to make sure I’m happy with everything before I hit that button.

Shadow in Ar’Sanciond comes back from betas next week, but since it’s much shorter (yay for prequel novellas!) and out a month after Dragon, I’m a bit more relaxed with it.

Sarina’s Sparrows

My Facebook Reader Group is now OPEN!

I’m really excited to hang out with my readers in a relaxed, informal setting and talk about books 🥰

I’ve got lots of fun things planned, like exclusive giveaways, early snippets and teasers (including covers and maps!), and lots of gushing about fantasy.

To join, all you need to do is find the group on Facebook, answer three super easy questions, and then you’re in! 

NaNoWriMo Prep

Because all that release day prep isn’t enough, I’ll also be preparing for NaNo.

This is definitely not a bad idea.

The goal is still to write the first words on Blood Song, but I might need to finish Brightened Shadows first. I’ll see how I get on this month.

And that’ll have to be it 🙂 What are you goals for October? Are you preparing for NaNo too?


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September Recap | Booked Covers, Book Trailer Gorgeousness, and Book Release Dates

Happy Fri-yay, Sparrows!

Allow me to start by saying that I misjudged how much time I’d have this month when I announced my September goals. In theory, my plans were fine and achievable, but in reality?

I forgot I’m off this week.

Oops.

So, in hindsight, wanting to write 30k on Brightened Shadows was… ambitious *ahem*

But that doesn’t mean I didn’t make all the progress.

(well, not all the progress, as we’ve just established.)

Here’s what happened this month:

Release Dates

Let’s do the most exciting one first 😉

I’ve set my next three release dates and I’ve announced them on Instagram and my Facebook page, so they’re official!

Here they are for your calendars:

Blood of the Dragon – November 11th

Shadow in Ar’Sanciond – December 9th

Relics of Ar’Zac Box Set – January 26th

Time to get excited, Sparrows.

Relics of Ar’Zac

Blood of the Dragon and Shadow in Ar’Sanciond are with beta readers. Feedback for both has been amazing, my readers love what I’ve done, and they’re almost ready for their final proofread.

I’ve booked the cover for the box set for next month, and my cover designer is finalising the covers for Blood of the Dragon and Shadow in Ar’Sanciond this week. In fact, I prepared this post last week Tuesday, so he’s probably done by the time this post goes live!

It’s all coming together so quickly now.

Somebody hold me.

If you want to be among the first to see the box set cover, sign up to my mailing list and collect some other freebies while you’re there.

Darkened Light

As I said above, I didn’t write 30k this month, but I did pass the 30k mark, which means it’s more than a third of the way there!

That’s 3 3s!

Pretty sure that’s a good sign 😉

And, of course, there’s the incredible trailer. You don’t want to miss it, so watch it now if you haven’t seen it already–or watch it again if you have. I totally get it.

Blood Wisp

I’ve fully plotted Blood Song and can’t wait to start writing it in November. To be honest with you, it’s a little distracting. Brightened Shadows is lucky I’m so focussed.

I went from having no idea who the villain is to not only having a villain, but having a villain I think you’ll love to be torn over. Do you hate him? Do you love him? He’s such a good guy, but look what he did. So, why not both? You’re welcome.

Since Blood Song is plotted now, I also have a pretty good idea of what’ll happen in Blood Vow, and it’s given me ideas for fleshing out Blood Wisp.

It’s all coming together, Sparrows.

Or should I call you Wisps now? Hmm.

Just kidding, you’ll always be my Sparrows <3

What have you achieved this month? Make a tea and tell me about your successes.


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9 Books to Love this Autumn

Autumn is officially here, Sparrows!

*puts on her witch hat and jumps into leaf pile*

You know what’s odd? Back in my last job, I read every day on my lunch break. I got in at least an hour every day that way, and easily read two or three books a month!

You’d think I’d read even more now I’m full-time self-employed, wouldn’t you? I thought so, but my reading has really taken a backseat these last few months since January.

Not to worry though–autumn is here, and that’s the perfect season to curl up with a good book!

There’s nothing better than rainy days, warm blankets, hot teas, and a cat purring on my lap to get me through a reading slump. I’ve never had one of these before and I don’t like it, so let’s kick it in the teeth together, shall we?

The below is a collection of self-published books and traditionally published books, short books and long books, books I’ve loved and books I’ll be reading this autumn.

And the best part?

They all fit into autumn like they were written for the season.

Please note: this post contains affiliate links, which means I may earn a small commission if you make a purchase through one of the links below.

The Shadow of the Wind has been waiting on my shelf for… Oh gawd, has it actually been years? :O I have no excuse 😐

I don’t know much about it other than that it’s about books and maybe a library, and the cover screams, ‘READ ME IN AUTUMN’, so it’s high on my list for this year.

If you like curses, demons, vampires, and disturbing reads rather than horrifying ones, you’ll love The Making of Gabriel Davenport. The writing is beautiful, and the paranormal element fits it perfectly!

While The Name of the Wind isn’t specifically an autumnal read, the cover definitely fits. Love epic fantasy? This is a must-read.

The size put me off a little bit–at 664 pages, this isn’t a fast read–but I soon lost myself in its pages, read the even longer sequel immediately after, and still wanted more. It’s not short, but it is magnificent in every way.

This is another disturbing rather than terrifying read–which is good, because I’m a wimp 😐 If you prefer your horror witchy, cursed, and in a way that’ll make the shadows seem deeper without robbing you of any sleep, then Daughters of the Oak is for you!

And, of course, those autumn leaves on the cover are a must.

The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon has been on my shelf for a while. I’m always a little reserved with authors known for their horror books, but some of King’s other books have shown me that his horror won’t necessarily give me nightmares–and I’ve been told this isn’t like other Kings–so I’m looking forward to it now!

I meant to read it last October but couldn’t quite fit it, so it’s high on my list for this year.

Hell’s Teeth has vampires, the kind of ‘zombie’ that’s faster than you, and so much humour you’ll be laughing on every other page. There’s so much darkness in this, but the MC’s sarcasm will lighten it and make you smile.

Plus, with the release of Book 3 just around the corner, now is the perfect time to get into this series!

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve admired this beauty before I finally bought it. The Necronomicon is required horror reading, isn’t it? Frankly, it’s shameful I haven’t read it already.

It’s huge, though, so I’ll probably take it one story at a time.

A friend recommended Dean Koontz to me years ago, so when my library got rid of Twilight Eyes, I knew I had to keep it. I meant to read it last October, but then other books took longer than expected. It’s high on my pile this year to make up for it.

No list of autumnal reads is complete without my baby Darkened Light 😉 I mean, just *look* at that cover! You know you want it.

What are you reading this autumn? Make a tea, wrap up in that blanket, and tell me about your next read.


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