February Recap 2019 | RotS Rewrites Are DONE

February has been my most stressful month in a while, so I’m not overly sad to see it end. Bring on March–I am ready!

Here’s why it’s been so tiring:

Rise of the Sparrows

These rewrites have been kicking my butt. I didn’t get much done in December because I was still working at the library, and then in January I also got nothing done because I wanted to finish writing the Blood Wisp trilogy, plus I had a huge editing job I needed to wrap up.

So, when I sat down to pick up my rewrites this month, I still had most of the book to go. I believe Chapter 1 was staring back at me? Maybe I got lucky and it was Chapter 2. Either way, lots to do.

Believe me when I say I was tired* when I finally sent it back to my editor this Tuesday. I took the rest of the day off and then had the MOST amazing day on Wednesday looking at all the other projects I’ve neglected–not just this month, but in January too. Finishing Blood Vow‘s first draft and then doing these rewrites were my top priorities, and I’m honestly overjoyed to see them gone from my to-do list.

*read: I sent it to my editor, sat down on my sofa, and yawned non-stop until I went to bed.

What does this mean for the re-release of Rise of the Sparrows?

Well, it’s looking good. I’m not sure if I’ll get it done in April (because, let’s face it, that’s a month and a day away), but May should be possible. I’d kinda prefer May anyway, because I first published Sparrows in May. It’d be nice to have both releases in the same month, don’t you think? Has a nice ring to it.

(also a slightly depressing one, because I shouldn’t have had to re-publish it in the first place, but first-time indie authors are a special kind of naive and I simply didn’t know better. Hey-ho. Such is life, lesson learned and all that fuss.)

Blood of the Dragon & Shadow in Ar’Sanciond

Not quite as much to report here. I have started to copy my critique partners’ feedback and I have some ideas for expansion (BotD) and cuts (SiAS), but most of that will happen next month. Check back on Monday for more on that front.

Blood Wisp Trilogy

My star of a cover designer has completed the set! I’ve seen the mock last week and let me tell you, it’s quite something!

(Bless him, he’ll be pleased to get away from me for a bit. Who knew I set such a tough brief? I didn’t.)

I’ll be sharing them with my mailing list Bookish With Sarina next month, so be sure to sign up if you want to see them early.

And that’s it for this month! It’s been a busy one. I don’t know how it’s been for you, but I’m happy March is here and I’m thrilled to have some variety on my to-do list again. Make a tea and tell me how February has treated you <3

Sign up for my BOOKISH WITH SARINA list for updates sent to your inbox hassle-free and exclusive freebies, such as the short stories All that I Can Be and Bubak.

Sign up for my SPARROW REVIEW TEAM for ARCs.

Sign up for my SPARROW STREET TEAM if you want to be a critique partner, beta reader, or otherwise want to help me promote my books.

February Goals 2019

I know it’s still two months away, but does anyone else feel like April Camp NaNo is just around the corner? The NaNo bug got me early this year, that’s for sure!

But, in the interest of sanity, let’s focus on February for now.

My goals this month are few but mighty:

Rise of the Sparrows

I have every intention of finishing my rewrites this month and sending it back to my editor for line edits.

Once they are done and we move on to the proofread, I’ll have a date for the re-release, too, so stay tuned ๐Ÿ˜‰

Blood of the Dragon & Shadow in Ar’Sanciond

The second I send SPARROWS back to my editor, these two will have my full attention. (read: my full attention shared between the two *ahem*) I still haven’t copied my critique partners’ feedback, so it’s about time. June/July releases are starting to look ambitious, but not impossible.

BLOOD OF THE DRAGON will be the greater challenge of the two since I need to lengthen it. Considerably. BUT the time away from it has helped and I have ideas for expansion, so I’m hoping it sounds more painful than it’ll be.

And this short list is it! It doesn’t look like much, but both points will take time and commitment. In theory, I’ll have both, so nothing should stand in the way.

What’s on your to-do list this month? Make a tea and tell me about your goals over biscuits <3

Sign up for my BOOKISH WITH SARINA list for updates sent to your inbox hassle-free and exclusive freebies, such as the short stories All that I Can Be and Bubak.

Sign up for my SPARROW REVIEW TEAM for ARCs.

Sign up for my SPARROW STREET TEAM if you want to be a critique partner, beta reader, or otherwise want to help me promote my books.

January Recap 2019 | a finished draft, all the edits, and a new short story!

I can’t believe I’m already sitting at my laptop to summarise how January has gone over here in Author Land and deep inside the Editing Cave. Time flies faster since I went self-employed, and I’m not gonna lie, it’s freaking me out a little. How can the first month of 2019 be over? Someone’s been messing with the space-time continuum again o.o

Blood Wisp

I’ve finished the first draft of BLOOD VOW, so the whole trilogy is now hibernating while I get on with other WIPs.

I loved writing Michiko’s story, but I’m also happy to be returning to my other projects. I’ve given myself a lot to do this year, so there’s no time to waste.

For now, I’m happy to let this trilogy rest. I might put it through first edits for Camp NaNo this April, but I might also let it proof a little longer. All my other WIPs are in the editing stages, so this might be too much editing.

Rise of the Sparrows

My rewrites are going a little slower than I hoped, but they are going. I’ve learned two things from this… let’s be honest and call it an ordeal:

You canNOT skip professional developmental and line edits on your debut novel. Stupid idea. Don’t even think about it.

I’ll never ever write the first book of any series again without having the whole series planned first. There are several moments in Book 3 that have to go a certain way because that’s how I set them up in Book 1–long before I considered anything that might happen in later books. It’s especially annoying because my little plotster heart should have jumped at the chance to plan the whole trilogy first, but oh well.

Live and learn, eh? Learn from my mistakes, if any fellow writers are reading this.

But I was talking about rewrites, wasn’t I? They are going well and I’m confident that I’ll get it back to my editor next month. An April re-release is still on the table, Sparrows.

Bubak | Short Story Freebie

On Saturday, I made a new short story freebie available to my mailing list subscribers. It’s been a long time coming because, even though it’s only short (4.5k), finding the time to edit it amongst all those other goals has been difficult.

If you like stories about lost souls, jumper-knitting demons that abduct people, and cats, then Bubak might just be the right chilling winter read for you.

You can now download it for free when you sign up to my mailing list.

And that’s my January wrapped up! How did the first month of 2019 treat you? Make a tea and tell me about your achievements.

Sign up for my BOOKISH WITH SARINA list for updates sent to your inbox hassle-free and exclusive freebies, such as the All that I Can Be short story.

Sign up for my SPARROW REVIEW TEAM for ARCs.

Sign up for my SPARROW STREET TEAM if you want to be a critique partner, beta reader, or otherwise want to help me promote my books.

DARKENED LIGHT is on promo!

It’s my birthday tomorrow, so I’ve put Darkened Light on promotion ๐Ÿ˜‰ This weekend only, you can get the eBook half-price for ยฃ1.99/$2.57.

If you haven’t read it yet, now’s the time to treat yourself because on Monday, the price will go back up again ๐Ÿ˜‰

Get it on Amazon US

Get it on Amazon UK


When he was a boy in Onwwe, heโ€™d been taught to respect the dead and honour their memory. Not once had anyone said anything about them still existing somewhere.

The death goddess Ithrean has led the dead to their rest and watched over them in Dunhฤƒ for centuries, but they are no longer at peace. Their souls turn the red grass black, and their corruption seeps into the world of the living.

Naavah Ora is an elven mage who can enter Dunhฤƒ at will, and study its corruption like no one else can.

Doran is a runaway thief who cares about nothing as much as the next treasure, even if it puts his own life in danger.

840 is the only male sacrifice in his village, longing for a chance to live.

Ash is a troublemaker who is learning that he canโ€™t burn his way through every obstacle.

To halt the coming darkness, they need to work together.

Itโ€™s too bad they are too different to get along.

Goodreadsย & Amazonย Reviews:

Full of adventure, mystery, and magic, Sarina proves again that she is a master of fantasy and a queen of worldbuilding! Blending the fun of dysfunctional teams like the Guardians of the Galaxy with the poignant plotting of Mistborn, Darkened Light will appeal to fans of high fantasy!!

Goodreads Review, Faith Rivens

Conflict. A vital ingredient in any story. The author skillfully uses this to maximum effect as the tale unfolds, and you find yourself rooting for the characters (so hard to pick a favourite!) whilst wanting to bang their heads together!

Goodreads Review, Beverley Lee

I love a team of misfits getting together for a common purpose, and it gives me all the same happiness as the video game series Dragon Age.

Amazon Review, Dana Fraedrich

Here are the links again, my Sparrows:

Get it on Amazon US

Get it on Amazon UK

Happy reading <3

2019 Publishing Plans & January Goals

Happy New Year, Sparrows and bookworms!

First of all, my apologies for bringing this to you so late. The new year is already eight days old, and I have no excuse for not wishing you a good one sooner. My mailing list got the below last week, so this feels… late. Let’s just say it’s been a busy start and it looks like my first half will need a lot of tea o.o

I’m all geared up for an extremely busy year and excited to bring you all the books! Here’s what I’ve got planned:

2019 Publishing Schedule

RISE OF THE SPARROWS (Relics of Ar’Zac #1) – re-release April

BLOOD OF THE DRAGON (Relics of Ar’Zac #2) – ARC May, publishing June

SHADOW IN AR’SANCIOND (Relics of Ar’Zac #0.5) – ARC June, publishing July

BLOOD WISP (Blood Wisp #1) – ARC September, publishing October

BLOOD SONG (Blood Wisp #2) – ARC October, publishing November

BLOOD VOW (Blood Wisp #3) – ARC November, publishing December

This schedule depends entirely on writers hiring me to edit their books. Gotta edit to pay my editor ๐Ÿ˜› It’s like the circle of life but with more tea *ahem*

If you’re interested in any of those ARCs, it’s not too early to sign up for my Sparrow Review Team ๐Ÿ˜‰

January Goals

My goals this month are simple as I get used to working from home full-time. Maker forbid I give myself too much to do o.o

*ignores above list*

This month, I want to finish writing BLOOD VOW and it’s looking good so far since it’s only a novella and I started it last month. Having said that, it’s the concluding title in its trilogy, so I need to make sure I wrap up all the ends.

It’s the first time I’ve written a whole trilogy before I start editing, and I think it’s the future, friends.

I also want to finish my developmental edits of RISE OF THE SPARROWS so I can keep my schedule and republish it in April. This is the priority since I’m not comfortable advertising it before then.

If there’s time after BLOOD VOW, I’ll also start edits on BLOOD OF THE DRAGON. I’ve got all my notes for it and ideas for expansion. My critique partners for SHADOW IN AR’SANCIOND should also be done soon, so that’ll be on my list for next month.

What are your goals this month? Make a tea and chat with me! ๐Ÿ™‚

Sign up for my BOOKISH WITH SARINA list for updates sent to your inbox hassle-free and exclusive freebies, such as the All that I Can Be short story.

Sign up for my SPARROW REVIEW TEAM for ARCs.

Sign up for my SPARROW STREET TEAM if you want to be a critique partner, beta reader, or otherwise want to help me promote my books.

Goodnight, 2018 | Recap

The end of a year is a great time to reflect, don’t you think? 2018 has been my busiest year ever, so there’s loads to think about and be grateful for.

Usually, I update you on where all my WIPs are at the end of a month, but today, because it’s the end of the year, I’ll do things a little differently.

Relics of Ar’Zac

It’s been a Relics-heavy year. I finishedย  the first draft of Blood of the Dragon, wrote the prequel novella Shadow in Ar’Sanciond, and decided to re-publish Rise of the Sparrows in 2019. New edits for that are underway.

Blood of the Dragon has been torn apart by critique partners and is awaiting my own next round of edits. Shadow in Ar’Sanciond is with critique partners now. Rise of the Sparrows is with my editor. It’s all coming together <3

I’m so excited to get these to my Street Team and my Review Team. Your first series is always special, so I’m looking forward to publishing Shadow with mixed feelings. Bring on all the bittersweetness <3

Darkened Light

I published Darkened Light in August and I’m thrilled with the love it’s received since <3

While I haven’t started Book 2 yet, it’s in my planner for 2019. I want to tell you its name, for one! I’ve kept it secret since before Darkened Light‘s title reveal ๐Ÿ˜›

Blood Wisp

I’m really pleased that I’ve almost written an entire trilogy this year. I know they’re only novellas, but I’m happy that I managed to squeeze them in all the same. I’m not quite there with Blood Vow (#3), but that’s okay. When time is short, my editing clients come first, but I know I’ll finish it in January.

I love this trilogy and can’t wait to share it next year.

This website

One of the biggest changes this year was that I split my author site from my blog for writers, CookieBreak. It’s only been a few short months, but it’s already odd to think that they were ever the same site!

Thank you so much to everyone who’s moved across with me and continues to read my monthly updates and whatever other news I have for you.

Next year will be a busy one, and I’m excited to have you alone with me.

Naturally, there’s a bunch of other things too, like me quitting my job or me building my editing business, but I already mentioned the former and the latter belongs on CookieBreak more than it does here, so I’ll leave it at that ๐Ÿ™‚

Get a tea, make yourself comfortable, and tell me about your successes this year, no matter how small they seem to you. I’d love to hear how well you’ve done <3 (if only so I can tell you that you really have done brilliantly.)

Today is a big day. (Goodbye day job, hello full-time self-employment (somebody hold me))

I mentioned some weeks ago that I quit my job to become a full-time writer and editor, and today is the day. Today is my last day working in a library with the loveliest colleagues, and trolleys with hundreds of books shoved at me once a year and the words ‘we’re getting rid of these, keep as many as you want’.

In case you were wondering, here’s what going full-time self-employed feels like:

During the day: LET’S ROCK THIS

In the evening: It’ll be fine.

At night, trying to sleep: omgwhathaveidone

Next day: WOO

So, basically, I’m trying not to think about it after 5pm ๐Ÿ™‚

Am I confident? Of course. It’ll only fail if I don’t put in the work, and I find that deeply reassuring. BUT I’ve never quit my job to go full-time writer and editor before, so it’s not like I can base it on prior experiences. All I have is my attitude to hard work, enough savings to last six months should I not make another pound, and a plan, but things like this are always a risk no matter how much you prepare.

Which is why I’m feeling all the emotions today.

I’m grateful to have been fortunate enough to work in such a fantastic place, which allowed me to build my business in the mornings and work with books in the afternoons and evenings.

I’m sad, because I’ll miss the lovely people I’ve worked with.

Most of all I’m excited to bring you all the books from next year.

So, thank you to my colleagues for a fab 4-something years. Thank you to you, my readers and authors, for getting me here. Here’s to future WIPs and excessive tea consumption.

*raises glass*

December 2018 Goals

After a BUSY year, I’m excited for a quiet(ish) December. I’ve got another two weeks including this one, and then I’m taking a glorious three-week Christmas break.

So, my goals are somewhere between hectic because I’m finishing things off, and relaxed because I haven’t set as many.

My few writing goals are:

Relics of Ar’Zac

The only definite goal I’ve set is to apply all critique partner feedback for Blood of the Dragon to my printed copy. That way, it can rest a little longer over my break and then I’ll tear into it in January.

Besides that, I want to get through as much of Rise of the Sparrows as I can. I’ll do the rest in January and then it can go back to my editor for its line edit. My own edits of the prologue have been heavy*, but that just validates my decision to do this. Or maybe it proves I have no mercy. It’s probably both.

As for Shadow in Ar’Sanciond… I’m happy to leave it with my critique partners for now. I don’t expect their feedback until early January, so I might not look at it if they send me any notes before that. I might have a quick read over it, but I won’t do anything with it until next month.

*read: I may as well be bathing in tea so I can absorb caffeine through my pores.

Blood Wisp

The covers are coming in and everything I’ve seen so far has been beautiful, so I’ll be planning the cover reveal over my break ๐Ÿ˜‰

With Blood Wisp and Blood Song resting, I’d love to finish the first draft of Blood Vow so they can all proof together, but I won’t put any pressure on myself. Having said that, finishing it is likely since it’s only a novella and I’ve written more words in less time *shrugs*

I’ve nearly written 10k, so it’s well on its way!

Beyond these goals, I have various editing jobs and decorating to do, but that’s it. It’s the most relaxed month I’ve had all year :’)

Get some biscuits and tell me about your December goals. Do you celebrate Christmas? Does that affect how many goals you’re setting this month?

November 2018 Update

Hi, Sparrows!

How was your November? I’m exhausted, so I’m excited to have a lie-in tomorrow and not move for two days.

The whole year’s been busy, actually. I’ve got two weeks left at the day job, and then I’ll embrace my Christmas break like… like… like someone embracing something magnificent. I’d think of something better, but. Brain tired.

Relics of Ar’Zac

My editor is almost done with her developmental round ofย Rise of the Sparrows and I’ve started re-editing it, too. I’m surprisingly excited to get stuck in! Since it’s holding up my other new releases, it’s a priority alongside Blood of the Dragon.

But, more excitingly, Shadow in Ar’Sanciond is with critique partners and another set of critique partners is mostly done with Blood of the Dragon.

I’ll finish this series next year, just you watch!

Blood Wisp

The cover for Blood Wispย is done and it’s beautiful! Oddly enough, I didn’t like it at first, but the more I looked at it the more I fell in love and now I want posters of it all over my house. It’s one hell of a beauty <3

My designer has started on Blood Song, so it’s too early for the cover reveal. Now I’ll know for next time I book a whole series at once ๐Ÿ˜›

I’ll reveal the whole set once I’ve got it and once it’s closer to Book 1’s release day.

I’ve also made some progress on Books 2 and 3.ย Blood Song, (#2) is WRITTEN AND PROOFING *throws confetti* I’ve started on Blood Vow (#3) this week, and so far it’s going well *crosses fingers*

I love these characters and can’t wait to share them with my Street Team early next year <3


I’m now on Booksprout! If you’ve been tempted to join my Sparrow Review Team for ARCs but don’t want to join a mailing list, you can now find me and my review copies on Booksprout.

It’d be lovely to see you there if that’s more your thing. Alternatively, my review team is always open to new members ๐Ÿ˜‰

British Book Bash

I can’t believe this was earlier this month. It feels like it was ages ago!

Thank you to everyone who came out. I hope the weather was kind to you and you didn’t get soaked! If you didn’t make it, I’ll be attending another signing event at some point, but I haven’t booked any tables yet. When I do, you’ll be the first to hear ๐Ÿ™‚

I think that’s it for November! I wish I could say I’ll be taking it easy until my Christmas break, but naturally there’s too much to do. (entirely my doing, I know.) More on that on Monday ๐Ÿ™‚ Make a tea and tell me about your December successes!ย ๐Ÿ™‚

Critique Partners Wanted: SHADOW IN AR’SANCIOND

Good morning and happy Monday, bookworms and Sparrows!

Recruitment for SHADOW IN AR’SANCIOND’s critique partners is now OPEN!

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Shadow in Ar’Sanciond is the epic fantasy prequel novella to the Relics of Ar’Zac trilogy. You don’t need to have read the main series to critique this one.
  • Because it’s a novella, it’s short at around 30k.
  • It’s the second draft. I’ve gone over it once but it’s still fairly raw. No professional editing has happened yet.
  • I’m looking for 3 or 4 people to read it normally and highlight any plot holes, areas with slow pacing, repetition, things that make no sense, etc. I’m not looking for a line edit or proofread at this point. You’d be commenting on the story and chapters as a whole, not reconstructing individual paragraphs or finding spelling errorsย 
  • Deadline: 19th January. December is a busy time for many people, so I’ve set a slightly longer deadline to allow for panicked Christmas shopping and lazy holidaysย 
  • TRIGGER WARNING: the characters in this novella discuss destroying their country and the mass murder and suicide of everyone involved and alive in the country at the time as an unfortunate side product.
  • Registration is open until this week Friday (23rd November).

Interested? Sign up for my street team here:


The ‘application form’ (one-click registration) will be with you shortly after ๐Ÿ™‚

If you’d like to find out more about the list you’d be joining first, you can do so here:


If you have any questions, leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can ๐Ÿ™‚