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.

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.)

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™‚

November 2018 Goals

Happy NOVEMBER, my bookworms! And happy NaNoWriMo to those of you who are taking part this year! May your snacks never run out, your caffeine keep you focussed, and your words flow smoothly.

I’m not taking part this year, but I’ve set my own private challenge so I’ll be with you in spirit, just not on the website getting heckled by the progress bar ๐Ÿ™‚ What’s that? I’ll finish in January? Gee, thanks, NaNo website And, naturally, despite my complaints, I’ll be doing it next year. Not doing it feels wrong *shrugs*

Relics of Ar’Zac

I finished my first edit of Shadow in Ar’Sanciondย ONE day ahead of schedule ๐Ÿ˜€ It’s something *ahem*

I’m not sure whether I should add this thing or two… *careful not to give spoilers* If I do, I’ll do it in December. It’s not much but I want to look at a different project for a bit, and then it can go to critique partners in January.

Shadow in Ar’Sanciond shares two scenes with Blood of the Dragon, so everything needs to match, which is a new experience I will quite possibly never repeat. Way too much room for errors!

With that out of the way and resting once more, I’ll move on to my re-edits of Rise of the Sparrows. My editor is sending me her first notes at the end of this week, so I can consider her suggestions when I take my own red pen to it myself.

Blood Wisp

My not-NaNo challenge is to write as much as I can of Blood Song and Blood Vow without the group pressure of a massive word count. Both books combined aren’t far off 50k, but it is less and I’ll be happy with any progress.

Also, the cover reveal is just around the corner, so that’s exciting ๐Ÿ™‚ At least, I assume it is. I’ve never commissioned four covers at once before o.o I don’t know how long it’ll take my designer, but I imagine I’ll see the proofs soon.

(Which is so bloody exciting, btw. Seeing my new covers for the first time is one of my favourite parts of this whole process.)

British Book Bash

This is in 10 days and I’m CALM. *screams into paper bag*

Because it’s my first event, I’m not putting any pressure on myself. I’m sharing my table with someone who has done it before (I think), so I’ll have her experience if needed. Otherwise, I’ll just throw my books and bookish swag into a suitcase, put my banner over my shoulder, and train it to Brighton early Saturday morning.

My SO is coming along for support and my parents are flying in, too, so I’m excited to just enjoy the day with other authors and bookworms <3

What are your goals for November? Make a tea (Almighty Kitten knows it’s cold enough in my corner of the world) and let’s talk about to-do lists!

October 2018 Update

I feel like I’ve said this every month this year, but it’s been another crazy one. Unlike most months, October was more significant since I officially handed in my resignation. November isn’t looking any quieter–but more on that next week.

Blood Wisp

I’m ready to write my heart out next month. I’m definitely not doing NaNo this year, but I have set myself a smaller challenge to write as much as I can of BLOOD SONG and BLOOD VOW. They’re both novellas, so I should get a good chunk done even if I don’t finish them. I can finish what’s left in December–either way, this trilogy will be fully written by Christmas.

My cover designer is hard at work, too. I received some questions for the covers earlier this week and have clarified a few things, so I expect to see the proofs soon. They were scheduled to be done this week, but since they’re not my next releases I’ve asked my designer not to rush.

Either way, my biggest cover reveal of the year is just around the corner ๐Ÿ™‚

Relics of Ar’Zac

There’s not too much to report because everyone is editing. My editor is working on RISE OF THE SPARROWS so I can republish it, my critique partners are working on BLOOD OF THE DRAGON, and I’m working on SHADOW IN AR’SANCIOND.

I’m almost done with my round, and will send SHADOW to my critique partners when they’ve recovered from DRAGON. Early 2019 seems likely–which sounds ages away, but remember it’s November next week ๐Ÿ˜‰

So, all I can say is that we’re all in the middle of edits ๐Ÿ™‚ Which is possibly why I need to do something at least a little similar to NaNo next month. It’ll be nice to write something, if only for an hour every morning.

How was your October? Have you achieved everything you wanted? Make a tea and let’s chat <3

The Brighton Book Bash Is Only One Month Away–and I’ll Be There!

In just one month from now, on November 10th, I and my books will be in Brighton. The last of my bookish goodies have arrived–just in time for me to show them off!

Besides my books, here’s what I’ll bring:

An A5 map of the world from RELICS OF AR’ZAC:

Mugs with quotes from RELICS OF AR’ZAC and DARKENED LIGHT:

Tote bags:

Business cards:

And, of course, bookmarks:

Stock will be limited since I can only carry so much, so please let me know in advance if you’re interested in any of the above ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ll set some aside for my next mailing list giveaways too.

Will I see you in Brighton? If you haven’t got your tickets yet, you can book them here. You can also make sure I’ll have books ready and waiting for you by reserving the ones you want here.