April Goals | Hello, NaNo, My Old Friend <3

Happy April, Sparrows!

I have only two goals this month:

Camp NaNo

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! *happy sigh* I’m editing my Blood Wisp novella trilogy, and I’ve set a rather large goal of all 182 pages. When you consider that three of those are title pages, it’s really not that bad *ahem*

Because NaNo takes it out of the best of writers, I’ve set some rewards for myself as motivation:

If I make it through Blood Wisp, I get Wicca: A Modern Guide to Witchcraft and Magic by Harmony Nice.

If I make it through Blood Song, I get a new candle, because my lovely pistachio and lemon one is almost dead.

And if I make it through all three, I get… I’m still a little undecided on that, actually. I had some books written down, but I feel like it shouldn’t all be research.

Whether I manage to edit all three novellas or not isn’t important. I’ll make a ton of progress this month, and I’m excited for it.

If you’re doing NaNo this month, tell me if you’ve set yourself rewards for various milestones and what they are <3

Rise of the Sparrows

My editor told me she’ll finish the line edit this month, possibly as early as this week, so I’ve got a re-release to plan. I am doing NaNo, though (in case you didn’t notice–I’m not sure I mentioned it), so I’ll be happy to just apply her changes and send it back for the final proofread.

Since I’ve never re-published anything before–and because I’ve done a ton of research since my last release–I’m excited to see how it compares when I pull out ALL the stops.

Sign up for my BOOKISH WITH SARINA mailing list for updates on my books, excerpts, early cover reveals, and exclusive freebies such as the short stories All that I Can Be and Bubak.

March Recap 2019 | My Book Babies Are Growing Up!

Can you believe Camp NaNo is only a few days away? :O I’m really excited to dive in, but for now I’ll behave and concentrate on March.


I decided to hold off on creating my new maps so I can create them alongside editing their books. I’ve made a rough (and I mean Rough, because I have no drawing skills) start on the map for Shadow in Ar’Sanciond, but Blood Wisp will have to wait.

Not for long, though, since it’s my NaNo project πŸ˜€ *flails because NaNo addiction*

Relics of Ar’Zac

Everything is slowly coming together, Sparrows. I’ve added two and a half new chapters to Shadow in Ar’Sanciond, and dare I say I made it even darker? I love how it connects with the main trilogy, but I also kind of hate myself for doing it. There are a lot of bits that need to match on both ends, especially two scenes which happen in the prequel novella and Blood of the Dragon, from two different POVs and at different moments in time.



I’ve given myself a lot of work to do, but I hope you’ll love it when it’s ready. I’m relieved I’m editing both books at the same time. It gives me more freedoms than I would have had otherwise.

What’s left to do?

Not much on Shadow in Ar’Sanciond. I’ve applied all critique partner feedback, I’ve added the two chapters, so now I’ll just need to go over everything again in May (after NaNo, thank you), make sure everything still works as it should, make it a little darker where I can… and then it’ll be off to my editor for its line edit o.o

Blood of the Dragon has a little more left. I’ve applied quite a few critique partner notes this week alone, but I keep getting carried away where I see other areas I can work on. I do have several ideas for expansion, so that shouldn’t be a problem. And because I’m a hyper-organised control freak, I’ve created a Google Spreadsheet with what happens in every chapter, whether it needs anything added to it and what, whether I need to move it, and of course that’s all colour-coded, too <3

Also, my editor has informed me that she’s almost done with Rise of the Sparrows line edits, so that’s one to look forward to in April!

(This series always takes up the main chunk of these posts, doesn’t it? It’ll feel weird when they’re all published and out in the world and there’s nothing left to report </3 My babies are growing up X’C)

Camp NaNo

I declared my project the day it was possible to do so. I may have been stalking the website for a few days… *ahem*

I’ve prepared what I could, so I’m hoping for minimal distractions next month. I may need to stock up on tea, but all three novellas are in one Word doc and I’ve changed the font and colours, so hopefully that’ll help. 182 pages is possible in one month, right? Bear in mind that three of those are title pages, so really it’s 179.

Definitely not over-ambitious.

*adds all the tea to shopping list*

But more on that on Monday πŸ™‚

How did your March go? Make a tea, get some biscuits, and tell me about your progress <3

Sign up for my BOOKISH WITH SARINA mailing list for updates on my books, excerpts, early cover reveals, and exclusive freebies such as the short stories All that I Can Be and Bubak.

RISE OF THE SPARROWS Is Temporarily Unavailable

Hi, Sparrows!

As the title says, my debut novel won’t be available for a short time while my editor and I are preparing it for re-release.

I wasn’t comfortable leaving it up after I decided that it needed more work. Since I’ve stopped all marketing efforts, no one knew it existed anyway until recently, when someone from another mailing list told me she bought it and would review it asap.

(thank you <3)

I felt guilty because I’m working on it again, so I’ve decided to finally pull it. Honestly, I should have done this sooner.

It will be back, much better than before, but until then, you won’t be able to get it from Amazon.

All the thanks for your patience and understanding <3


March Goals 2019 | Hello, Variety!

Happy March, Sparrows!

If you read my February update last week, you may have noticed that I’m excited March is here. If you haven’t, it’s because the first two months of 2019 were a bit busy and a tad stressful. March, however, promises an awful lot more variety!

Here’s what’s on my to-do list this month:


It’s been forever and an age since I’ve last drawn a map, but with edits on Shadow in Ar’Sanciond and the Blood Wisp trilogy just around the corner, I figured I’d better get a move on.

Now, I can’t draw and rely on my cartographer to make my sketches look pretty, so we’ll see how these turn out. Thank Kittens I don’t have to do the final versions myself!

If they aren’t as bad as I expect, I might even show them off here, but no promises.

Relics of Ar’Zac

With Rise of the Sparrows rewrites back with my editor, I can focus on Blood of the Dragon and Shadow in Ar’Sanciond. My critique partners have sent me feedback for both and I’ve had a bit of time to think as well, so I’ve got a few ideas on how to make both better now.

There’s a fair bit of work involved–especially with Dragon, which is much too short–but I’m excited to get started.

Camp NaNo

With Camp only a month away, I’ve been keeping an eye on my inbox for that email telling me I can sign up.

(I may have been overeager and checked on Friday.)

I’ll tackle first Blood Wisp edits, so that’s really more something for next month, I suppose? What can I say, I caught the bug early.

But there are some things I can do this month to prepare, like copy all three Scrivener novellas and put them into one Word document. Change the font and colours so I can get a fresh look at it. It’s been resting for a while now (especially Book 1, which I wrote during last year’s April Camp), so I’m hoping the break and different style will make editing it easier.

So, to summarise…

Draw some terrible map sketches, copy the last of my critique partners’ feedback, expand Blood of the Dragon, cut Shadow in Ar’Sanciond, and prepare for Camp NaNo.

Don’t think about how this isn’t quite half of my whole to-do list.


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 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 πŸ˜‰

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 πŸ˜‰ This weekend only, you can get the eBook half-price for Β£1.99/$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 πŸ˜‰

Get it on Amazon US

Get it on Amazon UK


When he was a boy in Onwwe, he’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 Dunhă 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 Dunhă 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 can’t burn his way through every obstacle.

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

It’s too bad they are too different to get along.

GoodreadsΒ & AmazonΒ 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 πŸ˜› 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 πŸ˜‰

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! πŸ™‚

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 finishedΒ  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 πŸ˜›

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 πŸ™‚

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.)