Trying to Commit to a Publishing Schedule

One of the hardest things about self-publishing (at least for me), is committing to a publishing schedule. I’m terrible at picking release dates for my books and achieving that date. Having a day job never helps, since something always comes up that slows down book development, but as I’m currently a full-time writer until July, I’m hoping I can make some big goals and stick to them. It’s been lovely going to cafés and drinking tea, and getting so much work done on projects that I love.

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In the works right now I have The Circlet: Artifacts of Avalum Book 2, which is off with my beta readers. After I get their comments, it will be another round of edits before sending the book to my editor. I’m hoping to have The Circlet released in May.

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This week I finally found the time to compile the Black Depths Boxed Set for the complete series. I whipped together an ebook cover and compiled all the books into one gigantic read. It’s live on Amazon, Kobo, and Smashwords right now, and should be up on iBooks and Nook soon. If you like to read everything all in one go (or no someone who does), be sure to spread the word.

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I’m slowly picking away at The Chain: Artifacts of Avalum Book 3, and hope to release that in the fall, with a box set of that series to follow after a couple months. There are two books I wrote years ago that I’m planning to clean up, one of which I will release as a one off and the other that I hope to shop around to a small, literary press. Both of those should be complete by May.

What I’m trying to figure out now, is what story idea should I pursue next? I love self-publishing, and I want to write a series that is similar to both Black Depths and Artifacts of Avalum. I would like to get the outlining for this series done before I head back to my day job in July, but, as I’m also working on my short story collection, I’m not sure how much time I will have.

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But, here’s a chance for you to vote. My main debate right now is whether I should write another “Port-hole” fantasy, which means the characters start in this world and travel to a different, fantastical world, (similar to Artifacts), or whether I should write a 100% fantasy, where Earth does not exist (or at least the characters in the book don’t know about Earth, because they have magic, not space travel). Do you prefer fantasy that is connected to our world, or not? Let me know in the comments!

JEH

What I’m Reading: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Young Adult Book Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater.

This is one of those books that you hear about forever, and that you know a lot of people love, but you just put it off because something about it doesn’t appeal to you. To me, I didn’t like the cover or the blurb, so I never picked it up. But then one day it was one of the best books available at my library for ebook lending, so I checked it out.

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I loved it! I have to say that I became obsessed. I don’t think, looking back, that the cover or the blurb do the actual book justice. The blurb is really long and doesn’t at all bring up the books mystical elements (just that bit about her mother being clairvoyant really). What drew me into the book was the lay lines and tarot, two things I’ve always been interested in. Also, the blurb makes it sound like the book is all told from Blue’s point of view, but a lot of the book, (I’d say more than half), is told from the boys points of view.

If you like magical mysteries, Raven Boys is definitely a book I’d recommend. And if you like Audiobooks, this one is very well done.

JEH

What I’m Reading: Their Fractured Light by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Young Adult Book Review: Their Fractured Light by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Sometimes the problem with borrow e-books (or audiobooks) from the library is that they expire and if I haven’t read them fast enough then I need to go on the wait list to borrow them again. This happened with Their Fractured Light.

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Their Fractured Light is the third and final Starbound novel. I was pleasantly surprised by the first book in the series, but was a bit disappointed to find that each book in this series has two different main characters. Their Fractured Light follows Sophia and The Knave on their fight to save the galaxy. While the story does intersect with the characters from the first two books, this story is mostly about Sophia and the Knave.

All in all, the book was solid. I liked the experience of seeing a new world, getting to know a different piece of this galaxy, but I didn’t like the characters quite as much as I did in the first two books, probably making Their Fractured Light my least favourite book in Starbound. Still a solid read and enjoyable book. I plan to one day read more books by Amie Kaufman and Meaghan Spooner, especially Unearthed, which was just released this month.

4/5 Stars

JEH

What I’m Reading: Prodigy by Marie Lu

Young Adult Book Review: Prodigy by Marie Lu

Prodigy is the second book in the Legend Trilogy by Marie Lu. This book has a fairly high rating on Goodreads, and I have some friends that just love this series. I think the books are okay, but I don’t seem to find them as engaging as some people.

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Prodigy once again follows June and Day as they struggle against the government. I think my main reason for disengagement with this story is the lack of detail. I feel more confused about the world it is set in than knowledgeable. I like the story, I like June’s character (more so than Day’s), but I’m sad to say that I just don’t love it. This book is a bit along the lines of The Hunger Games and An Ember in The Ashes, both of which I love. So maybe Prodigy just has too much competition. Still, it is a good read, especially if you are a die-hard fan of dystopian young adult books.

3.5/5 Stars (rounded up to 4 on Goodreads)

JEH

What I’m Reading: The Savage Dawn by Melissa Grey

Young Adult Book Review: The Savage Dawn by Melissa Grey

I loved The Girl At Midnight series from the first, and really looked forward to the third book. While I enjoyed the Savage Dawn, I felt like not as much happened as could have, and the characters sat around for a long time thinking about what to do.

But, I did love the way Melissa Grey ended the series. With so many series, I find I’m left unsatisfied, that things could have been done differently (Divergent comes to mind). But this ending I felt was entirely fitting.

For those of you who might have read The Girl At Midnight series yet, maybe because you only read series that are completed, now is a great time to settle down with this story.

4/5 Stars

JEH

What I’m Reading: The Death Cure by James Dashner

Young Adult Book Review: The Death Cure by James Dashner

It has taken me a long while to get around to reading the last book of The Maze Runner trilogy by James Dashner. This last book in the series definitely kept me on the edge of my seat as I wondered just how Dashner was going to wrap everything up.

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Earlier this week, I posted a review for The Savage Dawn, which is also a last book in a trilogy. I wrote about how that book had an ending that fit, and that I liked. Now, I liked how The Death Cure ended the Maze Runner Trilogy, but I’m not sure I got enough information. At the end of a series, I like to have a good feeling that I know how the main character’s life is going to be, and with The Death Cure, I feel that I don’t really know what Thomas’ life will be. I feel like there could be a whole new series of books.

Now, I know that there is a novella that might fill in some gaps, and I haven’t picked it up. I’ve also read some reviews that say it doesn’t really answer the lingering questions. Overall though, the ending was solid, and hey, some people really like the unknown.

4/5 Stars

JEH

What I’m Reading: This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman

Young Adult Book Review: This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner (Starbound Trilogy #2)

Early this year I reviewed These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner, book #1 of the Starbound Trilogy. I loved that book, so I wasn’t surprised when I feel right into This Shattered World. The second book of the trilogy has two different main characters, Jubilee and Flynn, but the tension, world, and romance were similar enough that I found the transition easy. Because the mystery is bigger than the characters themselves, it is easy to get hooked.

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I listened to This Shattered World as an audiobook. It was nice that the book was ready by two narrators, one for the part of Flynn, and one for the part of Jubilee. Without two separate narrators, I might not have so easily been able to tell the chapters apart. There’s one more book left in this trilogy, and I imagine I’ll be listening to it soon.

4/5 Stars

JEH