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Winter Reads & Giveaway

Hello friends! Since my last newsletter, I turned in my final revision on my adult science fiction novel, and I'm going out on sub again soon. I also got engaged! But more news and tips are below!
Every newsletter includes a (hidden) giveaway.
The winner of my last newsletter was Maria, who won any eBook by a Black author. This time I'm giving away any eBook that released in 2020.
Will you be the winner this time?
Good luck!

November is always a fun month for me. I actually wrote the first duology of Bad Bloods series in November, and used the real-life weather in my life to correlate with the days that happen in the book. In fact, I encourage every writer to spend time out in nature. Feel all the senses. Take note of the sounds, the sensations, the life, and utilize those notes in your work. I definitely do! There's nothing like fresh air.

As I'm writing this, Kansas City is getting its first snowfall. (Snow is kinda a big deal in Bad Bloods.) For those of you who aren't familiar with this young adult dystopian series, Bad Bloods: November Rain (book 1) and Bad Bloods: November Snow (book 2) take place in November 2089, and it covers an election that affects supernatural beings. It's definitely one of my book babies, and I love reading along every November. You can read along this month for only $2.99!

Book one is free!
Check Out Bad Bloods Here

Pitch Wars Mentor


This year I am co-mentoring with long-time CP Sandra Proudman. (Go say hi to her on Twitter!) We are mentoring a young adult writer, and we are really excited! We had over 100 subs, and there was so much talent. I can't say much more than that, because we are still reading. All mentees will be announced on Saturday, November 7. Keep up to date with us on Twitter, where I'm sure we'll be sharing more of our journey! Check out PitchWars.org for more information!

SAT Update & Writing Tips


Right now, this newsletter is quarterly. Last time we spoke, it was July and sunny. Now it's snowing! The biggest update I have is a personal one. I got engaged! My partner and I have actually been together for a little over 8 years, so we figured it was about time. We're very excited! I won't lie, it's nice to have something good to look forward to. This year has definitely been...something, hasn't it? I'm lucky enough that I got to hold onto my full-time day job. I've also been working from home, which I'm grateful for, but it
definitely keeps me isolated. Between that and just this environment in general, I've had a harder time concentrating on writing and reading. Oddly enough, I've been doing a TON of it, but I haven't had the easiest time connecting with new pieces. I'm sure we've all been there. Lots of WIPs, not sure which one to ultimately choose? Lots of books on the TBR, nothing really sticking? First, it's okay to feel this way. In fact, it's totally normal, especially in times of stress. My favorite thing to do when I'm feeling stuck is to bury myself in all my old favs. I've mostly been binge-watching (and reading) Vampire Knight, as well as The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. It's been almost a decade since I've read these, and I'm enjoying returning to material I loved as a teen. It brings back all those giddy feelings, and I feel so at home again. You can also do this with writing. Why not return to an old WIP that you loved a ton, but never could quite figure it out. That being said, don't put any pressure on yourself to finish it. Just enjoy everything it has to offer again. It always helps me when I'm struggling to find momentum!

Why not make it a goal to pick up an old fav this week?

Twitter Poll Story


Earlier this year, I started a poll story on Twitter. What's a poll story? You can read all about it on my blog by clicking here. Long story short, it's basically a Choose Your Own Adventure story written via Twitter poll. I just started a new wintery poll story, and I hope you join me! Here's a link. In fact, if you go vote on the newest tweet, you'll be entered to win any 2020 eBook. Just reply to this email telling me what you want to see happen in the wintery tale!
What I've Been Reading and Loving
A lot of you ask me to share what I'm reading, so I'm going to add this segment from now on. The last one is the Purple Hyacinth, which is an amazing Webtoon! In case you missed it, I wrote an article: What Novelists Can Learn From Webtoons

Exclusive Sneak Peek

 
Since I just turned in my final revision of my adult science fiction novel, I thought I'd share one of the newly added scenes. I really, really love this book. It has flowers and wicked forests and cinnamon roll boys and badass women who are scientists and enlisted in the military. Also, tons of friendship and sisterly love. I think Bogart liked revising it, too! Without further ado, here is your exclusive sneak peek:

I curled the rope around my forearm and carried it over to the tree Wayne had used. It took fifteen minutes too long—losing more time, more daylight—but I finished the pulley system, and tossed the end of the line down to Mallow. Three minutes later, the rope tugged twice. A signal, I presumed. I started to lift him up. 

One breath, one tick. Two breaths, another tick. 

The forest was still alive, still hungry for blood. 

I used my fear to fuel my strength, and I pulled and heaved and pulled again, until Mallow’s amber eyes met mine over the ledge. His gaze flickered to something behind me. He paled. I whipped around, anticipating the beast, and found nothing except the patch of golden flowers Wayne had fallen into earlier that day. Most were crushed now. A gilded pile of mud. Maybe they’d been the last thing Mallow had seen before falling underground. Maybe he thought he’d never see aboveground again. 

A loud tick shocked my senses. It must have startled Mallow, too, because he zoned in on me, his chin tilting to the side. I understood.

Moving fast, I gave the pulley one last yank to bring him up as far as possible. He appeared, elbows-up. The rest of the way, he’d have to climb. 

His good hand stretched for the marsh. Before he could use his bad hand, I grabbed his wrist and brought him in close. He latched onto my clothes for support. With startling realization, it occurred to me that he could leverage my weight against me; pull himself up while throwing me over his shoulder; toss me into the cave, leave me there for the plants to devour. It’d certainly be easier to navigate the forest alone. Instead, Mallow took his time climbing onto the edge, so careful he risked gravity dragging him back into the earth.

When his elbow slipped, almost causing him to fall, I sucked in a breath, leaned over the ridge, and grabbed his belt, where it tightened against his lower back. I yanked. 
My momentum pulled him up fast and hard. We tumbled over each other. Wet, musky cave and body heat. My back hit the ground with a soft plunk, his forearms on either side of me. His nose met mine, his black hair wisping about his face. His wide, golden eyes like suns spiraling my vision. 

I parted my lips to speak. His pressed two fingers down on my lips. Shook his head. 
No talking.

He silently mouthed, “Thank you,” and then rolled off of me. I sat up. We stared at each other, free of the cave’s dark depths.

The forest went tick, tick, tick.

I'd be lying if I said I love all my WIPs equally. I mean, I certainly love them, but this one is definitely the WIP I could return to over and over, and enjoy every damn minute. I hope an editor out there falls in love with it as much as I loved creating it. More importantly, I hope you all get a chance to read it one day!
 
Without you, my books wouldn't exist.

Thank you for your continuous support.

See you in 2021!
 
<3
 

*Grabby Hands*

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