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Keep Chasing the Dream Giveaway

Hey <<First Name>>!  

Welcome to my third quarterly newsletter. Last time you heard from me, it was May and I was in the middle of querying my middle grade verse novel. I definitely have some updates to share! (Not to mention a sneak peek of my work and a giveaway.) 

As always, each newsletter includes a hidden giveaway. (The last winner was Burma T., who who a gift card to any bookstore.) You'll find another bookstore gift card giveaway in this newsletter. But you'll have to read on to enter.

Blogging News

This season, it was all about reflection and pursuing writing while pregnant. In case you don't follow me on social media, I announced I am expecting a little girl in September! But I'll get more into that in a bit. Until then, check out my top four blog posts below. Other than that, my novels and WIP were featured in simplyKC Magazine. Read about them on page 32.

I share writing and publishing tips every first and third Monday on my blog at Catch up by clicking one below!

SAT Update & Writing Tips

As I mentioned above, I am expecting! Baby girl is due in late September, so I will be busy for…well, a long time. But I’m hoping to pop up on the socials every now and again during maternity leave. We’re very excited to meet her! I’m especially excited to introduce her to books. (Photo was 24 weeks. I'm much further along now!)

In writing news, I’m still querying! Since y’all are my newsletter subscribers, here’s some special insight: I have sent out 40 letters total. Of those letters, 10 are still pending responses. I’ve also had 9 full requests. 5 of those are still pending! Even more exciting? I’ve had a promising phone call with an agent. But that’s all I can say for now. 

Querying takes a long time folks. Buckle in. In fact, it’s taken so long that I’ve fully revised my adult historical fantasy while waiting, and I am almost ready to start querying that, too. Though I want to see through my novel in verse, I know there's always a chance that it won't work out, so I’m currently doing the research to get my first round together for my historical fantasy. I may even send them out in September…which brings me to my extra writing tip for this newsletter. 

Always be working on the next thing. 

Not only does it keep you distracted from endlessly refreshing your inbox, but it also sets you up for success if your current project doesn’t work out.

This is why I called this quarterly newsletter the Keep Chasing the Dream giveaway! You have to keep putting yourself out there. Keep going. <3 

In memoriam: Boo Boo

Since my last newsletter, we had a tragedy in our life. Unfortunately, Boo Boo passed away at 22 years old. He lived a really, really long life, and we were blessed enough to give him one last day of sunshine, chicken, and snuggles. I will forever miss this cat. As all pet owners know, they stay with you forever. Their love is truly unique. And I still see him everywhere. I'm glad he was able to be in our lives for so long, and I hope, wherever he is, that there's chicken and sunshine and treats.

What I've Been Reading and Loving

I have a confession to make: It has been hard to concentrate on reading this year. Maybe it’s pregnancy brain or just all the prep that goes into expecting a little one, but I have not finished as many reads as usual. These four, however, held my attention the whole way through, and I enjoyed every minute. Please note that Crush is the sequel to Crave. It’s a really fun series. The Ex Hex is hilarious! (One word: TREATS!) And Hotel Magnifique is pretty magical. Love At First Spite is a contemporary rom-com, and I zipped through the audiobook in a week. What books have held your attention this year? Reply to this email and give me some recs, and you’ll be entered to win a $10 gift card to a local bookstore of your choosing. Extra points if it's funny! I could use the laughs.

You can always follow what I'm reading on Goodreads.

Exclusive Sneak Peek

This time around, I was really stuck on whether I should share an excerpt from my historical fantasy that I just finished or my dark academia that I recently jumped back into. Considering I’m about to set forth on my historical fantasy querying journey, I thought it best to share a bit from that book. It’s set in 1336 B.C., and took me two years to research, another year to write, and two more years before I decided to pursue it. Maybe its journey isn’t over yet! Below is a photo of the day I hit THE END. Below that is an excerpt from my hero's POV as he encounters an ancient god. 

The blue sky purpled, and reeds wiggled into snakes with teeth. The water, ink. In between monstrous chaos, oblivious human citizens continued to spear fish and net birds along the flourishing riverbanks, where red-blue-and-green stone statues began to crowd the ground.

One stood twelve feet tall and depicted a crowned lioness seated upon a throne. Gaythelos counted a dozen replicas when the thirteenth cracked across the hip bones, spewing debris. The large dust cloud swelled until it swallowed the boat completely. Gaythelos couldn’t breathe—couldn’t see—but he felt a thick drop of water plop onto his shoulder. He smelled rot. Before he could react, the thickened dust whirled until it became a single spiral, and was sucked up into the lioness’s gaping maw. A real one, but ten times too large, and in the midst of decay.

With blackened teeth, it roared inches from his face, then whipped down to eat him alive—until Gaythelos squeezed his monster eye shut.

A startling warm wind hit him, but that was it. The creature had vanished.

A god, then.

From birth, Gaythelos knew he saw gods and monsters, but it took him many years to learn the difference.

No matter which eye he watched the world with, monsters never disappeared, not truly. They drowned ships regardless of an audience. On his twelfth birthday, he realized gods were different. They cared for an audience. They needed one. If he decided to ignore them, they ceased to exist. 

I hope you all enjoyed my third quarterly newsletter of 2022. Maybe I'll have even more fun news next time. There will definitely be a giveaway!
See you all again in December 2022!

(Or maybe January if I'm too busy with the baby.)
Thank you for your continuous support.

*Grabby Hands*

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