Blog/Updates

Book Reviews, Romance

ACCIDENTAL TRYST by Natasha Boyd

Accidental_Tryst_Front_Cover_8Accidental Tryst
by Natasha Boyd

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Emmy is salsa-dancing, yoga-doing, fiery redhead on her way to see her uncle in New York. Trystan is a womanizing, billionaire entrepreneur in the midst of selling his company while flying into Charleston for a funeral he’d rather sell his left…leg than go to.

When a chance run in at the airport has the two swapping phones before heading to separate cities, we see just how well you can know a person by the content on their phones. As days pass and the two agree to forward all important calls, texts, and e-mails, a friendship emerges and they learn that there’s more to people than just their dating apps and Kindle bookshelves would suggest. The more they talk, the more sparks fly between them. But will this attraction last once the two finally meet to switch their phones back, or will reality pale in comparison to the fantasies they built up in their heads?

Problems:

1) Not a big one. I’m just not a terribly big fan of quick romances. People who claim to fall in love in only a matter of days…I’m not buying it. But that’s possibly just me.

2) I don’t want to spoil the ending, but one of the characters is incredibly insistent that the two could never be together. Cue the perfect speech from the other one, the friends/family telling them to get over themselves and just be happy, all the usual stuff. And typically, we can see the moment where it all culminates in this major epiphany…”Oh, I guess I can have this and be happy.” Brain and Heart shake hands and go on with their lives. And that’s ultimately what happens here, only I have no idea what went through their mind when this epiphany happened. One second they’re like “No way” and literally the next they say “Oh fine, why not?” (I’m paraphrasing, of course) There was no slide into it, just this complete 180 turn with no logical understanding of how they got there.

Praises:

1) I loved the concept. Two people getting to know each other based on their phones. Lord knows what someone would think of me after three days with my cell…probably that I’m a Star Wars and superhero junkie with no social life, an eclectic taste in music, and an absurd number of pictures of her cat. Not very exciting, but then again I’m not the main character in a romance novel either. When I first came across this one, the idea of it reminded me of a book I read several years back and loved, Sophie Kinsella’s I’ve Got Your Number. Don’t worry, it’s not the same, but the overall concept is similar.

2) The back and forth between them was cute. Not going to lie, the emails reminded me a bit of the emails shared in the Fifty Shades of Grey series–yes, I’ve read it…for research purposes…and a really annoying sister who wouldn’t stop hassling me until I did…don’t judge. Overall, the chemistry was definitely there, and I found myself giggling quite a few times. It was really cute, and totally worth the few dollars to buy.

Perfect For:

Anyone who loves a light, cute read with a quirky heroine, a surprisingly sweet love interest, and a few servings of steamy (and quite explicit) canoodling. Also anyone who liked Sophie Kinsella’s I’ve Got Your Number.

Want more?

Come back for another review next week, or check out my Goodreads for more reviews. You can also check in to keep updated on my own writing journey as I try to get my book published.

Random Writer Ramblings

Writing is like washing your hair…

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Okay, so hear me out for a second. I got this idea, naturally, in the shower.

The way I see it, there are two types of people when it comes to hair-washing. Those who can go a couple days between washes…and those who can’t.

I used to be one of those who can’t. My hair’s really thin, so every morning when I woke up, no matter what time I washed my hair the day before, it looked like it was practically pasted to my scalp with oil.

It wasn’t until this past November that I decided to change that. I’d already started slowly swapping out my usual hygiene products for their all-natural counterparts. I’d switched deodorants, make-up, soap (this had quite the positive effect on my eczema, but that’s another story), and the next logical step was shampoo. So I ordered a five shampoo set from Morrocco Method that I now love.

But buying five different all-natural, Paleo approved shampoos at once is not cheap. I wanted to keep using the shampoos the way they suggest, but I also wanted to make it last as long as I possibly could to save money. Hence the decision to start washing my hair every other day with it. I’d had friends who could do it and never had a problem with oily hair.

greasy hair

It was a long journey while my scalp adjusted to less frequent washing with several days when my hair was so oily I looked like I’d just stepped out of the shower in the middle of my workday. Now, seven months later, I wash my hair twice a week. My showers are shorter, and the best part is that I’m still not even halfway through the shampoo I bought back in November. One small win for Shannon, one giant victory for her savings account!

What was I talking about? Oh, right. Hair and writing.

So like I said, two kinds of hair-washers. Those who wash every day or those who wait until their hair is spilling more oil than BP.

The way I see it, the same is true for writing. There are those of us who somehow manage to write every single day, usually out of routine and practice to keep their mind and creativity fresh–to keep their “hair clean”, if you will.

Then there’s the rest of us who wish we could write every day, but without the necessary motivation and inspiration, all we end up with is wasted words and wasted time that we end up erasing and rewriting several days later when the creative juices are finally pouring forth, so really why waste the effort? I am one of these writers. I’ve tried the everyday thing, realizing I produce absolute drivel when I’m not inspired. I cannot force good prose when my imagination refuses to cooperate.

But when it does cooperate, when I’m really on a roll, I can shell out thousands of words in a single day. (My best so far is about ten thousand.) I spent over a year on one book, then wrote it’s sequel in less than two months. I wrote half of one book in a week and now still have yet to finish it two years later.

So there you have it, the difference between everyday “hair washers” and the rest of us, though I’m pretty sure we can all agree on one thing. No matter how often we wash our hair, we all wish we could look as cool as Emma Stone when we do.

Okay, all kidding aside now. The reason for all this hair and writing talk…I tried recently to do the daily mandatory word count thing. And let’s just say it did not last. Like no more than a couple days. I’d decided it was no big deal, I’m just not that kind of writer. But then I kept coming across these articles about treating writing like a job and how the writing-whenever-you-want-to thing doesn’t work when you’ve got editors and deadlines and a sequel to work on.

So I guess I’m wondering if there are any writers out there who could give me some advice. Have any of you managed to avoid the daily writing routine while still meeting your editor’s deadlines? Are all these articles right in saying I need to get into a daily routine, no matter how less than forthcoming Lady Inspiration is at the time? Or am I doomed no matter what I do because deadlines just plain ole suck?

I know my blog doesn’t reach a lot of people now, so if you’re a writer with some advice to give, as a new writer I’d really appreciate it. Or if you’re not a writer yourself but you know someone who is and has dealt with this question before, feel free to send this post their way. Or even if you found this post humorous (or not) and just want to drop a line in the comments below, any and all thoughts are welcome.

Hope to hear from you!

Book Reviews, Romance, Suspense

LOVE UNDECIDED by Denise Wells

love undecidedLove Undecided
by Denise Wells

COMING OUT MAY 23, 2018!

My rating: 3.5/5 stars

Kat’s suffered through and survived cancer not just once, not even twice, but three times now. And the chances of it coming back are almost 100%. Kat’s come to terms with her illness and her decision to avoid pain and heartache by not getting involved in a serious relationship with any guy.

Especially her sexy firefighter ex, Brad.

Brad had found the love of his life when he met Kat, and nothing—not cancer, not his current girlfriend, and not even Kat’s constant rejection—is going to change that. He knows they’re meant to be together. Now he just needs to convince her of that.

When the police and Kat get stumped in a case she’s consulting on, Brad uses this opportunity to get close to and win back the woman he loves…and, you know, help catch a bad guy too while he’s at it.

Problems:

1) It took me a while to figure out that what’s listed as the first chapter is technically a flash-forward to a scene that happens in the middle of the book (and quite a dramatic scene, I should add). This wasn’t made clear when Chapter 2 started, and you can imagine my surprise when the main character went on about her day as if Chapter 1 never happened. Of course, Chapter 1 hadn’t happened yet, I just didn’t know that for sure until halfway through the book.

**Update: After reading my review on Goodreads, the author contacted me to let me know that she’d found the error soon after sending me the ARC and assured me that it would be fixed before the book goes on sale at the end of May.

2) Thanks to all the chemo, Kat has the ability to intuitively sense things through the spasming of her pinkie finger. I’ve personally come to call it her PINKIE POWER. Funny thing, this PINKIE POWER of hers only came into play twice in the whole book. It brought so little to the story that I feel like it could have been taken out altogether. The information Kat learns through this ability could have just as easily been discovered through ordinary detective work. It’s such a random and under-developed part of the story that I almost question if there even is a PINKIE POWER at all or if this is just Kat’s internal way of justifying her own investigative instincts and hunches.

3) This book is a bit more explicit than I was expecting, what with the language and very descriptive sexual content. So just a fair warning if Rated X reads are not for you. And if that is what you look for in a good read…then count it as a praise. I think you’ll be quite satisfied.

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Praises:

1) I was a little concerned when I realized that the major case Kat would be consulting on was the case of the Shower Stealer—basically a guy who breaks into people’s houses, takes a shower, and then leaves the water running in the middle of a drought. The fact that this was the serious case the police department was sparing no expense to solve had me rolling my eyes. FORTUNATLEY, the main character thought much the same and commented on the utter silliness of this case, so clearly this was intentional and made me feel a lot better. ALSO, rest assured that we do get to a much more intense case worthy of the department’s resources.

2) With this being a second-chance novel, I was worried that we wouldn’t get the same opportunity to get to know and fall in love with the love interest. But I shouldn’t have worried because the author does a great job of slowly revealing Brad’s character to us by his actions throughout the book as well as through thoughts in his own POV. Brad was easily my favorite.

3) The author is already setting us up for sequels. With Kat’s two best friends, Remi and Lexie, we can already see the stories that are coming and I’m very curious to see what’s in store for these two ladies.

4) Like Kat said, “Cancer sucks.” And not only that, but it’s a very difficult subject to tackle in a character’s mentality. Especially when trying to keep the mood light and comical. The author really succeeds in finding the balance between the heartbreaking inevitability of Kat’s condition and her ever sarcastic and exuberant personality. This book could be really depressing, and yet I found myself laughing throughout.

****I received a free ARC in exchange for an honest review.****

Check out my Goodreads page for more reviews.

Author Update

This is the (new) writer’s life.

Happy May everybody!!

So I reckon now is as good a time as any to announce it.

I am officially out on submission!

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For those of my faithful followers who don’t know what that means–I’m looking at you Mom and Dad–being out on submission just means that my wonderful agent has officially started sending my book out to editors to see if any will bite. Now before I start getting a constant influx of emails and messages asking for daily updates, be forewarned that this submission process can take a long time and result in a lot of rejection (she says cheerily so readers can’t sense her true pain). It could be weeks, probably more like months, before I hear from any of these editors, and if I’m being realistic those responses will most likely be rejections.

That’s a lot of time to dedicate to moping around and waiting for several editors to send your agent a big, fat (but polite) NO. And that’s just the first round!

So, being my proactive self, I decided to get a jump on how to use this submission time without stressing about the fact that my future lies in the hands of a bunch of strangers who may or may not even read past the query letter.

Enter the ever-helpful and knowledgeable GOOGLE. All I had to do was type in “what to do while on submission,” and a plethora of articles and answers popped up. I basically kept getting the same list of productive tasks to help distract me while I wait.

  1. Start working on your next book.
  2. Focus on your online platform and social media.
  3. Pour yourself into a new hobby–preferably one that leaves you too exhausted or busy or excited to worry about what editor is reading you manuscript right now
  4. Find something to relax you, like yoga or meditation.

With this list in mind, I was ready to start the most productive weekend of my life, hopefully the first of many while my manuscript is out in the cosmos.

Now let me give you a quick rundown of how this weekend really went…

  1. Binge-watch Full House. All day.
  2. Create a list of chores to clean the apartment…and then fail to do any of them because you’re too busy watching Full House.
  3. Start a week of Star Wars movies each night, counting down to one of the best days of the year.

So yeah, that weekend wasn’t near as productive as I thought it would be. Unless you count indulging childhood nostalgia with the Tanner family as relaxing (which I kind of do to be honest).

At the very least, my life did manage to revolve around my phone–though it wasn’t exactly for platform and social media purposes. Instead, my phone was devoted to one incredibly important thing.

By the way, if you haven’t started playing the new Harry Potter game on your phone, do so with caution. It will dictate your life and time-management ability. But it’s also really fun and addictive.

So yeah. Not exactly the weekend I’d planned, but considering I barely even thought about the whole submission process all weekend I would call it a resounding success. And maybe next weekend I’ll be able to get some actual writing done–especially since I’m now on the last season of Full House–and get into a new hobby that doesn’t include the new Harry Potter game or binge-watching Netflix for nearly 48 hours straight.

In the meantime, wish me luck. I’ve got a long way to go, and while this first week-and-a-half hasn’t been so bad there’s no telling what the next few months are going to be like. Who knows, maybe I’ll get through the entire Family Matters and Step by Step series too.

Have you been through the submission process or know someone who has? Got any ideas on how to pass the time (productively or not-so-productively, I’m not picky)? I would appreciate any and all advice. Or if you just want to drop a line to say hello! This is a community, and I’d love to hear from you and get to know you a bit.

Hope you all have a great week!

Shannon

Book Reviews, Romance, Young Adult

CHALLENGE ACCEPTED by Amanda Abrams

Challenge AcceptedChallenge Accepted 
by Amanda Abram

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What do you get when you lie on a high school compatibility test just to avoid getting paired up with your clingy sometimes-girlfriend?

A match made in Hell.

At least, that’s what Logan thinks when his attempt to cheat the system gets him matched up with Emma, his shy, goody-goody next door neighbor and childhood nemesis.

All Emma wanted this summer was to organize her book collection and get over her lifelong crush by starting a summer romance with her perfect match. When that match ends up being her worst enemy, Emma learns the truth and is devastated to realize she’s been cheated out of her happily ever after.

Hoping to fix Emma’s ruined summer–and more importantly, get his blackmailing stepmother off his back–Logan agrees to make it up to her by helping her land the guy of her dreams…who just so happens to be Logan’s best friend, Matt. Sparks fly between these two as their hatred morphs swiftly into genuine friendship and so much more, and they start to question whether their real matches have been right next door all along.

Problems:

1) Um…hold on, let me think for a minute…okay, I think I’ve got one. So we find out that Emma and Logan used to be friends when they were kids, but then things changed and they grew apart (ie. Logan started picking on Emma and their friendship was dunzo). I guess I would have liked a little more clarity on what happened to change their relationship. Was it simply stupid peer pressure on Logan’s part that led to him teasing Emma or was there a bigger reason. I’m not saying he had to start picking on her because he liked her. Actually, I think that’s done a lot, and I’d appreciate a story that didn’t feel the need to harbor a decade of unrequited love.

2) Actually, I got nothing else. Sure, the characters make stupid decisions and fail to communicate properly, but that’s real life and honestly the story would be quick and boring without that drama. At least that part didn’t last too long, in my opinion.

Praises:

1) This book was pretty cute. Not going to lie, I giggled more than a few times. I didn’t want to put it down, which made my weekend go by way too fast, and I was sad when it was over.

2) I was so relieved to see that Logan actually had a healthy relationship with his stepmom, blackmailing part aside. No, things weren’t perfect, but it also wasn’t one of those “I hate you, you’re not my mother so stop trying to be” type things. They respected each other, even liked each other, and in the end his stepmom became a source of advice and support for Logan.

3) I love dual perspectives, and I wish I was confident enough to write them myself. This author did a great job not only of differentiating between the two voices without Logan sounding like an over the top douche, but I also really appreciated how little cussing or explicit sexual content there was in his perspective and even throughout the whole book. Yet it still sounded natural. It didn’t feel unrealistic, which I consider to be a major feat.

Want to find more books I like? Check out more reviews at my Goodreads page.

Already read this book? Comment below and let me know what you thought. Or feel free to go read it real quick (it won’t take that long, trust me) and then come back and tell me what you think!

Random Writer Ramblings

What if…?

thinking-her-future-1313206-639x958I caught myself about to do the unthinkable the other day.

I was taking the two kids I watch and their cousin to a baseball game. The two boys were speculating on the curious week-long absence of a fellow student in their class at school. Was he sick? Did his mom finally have her baby? What if he forgot to come back to school after spring break?

My automatic instinct was to assure them that would never happen. But I stopped myself. How many times had I heard that question “What if…” and immediately jumped in with why that wouldn’t happen. More often than not, it was my attempt to keep my kids from worrying. “What if the dog bit the mailman? What if someone tried to break into the house?”

Other times, it’s because I don’t want them to get any ideas. “What if there was a homeless dog on the side of the road [knowing I have a major soft spot for just about any kind of animal] and we needed to take it home with us? What if there was an emergency and you had to go somewhere and we had to stay home by ourselves?”

And there are some times–and I hate to admit this–when I my automatic “that wouldn’t happen” response comes simply from being too busy and not having the time to humor their curiosity.

This is not okay. Telling a kid it will never happen is telling them that asking “what if” is pointless. It’s telling them there’s no use in imagining the unlikely, in dreaming the impossible. Would you ever tell a child to give up their dream to become President because the chances of it actually happening are less than 1%?

I sincerely hope not.

And what’s more, isn’t dreaming the unlikely where some of our best books come from? Look at a few of the world’s best known stories. They each come from one writer’s courage to ask, “What if…?”

What if the country rose up against it’s government and lost, resulting in a split of 13 different districts of varying wealth and poverty and an annual “game” in which each district sacrifices two of their own in a battle to the death?

What if there were an alternate world with dragons and wargs and white walkers where several families fight for a crown, a kingdom, and a throne made of iron swords?

What if a white lawyer looked past the racial prejudices of a small Alabama town in 1936 and agreed to defend a black man accused of raping a white woman?

Where would we be without these and many more stories and the authors who allowed their imaginations to ponder their “What if?” questions. Would these authors have even taken the time to let their creative juices flow if their parents and teachers and babysitters told them “that would never happen” all their lives?

How about you? Have you ever told your kid–friend, classmate–that it couldn’t happen? Have you stifled someone’s imagination? If you have, you get no judgement from me. We’re all in the same boat.

Let’s make a promise here and now to nurture the creativity and imagination in those around us instead of dowsing it with that one sentence. Talk to them, imagine the what ifs with them. You never know, these could be our future authors, artists, directors, songwriters. You could be one small contributing factor in the next Hunger Games, Game of Thrones, or To Kill a Mockingbird.

Or at the very least, you could make a little kid’s day.

 

Book Reviews, Fantasy, Young Adult

RELENTLESS by Karen Lynch

Relentless (Relentless, #1)RELENTLESS
by Karen Lynch

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In her search for answers about her father’s murder, Sara Grey has gotten caught up in the secret world of trolls, fairies, werewolves–you name it. And when that search puts her directly in the path of a vampire out for her blood and her life, she is forced to rely on Nikolas–an elite Mohiri soldier whose life directive is to protect the human race from the dangers of the mystical world. Having a handsome warrior duty-bound to protect you wouldn’t be so bad for most girls (and some guys). But Sara’s independent nature sees Nikolas as more of a nuisance than a guardian angel. Add to that his insistence in her connection to the warrior race, her own misguided assertion that she can take care of herself, and the extensive list of secrets Sara is keeping–not just from Nikolas but from everyone she knows and loves–and these two are butting heads more than the Three Stooges. Something’s got to give though, and with the hunt closing in on her, Sara must choose between her secrets and her own safety.

Problems:

1) The beginning was a bit slow for me. Sure, there’s a lot you learn in those first few chapters, and I understand that those bits of information need to be taken in gradually or else the whole concept is like some bomb dropped all at once with no time to process. It can be overwhelming. Maybe it’s because I’m a romance-driven reader and Nikolas didn’t show up until several chapters in, but it took me a while to really get into the book.

2) There were things I liked about Sara, but there were also some things that had me slapping my forehead. For instance, I get that she’s independent–and I love that about her. But how does she not realize how outmatched she is by these supernatural beings? She thinks she can take care of herself (and yes, in some cases she holds her own), but there were times I wanted to smack some sense into this girl. But hey, that’s to be expected. She’s a flawed character, but that also makes her a realistic character. If she was perfect, her story would be short and boring. And this book is not.

Praises:

1) I’ve read some mixed reviews on the wide variety of supernatural beings included in this book. Seeing as I’ve read all three books before writing this review, it’s difficult for me to remember just how many were mentioned in the first book. We come across several different species and demons in the trilogy, but I don’t remember thinking it was too much in this first installment. In fact, I found it refreshing that the supernatural world consisted of more than just vampires and werewolves. There’s fairies, goblins, trolls, even hellhounds. I also liked that we didn’t just hear about all these, but actually got to interact with them and make our own observations of each type.

2) Despite being filled with creatures we’ve all heard of over the years, I loved that this also introduced a new and totally original race. The concept of the Mohiri is fascinating for me as a reader, and I found myself intrigued by each new thing I learned about them and the relationship with their inner Mori. It was very cool to think about.

3) Also read some mixed reviews about the romantic pace in this series. It’s true, there’s not much in this first book. You see that Nikolas is very protective of Sara. You see that she finds him attractive. You also see them slowly (oh so very, very slowly) start to trust each other and become friends. But that’s about it. AND I REALLY LIKED THAT! I happen to be one of those few people who likes to see these things develop over time, and that’s exactly what happens in this first book. We see a friendship form. And I mean, let’s be realistic here. This girl is being chased by all manner of supernatural creatures, putting not just herself but her friends and family in danger. Not to mention her own secrets she’s keeping, the search for her father’s murderer, and the question of her own heritage and identity in this world. Ain’t nobody got time for all that AND a new boyfriend!

4) Once I got past the slow start (ie. when Nikolas entered the scene), I really did have a hard time putting the book down. It was exciting and full of action, which made it a fairly quick read, and I felt like new information was revealed at a good pace, making it easier to absorb as we went. And while this book was free, there was absolutely no way I wasn’t going to buy and read the next two once I’d finished it. So be warned, you’ll probably get hooked into the sequel.

***In a series like this, I usually like to include a section I call Predictions. But seeing as I went right into books 2 and 3 before writing my review, there’s really just no point. If you’ve read Relentless but not the sequels, I’d love to hear what your predictions are in the comments. Or any problems/praises you had that I didn’t mention.

Check out more of my reviews on my Goodreads page.

News in Publishing

3 Small Presses Open to Unagented Submissions for a Limited Time

If you’re a writer and you’ve got something that fits any of these, submit. What have you got to lose?

Cindy Fazzi

As they say, spring is the time of new beginnings. It’s also the best time to submit your unpublished manuscripts. Three small publishers are open to unagented submissions for the next couple of months.

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Author Update

Is this really happening?

It finally happened. After sending my query letter and short sample to a long list of agents and receiving several polite yet disheartening rejections, I finally got a request from an agent to see the full manuscript. I remember it very clearly, rushing around the kitchen of the home I work at–daytime nanny, whoop whoop!–and hearing the familiar sound of Mario going down the pipe (not a drug reference) that indicates my phone has received a new email.

I’d glanced at it and groaned internally as I immediately recognized the agent’s name. I knew it was another rejection, and frankly, I didn’t have time for it. Between washing dishes and wiping counters and sweeping, I was way too busy to stress over one more thing.

I decided to get it over with. With complete resignation, I tapped the email on my screen, ready for the standard, form-letter rejection I was used to as my eyes scanned the screen.

I froze.

The email was short, two sentences asking me to send my full manuscript. She’d said, and I quote, “You had me laughing before I finished the prologue.” If you are a writer, you know the kind of joy that comes with hearing that your words made someone laugh. There is no equivalent, but that may just be my opinion.

I took a deep breath, walked out of the kitchen and into the office where my kids could not see me…and I danced. My hands were shaking with adrenaline as I reread the email over and over, hardly able to believe it was real. I texted my sister the news, and she was almost as excited as I was.

Lucky for me, I’d just finished a massive round of edits to my manuscript, so I was able to send her the full ms late that night. Granted, it was a Friday night–technically just after midnight on Saturday morning–so I didn’t expect to hear from her for several days. At least not until after the weekend. And even when she did read it, the chances of her liking it were so slim there was really no point in hoping.

And then I got the best email of my life. Sunday morning, soon after I’d returned home from church, I got a message from the agent. She’d spent all of Saturday reading my book and had just finished it. And she loved it–again, music to a writer’s ears. She wanted to set up a call to talk about it.

THE CALL.

Holy crap! Was this even real? In just two days I’d gone from expecting the same ol’ rejection to scheduling THE CALL, set to transpire in another two days. Those were the two longest days of my life. I was so nervous, terrified I was going to sound inept or say something so awful and stupid that I would completely turn this agent off.

I must have said something right though–not entirely sure what since that entire conversation is now a blur of nerves and excitement–because she sent me an official offer of representation later that day.

Two weeks later, I have a signed contract with Metamorphosis Literary Agency. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve stopped and thought, Is this really happening to me?

I’ve never been the type to get my hopes up; there’s always so many things that could go wrong that the odds seem nearly impossible to me. And yet, somehow, I’ve gotten this far. Granted, the agent is only the first step in a very long process still yet to come. A lot could happen to thwart my hope and dream of getting this book published and sharing the story I created with the world.

But at least for this weekend, I’m going to let myself enjoy this and have some hope.

Not only did I write a book, but I wrote a book that an agent loves and thinks others will love just as much. This is huge. This is the start of everything I’ve wanted for the last several years. So yeah, I’m going to let myself say it.

This is real. This is happening.