NaNoWriMo 2023 – Count Me In!

It’s been a while since I shared anything writing related. If you read my first post since I started blogging again, you already know that the end of 2019 through early this year, I’ve been in a real writing rut. Between US politics, the pandemic, and my own personal health issues (only related in part to the pandemic!) I just haven’t had the mental capacity to create via writing.

That’s not to say my characters haven’t been screaming at me, believe me, they have!

I’ve recently gotten my feet wet by pulling up the WIP I abandoned in 2019 and working on that again. I’m feeling good about where it’s going, and I’m hoping to have it ready to publish sometime in 2024. (No promises!)

But let’s talk NaNoWriMo. My first NaNoWriMo was 2009, I lost. In fact, I’ve lost 5 of my 6 attempts at NaNoWriMo! I don’t know about you guys, but November winds up being a very busy month!

The last (and only) time I “won” NaNo was 2013, with my YA vampire/witch novel that I never published. (Someday I hope to heavily rewrite/revise the book and bring it into the world as the first in a series. I even wrote a prequel, which I liked way better! So if nothing else, I’ll release that as a book on its own someday!)

Even with my many losses, I’ve used NaNo as an excuse to make progress on Peace in Flames (2016) and Something I’m Good At (2017), both of which have been published. Just because you don’t hit the 50k target, doesn’t mean you’re a loser, it just means you need more time to let the creativity out.

Which brings us to 2023. This is the year of Sol del Mar High book 2. The working title is You Belong With Me (because I’m a Swiftie and that song fits) but I know that sounds super possessive and I’m working on a new title, promise. 😉 This will be Mark’s book. If you read SIGA (my loving nickname for Something I’m Good At), you might remember Mark as Kane’s quiet but loyal BFF. I’m soooo excited to share Mark’s story with the world. This book will pick up soon after SIGA ended, so be prepared for love, surfing, and drama! And don’t worry, Kane, Summer, and Abigail will all be returning to help tell Mark’s story. (I’ll do my best to not let Kane steal the show!) You’ll also get to know Hannah, the quiet girl with more baggage than any high school student should have to endure.

It’s only October, which means I’m doing something I’m very bad at. I’m plotting! I normally go into my writing with a general idea of what will happen and a few big scenes, but that’s it. And then I get lost and jump to another project. (This is actually how I wrote Peace in Flames and Summer of Peace! I got lost in PiF so I jumped over to SoP, then I got stuck again and jumped back! In the end I had two novellas to release back to back, so that was good!)

I’ve dedicated at least an hour every Tuesday this month (while my daughter is in her dance class and I’m sitting in my car) to storyboarding scenes in Scrivener. I love that I can move the virtual notecards around if I decide that a scene should happen sooner or later. This is my first time using it in this way, and so far, I’m loving it! I currently have 23 scenes planned. I’m not sure if I’ll manage to pre-plot all of the scenes I need, but I have a solid foundation to get started.

So why start a new book for NaNo instead of continuing that previously mentioned WIP? Well, my WIP (tentatively called Windego Summer) is sitting at a little over 20k words and I don’t know that I have another 50k left of this story to tell! I may hop back over to this one if I hit a wall on Mark’s story though, only time will tell!

If you’re planning on participating in NaNo this year, leave a message below. And/Or I’d love to connect with you on – my user name is FaerieTears.

Here’s to a fruitful NaNoWriMo and for me finally releasing another book baby into the world sometime in 2024!

REVIEW: Paper Hearts by Ali Novak

Paper Hearts Book Cover

Paper Hearts

The Heartbreakers Chronicles #2

Ali Novak

YA Romance

Sourcebooks Fire

July 4, 2017 (Originally published 2014)




Beat The Backlist

June 1-3, 2017

"I'm sorry," he said, slowly untying the ribbon that held his mask in place. "It's just-I didn't want you to think of me any differently."

Somehow I kept my mouth from falling open. I knew his face, but my mind couldn't accept that he was the person looking down at me.

"My real name is Alec."

Felicity has her entire future planned. Ever since her older sister ran away, she's had the full weight of her mother's expectations on her shoulders. So she works hard to get straight As and save for college.

Except sometimes the best things in life are unplanned-like when Felicity meets a handsome, masked stranger while she is volunteering at a charity masquerade ball. She never thought he'd flirt with her. And she certainly never thought he'd turn out to be a member of the world-famous Heartbreakers band, Alec.

Then Felicity uncovers a shocking family secret. Suddenly, she, Alec, and her two best friends are off on a road trip to find Felicity's missing sister. And she's about to discover that unexpected turns have a peculiar way of landing her right where she needs to be...

My Review

This book sounded way too cute to resist requesting from NetGalley. Lucky for me, I was approved, and shortly thereafter dove in. Let me tell you, the story is as cute as the cover!

I was once a fangirl who dreamed of falling in love with the cute boys in the boybands I obsessed over. Lucky Felicity in this story actually gets the chance! When Alec Williams, lead singer for The Heartbreakers accidentally spills his drink on her during a charity ball, an unlikely romance and adventure begins.

Felicity likes Alec, but more important than starting a relationship, she wants to find her sister who disappeared three years ago. When she gets a lead on her sisters whereabouts, it’s Alec to the rescue, driving her and her two best friends across 3 states.

I loved the characters in this book. Felicity is very smart and driven, she doesn’t think twice about Alec’s fame and fortune. That means nothing to her. Alec is shy and quiet, nothing like she imagined from his public persona. Asha, Fel’s best friend, is the ultimate fan girl. She makes questionable choices, but her heart is in the right place. Boomer, her other bestie, is great comedic relief as well. Each character was utterly their own person and I loved them all in their own ways.

This is just an utterly feel good kinda book. The ending was very nicely done and everything came full circle.

The only negative thing I can say is that there was a portion of the book that took place with the rest of Alec’s band members and it just seemed to drag on and not move the story forward. Aside from that single scene, I loved this story and would love to read more from this series and this author!


Aaron instantly backtracked, waving his hands in defense, “Crap. I didn’t mean it like that. You have a lovely face…er…I mean, you’re really pretty.”


His eyes were breathtaking, really, and I decided that gray was my new favorite color.


Every few pages were dogeared. It drove my mom crazy when I did that. She likes to keep her novels in top condition, as if they’d never been opened, but I was of the opinion that books were made to be loved and worn.


A magnetic energy of sorts swelled between us. It was charged and electric and impossible to ignore.


It was possibly the most romantic thing a guy had ever said to me, that he wanted to read the book because it was my favorite.


“Basically you need someone to suffer alongside you?” I asked, and satisfaction shot through my chest at my witty, almost flirty response.
His mouth quirked into a crooked grin. “Exactly. It will be terrible, I promise.”


“Can you give us a moment?” Then she pulled me out of earshot and hissed, “Did someone hit you over the head? There’s a fin-ass boy offering to take you on a road trip, and you can’t say no fast enough. What is wrong with you?”


“Alec, I can’t not go to Harvard.”
“Sure you can,” he replied. “Your problem isn’t that you have to go. It’s that you’re afraid of not knowing what you’ll do if you don’t.”


What in the world was a Poseidon? Clearly he wasn’t talking about the Greek god, which made me wonder if Oliver’s uncle kept some sort of finicky sea monster in a backyard pond.


“Hatred takes up more space in your heart that you realize, and it doesn’t leave room for things like love and joy. Trust me.”


“Don’t worry about me,” I replied. “Never been much of a frosting fan anyway.”
JJ gasped. “Told you she has no soul.”

My (Writing) Life

I’m very excited to announce that I’m THIS close to sending Peace in Flames, my YA contemporary romance, to my editor. I’m currently going through all of the feedback provided by my beta readers and cleaning things up and clarifying things I didn’t get across properly the first time.

The release isn’t until February (I’ll post the OFFICIAL date when it gets closer!) but I’m eager to finish this one so that I can move on and do the re-writes for Summer of Peace, my new adult contemporary romance in the Peace Novella Series. Then I can move on to the many OTHER projects I have planned!

Things would probably go faster if I quit getting distracted. Like that time I stopped mid-chapter to make the following teaser. haha

I (and the other Peace Series) authors would LOVE it if you’d be willing to support our Thunderclap here.

Oh, and we’ve launched a website for the series (I designed it!) that you can check out here: