September Wrap-Up: October, Take Me Away

october

October has arrived!! That means fall weather (for those of us not in Southern California), my birthday in two days *cough, cough*, watching the leaves change, NaNoWriMo prep (I’m not sure whether to feel excited or terrified…), and getting one month closer to CHRISTMAS! I’m not excited about that at all. ^_~

The first half of September was . . . shall we say, a mite stressful? My sisters and I had spent all of August apartment hunting and had at last settled on a place. Between the four of us, we were preparing to move, experiencing job changes, going to classes, working full time, and I was trying to find time to work on Jungle Princess.

not simple

I seriously considered dedicating my sparse free-time to enlisting the professor’s assistance from Rising Shadows or that of the Eleventh Doctor to help me find more hours in the day, or to simply travel back in time so I could learn how to be more efficient. I am soooo ready to dedicate October to writing and to mentally preparing myself (and 1,345 cups of coffee) for NaNo this November. 50,000 words, anyone? Anyone? Maybe this is the year! . . . I said maybe, okay? 

Although, as a side note, can I just say, who needs a gym when you have to walk ¼ mile for your mail everyday? Calves of steel, baby! #apartmentliving #notdeadyet

I honestly cannot remember a single thing that I did this month before the move. *cringe* So, moving on! . . . *laughs hysterically at unintended pun* Anywho, my baby sister, Katie, turned the big 2-1 this month, and a part of me can hardly believe the toddler with her too-big sunglasses and loads of hilarious personality, maturity, and sass is so growed-up. But I’m so proud of the woman she has grown into! And also the fact that she’s more of an adult than me on a daily basis. Haha.

Last Saturday, my phone decided to inconveniently commit suicide right before an event, taking to the grave all of my contacts, photos, data, and promotional posts I had set up for the aforementioned event. THE HORROR!!!! I spent all morning scrambling to try and collect what I could, but alas, Toto was no more.  

cry face

Tragedy aside, I scurried off to the Barnes and Noble in Mira Mesa for their Bfest event, where me and Nikki Katz (author of The Midnight Dance, which I’ve already pre-ordered!) hosted a panel and Q&A session. We chatted about our writing journeys, laughed over the number of drafts we’ve rewritten and our mutual dislike of editing, and answered fan questions. The event was a fabulous success, and I was crazy excited to have my Instagram friend Olivia surprise me there. We spent the afternoon chatting after the signing, and it was absolutely magical! 

author pic at table

The rest of the week was typical chaos, BUT yesterday was the same BFest event at a local B&N, and it was so fun to make new friends with Laila and Jade, who are both aspiring writers and adorable human beings. 

I found fabulous music inspiration from Katie Grace’s September Highlights and have listened to “Dreamers” by Oh Gravity nonstop. I love new music obsessions! I’m also joining several October challenges on Instagram (follow me here to see which challenges I’m posting about each day), as well as reading through the Old Testament (#OTOctober) hosted by Nadine Brandes. There are no rules, and you can join in and take your time reading along with the group. I’m working through the New Testament at the same time and pace, and reading them side-by-side has helped my slower brain catch a lot of the parallels and prophesies that I sometimes graze over. Shoot me a message anytime about what you discover while reading!

*Also, I’d just like to happily point out that I finished this post at 11:55 p.m. on September 30th, so technically I beat the deadline, staying up late in classic Katie Grace fashion. Night owls unite!! After a nap!

What I Read:

I tragically read THREE books in September, but I shan’t cry (too much) about it because the month was insanely busy, and I’m praying that the extra day in October means more reading time.

The Legend of Sheba by Tosca Lee ***

sheba

I had this book on last month’s list because I had just started it and finished it a few days into September. I enjoyed it for the historical element, and it’s an interesting story, but it just wasn’t one I would get excited to read again. I know Tosca and have read some of her other books, and she is such an incredible writer and puts an insane amount of research into her books, and I appreciate that more than I did the characters in this particular story. But don’t let my opinion stop you if you’re interested in Biblical fiction or historical novels set in the Middle East.

North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell ************************ x infinity

north and south

If you’re wondering what my favorite classic novel is, please reference my million star rating (it has to be implied on Goodreads because 5 stars is their max. Humph.). I can’t praise this book enough! My sisters and I have all read the book and watched the BBC miniseries with Richard Armitage *swoon. Swoon, swoon* too many times to count on one hand, and we recommended it for book club last month. It has so much depth and emotion and character development for a novel of its era, and the heart of the story is just lovely. You won’t regret reading this!

Hunted by Megan Spooner ****

hunted

A Beauty and the Beast retelling? Uhh, yes, please! If you saw my August Wrap-Up (and my Instagram feed the last week), you would have seen that this was on my TBR pile, and I actually got around to reading it. It’s a miracle!! *checks one off, seven take its place* This story was really enjoyable. I liked the twist on the classic fairytale and thought the Beast was a fabulous and layered character. The only reason I gave it 4 stars and not 5 was because Yeva (Beauty) bugged me a bit with her stubbornness and personality in the beginning, and the pacing was a little slow at first. But I liked her much more the second half and will definitely be reading this one again.

My TBR Pile:

Haunting the Deep by Adriana Mather

haunting the deep

I saw a Goodreads trailer for this book and almost went out and bought it because of the Titanic and fantasy vibes, but I held off because of the paranormal element to it. The concept sounds fascinating, but I’m reading cautiously before I buy.

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

outlander

I WILL read this . . . someday

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

six of crows

I’ve met Leigh twice before (both times at Comic Con), and she is just so sweet and fabulous! Although I read her Grisha trilogy, I’ve never read Six of Crows, but I’m in the midst of a buddy read on Instagram by Captain Valour (follow him here), so here’s to motivation!

Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab

our dark duet

Although I should probably read This Savage Song first, and that’s still on my TBR pile. *hangs head*

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