The Hawthorne Legacy (The Inheritance Games #2)The Hawthorne Legacy by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It was cute. Not amazing. The love story felt forced. There were far fewer games or puzzles in this book than there were in the previous installment, which was disappointing, because without the puzzles and with a cringe-y love story, there simply wasn't a lot to keep readers wanting more. The characters showed very little growth or depth and the prose was just okay.

Overall, an adequate follow-up to the Inheritance Games.

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Weekly Goals Revisited

How did I do? Two out of three ain't bad, right? Still passing.

Things I accomplished this week:

* I tweeted every day. You can find my twitter page @SKaminskiAuthor. I've mostly been tweeting about #WriteMentor this week.

* Speaking of... I successfully got everything submitted to #WriteMentor,

This is a program for young adult (YA) and middle grades (MG) authors that pairs an un-agented author (like me) with someone who has successfully found a literary agent, and helps them tweak their submission packet (Query letter, synopsis, manuscript) to be the best representation of themselves possible. The idea being, the mentees (as I hope to be) have a much higher chance finding representation if someone who knows a bit about the business helps them out. I feel like I need all the help I can get these days, so I thought I'd give it a try.

Things I did not accomplish this week:

* Submit a short story to a publication. Why not?

Because I'm terrified. Seriously terrified. I have no idea why. What's the worst that could happen, right? I don't get accepted, and I remain unpublished. Literally nothing in my life will change. And yet... still so terrified.

Which is why, this week: May 6-12, my only goal is:

1) Edit a short story to perfection and submit to a publication.

Why not work more on Cody Matthis? Because honestly, I think it's done. I just don't want to change it anymore. I think I'm ready to start submitting it. But if I'm too scared to put a short story out there, how will I ever find the guts to submit a whole novel?

Okay, enough rambling. I'm going to leave you off with my opening scene to Cody Matthis. Let me know what you think!

The first time I saw Cody Matthis, he was standing on the top of the metal half-dome at the playground down the street from where we grew up. It can’t have been more than five feet off the ground, but for a five year old, it felt gargantuan. I watched him, mesmerized as he spread his arms wide and screamed for his mother’s attention.

“Mom! Mom! Mo-o-o-o-om!” Children can stretch a word into a thousand syllables when they want to.

His eyes fixed on the woman seated at the bench in front of him. A woman with stringy brown hair, bags under her eyes, and her nose hidden in the pages of a book. He screamed her name again, and she still didn’t look up. Half the park watched, but she kept reading.

My own swing had slowed to a crawl, so entranced was I with the strange boy, who in a park filled with laughing children, stood defiantly.

“MOM!” He gave one final shout and she tore her eyes from the book and looked up. Their eyes locked, and in that moment, Cody leaped from the dome. He hung in the air for what felt like an eternity, his arms waving in the air, his hair forming a perfect halo of light-brown mess. Then he landed with a deafening crunch.

For half a second, there were no sounds. The entire playground paused and watched in horror. Then at once, every parent leapt up; children in the area screamed and scattered, running for the safety of a mother’s arms. My own mom darted across the playground and ushered me off the swings.

“Come on, Margo,” she said as she put her hand on my shoulders and guided me toward our car, “It’s time to leave.” She didn’t want to be there when the ambulance arrived. All around us other parents muttered to each other as they shuffled their kids toward the parking lot,

“That woman…”

“…so strange…”

“…out of the house for the first time all summer…”

I turned and watched the boy who sat below the playground equipment, his mother kneeling by his side and shaking her head. His foot stuck out at the wrong angle, and I felt a rush of nausea. He looked at me and smiled. He didn’t shed a single tear.

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