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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When it rains...

It pours!

Embrace the cliché, I say. Well, not always. Not even usually. Usually, we avoid the clichés. But today, it's fitting.

I've been drowning in things to do, and that's a good thing!

1) I switched my main focus from querying "Cody Matthis" to editing my current WIP, "Alyssa's Playlist," and let me just tell you... I am IN LOVE with "Alyssa's Playlist." This book is so much fun for me to write. I'm really getting into the characters, to the point where I'm crying just about every day over something they're going through. Good tears. Tears are good. Tears are cathartic. Tears help us know we are human. I love crying over my characters. I love feeling the things they're feeling, and experiencing the things they are experiencing.

Aesthetic for "Alyssa's Playlist"

2) I've gotten a few requests for material for "Cody" which is exciting, because it means that something is working with that story. In my heart, I still want to go back and revise it, but I've promised myself to focus on "Alyssa" for now. I'm still responding to the requests, because as some of my critique partners (CP) have suggested, if an agent picks it up as is, then why put yourself through the extra stress and work? Plus, any agent or editor worth their salt is going to make me fix up the pace and story anyway. But on the other hand, I so want to put the best version of myself and my story out there. Anyway, it's exciting to be getting requests, but every request means I have to dive back into the world of "Cody" and out of the world of "Alyssa." That's hard. It's hard to switch gears.

3) My kid turned 1 this past Tuesday! I don't normally talk much about my kids on this blog, but his first birthday, plus the party, plus just simply wanting to be around him more because well, he's my baby and he's getting bigger, has meant a lot less time for writing/editing/querying. But, it has made me come to a big realization. You don't have to write every day! Think about it. Most jobs have days off, weekends and built in vacation days. No job expects you to work every single day. And writing should be the same. Some people say that you should "write every day" if you want to be successful. That's fine, and most days I do. But it's okay to take a break. It's okay to say to yourself, "Today... I'm spending the day with my family." and to not pick up that pen or log onto your computer. Vacation days are important. I took some vacation days this week, because my baby turned 1. Now I'm back.

4) I'm up to my ears in beta reading for CPs, and I love it! I can't go into details about other people's work, obviously, but let me just say, I'm really loving a few of the stories I've read lately. They have me hooked! I'm really excited for these authors and the strides their making in their own writing.

I love the writing community! I really do. All my life, I've lived with this underlying jealousy of anyone who was better than me at anything. My best friend got a higher grade in a class? Well, then I was mad at her for weeks. But the writing community, it's so supportive. No one I've talked to in the past few months has ever suggested I quit. Yes, they've suggested I need to fix some major issues with my writing. Yes, I've sometimes gotten some hurt feelings over critiques I've gotten. But... everyone has still been so supportive. That's pretty awesome.

Every writer deserves that support system!

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