Books Read in October:
1. Certain Dark Things – Silvia Garcia-Moreno.
Welcome to Mexico City… An Oasis In A Sea Of Vampires…
Domingo, a lonely garbage-collecting street kid, is busy eking out a living when a jaded vampire on the run swoops into his life.
Atl, the descendant of Aztec blood drinkers, must feast on the young to survive and Domingo looks especially tasty. Smart, beautiful, and dangerous, Atl needs to escape to South America, far from the rival narco-vampire clan pursuing her. Domingo is smitten.
Her plan doesn’t include developing any real attachment to Domingo. Hell, the only living creature she loves is her trusty Doberman. Little by little, Atl finds herself warming up to the scrappy young man and his effervescent charm.
And then there’s Ana, a cop who suddenly finds herself following a trail of corpses and winds up smack in the middle of vampire gang rivalries.
Vampires, humans, cops, and gangsters collide in the dark streets of Mexico City. Do Atl and Domingo even stand a chance of making it out alive?
2. The Last Namsara – Kristen Ciccarelli (re-read)
In the beginning, there was the Namsara: the child of sky and spirit, who carried love and laughter wherever he went. But where there is light, there must be darkness—and so there was also the Iskari. The child of blood and moonlight. The destroyer. The death-bringer.
These are the legends that Asha, daughter of the king of Firgaard, has grown up learning in hushed whispers, drawn to the forbidden figures of the past. But it isn’t until she becomes the fiercest, most feared dragon slayer in the land that she takes on the role of the next Iskari—a lonely destiny that leaves her feeling more like a weapon than a girl.
Asha conquers each dragon and brings its head to the king, but no kill can free her from the shackles that await at home: her betrothal to the cruel commandant, a man who holds the truth about her nature in his palm. When she’s offered the chance to gain her freedom in exchange for the life of the most powerful dragon in Firgaard, she finds that there may be more truth to the ancient stories than she ever could have expected. With the help of a secret friend—a slave boy from her betrothed’s household—Asha must shed the layers of her Iskari bondage and open her heart to love, light, and a truth that has been kept from her.
3. A Natural History of Dragons – Marie Brennan
All the world, from Scirland to the farthest reaches of Eriga, know Isabella, Lady Trent, to be the world’s preeminent dragon naturalist. She is the remarkable woman who brought the study of dragons out of the misty shadows of myth and misunderstanding into the clear light of modern science. But before she became the illustrious figure we know today, there was a bookish young woman whose passion for learning, natural history, and, yes, dragons defied the stifling conventions of her day.
Here at last, in her own words, is the true story of a pioneering spirit who risked her reputation, her prospects, and her fragile flesh and bone to satisfy her scientific curiosity; of how she sought true love and happiness despite her lamentable eccentricities; and of her thrilling expedition to the perilous mountains of Vystrana, where she made the first of many historic discoveries that would change the world forever.
4. A Hidden Hope – Laura Ambrose (I’ve read this like 10 times, going to count it once!)
Natalie and El used to be writing critique partners, sharing their work chapter by chapter. Falling in love off-page was like the next part of the story. But after a huge falling out, three years have passed in bitter silence.
When they both appear at a science fiction convention in London, Natalie, a struggling writer, wants nothing to do with El, the hot debut novelist who sold her book at auction under a male pseudonym. But over the weekend, ignoring each other–and their attraction–proves impossible, not least because they have several panels together. Can El hope to atone for the mistakes of their past, and is Natalie willing to let hope fly?
Not a lot of reading this month, due to travel, a hefty work load, and a bit of a reading slump.
Total this year: 55 books
Loose reading goals:
- Read more romance: A Hidden Hope, elements of Certain Dark Things
- Re-read some old favourites: The Last Namsara
- Read more classics: None
- Continue to read diverse books/books by marginalised authors: Certain Dark Things, A Hidden Hope
- Read nonfiction: none, though I read/re-read a fair amount of theory for uni: Saussure, Lyotard, Bakhtin, etc.
- Read women: all of ’em
Writing Update: August, September, October
I didn’t write much this month as I was having a bad mental health spell. I managed to eke out 11,437 words of prose on Family Book and A Perfect Balance, the second Romancing the Page novella. On the nonfiction side, I finished my PgCert in Teaching and Learning, plus other Napier work. Nonfiction words: 11,750 words.
Total: 23,187 words
Still not that many words, for the same reason. I realised that Family Book was too difficult to write just now, so it’s on hiatus until get I do a research trip when I’m back in California for Christmas. I wrote 10,099 words of fiction, mostly on An Unheard Song (Romancing the Page #3). I also started doing prewriting and worldbuilding work on Dragon Book, a fantasy novel. Nonfiction work was some Patreon posts and Napier. Nonfiction words: 5,033 words.
Total: 15,082 words
I started feeling a bit better in the head, but I was also travelling to Malaysia and Singapore for a holiday/work trip as I was a guest at Cooler Lumpur. Fiction: 13,947 words. Mostly Dragon Book brainstorming and finishing An Unheard Song, and proofing A Hidden Hope and launching the first romance novella as Laura Ambrose. Nonfiction: Napier work, Patreon posts, romance marking and such. Nonfiction words: around 7,800 words.
So far in November, I’m much more productive (I have started Dragon Book!), but I also need to stop trying to measure myself in terms of productivity. I needed to slow down these months and focus on myself. That’s okay. I’ve still gotten plenty done this year:
Year to date (fiction + nonfiction): 233,901 words.