Tag Archive: kim savage

April, briefly

Photo credit to Shirley Konu of SVH Designs!

It feels like April was exactly that… brief. I know there are only 30 days in the month, but is it just me, or did those days fly by exponentially fast? We have been so lucky with the weather here (I even stored my winter coat away… touch wood), and it has been warm enough to go for walks in shorts and a tank top. It’s hard to believe that by this time next month, there’s a very strong possibility that I’ll be someone’s mother! (Unless he or she inherits my bad habit of always running late…) I’m getting so excited to meet this little one and find out who has been in there this whole time!

This month, I have been…

Working on: It has been all about the YA psychological thrillers this month. I’m using a corkboard and cue cards to track my progress (thanks, Save the Cat), and I feel like I have been more productive than usual as a result. My attention was very scattered and unfocused near the beginning of my pregnancy and I was having a hard time writing anything I liked, but things have changed in my third trimester and I’m motoring along at pretty much my pre-pregnancy speed. Maybe it’s because I know this is the last time I’ll be able to write without balancing writing and motherhood? I’m not sure, but either way, I’m taking advantage of it! (And I may be hitting you writing mommies up for advice about balance soon enough!)

Reading: I was lucky enough to read an early copy of Heather Ezell’s 2018 debut, Nothing Left to Burn, a book I have been excited about since seeing her book deal announcement in Publisher’s Weekly. Heather was a fellow Pitch Wars mentor last year, and not only is she an incredibly sweet person, but she is one hell of a writer. I absolutely adored her debut. It’s fast-paced, thrilling, and so different than anything else out there. I’m so excited for it to find readers!

I also read another book I had been highly anticipating– Beautiful Broken Girls by Kim Savage. I was a huge fan of Kim’s debut, After the Woods (we were fellow Sweet Sixteen debut authors!), so her second book had long been on my radar. It definitely didn’t disappoint. Her writing is so gorgeous and evocative, and the story itself was full of mystery and intrigue and heartbreak.

Watching: My husband and I binge-watched two great series based on books this month. The first, 13 Reasons Why, had me completely captivated. Jay Asher’s book was one of the first YA books I read, and was very influential to me as an aspiring author. I thought the series did a fantastic job of bringing the book to life, and the actors were nothing short of amazing. The episodes were haunting and at times very hard to watch, but I think it’s such an important book and has opened a lot of dialogue between teens and adults alike.

We also watched Big Little Lies, which is based on the book by Liane Moriarty. I haven’t read the book yet, although it has been on my TBR for quite awhile, but the series was excellent (and now I want to read the book even more than I did before). Great acting by a brilliant cast of female actresses (especially Nicole Kidman), and such a twisty, surprising plot. There are only seven episodes, and I think we finished them in just a matter of days.

I hope all of you have had a great month! I have some big news I’ll be sharing this coming week, so stay tuned!

Spotlight on Sixteens: AFTER THE WOODS

AFTER THE WOODS by Kim Savage will grace bookshelves everywhere with its dark beauty on February 23, but for Spotlight on Sixteens, I’m sharing my review of this incredible debut!

I was immediately intrigued after I heard the premise for this book. I love a good twisty plot, and it sounded like Kim Savage’s debut had just that. But I wasn’t prepared for just how twisty, just how deep and dark and gorgeous and terrifying this story would be. I wasn’t prepared to feel like I was getting yanked in by a pair of claws, unable to put the book down until I read just one more chapter. Even now, after turning the last page, what happened after the woods haunts my brain and hurts my heart.

AFTER THE WOODS is the story of two best friends, Julia and Liv. One year after they were attacked in the woods, they’re both living in the aftermath of what happened. Liv chose flight. Julia chose fight, and saved Liv in the process. But it’s not that clear-cut. After a girl’s body is found in the woods and Julia starts to piece together what happened, and as she faces memories of her time spent with her attacker, a whole new layer is exposed—a rotten layer, an underbelly even more grotesque than Julia could have imagined.

The friendship between Julia and Liv is so beautifully drawn. I loved the details about how close they were before the woods, and what changed for each girl. Julia is the kind of protagonist I feel lucky to have spent a book with. She’s whip-smart, perceptive, sarcastic but sensitive, and determined—determined to find out why her best friend is self-destructing after getting a second chance at life, determined to face her own fears, and most of all, determined to figure out why the woods happened at all.

This book is at times a thriller, at times a highly emotional contemporary, and at times, a puzzle with jagged edges that you’ll be increasingly desperate to put together. I was breathless with the desire to know what happened—as much as I wanted to savor Kim Savage’s incredible writing, I was flipping pages lightning-fast to figure out the mystery of what happened to Julia and Liv in the woods. And without giving anything away, I’ll say that this book was never once predictable. The plot twists had twists. And for this reason, AFTER THE WOODS is a book I will continue to think about for a long time.

Add AFTER THE WOODS to your Goodreads bookshelf here and preorder it here!

Visit Kim Savage’s website here!

Learn about other awesome Sweet Sixteens debuts here!

December, briefly

I feel like this isn’t just recapping December, briefly, but the whole year in a nutshell, too. There’s something about the last day of a year that symbolizes a lot. The events that have transpired, the moments that have made up the year, the highest highs and lowest lows. The milestones. The triumphs. The failures. And 2015 was a year with plenty of everything. It was a year of firsts, and I’m both excited and a teensy bit nervous for what 2016 has in store!

The Flynn Christmas Tree of 2015, aka Arnie!

I wasn’t sure I would be able to fully enjoy the Christmas rituals of December this year. With FIRSTS releasing in less than a week (!!!), the month has been pretty hectic. But I have managed to stay on top of everything so that I could make time for the things I love most about the holiday season. Going to pick out our Christmas tree and decorating it. Eating shortbread and date-filled cookies made with love by my dad. Wrapping gifts with a glass of Baileys. Taking evening walks to look at the lights in our neighborhood. Making ornaments. Visiting friends and family. It has been a truly wonderful month, and I feel like I have done my best to savor each moment.

This month, I have been…

Working on: I spent the month putting the finishing touches on my NaNo project (and writing an appropriate ending). It’s now a fully finished first draft that is ready to be made shiny in the new year! There’s also another YA contemporary project I’m nearing a first draft of, and I’m equally excited about both WIPs. Revision will be my priority over drafting going into the new year, and I’m looking forward to the opportunity to get an effective revision system going and seeing how each story evolves.

Reading: I was able to read two more ARCs from my fellow Sixteener debuts this month. First up was Kim Savage’s AFTER THE WOODS, a twisty, complicated, completely captivating thriller about two best friends who are dealing with the aftermath of being attacked in the woods. I won’t say much more about this one because I’ll post a full review closet to its release date, but I will say this: It’s not one to be missed.

Next, I read UNDERWATER by my Sixteen to Read sister Marisa Reichardt. I had been eagerly anticipating this one for a long time, and I was sucked in right from the first page. It’s the story of Morgan, who has been unable to move on after a terrible tragedy that happened at her high school– one that she feels responsible for. Morgan confines herself to her apartment and grapples with her guilt– but when a new boy moves in next door, she realizes he may be what she needs to finally move on. I’ll post more about this one later too, but warning– this one will break your heart in pieces.

It's Santa Paws! (Aka, a disgruntled Abby.)

It’s Santa Paws! (Aka, a disgruntled Abby.)

Watching: It wouldn’t be the holiday season without some Christmas classics! The following Christmas movies are always on my list of December must-watches: Scrooged, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, The Santa Clause, all of the Rankin Bass cartoons, and The Grinch (the original, not the frightening version starring Jim Carrey). Plus, on Christmas Eve, the ultimate in Christmas feels: It’s A Wonderful Life, which is best accompanied with a glass of wine and a box of tissues.

Well, that’s a bit about my December! Tomorrow marks the start of a new year– a year that will bring plenty more firsts (yes, I’m going to keep making that pun). My book birthday is almost here, and then I’m off to Boston for my first ever bookstore panel and the ALA Midwinter conference, where I’ll get to meet some of my wonderful Sweet Sixteen friends. Wishing everyone a New Year’s Eve filled with love and friendship and some delightfully bubbly champagne!


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