Blood for blood. Life for life. Treasure for treasure.
Samantha’s life has been plagued by her sister’s illness. With her family’s finances and spirits running low, she makes a fateful decision to seek the guidance of a ghostly seer who’s rumored to frequent River Street—Savannah’s notoriously dark side of town. Desperate for answers, she approaches the soothsayer, disguised as a man to keep herself safe. His premonition surprises her and has her believing a better future awaits.
But the night isn’t done with its surprises. After being kidnapped, imprisoned on a pirate’s ship, and required to do the wicked captain’s bidding, she wonders if she’ll ever return home. She’s witness to both the brutality and the soft side of the world’s most infamous villains, and she’ll never be the same. With the help of a handsome young doctor and the captain’s wife, she realizes she must become them to escape them, and she makes a deal with the devil that just may save her sister’s life.
It has been an insane reading month! With a grand total of 13 books, not including the manuscripts I read.
Several of these are comps for clients' books, and the rest are just for pleasure. It would take me too long to talk about each of these individually, so I'm just going to mention my favorites.
Take Off Your Pants: Outlining Books for Faster, Better Writing
I'm always looking for ways to improve the quality and speed of my own writing, and I thought this book gave some helpful ways to quickly plot out a novel. I use a beat sheet already, which is similar in this author's technique, but I especially love the scene and flow break down she offers in this. I will be trying her method on my next manuscript.
You all know how much I adore Lysa TerKeurst, and her newest release Uninvited is great for those who have dealt with feeling rejected (haven't we all). Working in the publishing world, there's a thread of rejection almost daily. She teaches us how to see rejection through our Creator's eyes versus our own emotions.
Sweet & Sassy Anthology: Sand and Kisses
This was the type of book I would want to read while on the beach. I wish that's where I read it, but... I don't read too much romance, but I do love the occasional clean, sweet treat one gets when diving into something like this. Each story was carefully thought out and left me with those butterfly tingles that are usually reserved for my Prince Charming. Books like this remind us that love is alive everywhere we look and makes us thankful for the love we have in our own lives.
It's been a busy reading month for me. In addition to these lovelies, which I read for fun, I also read several other manuscripts. Luckily, I never get tired of stepping out of my world and into others.
What Do You Do With A Problem
First, give me a moment to pour out all my feelings about this series. When I first read, What Do You Do With An Idea, I cried. Seriously. I was standing in the bookstore, flipping the pages, and Prince Charming came up wondering what in the world was happening. Why were there tears in my eyes? Everything about that book made me want to read it every day for the rest of my life. Needless to say, I cradled it in my arms to the check out counter and have loved it ever since. This book, the second in the series, is wonderful too. They're both inspiring and carry a message that makes me want to re-read them over and over again.
Where the Wild Things Are
I'm not sure how I escaped childhood without reading this book, but even the most well-read have their gaps. I love the illustrations in this, and I enjoyed the message. Monsters are never as scary as they seem. In fact, they're just like you and me. Timeless.
The Amazing Adventures of Harry Moon: Halloween Nightmares
I love the spiritual themes and adventurous nature of these books. They're unlike anything I've ever read, and though I feel they could be stronger, I still think they're fun. Not to mention, the quality of this book is amazing. The artwork and interior are superb, and the authors have created great marketing techniques for these as well.
Lysa TerKeurst is amazing. She's so genuine and real, someone everyone can relate to. I especially loved how she tackles the emotional experience. In this book, she discusses how we sometimes allow our emotions to override our lives and how devastating that can be for us and those around us. If you're a mountain out of a mole hill girl, this is the book for you (and me).
The Best Yes
For the past six weeks, I've been co-leading a small group on the concepts Lysa teaches in The Best Yes. I haven't read a book that has changed my life this much in a really long time. We live in a world where we are rushed and busy 24/7, but God doesn't call us to a rushed life. He wants us to "underwhelm our schedules, so He can overwhelm our souls." Friends, go buy this book.
The Dollhouse Asylum
The Dollhouse Asylum is not your typical YA read, which is why I loved it. We all love the strong, female character in modern literature, but I also enjoy diversity, an exploring of all types of people. Mary Gray does that by giving readers a peek into the inner workings of one girl's emotional journey of learning that the man she adores and looks up to, a former teacher, is actually a stone-cold killer. I found it interesting that the MC struggles with a lot of things women who are abused (both emotionally and physically) struggle with. But that's not who he really is. He's good underneath it all. He won't do it again now that he knows it hurts me. Fans of Waywardly Pines and The Girl With All the Gifts will probably enjoy this too.
Today Facebook reminded me where I was on this exact day three years ago. I was in Savannah, GA. I've been to Savannah many, many times. It's my home away from home, and if you know me, you'll likely recall me telling you that it's my "soulmate in a place." Because it is. It truly, truly is.
I resent that reminder, though. I was working away, thinking nothing of long vacations. A memory of my husband asking me, while we sat on a park bench, to close my eyes, "What do you see?"
Characters walking cobbled streets many years ago. A party. A fire. A tragedy.
And I wrote.
I want to be there again. Not working away on my computer or busying myself with house work. I want to be in the place that inspires me to meet strangers, both real and unreal. I want to search the city for stories and let dark corridors whisper to me their secrets.
I want to take more tours and walk at night, allowing the southern breeze to pierce my soul. I want the early morning's fog to creep into my life, filling every corner with history and mystery.
I want Savannah.
Last time I was there, I wrote this:
The city of the dead lies silently beneath, like an unsung song underneath our feet like a painting void of color or an undeveloped photograph-- never fully seen-- like an instrument without a string, an undocumented life screams.
I want to document all the characters that fill Savannah's streets. It's time for another vacation.