So Here’s What Happened

Last year at this time I had just been through the Pitch Wars Showcase and was beginning a journey querying my first middle-grade book. Then the pandemic hit full force. Everything seemed to come to a screeching halt. Like many of you, my focus shifted. There was so much uncertainty and worry.

I decided to stop querying my book and focus on work and family. In the interim, I sought and received editorial and agent feedback. With that feedback, I took the book back into deep revisions. It has finally re-emerged! Shiny new words, deeper POV, and even a new title.

Between last March and today, here are just a few highlights:

  • Joined a new critique group (virtually) with members from my regional SCBWI
  • Attended several webinars for writers via SCBWI (a great way to connect with others during the pandemic)
  • Completely rewrote my Pitch Wars book
  • Started writing an adult cozy mystery (my first!)
  • Outlined and began writing a new middle-grade fairy-tale retelling (I’m so excited about this one!)
  • Had the privilege to read several ARCs as well as beta reading some books that I can’t wait for you all to be able to read as well

During it all, I continued to write as a freelancer, although by the end of 2020 I had significantly scaled back the amount of work I contracted. I much prefer fiction writing and am all in on this publishing journey.

Book Review: The Traitor’s Kingdom by Erin Beaty

“Outside, the world was full of assassins, bitter politics, and the threat of war, but her, in this one place, for one night, everything was perfect.”

Chapter 65, page 310 of The Traitor’s Kingdom

The Traitor’s Kingdom by Erin Beaty is the final book in The Traitor’s trilogy that begins with The Traitor’s Kiss and The Traitor’s Ruin. You can read my review of The Traitor’s Ruin here.

As trilogies go, this one kept me interested and I anxiously awaited the final book. The Traitor’s Kingdom didn’t disappoint—it’s exciting, well-written, and offers a more-than-satisfying conclusion to the story of Sage Fowler.

From author Erin Beaty’s website:

A new queen under threat. 

An ambassador with a desperate scheme. 

Two kingdoms with everything to lose.

Sage Fowler has evolved from matchmaker’s assistant to ambassador representing Demora. She’s traveled far from home, fallen in love, and sacrificed much for her kingdom. Book three opens with Sage working on her duties as an ambassador, keeping up with combat training, and pining for her beloved, Major Alex Quinn.

Author Beaty quickly launches the reader into the political intrigue that readers will be familiar with from the first two books in this trilogy. The one thing that The Traitor’s trilogy doesn’t lack is intrigue, double-crosses, and action. Sage has grown up in this final book, but she’s still just as gutsy and stubborn. I like her in the role of ambassador and wish the book would have had more Sage. I sometimes found the segments featuring the soldiers to be less interesting and I was anxious to get back to whatever Sage was doing.

I liked the introduction of the new queen and her storyline. It was also interesting to watch Clare develop even further and how she deals with her sister. Overall, I thought The Traitor’s Kingdom was a good conclusion to the trilogy. It had enough twists to keep me guessing, but nothing that made me raise an eyebrow because it was too “convenient”. Erin Beaty tells a compelling story and her main characters are definitely likable even when they’re doing things that make me yell at the pages.

The final wrap-up I found to be very satisfying. I really like the endings for Sage and Alex as well as the others. The Traitor’s trilogy is one I’m glad I own, because I definitely will reread it again.

Don’t miss the first two books in Erin Beaty’s The Traitor’s trilogy.