Family · Uncategorized

The Unexpected

I’ve taken a bit of a break from blogging. Not only have I been focusing on writing, which I am happy to report I’ve finished the second draft (or third draft depending on how you look at it) of my new YA manuscript. It’s off to the beta readers right now, so crossing my fingers for good feedback! I’ve also been focusing on healing and just figuring out what it means to be me again. If you’re wondering what I’m talking about, please read my last few entries as I don’t really feel like rehashing everything here.

Long story short, I’ve always grown up with a specific vision of what my life would be like. After the past five years, I’m not sure what that life is going to be anymore. Needless to say, along with grieving, I’ve had to somewhat come to terms with a “third-life” crisis as I like to call it. So, I’ve been focusing on doing all the things I’ve wanted to do, but never allowed myself to do during my TTC (trying to conceive) journey in fear of hurting my chances of becoming pregnant. Truthfully, it’s a bit fun at times, but also scary. As a perpetual planner, what do I do when I don’t know what to do?

Yesterday my mom and I watched the newest movie adaptation of Little Women

 

I’ve always been a fan of the story and LOVED the 1994 version.

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I was curious to see what a modernized take of the classic would be like.

It was cute of course, but there were a lot of one-liners that really resonated with me. One of them had me sobbing in the theater. Think Kim K ugly crying.

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Forgive me if it’s not verbatim, but it was something along the lines of:

“You’re a writer. Don’t you want your [life] story to be unexpected?”

That’s the thing about writing stories, isn’t it? You don’t want your stories to be predictable. The best stories are unexpected–so, why can’t my book of life be the same way?

There is also a scene where Beth mentions how the greatest stories  have some sort of tragedy in them. But these same stories have an abundance of love as well. Needless to say, the past five years have been horrible, but the good thing about them is the outpouring of love I’ve always received.

The reason I love to read and write is because all stories, regardless of what they’re about, have a way to touch their audiences mentally, emotionally and sometimes spiritually. Needless to say, watching the movie yesterday reminded me that life will always have unexpected turns, but my story isn’t over yet.

“We each have our own paths to our castles”

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**Spoiler Alert**

Not that a spoiler alert is needed since the book has been out since 1879 and there have been many movies released since then, but let me say this is the first version where I’m actually happy Jo ended up with Friedrich

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Taking Risks

I sat in my usual seat within the church’s pews listening to our priest give his homily about taking risks–the good kind, mind you. Most of life’s rewards aren’t achieved by sitting around and doing nothing, but by putting yourself out there and trusting in God. It’s funny, but within one day I quickly realized the truth in this thought and felt the fruit of the words.

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Many of you may be wondering why I haven’t been putting out books this past year. Besides the dreaded writer’s block of 2016, we can also blame the resurgence of inspiration of 2017. I may not have any new books on the market just yet, but best believe this past year has been a busy one. I’ve not only rewritten Green, but I’ve also finished three complete manuscripts and have three more in the editing stages.

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So what does this have to do about taking risks? Well, I’ll tell you dear reader. During the past year I’ve also been diligently querying literary agents. As awesome as it is to be an indie author and as awesome as my current publishers are, I’ve always had a dream to see my books on the shelves of Barnes and Noble, Target and Books-A-Million. Beyond that, I also want to see an adaptation of my story on the big screen and/or Netflix. In order to accomplish these goals I need someone in my corner. More specifically, I need a literary agent.

For months now I have poured my heart into polishing up my manuscripts, writing the best query letters I can muster and researching each #MSWL and agency website until the SENT box of my email account was swimming with the words “QUERY” and “SUBMISSION”.

And after all that?

I still don’t have a literary agent.

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Now, I can put a frowny face here and maybe even a few tears because God knows I’ve shed a few, but honestly, as much as each rejection stings, they also help me out.

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Book 1 — Rejected but not given substantial critiques

Book 2 — Rejected and given some critiques, but none I felt comfortable with. This book is currently signed with a publisher.

Book 3 — Rejected with such great critiques and suggestions PLUS a call for future manuscripts.

Each rejection hurts, but obviously I’m growing with my writing and this growth couldn’t have been accomplished without taking risks.

Querying is a scary thing, but you know what? It’s a risk I’m still willing to take until I achieve my goals.

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BREAKING FREE COVER REVEAL!

Check out the gorgeous cover of BREAKING FREE that Redbird Designs created! This beauty is set to release on Valentine’s Day!

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BREAKING FREE by S. Briones Lim
B-Boy Series Book 3
New Adult Romance
Limitless Publishing, LLC
A one-night stand that changes her life forever…
Mallory Carmichael is a pianist who just lost out on the biggest solo of her life. To ease the sting, she heads to the club, where she meets Asher Nolan—a sexy dancer with wicked confidence in his eyes. Mallory loses herself in a night of carefree passion. Little did she know that one hookup could turn her world upside down.
A man who knows what he wants, and how to get it…
Asher—or B-boy Hellhound as he is known in the breakdance scene—is a TV and movie star. He’s used to winning…until his break-dancing game spirals out of control.
After an uncharacteristic loss, Asher becomes convinced the mysterious girl from the club jinxed him. Wanting to reverse the hex, he searches for her online, and it’s not long before #Search4Mallory goes viral.
Mallory didn’t think she’d ever see Asher again, but when she discovers he’s searching for her, she agrees to meet…and quickly regrets it.
She soon discovers how crazy a man like Asher can make her…
Asher convinces Mallory to help him find a supernatural cure for the “hookup jinx.” Navigating the world of mysticism may be challenging, but it’s even harder for them to ignore their growing attraction.
Can Asher ignore the temptation to hook up with his ‘jinx’ once again?
Will Mallory find the right balance between her crazy rehearsal schedule and helping Asher?
One thing is for sure, the only way to get over this hex is by Breaking Free.
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— S. BRIONES LIM —
Thanks to her Mom’s unwavering devotion to read a childhood bedtime story to her every single night, S. BRIONES LIM’s love for books began before she could even speak.

Raised in Southern California, Lim initially dreamt of becoming an artist. After a Psychology Degree (Summa cum Laude), a stint in Art School, and a career in Advertising/Media she is finally diving back into her first love – books. As a self-renowned bookworm, Lim’s love for reading has inspired her to pen her own novels and hopes her readers will fall in love with her stories as much as she enjoys writing them.

Her obsessions include time with family, Cherry Coke, popcorn with jalapeños, watching movies and her dogs, Tobi and Roscoe. She currently lives in Virginia with her husband.

** PUBLISHER ** GOODREADS ** FACEBOOK ** TWITTER ** WEBSITE **

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Breaking Promises NOW AVAILABLE!

BREAKING PROMISES by S. Briones Lim
Series: B-boy #1
Cover Designer: REDBIRD DESIGNS
Publisher: LIMITLESS PUBLISHING
Release Date: MAY 31, 2016
— SYNOPSIS —
After a devastating accident, Aurora Crane’s collegiate gymnastics career comes to an abrupt end…
Fighting to piece her life back together, Aurora packs up and transfers to California State to start anew. When she arrives, her focus is on schoolwork and choosing a new career. But to her surprise, destiny has other plans…
Sucked into the world of competitive breakdancing, Aurora comes toe-to-toe with the hottest B-Boy of them all…
An arrogant hothead, Mitch Adachi—or B-Boy Kickwit as he is more commonly known—has life all figured out. He breakdances all day, practicing for upcoming competitions that are sure to challenge his skills—which means he has no time for distractions.
When the new girl steps into the scene, he sees an opportunity he can’t pass up…
Besides finding Aurora devastatingly attractive, he can’t help but notice her skills. He quickly develops high hopes for the ex-gymnast, seeing her as the perfect potential crewmember for the impending high stakes Battle of the Crews competition. All she needs is some fine-tuning.
When the two commit to a business relationship, a different kind of passion kicks into high gear. There’s no denying they groove well together, but there’s a chance mixing high-stakes competition with a fierce romance might lead to…
Breaking Promises.
PURCHASE TODAY! Available on Kindle Unlimited!
— S. BRIONES LIM —
Thanks to her Mom’s unwavering devotion to read a childhood bedtime story to her every single night, S. BRIONES LIM’s love for books began before she could even speak.
Raised in Southern California, Lim initially dreamt of becoming an artist. After a Psychology Degree (Summa cum Laude), a stint in Art School, and a career in Advertising/Media she is finally diving back into her first love – books. As a self-renowned bookworm, Lim’s love for reading has inspired her to pen her own novels and hopes her readers will fall in love with her stories as much as she enjoys writing them.
Her obsessions include time with family, Cherry Coke, popcorn with jalapeños, watching movies and her dogs, Tobi and Roscoe. She currently lives in Virginia with her husband.
Uncategorized

COVER REVEAL!

BREAKING PROMISES by S. Briones Lim
Series: B-boy #1
Cover Designer: REDBIRD DESIGNS
Publisher: LIMITLESS PUBLISHING
Release Date: MAY 31, 2016
— SYNOPSIS —
After a devastating accident, Aurora Crane’s collegiate gymnastics career comes to an abrupt end…
Fighting to piece her life back together, Aurora packs up and transfers to California State to start anew. When she arrives, her focus is on schoolwork and choosing a new career. But to her surprise, destiny has other plans…
Sucked into the world of competitive breakdancing, Aurora comes toe-to-toe with the hottest B-Boy of them all…
An arrogant hothead, Mitch Adachi—or B-Boy Kickwit as he is more commonly known—has life all figured out. He breakdances all day, practicing for upcoming competitions that are sure to challenge his skills—which means he has no time for distractions.
When the new girl steps into the scene, he sees an opportunity he can’t pass up…
Besides finding Aurora devastatingly attractive, he can’t help but notice her skills. He quickly develops high hopes for the ex-gymnast, seeing her as the perfect potential crewmember for the impending high stakes Battle of the Crews competition. All she needs is some fine-tuning.
When the two commit to a business relationship, a different kind of passion kicks into high gear. There’s no denying they groove well together, but there’s a chance mixing high-stakes competition with a fierce romance might lead to…
Breaking Promises.
— S. BRIONES LIM —
Thanks to her Mom’s unwavering devotion to read a childhood bedtime story to her every single night, S. BRIONES LIM’s love for books began before she could even speak.
Raised in Southern California, Lim initially dreamt of becoming an artist. After a Psychology Degree (Summa cum Laude), a stint in Art School, and a career in Advertising/Media she is finally diving back into her first love – books. As a self-renowned bookworm, Lim’s love for reading has inspired her to pen her own novels and hopes her readers will fall in love with her stories as much as she enjoys writing them.
Her obsessions include time with family, Cherry Coke, popcorn with jalapeños, watching movies and her dogs, Tobi and Roscoe. She currently lives in Virginia with her husband.
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Old Soul or Late Bloomer?

Ever since I was younger, I always felt a bit different than my peers. From preferring books over toys or waking up at 5 am to catch my fave black and white movies, I was an eighty year old woman in a child’s body–

Or so I thought.

Once I hit the infamous 20’s, things completely changed.

Google the words “Twenty Something” and you’ll find a wide array of articles covering everything a 20-something-year-old should know. From advice on what s/he should or should not do, where s/he should travel to, what jobs to take, where to live and what relationships to be in, there is never a loss for the COUNTLESS situations this age group will face. In fact, regardless of the different publications, websites, and authors of these articles there is one common theme–Getting to know yourself.

You see, everyone assumes your teenage years is the time to go out and experiment. It’s the time to fall in love, make mistakes and find yourself. Speaking as someone who is in their thirties and has live through both decades, I’d say it wasn’t my teens but rather my twenties where I truly discovered who I was. The term Quarter-Life crisis is around for a reason. For example, when I was 25 I found myself at a professional crossroads. I spent many nights asking, “Is this what I want to do for the rest of my life?” The same went for my love life as well. And do you know what? This can happen at ANY age.Yes, even this old soul made A LOT of immature mistakes. 24, 25, 26 and yes, even  28 years old–Old souls can be late bloomers, too.

Why am I telling you all this?

Well, I wanted to explain the background behind some of my characters. I’ve been asked why a couple of them seemed unsure of themselves and why they seemed a bit indecisive for someone their age. To put it simply, why aren’t they as “adult” as expected. But what exactly does it mean to be an adult? I’m still finding out and that is why my characters are as they are. They are in fact based somewhat on me.

I am 31 now and I’m still learning A LOT about myself. Sure, I’ve grown up since my yesteryears, but regardless–decision making, mistakes and anxiety does not have an age limit. Stuff happens and sometimes you revert.

I wanted my characters to reflect this so that any of my readers currently going through a Quarter-Life Crisis, Mid-Life crisis or any crisis would know that they are not alone 🙂

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Reading

I’m often asked if I have any advice for other writers out there. Honestly, I still don’t feel too comfortable answering this question as I’m still a fairly new writer myself. However, if I can offer one piece of advice it would be to read.

Reading? Really?

Yes! I am a firm believer that reading and writing go hand in hand. In fact, the very thing that inspired me to become a writer in the first place was my deep, unconditional love for books. There’s nothing that can compare to getting lost inside fantastical worlds and far off places. And you know what’s awesome as well? Getting to create your own worlds and getting to decide the destinies of your own characters (insert maniacal laughter MUAHAHA).

You know what drives me to write? Reading a good book. I’d imagine it being the same feeling aspiring actors get when watching a great movie or play and thinking, “I can do that, too! I want to do that, too.” It’s reading the wonderful work of an author and being driven to write your own wonderful piece of art.  And you know what? You should!

Reading allows you to study different forms of writing. It allows you to pick out different words you like as well as some you may not. Reading acts like a study guide for syntax and grammar with your only test being how well your own writing grows.

I can’t say it enough — Reading is effing amazing.

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It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Well, one of the most wonderful times of the year 🙂

I haven’t been too quiet in regards to my immense love of Autumn — more specifically, October. Believe it or not, I have been introduced as the “Creepy Friend” among  my circle of close girl friends. Honestly, I greatly agree.

I’ve been so entranced with all things horror and paranormal from such a young age that it is somewhat ridiculous! Whereas other little girls would draw princesses or fairies, I often found myself drawing vampires with bloody teeth, monsters and ghosts (yes, I was only 8 years old). My favorite books at the time were the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark novels (besides the Babysitters Club) and I was always one to plan for Halloween at the beginning of the New Year. In fact, I often found myself sneaking around at family parties so I could catch a glimpse of the Nightmare of Elm Street installment the big kids were watching. 

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You know what? None of that has changed! I still look forward to Autumn not only for the cool, crisp weather; not only for the Pumpkin Spice Lattes and uber cute boots, but also for all the awesome Paranormal shows, Ghost Tours (visit my old blog to read more! Part 1 and Part 2) and scary movies! Can I hear a, “SYFY”?!

Man, I love this time of year! 

On an added note, I can’t wait to reveal my Halloween costume! Muahaha! I’ve had it planned for a while 😉

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Series Finale

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Images Courtesy Wikipedia

It seems as if all my favorite shows are ending after this season. Both Breaking Bad and How I Met Your Mother are on their way to the final farewell. As an avid fan, where does this leave me? Better yet, what will the ending to these shows be? Will they make the last few years worth it? Will they leave me craving for more? Or will they leave me disappointed?

I am 75% through with, Silver, Book 3 of the Life Force Trilogy. Truthfully, I’ve been procrastinating on finishing the novel for a couple of months now. I’ve been sitting on it, shoving it away and focusing on other projects. Why? For a while I wanted a little break from Mattie’s world. Though I obviously love it, I felt I was too close to it and needed some time to clear my head to get a better grasp on how exactly I wanted to end my series. Just as I’m a bit apprehensive as to how my favorite shows will end, I am also apprehensive as to how I will end the series. Overall, I don’t want to leave my readers disappointed.

With every show you watch and every book you read, you devote yourself in some way or another. You begin to feel the story and you begin to relate to the characters. There’s nothing worse than the disappointment that your show or book did not have the ending you were looking for. You feel cheated and sometimes you even feel angered and depressed. I do not want to leave this sour taste in my readers’ mouths. I do not want them to walk away from the Life Force Trilogy feeling cheated and disappointed.

On top of this fear, I also am constantly bombarded with new ideas. Inspiration for other projects often come out of nowhere, further driving me away from doing what I should do – finish the trilogy. The excitement of penning a brand new story only further fuels my procrastination, which is so unlike a Type A personality like me. For example, just a night ago I dreamt up a premise for a new Dystopian novel. I am so excited about it and despite how busy I’ve been, I found the time to write the first chapter to the new book. However, as soon as I did so my mind wandered back to Silver. After all, Green began from a dream as well.

I will finish Silver soon. I owe it to my readers and I owe to myself. Moreover, I owe it to Mattie and Hunter. I want to tie their story up in a nice pink bow and know that I ended their story the best way I could. I will do it. I will do it sooner rather than later.

 

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Can’t Win Them All

In just 24 hours I received 2 reviews/ratings for my debut novel, Green (Book #1 Life Force Trilogy). To say they were on opposite ends of the spectrum is an understatement.

One of my ratings was very flattering:

“…Holy hell! Freaking loved it. My jaw hung open through the end. I was floored. Can’t wait to start Red…”

I went on to receive a 5-star rating from this reader.

Next, I received a 2-star review that was quite humbling. Honestly, it kind of kicked me off the euphoric high I received from that 5-star rating!

“This book was ok there were alot of type o’s tho.”

To say I was a bit disheartened is a bit of an understatement. I am the type to learn from my reviews, so I will go back and re-edit my manuscript before I finally get to release it for the Nook and iBooks (I am currently in the Amazon KDP Select program). Though it had already gone through multiple rounds of editing and beta-reading, we are all only human and so I don’t doubt that there may be a few typos in there somewhere. Regardless, it saddened me a bit that this reader didn’t fall in love with my story.

What now? When I came into this business I was a bit apprehensive. I wanted to share my stories with the world, but at the same time I was fear stricken with the idea of putting myself out in the public. As an introvert, I tend to shy away from being in the spotlight. Allowing my book to be available to the masses was both a dream come true and a bit of a nightmare. As my own worst critic, my self-doubts often tell me of things I can’t do, not things I can.

The night I published my book my husband told me that my life was about to change. He told me to be prepared for everything that may come my way, including the obstacles. My coworker and fellow writer also told me that reviews are quite bipolar. Every reader holds different opinions. What one reader (Reviewer #1) believes may not  be what another (Reviewer #2) does. I appreciate each review I receive and take all my feedback into consideration. For my first reviewer I’d like to say thanks for reminding me why I went into this business. Sharing my stories is all I wanted. It feels great to know that my story touched a reader as much as my favorite books have touched me. For my second reviewer I’d just like to say thank you for even giving my book a chance 🙂 I appreciate you taking the time to read it regardless of whether or not you liked it.

Thick skin is important in this business. It always amazes me how many of my favorite shows, movies and books are reviewed and rated so differently than what I believe.

You can’t win them all. This is a lesson I believe is important for everyone – not just authors – to remember.

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