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My year in books

Updated: Jan 14

Hi again, and Happy New Year!

It's become a trend for book reviewers to post short recaps of the books they've read/reviewed in a the course of a month or year. I didn't read enough books last year to be perfectly honest, but I did publish quite a few, and I need to celebrate that. It's a little too easy for me to finish a project and move onto the next one. I'm always excited for the next adventure and there's nothing wrong with that, but I want to be better at slowing down and truly celebrating my victories. I think it's good for the soul. So here we go! This was my 2023 in books:

fantasy romance by Becca Fox

In February, I published the third novella in my Chosen by the Masters series. This was a story with some firsts for me! I decided to play with the "love at first sight" trope, something I'd never done before. I also chose to model the female protagonist (Irma) after my husband, make her the emotional rock of the relationship, while the male protagonist (Phillip) was the indecisive, obsessive, and insecure one of the duo. I'm sure it's been done before but that was another first for me. I have to admit, it was a challenge for me to write but I was very pleased with the development of the character. By the end, he gained a confidence that was lacking before. I also loved being able to insert more details about Asta, the main character of the first book in this series. Since Asta and Irma are friends, it was impossible to talk about Irma's past without disclosing some details of Asta's past.

In April, I republished my young adult romance. I didn't make any major changes (except for updating the cover because I no longer had the rights to the old one) because the book has been so positively received by high school students and parents alike just the way it is. This book was the first work of contemporary fiction that I attempted, inspired by the movies "She's All That" and "10 Things I Hate About You." Sarah Dessen's work also influenced me a lot. The main characters Brian and Iris have issues and they clash when they first meet, but they grow stronger together in the end. This book is available in many libraries thanks to the ebook lending services Hoopla and OverDrive, but I've received a lot of feedback from one high school library in Oregon in particular. One of my friends (who has helped edit several of my books) is the librarian there and she was gracious enough to add this book, as well as the sequel, to her shelves. Every once in a while, she sends me a report about a happy teenager who has read The Dare Duo! Makes my day every time!

young adult romance with fantasy elements by Becca Fox

In July, I published the last novella in the Chosen by the Masters series. I was inspired by the culture of Mexico. Not many people know this but my father is Hispanic, and most of his family is from Mexico. I knew I wanted to incorporate song and agriculture into this story, as well as magical hair. Bits of "Rapunzel" and "You've Got Mail" somehow ended up blending together to complete this story about a young priestess doing her absolute best to protect her people despite her own fear. I had so much fun writing the romance of this one too. The male protagonist adds some much-needed light heartedness to this story, which does have some difficult content. Since this story takes place in a conquered province, the people are downtrodden and abused, which makes Aurora's triumph all the more satisfying.

space  opera with romance and fantastical elements by Becca Fox

In November, I published the last book in The Andromeda Chronicles. It was an emotional time for me, since it marked the end of a journey I began back in 2020. This book was as much the end of Queen Miyako's story as it was Taren's. It didn't start off that way but the more I wrote, the more I realized that she needed closure too. What began as a story about a runaway guard and the ragtag family he built for himself in the wake of a tragedy, turned into a pretty epic three part space opera. I loved fleshing out Jael and Ezabrae's characters. Who would've thought these ladies, who were so different and yet so similar, would play such important roles in Taren's life? Certainly not me. The children Taren ended up adopting and the different relationships he built with each one were so sweet. I'm not done writing stories in this universe, but I'm taking a break to finish the Chosen by the Masters series.

2023 was a busy year for me. I'm so proud of the work I've completed so far. Each story had many strong points and tender moments and moments of laughter. They helped me get through some of the tough times this year, some of my moments of self-doubt and discouragement. I'm not done writing. I have plans to publish many more stories but I don't have definite release dates yet, other than the one I'm about to share with you now. ;)

epic fantasy adventure with romance and intrigue by Becca Fox

The first book in the Chosen by the Masters series is going to be re-published on January 9th. This was my first attempt at writing epic fantasy so it will always have a special place in my heart. Asta is strong and flawed, determined but kind. She inspires loyalty easily and works hard to achieve her goals. The sinister general, who caused so much trouble and hurt in the novellas, finally gets what he deserves in this book. But the story doesn't end there. The world still needs to be made right and long standing issues will be addressed in the sequel, which I'm still working on, titled Asta Among the Chosen. All the characters from the novellas will join Asta and her friends for one more grand adventure. So much of my time has been consumed with this series lately. It will be another emotional end, but another victory to celebrate in the new year--I'm sure of it!

Stay tuned for more details! As always, thanks for reading. :)

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