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Life in the editing swamp: Bound To Parish updates (with a special surprise at the end)

Hey y'all! It's been a while, hasn't it? I thought it might be a good idea to give everyone an update on how the book is coming along, and how life has been in general.

First off, some life updates. In December of last year, a friend of mine's sister was looking for a new home for her cat, and I'd been thinking about getting a cat for a while already, so on a whim I agreed to take her. A week later, Harley was here! She was thin, skittish, and not spayed, so I had some work cut out for me. After getting her shots squared away, her spay was scheduled for Jan. 4th.

If you tend to be an overthinker, worrier, or in general anxious about things, surgery recovery is TOUGH. That was one of the most stressful three weeks of my life. She refused to calm down and rest to recover, and I spent a solid 10 days worrying every second that something bad would happen. In a way, it was a good thing, because it took my mind off of the manuscript edit that started Jan. 8th, so I had no time to think about how much negative feedback I'd get from that. (I have an anxiety problem, if you can't tell.) Thankfully, by Jan. 15th when Harley's sutures came out and her post-op checkup was scheduled, she was healed well and nothing bad had happened! It's only been a few months, but she's grown to be such an amazing roommate and I love her dearly.

Here she is helping me with the edit:

With all of the surgery stress out of the way, Jan. 28th came and I got the edit back! Shellah at went above and beyond on what I had expected. I was supposed to have a 4 page editorial letter along with the in-line comments in the manuscript.

I ended up with a 20 page letter.

In a way, it worried me, but her feedback was beyond useful. I knew there were pacing problems in the story, and she gave me 2-3 small adjustments to make that would keep the book engaging from start to finish. She loved the story, the characters, and the world I'd built, but it needed a bit of tightening up, which she navigated perfectly. She also let me know that if I had any questions at all, to reach back out. She wants Bound To Parish to be the best it can be, and that's all I could ask for.

A few days before the edit came back, I started browsing book covers and trying to settle on an idea, and found Adrijus at who had such an amazing selection. I was worried about settling on a cover before I even have a final page count or manuscript, but he was willing to work with me on dates and timeframes as well, and while browsing the site, I found what I think is the perfect cover to the story. So I pulled the trigger on that as well.

Stick around to the end of the post for the first official reveal.

With the cover figured out, it was time to get to work on the final revisions, so I can get the page count solidified, the full cover finished, and the finishing touches sorted.

That's where we are now. Rewrites are going wonderfully! I've been so excited to tackle this draft now that I have a definitive plan of attack and the finish line is so close. In the two weeks I've had the edit back, I've churned through 20,000 words of rewrites. Not all of them are new words, previous scenes are being reused where they can be, but some things are brand new to the world and are sliding right into where they need to be. With the change in the story, the blurb has also had to change a bit, but those are quick tweaks.

I said March-April for release in the last post, and I've upped that to April-June to give myself ample time to get this draft out and polished and perfect for everyone. I'm so excited about this story, and I hope y'all are too. I mentioned also in the last post that the entire goal of this process is to make each book better than the last, and I can confidently say that I've done that with flying colors on this one.

I can't wait for you all to get ahold of it. With my plan of pre-orders and an official release date this time as well, the hype train will be winding up the closer we get to the finished product. Be on the lookout.

And now, for the lucky people that read through this entire thing, here's the (as of now) final blurb and official cover for Bound To Parish.

In the bayous of Pointe DeLeaux, Louisiana, the blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb.
For Alphonse Bordeaux, childhood meant navigating murky canals, frogging at midnight, and longing to escape the suffocating parish and make a name for himself. His mother’s store was a cornerstone of the town, but he wanted more than a quiet, country life.
Now a state detective, Alphonse is thrust back into the heart of the Pointe when his mother passes away. Soon after, he stumbles into a missing persons case that has been haunting the town. As a monster prowls the swamps, fueled by the chilling conviction that he’s destined to create the perfect family promised by God, Alphonse races against time to hunt down this hidden predator.
In a town with a bleak future, Al must confront the shadows of Pointe DeLeaux. With memories dredged up from the muddy waters of his past, and a case that’s stagnating at every turn, can he catch the elusive killer before another victim surfaces, or will he be pulled under as well?

Keep an eye out for more updates as I have them! Until then, I guess I'll get back to work.


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