May 2022 Roundup

Welcome to the May 2022 roundup!

Finally, a monthly update where I can say I finished my edits of Blackbirch 3, draft 10! The MS I’d been working on for 6 months is in the hands of new beta readers and getting closer to the end of the editing process so it can move to the publishing process. One beta has gotten back to me with their feedback already, and while there are some minor tweaks to make, it certainly won’t be anything that’ll take me another 6 months.

While I wait for more feedback, I’ve been working on Blackbirch 4. I have a 5-year-old draft of the MS that’s in need of a total writing style update (thankfully, my writing has improved since 2017 😅) and some changes to the storyline to bring it in line with the three books that precede it, but it looks like the series I first started working on way back in 2001, is heading into the home stretch of being completed.

This is what else I’ve been up to this month!

What I’ve Been…


Blackbirch 4 and Blogs – As well as working on an updated plot/plan/outline for Blackbirch 4 and making a start on the first 2 chapters, I’ve been trying to get ahead with blog posts, which is what I like to work on when I’m in between writing projects.


Dr. Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness – While I wasn’t a huge fan of the first Dr. Strange movie, I did like his character in Spiderman: No Way Home, so I was looking forward to seeing this latest Marvel movie, and it didn’t disappoint. Taking on a much darker tone for this second installment, Dr. Strange needs to help America Chavez, a young girl capable of jumping between multiverses who is being hunted for her power. The person hunting her is a great twist, and as usual, there are plenty of Marvel characters and actor cameos here, which I won’t spoil. The special effects and acting are top-notch, and as always, be sure to stay for the post-credit scenes.

Stranger Things (Season 4) – While this season has been split into two parts, with the second volume not dropping until July (boo), the seven episodes released so far have been a welcome return to the horror and spookiness that shaped the first season. While the core characters are all split into teams working on different missions in Hawkins, California, and Russia, they are all hurtling toward the same goal, which is to stop the evil that created the Upside Down. The final two episodes of Volume 1 have some of the best backstory and history twisting reveals that I’ve seen in a show in a long time, and is just genius writing.


The Old Friend: A Collection of Tales and Poems by Chantelle Atkins – An eclectic mix of stories, many leaning toward a darker tone, and most having an ending that hits in just the right way on the last line or closing paragraph to bring the tale to a close that’s either satisfying or will make you think long after you’ve finished the book. It’s the mark of well-thought-out works from a writer who knows what they’re doing when it comes to crafting short stories. Standouts for me were Leaf, Child’s Eye, The Puddle, 7 Minutes, Moonlit Shadow, and the poems 2020 and We Write.

Hangman’s Revenge (Fortune’s Well Book 1) by Chantelle Atkins and Sim Alec Sansford – Thank you to the authors for providing an ARC of this book for me to read and review. You can find out more about Chantelle and Sim at the following links: and

This was such a good read and a promising start to what I think will be a compelling magical realism YA series. Shifting between the POV of JJ, who lives with his uncle after his mother murdered his father, and Darcie a rich girl hiding a battle with bulimia, Hangman’s Revenge holds your attention from the first page.

After suffering regular beatings on his way home from school, JJ begins to manifest a dark mist that allows him to strike back for the first time in his life. Dismissing it as his imagination, one night he uses the mist to stop Darcie from being attacked and realizes she can somehow see it too. Teaming up to find out what it is, the teens form an unlikely bond as they delve into their family’s pasts and the dark history of Fortune’s Well.

While the main story resolves, there are plenty of clues for future books, lots of interesting questions raised, and a great budding romance between JJ and Darcie that I can’t wait to see play out in the other books. Highly recommended for fans of series about magic and curses that are rooted in the real world.


In the town of Fortune’s Well a dangerous storm is brewing, and two unsuspecting teenagers are standing right at the heart of it.

For JJ Carson, life has not been easy. His father is dead, his mother arrested for the murder, and he has been forced to live on the farm with his alcoholic uncle, Henry.

Just when things could not get any worse, JJ discovers his living situation is not the only thing that makes him different from the other kids. A dark, swirling mist has made itself at home inside him and it is slowly changing him from the inside out.

Enter Darcie Duffield. Beautiful, popular, and incredibly misunderstood.
Darcie is sick of the status quo and wants to make a difference. After a chance meeting with a strange boy at the river she becomes tangled in a web of lies and deceit stretching back generations, as she tries to help save him from the darkness lurking within.

Why is this happening?
Where has it come from?
And why is Darcie the only one who can see it?

If you’ve got any good book recommendations, let me know in the comments, or be my friend on Goodreads and share your books/recommendations with me!

If you’d like to add the Blackbirch books to your “Want to Read” shelf and/or check out the reviews, click the following images!

Taking Photos Of

Autumn! It’s Autumn/Fall here in the southern hemisphere, although it feels more like winter, which has given me some beautiful photos on my now very cold morning walks.

On The Blog…

In case you missed any of my posts, or want to read them again, here are the latest blogs.

Writing Tip Of The Month…

#WritingTipWednesday posts are added to my social media feeds every week and here is the most popular tip for this month. It’s taken from my blog post, How To Tell If You’ve Nailed Your Book Ending.

For more tips, visit my Writing Tips Pinterest Board.

Blackbirch Teaser Of The Month…

This teaser comes courtesy of Blackbirch: The Dark Half and was the most popular teaser posted this month on my social media feeds.

If you’d like to read the books released so far or find out more about each novel, here are the links:

If you’ve read either of my books—and haven’t done so already—please consider leaving a review or a star rating. It really helps indie authors get their books noticed, and also helps fellow readers find books they’ll like.

Quote Of The Month…

I’ve hoped you’ve enjoyed my May Roundup. Let me know what you’ve been up to in the comments!

— K.M. Allan

Find me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

17 thoughts on “May 2022 Roundup

  1. So glad to hear you’re close to publishing book three! I can almost hear your sigh of relief across the pond. I LOVE that leaf photo, too. There’s a story prompt lurking in there somewhere.
    I’m still finishing up my current MS, though I had hoped to be done with it already. This last year has been challenging in more ways than one, but I feel as though I’ve got some momentum now. Don’t know about you, but sales have slowed considerably since the end of March, and I find it worrisome. It would help I could actually release something new! Take care, Kate.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, definitely a sigh of relief! It feels like I’ve been working on it for so long. Thank you! I used to post writing prompts with my photos but I haven’t in a long time. My last release was almost a year ago now so I’m more than ready to get something new out. I’d hoped to have books 3 and 4 out last year, but life had other plans. Sounds like you know what I mean in regards to that. Sales have been slow for me too. Best of luck with your current MS, I hope the momentum keeps flowing for you. Have a great day, Alexander!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations to finishing another draft. I’ve just began checking my book three for changes that need to be made in regards to changes done in books one and two, so I know this part of the process may be tricky, more so when you know the story in multiple versions and need to keep only the current one in mind…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Tom! I had this problem with my book 3 too. It’s so hard to keep the story details straight when you’ve drafted so many different versions. I found beta readers really helped point out anything inconsistent. Wishing you the best of luck with your edits 😊.


    1. I’m beginning to think any more drafts than 3 or 4 is strange 🤣. Not sure how I arrived at 10, but that’s what my file was called. Keep in mind, this was 10 drafts over 6 years.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. The Beginning is 63,035, The Dark Half is 73,579, the third is 73,802 (but that’s not final yet, although it won’t change too much with the tweaks I have planned), and for the fourth I’m aiming for 75,000 (currently at approximately 68,000).

      Liked by 1 person

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