Dark Mountain & Sweetwater

I thought I’d give a Book Update. It’s been a while since I let everyone know what’s been going on. So let’s talk about where I’m headed next year. 2020 has sucked for everyone so hopefully 2021 will be much better and definitely I have a bunch of exciting things coming up this next year.

I feel like I keep saying this. Probably because I do. Dark Mountain is coming out soon. I promise. Dark Mountain has suffered from a couple of problems – its readability and its author.

As far as readability goes, Dark Mountain followed Jane Eyre’s narrative structure a little too closely according to beta readers. We didn’t get to meet David soon enough, there was too much of Addie/Hana bonding at the beginning and overall was a chore to get through until we met David. I don’t want my book to be a chore to read.

Ultimately, it was decided the entire structure of the novel had to be changed. The story itself, most of the circumstances that took place in the original edits will still be there but shuffled around a bit to make the flow smoother and engage the romance faster.

I’m aiming for a new series of beta reads this spring and will hopefully have a need for an ARC team sometime at the end of the school year!

The other problem is me. Dark Mountain is my baby. It was my first NaNoWriMo win, and the story of Jane Eyre has always spoke to me on a level as a disabled woman because I know what it felt like for Jane to want something or someone so badly knowing the likelihood of getting it was probably nil. And that likelihood was because of a social construct that told her she couldn’t. It’s much like today’s social mores that seem to make the idea of a disabled person seeking love and sex almost taboo or at the very least repugnant, especially from someone able-bodied.

Then add in that I’m a notorious perfectionist when it comes to my writing with a strong self-doubt streak, and I’ve been pulling my hair out figuring out the best way to arrange Dark Mountain so that Hana’s choice between David and Matt will not be easy and there will be no right answers. No matter who she chooses, someone will get hurt and get hurt badly. And her choice will have to make sense, or at bare minimum somewhat justifiable even if maybe the reader may not agree with her choice. That’s a lot. And it’s complex and I’m pretty sure I’ll screw it up. But it’s a story that I’ve been dying to inflict on the world for over a year so it’s gonna happen.

Sweetwater‘s sojourn at Wattpad is coming to an end. This has been a long time in coming. I had to shift my priorities to two of my inspirational romances–got the first one published and sent off into the world, and the other is being released in February. I needed to get those done before I thought about releasing the Sweetwater saga as self-published novels on Amazon. Not to mention that Sweetwater never had the benefit of my editor looking at it so I figured that was a good start for that as well.

Ophelia is most likely going to get a pretty decent face-lift once my editor get ahold of her as well, and the updated version will be available on Amazon once Sweetwater is out and about.

Zoe too will be taken down so that I can complete her manuscript and release it sometime this summer. And I can hint that even Brody won’t be left out of the family saga either with a very sassy and head-strong companion coming up for him too. I can’t wait to introduce you to her.

I did want to thank everyone who had supported Sweetwater for the year and a half it’s been on Wattpad. It currently has over 20K reads and that is amazing! I’ve loved all your suggestions and encouragement because I love interacting with my readers.

Please make sure you read Sweetwater while you can. Once my editor has given me her final stamp of approval on it, it’s coming down. Until then, it’s staying up and free to read on Wattpad here:



Homesite of author Whitney Sivill. I’m a mother of three, a wife and a student. In between, I write clean romances, fantasy tales, and mid-grade & young adult fiction. I might throw in the occasional fanfiction, too.

Tell me what you think!