Thursday, 18 September 2014

THE GRAVEYARD BOOK Graphic Novel, Volume 2 by Neil Gaiman, P. Craig Russell & More

The Graveyard Book Graphic Novel, Part 2
An irresistibly brilliant graphic novel adaptation of The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, adapted by award-winning illustrator P. Craig Russell. This is the second of two volumes.
Nobody Owens, known as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn't live in a graveyard, being raised by ghosts, with a guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor the dead. There are dangers and adventures for Bod in the graveyard. But it's in the land of the living that the real danger lurks, for it is there that the man Jack lives, and he has already killed Bod's family.

After checking out The Graveyard Book Graphic Novel, Volume 1 last month, I was happy to receive the second and last instalment in the graphic novel adaptation of Neil Gaiman's, The Graveyard Book.

I once again flicked through the lovely artwork before settling down to read it because it's such a nice book. :) This volume starts at chapter six and takes us to The End.

Nobody Owens is a normal boy, but there's nothing normal about his life. After his family was killed when he was a baby, he ended up in the graveyard. Taken in, raised and educated by the ghosts living there, he's enjoyed many adventures. But he's all grown up now, and his curiosity about the world beyond the gates could tempt the past to catch up with him.
The graveyard has kept him safe, and the guardian hidden from the danger lurking outside, but it's only a matter of time before Jack returns to finish what he started years ago... 
This book--like the one before it--captures the original story very well. Showcasing Bod's tale through a visual medium that definitely works. Each chapter was illustrated by a different artist, and each gives their own spin on the story while still staying faithful to the original book.

The Graveyard Book Graphic Novel, Volume 2  is a lovely, visual representation of Neil Gaiman's book and just like the first one, it enhances the original story.

I highly recommend it for anyone who loved the story and wants to revisit this captivating tale.

The Graveyard Book Graphic Novel, Volume 2, October 2014, ISBN  9781408859001, Bloomsbury Childrens

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Adding words

Remember a few weeks ago when I mentioned I was brainstorming two Sierra Fox spin-off stories? Well, that's what I've been doing since the beginning of this month.
September is the month I complete another first draft! *fingers crossed*
Every minute I have during the day, Monday-Friday, is spent on my laptop adding new words. So far I've been going for two weeks and the word count is 41,323. That means I'm halfway there. It's always hard to predict because the first draft can come in just below or just above, but I'm aiming for 80k. 
That means adding about 4k, 5 days a week. It's almost like doing my own personal NaNoWriMo a few months before the rest of the world. :P
Okay, so what story am I working on? This was the description I posted a few weeks ago...
Lavie's book is going to be a road trip story: kick-ass demon hunter with a bunch of issues, hunky demon with mischief on his mind, a gorgeous red and black VW Kombi, and a whole LOT of demonic trouble.
Yep. I'm writing Lavie's book. This will end up being a stand-alone book. It's a story that's been bubbling up inside my head for a long time. I knew it was going to be written back when I was halfway through writing Sierra's series. LOL. Sometimes characters are like that. If they scream loud enough, you just gotta write their story.
So far, so good. It's turning out to be a blast. Being on the road with Lavie and Saul is revealing a lot of things I wasn't expecting. It's also a lot of fun to write a book from the 1st-person POV of someone who isn't Sierra. I've spent a lot of time in her head. She has made an appearance a few times, so it's interesting to see Sierra through someone else's eyes.
Oh, and as it turns out... Sierra's family wasn't the only one keeping secrets. ;)
Asides from writing the first draft, I've been squeezing in some reading on the side. Of course, writing is the priority, so the reading might drop off for a few weeks. But that's okay.
Last week was a little wonky and I have to admit that I had a hard time meeting my daily writing goal, but I pushed through. I just wasn't feeling well for a few days. Nothing a nap, slowing down, and spending time with Loki couldn't fix.
Well, that's it for now. I'm taking the weekend off from adding new words, but I've always got the story ticking over in the back of my mind.
Have a good one!

HEIR TO THE EMPIRE by Timothy Zahn

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My husband read this trilogy years ago and kept saying: "You have to read it, you're going to love it". So, when he challenged me to read The Thrawn Trilogy sometime during this year, I accepted.

As soon as I picked it up, I was intrigued. Not only did it feel exactly the same as the original Star Wars movies, but it also blended new characters, planets, and situations seamlessly. I was totally hooked! It was like catching up with old friends. ;)

Five years after the Rebels defeated the Empire, Han Solo and Leia Organa Solo are married and expecting twins. Luke Skywalker is a Jedi, and trying to teach his sister the way of the Force. But he's plagued with doubts and goes looking for answers in Dagobah, where he finds more than he expected. The New Republic is a little shaky, and tensions are running high as they try to expand to other places. And in the shadows of all this, a new Admiral is rebuilding the Empire.

General Admiral Thrawn is nothing like the Emperor, and his ambitions won't push him to make any rushed or rash decisions. He's tactical and has a plan. One that involves finding a Dark Jedi no one seems to know about.

Now, Luke and Leia are being hunted and while trying to outrun the aliens trying to capture them fall into other traps.

I absolutely LOVED this book. It was fantastic! Like the movies, there are separate adventures going on at the same time. Sometimes they meet up, sometimes they don't, but everything is leading towards something REALLY BIG. Like I mentioned above, I think that Timothy Zahn does a great job at capturing the general Star Wars tone and totally nails the characterisation. Everyone sounds, feels and acts as they should. While the new characters--Thrawn, Mara, Karrde--all add a new angle to this well-known, and much-loved universe.

I also got a kick out of reading some of the most-quoted lines taken straight from the movies.

There were a lot of exotic locations, but my favourite was Kashyyyk. I loved the lush descriptions of where the Wookiees live. Sounds dangerous, but also beautiful.

Can't wait to see what happens next...

Friday, 5 September 2014

To celebrate the release of RECAST, Volume 1...

I visited a few places:

SF Signal
Enjoyed a fun interview!
I took part in their Fast Five.
Where I chat a little about Guardians of the Galaxy and SFR.
I stopped by for a very cool interview.
Where I share my adventure in getting the Recast series published.
Also, if you buy the book from Samhain Publishing, you can get 50% off!
I'm very excited about this print volume.
And look how beautiful it looks:

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

RECAST, Volume 1 is now available!

 When betrayal, revenge, secrets and lust collide, there can only be chaos. 

Recast, Book 1

Wrangling is in Colt’s blood, but the woman he loved wasn’t easily tied down. Now a mysterious client has him wrangling someone who may not be human. Colt doesn’t care as long as he gets paid.

Colt could solve or multiply Brynn’s problems. She doesn’t expect him to understand why she left, but she needs his help. Colt looks as good as she remembers, and even after years, their mutual lust is alive.

Desire strips away secrets. A secret that could be their death sentence…
Recast, Book 2

Half-Recast Ace Abu is determined to get to Fray and destroy the Clash Arena.
When he finds a barstool in Grit, he’s ready for a few beers, but the sexy singer on stage only makes him burn hotter.

Ely’Shea longs for freedom. When the boss is away she indulges her passions. That night she catches a glimpse of an alluring cowboy.

Unable to resist temptation, they’re consumed by passion…but once the fuses are set, their deepest secrets could blow any chance of forever to hell.

Warning: Contains shapeshifters, space cowboys, female sheriffs, singers, double lives, and so many secrets it can only end in total madness.
Now available from:
I'm so excited to have the first two books in my SFR series available in print!
Look how pretty they are:

That's Colt on the cover, as well as Ace in the background. ;)

Tuesday, 2 September 2014


Last year, I took part in featuring an exclusive short story to celebrate the release of Crown of Midnight. I posted Part 7, but didn't actually read the story until today. And while I was at it, I squeezed in another story too.
I really enjoyed this short story about Celaena and Nehemia going out for the day and pretending that they're just two girls spending a day in the city. But a visit to one of Celaena's favourite stores, in search of dresses and accessories, quickly reminds them that they can never leave behind who they are.
It was nice to see Celaena being in a comfortable friendship with a girl, and it be truly mutual. No secrets, lies, or planned betrayals to get in the way.
This was a really short story, felt more like a deleted scene really. But I still enjoyed the interaction between Celaena and Chaol. They make a great couple, and since this takes place before everything crumbles around them, it was a nice change of pace.

Both of these were fun, easy reads. Especially since I've been catching up on all The Throne of Glass stories. As of now, I'm up to date. :)

Monday, 1 September 2014


The Assassin's Blade
Celaena Sardothien is Adarlan’s most feared assassin. As part of the Assassins' Guild, her allegiance is to her master, Arobynn Hamel, yet Celaena listens to no one and trusts only her fellow killer-for-hire, Sam.

In these action-packed prequel novellas – together in one edition for the first time – Celaena embarks on five daring missions. They take her from remote islands to hostile deserts, where she fights to liberate slaves and seeks to avenge the tyrannous. But she is acting against Arobynn’s orders and could suffer an unimaginable punishment for such treachery . . .

Explore the dark underworld of this kick-ass heroine and find out how the legend begins in the five page-turning prequel novellas to the New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series. 

After absolutely loving Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight and Heir of Fire, I was finally ready to embark on the adventure of reading The Throne of Glass prequel novellas. But firstly, I need to mention how much I love the cover for this anthology. It's gorgeous!

This takes us back to a time when Celaena Sardothien worked for Arobynn Hamel, King of the Assassins. It's also a time when Sam Cortland was still alive, so I was looking forward to meeting him. I was surprised to find out that at first they can barely stand each other because they're always competing.

After a fellow assassin is captured and another is killed, Celaena and Sam  are sent to meet with a Pirate Lord at Skull's Bay. She spends most of her time hiding behind a mask and arguing with Sam. Until they find out their boss is going into the slave trading business. That's when Celaena and Sam use their smarts and extensive training to risk their lives and save innocent slaves...

This was an awesome origin story. It's filled with action, witty dialogue, insane plans, horrible pirates, a remote island, and adventure. It was great to see Celaena as a spoiled, arrogant teen before the devastation that awaits her.

This act of disobedience also happens to be when everything changes and sets her on the path to Endovier.

After Celaena and Sam ruined Arobynn Hamel's slave trading plans, the ruthless King of the Assassins punishes her by beating her and then sending the young assassin  on a mission to the Deserted Land. On her way, she stops in a small and filthy port town called Innish. While she waits for her ship to come in, she spends most of her days in a local inn drinking. She also looks for trouble, but mostly makes her presence known by hiding her bruised face under a cowl and drinking the day away.

A barmaid watches the visitor, and as she wonders about the mysterious woman who sits at the back and throws coins around, she ponders her own worthless existence. Yrene Towers comes from a long line of healers and intended to attend the Torre Cesme academy to further her training, but after running out of money she ended up here. No matter how hard she works, she can't seem to save enough money to leave this horrid place. Crossing paths with the mysterious visitor might just change her life...

I loved this story. It was short, but full of heart and action. Celaena's an ominous presence, but her power is felt deeply. Yrene was also a very interesting character, so I liked reading her POV. I also enjoyed seeing Celaena's harsh exterior crack enough to teach a young girl in desperate need of a helping hand how to protect herself, and not give up on her dreams.


It's taken Celaena weeks of being guided over the harsh and unforgiving conditions of the Red Desert to reach the Silent Assassin's fortress. Not to mention she spent a horrid birthday without much celebration, enduring endless heat and sand. She's been sent by Arobynn as punishment for ruining his slave trading plans by releasing them instead. She has to spend one full month training with the Mute Master and then get a letter of approval at the completion.

While she's there, she finds a league of assassins that live in silent harmony, and don't have to put up with a cruel master. She even meets and befriends a female assassin. Ansel is smart, tough, and Celaena enjoys spending time with her. But everything isn't as it seems because there's danger lurking from the nearby town of Xandria, or maybe it's from the inside of the fortress....

OMG. This was another amazing story! I enjoyed spending time with the Silent Assassins, while watching as Celaena realises that her master isn't the norm. Even assassins deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. Seeing her forge a new friendship while learning about the Flatlands and the Witch Kingdom was also interesting.

Oh, and it was also sweet how she kept thinking about Sam. :)


After months of being away, Celaena has returned home to the Assassins' Keep. As soon as she arrives, she goes straight to Arobynn Hamel's study with the intention of letting him know she's going to buy her own freedom and intends to move out. But she's surprised to find him apologetic about his actions. He seems to be sorry about sending her away and begins to shower her with gifts. He's even got a new assignment for her. Something that'll make her a lot of money, as well as aid her plight to free slaves.

So she decides to put off her intentions for a while, but refuses to forget what Arobynn did to her.

Celaena finds herself eager to see Sam again, to see what happened to him after she left but when she finds him with a girl she despises, all of her eagerness fades. Still, she accepts his help in her assignment and as much as she wants it to feel like old times, when they got on each other's nerves and were one step away from killing each other... her feelings towards Sam are shifting. But it's easier to concentrate on her job. Except, things aren't as they seem and what Celaena's doing might have the reverse effect.

These novellas just keep getting better and better. It was good to see Celaena back in Rifthold, and read about how she interacts with Arobynn and Sam. There were some very tender moments in this instalment, a lot of kick-butt action, and even a good--or is that bad?--dose of betrayal. I really, really dislike the so-called 'King of the Assassins'. Since I know how it all turned out between them, I can already sense the vengeance he's plotting against her.

I'm loving this book. And I only have one more story to go. :(


Well, I just finished reading the last prequel novella. :( Although I already knew where Celaena's story would end up, the events leading to how she got there still twisted my stomach into knots and broke my heart.

Now that their debts to Arobynn Hamel have been paid in full, Celaena and Sam are living away from the Assassins' Keep. They're enjoying each other, and like the fact they're away from Arobynn even more. But money is running out, and they can't seem to score any jobs. So, even though she hates it, Sam has been fighting in the Vaults.

When they decide to sever complete ties with the King of the Assassins by paying their way out of the Assassins' Guild, Sam finds them one last job so they can get their payment and leave this city. But their last mission in Rifthold seems like an almost impossible assignment that wreaks of betrayal and shatters their lives forever.

Wow. This was such an intense story. No matter what was going on, I was on the edge if my seat. Knowing what happens to Sam, where Celaena ends up, and who betrays her actually made the heartbreak SO much worse.

This is one powerful and moving story that breaks the reader as much as poor Celaena.

The Assassin's Blade is a fantastic addition to the Throne of Glass series. Reading Celaena Sardothien's journey as an obedient assassin who is eventually punished for refusing to be a willing participant in the evil slave trade was quite a heart-wrenching experience. But you know what? I enjoyed every thrilling, breathtaking moment.

I also can't wait until she makes the King of the Assassins and the King of Adarlan pay for not only breaking her, but destroying her life.

Absolutely loved this book!

      Media of Throne of Glass   Media of Crown of Midnight  Media of Heir of Fire
The Assassin and the Pirate Lord  The Assassin and the Desert  The Assassin and the Underworld  The Assassin and the Empire

The Assassin's Blade, March 2014, ISBN 9781408851982, Bloomsbury Childrens

APPLE AND RAIN by Sarah Crossan

Apple and Rain
When Apple’s mother returns after eleven years of absence, Apple feels whole again. She will have an answer to her burning question – why did you go? And she will have someone who understands what it means to be a teenager – unlike Nana. But just like the stormy Christmas Eve when she left, her mother’s homecoming is bitter sweet, and Apple wonders who is really looking after whom. It’s only when Apple meets someone more lost than she is, that she begins to see things as they really are.
I grabbed this book with the intention of reading the first chapter to see what it was like, and ended up reading the whole thing in one day. Yep. It totally hooked me as soon as I started.
Apollinia Apostolopoulou, or Apple as everyone calls her, doesn't like Christmas. It always reminds her of the Christmas Eve when her mother left and never came back. Although she hates the season, she foolishly hopes that her mother will one day return during Christmastime. Of course, it never happens so she goes through the motions with her Nana and father every year. Even if she hates her stepmother.
Apple leads a sheltered life. Her grandmother doesn't let her go anywhere on her own, and even picks her up from school even though she's in Year 8. So when her mother actually appears out of nowhere one day, telling Apple that she's come back to England for good, she can't believe it. She wants to spend as much time as she can with Mum, even if Nana is sceptical about her daughter's return.
When things start falling apart--Nana doesn't approve of Mum trying to take Apple away, and her best friend leaves her behind for someone else--Apple decides she wants to live with her Mum.
However, as soon as she moves in she discovers a house almost devoid of furniture and a room with bunk beds. One of those beds happens to be for a 10-year-old girl. Rain is Apple's half-sister and she's a little weird. For starters, she still carries around a doll she's convinced is a real baby. This habit means she gets into fights at school. What's worse is that Mum actually encourages Rain's fiction, hoping the phase will pass by keeping her at home from school. 
At first, Apple doesn't mind the imperfect conditions of living with her mother and sister, because all she cares about is her biggest wish coming true. She's always longed to have her mother back and now that she is, nothing is going to spoil her return. Even though Mum keeps having parties, and then starts taking off for auditions and meetings, leaving Apple to look after Rain. But she doesn't mind, and looks after her sister. Even when it means she too starts skipping school.
But when disaster strikes, Apple realises she's just a glorified babysitter/cook/cleaner for a woman who clearly has no real sense of responsibility.
I loved this sad, yet hopeful story about a young girl who is so excited to have her estranged mother back that she's willing to do whatever it takes to keep her happy. Even turning her back on the woman who practically raised her. It's heartbreaking to watch Apple's unconditional love towards the woman who abandoned her, and even now has come back because she has ulterior motives. It's not that her mother is evil, just that her priorities are askew and her whole life driven by her desire to be an actress.
Apple goes from a life of being constantly monitored by her grandmother, to becoming the adult of the house and all the responsibilities that entails. While she loses an important friendship, she gains two much more important ones: Rain and Del. Her younger sister has issues and is in desperate need of proper care and attention, and they soon become close. And the quirky new boy in school turns out to be a lot more than just comic relief.
Apple and Rain is a wonderful, heartbreaking coming-of-age story about unconditional love and the strength of a young girl willing to do whatever it takes to keep her family together. But it's not all sadness and heart-wrenching pain, there are also moments of pure delight and happiness.
I really enjoyed this book! 
 Apple and Rain, September 2014, ISBN  9781408857717, Bloomsbury Childrens

Friday, 29 August 2014


It's been a while.
But I made it back.
Like last time, I have no excuses for not posting an update. But hey, I did post other things. Like, my interview at SF Signal, which was very exciting.
I've also been busy updating online stuff, writing guest blog posts for one book, organising promo spots for another, brainstorming two Sierra Fox spin-off novels, and reading.
Yes! I'm finally all caught up with my review books, so this week I've been grabbing books that I've been meaning to read for ages from my bookshelf and Paperwhite. It's been a lot of fun. Although it hasn't put much of a dent in my TBR pile, I'm no longer behind on my 2014 Goodreads Reading Challenge. :)
The weather here in Sydney has been terrible. We've had rain almost every single day for about two weeks now. The worst part is that the days are mixed. It rains, then it's sunny, then a downpour hits, then the sun comes out again, only to end up in rain again. Grrr. It's really annoying when you're trying to go out for walks, or trying to catch up with the washing. I hope that Mother Nature is throwing some last-minute shitty weather our way because spring is just around the corner.
I'm totally ready to leave winter behind and settle in for some nice spring weather. Bring it on!
I mentioned that I spent some time brainstorming two spin-off novels set in Sierra's UF world during the last few weeks, and I'm pretty much ready to get started on the first one. I plan to write a Lavie Grye spin-off that takes place a few months after A STITCH ON TIME, and a Willow Moss spin-off that takes place several years later. Willow's book is not going to be YA, it's another adult book. Lavie's book is going to be a road trip story: kick-ass demon hunter with a bunch of issues, hunky demon with mischief on his mind, a gorgeous red and black VW Kombi, and a whole LOT of demonic trouble. I can't wait to get started!
I'm very excited about both of them because the ideas are coming pretty fast. That's why I've been taking notes and even researching a bunch of stuff in preparation. I think Lavie's story is SO ready to be told that I'm going to start on Monday.
Well, that's it for now. Just thought I'd pop in and say Hi!
Have a great weekend.


My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was lucky enough to win this book on Twitter a while ago, and although I couldn't wait to read it as soon as I received it, life got in the way. And then every time I organised my bookshelves, I'd spot it and say to myself, I really have to read this.

Last night I finally picked it up and got started.

Wow. I was hooked instantly. Before I realised it I'd read the first 75 pages and then went back for more before going to bed. It's intriguing, addictive, one of those books that grabs your attention from the first line and doesn't let you go until you get to the end.

Well, that's exactly what happened to me because first thing this morning I picked it up again and decided I wasn't going to stop until I got to the end. By lunchtime, I was done. Once again, wow.

They say Emily Koll is evil. While awaiting trial at Archway Young Offenders Institution, she decides to start telling her story. I really don't want to go into any of it here because I think that even a small glimpse into what she writes about would be a spoiler. I went in knowing nothing about what happened in her life to get her imprisoned in this place, and I think it was the best way to approach this story. Go in knowing nothing but the fact that Emily is all sorts of messed up because of something that happened in her life. Okay, it's actually a series of things that tip her over the edge.

This story is addictive, well written, interesting, and a total page-turner. It's a story of loss, anger, betrayal, revenge, and just how far one girl is willing to go to hurt someone. But sometimes, if you go out of your way to hurt someone, it might be you who really gets hurt.

I loved this book, and the cover's awesome too. It's amazing, heartbreaking and sad. But it's also one person's way of confessing all of her sins through the power of words. Like I said, loved it.

Thank you for sending me a signed copy, Tanya! Now that I've read it, it's going on my special autographed-books shelf. :)

Now I'm going to have to buy her next book...

Thursday, 28 August 2014

SAY HER NAME by James Dawson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a book I've had on my Kindle for several months and couldn't wait to get stuck into. I find the Bloody Mary urban legend fascinating, so I was looking forward to reading another spin on it. Not to mention that the cover is all kinds of awesome. :)

As soon as I started, I was hooked. The first chapter in this book is set in the past and is amazing. It's spooky and the suspense is so thick that when it ends, it leaves you breathless.

After that, we're taken to present day, to Piper's Hall School for Young Ladies. A boarding school situated on top of a cliff-face. Yeah, the perfect setting for this story. Here we meet a bunch of girls from the school who have snuck out and are hanging around some local boys. Since it's Halloween, one of them tells them the story of Bloody Mary and because they're kids, three of them actually stand in front of a mirror and say her name five times.

The next day, Bobbie finds a message on the mirror. It says: FIVE DAYS. Now Bobbie, Naya (her bestie), and Caine (the hottie she has her eye on) start seeing Mary in the mirror. They're also having strange dreams about her, and the three know that as soon as the five days are up, Mary's coming for them.

OMG. This was SO darn good. I love a good horror story, and this one definitely delivered. It's set in the perfect location and is a creepy, spooky, chilling, intriguing mystery with a twist ending. The characters were interesting too. I really liked Bobbie and Caine's detective work. Also enjoyed that they found each other during such hard times.

And Mary, yikes. Her story was excellent. I loved how everything was slowly uncovered and how even when her story seemed to be told, it was far from over.

I only had one pet peeve, and that was the overuse of exclamation points. I know it was mostly the teenagers using them because they're either always excited, or distraught, or both... but it still kinda pulled me out of the story. But definitely not enough to lose me.

I loved this book. What a fantastic ending!

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

ETCHED IN SILVER by Yasmine Galenorn

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I've been in an UF prequel-kinda mood lately, so I decided to read this novella next. It's set in the Otherworld series world. It's about the D’Artigo sisters, before they came to Earthside.

Camille is a witch, and like her sisters, she works for the Y’Elestrial Intelligence Agency. Her latest case has her on the hunt for a sadistic killer. But it looks like her boss might be working against her because he's got his own agenda. That's when a seductive Svartan enters her life, and might end up being the one who helps her close the case...

This is the story of how Camille and Trillian met. About how instant their attraction was, and what their passionate connection led to.

I enjoyed this glimpse into the lives of the D’Artigo sisters before the first book. I also liked the hints of things to come that were sprinkled throughout the story.

I've fallen behind on this series--I'm up to Book 7--but look forward to getting back into it.

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