Wednesday, 28 June 2017


Bring Me the Head of Ivy Pocket
Our magnificently infuriating heroine is on the very brink of her greatest adventure: bound for London and Prospa House to save Anastasia Radcliff and young Rebecca Butterfield from fates worse than death. But there are difficulties at every turn. The devious Miss Always and her devilish Locks are in hot pursuit. Anastasia is gone, taken by her evil sister-in-law Estelle and hidden in a place no one will ever find her. And worst of all, the Clock Diamond is no longer working, blocking Ivy's route to Prospa. There's a mystery to be unpicked and if anyone can do it, it's Ivy Pocket. After all, she has all the natural instincts of a Russian chess master.

You might remember that I absolutely loved the first and second Ivy Pocket books because they were such hilarious fun! Ivy's adventures are always zany, dangerous, and her quick wit is balanced out by her somewhat clueless nature and random insults.

Yes, our Ivy is a girl of many talents and I was excited to read her final book.

Ivy Pocket is once again on her own, and she has a mission. She's going to free the imprisoned Anastasia from the madhouse, and will then reunite her with her lost child. Plus, she's going to slip into another world to rescue her lost friend Rebecca. But while on her way to London, the devious Miss Always and her nefarious Locks track her down.

Before she knows it, Ivy is on the run. But that won't stop her from pursuing her mission. Nothing is going to stop her, and that includes being homeless and penniless. She has a perfectly good pair of snooping ears, connections and some serious plans. Not even feeling sick and wearing an unresponsive Clock Diamond can dampen her spirits.

So when a little good fortune comes her way, first she offers a home to two kind women in need, and then sets out to Butterfield Park. Back where some of the trouble began and will surely come to an end...

Well. That was quite the adventure! Poor Ivy sure goes through a LOT in this book, but in usual fashion, she's able to take it all in stride. 

Ivy Pocket is a survivor, and if she can't outwit her enemies, she'll accidentally set the wheels of hilarity in motion. Or even frustrate them so much they become virtually useless. LOL.

One of my favourite things about the conclusion to this super fun trilogy is how all the events, people and places she met along the way provided such relevant breadcrumbs to the conclusion of her tale. It's all quite clever.

Bring Me the Head of Ivy Pocket is another quirky and really fun book that kept me hooked until the very satisfying conclusion. As expected, Ivy's witty fibs and miraculous remedies take centre stage, but this time with surprising results. Her blatant disregard for etiquette always cracks me up. I loved how this story turned out, and enjoyed the pace at which the mysteries were slowly revealed, yet kept coming until The End.

I also got a kick out of catching up with so many familiar characters. And once again thought that the female representation was vast and varied. It's also effortless, which is even more wonderful.

Oh, and the illustrations were very nice too.

Well, that's it. While I'm sad that the trilogy is over, I'm very happy to have shared this adventure with Ivy.

Thank you Bloomsbury Australia!

Bring Me the Head of Ivy Pocket, June 2017, ISBN 9781408858721, Bloomsbury Childrens

Monday, 26 June 2017

Multitasking Time & Stories

The other day I posted this tweet on Twitter:

Writing is hard work. But it's also exciting, fun, something I'm compelled to do, and yes... even cool. :)

I have a bunch of ideas cluttering my brain at any given time, but when I get stuck into a WIP I usually get so consumed by the story I'm working on that I hardly have time to devote to other projects.

This is EXACTLY what happened this month. I spent the last 4 weeks writing the first draft of my YA horror novel about a bunch of kids and the scary stories they tell each other. Every spare moment I had during the day was spent adding new words, or figuring out what was coming next.

But this time I decided to do things a little differently:
  • Writing during the day
  • Note-taking during the afternoon
  • Researching other stories at night

It's amazing how much you can get done on your phone while sitting on the couch with hubby and watching Judge Judy on YouTube. LOL.

After a day full of words, the evenings are a good time to let my mind wander and lose myself in the possibility of other worlds and characters. So I collected heaps of inspirational pics, researched a bunch of concepts, named characters, made relevant graphics, and then sorted through all the files I created for easier (future) access.

Not only is this super productive, but I also had a lot of fun planning ahead. I now have about 6 ideas at different stages, and another I've just started to develop.

All of this has worked out very well, but there's one thing that suffered: reading. Working on stories fills my brain with so much I become obsessed with what's inside my head and don't have time for anyone else's stories. *cries*

Now that my current WIP is done, my new challenge will be to add reading time to the mix! I definitely want to keep developing these new ideas between projects and want to allocate more writing/revising time, but I need to include my reading habit back into the routine. I have TOO many books on my TBR pile not to.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Current WIP: Week Four

Welcome to my fourth current WIP update! :)

This week, I was more concerned with figuring out how the downward spiral of this novel was going to play out, rather than the daily word count, but still ended up with several 5k days. That's mostly because I got so caught up in what was happening that my fingers went nuts over the keyboard and I didn't want to stop. LOL.

It's almost magical when that happens.

Reaching the stage where the story has totally taken over my brain means I'm constantly thinking ahead. Or taking notes of things I don't want to forget. Or deciding to add stuff after the scene has already been written. O.o

Yep. That means backtracking, which I did several times this week. But that's cool. The process for writing this story has been a little different from the start, but it definitely worked.

So, here's my daily w/c progress for this week:

Monday: 57,523 (added 5501w)
Tuesday: 61,225 (added 3702w)
Wednesday: 66,425 (added 5200w)
Thursday: 70,035 (added 3610w)

That's right. I finished the first draft today! I'm very excited about this particular novel because it's lived inside my brain for several months now. I visualised a lot of what was going to happen constantly, like a never-ending pesky movie that wouldn't stop until it was written.

And now it's done!

So. What now? Well, I'm going to post this update a day earlier than usual and will take tomorrow off. I wonder if anything will pop up during the next few days... If that happens, I'll either start a revision list or go back and add/tweak some last-minute things next week. 

Well, that's it for now. Hubby and I are going to watch Wonder Woman again on Saturday.

It might be a bit early to say this, but: enjoy your weekend!

SAGA #43 by Brian K Vaughan & Fiona Staples

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I absolutely LOVED the Saga series, and that shocking cliffhanger ending in the last volume was a killer. So when I found #43 available for 25c at Amazon, of course I had to buy a copy for my Kindle!

Yikes! What a sequel. I honestly didn't expect things to take such a morbid turn as far as what happened with Alana's pregnancy. So sad and disturbing, and I'm wondering where it's going.

The gang is back and they're on a planet that is under Landfall's jurisdiction, which means that Marko, Hazel and Petrichor have to hide so no one sees their horns. While Alana looks for someone to help with her problem. But when they're attacked by shitty people (LMAO!), something bizarre happens to Alana!

I really enjoyed this new arc. The story continues to be interesting, the artwork is still beautiful, the world bizarre, and I do believe I'm once again addicted.

Oh, and I found the social commentary--about women's bodies, transgender issues, racial tensions--to be very well done, and unfortunately, also too familiar.

Looking forward to reading more...

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