Saturday, 19 April 2014

Review: TORN FROM THE SHADOWS


 
"This is the fourth Sierra book and quickly takes you deeper into her life. I would recommend reading the earlier books to appreciate the full extent of complexities woven within this world of magic, deceit and loyalties from the strangest of places. Ms. Sfetsos has a unique ability to mix the mystical with reality, strength with vulnerability, and adding a layer of magic all her own."
 
—Hollie, Coffee Time Romance & More
 
 



Thursday, 17 April 2014

Sierra Fox Blog Book Tour


Next stop is...
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Where I'm chatting about the importance of music while writing Sierra.
http://www.yolandasfetsos.com/2014/04/the-sierra-fox-blog-book-tour.html

EXCERPT #2: Torn From the Shadows


Phantasms everywhere!
 
"Can you hear that?" Lavie asked.
 
"Hear what?" I stepped onto the sidewalk and past the streetlight. I scanned the area behind the big rectangular, peaked warehouse and focused on the overhead train lines. The train tracks were dark, but I could definitely hear something. It sounded like…sparks.
 

"I can hear a sizzling sound," Lavie whispered, standing under the streetlight.

My skin prickled at the same time as white, blue and green sparks appeared along the overhead train wires. They moved quickly, getting closer.
 
"Lavie, get away from the streetlight," I said, never taking my eyes off the wires.
 
"What?"
 
"Just move away, into the dark!"
 
The electric arcs had already jumped the train lines. Some were slipping in through the warehouse’s wiring, others were racing towards us.
 
"Sierra, what the hell’s going on?"
 
As I turned to push her away, a rush of energy reached the power lines crisscrossing over our heads. The white, sparkly lights raced into the streetlight, causing the bulb to fizzle out and leave us in the dark.
 
Lavie finally took a step, but it was too late. She stood too close, so when the spark manifested into a phantasm, it engulfed and zapped her with enough current to knock her off her feet.
 
I watched as it took off, headed straight for the warehouse.
 
"Shit."
 
An ethereal explosion lit the night with green sparks. The warehouse was buzzing with energy. I could see the glow from the square windows.
 
The night watchman ran outside but was zapped in the back of the head. He collapsed in a heap on the driveway
 
"Lavie," I called, stepping closer. "Lavie, are you okay?"
 
She didn’t answer. I crouched beside her to make sure she was still breathing. She was, and her pulse was steady. I didn’t want to leave her alone out here but the others might need my help. I had to get inside.
 
I pushed her backpack away to make sure she was lying flat on the sidewalk, took off my jacket, and threw it over her body so she’d stay warm on this cool September night.
 
"Sierra!" That was Ebony. "We need your help!"
 
 

 
TORN FROM THE SHADOWS will be available on APRIL 22, 2014:
 
 
http://www.yolandasfetsos.com/2014/04/the-sierra-fox-blog-book-tour.html

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

FAIRIES IN MY FIREPLACE by RL Naquin


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My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really like this series, and since the next book is coming out real soon I thought it was time to read this one. :)

Zoey Donovan is an Aegis. Actually, the only one left because the others have disappeared. And now a bunch of Hidden have migrated to her house seeking shelter and protection. When several of them turn up injured, with tranq darts still attached, and missing loved ones, she realises something terrible is happening. Someone is hunting the Hidden, and when one of her own family members is taken Zoey is even more determined to save these supernatural creatures.

But it's hard to balance being responsible for so many monsters of myth and legend with running a successful business. At least her best friend is always there to help. When her personal life and her job collide in the worst possible way, the stakes are even higher.

I enjoyed this installment as much as the ones before it. This series is a lot of fun, but don't let that fool you into believing that serious issues/situations won't arise...because they do. Something very sad happens in this one.

At least Zoey and Riley's relationship heats up. ;) And I enjoyed meeting Kam and Darius. Maurice is always cool, but his life gets a little complicated too.

Can't wait for the next one. And Maurice's short story is already waiting to be read...

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

EXCERPT #1: TORN FROM THE SHADOWS



The fourth book in my Sierra Fox series will be released next week. Here's where it all starts...

“You’re going to be home later, right?”
 
“Of course I am, Papan.”
 
“Are you going to be alone?”
 
“It’s a weeknight, so my sister will be here. But she’ll be having an early night…” A breathy sigh choked me as a wave of desire struck deep in my lower abdomen. “Besides, her bedroom’s too far to matter.”
 
“That’s music to my ears because I really want to get you alone. We’ve got some catching up to do.” He paused long enough to growl into the phone. “Too bad you haven’t got that trench coat yet, because I’m in the mood for some role-playing.”
 
I rolled my eyes. Was he ever going to let this trench coat and red high heels fantasy go? I doubted it. Papan could be very stubborn. “What’s with you and the trench coat fantasy, anyway?”
 
“The thought of you wearing nothing but a coat and heels gets my blood boiling. It’s a very vivid image. One I’ve had since the first moment I saw you.” His breathing echoed through the line, making my spine tingle. “Anyway, I don’t think now’s the time to be concentrating on this. I have to meet with someone and my jeans are getting uncomfortably tight.”
 
“I’m alone now,” I whispered into the phone. “Maybe you should come over.”
 
His frustrated groan echoed in my ears. “Don’t tempt me, Foxy Lady. I’m so close to cancelling so I can get over there and f—”
 
“No, don’t cancel.” As much as I enjoyed flirting with him, I didn’t want to interfere with his scheduled appointment. Not when this could turn out to be a new case, and our work routines had been relatively smooth for months. “Go to your meeting. We’ll talk later.”
 
“I don’t think we’ll have much time for talking.”
 
“Then we’ll do whatever else comes to mind.”
 
“I’m holding you to that.”
 
“You better,” I said with a laugh.
 
“See you soon, Foxy.”
 
“Bye.” I pulled my mobile phone away and held it for a moment so I could stare at the snapshot I’d set as Papan’s profile pic. It took up the whole screen and I couldn’t look away from his infectious smile. The corners of his eyes crinkled as he flashed the cheeky grin that always made his dimples appear. He was shirtless and the blond stubble on his face caught the sun, while the colorful sunflower patch in the background made him look like the epitome of summer. He was beautiful. Sometimes, I still couldn’t believe he wanted to be with me, but our friendship had blossomed into a passionate relationship. We’d now been a couple for over six months.
 
Months filled with teasing, flirting, and a whole lot of heat. But it wasn’t all fun and games. Papan encouraged me to get my gun license, become a member of a shooting club, and even taught me how to shoot. Now I could actually use the revolver Oren had given me.
 
Papan also trained me in self-defense. It was great to have incantations and spells at my disposal, but he constantly insisted that getting my hands dirty was a necessity. I was getting pretty good at it, and the fact most of our sparring sessions ended with us naked was enough motivation.
 
Jason Papan was a good man, and we’d been through a lot.
 
I couldn’t get enough of him.
 
Reluctantly, I hit the Home button and tucked the phone into the back pocket of my sweatpants.
 
I eyed the locked closet door I hadn’t opened for ages. My archive closet was where I stored old stuff—clothes that didn’t fit, formal gowns, photo albums, that kind of thing. But today I wanted something in particular and I was pretty sure it was in there. I vaguely remembered Grandpa giving me a khaki trench coat that belonged to Grandma. In my teens I didn’t have any need for the garment, but if I found it now…I could finally bring Papan’s fantasy to life.
 
The thought of role-playing with him always got my heart pumping. Making it his birthday surprise sweetened the deal, especially since it was only a week away.
 
In June, he’d made my birthday special and had given me a beautiful, customized boline with a moonstone handle, silver guard and straight double-edged blade. A Hecate’s Wheel symbol was inscribed on top of the pommel. I took it everywhere, and not just because it was a present from Papan. There was something else. Every time I held it, a sense of raw strength flowed through me—and it felt stronger during the full and waning moon.
 
“I commissioned this especially for you. No one else in the world has one like it,” he’d said. I’d wanted to ask him so many questions about it—especially why one side of the thin blade bore a key and the other said Hecate—but was taken aback by his attention to detail.
 
Papan’s gift fit in my palm perfectly—just felt right.
 
Since my biological grandfather gave me a silver dagger at the beginning of the year, I’d taken a keen interest in short blades.
 
I crossed the carpeted expanse of my bedroom and paused at my bedside table, habitually glancing out the window. Nothing looked out of place on this Thursday afternoon. The sun shone on the quiet street
 
My bedroom was on the third story of the split-level house and directly above the garage, so I could see a long way up and down the street. This also happened to be the only room on this floor. My grandparents used it as their own for decades, but I’d inherited the room and the house shortly after escaping the clutches of the Spook Catcher Council.
 
My queen-sized bed sat in the middle of the room, with the beautiful antique gilded mirror Oren had given me for my birthday placed across from it—a position Papan had suggested. A small wooden desk pressed into the far corner had my laptop on top, and a comfortable armchair was positioned near the window.
 
I only had one destination in mind at the moment, but I needed the key I’d dumped on the bedside table when Papan called. I scooped it up and admired the ornate brass, the kind they didn’t make anymore. I continued to the closet, inserted the key into the matching lock, and turned it once. The door clicked and I opened it, sending a flurry of dust around me.
 
When was the last time I’d opened this?
 
I coughed several times and waited for the dust to settle before taking inventory. Several garments hung from coat hangers, some covered in plastic for preservation. I shuffled through them but couldn’t find what I was looking for. A pair of stretchy blue jeans I hadn’t seen since high school sat on the top shelf. They were perfect for my upcoming sewer-cross-training with my friend and demon hunter, Lavie Grye.
 
I grabbed them and threw them on the armchair.
 
Where the hell had I put the coat?
 
 
TORN FROM THE SHADOWS will be available on APRIL 22, 2014:
 
 
http://www.yolandasfetsos.com/2014/04/the-sierra-fox-blog-book-tour.html
 

Sierra Fox Blog Book Tour


My first stop is at...
 
 Tynga's Reviews

I'll be chatting about how Sierra is no longer just a Spook Catcher.

+ There's a giveaway.
 
http://www.yolandasfetsos.com/2014/04/the-sierra-fox-blog-book-tour.html
 

Monday, 14 April 2014

So, what's been happening?



That's actually a great question!
 
As you can see from the picture, I've been busy. Most of my days have been spent writing stuff down, brainstorming, adding new words, and even coming up with ideas/snippets while trying to get to sleep. O.o That last bit is actually pretty shitty because I hate getting in a comfy position and then having to get up to write something down so I won't forget...
 
Bad thing is that actually happened. The other night I fell asleep thinking about two things, and when I woke up I only remembered one. Boo!
 
So anyway, I spent the last three weeks writing the first draft of a novella I probably shouldn't have written but couldn't ignore because it was so ready to be told and the characters insisted I told this story. LOL. In the end, I ended up with a 47,507 word draft that I'm pretty sure will end up being 50k by the time revision is done.
 
And although this story is a huge secret that I haven't told anyone about, and spontaneously appeared out of nowhere when I wasn't expecting it, I have to admit that I'm super excited about it. I'm happy with how the events unfolded, how the characters dealt with the situation/s, and how it ended. It's also a great segue into another two stories I can't wait to write!
 
The writing process never ceases to amaze me. It's like magic sometimes.
 
I've been so busy writing up a storm that even my reading slipped. But as you can see below, I actually read two YA books last week. They were both great! I'm hoping to get myself back into a reading groove...
 
My daughter's got school holidays now. She'll be home for two weeks, and since those weeks will be peppered with public holidays, I don't have any solid writing plans. I do have things on my to-do list and if edits come my way I will tackle them, but mostly I'm not putting any pressure on myself. Besides, Sierra's fourth book is almost here, so I'll be busy promoting that too. ;)
 
Don't forget this starts tomorrow...
 

http://www.yolandasfetsos.com/2014/04/the-sierra-fox-blog-book-tour.html
 
Have a great week!

Saturday, 12 April 2014

THE FAULT IN OUR STARS by John Green


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My rating: 5 of 5 stars

OMG. This is a brilliant book!

My daughter borrowed it from the library and read it last week, so I decided to read it before returning it. And I'm SO glad that I did.

Hazel is sixteen and has been living with cancer for several years. When she's diagnosed with depression, she starts attending a cancer survivor support group for teenagers. That's where she meets a boy with eye cancer called Isaac, and his gorgeous friend called Augustus Waters. ;)

Augustus is funny, good looking and has a larger-than-life personality. His energy is infectious. Even though Hazel has trouble breathing, she wants to keep up with him. Together, they embark on a wonderful, exciting, and heartbreaking adventure. They share each other's dreams and interests, as well as questioning life itself.

Wow. What a love story! It was beautiful, sad, uplifting, courageous, and wondrous. I loved Hazel and Augustus. They were as awesome together as they were apart. I got attached pretty early on, so there were plenty of tears as the events unfolded. :,(

This book tore my heart out and then stepped all over it, but I loved every single minute of it.

John Green is an amazing storyteller.

Okay.

Okay.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

CURED by Bethany Wiggins

Cured
Fiona Tarsis is a legend. Her world was ravaged by a lethal virus, her family separated. Her friends were turned into ferocious beasts by an even deadlier vaccine. Mindless monsters now raid the streets. But Fiona has survived.
Jacqui Bloom needs Fiona’s help. Two years ago, Jacqui’s brother, Dean, left the safety of his home to guide Fiona’s mother to a safe haven. He never returned. Jacqui has been hiding away in the family house, disguised as a boy, and hoping Dean will come back. But she can no longer live like this. She has to find him.
Even with the two men Fiona loves most by their side, leading Jacqui into the desert will be risky. Raiders are everywhere – they will do anything to prevent the beast-cure her group are carrying from being spread – and knowing who to trust is near impossible. Lone traveller Kevin is sexy and self-assured, and has caught Jacqui’s attention, but he is hiding his past. Is he also hiding the truth about what he really wants from them?
 
 
Last year I read STUNG and really enjoyed it, so when I received the sequel I was curious about where this story would go.
 
Jacqui--or Jack as everyone calls her--still lives in her family home. They've been there since they were refused entry behind the wall, after the fall of society. They have all become efficient guardians of their house and each other. Each knows how to use weapons, are fast, suspicious of everyone, and their father is a dentist. In this world being a dentist is great currency. They don't have much food or belongings, but what little Jack has she's willing to spare enough for anyone worse off than them, which she does with the homeless guy who often comes around.
 
Oh, and everyone thinks she's a boy because in this brutal world being a woman is dangerous and can lead to a life sentence worse than death. But Jack's brother left two years ago and never came back, and she can't wait any longer. Even though she knows she'll be walking straight into danger, she leaves the house to search for her brother. She knows she'll need help and finds it behind the wall in Fiona, Bowen and Jonah who are keen to find Fiona and Jonah's mother.
 
Their journey leads into a barren world, and puts them in the path of Raiders, Beasts and Sirens. And meeting a handsome stranger that feels familiar could lead to their salvation...or damnation.
 
I really enjoyed Jack's story. It starts out a bit slow as we get to know her and her family, but soon becomes a fast-paced race to survival. Although her intentions are good, Jack often makes stupid mistakes that make life harder for everyone. It's frustrating at times but without those mistakes, she wouldn't have met Kevin and found out the truth about a few things along the way. :)
 
It was also cool to catch up with Fiona, Bowen and Jonah. Their story might have been told in Stung but they now have a new mission.
 
Cured is an intriguing and very intense, action-packed sequel set in a dark and dangerous future world. It's addictive and hooked me in to the very end. I just had to know where Jack was going to end up, and I wasn't disappointed. Also, Kevin was a nice addition. Loved the chemistry between them.
 
Great book!
 
Cured, March 2014, ISBN  9781408842959, Bloomsbury Childrens

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

The Sierra Fox Blog Book Tour



To help celebrate the upcoming release of Sierra's fourth book, TORN FROM THE SHADOWS, I'll be stopping by several places during this month.



April 14: Team Tynga's Reviews
April 17: Nocturne Reads

I'll also be posting these:
April 15: Torn from the Shadows Excerpt #1 
  
 
               April 24: The Book Nympho           
April 25: My Bookish Ways
 
 
I hope you stop by and find out a little more about Sierra's world...

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Ideas & Thoughts



Hey! It's been a while. And man, it feels like I leave the blogging for so long that I wind up saying this every single time I pop in! O_o

Anyway. Since I finished Recast #4, I've been busy trying to stay off the main computer so I can sort out some sort of schedule for the rest of the year. The problem is that I've got A BUNCH of ideas and they all want to be tackled at the same time. Whenever that happens, I end up with a head full of clutter.

And that's why I spent most of last week jotting down notes, looking at my calendar, and trying to be realistic about my writing goals. I mean, it's not just the ideas, I also have to factor in school holidays and hubby's annual leave... So it takes a bit of planning. I think I've got a workable schedule for now.

Well, at least I thought I did until a certain idea hijacked everything else and demanded it be told RIGHT NOW.

To be honest with you, although I know this might be the one project that should probably be at the bottom of the list, it's jumped all the way to the top. I decided that to figure out if it's even doable, I need to try it on for size. Because, it could turn out to be a big ol' waste of time. But until I see if this works, I can't tackle the two other stories that spring off it.

Very mysterious, I know. But during the last few days I've written the first 7,168 words. LOL.

I'm going to stick with it until the end of the week and see how it goes. If the story keeps coming this fast and well, I'll keep going. If not, I'll abandon it and move on. If I do keep going, my goal is to reach 50k--or close to it. Fingers crossed.

What else has been going on? Oh yeah, we got flu shots yesterday. This isn't something we usually do, but I just hate getting a cold/flu and who can afford to be out for so long when it does strike? So, hopefully it'll work and we won't get hit with any of those really bad flu strains the news keeps trying to scare everyone with. ;)
 
Oh, BTW, did you see Sierra's pretty new cover? If you didn't, let me just post it over here again:

 
I think it's beautiful. I can't believe how well it fits the story. Kanaxa really is a super cool cover artist. Love her work and what she did with the Sierra Fox series. Love them! Check out how well they fit together...
 
http://store.samhainpublishing.com/sierra-fox-series-346.html?osCsid=267a9ed22983237f0a501ace5af0bd19
 
 Well, that's it for now. Hope you're all having a great week!

Friday, 21 March 2014

New SIERRA FOX cover!


I received the final cover for Sierra's fifth/last book the other day, and it's time to share it.
 
Are you ready? Yes?
 
Well, here it is...

 
What do you think?
 
I absolutely LOVE it.
 
I know I've said this before, and I'll probably say it again... Kanaxa totally nailed it. She captured everything perfectly. The mood, the intensity, the fiery atmosphere, and Sierra looks totally pissed off. Like I said, it's absolutely perfect!
 
I'm so giddy with excitement over this cover. :)
 
A STITCH ON TIME will be released later this year. Just in time for Halloween.
 
 
SIERRA FOX STORIES
http://store.samhainpublishing.com/sierra-fox-series-346.html
 

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