Wednesday, 31 December 2008

It's the last day of the year!

Yep. Another year is coming to a close. It feels a little strange with it being in the middle of the week. Oh well.

I'm not going to recap or list what I've achieved this year. To be honest, I can't be bothered. Lol. I did a LOT. Lots of eBooks released, my first print release, wrote a lot, revised even more, read a bunch of books, and even managed to squeeze in some rewrites. Phew. See? No wonder I don't want to list everything individually. ;)

I achieved a lot of things that I wanted to, but also ran out of time with others. There's just not enough hours in the day, or days in the week. Lol.

Still, I'm not going to make any real goals for 2009 either. There are a few things I would like to do - continue writing novels, keep reading at a good pace, drink more water, keep working out and walking daily. That type of thing. Not a bunch of specific things, although I do intend to start a list behind-the-scenes. I would also like to change the focus and direction of my writing a little next year.

Anyway. Today I'm working on a revision/re-write novella. I've got about 10 pages left of the currently written material to finish up, before I get stuck into the additions. I'm going to add a new POV, re-work the ending to include more story, and even add an epilogue. It's going to be fun. I'm enjoying it so far. Can't wait to see where it goes. So far I've added 3,300+ words to the original draft.

I've been doing a lot of re-writes lately, huh? It just seems to me like a lot of the stories I'm writing lately want to be longer stories. Which is fine with me.

Monday, 29 December 2008

Well, it's back to Monday

Yep. How was your Christmas break? I hope you all had a great and relaxing time. :) We had a great 4-day weekend together, but it wasn't relaxing. Lol.

Sure, Christmas Day was a lovely and quiet day. We had a lovely lamb roast, went for a nice relaxing walk and just hung out. It was cool. Then Boxing Day, we got started on painting our bedroom. By the end of the day the whole thing was done and dry. Actually, while painting the disgusting old carpet was getting in the way, so hubby pulled it all out.

So, we were living on concrete. :/ Something I thought we'd be able to take for at least a month. But I was wrong. I've got a very sensitive sense of smell (even though I'm clogged up most of the time. I know, very weird) and the concrete stench felt as if it was collecting inside my nasal passage. So, on Saturday, we popped into a store to check out some carpet, picked some, and arranged to have it installed ASAP.

The guys were over early this morning. And my gosh, between the awesome paint and the gorgeous, bouncy carpet, the bedroom looks awesome. Warm, comfy and serene. The only thing left now is a wall of shelves with doors. I can't wait. It looks like we might be getting some of them next weekend. It's going to be great to have my books in the one place. Instead of all over the place.

So, after the hubby went to work, my daughter and I went into her room. Although a lot of the mess in there is because of me, her desk was disgusting. She kept stacking things on top of things, and sticking others inside bags. WTF? Anyway. Several hours later we've dumped a bag of rubbish and another of recycling - just from one corner of her room. Amazing!

She has a desk that serves as a dumping ground. Of course, it sounds like the reason why I got rid of my desk. ;) I just want her to get used to having things nice and neat. Not the organised chaos I'm used to. Heee. Heeee.

Anyway. I'd like to add a few more notes to my WIP Word doc now. I know, more additions. Lol. This world keeps growing and growing...

Have a great day!

Saturday, 27 December 2008

UNQUIET DREAMS


Fueled by a mysterious new drug, Celtic fairies and Teutonic elves battle for turf and power-with humans caught in the middle. As the body count rises, Connor Grey uncovers a vast conspiracy that threatens to destroy not only the city, but the world.

This is the second Connor Grey novel, and it didn't disappoint.

Mark has created a complex, intriguing and amazing world of druids, faeries, elves, trolls, and a whole bunch of other races. In this one, we get to see the extent of the politics involved, and how those wanting power are pretty much willing to hurt and kill whoever it takes to get it. I found this book very interesting, and although Connor hasn't regained his power, he seems to possess enough to deal with the problems thrust in front of him.

The cast of secondary characters is great. We got to meet a few new ones in this one, including his brother. Can't wait to hear and read more about the troubled relationship he seems to have with him. The next book comes out in late January and I've already ordered my copy.

Can't wait to see what's next.

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

TRUE BLOOD


I'm a huge Sookie Stackhouse fan. I love the books, the characters, and the awesome world Charlaine Harris has created.

So, of course I was interested in watching TRUE BLOOD. And I wasn't disappointed. It's an amazing thing to watch a show about a book series that until now had played out only inside my head as I read. I can only imagine how Charlaine feels when she watches it. It must be surreal. And awesome!

Anyway, last night hubby and I watched the last three episodes, and I have to say that I'm very impressed. Sure, there are some differences and even some new characters, but I feel like the essence, mood, atmosphere, and setting were captured very well. I really enjoyed the first season and got a kick out of waiting to meet the characters as they popped up in the show. That was a lot of fun. Especially seeing Sam and Eric. :)

I have my faves and I was very happy with the casting. There's nothing worse than imagining people and then being disappointed when they hit the screen. So, that's cool.

I'm giving TRUE BLOOD the thumbs up... and it looks like season two is heading into book 2 territory. :D And I have to say, watching the show makes me want to pick up the first book and re-read the series.

Monday, 22 December 2008

Random stuff...

Well, the school holidays have officially arrived. My daughter's home, and she's already got plans for the two of us. I told her that as long as I could squeeze in some writing time during the day, that was fine.

Except, it becomes a bit of a pain when she keeps cutting into my train of thought. :/ Every five minutes.

Yeah. I picked up the lappy, sat down on the couch, and attempted to start a new novella I would like to have done before the end of the year. But I had to stop at about 1k because she kept popping into the living room to ask questions. You know how it is when you're writing, right? I may be physically sitting on the couch, but I'm not really there. I'm somewhere else, catching the visuals of the story I'm trying to tell. Caught up in another world, and getting jolted out of something like that grates on my nerves.

So, I put the lappy away and have decided to get back to it tonight. After she's tucked into bed. Why do I get the feeling that it's gonna have to be like that for the next month or so?

Anyway. I'm not complaining. Not really. I knew it would be like this.

Of course, there's also the case of the wandering-mind. See, as much as I want to write this new novella - because the beginning scenes are already inside my head, ready to be told - the novel I finished re-writing last week just won't get out of my head. A bunch of snippets keep filtering in. Mostly about future installments. It's very distracting, but cool at the same time.

I kinda feel like focusing on that instead. :/

Not to mention that we're halfway through TRUE BLOOD and I keep trying to compare the show to the books. I know I shouldn't do that, but I can't help it. Lol. So far, I'm lovin' it. Sookie's one of my fave characters, so it's great to watch her. Though it does feel a little weird knowing all the stuff I do after reading so much of the series - I'm only one book behind because of the hardback release schedule.

Anyway, that's enough rambling on for today. I'm in one of those moods today, where I could keep raving on about random things as they pop into my head. ;)

Have a great day!

Sunday, 21 December 2008

MAGIC BITES

Mercenary Kate Daniels cleans up urban problems of a paranormal kind. But her latest prey, a pack of undead warriors, presents her greatest challenge.

Okay, here's another awesome urban fantasy book. And I have no idea why it's taken me so long to grab it! What the hell's wrong with me? Lol. In my defence, there are so many great UF books out there that sometimes, some slip past me. Or my book budget. Still, as long as I eventually catch up, that's fine.

I picked this book up on Friday. I read one chapter during the day and another at night. Only because I didn't have too much spare time. On Saturday, however, I got stuck into it and by the end of the day had about 60 pages left - which I finished shortly after waking this morning.

Man, what a fantastic read! I love Kate and the cast of characters introduced in this magical world. It's unique, different and awesome! Of course, as soon as I finished this book, I ordered the second one and added the third to my 2009 to-buy list. ;)

No wonder I LOVE this genre!

Friday, 19 December 2008

*yawn*

I'm a little tired today, didn't get as much sleep as I was hoping for.

It's my daughter's last day of school. When I pick her up at 3:25PM, she'll be on school holidays and doesn't return until late January. :/ She's really excited about it, and to be honest, I'm looking forward to having her here for a bit too. And as long as I still get 'writing time' between our 'together time', I'll be fine and dandy.

Late last night, I finished the re-write I've been working on during the last two weeks. The final page count ended up being: 447. The final word count: 89,083. Of course, these will both probably change during the final read.

I did a lot of chopping. And I mean a lot. Still, the word count went up by 4,601. Strange, but good. I'm very excited about how it's turned out. I got rid of a lot of fatty, redundant bits that just didn't need to be there. I also deleted an entire chapter and half of another, replaced a love scene with something more approriate to the story, and have changed one character completely. Initially, he was a lovely, good character - the kind that seems too good to be true... so I made him just that. ;) This'll give the series - yes, it's gonna be a series - a lot more depth and perspective. Not to mention the chance to grow.

There's a whole new backstory that I've come up with and still need to fine-tune. Only a small facet of it is mentioned in the first novel, but that's how I want it to be. The cool thing is that now I know there'll be at least 5 novels to tell. :D

In the end, this revision took a lot longer than I thought it would, but I'm glad it did. I got stuck into the nitty-gritty of the story and am making it a hell of a lot stronger and better. And that is always an awesome thing.

Well, that's enough novel talk. I need to get going so I can get the laundry out on the line. I also need to jot down the main plot lines for book 2-5. ;) And it's time to get stuck into some urban fantasy reading. I stayed away on purpose, during my re-write. And I'm starting with this one. Bye!

PS. It's my day over at RomErotica Writers.

Monday, 15 December 2008

Not long to go now

Yep. We're almost at Christmas, aren't we? I really enjoy the festive season, but you know what I don't like? Once it's over. Not sure why, but it usually feels almost anticlimactic. :/

Anyway. The weekend was great! I actually got a chance to grab my notebook and started taking a few notes down for a new novella I want to write. I've got most of the plot down, just gotta get this revision finished so I can start on it.

And my gosh, this revision is going on forever. I feel like for every ten pages I get through, I've added another two. Yeah. The page count started at 431, and it's now at 438 and counting. I'm sitting @ page 226/438. Man, I'm finally past halfway. It feels like it's taken forever to get here. I'm enjoying the story, but because I'm so fussy and particular with my own writing, I've decided that I might need another read-through after this draft is finished. I know. What a pain! But I was re-reading parts of Writing the Breakout Novel and I want to make sure that every single page counts to move the story forward - in action, dialogue, emotion and plot. If I get bogged down with that too much, I start panicking, though. Lol.

The story's still fun to read. There are lots of spooky bits and I'm enjoying this world. The heroine's POV is one I'm comfy with, too. It's written in the first person POV, which is always a challenge. Still, if I get through this and then read it one last time to finalise it, I'm sure it'll finally be as strong a story as I can make it. I just hope that I can get through this current draft by Friday.

This is my daughter's final week before she get summer holidays, which means five weeks at home. This is usually when I freak out about how much my writing time will be affected, but I'm determined to feel differently about it this year. :)

Okay, gotta go now. Have a great day!


ytd word count: 402,154

Saturday, 13 December 2008

CORALINE


When Coraline explores her new home, she steps through a door and into another house just like her own . . . except that it's different. It's a marvelous adventure until Coraline discovers that there's also another mother and another father in the house. They want Coraline to stay with them and be their little girl. They want to keep her forever!

Coraline must use all of her wits and every ounce of courage in order to save herself and return home.

This isn't the best cover I've seen for this book, I actually prefer the Movie Tie-in one, but it's the one that was released here when I first bought this book.

Anyway, last Friday I started reading this book to my daughter. The intention was to read one chapter per night before bedtime, if she liked it. As it turned out, she LOVED it and we squeezed in several chapters during the week because she just had to know what happened next. Last night, we finished it. Still, she loved it and can't wait to watch the movie. By the looks of the trailer, they've added some stuff, which I think is fantastic.

At first I thought she might be a little scared about some of the things that happened to Coraline, but my daughter was intrigued all the way. Now she wants her own copy so she can read it again and again. I'm really glad that she enjoyed it because this is a fantastic story. It was also a lot of fun to enjoy - and chat about - the story with her after every chapter.

Now that I know her tastes tend to sit on the spooky side of the spectrum, what can we read together next... :D

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

It's overcast again!

Well, I thought I'd squeeze in a blog entry before sitting down to get some more revision done. I didn't do any yesterday during the day because I spent it with my daughter. It was actually a really nice day. We went to see her get a school medal during this year's Presentation Day, and then hubby dropped us off at home. He went to work, though. :(

I read some more of CORALINE to her. We're actually only about 60 pages from the end. I'm really surprised at how much she likes it. She won't stop talking about it and can't wait to watch the movie. But I haven't been able to find a release date for it here in Australia. I know it's out in Feb in the U.S. I'm really enjoying it a second time around, too. It's amazing how much I'd forgotten of the story.

Anyway, it was a nice day yesterday.

Today's been a pretty good morning too. The hubby just left for work and I'm about to throw myself into the revision again. I got through a bit more last night and am now sitting @ 93/432 pages. The word count's gone up to 85,187. I'm pretty sure that my initial plan to get this final draft done by Friday is not going to happen. But that's okay. I'm just glad and excited to be catching up with these characters and their world again. It's a fun, yet dangerous place.

My daughter's got one more week of school to go after this one. She finishes up on the 19th. So, that's my new goal. To have this novel revision done by then. No pressure. It just means that the other revision I wanted to do probably will have to wait for next year. Or maybe the final week of this one. We'll see. I've still got a novella I need to write before the end of the year. Yeah, I know, new goal. Lol.

Okay, enough stalling. I gotta grab my lappy and get stuck into it. Bye for now!

Sunday, 7 December 2008

THE DEVIL'S DUE


Trust me or die…That’s the choice Morgan Kingsley, exorcist, is given by the gorgeous rogue demon who’s gotten inside her. The truth is, Morgan has dozens of reasons not to trust anyone, from the violence that torched her house and killed her father to a love life that’s left her questioning her relationship with her erstwhile boyfriend, Brian. But Lugh, a king among demons, won’t take no for an answer. He’s prying into her body, her mind, even her sex life. And he’s just pulled Morgan into a power struggle that could have devastating consequences for both the human and demon worlds.

But Morgan still has a job to do: investigating the highly bizarre possession of the son of a wealthy Philadelphia couple. That hunt leads Morgan into a realm of sexual depravity, then a terrifying kidnapping.… Now a woman who makes her living prying demons from their hosts finds her day job colliding with the night: a darkness that is attracting demons of the damnedest sort, including the one who’s about to demand his ultimate due.…

I read this book over the weekend. Once again, I got totally sucked into Morgan's world. Yikes! The poor thing, I feel exhausted just reading about all the stuff thrown her way. Lots of probs and new characters in this installment. So it looks like this is going to be a long series. Or maybe I'm just hoping that it ends up being a long series because I LOVE it so darn much!

No need to tell you what the book's about because that's posted up above, but I do need to tell you that it was a fantastic, awesome read and that I highly recommend this series to anyone who enjoys urban fantasy. No. Actually, I recommend it to anyone who likes reading. :D

You gotta check it out!

Friday, 5 December 2008

A little late today

Yikes! Where did the day go? It was a nice one, and it can only get better since the weekend's around the corner. Cool.

In spite of it being Friday, I've actually gotten a bunch of research and note-taking done. There were so many things in my head when I went for a walk this morning that I thought I would lose something. So I wrote everything down as soon as I got home. It was the same last night. It was about 1am and I was jotting down a conversation that just wouldn't end. Ten handwritten pages later, I was ready to go to bed. Lol.

It feels really good to do this. I've managed to catch up on a few things this week. Especially reading. Okay, maybe that's a lie because I've been reading pretty constantly lately. ;)

Anyway. Now that a lot of the worldbuilding is complete, I really want to write the story. But I can't commit to writing a new book until next year. A short story, novella... maybe, but not a novel. Still, it doesn't hurt to keep writing/typing everything down and maybe getting the start done...

Well, I think it's time for me to go and lie down. I mean, sit down for a bit. I'm so darn tired today! Why does it always feel like exhaustion catches up with you on Friday? Very strange.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, 4 December 2008

WICKED LOVELY

Rule #3: Don’t stare at invisible faeries.
Aislinn has always seen faeries. Powerful and dangerous, they walk hidden in the mortal world. Aislinn fears their cruelty—especially if they learn of her Sight—and wishes she were as blind to their presence as other teens.

Rule #2: Don’t speak to invisible faeries.
Now faeries are stalking her. One of them, Keenan, who is equal parts terrifying and alluring, is trying to talk to her, asking questions Aislinn is afraid to answer.

Rule #1: Don’t ever attract their attention.
But it’s too late. Keenan is the Summer King who has sought his queen for nine centuries. Without her, summer itself will perish. He is determined that Aislinn will become the Summer Queen at any cost—regardless of her plans or desires.

Suddenly none of the rules that have kept Aislinn safe are working anymore, and everything is on the line: her freedom; her best friend, Seth; her life; everything. Faery intrigue, mortal love, and the clash of ancient rules and modern expectations swirl together in this 21st century faery tale.

I just finished reading this book. And I've got another WOW to add to the many I've been gushing all over the place lately. I started reading this book yesterday afternoon. By mid-afternoon today, I had about 100 pages to go, and just couldn't stay away. I read a little more every time I could grab a pocket of time to sit down with it.

Yep. I've heard great things about this book, and they're all true. The story was a total surprise for me, not at all what I expected. In the best way possible. I enjoyed the multiple POVs, too.

Though I have to admit that - for me - one of the best things in this story was Aislinn's transformation. I loved the way we got inside her head at the beginning of the book, when she's trying very hard not to let the faeries know she can see them, and then end up where she does. Seth was a wonderful character too, and Donia was very surprising. I have to admit that I didn't like Keenan at first because he was just too pushy and annoyed me with his attempts at getting his hooks into Aislinn. But in the end, he grew on me.

This was another enchanting and lovely tale of the mortals and faerie, with a good dose of wicked.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Book buying is like a disease ;)

You know, I went to the bookstore this morning with $100. I came back with $10 and some change. I did tell the hubby it would happen. Lol. Luckily, I try to stick to my monthly budget as much as I can.

Still, they were 5 books that I've been waiting for and can't wait to read.

Although I have already started reading something new, and it's not one of the 5 I got today. :/ What can I say? I'm totally in a faerie mood.

I just finished putting together my December newsletter. I wanted to get it done yesterday, but I got sidetracked trying to turn a story into a nice and presentable pdf. It took a while to format it nicely, and now I've realised that I need to add a few more things. Yeah, that's usually the way, right? Still, I'm getting there.

Taking it easy this week is really helping, I think.

I suppose it's nice to take a step back every now and then. Though that doesn't mean my head and muse are taking it easy. My head's continually buzzing with stuff that seriously needs to be offloaded somewhere else. My brain's getting too crowded. Not to mention that I'm trying to mentally plan the next year. No more resolutions. I don't like that word. Plan or goals sounds so much better. Don't you think?

Well. It's almost time for my walk. I think I'll lift some weights this afternoon. I missed out on yoga because I was so tired this morning. I can catch up on that tomorrow morning. See ya!

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

TITHE: A Modern Faerie Tale

Sixteen-year-old Kaye is a modern nomad. Fierce and independent, she travels from city to city with her mother's rock band until an ominous attack forces Kaye back to her childhood home. There, amid the industrial, blue-collar New Jersey backdrop, Kaye soon finds herself an unwilling pawn in an ancient power struggle between two rival faerie kingdoms -- a struggle that could very well mean her death.

It's always fantastic to read one awesome book after another without finding a dud. And that's exactly what's been happening to me lately. Wow! I've had TITHE on my TBR pile for several years. Now, for one reason or another - mostly no reason at all - it kept getting pushed back to the back of the pile. Like I said, no good reason at all. :/

A few weeks back, I relocated most of my books into my daughter's room. I've got them just about everywhere, but it's going to stay that way until we paint, get new carpet, and buy new shelves for our bedroom. Could take months. But I pulled out this book in particular because I didn't want to wait too much longer to finally read it.

I'm so glad that I did. It was fantastic! I liked Kaye instantly. For all her hard exterior and quirky weirdness - not to mention her string of bad habits - she was a lovely girl. So it was easy to follow her on this journey of self-discovery.

When her mother gets attacked by her latest boyfriend, she and Kaye move back to the New Jersey shore. It's where Kaye grew up and used to go to school. It's also where she met her imaginary friends. Except, they're very real and she gets herself entangled into a mess going on between the Seelie and Unseelie Courts.

All I've got left to say is: awesome! I loved the dark edge in this story. The gritty, ugly and very real side of life mixed in with the magic and bizarre creatures. Oh, and I have to mention Roiben. Of course. Another very likeable character in spite of his actions. I also liked Corny.

This was such a fantastic read that I've already ordered VALIANT and IRONSIDE. Lol. It seems to be happening a lot lately. ;)

Monday, 1 December 2008

Well. It's December!

And I'm kinda having a hard time figuring out how we got here so quick. Lol. I suppose that if I sit down and think back over the past year, I'll realise that time has gone by at a nice, steady pace. Maybe.

Anyway. Since it's the first of the month, I've made a plan for myself. Yep. No new writing planned for December, unless it's needed during the revisions I have planned.

I've decided to take it easy this week. I've got some reading, researching, note-taking, pic-finding, sorting, and just general website updates that I need to do. So, that's what my goals will consist of this week. Nothing huge. I've already started with casting characters for one of the novels I intend to revise before the end of this month. That's always a fun process, but this novel's got a lot of people in it. So, I'll probably be sick of looking for pics when I'm done. Got the main three characters cast now. Cool. :)

As for reading, I've picked up TITHE. I've had this book on my TBR pile for several years. For one reason or another, it kept getting lost in the pile. Well, that's no longer the case. I've already read the first two chapters. I'm in a fairy-kinda mood, so WICKED LOVELY might be next in line. ;)

Man, I still can't get over how good THE HOST was. I highly recommend reading this book. I haven't been able to stop thinking about it since I finished it. Really, it's amazing!
Okay, that's it for me on this Monday that seems to be speeding by already...

 
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