Monday 29 June 2009

Finally, sunshine

Ah, another week. Almost another month, too. I'll never get used to how fast time seems to move.

My daughter's not feeling well today. Actually, she wasn't feeling so good yesterday either. She had a fever most of the day and although her temperature is better today, she's too weak to go to school. So, I'm going to keep her home. I'll have to call the school to tell them soon. It's still a bit early.

That's the funny thing about getting up at 4am. Hours seem to tick by before the rest of the world wakes up and gets on with the day. Lol.

On Saturday, the hubby and I got new mobile phones. Yay! We got rid of our land line several months back because we hardly used it enough to justify the expense, especially when we both had mobiles. Except, the coverage we had on the mobiles was really crappy and worked when it wanted to. Not very convenient when you're trying to stay in touch. So, the hubby heard about a great new deal and we went to check it out.

We came back with two new shiny, lovely phones. They're awesome. I love mine! It's a Nokia with a lot of awesome features, and it looks so darn cute. I'm going to take a photo of it so that I can post it here. :) Oh, and I can read PDFs on it. Awesome!

Well, I failed to put a writing plan together over the weekend. You know, so that I could allocate what I wanted to work on during the next month? I was too busy doing other things. And now, I'm not sure what I'll be doing this week. In the meantime, though, I added more words to my YA story. It's now sitting @ 7,586 words. The chapters are moving very quickly. They're shorter than usual, but it feels like that's the right pacing for this novel. So, I'll just ride it out. Every story's different.

That might be the best thing to do. See how it pans out and squeeze in plenty of reading while I'm at it.

Okay. It's time for brekky!

Saturday 27 June 2009

GHOSTGIRL: Rest In Popularity

Charlotte Usher has always felt invisible at school. But now she has a plan to break into the popular crowd and nothing is going to stop her. Not even death. It's the first day of the rest of Charlotte's life. She isn't going to be invisible anymore. And she's not going to stop at just getting noticed, she's determined that she'll be envied!

Much to Charlotte's surprise her plan actually seems to be working: Petula, the most popular girl at school has finally acknowledged her existence and her lab partner for the rest of the term is none other than Damen Dylan, school heart-throb and object of Charlotte's desire.

It's only a matter of time before she's accepted into their elite circle...that is until, in her excitement, Charlotte chokes to death on a gummy bear. So, ok, it's the first day of the rest of Charlotte's death - why should that change her plans?

This is the first Ghostgirl book and I really enjoyed it! It's one of those books that focuses on just how much teenagers value popularity. It's a hilarious - yet morbid - look at one girl's quest to become popular in a school where she's never been noticed.

Charlotte is sick and tired of being invisible and spends all summer trying to model herself after the most popular girl in her school, Petula. A girl who happens to be self-involved, selfish, and very nasty. Oh, and her boyfriend is the guy that Charlotte is obsessed with.

However, Charlotte's plans get sidetracked when she chokes on a piece of candy and joins the ranks of the Dead Ed. A fascinating group of dead teenagers that remain at the school because they each have issues that need to be resolved before they can move on. Except, Charlotte's not interested in hanging out with the dead and continues to get involved in the lives of the living. Not even death is going to keep her from getting Damen to take her to the Fall Ball.

When Charlotte realises that the goth and broody Scarlet can see her and no one else can, she hatches an insane plan that will finally get her popularity and her dream guy. However, messing with the living and getting stuck in what becomes a selfish plot leads both the living and dead teenagers into a hell of a lot of trouble. Ending in a bizarre and unexpected way.

Ghostgirl: Rest In Popularity is quirky, entertaining, filled with an odd mix of characters, a lot of fun and a very fast book to read. I consumed it in a day because it captured my imagination and I found the dark humour engaging. It's written in a very witty voice that captures all of the characters and keeps you wondering how Charlotte will ever redeem herself and clean up the mess she makes along the way. And I especially liked Scarlet.

I also have to mention that this book is absolutely gorgeous! It's a hardcover book that's slimmer and longer than usual. The cover art matches the fun feel of the story and the inside is absolutely stunning. It's such a pretty book and totally compliments the gloomy story.

I'm really looking forward to the second installment. :)

Ghostgirl: Rest In Popularity, September 2008, ISBN 0755347706, Headline Hardback (HC)


While recovering from an ill-timed makeup mishap, Lula is a witness to celebrity chef, Stanley Chipotle, losing his head - literally. Now Lula and Stephanie are on the hunt to identify the killers before Lula is next on the chopping block.

Meantime, Ranger's recruited Stephanie's help for a top secret mission. Someone on the inside at Rangeman is leaking client information, determined to bring the company down. No one is above suspicion, not even Ranger's right hand man, Tank.

Can Stephanie hunt down a killer, a traitor, five skips and keep Grandma out of the sauce?

This is the latest book in the series, and I have to say that it was another hilarious, over-the-top rollercoaster ride in the insane life of Stephanie Plum. Just when I was positive things couldn't get crazier in her life, I read this book.

When Lula witnesses the murder of a celebrity chef while in her car, the killers see her and so begins the insanity of her being tracked by these psychos. As if that wasn't bad enough, because of their clumsiness at every attempt, Lula winds up staying with Stephanie for a few days. Something that has her running to Ranger's apartment because Lula pretty much takes over her place. Throw in the alluring advances of Ranger, her helping him figure out which one of his men is trying to destroy his successful business, and this becomes the recipe for disaster.

Of course, during all of this Lula and Grandma Mazur are trying to come up with the perfect sauce to enter the cook-off contest and hopefully snag themselves the million dollar reward for handing over the killers, and enlist the help of Mister Clucky.

You don't want to miss the action-packed cook-off scene, it's so darn funny. Or the three skips that Stephanie has to capture this time for Vinnie, and the pain they cost her along the way. If someone's going to wind up with red paint dumped all over them, it's going to be our Stephanie.

Finger Lickin' Fifteen was another enjoyable installment to this outrageously fantastic series. Janet Evanovich not only expands on her series with every new book, but she throws Stephanie's life into further turmoil. I find it amazing how she can take serious crimes and scary situations but still have the reader come out smiling and laughing in the end.

If you're a Stephanie Plum fan, you'll love how this one turns out and will be left hanging for the next one. Just like me! These books are just too much fun.

Finger Lickin Fifteen, June 2009, ISBN 0755352742, Headline Fiction Paperback (C)

Friday 26 June 2009


I didn't make any new book videos yesterday. LOL. But I woke up with an idea for another one. Isn't that weird? Honestly, I'm now waking up with vid ideas as well. As if my muse doesn't already (constantly) bug my brain with story ideas.

Maybe I'll make it later. I'll see how I go.

Did I mention that we really enjoyed the TRANSFORMERS movie? Well, we did. I've been reading some very mixed and/or negative reviews about it, but I had a lot of fun watching it. I thought that in between all of that action and robot fighting (which was awesome, btw!) there was a good mix of everything else - humour, romance, surprises, sadness... and a lot of FUN! But, that's just me. :)

So, you know I'm not supposed to be writing anything at the moment, right? I've actually been enjoying the rest of the week off from writing/revising, but have still delved into other creative things. Well, yesterday, I opened up a Word doc and got writing. By the time I was finished, the prologue and first chapter of a YA idea that I've got was out on the screen in front of me. And this morning, I added some more.

I'm now sitting @ 4,336 words.

I honestly thought that opening up the Word doc would let me get a feel of the story, see if it would go anywhere or not. Well, it's going somewhere. With every new word I type, more about the heroine and her harsh world becomes clear. I better take some notes before everything fades away...

Now, I'm not sure what I'm going to work on next month. Today, I'll have to sit down with a calendar and figure it out. I have to split the month into - daughter still at school for 2 weeks, and daughter on school holidays for 2 weeks. I was originally thinking two lots of revision, but now I'm not so sure. :/

Anyway. It's Friday, so I'm not going to worry about stuff. ;)

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday 23 June 2009

FEAR THE WORST by Linwood Barclay

The worst day of Tim Blake's life started out with him making breakfast for his seventeen-year-old daughter Sydney. Syd was staying with him while she worked a summer job - even if he wasn't entirely sure what her job at the Just Inn Time motel actually was - and Tim hoped this quality father-daughter time would somehow help her deal with his divorce from Susanne.

When she didn't arrive home at her usual time, he thought she'd probably gone to the mall to hang with her friends. When she didn't answer her phone he began to worry. When she didn't come home at all, he began to panic. And when the people at the Just Inn Time said they had no Sydney Blake working at the motel and never had, he began to see his life going into freefall. Only one thing has him convinced the worst hasn't already happened: the fact that some very scary people seem just as eager as he is to find her.

The question is: who's going to find her first?

The premise of this story starts out simple enough: Tim's daughter doesn't return home from work one night and he starts to worry. There's no doubt Sydney's missing, so he starts to panic and is determined to do whatever he has to in order to find her.

We see this kind of thing on the nightly news every other night, don't we? A young child or a teenager goes missing. The parents are distraught and don't know what to do, all the time hoping that their child is still alive. You always feel so bad for them, but never think it'll happen to you.

Well, that's exactly how Tim feels. Except, when he goes to the place that his daughter was working at, no one remembers her or even recognises the name. This is where Tim's life begins to spiral into the horrible adventure and mystery of trying to figure out what happened to Sydney. It becomes his sole purpose for living. He never gives up hope that he'll find her, and I found his sheer determination to be one of the things (though there were many) that kept me reading this complicated and unpredictable book.

Along the way Tim is tricked, sent tumbling from one lead to another trying to uncover what his daughter got mixed up in, and the poor guy winds up in danger. His very life's suddenly on the line as he is hunted. No one around him is safe either, and what Tim eventually uncovers is going on in his town will chill you to the bone, and make you wonder just how he's going to dodge the bad guys, the police, and still continue his pursuit of Sydney. Although, the one personal problem he never expected might be the one thing that ties everything together.

Fear The Worst is a grab-you-by-the-throat thriller that throws you one way and then forces you to turn the other way. The whole time I was reading this intoxicating book, I was trying to sort everything out but kept failing every time a new shock popped up. By the time I got to the end, I was exhausted and it certainly didn't turn out the way I expected.

I enjoyed this book very much and couldn't wait to find out what had happened to Sydney. If you start this book, be prepared to be dragged into Tim's heartbreaking problem...

Fear the Worst, July 2009 , ISBN 0752897470, Orion Fiction Paperback

Monday 22 June 2009

Book Craziness!

The weekend was awesome, although it continued to be a little too wet for my liking.

Oh, and I did go a little nuts with the book buying. Let's see, on Friday night I went to my fave bookstore and came back with 7 books. They had some awesome bargains, really. And on Saturday I came back with 3 new books after we popped into a shopping center. And yesterday I ordered 1 online. Once again, all bargains that I couldn't pass up. :)

Books, books everywhere. I love it!

Speaking of books, I finished reading this one yesterday and absolutely loved it. My gosh, what a freaky story. It was insane and wonderful, scary and wow - all at the same time. I'll post a full review of it soon.

Okay, I didn't end up finishing the first draft of my current WIP on Friday afternoon. I got a little distracted and ran out of time. This morning, I've added another 1,440 words but the epilogue is not written yet. That's what my goal is for today - I shall get that epilogue written. And when that's done, the first draft will be finished. Yay! I'm very excited about how this story turned out. It's one of those that ended up being bigger than when I first came up with the concept. The second half of the book took a different direction that actually made it a more interesting and action-packed story. Cool!

The word count's currently sitting @ 40,437. Yep. I've met my word count goal and have no idea how much more it'll go up by after the epilogue. Though I don't think it'll be a really big ending. Just a little wrap-up.

My daughter also helped me shuffle my bookshelves around a little. I've got so many YA books now that I had to make more room for them.

Well, I'm off to face another Monday. Happy day!

Thursday 18 June 2009

No title Thursday

You know, some days, finding the perfect picture to fit my mood is actually harder than getting the words out for a post. Strange. Very strange.

Still, I'm glad that I found this pic. Today I wanted something a little dark. I've been feeling a little on the gloomy side since yesterday, and having one overcast day after another with a good dose of rain and cold isn't helping. So, I think this one's good for today.

Yesterday we went to the doctor and when we got out I was shivering. It was so cold that my jaw was actually chattering. Can you believe that? Anyway. The doctor prescribed some antibiotics for me. There are a lot of reasons why winter doesn't suit me, and the cold is only one of them. Because I've got that whole ongoing nose prob thingy, I'm mostly blocked. All the time. The collection of nasal sprays I use help, but when the cold weather sets in and I catch a cold, my breathing prob intensifies.

So much that I can hardly breathe. Eating becomes a bit of a prob too, because my throat feels as blocked as my nose and I find it hard to swallow the food. Anyway, I don't want to gross anyone out anymore than I already have, so, let's just hope the antibiotics help clear me up a bit.

This morning I got stuck into the writing and managed to reach 29,010 words. I'm really happy with that because yesterday's effort fell a bit short of my expectation. No 4k day for Wednesday, but let's hope Thursday is much more productive. Although, I did finish reading this book. Wow! I really, really enjoyed it. The violence and rawness of it all matched my mood perfectly, too. :)

Okay. That's enough rambling for today. I have to get my daughter out of bed. Something strange has started to happen. Now that the weather is so much colder, she sleeps much longer. Until I wake her. Loki tries to wake her about ten times before I do, but she doesn't budge. Lol.

Have a good day!

Wednesday 17 June 2009


Not everyone can take on the things that go bump in the night.

Not everyone tries.

But Jill Kismet is not just anyone.

She's a Hunter, trained by the best - and in over her head.

Welcome to the night shift...

With the release of Redemption Alley just around the corner, I wanted to read the first book in the Jill Kismet series before the third one's available. I mean, I've already got the second one sitting on my bookshelf (lol) but I wanted to get a taste for this new world Lilith has created...

... and I wasn't disappointed. Wow! This was one awesome book, featuring a very dark and damaged heroine. She was very tough and still raw from what had happened to her life recently, but I loved how vulnerable she was at the same time. She might be a hunter able to go up against the hellbreed and suffer a lot physically, but her mental struggle intrigued me.

I'm hooked, and look forward to spending more time with Jill in this action-packed city of hers. I also hope that Saul stays in the upcoming installments. :)

It's been raining...

... for so long. There was a song in the 80s that had that line in it. Yet, it still applies today. Lol. Honestly, one sunny day between several rainy ones in a row is not a good deal.

Man, I complain about rain, cold, and winter a lot, don't I? So, I'll apologise in advance because it will probably continue during the next few months. At least, until winter's long gone.

So far this week, I've had a good run with the writing.

My WIP is now @ 25,122 words. Yay! I've managed to write a lot during the last few days. I think I had a 5k day on Monday and a 4k yesterday. So far today I've added about 1.5k, so that's a great start to the day. Although during this morning's session, I had to go back to the last chapter I'd written and add a few things that I left out. That happens sometimes. I get in the zone and write like crazy, then hours later I remember leaving something vital out of the equation.

Luckily, during a first draft, that's an easy thing to fix.

Everything's fallen into place for this story, and that's why the words are coming so fast. It's almost like all the pieces were up in the air when I started and then they slowly trickled down around me. Well, yesterday during my walk home (while I was listening to Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge - love that album!) all the pieces decided to rain down on me. And so, as soon as I got home I wrote everything down. There's going to be a lot of bad and violent stuff going on, so the writing should flow nicely from now until the end. :)

Well, it's time to go now!

Tuesday 16 June 2009


A remote shelf in the Arctic circle. A small TV crew is braving the harsh conditions to film the breaking off of a major ice shelf - yet another nail in the planet's eco-coffin. Then someone calls out, pointing at something up in the sky overhead. The camera pans up and they look up to see a blazing symbol clear, burning high over the bleak, deserted terrain.

Thus begins a series of strange events worldwide as the mysterious sign appears over the sites of conflict, natural disasters and terrorist atrocities. What can it portend? The world is wracked with both fear and hope. Suddenly, all this is focussed onto one man. An obscure monk who recognises the symbol from the past and understands what it means for the future of humanity. But as he becomes the most sought-after man on the planet, the questions have to be asked: could this be the real deal or the most elaborate fake in world history?

This is an interesting book that sucks you in from the very beginning, presenting an intriguing situation that makes you wonder what's going on.

While Grace Logan and her film crew are filming in the Arctic circle, she notices a strange sign up in the sky, like a sphere of light above them that eventually fades as if it had never been there. As they film the occurence and the world sees it for themselves, speculation begins with everyone trying to figure out what is going on and what it could all mean. Matt Sherwood is trying to get on with his life and trying to overcome the harshness of his younger life, when he embarks on his own adventure to find out what happened to his brother Danny.

Told in different point of views, the reader is thrown into the mysterious speculation and worlwide debate of trying to find out just what the sign was, and who was responsible for it. The social commentary adds to the story and encourages every turn of the page. As it keeps you wondering.... is it religious, alien, or something else entirely. You'll have to get to the end to find that out.

The Sign is an enjoyable book with twists and turns that you'll enjoy, and a fast pace that'll keep you guessing all the way to the end. As for whether you'll be surprised or disappointed with how it all turns out, I'll leave that up to you to decide.

The Sign, June 2009, ISBN 0752897594, Orion Fiction Paperback

Monday 15 June 2009

No long weekend this time...

... yeah. After having a few long weekends in a row with hubby, this weekend seemed too short. Lol. I was trying to figure out why, and he reminded me. He's so right!

This morning wasn't as productive as I would've liked it to be. I only added about 800 words to my WIP, which brings the total word count to 14,796. Not bad. I think that if I apply butt-in-seat during the day, I'll be able to get pretty close to the halfway mark. I know what needs to happen in the next chapter, it's just a matter of actually writing it.

I have to be honest, I'm looking forward to writing it because it's going to have some really interesting hero with heroine interaction. Although, I do believe that the characters have been looking forward to it even more. Lol. :D

I spent a bunch of time just staring at my bookshelves. *sigh* See, the problem is that I've got SO many awesome books that I can't wait to read that I was stumped about which one to grab next. So many cool series books, so many awesome-sounding YA books! Just so many that I can't wait to read. Anyway. I managed to pick one up off my bookshelf and am about 60 pages into it already. It's a dark and gritty urban fantasy. This author sure knows how to write some tough chicks.

Oh, and I got my completed cover for FAITHLESS over the weekend. This'll be released from Damnation Books when they open in September. If you're a member of my Bits & Pieces announcement group, then you'll be the first to see it. I've already emailed it to the group. But if you're not, that's fine, because I'll be posting it here sometime this week too. :)

And on that thought, I'm going to sign out. I need to make sure my daughter gets ready soon because I want to stop by the post office before dropping her off at school. Have a cool day!

Friday 12 June 2009

Good morning, Friday!

Loki's picked up this new habit of jumping up onto the computer desk and standing in front of the screen. I think it's to stop me from looking anywhere else but at him. Which is really annoying, since I mostly look at the screen while I type. :/ Still, he looks so darn cute.

He's sitting in front of me right now. Gee!

So, how's your week going?

For us, this week was a short one because of the public holiday we had on Monday, so I've been living a day behind. Yeah, I've gotten lost along the way but I'm glad it's Friday. Another weekend's around the corner. Besides, don't Fridays always have an awesome vibe about them? Even when I was working full time, I didn't mind working the last day of the week.

Okay, let's talk writing.

Yesterday, while I was walking home after dropping my daughter off at school, I had my MP3 player plugged into my ears. A song that I really (really) like came up and all of a sudden, a new idea hit me. I swear, it happened just like that. A sentence rolled inside my head and it expanded from there. By the time I got home, I already knew a lot about the main character's background and why she was born special. I also cast three of the characters and know it's going to be a YA story. By the afternoon, I knew her inner and outer struggle. Very cool!

But I'm still working on the other story. Yeah. I've given up on that whole not-writing until next week. In fact, I'm now sitting @ 11,057 words. I'm also really enjoying it and have found a bunch of new things popping up. All stuff that'll enhance the ongoing story, and introduce several subplots. I'm looking forward to getting back to it later on. Not sure how much more I'll add, but any new words are good words. And I really need a code name for it, though that's hard when it doesn't even have a title yet.

Today we need to leave a little earlier than usual because it's soccer day for my daughter. So, I better get ready. Have a great weekend!

Thursday 11 June 2009

I'm still writing...

Did I mention that yesterday was freezing? My gosh, my hands felt like ice blocks, I swear they did. And the sun was out all day, too. We're lucky it wasn't an overcast day.

So, uh, I'm still writing the story that I wanted to tackle next week. Yeah, uh, I've reached 6,010 words - 1k of that was added this morning. I was hoping for more but Loki was really clingy this morning and kept jumping in front of the screen or calling me, asking for food... the usual! Although, he usually saves that for the afternoons when we're alone. Lol.

I know exactly where the next chapter's going to go, so I think I'll probably tackle that later today. I swear, the scenes are just so clear, and the characters so loud inside my head, that it would be stupid to ignore them. I find it's always a good idea to write when the words, scenes, dialogue and conflict are flowing.

Hubby borrowed Locke & Key by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez from the library and said it was a great comic book. So, I decided to give it a go too... wow! It was a great story. Very dark and gritty, harsh and violent. I really enjoyed it! Now I can't wait to read HEART-SHAPED BOX, which I already have sitting on my bookshelf.

Also, thanks to SuperWiki over @Twitter, I read this interview. It's really interesting. I miss SUPERNATURAL. :(

That's all for today. :)

Wednesday 10 June 2009

It's going to be a cold one!

Yeah, I can feel it already. *freezing*

Well, as of this morning, I've written 3,245 words of a new story that I started yesterday. A story I wasn't planning to start until next week. You see, this week I decided to take it easy. Give myself a week off. No new writing. I mean, I did finish the first draft of a novel last week, right? So it made sense...

I was planning to spend this week taking notes on several stories I want to write - all in the same world, but with an array of different characters. I'm very excited about these stories because they all somehow fit together and enhance the world in their own different way. But the first chapter of this one was just bugging me. It was right there, inside my head, knocking until I finally gave in and wrote it.

Well, the first chapter is now written and I'm very excited about the direction it's taking. I know it's going to be a fun ride. I'm aiming for 40k on this one. I might still put it aside to continue what I originally planned. The deal with my muse was to get the story started, and now it's on it's way. Of course, that also means that soon my mind will start to piece things together. I've got a scatter of scenes at the moment, but it won't stay that way for long. Lol.

Anyway. Enough chatter about the craziness that is writing. :)

Do you visit Suvudu? If you don't, you should. :D Some new Sci-Fi/Fantasy books have been added to this free book library, so if you want to check them out, you can HERE. It's a great offer!

On another note, I think I've been spending a little too much time on Twitter lately.

Okay, it's time to get some brekky for my daughter... she's hanging over my shoulder reading as I type, so I suppose that's a hint. Bye!

Tuesday 9 June 2009


Turn on all the lights and check under your bed. Things are about to get spooky in Trenton, New Jersey. According to legend, the Jersey Devil prowls the Pine Barrens and soars above the treetops in the dark of night. As eerie as this might seem, there are things in the Barrens that are even more frightening and dangerous. And there are monkeys. Lots of monkeys.

Wulf Grimoire is a world wanderer and an opportunist who can kill without remorse and disappear like smoke. He’s chosen Martin Munch, boy genius, as his new business partner, and he’s chosen the Barrens as his new playground. Munch received his doctorate degree in quantum physics when he was twenty-two. He’s now twenty-four, and while his brain is large, his body hasn’t made it out of the boys’ department at Macy’s. Anyone who says good things come in small packages hasn’t met Munch. Wulf Grimoire is looking for world domination. Martin Munch would be happy if he could just get a woman naked and tied to a tree. Bounty hunter Stephanie Plum has Munch on her most-wanted list for failure to appear in court. Plum is the all-American girl stuck in an uncomfortable job, succeeding on luck and tenacity. Usually she gets her man. This time she gets a monkey. She also gets a big guy named Diesel.

Diesel pops in and out of Plum’s life like birthday cake – delicious to look at and taste, not especially healthy as a steady diet, gone by the end of the week if not sooner. He’s an ├╝ber bounty hunter with special skills when it comes to tracking men and pleasing women. He’s after Grimoire, and now he’s also after Munch. And if truth were told, he wouldn’t mind setting Stephanie Plum in his crosshairs. Diesel and Plum hunt down Munch and Grimoire, following them into the Barrens, surviving cranberry bogs, the Jersey Devil, a hair-raising experience, sand in their underwear, and, of course... monkeys.

Wow! That's quite a blurb. What can I say after that description of this hilarious addition to the Stephanie Plum series? Well, I can say that I absolutely loved it and laughed like a crazy person with a secret because no one else knew what I was cracking up about.

Seriously, though, excellent book! There's a lot of monkey business going on here. And hey, as if Morelli and Ranger weren't enough hot guys in Steph's life... she had to add Diesel. ;)

Another fun book!

Saturday 6 June 2009


Dom Rizzi robbed a bank, stashed the money and did the time. His family couldn't be more proud. He always was the smart one. Dom happens to be the cousin of Joe Morelli, Stephanie's off-again, on-again boyfriend, so when less than a week after Dom's release from prison, Joe has shadowy figures breaking into his house and dying in his basement, Stephanie finds herself inescapably involved in this bank-robbery-gone-bad disaster.

With an offer from Ranger of some night work she can't refuse, personal vendettas, hidden treasure and a monkey named Carl, it's not long before Stephanie Plum is embroiled in her most explosive adventure ever! Warning! Only the fearless should read Fourteen.

The Stephanie Plum books always make me laugh out loud, and this one was no different. OMG! Just when you think there's no more trouble for Stephanie & Co. to get mixed up in, the next installment rocks around and does just that.

From start to finish, this book is a riot!

Stephanie Plum once again finds herself in the middle of a mess. This time it's a kidnapping, which started out as an average bond enforcement agent situation, involving Loretta Rizzi. Now, she has to look after Loretta's spray-painting fiend of a teenage son, and deal with Loretta's brother, Dom. As if that's not enough, while helping Ranger on a security case, she meets the aging celebrity Brenda and manages to catch the attention of Brenda's stalker.

Stephanie certainly knows how to pick up strays along the way, and dumps them in Morelli's house, while the rest of the neighbourhood is digging up his front and back yards hoping to find the missing $9 million dollars that Dom and his associates supposedly hid there from a bank robbery that went wrong years ago.

The fourteenth book in this series is filled with the usual Stephanie-Lula banter, adding a new angle to Lula's hilarity when she gets engaged to Tank, even though he has no idea how it happened. Grandma Mazur continues to help drive Stephanie's mother to the drink, while her dad stays out of everything. I suppose that after so many mishaps and trouble from Steph, he's gotten as used to the insanity as the rest of us. :)

Fearless Fourteen is another fantastic addition to this terrific series and continues to introduce crazy new characters, while keeping the main cast involved. Every time I pick up the latest book, I devour it within a day. It's so addictive, I just have to keep reading until the mystery is solved. The action, tension, fun, and comedy are all mixed in to deliver a well-written story that comes together in a very satisfying conclusion.

I love this series and will continue to strap in for the ride with each new book!

Fearless Fourteen, June 2009, ISBN 075533762X, Headline Paperback (B)

Friday 5 June 2009

What's in a name?

Well, yesterday was a strange day. For some reason, the day after I finish a first draft usually is. Maybe it's because I'm mentally exhausted. Or it could just be a small case of the post-book blues. Not sure what it is, but I didn't end up doing much. Which was fine.

Although, I did finish reading CEMETERY DANCE. Wow, have you read it? It was an amazing book with a lot of twists and turns. The ending is terrific, and sad too. Lots of shocking moments in this book.

This is the next book I'll be reading. It's time to get back into the crazy and hilarious world of Stephanie Plum.

This morning, I've been busy casting and naming four new characters - two heroes and two heroines. I also finally have faces for all of them. One of the places I go to for character names is BabyNames.com. It's really helpful when I'm stuck and has a search feature. For me, sometimes the name comes before anything else, but others I have to look for one. And I love names to have some sort of meaning, no matter how obscure. So, it was interesting to find this article on the website. I guess I'm not the only writer who visits. ;)

Well, I better get back to it. The next thing I need to do for these new characters is open up a Word doc and type in the main outline of their story. Oh, as well as how they fit in to the rest of the world. Yeah, so far I have six different stories I want to set in the same universe, and only one is written.

Have a great weekend! It's a long weekend for us.

ytd word count: 95,114

Thursday 4 June 2009

CEMETERY DANCE by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child

Pendergast - the world's most enigmatic FBI Special Agent - returns to New York City to investigate a murderous cult.

William Smithback, a New York Times reporter and his wife Nora Kelly, a Museum of Natural History archaeologist, are brutally attacked in their apartment on Manhattan's Upper West Side. Eyewitnesses claim and the security camera confirms, that the assailant was their strange, sinister neighbour - a man who, by all reports, was already dead and buried weeks earlier.

While Captain Laura Hayward leads the official investigation, Pendergast and Lieutenant Vincent D'Agosta undertake their own private - and decidedly unorthodox - quest for the truth. Their serpentine journey takes them to an enclave of Manhattan they never imagined could exist: a secretive, reclusive cult of Obeah and voodoo which no outsiders have ever survived...

This is the first Pendergast book I've read, and I have to say that I'm impressed. What starts out as a brutal attack resulting in murder, turns into the search for a zombii, and leads to a mysterious place called the Ville.

This book is a clever, thrilling story that takes the reader on a quest for the truth in a murder investigation. By the time D'Agosta and Pendergast embark on their investigation, you find yourself swept away with every new detail they uncover. It begins with an almost supernatural premise - a dead man murders a well-known reporter and attacks his wife. But it ends in a place you won't guess until you actually get there.

This book features an array of POV shifts, which moves the story along and allows us to see what's going on with different people at different stages. And while I thought everyone's personal situation was interesting, I found myself intrigued by Nora Kelly's journey the most. It's sad and disturbing. I couldn't help but feel sorry for her. Not only did she lose her husband, but was being constantly stalked by the dead man and winds up in an even worse place.

Cemetery Dance is an amazing book that'll keep you hanging on every step of the way. You'll finish each chapter, anticipating the next one, but not wanting to let go of what you've just read too quickly. The plot is intricate and unveiled one little bit at a time, keeping the reader as confused as the characters. There's one shock after another, and by the time you finally know the bizarre truth, you'll feel even more for Nora.

If you like thrillers with a story that'll get your heart pumping and your mind wandering, this is defintely a book you have to check out!

Cemetery Dance, June 2009, ISBN 0752890689, Orion Fiction Paperback

A drawing of me...

<--- This cute picture was made by my daughter over the weekend. She actually made it on Photoshop, so I was pretty impressed. I didn't even know she could use it this way. Lol. I mean, I know she makes movies using photos (after I started making book videos) but this is super cute!

I told her I'd post it on my blog sometime this week, so here it is. :)

We stayed up a little later than usual last night so we could watch the State of Origin. Between the ref making mistakes, and the Blues (NSW) stuffing up every chance they got, you could see that the Maroons (QLD) were going to win. It's a shame, but it's been the same way for years now. NSW just can't get it right.

Oh well, there are still two games to go. Maybe they'll win those and surprise everyone. Or not. :/ We'll see.

Well, I spent most of my writing day yesterday working on UC. As I mentioned yesterday, I didn't get writing right away, I went back several chapters and read from there. That turned out to be a great move because when I added the missing chapter, it wound up fitting better in another spot - not between last chapter and epilogue. I'm very happy with how it turned out, and the epilogue only needed a few alterations here and there. Now, I'm going to try and stay away from it for a bit.

The final word count for the first draft is 78,447. Pretty happy with that. It'll change during revision.

So, what's next for me? I've got a few new projects that I'd like to tackle, but I think I'll take today and tomorrow off from any new writing. I'm going to collect some more picture inspiration for these new projects and write a bunch of notes down. It'll be fun to let my mind wander for a bit, let things fit together before I commit to any writing next week. :)

Well, have a great day!
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