Friday, 30 January 2009

STRAY


There are only eight breeding female werecats left . . . And I'm one of them

I look like an all-American grad student. But I am a werecat, a shape-shifter, and I live in two worlds.

Despite reservations from my family and my Pride, I escaped the pressure to continue my species and carved out a normal life for myself. Until the night a Stray attacked.

I'd been warned about Strays -- werecats without a Pride, constantly on the lookout for someone like me: attractive, female, and fertile. I fought him off, but then learned two of my fellow tabbies had disappeared.

This brush with danger was all my Pride needed to summon me back . . . for my own protection. Yeah, right. But I'm no meek kitty. I'll take on whatever -- and whoever -- I have to in order to find my friends. Watch out, Strays -- 'cause I got claws, and I'm not afraid to use them . . .

I just finished this book and absolutely loved it! It took me about a week to finish, and not because it was long, but because I started reading it in-between renovations, getting my daughter back to school, and having hubby home on holidays. Still, every spare minute I got, I pretty much spent reading Faythe's story.

I loved the rawness of this story. A lot of uncomfortable themes and things happened in this book, but Rachel Vincent had her characters dealing with everything in a realistic and honest way. Every action had a consequence, just like it does in real life.

Rachel has created a fascinating and tough as nails werecat society hidden amongst the humans. One that's filled with rules, laws, and characters that'll keep me going back for the next installments. Speaking of which, I do belief that ROGUE will be the next book I pick up. :)

Give this series a go, it's interesting, unique, and very, very well written.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

So darn tired!

Anyway, how's everyone's week going so far? It's Tuesday afternoon and we just got back from another shopping trip. There used to be a time when I could spend hours checking out things at a shopping center and loved every minute of it. Nowadays, not so much. I'm not sure what it is, but I think that the older I get, the less I like crowds.

We had to go though, my daughter's had a growth spurt. All her summer gear fit her at the beginning of spring, and now everything's too short. Lol. So, we got her some new stuff to wear, as well as some new sneakers. She goes back to school tomorrow. I don't think she's looking forward to it because hubby's still home for another (almost) three weeks and she wants to hang out with him. At least he'll be home when she gets out. And we can have dinner together, too.

Well, my daughter's room is now done and done. New paint on the walls - check. New comfy, soft carpet - check. New bookshelves attached to the wall for safety -check. New position for everything - check. No clutter - check, check. Now, if I could say the same for our room, that would be awesome. Lol. It's not so bad, really. I've just got to re-arrange my writing stuff. I'm going to have two separate places for everything, and just need to get it all sorted out.

I love the way the unit (apartment) looks now. Awesome!

Still no new writing, but I have been thinking a lot about several of my novels. They're all at different stages and I've already made a list of where each is at, so that's a start. I figured something out for one of them that was kinda bothering me. That's always a great feeling!

Well, I better get going now. Just catching up on some blogging. See ya!

Friday, 23 January 2009

Time off can be tiring...

So, how's everyone doing? I'm doing great, but as I mentioned in the title, I'm really tired. Our sleeping habits are a little out-of-whack at the moment. So, yep, it's past 1AM and I'm posting a blog entry. Lol. Hubby's watching Beyond The Mat. I'm just a little too restless to sit down and watch anything. I'll probably fall asleep if I do.

We spent all day - well, I suppose it's now yesterday - painting my daughter's bedroom. I'm really impressed with the colour she chose. I'm not sure what the name was, but it's a lovely shade of lavender. It looks great! Now we gotta get the carpet in there. Hopefully the guys will pop in early in the morning to get it done, so we can spend the day putting everything back in nicely. I suppose that means we'll be throwing some more stuff away.

Man, once we're done with this, I really want to stay away from renovations for a while! I need to rest.

It's so darn hot. It's been hot all day, but even now it's balmy. Still, I do love summer. :)
I've started reading this book. Wow! It's so good. I'm about 120 pages in and I'm totally caught up in the story. What a cool idea.
Writing. Hmmm. There's been no writing all week. And you know what? I'm actually okay with that. For now. I can feel the itch to write starting at the back of my head, though. I've taken a few notes and have been thinking about what I'll tackle next, but soon there'll be no way to stay away. Lol. I think the break is helping me mentally.
Anyway. I think it's time to get going to bed. *yawn*

Thursday, 22 January 2009

THE DEVIL TO PAY


After the devil Himself claims Ivan Drake's soul on his twenty-first birthday, the vampire phoenix has no choice but to enforce his wicked rule. But when the devil sends him to claim the Book of All Spells, the last thing Ivan expects is to square off with its gorgeous protector, the witch Dez Merevech—or to be so attracted to her.

To retrieve the book might end the escalating war between the witches and the vampires, but to take it from Dez will ensure her death. With the fate of the paranormal world hanging in the balance, Ivan must choose wisely—and quickly.…

Michele Hauf knows how to tell a great tale, and this one was another intoxicating read. As soon as I started reading Ivan's story, I just wanted to keep going and going. Add the mysterious Dez to the mix, and I was hooked.

This is part of her Bewitching the Dark series about vampires and witches, so you might want to read the others beforehand - especially Kiss Me Deadly, because it's about Ivan's parents. :)

Anyway, I really enjoyed this book. Like I've said before, I love Michele's work and look forward to reading more of it. This book was dark, mysterious, sexy, and full of surprises.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Hey!

How is everyone's week going? I hope you're all doing well.

This is my hubby's first week off from work and my daughter and I are absolutely loving it. Awesome! You just don't realise how much time a job consumes until you get distance from it. Well, okay, so I know everyday... but now, it's just so obvious.

We're having a lot of fun doing stuff, and doing nothing at all. It's great! We've been going for really long walks during the day and then drop by a beach in the evening. It's lovely. Haven't done the evening walks along the beach for ages. Too long. It's always a relaxing and serene experience.

Although, it's not going to be fun and games every single day. Today we're going to start stripping away the carpet in my daughter's bedroom. We need to get the room ready for painting tomorrow because the new carpet's coming in on Friday. Yikes! Busy-busy, but everything's better with hubby home. ;)

We've also seen a few movies. We watched IGOR and THE WRESTLER. IGOR was cute and funny. THE WRESTLER was one fantastic movie. I really, really enjoyed the rawness of it. Mickey Rourke certainly deserved that Golden Globe Award he got for his portrayal of a washed-up wrestler still clinging to his hey-day. Fantastic!

I'm also halfway through this great book. I won a signed copy from Michele Hauf a few weeks ago, and I'm really enjoying it. She's a great writer, that's for sure.

Well, I guess I better get back to it now. :)

Sunday, 18 January 2009

DEAD TO ME


Psychometry-the power to touch an object and divine information about its history-has meant a life of petty crime for Simon Canderous, but now he's gone over to the good side. At New York's underfunded and (mostly) secret Department of Extraordinary Affairs, he's learning about red tape, office politics, and the basics of paranormal investigation. But it's not the paperwork that has him breathless.

After Simon spills his coffee on (okay, through) the ghost of a beautiful woman- who doesn't know she's dead-he and his mentor plan to find her killers. But Simon's not prepared for the nefarious plot that unfolds before him, involving politically correct cultists, a large wooden fish, a homicidal bookcase, and the forces of Darkness, which kind of have a crush on him.

Well, I started this book a few days ago and just finished it. Wow. It was a great start to the Simon Canderous series. This is another new urban fantasy series that for some reason slipped by my radar. But, I caught up with it, and I'm really glad.

Simon is another great character with his own set of skills and problems to go along with it. I was sucked into his world from the first chapter and can't wait to see what else he gets up to.

Anton Strout has created a deep, interesting and thought-provoking world with a set of intriguing characters that will have me eagerly awaiting the next installments.

Once again, if you're an urban fantasy fan, you should definitely check this one out!

Thursday, 15 January 2009

THE DARKEST FIRE


He is the guardian of hell, more monster than man. She is the goddess of oppression, more angel than woman. Together they will enter the flames to battle a dangerous horde of demon lords -- and discover a passion unlike any other...


Last night, I read this story in one sitting. I've been wanting to read Gena Showalter's Lords of the Underworld for a while - since I have the first three already - but I didn't want to get started until I read this one. And I'm glad I waited. I think it's a great introduction, a prequel.

Gena's an awesome writer who pulls you into her stories with so much force, you can't help but be swept away with what the characters are going through. And this one was just the same. I really enjoyed it!

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

LORD OF MISRULE


In the college town of Morganville, vampires and humans coexist in (relatively) bloodless harmony. Then comes Bishop, the master vampire who threatens to abolish all order, revive the forces of the evil dead, and let chaos rule. But Bishop isn’t the only threat.

Violent black cyclone clouds hover, promising a storm of devastating proportions as student Claire Danvers and her friends prepare to defend Morganville against elements both natural and unnatural.

The hubby got back home pretty late last night, so I decided to grab this book to try and finish it. I was about halfway, and had no problem getting caught up in what was going on. Wow. It's always great to catch up with Claire, Shane, Eve and Michael.

This is book #5 in The Morganville Vampires series, and it didn't disappoint. The action, emotion, and danger levels were raised. As if things in Morganville weren't already hard enough. Lol. With Bishop in town, it looks like it's all going to hell. And the way it ended, gee, I can't wait for the next one. Poor Claire.

It's nice to see Shane on the cover, though. :)

This is an awesome YA series! Rachel has created a wonderfully dark vision of the vampire, and I enjoy my stay in Morganville every time I visit. You should be reading this series. Really!

Monday, 12 January 2009

Well, new week...

... and new to-do list.

This week's list isn't as long as last week's. So far. Lol. And I've already crossed (or highlighted) one thing off.

I don't have much planned writing-wise. Well, no new writing or revisions planned. I think I'll do a little of this and a little of that for several projects. Maybe put together a priority list, too. You see, hubby goes on holidays at the end of this week. As of Friday, he'll be home until Feb 16. Yay! How cool. :)

We're all really excited because hubby hasn't had any time off work for several years now. It's been so darn long. We just want to take it easy for 4 weeks. Relax and catch up on some family time, before our daughter goes back to school.

Anyway, the weekend was cool. But it flew by, and I didn't get a chance to read as much as I wanted to. So, there's another thing for me to do today. There are so many cool books on my TBR pile that I can't wait to get to. And now that they're all nicely placed inside my bookshelf... yay! :D

Okay, I'm gonna go now. I've got a few things to do with my daughter...

Friday, 9 January 2009

Updates & Updates

How's everyone's week going? Mine absolutely flew by. I swear it did. Maybe it's because every single minute of it has been filled with something to do. I've only got one more thing left to cross off my to-do list. Yay! And I'm hoping to spend some time on it a little later. I was supposed to be working on it now, but I got sidetracked by my website.

Did I mention that I've updated it? I change a lot of the content. I think it's a lot friendlier to navigate and looks a lot neater too. I intend to update the STUFF page. I'd love to feature one of my books each month, listing behind-the-scenes stuff. And I'd also like to add inspirational pics of my WIPs, once I get stuck into them.

So, if you've got a couple of spare minutes, I'd love to hear what you think of the updates I made. :) Oh, and my January newsletter has now gone out. I've decided to go bimonthly from now on. So, I'm holding two different contests.
Well, the novella I was revising/re-writing is now complete. The final word count is now 38,357, which means that I added almost 10k. Wow! Very excited about how it's turned out. Not sure what I'll be working on next week...

I think I better get back to it now. Have a great weekend!


ytd word count: 4,963

Thursday, 8 January 2009

THE UNNATURAL INQUIRER


Welcome to the Nightside, that secret square mile located in the dark heart of London where the sun never rises and people can fraternize with every myth and monster imaginable.

John Taylor is a P.I. with the special ability to locate anyone or anything. The Unnatural Inquirer, the Nightside's most notorious gossip rag, has offered him a million pounds to find a DVD purportedto contain an actual recording of the afterlife. John doesn't know if it's true, but someone-or something-thinks so, and will stop at nothing to possess the disc.

Well, I read half of this book before we got started on the last bit of the bedroom renovation, so I was absolutely itching to get back to it. And last night, after I'd gotten the majority of my to-do list out of the way, I picked it up again and sat down on the couch. Determined to finish it. Because, you know, John Taylor always rocks!

My gosh, I wasn't disappointed. What a dangerous, dark, yet totally intriguing place the Nightside is. Wow! John Taylor certainly knows how to get himself deep into trouble. In this installment, he's teamed up with a reporter called, Bettie Divine. She was a very interesting character that allowed the reader to see a softer, different side of John. Still, at the end of the day, he is who he is. And that's why we love him so much. ;)

I always love to return to John Taylor's world, it's like catching up with very odd, quirky and deadly friends. This series is so much fun!

MIDNIGHT SINS


Cara Maloan doesn't look like a monster. In fact, the gorgeous blond nightclub singer possesses heavenly attributes that make Atlanta detective Todd Brooks sure there's a higher power somewhere. But a twisted killer is leaving a trail of bodies in seedy hotel rooms across town. The male victims show no wounds--it's as if the life was simply drained from them. And right now, mysterious Cara is Todd's only suspect.

Cara knows it's foolish to be so drawn to a man who thinks she's a murderer. She also knows Detective Brooks would find the truth even harder to swallow. Cara is one of the Other, a race of powerful, paranormal creatures who live among humans. Cara's particular abilities make men putty in her hands--all except this rugged, sexy-as-hell detective. But now someone, or something, has singled Cara out for serious payback.

As uneasy trust gives way to mind-blowing desire, Cara and Todd will go head-to-head with a killer whose mission is deeply personal, and who's determined to serve up revenge that's hotter than hellfire, and just as deadly...

Yikes! During the rush of the new year, I forgot to post about this very awesome book! This was officially my last book read for 2008... and I spent a large chunk of New Year's Eve finishing it up, because I couldn't wait to get to the end.

Honestly, Cynthia Eden knows how to write a great paranormal suspense story that keeps you guessing until the very end. I know because she did the same thing in HOTTER AFTER MIDNIGHT. The hero in this one - Todd - is actually the partner of the hero in Hotter After Midnight - Colin! I love it! And you won't be disappointed when you find out who the killer is, though you'll be suspecting just about everyone. Lol.

Fantastic read, with an intoxicating romance and a sizzling heat level between two characters that you'll absolutely love to read about.

Yeah, you should definitely check this out! I'm looking forward to reading MIDNIGHT'S MASTER, Niol's story. Can't wait!

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Tuesday Tunes!

Yikes! I got so caught up in clearing up the last of the clutter and totally forgot about posting today. :/

So, today's pick is Billy Idol. A definite favourite of mine from way back...

I absolutely LOVE this song. It totally rocks! Even now, man. ;)

Cradle Of Love



And because it's blazing hot in Sydney today, I give you:

Hot In The City



There's no way I could leave this song out. No way!

White Wedding

Monday, 5 January 2009

Lotsa Bookshelves

Anyway, I'm so darn tired today! This weekend, I've lifted more things than I've ever lifted my whole life. I'm pretty sure of it.

It all started on Friday night when the hubby came home with a truck he borrowed from work. We had to get a heavy piece of furniture in there, so we could drop it off at my mother-in-law's place. I was surprised that I was able to help him get it down the stairs and then into the house. I guess the weights have been helping me with strength. Just as well, because we then made a few trips to IKEA to pick up 4 new shelves, eight doors to put on these shelves, a 6-drawer chest, and a few bits and pieces. Phew. Hubby put it all together and we both moved everything into the bedroom.

So, our room is officially almost complete. I just need to sort out a few things that are homeless at the moment. It's amazing just how much you can pack into a room over the years. :/

I spent several hours during Saturday and Sunday night grabbing all my books - they were all over the house, but mostly in my daughter's room - trying to organise them as nicely as I could. I'm still amazed at just how many books I have. I didn't end up cataloguing everything because I just wanted to put it all away, but gosh, there are heaps. Still, there's also room for growth now. I was a little worried about not having that. Lol.

Now, I need to go back into my daughter's room so that I can try and clear away most of the mess left behind. There are a lot of things there. Once you start, it feels like it's almost never-ending.
Gosh. I know it's January and the start of a new year, but for me, February always feels like the starting point. I guess it's because I can't totally throw myself into any long writing projects because my daughter's home for the whole month.
Anyway. Have a great day! You'll find me sorting and re-sorting stuff now...

Friday, 2 January 2009

Welcome 2009!

Yeah. I have to be honest, I personally don't understand the fascination with fireworks. I mean, the Sydney fireworks display cost $5 million. Why? I think that money could've been better spent. But that's just me.

New Year's Eve was a little wonky around here. A burst water pipe in the adjoining unit block caused several units to flood. A big mess that required the Fire Dept. to spend hours over there cleaning up the mess. We were without electricity for about an hour. :/ Not a nice thing to happen to anyone.

Then last night, hubby and I were getting ready for bed just after midnight and the lights went out. Total blackout, and not just our block. We called the electricity emergency number and a pre-recorded message claimed that a bunch of suburbs were affected. Ours included. The electricity didn't come back until just before 6AM this morning. Gosh.

Not a very good start to the year. It's amazing how dark and quiet it is without any electricity. A little eerie. And damn annoying just how much we depend on it.

Anyway. On a better note, I did get through the first re-write round of the novella I'm re-working at the moment. The word count went up from about 29k to 35,618. At the moment. Still, it's not about the word count, it's about fixing and strengthening the story. I'm much happier with how it turned out. It'll be good to have the weekend away from it. Then I'll probably get stuck into it again.

This weekend's gonna be a busy one for us. We're gonna buy some bookshelves and set them up in our room. Can't wait to get my books sorted out. I'm going to set up a catalogue, and get really tough about the ones I keep. Have to. There are just too many books, otherwise. It's insane.

Okay. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Books Read in 2008...

KITTY AND THE SILVER BULLET: Carrie Vaughn

IRON KISSED: Patricia Briggs

DARKLING: Yasmine Galenorn

A RUSH OF WINGS: Adrian Phoenix

ONCE BITTEN, TWICE SHY: Jennifer Rardin

GLASS HOUSES: Rachel Caine

THE DEAD GIRLS' DANCE: Rachel Caine

MIDNIGHT ALLEY: Rachel Caine

WHAT'S A GHOUL TO DO? Victoria Laurie

FOOL'S GOLD: Ericka Scott

TIME TRANSIT: Kay Austin

FULL MOON RISING: Keri Arthur

BOUNTY HUNTER: Deanna Lee

MIDNIGHT REIGN: Chris Marie Green

ALL TOGETHER DEAD: Charlaine Harris

LADY & THE VAMP: Michelle Rowen

GHOST OF A CHANCE: Kate Marsh

GRIMSPACE: Ann Aguirre

UNDER DARKNESS: Savannah Russe

RACING THE MOON: Michele Hauf

NIGHT LIFE: Caitlin Kittredge

DEAD SEXY: Kimberly Raye

WITCH BLOOD: Anya Bast

THE HAUNTING: Hope Tarr

THE SCENT OF SHADOWS: Vicki Pettersson

WRITING THE BREAKOUT NOVEL: Donald Maass

FEAST OF FOOLS: Rachel Caine

NIGHT CHILD: Jes Battis

DRAGON WYTCH: Yasmine Galenorn

SERVANT: THE AWAKENING: L.L. Foster

FAKING HUMAN: Moira Rogers

MOONSHINE: Moira Rogers

YOU CAN LEAVE YOUR MASK ON: P. Andrews

TWIST: Colby Hodge

CRY WOLF: Patricia Briggs

TWILIGHT: Stephenie Meyer

NEW MOON: Stephenie Meyer

ECLIPSE: Stephenie Meyer

BREAKING DAWN: Stephenie Meyer

THE USBORNE OFFICIAL KNIGHT'S HANDBOOK

ARMED & MAGICAL: Lisa Shearin

LEAN MEAN THIRTEEN: Janet Evanovich

PLUM LUCKY: Janet Evanovich

GALE FORCE: Rachel Caine

LEGACY: Jeanne C. Stein

SERVANT: THE ACCEPTANCE: L.L. Foster

THE DEVIL INSIDE: Jenna Black

THE DEVIL YOU KNOW: Jenna Black

ONE FOOT IN THE GRAVE: Jeaniene Frost

KISSING SIN: Keri Arthur

PURE BLOOD: Caitlin Kittredge

HOLES: Louis Sachar

ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST: Jennifer Rardin

MAGIC TO THE BONE: Devon Monk

UNSHAPELY THINGS: Mark Del Franco

HOTTER AFTER MIDNIGHT: Cynthia Eden

THE HOST: Stephenie Meyer

TITHE - A Modern Faerie Tale: Holly Black

WICKED LOVELY: Melissa Marr

THE DEVIL'S DUE: Jenna Black

CORALINE: Neil Gaiman

MAGIC BITES: Ilona Andrews

UNQUIET DREAMS: Mark Del Franco

MIDNIGHT SINS: Cynthia Eden

I actually finished the last book on the list yesterday evening. :)

I wanted to read 53 books during 2008, but as you can see, I read more. Very cool!

 
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