Friday, 27 February 2009

Feeling a little slow today. :/

You know when you're so tired that all you want to do is lie down? When everything makes you sleepy? Well, that's where I'm at today. I'm craving sleep...

It's been a hard week. Lots going on. Going to bed in the early hours of the morning. Hubby has gotten home after midnight every night. The kitty loves to wake me up early to keep him company. It just boils down to: not enough sleep!

I haven't been able to summon the energy to workout for most of the week, either. At least I've kept up with my walking.

So, what's new? Today I went to the bookstore and picked up another two books. I'm being a lot more fussy with the books I buy, and am really getting into YA books lately. Still, I have to make sure that every book I buy I also intend to read, not just shelf. In the last few weeks I've gotten rid of about 50 books on eBay. The bookshelves still look pretty packed, though. Lol.

I've been very productive with my revision during the last two weeks. And on Wednesday night, I finished the final draft of my UF novel, PoD. Of course, because I can be super fussy, I went back to it yesterday and tidied up/fixed a few final things. It's finished!

Final word count = 92,857 words. Yay!

I was hoping to have the synopsis finished too, but that hasn't been done yet. :/

Oh, and I had every intention of starting another novel revision next week, but I realised that if I do that my head might explode. Lol. So, instead, I've decided to take a week off revisions and concentrate on smaller writing jobs. Like organising March. ;)

I'm really looking forward to the weekend. Have a good one!

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

THE SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES: The Wrath of Mulgarath


Through field, cave, and forest
this tale has been spun.
And three must now finish
what malice has begun.

One will bear sword,
and one will rule sky,
but one has the answer
hidden deep down inside --

an answer for anger,
a balm against rage,
freedom for a captive,
and the cure for a sage.

See who is standing
when you turn the last page.

So, I got through my UF novel revision tonight and decided to reward myself with reading the final book in the first series of THE SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES. Yeah, for the last few nights it's been my reward for getting closer to the end of my own story. :)

Anyway. Just finished it in one sitting. I LOVED IT! Not just this book, but the way the whole story was rounded out. There was a bit of everything in this story, and even with all the strange and wonderful things going on around the humans, real everyday human issues were dealt with realistically. You gotta love that!

I'm SO glad that I read (ie. devoured) this series during the last few days. Having watched the movie beforehand didn't ruin anything because in the end, it wound up being so different. Like always, the books were way better but hey, the movie was fun too.

I've got to encourage my daughter to read this series all the way through. She read the first one but hasn't picked up the others yet. She's gotta! It's awesome, no matter what age. :D

Now... what Holly Black book is my bookshelf missing? I've still got IRONSIDE waiting for me, but you know, I'm kinda avoiding it on purpose because I don't want the experience to end.

THE SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES: The Ironwood Tree


At school, someone is running around pretending to be Jared, and it's not Simon. To make matters even worse, now Mallory has disappeared and something foul in the water is killing off all the plants and animals for miles around. Clues point to the old abandoned quarry, just outside of town. Dwarves have taken over an abandoned mine there. And the faerie world's abuzz with the news that a creature with plans to rule the world has offered them a gift to join with him - he's given them a queen...

Wow! Check out this cover, isn't it gorgeous? And the illustrations on the inside of the book are just as stunning. The story, well, I don't think I need to tell you how much I enjoyed the story... since I finished this book during the day in a few sittings.

I swear, this series is so addictive. And you know what? Just about everything that happened in this book wasn't in the movie. How strange. I found this installment just as fitting of the overall story as the books before it. Anyway. I loved the take on dwarves, as well as the pinch of fairy tale. It drew from mythology but in a very original way.

This series rocks!

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

THE SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES: Lucinda's Secret


Let the story of my niece and nephews be a warning. The more you know, the more danger you're in. And trust me, you don't want to meddle with the Little People. -- S.S.

Their world is closer than you think.

Okay, I'm having way too much fun reading this series! Honestly. I'm getting swept up in the magic of the wicked faeries and the Grace siblings. The more I read, the more I like Jared, Simon and Mallory.

And OMG! Aren't the illustrations beautiful? Tony DiTerlizzi is an amazing artist! I love checking out the illustrations as I'm reading the story.

Once again, the depth of the ongoing story is intensified much more than in the movie, but that's okay. I accept and respect the two mediums, I'm just super excited to be reading these books now. I love the creepy mixed in with the magical wonder. :)

The Grace kids are putting up with a very angry boggart and cross paths with three gorgeous but not-so nice elves. This encounter sheds some light on what might have happened to Arthur Spiderwick...

Bring on number 4!

THE SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES: The Seeing Stone


we said no

still you looked

now instead

someone gets cooked

You know, I was going to read this book tonight but instead wound up reading it before and then after dinner. Wow! I'm really enjoying this series. The cool thing is that I remember which scene was adapted from this book, but it wound up being different. In a better way.

Once again, I enjoyed the book better. Of course. I love the gradual introduction of all the different faerie species, and didn't expect the griffin to be introduced so early on. Awesome!

It's great how the children are slowly changing and pretty much accepting what's going on in front of them. And isn't it cool that Jared - the one they all considered the troublemaker before - is now pretty much helping them work through everything? Cool. I love seeing character growth, and it's already happening.

I also worked out that this is a 5-book series, so we went back to the library and I borrowed the rest of the books. It shouldn't take me too long to get through them. :D

THE SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES: The Field Guide


Go away

close the book

put it down

do not look

Yesterday, my daughter and I popped into the library and I decided to borrow the second and third Spiderwick Chronicles books. Why didn't I grab the first one? Well, my daughter owns a copy. So I thought I could read that and see if I enjoyed it.

Last night, after I finished getting through my revision page goal, I decided to grab it. I started reading, and kept reading... and before I realized it, I'd finished it. Of course, it's a much shorter book than what I usually read, so I wasn't surprised that I got through it so quickly. What I was surprised about was how much I enjoyed it!

I've seen the movie and noticed that they stuck pretty closely to the first book. Still, as much as I enjoyed that, there's an extra spark to the book. And the illustrations are gorgeous! I also warmed to Jared a lot more in the book than in the movie. The poor kid's had a rough time and gets himself into trouble, though he doesn't mean to.

Something I've noticed about Holly Black is that no matter what fantastical part of faerie she's focusing on, she still manages to draw the reader into the very real life of her human characters. Like so many children who have to endure divorced parents, Jared suffers through that and it seems to dominate a lot of his actions and reactions. Loved it!

Anyway, as you've probably already guessed... I'll be starting the second book later on. ;)

Friday, 20 February 2009

The sun's back!

Yeah! The clouds have totally gone and the sun is nice and bright. It's pretty hot too. :) So I've gotten the chance to catch up on some laundry. I don't know how long this will last, but it beats the taste of winter we've had during the last week.

Well, today's Friday and we're back into the routine of dropping hubby off at work so we can pick him up later. It's a nice way to get the weekend started. That also means that I lose a chunk of writing time but since it's more time spent with hubby, I don't mind. That means that instead of squeezing in 20 pages during the day, I only got 13 done.

Not bad, I suppose. This means that I'm now sitting on page 270/460. The word count's passed 91k now, which is kinda strange because I've been ruthless with deleting whole paragraphs.

Today I'm hoping to reach page 300. That's the goal. I just need to make sure that my daughter grabs a book or watches something later on so I can concentrate on this.

Okay. Better get to it! Have an awesome weekend.

VALIANT: A Modern Tale of Faerie


When seventeen-year-old Valerie runs away to New York City, she's trying to escape a life that has utterly betrayed her. Sporting a new identity, she takes up with a gang of squatters who live in the city's labyrinthine subway system.

But there's something eerily beguiling about Val's new friends. And when one talks Val into tracking down the lair of a mysterious creature with whom they are all involved, Val finds herself torn between her newfound affection for an honorable monster and her fear of what her new friends are becoming.

A few months ago I read and absolutely loved Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale. And because I'm revising an UF novel at the moment, I always stay away from UF books until I'm done. Instead, I like to grab something completely different to what I've written and lately, YA seems to fit the bill perfectly.

This week, I've been rewarding myself with reading a little bit of this book each night.

I finished reading it this afternoon and boy, this one didn't disappoint! It was fantastic. What I love about Holly's books - so far, because I've only read two :) - is that she tackles very real human issues, emotions and problems, then throws in the dangerous world of the faerie. And what a dark world that is. Once again, like the first one, this book was raw and didn't shy away from things that might make you uncomfortable.

Loved it! Can't wait to read IRONSIDE...

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Revision, revision

Yep. That's where I'm at for a while. :) And you know what? I'm actually enjoying every minute of it.

I'm working on an UF novel that I wrote a few years back. I loved the subject matter and the characters too much to give up on it, so when I decided to re-work it late last year and update the actual writing - because a lot of it made me cringe - a new surge of excitement for this project swept over me.

As a result, it reads a lot better now and much of the second half of the book has changed. In direction at least, and definitely for the better.

I'm currently sitting @ page 139/457 and the page/word count keeps creeping up. I've given myself two weeks to get this done, so I'm not rushing. Some sections are easier/faster than others. Most don't require any changes, but several I've found myself tweaking.

That's the thing about me, though. I could revise, edit and tweak a story forever. There's always something that sticks out. A sentence that could be moved around to make the story stronger. :/ It's why I give myself the three-draft rule. Otherwise, I'd never finish anything. ;)
Anyway, if I can get to page 230 by the end of the week, that'll be awesome! We'll have to wait and see. At the moment, I've been doing about 60 pages per day - 20 between hubby leaving for work and having to pick my daughter up from school, and 40 after she's tucked into bed for the night. I'm happy with that.
Besides, I'm rewarding myself with reading a little bit more of this book every night. YA novels are totally rocking nowadays, aren't they? :D
Have a great day!

Monday, 16 February 2009

Back to Business

I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine's Day! *hugs*

Ours was nice. Of course, having it rain all day and night kinda put a damper on things. :/ But, what can you do? I know I should be glad that it's been raining on-and-off for about five days now, when so much of the country is still burning. But so much rain sucks.

I hope they get all those blazes in Victoria under control soon. It's so awful to hear how many people and homes are being affected. It makes me sad.

You know what else makes me sad? That hubby's gone back to work. Yep. The holidays are over. :( He's back to the afternoon/night shift routine. I miss him already...

So, I decided to throw myself into revisions right away. Yep.

I'm giving myself the rest of the month - which is essentially two weeks - to get the final draft of that UF novel I re-worked in December. Or was it November? Either way, I intend to get it finished by the end of February. I've already done 22/453 pages. Doesn't sound like much, but it's quite good for a start. I'll be picking it up again tonight too. Hoping to squeeze in a few more hours of revision after my daughter goes to bed. I'm really excited about this story, so that's always a plus.

Well, gotta get going. Need to get ready to walk up to the school. By myself. :(

Saturday, 14 February 2009

KITTY AND THE DEAD MAN'S HAND


Already the alpha pair of Denver's werewolf pack, Kitty and Ben now plan to tie the knot human-style by eloping to Vegas. Kitty is looking forward to sipping fru-fru drinks by the pool and doing her popular radio show on live TV, but her hotel is stocked with werewolf-hating bounty hunters. Elsewhere on the Strip an old-school magician might be wielding the real thing; the vampire community is harboring a dark secret; and the irresistible star of a suspicious animal act is determined to seduce Kitty. Sin City has never been so wild, and this werewolf has never had to fight harder to save not only her wedding, but her very life.

I love the Kitty books, so I'm not surprised that it took me just 24 hours to get this book finished. Like all the other installments, I got sucked in from the start and just had to keep reading and reading... You get the picture. Lol.

Anyway, I LOVED it! Awesome! And the next one comes out later this month, so I can't wait to see what else Kitty gets up to. What about you, do you read Kitty too? ;)

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

EDGAR ALLAN POE COMIC BOOK


He is the grandmaster stylist of macabre storytelling; the dean of American literary terror. Edgar Allan Poe’s tales of brooding fear, haunting mystery, and horrifying madness are flawless gems of dark imagination. And in the rich, raw, unchained nightmare renderings of renowned painter and graphic artist Richard Corben, Poe’s timeless works find their most gloriously chilling visual counterpart.

Now, after more than a decade’s absence, the landmark collaboration of these kindred souls in the great ghoulish tradition is resurrected. Edgar Allan Poe: “The Fall of the House of Usher” and Other Tales of Terror, faithfully adapted and fully illustrated in bewitching color and devilish detail, is vintage Poe and classic Corben for devotees of consummate dread.

Last night, I was having trouble getting to sleep because of that little breathing prob I have. I just couldn't lie down without feeling like my nose was so stuffy that the oxygen couldn't get through. So, I got up to put some nasal spray up my nose and hubby suggested I read for a while.

I borrowed this from the library - hubby found it for me - and decided to read in bed so that I could get tired enough to sleep. By 2am, I was done reading the whole thing. Very creepy stories, and I felt that the pictures kept the creepy mood and atmosphere going. I enjoyed it!

Oh, and I got right to sleep afterwards. No nightmares, either. :)

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

NIGHTWALKER


For centuries Mira has been a nightwalker—an unstoppable enforcer for a mysterious organization that manipulates earth-shaking events from the darkest shadows. But elemental mastery over fire sets her apart from others of her night-prowling breed . . . and may be all that prevents her doom.

The foe she now faces is human: the vampire hunter called Danaus, who has already destroyed so many undead. For Mira, the time has come to hunt . . . or be hunted.

I just finished reading this fantastic book! Yikes. What an awesome read. I love where it's going too, and can't wait to see what happens to Mira as the series moves along.

Mira is a strong, stubborn, and very powerful nightwalker. But that's not all, she's also a Fire Starter who gets caught up in one dangerous situation after another. It's amazing how many events are squeezed into this action-packed, well thought-out, and well written book. It's like a rollercoaster ride. She might start out in the streets of Savannah, facing off against a vampire hunter, but it turns into so much more.

This is an explosive book with an intriguing story that takes vampires into a level I've never read before. Loved it! If you're a fan of dark and edgy urban fantasy - like me - you'll definitely enjoy this one. Check it out. :)

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Wonder Woman: Down to Earth & Supernatural: Origins

Wonder Woman's quest to change the world meets resistance in many forms, and when she pens a book outlining her philosophy, she ignites a firestorm of controversy. From humans out to destroy her reputation to supervillains planning to destroy the world and ancient gods with darker intentions still, everybody seems to be gunning for the Amazon Princess.
I finished reading my first ever Wonder Woman comic book. Yeah, I know, it's hard to believe since I'm a huge fan. I was even wearing my Wonder Woman top all day today. ;) But honestly, I really enjoyed the story. Lots of action, great dialogue, and a very interesting storyline.
I LOVE the cover, too. How awesome is it? Very awesome. Lol.

Then I found this SUPERNATURAL: ORIGINS comic and grabbed it right away. I didn't see any of the others, but I hope they've got them. I love this series, and miss the boys when they're on a break, but their father always fascinated me.
This graphic novel prequel to the hit CW television show written by series Executive Producer, Peter Johnson, gives readers an incredible never-before-seen look into the mythos of the series.
After witnessing the murder of his wife at the hands of a demon, patriarch John Winchester begins a journey into the dark world of the supernatural, seeking a way to hunt down and kill the creature that took his wife. Can a newly widowed father balance fighting evil with raising his children? Discover what becomes of his two young sons, Dean and Sam, and how these formative events from their childhood will forever alter their destiny.
I felt that this story carried on from one of my favourite episodes this season - IN THE BEGINNING. I enjoyed catching a glimpse of Mary and John Winchester before all the horror that tore their life apart. And until then, I'd always assumed that the hunter life was something John had somehow inherited, I'd never suspected Mary was the one who unwillingly got all of them stuck in the world they're all forced to live in now.

Loved it! And although I felt that a lot of answers were still left open in this comic book, I'm sure that there'll be some as you read the other editions. And that is why I need to get my hands on them. ;)

Anyway, if you're a SUPERNATURAL fan, I think you'll get a kick out of this one.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

PRIDE


I'm on trial for my life. Falsely accused of infecting my human ex-boyfriend - and killing him to cover up the crime. Infecting a human is one of three capital offenses recognized by the Pride - along with murder and disclosure of our existence to a human.

I'm two for three. A goner.

Now we've discovered a rogue stray terrorizing the mountainside, hunting a wild teenage tabbycat. It's up to us to find and stop him before a human discovers us. With my lover Marc's help, I think I can protect the vulnerable girl from both the ambitious rogue and the scheming of the territorial council.

If I survive my own trial.

Well, I'm now caught up on the Shifters series. Yay! I finished PRIDE and am now eagerly awaiting the next installment. Which comes out in July. :/ Still a while to go, isn't there?


The bottom line: I loved it! A lot of bad things happen to Faythe in this book as well, but she seems to be maturing and allowing her natural instinct to flourish. I love that she's stubborn and proud, and refuses to let anyone walk over her - regardless of rank. Still, at the end of the day, rules have to be followed, and she can't control one horrible thing that happens. Something that made me really sad, and I hope gets over-turned in the next book. :(

I'm really glad that I've caught up with this series and can't wait to read more... the world is expanding and I'm lovin' every minute of it.

Monday, 2 February 2009

Howdy!

How are you all doing today? Are you ready for another week? I know I am. ;) Hubby's still home for another two weeks. Yay! I'm lovin' this month off with him.

Well, we stayed up late last night watching the Australian Open Final, so I didn't manage to get up for yoga this morning. :/ But boy, what a tennis match! I like Federer, I think he's a great player, but Nadal deserved to win. He was amazing! I can't believe he managed to come back as many times as he did. Awesome! Besides, he's a Spaniard. Gotta support your fellow Spaniard. :)

Now the hubby is watching the Super Bowl. I'll probably sit down with him to watch it soon, though I don't really understand or know most of the rules. Lol. Still, it's a huge thing, isn't it? Besides, I'm interested in checking out the commercials.

Well, I've been pretty busy reading during the last few days. As you can tell from my posts below, I'm totally caught up in Rachel Vincent's Shifters series. It's so awesome! I love these books. I'm now sitting at page 90 in the third book, and I'm really, really excited about it. I can't wait to see what happens to Faythe next. I know there'll be some trouble, because she can't seem to keep away from it.

Things are great, I wish hubby had holidays all the time. That would be great. Of course, it would also mean that I wouldn't have any time to write. Lol. I'm itching to get stuck into some stuff. This week I'm going to start getting a to-do list together. The first thing on my list will be the final draft of one of my urban fantasy novels. Then, I'll be working on the option book for ImaJinn. *squee* Still so excited about my contract with ImaJinn Books! ;)

Okay, I guess that's it for today. I hope you all have a great day, and week!

Sunday, 1 February 2009

ROGUE


Okay, so cats don t always land on their feet.

I know that better than most. Since rejoining the Pride, I ve made big decisions and even bigger mistakes: the kind paid for with innocent lives. As the first and only female enforcer, I have plenty to prove to my father, the Pride, and myself. And with murdered toms turning up in our territory, I m working harder than ever, though I always find the energy for a little after-hours recreation with Marc, my partner both on- and off-duty.

But not all of my mistakes are behind me. We re beginning to suspect that the dead are connected to a rash of missing human women and that they can all be laid at my feet--two or four, take your pick. And one horrible indiscretion may yet cost me more than I can bear...

Usually, when my cat scratches around in the morning trying to wake me up, I try to ignore him. This morning, I decided to get up so I could finish reading this book. I stayed up late last night totally caught up in the story, so I only had about 100 pages to go.

I sat down on the couch, got stuck into it, and got to the end. Wow! I thought the first book in Rachel's Werecats series was great, but this one blew me away. What a fantastic storyline and totally amazing world. And the characters are all starting to feel like old friends I can't wait to catch up with. :)

Which is why I'll be reading PRIDE next. I can't wait to see what happens to Faythe and I'm totally intrigued by the cover. Is it suggesting what I think it is? Can't wait to find out.

Have you read any of the books in this series? Are you as hooked as I am? Awesome!

 
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