Friday, 31 July 2009
Thursday, 30 July 2009
Sixteen-year-old Deirdre Monaghan is a painfully shy but prodigiously gifted musician. She's about to find out she's also a cloverhand—one who can see faeries. When a mysterious boy enters her ordinary suburban life, seemingly out of nowhere, Deirdre finds herself infatuated. Trouble is, the enigmatic and conflicted Luke turns out to be a gallowglass—a soulless faerie assassin—and Deirdre is meant to be his next mark. Deirdre has to decide if Luke's feelings towards her are real, or only a way to lure her deeper into the world of Faerie.
Wednesday, 29 July 2009
It's something that happens to me every time I finish a first draft...
I feel a little restless for a while after the exertion of getting a story out of my head. And then other ideas start pressing to be told, leaving me a little lost.
Do you ever feel that way?
Tuesday, 28 July 2009
My name is Chloe Saunders and my life will never be the same again.
All I wanted was to make friends, meet boys, and keep on being ordinary. I don't even know what that means anymore. It all started on the day that I saw my first ghost—and the ghost saw me.
Now there are ghosts everywhere and they won't leave me alone. To top it all off, I somehow got myself locked up in Lyle House, a "special home" for troubled teens. Yet the home isn't what it seems. Don't tell anyone, but I think there might be more to my housemates than meets the eye. The question is, whose side are they on? It's up to me to figure out the dangerous secrets behind Lyle House . . . before its skeletons come back to haunt me.
This is the first book in the Darkest Powers trilogy. It's set in the same world as Kelley's Otherworld series, and I found myself getting caught up in Chloe's story with the same degree that I do with all of her other fantastic books.
I enjoyed not only the story - which I'm very eager to continue with the next book - but Chloe's voice, vulnerability, and fear. She's a teenager trying to be like everyone else, but she isn't. She's never been like everyone else, and is slowly finding out why. I also enjoyed the way she continued to reference a lot of her experiences to movie scenes. A way to help her relieve the stress and fear that arises as she starts to understand a little of what's going on around her.
The tension kept me on the edge of my seat. Some of the ghost scenes are incredibly scary and creepy, all because of her emotional reaction to it. Her connection to Derek and Simon (especially Derek) was fascinating and I can't help but wonder where that's all going to go. The way it ended certainly kept me wanting more. Good thing that the next book is currently on its way. ;)
Anyway, bottom line is: I loved it!
Monday, 27 July 2009
I'll be working on a second draft.
Okay, that's enough toe talk.
Sunday, 26 July 2009
If it weren't for bad luck, Max Frei wouldn't have any luck at all. A self-described twenty-something 'classic loser', an insomniac, hardened smoker, a glutton and a loafer, there's nothing much going for Max Frei...at least not until he arrives in the magical city of Echo.
Summoned to the city by the head of the Department of Absolute Order, Sir Juffin Halli, Max's dreams are becoming a reality. But as with all dreams-come-true its not quite the reality Max expected; he's about to become a secret agent, tasked to solve extravagant, impossible crimes with nothing but his wits and a handful of unexplained magical abilities to recommend him. Max is going to be thrown into the fray - and he can't even have a cigarette first...
If you're a fan of the different and of fantasy, then this is a book you'll probably enjoy. The narrator of this book is extemely strange and gets caught up in even stranger situations. He's often caught between the waking world he dislikes and a dream world that offers him a more interesting alternate reality.
Max is a man with a variety of problems. First off, he can't sleep at night. When he's summoned to the magical city of Echo in a dream, his life changes. After a series of dream conversations, he becomes part of Sir Juffin’s Minor Secret Investigative Force - a group of secret agents who deal with magical problems in this alternate universe.
The Stranger is an intriguing, unique, and odd book that often feels alien. I have to admit that I found it a little slow to get into at first because Max's experiences seem a little rigid and too easy to get lost in. While the pace does pick up enough to throw us into a surreal world of magic and mayhem, I still can't help but wonder if some of the charm got lost in translation. This book was originally written by a Russian author and translated into English.
Still, it's definitely worth checking out! It's the fascinating adventure of one man, who ends up in an alternate reality filled with intriguing characters and complicated situations.
The Stranger: The Labyrinths of Echo Book One, July 2009, ISBN 0575089768, Gollancz Paperback
Saturday, 25 July 2009
Johannes Cabal sold his soul to the devil, but it's become an inconvenience he doesn't want to live with (or without) anymore. So, what else is there left to do but to venture into Hell and confront Satan about giving him his soul back? The devil refuses to hand it back, but offers Johannes another option. If Johannes wants his soul, he'll have to collect one hundred in exhange, while taking part in a diabolical carnival to help in this task.
And so begins the strange and wicked adventure that is this book...
There's a little of everything in this story - humour, twists, wickedness, a crazy carnival, a bunch of strange names, and even stranger situations. As well as a hero who isn't exactly heroic. It's a wild, fun, dark ride that leads to a very interesting destination. And keeps you wondering after reading the last word.
My one complaint about this book is that - although it was nicely written - I would have liked to have gotten to know Johannes on an even deeper level. Still, this is the first in a series, so that could just be intentional.
I like the freaky, colourful cover too! It matches the oddity of it all.
Johannes Cabal the Necromancer, July 2009, ISBN 0755347846, Headline Fiction Paperback (C)
Friday, 24 July 2009
Who is Jenna Fox?
Seventeen-year-old Jenna has been told that is her name. She has just awoken from a coma, they tell her, and she is still recovering from a terrible accident in which she was involved a year ago. But what happened before that? Jenna doesn't remember her life. Or does she? And are the memories really hers?
Thursday, 23 July 2009
My other personal faves were post-apocalyptic futuristics. There were a lot of those then too. :) A lot of bleak stories about humans running out of water, or having to survive after a nuclear war. It was bleak, but I still loved watching them. Actually, around that time, my favourite book was CHILDREN OF THE DUST. We had to read it for school and I loved it. I also loved FAHRENHEIT 451. So much that a few years ago, I chased down and bought a copy of each. They're both on my bookshelf now.
But anyway, I was talking about movies. Not books. That's for another time. ;)
It's just strange to realise that the love for those genres - which started with movies - never faded. Most of my writing is still influenced by horror or futuristics in one way or another. I was always attracted to the dark side of a story, to the monsters that hid there and the gruesome things that can happen when we cross into the unseen world. That's how I got seduced into the paranormal and urban fantasy worlds. Because, urban fantasy pretty much caters for a bit of everything that I love to watch and read. They can even be set in the future!
Unfortunately, one thing that I've noticed about movies lately is that for some reason, they seem to be getting worse. The last movie that I REALLY enjoyed and had a lot of fun with was the second TRANSFORMERS movie. I know a lot of people gave it negative reviews and just didn't like it, but I really, really enjoyed it. As much as I enjoyed the first one. There was a bit of everything in and it kept me glued to my seat the whole time. Instead of rolling my eyes, like I've been doing for a lot of other movies lately.
Not even the horror movies seem to impress me anymore. The last horror movie I watched was MY BLOODY VALENTINE and I was terribly disappointed. I think that with so many brilliant TV shows nowadays, I'm finding myself swayed and addicted to them in the same way I used to feel about movies.
But then I watched this trailer:
And thought that maybe the horror that I used to love is back. I don't know why, but hearing that Sam Raimi has a new horror movie out makes me happy. :) Maybe it's because I absolutely loved the EVIL DEAD movies.
Of course, I've got a bunch of horror movies that I still haven't watched and need to catch up on. So, hopefully, I'll find several awesome ones in that bunch.
I know that the special effects are brilliant nowadays, but are we overlooking great stories at the expense of how realistic they look? There are a lot of movies that can blend both story and special effects to make them amazing - the Harry Potter movies come to mind. But I wonder if all that will take something away from the gruesome dodgy effects I used to love and laugh at in the 80s... Anyway.
But what about you? Are you finding yourself being lured away from the big screen and towards the small screen like me? Or do you totally disagree with me and think that movies are as great, or even better, than they used to be?
Leave me a comment with your opinion and I'll pull one person's name out of the hat... that person can pick whichever one of my currently available eBooks they want. I'll leave this open until Friday night, Sydney time and will pick a winner then.
I'd really love to hear your personal comments on movies, TV shows, etc.
Wednesday, 22 July 2009
I sorta finished yesterday but after I was done remembered a bunch of stuff that I'd totally forgotten. That's what happens when you try to write with your daughter carrying on and screaming behind you. Lol.
ytd word count: 202,022
Monday, 20 July 2009
Live in hell.
In a city infested with psychotic fairies and run by sadistic vampire mafiosi, life as a soul-sucking succubus rarely involves lacy lingerie, hot guys or great sex.
Instead, Jade must spend her nights seducing gangsters and murderers, or simpering as a trophy girl for hell's minions.
So when she discovers a forbidden ritual that promises to break hell's thrall and set her free, she's got nothing to lose, even if it involves seducing the four most repellent souls in town.
But when you're cheating hell, there's always a catch...
Erica's Melbourne isn't one any of us will ever see, and I think that's probably a good thing. The fae, demons, and vamps in this world aren't romantic and sweet. They're cruel, insatiable, and waiting to screw you over the first chance they get. They're all dangerous predators.
Jade is a succubus who belongs to a demon called Kane. She seduces men and steals their souls via some very gruesome ways. Then she vomits the souls into soultraps, but when she finds out that there's a way to break free, she's willing to give it a try. Anything to escape the bonds of slavery. But to do that she'll have to team up with an incubus that challenges her ideals of men, and also has to confront her horrid past.
This story is dark and very raw, definitely not for the fainthearted. There's also a lot of sex and sexual situations. In some places it feels like Jade is in a constant state of arousal, but I suppose that's expected when you're a succubus. ;)
I enjoyed this book - which happens to be the first in a series - but it made me uncomfortable in several places, which was probably the intention. Poor Jade gets caught up in a lot of horrible situations. Erica's writing style is lyrical, honest, and very easy to get swept away in. I think that if you enjoy your urban fantasy sexy, gritty and atmospheric, you'll definitely enjoy this one!
Sunday, 19 July 2009
When a world renowned scientist is found brutally murdered in a Swiss research facility, a Harvard professor, Robert Langdon, is summoned to identify the mysterious symbol seared onto the dead man's chest. His baffling conclusion: it is the work of the Illuminati, a secret brotherhood presumed extinct for nearly four hundred years - reborn to continue their bitter vendetta against their sworn enemy, the Catholic church.
In Rome, the college of cardinals assembles to elect a new pope. Yet somewhere within the walls of the Vatican, an unstoppable bomb of terrifying power relentlessly counts down to oblivion. While the minutes tick away, Langdon joins forces with Vittoria Vetra, a beautiful and mysterious Italian scientist, to decipher the labyrinthine trail of ancient symbols that snakes across Rome to the long-forgotten Illuminati lair - a secret refuge wherein lies the only hope for the Vatican.
But with each revelation comes another twist, another turn in the plot, which leaves Langdon and Vetra reeling and at the mercy of a seemingly invisible enemy...
Friday, 17 July 2009
Have a great weekend!
Thursday, 16 July 2009
Being feeling a little wonky this week.
Well, it's certainly not going to happen. I haven't written yet today, but as of yesterday, I reached 50,138 words. And although things are going to happen pretty quickly now - actually, the whole story moves at a pretty fast pace - I have a feeling that it won't get wrapped up in 10,000 words.
Wednesday, 15 July 2009
My bio is now up at Samhain. Yay! It's very exciting. I mean, my story won't be out until late this year (probably December) but I'm already listed.
Tuesday, 14 July 2009
In the small college town of Morganville, vampires and humans lived in (relative) peace—until all the rules got rewritten when the evil vampire Bishop arrived, looking for the lost book of vampire secrets. He’s kept a death grip on the town ever since. Now an underground resistance is brewing, and in order to contain it, Bishop must go to even greater lengths. He vows to obliterate the town and all its inhabitants—the living and the undead. Claire Danvers and her friends are the only ones who stand in his way. But even if they defeat Bishop, will the vampires ever be content to go back to the old rules, after having such a taste of power?
Monday, 13 July 2009
Sunday, 12 July 2009
When a naked, amnesiac stranger is found outside a remote highland village, he is taken in by Kerin, a widow whose unconventional ways are tolerated because her son Damaru is 'skytouched' - he appears simple, but he is able to affect matter. All skytouched are tested by the Beloved Daughter, the living goddess who rules the world from the City of Light. If he's found worthy, Damaru will become a Consort of the skymothers, the Gods of this world. Kerin and the stranger, nicknamed Sais, accompany Damaru to the City, in the company of a priest who's helping Sais to get back his missing past - but as Sais recovers his memory, he realises that the world does not work the way he assumed - and everyone believes - it does. Worse still, the hierarchy which has kept society stable for thousands of years is rotten to the core. Then Kerin and Sais uncover the true nature of the world and the unimaginable fate of the Consorts - a fate Kerin will do anything to stop her son sharing.
Consorts of Heaven, July 2009, ISBN 0575083239, Gollancz Paperback
Wednesday, 8 July 2009
Monday, 6 July 2009
John works in his family's mortuary and has an obsession with serial killers. He wants to be a good person, but fears he is a sociopath, and for years he has suppressed his dark side through a strict system of rules designed to mimic normal behaviour.
Then a demon begins stalking his small town and killing people one by one, and John is forced to give in to his darker nature in order to save them. As he struggles to understand the demon and find a way to kill it, his own mind begins to unravel until he fears he may never regain control. Faced with the reality that he is, perhaps, more monstrous than the monster he is fighting, John must make a final stand against the horrors of both the demon and himself.
John Cleaver is a teenager who helps his mother and aunt out in their mortuary. He's also fascinated by serial killers and pretty much knows every detail documented about most of them. He's not your average boy, that's for sure. Death fascinates him. Liking a girl scares him. Luckily for him, he's in therapy and his doctor is helping him to (at least) appear to be normal. I really enjoyed his visits with Dr Neblin.
Sunday, 5 July 2009
Khesh City: a city of contrasts, where nothing is forbidden. Topside, it's opulent and extravagant; downside, it's dark and dangerous. It's a democracy - by assassination; the Angels are the city's assassins, the privileged few.
I found the concept of a floating city intriguing, and have to admit that's what first grabbed my attention about this book. Add a whore boy with a greater fate, a singer that's come to Khesh City for a secret purpose, a mysterious Minister, an overly-ambitious politician, a horrible bodyguard who'll stop at nothing, and an Angel who's so much more, and you've got the character ingredients for this unique story.
Khesh City floats above the surface of the uninhabitable planet of Vellern. It's a place where crime, pleasures and prostitution happen at every corner. When Taro's line-mother - who also happens to be an Angel - is killed by a ruthless man, Taro finds himself homeless. But not without purpose, because he's set his sights on revenge. Along the way, he finds himself caught up in helping the Minister, meeting a mysterious Angel called Nual, and in the clutches of a pimp that keeps his prostitutes doped up.
Elarn visits the city to perform in several places, but also has a secret mission, and gets involved with the alluring politician called, Vidoran.
What Taro and Elarn don't know is that they're both pawns in something a whole lot bigger.
I enjoyed Jaine Fenn's writing style and the depth of her imagination. Her characters were different and felt very real. Their adventure full of twists and turns that lead to an unimaginable conclusion. One that surprised me.
Principles of Angels is a great book with an excellent mix of science fiction, myth, and fantasy.
Principles of Angels, August 2008, ISBN 0575082925, Gollancz Paperback
Thursday, 2 July 2009
Onto the second thing... I love the show TORCHWOOD, and just found this trailer: