Friday, 31 July 2009

I can't believe it's already Friday!

Seriously, where has this week gone?

I think that taking this week off from most of my projects was a great idea. I mean, I've still been thinking about a bunch of them, added notes about some of them, and have been researching more info for M-YA (and its sequels) but mostly I've been trying to relax and even catch up on some YA reading. It's been great.

Last night, I picked up EVERMORE and am really enjoying it so far. I'm about 30 pages in and am totally intrigued about the story. Oh, and I love the narrator's name. Ever was a name that I wanted to use for one of my characters, which I got from the Foo Fighters song, Everlong. I remember singing to it on Rock Band and thinking how cool it would be to write about a girl called Ever. I guess someone else thought the same thing, lol.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to reading some more of the book later. I'm in a total YA-kinda mood at the moment. Which is a great thing because there are SO many awesome YA books out there, but it's not-so-good because it makes my muse itch to get back into the futuristic and odd world that M-YA takes place in. I know it sounds werid, but hey, I'm a writer. ;)

And speaking of that story, I think I've finally decided that this YA idea of mine is going to be a quartet of books. The first one's already done in first draft, the second one has a first chapter and the main plotline... I've also pretty much got the plot for the third one, and kinda know where the fourth one needs to go in order to end my heroine's journey. We'll see what happens, but for now, I'm working on the four titles. I've got the first, and possibly the last. Just need the two in the middle now.

Next week, however, I'm throwing myself into the second draft of DT. This one's definitely NOT a YA story, but it's one that I can't wait to return to.

On that note, I hope you all have an awesome weekend! Bye for now...

PS. Tomorrow, I will attempt to wear shoes on my right foot. Will let you know how it goes on Monday. Fingers crossed.

Thursday, 30 July 2009

LAMENT The Faerie Queen's Deception


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.

I grabbed this book from my bookshelf yesterday and as soon as I got started, knew that it was going to be a fast read. And I wasn't wrong. I got swept away with the story instantly. Deirdre's voice was smooth, melodic, and she totally dragged me into her story... which happpened to be amazing!

Not only is the plot for this book an intriguing work of art, but the characters were deep and felt incredibly real in a world of very unreal creatures. I loved every minute of this story, and the emotional connection between Deirdre and Luke helped to make this story shine.

I love reading tales about faeries, and this one was fantastic! Oh, and the actual book is lovely. The artwork within the book - as well as the cover and the inside of the cover - is gorgeous! Seriously, I loved everything about this book. *sigh*

I'm really glad that I've discovered Maggie Stiefvater's work, because I will definitely be buying SHIVER and BALLAD. Can't wait to read them. :)

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Buzzing-buzz

I thought last week was a little odd, but this one's turning out to be even stranger.

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?

For me, I guess it's just part of the creative process. But I find that although I'm totally itching to write, it's best to take a week (or at least several days) off after a first draft. Just to recharge.

I've been filling my days with reading and yesterday even took a look at the end of M-YA and the beginning of M-YA#2... which wants to be written right now. Like, yesterday. But I'm not ready to go any further than the first chapter. Although the second story's coming to me in bits and pieces, and I'd probably be able to write at least the first half of the story, I feel it still needs a little simmering time. Not too much, but enough for me to figure out if this is going to be a trilogy or a quartet. Not sure yet.

That might be something to ponder today. Gosh, it's so cold today.

I've also got a bunch of awesome books for review from Hachette that I'm looking forward to getting my hands on, but am trying to spend most of this week reading some of the (many) YA titles I've got on my bookshelf. There are so many good ones that I can't wait to read! Ah! So many awesome books, so little time.

Anyway. I think it's time to actually do something productive. Other than blogging, of course. ;)

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

THE SUMMONING


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

A mixed week ahead...

Well, today is the last day of my daughter's school holidays. She goes back to school tomorrow, so I was planning to use this week for the revision of one of the stories I wrote last month. But... decided against it.

Instead, I'm going to take this week off from one project and concentrate on a bunch of them. Or none of them. I want this to be one of those weeks where I flutter from one idea to another, when I sit down and take much-needed notes, or jot down what needs to be done next month. I already know what I'd like to do during the first week of August, and that's revision.

I'll be working on a second draft.

Second drafts are tricky for me because that's when I usually hate the story. I know, it's really strange but that's how it is. By the end of the second draft, I'm once again in love with it, but it's still a weird process. Lol.

Exactly two weeks ago, I busted up my toe. This morning I did my first yoga workout since then. There were a few moves that made my toe feel a little uncomfy, but it didn't hurt. During the weekend, it hurt on Saturday but was okay yesterday. The bruising is almost gone. Almost. But the swelling's still there. Not as bad, but still enough to keep me from wearing shoes. So, now I walk around with a sneaker on my left foot, and a thong (flip-flop) on the other. It looks and feels wonky, but it's the only way I can get around properly.

I'm pretty sure I broke it. So it looks like I've still got a few weeks of discomfort to go. At least, according to what I've read online. :) That's also the reason why I didn't go to the doctor, because apparently, they can't do much for a broken toe anyway. So, I'm toughing it out and hopefully it'll heal on it's own. Of course, if I still can't wear shoes after five weeks... then I'll have to consider going to a doctor. But not before then. ;)

Okay, that's enough toe talk.

Over the weekend, I read JASMYN by Alex Bell, GHOSTGIRL: Homecoming by Tonya Hurley, and started reading THE SUMMONING by Kelley Armstrong. I'll be posting reviews for JASMYN and GHOSTGIRL closer to their Aussie release, but they were both great books. Especially JASMYN. I loved it!

Well, I guess that's it for today. Hope you all have a great week!

Sunday, 26 July 2009

The Stranger: The Labyrinths of Echo Book One


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 the Necromancer


Johannes Cabal has never pretended to be a hero of any kind.

There is, after all, little heroic about robbing graves, stealing occult volumes, and being on nodding terms with demons. His purpose, however, is noble. His researches are all directed to raising the dead. Not as monstrosities but as people, just as they were when they lived: physically, mentally, and spiritually. For such a prize, some sacrifices are necessary. One such sacrifice was his own soul, but he now sees that was a mistake - it's not just that he needs it for his research to have validity, but now he realises he needs it to be himself. Unfortunately, his soul now rests within the festering bureaucracy of Hell. Satan may be cruel and capricious but, most dangerously, he is bored. It is Cabal's unhappy lot to provide him with amusement.

In short, a wager: in return for his own soul, Cabal must gather one hundred others. Placed in control of a diabolical carnival and armed only with his intelligence, a very large handgun, and a total absence of whimsy, Cabal has one year.

One year to beat the Devil at his own game. And isn't that perhaps just a little heroic?

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

THE ADORATION OF JENNA FOX


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?

I've had my eye on this book for a while, but because I was planning to write and then wrote a YA futuristic myself, I didn't want to pick it up until I was done. And this was the perfect reward! I picked it up on Wednesday night and read the first 70 pages in one sitting. If I hadn't been tired, I'm pretty sure I would've read the whole thing.

This was one amazing book! I got swept away in Jenna's thoughts, and the mystery she faced. I wanted to find out what really happened to her as much as she did. Every step of the way, I felt as if I was shadowing her heart-wrenching discoveries. I felt every fear, every suspicion, every bit of happiness, sadness, regret, confusion, and anger. It was one of those amazing books that get under your skin and touch your heart. And I absolutely LOVED the ending.

I read a lot of awesome books, but every now and then there's a story that really touches my heart and soul. A story that I'll never forget and will continue to think about even months and years after reading it. This is definitely one of those. I loved this hauntingly beautiful tale of a girl trying to remember...

Thursday, 23 July 2009

A thing or two about movies...

I've been a huge movie fan for years. When I hit my teens, I spent a lot of my time watching one movie after the other. It was also a time when I got stuck into any (and every) horror movie I could get my hands on. I actually became a huge horror freak, chasing them down so we could borrow the VHS copy as soon as it was released. I know, that makes me sound kinda old, huh? But when I was a teenager, video tapes and video shops were all the rage. And of course, there was a new horror movie every other week. It was so cool.

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

A taste of summer

You know, I almost forgot to post today. So, here I am. :)

 
Today was a lovely, sunny and very warm day. It made me so happy to get a small taste of summer.

I actually got the first draft of M-YA done today. The word count ended up @ 63,098.

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.

So, I opened up the Word doc again and read the last chapter, as well as the epilogue. Added the stuff that was missing, and now the first draft is DONE! Yay.

Yesterday, I also realised that this story's got more to it. Maybe a trilogy, or even longer. Not sure yet, but I do know the main plot for the next installment. Took some notes, especially about the first chapter, because I already know how it's going to start. Don't you love it when that happens? I do.

Well, I just got a bunch of housework out of the way as well, and then crossed another two things off my to-do list. Love doing that! I just need to figure out what book to read next... that's always fun, but confusing because there's so much to choose from.

See ya tomorrow!


ytd word count: 202,022

Monday, 20 July 2009

SHADOWFAE


Steal souls.

Live in hell.

Never die.

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!

Nearly @ the end now

On Saturday, we went out to a shopping center because we had some things to do and I was able to walk properly. Yay! Actually, I even made it around our normal river walk yesterday. There's something to be excited about.

There is one problem, though. My toe is a LOT better but I still can't wear my sneakers. So, I've been walking around in my thongs (flip-flops) which aren't exactly the most comfy things to walk around in. Actually, they're not ideal for walking any longer than from the door to the mailbox. So, they kinda scrape my skin, but hey, at least I can walk around now. Cool. Can't wait for the bruising to go completely. The swelling's minimal now, too. So I can't help but wonder if I did end up breaking it or not. I'm just glad that it doesn't hurt too much now. :)

So, I didn't finish the first draft of M-YA on Friday. Ran out of time. But I'm definitely going to try and finish it during the next few days. I've already told my daughter that's the goal. She gets excited when I speak to her about this little tale of mine. I've mentioned a few things about it to her, and she actually helped out with a few details. She loves that! I just feel so close to the end now... I need to get it outta my head...

Well. I think it's time I did just that. Catch'a later!

Sunday, 19 July 2009

ANGELS & DEMONS


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...

Today, I finished reading this very interesting book! It was a bit of an adventure though, because I started reading it last week and had to stop when I got to page 304. See, it jumped from 304 to 321. Not sure why, but I was missing a chunk. So, I put it aside and hubby managed to swap the dodgy copy for a copy that had ALL the pages. Lovely hubby!

Anyway. I got stuck into it on Saturday night and finished it just now. Wow! I really, REALLY enjoyed Robert Langdon's adventure. It was fascinating, an adventure that was filled with tension, danger and a lot of twists and turns. Not to mention some divine intervention. ;) It was great! I really liked Vittoria too. Such a strong female character with a weakness that pushes her forward.

Oh, and the end was fantastic! I loved the biggest twist of all. A nice pinch of madness and a good dose of misplaced motivation go a long way. This is a great book!

Too bad I can't say the same about the movie. We watched it last night and I was totally DISAPPOINTED! They left out all the good and important bits. All the stuff that made this story work so well were pulled from the script, leaving it hollow. It just didn't make sense without the real motivation behind the story. I hate it when they get the movies SO wrong!

Anyway, check out the book instead. Don't bother with the movie.

Friday, 17 July 2009

Missing pages... where did they go?

I mentioned this on my LJ last night. I've been reading ANGELS AND DEMONS the last few days and I've been enjoying it. I thought I would because I enjoyed his other book.

Anyway, I'm reading along last night, excited because I'm almost halfway through and caught up in the tension of what's going on, when I get to page 304. Nothing strange there. Except, that the next page, right next to it, happens to be page 321! Okay, seriously, WTF is going on there?

I'm missing pages. In a very important scene. :/ And I can't help but wonder if every one of the paperback editions printed at the same time as mine are the same. Or was it just mine that missed out on these pages? Makes me wonder...

After debating about what to do, I've decided to put the book aside until I get my hands on a copy with ALL the pages. Lol. :D Will keep you posted, and I'll be heading over to my bookshelf to pick something else up soon.

Well, the writing is still going. A little slow, though. Yesterday I managed to hit 53,257 words. Which means I'm on track for, uh, Wednesday's goal. Yep. That's right. I'm about a day behind. Today's goal is 60k. Doubt I'll be reaching that today. But I'll be happy if I can get to say, 56k. That would put me in a good place for Monday. It also means that I get the weekend to ponder about the end. I already know how it's going to go, but need to think out the sequence so that I don't leave anything out.

Well, that's it for today. I've got a few things left on my to-do list. One thing (finishing the first draft) will not happen. The other two, I think I can do.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Calm but blank...

When I picked this picture for today, my daughter said, "But there's nothing in the picture!", and well, she's right. That's oddly why it suits my mood.

Being feeling a little wonky this week.

At least it's almost over.

As you already know, I was hoping to get the first draft of M-YA finished by tomorrow.

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.

I could be wrong, but that's what I'm thinking right now.

I've also realised that I haven't said too much about the story. I'm always very mysterious about titles, character names, and the plot, aren't I? It's me being superstitious. I can say that it's a YA futuristic tale about a sixteen-year-old girl forced to face who/what she really is. She might be young but lives in a world different to ours and has (already) had a pretty hard life. She's constantly haunted by a lot of things - though not literally. It's not a paranormal, though there is a touch of fantasy, magic, and myth. And romantic complications.

It started out as a simple idea, but the more I've written and thought about it, the more involved it becomes. That's a great thing, trust me. I always find that the same thing happens. I start out a story pretty sure of where it's headed and then reach a certain spot where all the pieces I've had trapped inside my head fall together. Fitting in better than I imagined they would. I've spoken about this many, many other times - I call it writing magic. ;)

Okay, that's enough blog writing. I need to add some words and see where the story takes us today...

PS. The Pinkie Toe of Doom is still not healed. I can't wear shoes, and won't even attempt to until the weekend, but thongs (flip-flops) have been working fine. The bruising's still there but the swelling's gone down a lot. I'm hoping that we were completely wrong and it's not broken after all. Maybe that's wishful thinking on my part.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Still in pain!

Check this out!

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.

I also received a birthday card from Samhain the other day and thought it was the sweetest thing. It made me smile. :)

Well, it's day three of the school holidays and I'm already starting to get a little irritable. I mean, I know that having this toe prob is making it super boring for my daughter because we hardly leave the house, but there's plenty to do here at home. Still, she finds it more exciting to ask me a thousand questions when I'm trying to add words. Lol.

Anyway, last night after she went to bed and before hubby got home, I squeezed in a pretty good writing run in. I managed to get up to 47027 words. Just a little under my daily target, but a lot higher than I thought I'd be. Let's hope today's a productive one too. Fingers crossed.

My toe's still swollen and purple. Actually, even the right side of my foot is bruised. I woke up this morning with a lot more pain than I had yesterday. Ouch! Although I did manage to walk around the grocery store with hubby and daughter for some much-needed food stuff. It hurt a bit and I was super slow - wearing one sneaker and one thong (flip-flop) - but I made it. Yay. I was reading online (haven't gone to the doctor) that it can take 3-4 weeks for the toe to heal naturally. I'm hoping for 2.

Anyway, I think it's time to pull the lappy out! See ya.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

CARPE CORPUS


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?

This is the sixth book in The Morganville Vampires series, and it just keeps getting better.

What can I say about this book that can capture just how exciting, fun, sad, fast-paced, intriguing, and just awesome this series is? Okay. See what I mean? I guess all that I'll say is that I absolulety loved it and read it pretty quickly because I needed to know how Claire's latest ordeal/s was going to end. I also really enjoyed her developing relationship with Shane...

Monday, 13 July 2009

The Pinkie Toe

Yesterday, I was playing with my daughter, running around the house like a dope and smacked my pinkie toe against the edge of the shelving unit we have in the living room. It hurt like hell, but I was positive it would eventually fade. I mean, I've smacked my toes the same way many times. For some reason, my little toes always manage to find the edges of the furniture and I hurt myself. But this is different. It hurt like crazy and I had trouble walking. Getting around the house is suddenly the hardest task.

This morning, when I woke up, it was actually worse. It's swollen heaps and the bruise is a horrid shade of purple. I think it might be lumpy too. I really, really hope that I didn't break it... but I have a feeling that I might have. Now I'm worried about my other leg, because I'm over-compensating while I walk. And man, it HURTS! A lot. The only time it didn't hurt was when I was sleeping.

Anyway. My daughter's on school holidays at the moment. So... that's a good and bad thing. Good because I don't have to walk over to pick her up. Bad because I had plans to go for some nice walks, and even a picnic, by the river. Looks like none of that's going to happen for a few days at least. Which totally sucks! I *love* going for my daily walks. Today is definitely off the cards, though. We're stuck at home all day.

It's a shame because the weekend was a lot of fun. I hated bringing it to a painful close. :/

Anyway, enough about The Pinkie Toe.

On Friday, I hit 39,377 words. Which means that I just missed my goal of reaching 40k. But that's okay, I didn't miss it by much. And although I'm in terrible pain today, as soon as I'm done here, I'm heading over to my bedroom. There I will sit on the bed with my leg raised and some ice on my toe. Oh, and I'll be hanging out with the lappy, too. Let's hope I can get some words going and pump out about 4k today. It'll be hard because I just can't get comfy, but at least I'll be able to concentrate on something else for a bit. At least, that's the plan.

Have a better day than me!

Sunday, 12 July 2009

CONSORTS OF HEAVEN


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.

This book - although not technically a sequel - follows after Principles of Angels.

Where the first book was obviously a science fiction story that used fantasy elements and myth, this one feels more like a fantasy most of the way through. As we follow the widow Kerin, her son Damaru (who happens to be a skyfool), and the stranger Sais. Sais isn't his real name but one that they give him because Damaru finds him alone and naked in a swamp and he can't remember who he is.

The three of them join others to take part in the drove. A time when males from the village travel to the lowlands near the City of Light to trade their cattle and goods. For Damaru, it also means that he'll take part in a trial to become a Consort of the Skymothers.

What intrigued me the most and kept me reading and wondering about this story was Sais. He has no recollection of who he is, but as he starts to remember things and we find out his name, a lot of what's going on really clicks into place and connects it back to the first book.

I once again enjoyed Jaine Fenn's writing style and the depth of her imagination. Her characters were strong, especially Kerin who lives in a very religious, sexist and biased world. Their adventure leads them and the reader to a very interesting conclusion that makes you wonder what the next installment will hold...

Consorts of Heaven, July 2009, ISBN 0575083239, Gollancz Paperback

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Some days are made of meh!

This is exactly how I felt last night. And now too, because the rain just won't let up. But it's not just that, it's also that yesterday afternoon, everything that could go wrong did. I'm pretty sure that's not supposed to happen on your birthday. Then again, I've had a bittersweet relationship with my birthday ever since I was sixteen. :/

Anyway. Today's a new day. And I got to spend a lovely morning with hubby before he had to go off to work. Not to mention that we watched THIS! OMG. I absolutely LOVED it. Captain Jack Harkness is awesome. Can't wait for the next installment.

Oh, and because I started on my second round of edits for FAITHLESS last night, I was able to finish it this afternoon. It's now been sent off to my editor. It always feels so good to do that, doesn't it? I enjoy editing. Though I think I become my own worst critic and go a little nuts. Lol.

That means that I haven't actually added any new words to M-YA today, but I did yesterday. It's currently sitting @ 28,466 words. I'm not sure if I'll be able to meet my word count goal today, but I'm at least going to try to get as close as I can to it. The only productive thing that came out of last night was that I finally grabbed a notebook and worked out a timeline for the story. I also wrote down a lot of the background stuff, some that will make it into the story, some that will not. Still, it's always fun to put the pieces together like this.

Well, I think it's time to add a little more to the growing story now...

Monday, 6 July 2009

I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER


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.

As soon as I read the blurb for this book, I knew I just had to read it. When I finally got the chance to sit down and got started, I was hooked instantly. This is one seriously awesome book. I absolutely loved it!

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.

When he discovers that an actual demon is killing people in his town and collecting body parts, John sets out on a personal investigation to find out who it is. He's finally got his own serial killer to dissect. But what he stumbles into is certainly not what he expected.

I Am Not A Serial Killer is an addictive book that sucks you in from the very first word and keeps you turning every page. Actually, I couldn't wait to get back to it. It's why I read it so quickly and enjoyed every second of it. This is one unique look into the mind of a very dark individual who struggles to stay on the right path every single day. It's got a little bit of everything, and I really liked the dark humour.

Who would've thought that a book starring a sociopathic teenage boy with very violent tendencies would turn out to be so much fun? Well, it is. For all his strangeness, I found John to be a great character that I would love to spend more time with in the future.

I Am Not A Serial Killer, July 2009, ISBN 0755348818, Headline Paperback (B)

The day after the weekend

As I mentioned the other day, The Vampire Oracle: Volume Four is now available in print! Yay. I'm so very excited about it, but it won't feel quite real until I have it in my own hands. It's exactly what happened when the first print anthology I was in was released.

So, I updated my website over the weekend and will do some more updates later today or tomorrow. I'll be adding another FREE read as soon as my July/August newsletter is ready to go out. I'm running a little behind, but will aim to have it out by the end of this week.

The other night, I crossed the 20k mark in my M-YA WIP. This week I'd like to add another 20k too. I'll see what I can do, but because I'm so into the story and the character's really speaking to me, I hope that it's not a hard goal to reach. This is my daughter's last week of school before she has a two-week break. So, aiming to finish a first draft during her first week of holidays is a little ambitious. Still, I'm going to try it. ;)

Actually, last night I finally grabbed a July calendar and marked what I'd like to achieve this month. There are three main goals - finish the first draft of M-YA, do the second draft of DT (which is a Sci-Fi), and write the first draft of BOUNDLESS (the last book in the trilogy that starts with FAITHLESS). See, not much there. ;) Lol. Of course, reading is always included in my weekly goals.

Speaking of reading, my gosh, I started reading I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER on Saturday night and got so stuck into it that I've only got about 60 pages to go. I'm hoping to finish it today because it's absolutely fantastic! Honestly, I'm loving it.

Okay, after another awesome weekend, it's time to start the new week...

Sunday, 5 July 2009

PRINCIPLES OF ANGELS


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.

Taro lived with his Angel aunt, but when she was murdered he lost everything. Now he's on too many deathlists - but he may be the only person who can save Khesh from complete annihilation.

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

A few things today...

Firstly, last week I read this awesome book:

Michele Hauf sure knows how to weave an awesome story and this one was no different. I absolutely LOVED the interaction, tension and eventual connection between the hero and the heroine. Max is a tough as nails Highwayman who has been killing demons for centuries but now wants to get rid of the demon shadow inside him.
Aby's a familiar with a not-so ordinary job because she's a conduit to the demon realm.
When these two meet with Max's intention of using her to get rid of the shadow, the two head on an adventure that challenges them emotionally as much as physically. It was a great read filled with action, sensuality, intrigue, and a sense of the past. Michele's a great storyteller and THE HIGHWAYMAN is now available!

Onto the second thing... I love the show TORCHWOOD, and just found this trailer:


They're going to play this five-part series during one week. How awesome is that? I can't wait to catch up with Captain Jack Harkness, Ianto, and Gwen. Looks pretty interesting, huh?
Well, I think it's time for me to get some writing done now. Yesterday I spent most of the day doing the first round of edits for my upcoming eBook, FAITHLESS. Oh, and Damnation Books has announced their initial release titles! I'm on the list, I'm on the list! Yay. :)
I did manage to add a little to my YA WIP and the word count is now sitting @ 13,066. I'm off to add some more!

 
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