Thursday, 31 December 2009

THE SPY WHO HAUNTED ME


For most of the last century, he was the greatest spy in the world, but now The Independent Agent is retiring, he has decided on one last great game - the six greatest spies in the world must work together - and compete against each other - to solve the six greatest mysteries in the world. Whoever wins the game will also win The Agent's priceless treasure-trove of information. Eddie Drood, aka Shaman Bond, has been invited to join the great game and of course he can't say no, especially when he learns what the mysteries are - everything from the Tunguska Incident to the Philadelphia Experiment, to whatever the hell it was really happened at Roswell. But that means he needs to survive working alongside old friends and old enemies...especially when the spies start dying, one by one. And one of them is going to haunt him...for the rest of his life.

This is the third book in Simon R. Green's Secret Histories series, and there seems to be a traitor in the Drood family.

Of course, Eddie's determined to find out who it is but in order to do that he has to deal with something else first. He needs to be Shaman Bond, the spy, in order to take part in a quest for the dying legendary Independent Agent. IA happens to be the best spy in the world and is willing to pass on all his knowledge to whoever solves/survives his little contest.

The six best secret agents in the world, including Eddie -- and the Nightside's own Walker -- have to endure several tests in some of the most well-known places in the world. Such as Loch Ness, Roswell, and even the Nightside. This little contest will result in one winner. And that lucky person will be the owner of the mysteries and secrets that the Indepedent Agent has learned along the way. But there's always a catch. Things aren't what they seem and when agents start dying, it's obvious that someone really wants to win.

The Spy Who Haunted Me is another great addition to this series. I really enjoyed leaving Eddie's world (mainly his family troubles) behind for a bit and getting to know a handful of new characters. It was also very cool to see them drop in and out of places that we all know to be filled with mystery, and happen to be paranormal activity hotspots. Not to mention that I got a real kick out of seeing Walker in a different light.

This installment is another quirky mix of adventure, mystery, and dark fun.

The Spy Who Haunted Me, May 2009, ISBN 978-057-507946-5, Gollancz Paperback

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

DAEMONS ARE FOREVER


The Drood family is all that stands between Humanity and all the forces of darkness. They were supposed to protect the world, but ended up ruling it. Eddie Drood discovered the lies at the heart of his family and brought them down. For his sins, they put him in charge: to run the family and to redeem it. Eddie feels the need to prove to the world that the Drood family is as strong as it ever was. So he decides to wipe out one of Humanity's greatest enemies, the soul eaters known as the Loathly Ones. But once started on this venture, he discovers that the Loathly Ones are just the forerunners of something far worse; the Many-Angled Ones, the Hungry Gods, descending from a higher dimension to consume every living thing in this world. Eddie Drood has got his work cut out for him...

This is the second book in the Secret Histories series by Simon R. Green, which is the story of Shaman Bond -- real name, Eddie Drood. A member of one of the oldest and most powerful families in England.

After realising the truth about his family, and the golden armour that protected them, in the first book, he practically destroyed their strongest defense and secret. But Eddie returns home and tries to salvage what's left of the family. To ensure they continue to secretly protect the world from the forces of supernatural evil and can fight off those willing to go up against them now that they're weakened.

This time he's up against the Loathly Ones, also known as the Hungry Gods, who are building gateways from another dimension and are ready to conquer Earth. You see, the Droods once dealed with them and now they've decided they want to invade this world. But Eddie won't stand for it, and with the help of several of his old allies (and sometimes enemies) as well as new ones, they go to war.

Many casualties result, most are members of the Drood family because they no longer have their torcs to protect them. Not even Eddie's girlfriend, Molly Metcalf the wild witch of the woods, is immune to what's going on and ends up carrying an awful burden within her.

Daemons Are Forever is another fast-paced, insanely clever, and fun book by Simon R. Green. He has a knack for creating some very fantastical, yet vivid characters, creatures, places, gadgets, and dangerous situations that make his books totally addictive.

Luckily for me, I've already got the third book on my bookshelf.

Daemons Are Forever, August 2009, ISBN 978-057-508483-4, Gollancz Paperback

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

A welcome break

I know it's Tuesday today, so that means it's supposed to be Tuesday Tunes, but this week's going to be super wonky. So far, none of the days feel right. It almost feels like the weekend will last all the way until next Monday. lol.

That's okay. It gives me an excuse not to throw myself into anything too intense. Which is great for my review TBR pile. I've been looking at it for days and mentally sorting what to read next. If I keep at it, I should be able to clear it by the end of January. Of course, I'll pepper it with some of my own UF or YA, but I have so many that I'm looking forward to.

So, how was your Christmas break? Ours was great. I really feel like we got a chance to recharge our batteries. Like we did a whole bunch of stuff, and did nothing at all at the same time. Oh, the only shitty thing was that it rained the whole time. And today -- when hubby's back at work -- the sun decided to return. That totally sucks, but as long as you don't let it dampen your spirits, that's fine.

Usually, around this time of the year, I sit down with a notebook and make a list of goals. I don't like to call them resolutions. But what I think I'll do this year is sit down and try to put together a 3-month writing plan. The best way to do that is to list everything that I'd like to get accomplished next year and then break it up into a month-by-month plan. Otherwise, it'll seem too overwhelming. *sigh*
Anyway. Have a great day!
PS. I got a great review for my zombie short story, BETTER OFF ALONE. You can check it out here. I got so excited when I read it. Thanks BookWenches.

Monday, 28 December 2009

MAGIC IN THE BLOOD


Allison Beckstrom knows better than most that when magic's involved, nothing is free. She's had to pay its price of migraines and forgetfulness while working as a Hound, tracing illegal spells back to their casters. And even though magic has stolen her recent memory--including her history with the man she supposedly fell in love with--Allie isn't about to give up on Hounding or the city she cares about.

Then the police's magic enforcement division asks her to consult on what seems to be a straightforward missing-persons case. What begins as a way to make rent leads Allie into grave danger when the trail she's following draws her into the dark underworld of criminals, ghosts, and blood magic. There, Allie discovers it will take more than just magic to survive....

I had a pretty busy reading weekend during the four-day break, and actually finished this book just before the end of it. As you can tell from the posting date. :)

Anyway, I loved the first book in this series and couldn't wait to see where else Allie was going to go. And I wasn't disappointed. The poor girl goes from one bad situation to another in just a few days. I felt sorry for her, but absolutely loved riding along with her. And don't you just love Zay? I know I do. ;)

Oh, and her father gives me the creeps. Yeah, I know he's dead, but gee... he's still a jerk. If you've read this book, you'll know exactly what I mean. Looking forward to the next one.

CHASING THE DRAGON


For ten years now mankind has lived in Otopia - our world, but our world changed. Ever since the Quantum Bomb our dimension and realms of faerie, demonia, of the elementals and of death have been intermingled. We live alongside creatures from our myths, dreams and nightmares.

Lila Black, half-robot, all attitude works for Otopia's secret service. In love with a half-elf, half demon and carrying the spirit of another elf inside her, her life is quite complicated enough already. But other complications, other loves, other fears, other deaths wait just around the next dimensional corner.

After the Quantum Bomb, the world changed forever. Even the name changed, Earth is now known as Otopia. But more importantly, the fabric between the dimensions was torn, opening up the way to five other realities. Humans can live alongside creatures from other realms. Demons, elves, elementals, and all types of faery live amongst us in a world now deep in magic and technology.

Lila Black is a woman, but she's also a machine with an AI.

It wasn't until I was already into the thick of things that I realised this was actually the fourth book in the series, not the third. But after finishing Selling Out, I wanted to find out what was going to happen next and since I received this one before the Christmas break... Anyway, Justina Robson does a great job at sneaking in the events of the previous book/s, so I didn't feel lost. I just kept reading. :)

In this installment, Lila returns to a very different Otopia. Fifty years have passed and she's now married to Teazle, the heir to Demonia. Zal's dead, but she doesn't want to let him go and believes she can bring him back. Oh, and she has to find her missing husband and kill him because he's responsible for some mass killings in Demonia.

Chasing the Dragon has the now familiar level of action and interesting plot that the other two books I've read in this series had, but there was something different about this book. It didn't have the same sense of intensity that the others had, and I don't know why. And even though it was well written, I found myself skimming forward in a few areas. Once again, it was mainly in the POV of others.

Having said that, I still can't help but wonder where else Lila's headed.

Chasing the Dragon, January 2010, ISBN 978-057-508562-6, Gollancz Paperback

Saturday, 26 December 2009

SELLING OUT


Lila Black is going to Hell.

Ever since the Quantum Bomb of 2015 things have been different; the dimensions have fused and suddenly our world is accessible to elves, demons, ghosts and elementals...and their worlds are open to us. Special Agent Lila Black has been different too: tortured and magic-scarred by elves, re-built by humans into a half-robot, part-AI, nuclear-fuelled walking arsenal and carrying the essence of a dead elven necromancer in her chest, sometimes she has trouble figuring out who she really is. And that's without mentioning that her boyfriend's a half-elf, half-demon international rock-star.

So a mission to Hell isn't exactly what she needs. The heart of art, of pleasure, sensuality and politics, Demonia is glorious and terrible. And, an assassination attempt, three marriage proposals and one ruined dress after her arrival, it seems Demonia might be more complicated than Lila thought...

After the Quantum Bomb, the world changed forever. Even the name changed, Earth is now known as Otopia. But more importantly, the fabric between the dimensions was torn, opening up the way to five other realities. Humans can live alongside creatures from other realms. Demons, elves, elementals, and all types of faery live amongst us in a world now deep in magic and technology.

Lila Black is a woman, but she's also a machine with an AI.

This book follows on from where the first one ended. Actually, only a few days have passed at the beginning. So, Lila is getting checked out by her psychologist and is pretty much sent on a new mission right away. This time she has to go to Demonia and pose as a scholar where she will pretend to be studying demon culture and lore, but is really sent to find out about Zal's time there.

Sounds like a mission she can handle, especially with the demon Sorcha by her side. But things don't start well. As soon as she gets there someone attempts to kill her, forcing her hand and putting her into a situation that calls too much attention to herself -- in the way of offers she doesn't want or need.

Duting her time in Hell, Lila realises that although Demonia appears to be beautiful, there's a lot more going on beneath the surface.

Selling Out is another action-packed, interesting book that expands on Lila's life, as we get a taste of her human side and the family she left behind, and she starts to understand a few truths about why she was really made/saved from death. The spirit of the elf she carries inside (Tath) becomes like an inner voice that both helps and frustrates her, and she even gets herself an imp companion.

I enjoyed venturing into another of the dimensions but have to admit that I didn't enjoy the multiple POVs as much as I thought I would. I kept hoping we'd go back to Lila.

Selling Out, November 2009, ISBN 978-057-508203-8, Gollancz Paperback

Thursday, 24 December 2009

THE ELECTRIC CHURCH


In the near future, the only thing growing faster than the criminal population is the Electric Church, a new religion founded by a mysterious man named Dennis Squalor. The Church preaches that life is too brief to contemplate the mysteries of the universe: eternity is required. In order to achieve this, the converted become Monks -- cyborgs with human brains, enhanced robotic bodies, and virtually unlimited life spans.

Enter Avery Cates, a dangerous criminal known as the best killer-for-hire around. The authorities have a special mission in mind for Cates: assassinate Dennis Squalor. But for Cates, the assignment will be the most dangerous job he's ever undertaken -- and it may well be his last.

Just reading the blurb and the title for this book was enough to grab my attention. And that very creepy cover sure deepened my interest.

When I started to read this book, I found myself a little lost in the narrator's set up of this world because there was so much going on, and so much to be explained. However, as the story moved into the second chapter and I settled into Avery's tale, I understood exactly why it was vital to drop all of that info on the reader at the very start. Getting the who's who out of the way helped me get my bearings and understand exactly what Avery was and what he'd gotten himself into. It helped me slip into this very dark and brutal dystopian society very smoothly.

Avery Cates is a criminal. For the right price he'll kill whoever he's hired to eliminate. He doesn't care who it is.

But when he gets himself caught up in some big trouble with the System Cops and attracts the attention of the very freaky Monks from the Electric Church, everything becomes a lot more complicated. When he's given an opportunity he can't pass up, he takes it. All he has to do is kill the founder of this mysterious religion. And to do that he'll have to head into the middle of their operation, with a group of misfits that include his only friend, Gatz, female twins who come in very handy, and a Techie who refers to himself in the third person. Along the way, he even manages to pick up a scary Gunner who might not be who he says he is. For the right amount of money, they're all willing to risk their lives.

This story is an action-packed thrill ride that had me on the edge of my seat. I couldn't wait to turn the page, to see what was going to happen next. Trying to keep up with Avery's very dangerous life was exhausting and exhilarating, because every time he thinks he can take a deep breath, more trouble finds him.

The Electric Church is a fascinating and totally engrossing book with everything that makes the noir-futuristic-cyberpunk genre so appealing. It's well written, gets under your skin, and throws you into the middle of the action. Avery Cates is the ultimate anti-hero. A killer who drinks too much and doesn't bathe near enough. Yet, he's trying to make his way in an insane, horrible and very violent world the only way he knows how. And I really liked him for that.

I also loved that what starts out as a way to get a huge payout turns into an ambitious attempt at changing a corrupt system that ignores and destroys the majority of the population.

This is a series that I really want to lose myself in. I thought this one was fantastic, so I can't wait to read the next book.

The Electric Church, November 2009, ISBN 9781841496160, Orbit Paperback

Christmas Eve...

... is here. And I'm in a great mood today. Maybe it's because after today the hubby gets four days off. Yay. Or maybe I just get into the Christmas spirit a little late. lol. Whatever it is, that's cool.

Today I don't plan to get much done. And you know what? That's fine. I put so much pressure on myself to get things crossed off my to-do list every single day of the year that by the end of it, I'm totally exhausted. I know it's true because when it gets to about ten at night, I'm just about ready to collapse into bed. And as soon as my head hits the pillow, I drift off to sleep. So tired.

Anyway, I suspect that there will be much reading, going for a walk/s, picking up a few last-minute groceries, and browsing of the Internet. Other than that, I don't have much more planned. I want to take it easy.

Well, I might add some things to my to-do list, but not to deal with now. :)

Have a great day!

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Hey!

We're in mid-week territory already. That means that Christmas is only a few days away. I always find it strange how the build up for this starts at the beginning of the month and then it's over in one day. Gone, forgotten. Very strange when you actually stop to think about it.

Anyway. If you're interested, I've got a new blog post over at the Fang-tastic Books Blog. Roxanne was lovely enough to have me over there again. This time I'm chatting a little about Alyce Kerr. You can read it here. I'm also at The Romance Studio. So if you'd like to read a little more about Wither, you can here. :)

This week's turning out to be a little strange. I don't know why, but it just feels kinda... odd. Maybe it's just me. But I can say that I feel a little restless. Like I'm kinda floating past the days instead of really living them. Does that even make any sense? lol.

Last night I picked up THE ELECTRIC CHURCH by Jeff Somers and got stuck into it. I have to admit that when I first started it, I felt a little overwhelmed and even lost because there seemed to be so much information shared in like twenty pages, while a lot of action was also going on. But I stuck with it, and I'm glad that I did. Wow. This book is fantastic. The concept's dark, gritty and very dystopian. Did I mention that it's a futuristic? I love futuristics. The freaky monks are really, really creepy. Seriously. And the hero's not exactly heroic, but I love that.

I can't wait to get back to it. I'm 100 pages in already because it's such a fast-moving story.

Although I haven't been doing any new writing stuff, the last few days I've been very busy answering interview questions and emailing them in. I'm slowly, slowly working my way through the list. I've got quite a few spots planned for Feb. So I'm using this quiet period to decide what I'm going to be focusing on with each interview/post. It's actually quite fun. I love that I've worked on about four different interviews so far and the questions are all so different. That's very cool.

Okay. I think that's enough chatter for today... don't you? ;)

Have a good one!

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

DEMON MISTRESS


Menolly, Camille, and Delilah are the D'Artigo Sisters-half-human, half-Faerie operatives for the Otherworld Intelligence Agency. Their latest assignment is to root out the secret society responsible for unleashing chaos magic against the city-and to stop a demon from devouring Delilah's soul.

This series is one of my favourites. You know the ones that feel like you're catching up with old friends every time you open the latest book in the series? The type that although you're absolutely itching to read, you try to put it off as long as you can because you don't want it to be over? Yeah, this series is like that for me. :)

I also love that the books are told in the POV of each sister. This one's the sixth book and happens to be narrated by Menolly. She's a vampire, and a very complex character. When you read the books from the POV of her sisters, you always get the sense of mystery and even a little detachment from her because she's so hard to read. But she's nothing like that. Menolly's one tough cookie - just like her awesome sisters - but she's also as devoted and vulnerable as them too. I just love getting into her head. She's ultra cool.

Each book adds to the cast and the story, and builds up into a world where darkness seems to be trying damn hard to engulf them. They find themselves in one bad situation after another, and have very complicated relationships with those around them. I love the supporting cast, too. They're all so very tough and cool.

The next one comes out next month. Can't wait! But the bottom line is... you should be reading this series. It's amazing, and only gets better. And what about those covers? Like I said, awesome. ;)

Thursday, 17 December 2009

LOVE BITES


Etienne Argeneau can turn one human into a vampire in his lifetime - an honour his kind usually reserved for their life mates, to let their love live forever.

But it's all a bit more complicated than that. Rachel Garrett, a beautiful coroner, has just saved his life and now she's about to lose hers. Etienne has a choice: he can save her life in turn and thus doom himself to an eternity alone, unable to create his own life mate. Or he can watch his saviour die and live in the name of a love he has yet to meet.

Her life and his love weigh in the balance and whatever Etienne does he may live to regret for eternity...

The first book in the Argeneau series introduces the Argeneau family and features a chaotic romance you can really sink your teeth into.

This is the first book in the Lynsay Sands Argeneau series, which introduces the Argeneau family, who all happen to be vampires. They're also intelligent, successful individuals who happen to be several centuries old and need blood to survive.

I was lucky enough to get the chance to read an ARC of this book, which will be released in Australia next March. And boy am I glad I got it.

Rachel Garrett is a coroner who works the night shift. When she steps between an axe and a corpse lying in the morgue, she ends up getting struck by the weapon. What she doesn't know is that she's saved Etienne Argeneau's life. And, because he can't let her die after such a selfless act, Etienne decides to save her life by turning her into a vampire. Of course, the fact that he can only turn one human into a vampire during his lifetime complicates things. Especially since most vamps turn their life mate.

I had a great time reading this multiple POV book, and was hooked from the very beginning. I found Rachel and Etienne to be great and interesting characters who start out as been forcibly connected by a sheer act of fate, but wind up wanting to be together. Their passion for each other sizzled off the page, but their path towards each other is filled with danger, uncertainty, and a lot of lessons about being a vampire.

Love Bites is a fun book that made me laugh. It's also a terrific introduction to this series. Although it's a lot of fun with a little bit of everything -- danger, chaos, confusion, romance, family -- the story also deals with serious issues. Either way, it's addictive. I loved the explanation of where vampires originated from, too. Oh, and the supporting cast is amazing, adding depths to this wonderful world.

I loved it, and can't wait to read about some of the other family members.

Love Bites, March 2010, ISBN 978-057-509381-2, Gollancz Paperback

The heat of summer is here

OMG. How can a picture be super spooky and so darn cute at the same time? Well, that's exactly what this one is. It kinda reminds me of Alyce. She seems to hide from herself a lot. Of course, she's got plenty to want to run from. lol.

Anyway. I missed yesterday. The day just slipped away before I got the change to pop in for a post. Why are there so many things to do every single day? Well, dropping and picking my daughter up from school can be scrubbed off the daily to-do list for the next six weeks. Yikes! That's a while, isn't it? It's summer here in Oz, so kids get a break for summer holidays.

Having my daughter home kinda shifts everything around. It also means that I hardly get any alone time. Actually, the only time I'll be alone is when I put her to bed at night and wait for hubby to get home. It means shuffling the day around, but she's old enough to know that I need writing time every day and finds things to do until I've added a chunk o' words. Which is actually what I should be doing right now. lol.

*stepping away from blog for a little while in order to continue with yet-to-be-titled story*

Okay, I'm back. Wow. Haven't done that kind of thing before, have I?

Anyway. I managed to hit 10,597 words and decided to stop for now. Maybe I'll be able to add a little more to the story tonight. That would be awesome. I've got the last bit of this chapter left, and then another one after that. So, getting this chapter done tonight will leave me with the last chapter tomorrow. Excellent. <--- say this like Mr. Burns. ;)

Okay. I think I might go down to check the mailbox now. Posties were on strike yesterday, but I'm not sure if they are today. I'll find out soon enough, I guess. See ya!

Thursday, 10 December 2009

I love it when a plan comes together

I can't believe I've actually got the time to write a post before picking my daughter up from school. Lol. But here I am.

Using some of my reading time yesterday afternoon to work on revisions worked out great. I managed to finish the 112 page ms just now. Yay. The word count is 48,432 and I'm pretty excited with how the story's turned out. As I mentioned yesterday, it's Recast#2. The hero in this one is Ace. If you've read WITHER, you'll already know who he is. :)

Anyway, it's great to meet my weekly goals.

Oh, gosh, you know what I found out yesterday? I was under the impression that the last day of school was next Friday. But I double checked, and it's actually Wednesday. WTH? Why? I have no idea why they're finishing up in the middle of the week. And get this, they go back on Jan 28. That's a Thursday. Once again, it doesn't make any sense. But that's how it is, I suppose. So, I'll have my daughter home for about 6 weeks, as of next Thursday.

I better start planning my projects for the rest of the year and January before holidays hit. :)

Anyway, I'm going to reward myself for getting the revision done by reading the rest of 'Falling to Ash' by Karen Mahoney, from The Eternal Kiss anthology.

Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

LOVELY BONES


My name was Salmon, like the fish, first name, Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973. My murderer was a man from our neighborhood. My mother liked his border flowers, and my father talked to him once about fertilizer'

This is Susie Salmon, speaking to us from heaven. It looks a lot like her school playground, with the good kind of swing sets. There are counsellors to help newcomers to adjust, and friends to room with. Everything she wants appears as soon as she thinks of it - except the thing she wants most: to be back with the people she loved on earth.

From heaven, Susie watches. She sees her happy suburban family implode after her death, as each member tries to come to terms with the terrible loss. Over the years, her friends and siblings grow up, fall in love, do all the things she never had the chance to do herself. But life is not quite finished with Susie yet.

The first time I watched the trailer for this movie, I was totally amazed. When I found out it was a book, I ordered it right away. But I didn't pick it up off my bookshelf until this week. And wow, I absolutely loved it.

Lovely Bones is a hauntingly beautiful and very moving story about a young girl who dies but can't let go of the people she left behind. The heaven she lives in is beautiful and peaceful, but all Susie wants to do is watch her family, neighbours, the man who killed her, and the boy she loved but didn't get a chance to pursue. She watches her family break -- as they each try to deal with her disappearance and death in their own way -- but is unable to do anything to help them get closure or even move on.

I really enjoyed this book. Even though the subject matter is heartbreaking and I felt really sad a lot of the time, it was still a lovely ghost story. I'm really glad that I've read it before watching the movie too. :)

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Exciting news...

It's out in the wild!


Betrayal. Lust. Secrets. It’s enough to send a space cowboy riding hell-bent for stardust.

Recast, Book 1

Wrangling is in Colt Marshall’s blood. He was known across the galaxy for his skill at roping horses and cattle, but found that the woman he loved wasn’t so easy to tie down. Now a mysterious client has him wrangling a man who may or may not be fully human. Colt doesn’t know and doesn’t care, as long as he gets paid. Until his pursuit of the escaped captive lands him on his former lover’s planet…and her request for help threatens to crack the armor around his heart.

With Colt’s unexpected arrival, Brynn Wight’s problems could be solved…or multiplied a thousandfold. She doesn’t expect him to understand why she left him, but she sure could use his help ridding her planet of the feral creatures terrorizing her town every night. It doesn’t help that he looks just as good as she remembers. Or that even after five years, their mutual lust is very much alive.

Their desire rivals the heat of the planet’s skin-peeling sun, stripping away layers of secrets to expose the truth. And a secret that could be their death sentence…

Warning: This book contains a space cowboy with an attitude, a female sheriff with a kick-ass past, an AI dressed like a deputy, feral creatures, and a planet scorched by its proximity to the sun—but still not as hot as the cowboy and sheriff are for each other.

Monday, 7 December 2009

BEAUTIFUL DEAD: Arizona


Not alive. Not dead. Somewhere in between lie the Beautiful Dead.

There's been no sign of the Beautiful Dead for weeks. Darina achingly misses Phoenix all over again. But surely he will return with the rest of the Beautiful Dead as so much still remains unresolved. It's been ten months since Arizona drowned in Hartmann Lake. Suicide, it would seem. But something doesn't add up. Drowning herself in a hidden-away lake does not sound like strong, confident, Arizona: Ellerton High School's high-maintenance drama queen. Darina needs to help Arizona the way she helped Jonas. But time is running out ...

This is the second book in the Beautiful Dead series, which features a teenager called Darina. After losing her boyfriend, she's so grief-stricken and lost that she starts to see people who are supposed to be dead. That's when she discovers that the 'deaths' of four fellow students at her high school over the last year might not necessarily mean that they're dead.

Just like the first book, Darina finds herself in the middle of the Beautiful Dead. This time she's on the path to help Arizona. The girl who drowned in Hartmann Lake almost a year ago. This leads her into a new mystery shrouded with secrets, and a whole lot of trouble, as Darina tries to piece it all together.

Although I think the concept of this series is intriguing and adds a new light on the zombie genre, I feel that the execution is weaker than I would've liked. While Darina is a cool character determined to help these teens caught in limbo, I didn't connect with her. I don't know what it is but I just feel as if her actions aren't balanced out with who she really is, and that creates a gap between the reader and the character.

Beautiful Dead: Arizona is an enjoyable mystery about a young girl who's so determined to keep her boyfriend in her life that she'll devote all of her time and energy to solving the mysteries of death.

Beautiful Dead: Arizona, December 2009, ISBN 9780340988626, Hodder Children’s

This Is War... is awesome!

On Friday, I found out that the official release date for the latest 30 Seconds to Mars album here in Australia was the 4th. So, we ducked out to the shops on Saturday and picked up our copy.

Okay, after hearing Kings and Queens, as well as This Is War, I knew that the album would be great. I love their music. But I didn't know it would be awesome, outstanding and totally addicitive. I can't stop listening to it. To all the tracks. It's not like I've got one fave that I keep repeating over and over, it's the whole thing.

I LOVE it with much love. ;)

This week my to-do list isn't too big. My main goal is to complete the final revision of Recast#2. So, that's 113 pages in 5 days. If I can do 23 pages/day, I'll have it done by the end of the week. Tonight I got to page 28. Not bad. Always good to be a few pages ahead. The goal page happened to be in the middle of a chapter, so it was best to keep moving forward until I got to the end.

Now that my goal's met, I think I'll keep reading. I picked up LOVELY BONES from my bookshelf yesterday afternoon. I want to read it before the movie comes out. I've already read the first 100 pages and I'm loving it so far. It's just so heart-wrenchingly sad, though. Beautiful, but sad. :( Can't wait to see where it goes.

Time for me to go now. Good night!

Sunday, 6 December 2009

I AM SCROOGE: A Zombie Story For Christmas


Marley was dead. Again. The legendary Ebenezeer Scrooge sits in his house counting money. The boards that he has nailed up over the doors and the windows shudder and shake under the blows from the endless zombie hordes that crowd the streets hungering for his flesh and his miserly braaaaiiiiiinns!

Just how did the happiest day of the year slip into a welter of blood, innards and shambling, ravenous undead on the snowy streets of old London town?

Will the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future be able to stop the world from drowning under a top-hatted and crinolined zombie horde? Was Tiny Tim's illness something infinitely more sinister than mere rickets and consumption? Can Scrooge be persuaded to go back to his evil ways, travel back to Christmas past and destroy the brain stem of the tiny, irritatingly cheery Patient Zero?

Firstly, I have to admit that I've never read A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. I know, it's shameful to admit, but for some reason I've skipped a lot of the classics. :( Still, that didn't stop me from being very interested in this book when I first heard about it. For one, it's about zombies. And I've said it before, nothing says 'Merry Christmas' like zombies tearing the world apart.

I also know enough about the tale of Scrooge to recognise the many similarities in this fun story.

Ebenezeer Scrooge isn't a very happy man. Actually, he's being an introvert since childhood, after he was attacked by a disfigured man in a graveyard. He deals with money and has plenty of it but doesn't like to share. He also doesn't treat others very nicely. To be honest, he doesn't care much for other humans -- even the ones that work with/for him. So when he heads home on Christmas Eve and someone stops him to call out a warning, he walks on and gets home.

That's when all hell breaks loose. Starting with Marley tearing into his apartment. Except, Marley's dead and he seems to have become a... zombie. Of course, Scrooge doesn't know anything about that yet. Not until the Spirit of Christmas Present pays him a visit and shows him what's happening all over London.

This sends him on a time-travelling adventure involving two more spirits. The experience shows him a devastated world suffering from a zombie apocalypse that only he can stop. It changes who he is and how he looks at both his life and Christmas. Not to mention that a lot of his life suddenly makes sense.

I am Scrooge: A Zombie Story for Christmas is a fun story that also happens to be very funny. It's actually quite clever too. I enjoyed the cameo by Dickens and Wells. I have to admit that it got silly in a few bits, but that only adds to the charm of this lighthearted tale. Of course, because zombies are about, there was plenty of violence and interesting ways of taking them out. LOL.

This book made me laugh. A lot. Oh, and the illustrations were a great addition, too. I really enjoyed this book, and who would've guessed the true meaning of Christmas actually involved zombies? Did someone say Zomb-mass? ;)

I am Scrooge: A Zombie Story for Christmas, December 2009, ISBN 0575091541, Gollancz Hardback

Friday, 4 December 2009

Writing it out usually helps

I forgot to mention yesterday that I'm one of the Featured Authors over at The Romance Studio this month. So, if you'd like to find out a little more about my story WITHER, you can read the interview here. :)

I've been having a bunch of headaches this week. I'm not quite sure what the reason is, but they just linger in the background. Or blast through my brain. Funny thing is that I'm not the only one getting them. I was talking to hubby this morning, and he's been having headaches as well. WTH? All I know is that I'm going to not take any tablets for it. I think I've taken enough during this week. Strange.

Hopefully they'll clear up by next week because I've got revision work to do. lol.

So, what do you do when you've written a trilogy/series and you're pretty sure it's finished... then one day the characters hit you up with a new story. One that complicates their relationship a little more, throws them a new situation they might not be able to deal with, yet at the same time promises to tie up that loose end that refused to be neatly tied before. Yikes, was there supposed to be a question mark somewhere in there? I think it started as a question and turned into a rant. :D

Anyway. Since my muse was chatting last night, I picked up a notebook and before bed managed to write the first six pages of the idea I was just rambling about. I like where it's going, and I know that it won't be a long story. We're talking novella territory. So, why fight it? I think it's okay to give it a go, see where it takes me. Except, I've got revisions planned for next week. Then after that I have one more week before my daughter goes on holidays for *gulp* over five weeks! Now that I've written that, I think that sounds like a good plan: Recast #2 final revision next week, writing this story the week after that.

Sometimes, writing --or typing-- it all out really does help. Thanks Blogger. ;)

Well, I'm going to make good use of what's left of my alone (writing) time.

Catch'a next week. Have an awesome weekend!

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

FADE OUT


Without the evil vampire Bishop ruling over the town of Morganville, the resident vampires have made major concessions to the human population. With their newfound freedoms, Claire Danvers and her friends are almost starting to feel comfortable again.

Now Claire can actually concentrate on her studies, and her friend Eve joins the local theatre company. But when one of Eve's castmates goes missing after starting work on a short documentary, Eve suspects the worst. Claire and Eve soon realize that this film project, whose subjectis the vampires themselves, is a whole lot bigger - and way more dangerous - than anyone suspected.


Okay, I'm not even going to bother writing a review for this book because I love this series so much that sometimes I feel like words aren't enough to sum up just how much I love/enjoy it. Seriously. Rachel Caine's one of my favourite authors for a very good reason.

If you don't read this series, I strongly recommend that you do. It totally rocks. I thought that getting Bishop out of the way would give Claire, Shane, Eve, and Michael a chance at a normal life. Well, as normal as life can be when you live in a town built for vampires by vampires. lol. Anyway, I was wrong. Things get really bad in this book, but at least Claire's got Shane in her corner. :)

I loved the latest installment. Loved it!

 
Design by Free WordPress Themes | Bloggerized by Lasantha - Premium Blogger Themes | Grants for single moms