Friday, 30 April 2010

Well...

Iron Man 2 is now officially out in Australia...and we got tickets! Yay. We're going to a morning session on Sunday. Looking forward to it.

I really enjoyed the first one, and I'm hoping this one winds up being just as good. Cause Thor will be next and I can't help wondering if there's going to be any mention of him at the end of IM2. :)

Anyway. It's a wet and cool Friday today. For the first time since the seasons changed, it actually looks and feels like autumn. I was watching the drizzle out the window and noticed the breeze sweeping up the leaves as they fell from a tree. It was surprisingly lovely to look at.

Maybe I'm just in a good mood because it's the end of the week and I achieved the goal that's been hounding me all month. lol.

Speaking of which, last night I started reading this book. I have to admit that this is my first Nalini Singh book. I'm a few chapters in and I'm really enjoying it. She's got a lovely writing style and the story's already hooked me in. Though I have to admit that I was a little scared when I first picked it up.

See, I don't know about other writers but whenever I see a book that deals with a similar or the same topic as something I've written, I kinda freak out. This happens a lot with Supernatural. And there are a bunch of books that I've felt that way about too. The cool thing is that once I actually read/watch the book/movie/show, I find the topics/creatures/story/whatever might be the same, but that's where the similarities end. And that's a great thing. I always sigh in relief when that happens, which is pretty much always.

Anyway, this book deals with archangels. As I mentioned during the second draft revision I just finished, The Hidden #5--and the book before it, as well as the one after it--deals with several types of angels. So I'm still freaking out a little as I'm reading, hoping that nothing in mine is the same as this one. Heck, does that even make any sense? lol. Has that ever happened to you? Anyway. If it is, that means I've got some changes to do. But so far, it's completely different to my story. *sigh* <---see! :)

I've got a few things I'd like to do before it's time to head out this afternoon, which mainly involves opening up The Hidden #4, 5 & 6 so that I can make sure everything appears to flow. There might be a character who was killed and then makes an appearance in another book. lol.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, 29 April 2010

HEIST SOCIETY by Ally Carter


Since she can remember, Katarina's relatives have been grooming her for the family business--thieving. But when Kat tries to go straight and leave the Life for a normal life, she's promptly kicked out of her new school for stealing the headmaster's car and mounting it on the school fountain. Although she could have done it without breaking a sweat, ironically, this time, she's innocent.

In fact she was framed--by another highly-skilled thief. Her friend and brother-in-trade Hale, with his mischievous smile and limitless bank account, has appeared out of nowhere to bring her back to the Life, back to the family Kat tried so hard to escape. Hale has a good reason: A powerful mobster has just been robbed of his priceless art collection and he wants to retrieve it. Only a master thief could have cracked this vault, and Kat's father isn't just on the suspect list, he IS the list. Now, caught between Interpol and a far more deadly predator, Kat's dad needs her help.

For Kat, a consummate thief in her own right, the solution is simple: track down the paintings and steal them back. So what if it's a spectacularly impossible job? She's got two weeks, a teenage crew, and maybe just enough misguided pride to pull off the biggest heist in history--or at least in her family's (very crooked) history.

When I grabbed this book and got started, I didn't know what kind of adventure was waiting for me, but I was quickly sucked into it.

Kat is trying to live a normal life. Okay, so maybe she got her spot at the Colgan School under false pretenses, but she's been there for a few months and has enjoyed being a normal teenager. That all changes when she's accused of pulling a horrible prank on the headmaster. The funny thing is that she didn't do it, but still gets expelled when she can't explain the evidence caught on camera.

That's when Hale appears in his black limo and offers her a ride, hoping to entice her back into the family business. So, even though all she's wanted to do was distance herself from the life of thieves, she gets sucked back into it to save her father. Of course, her father doesn't want her to help but the mobster who's holding him responsible for stealing his priceless art collection has his eye on Kat. She's got two weeks to get his art back.

The fact that her father didn't do it doesn't change the deadline and Kat becomes determined to find out who did it so she can steal the collection from them and give it back to the evil Taccone. To do that, she needs to get a young team together and mastermind a plan before time runs out and her father becomes the target of the mobster.

Nothing goes according to plan and as the team slowly starts to figure out who is responsible, they stumble on a ghost. The greatest thief in the world also uses an old anonymous name--Visily Romani--and leaves a calling card. As Kat devises her plan and slowly begins to unravel the mystery by visiting a lot of lovely cities around the world, she also has to deal with the fact that Interpol are also after her father.

Heist Society turned out to be an excellent book! I had a blast reading it and got swept up in the tension, mystery, and relationships that Kat becomes involved with. Her family might be fill of thieves, but they're all very loyal to each other. And sometimes the very thing you were looking for happens to be standing right in front of you. As Kat finds out. ;)

This is a great fast-paced book, with just the right hint of romance, that I couldn't put down until I got to the end. What a great premise!

Heist Society, February 2010, ISBN 9780734411273, Lothian Children's Books Paperback

KNIFE by RJ Anderson


KNIFE is a classic fairy story, with a feisty heroine and a dark side...

Once upon a time, a fairy is born. She lives in an old oak tree at the bottom of a garden with the rest of the fairy folk. Never has she known a time when life hasn’t been hard, with many dangers and much adversity. But when she becomes the Hunter of the group and learns to do battle in the outside world, her adventures really take off…

Don’t read this book if you’re expecting fairy dust – the last thing Knife is likely to wield is a magic wand…


This is a book that I told my daughter about ages ago. So when I received it and she asked me if we could read it together, I liked the idea. As soon as I got started we were both captivated by the Oakenfolk. We couldn't wait to uncover their secrets and enjoyed the adventure with Knife, Paul, and the other faeries.

There's something really special about this book. Something that makes every word almost magical, as if my daughter and I had been temporarily transported into Knife's world and didn't want to leave.

The Oakenfolk live in our world, inside an Oak tree. These tiny faeries also lead lives that are shrouded by secrets that keeps them from using any magic, or wandering Outside. But when the strong-willed and very stubborn Knife becomes a Hunter and crosses paths with a human named Paul, she becomes curious about him. He's a boy with a very human problem--an accident put him in a wheelchair and has stolen all hope from his life.

Together, the faery and the human strike up an unusual but very strong friendship. One that helps them overcome their own personal problems and brings them closer together as they uncover secrets the Queen keeps hidden. Of course, not all is as it seems. The truth sometimes appears one way but is actually another.

This is a book that can be enjoyed by kids, teens and adults. There's a bit of everything: mystery, interesting characters, danger, strong friendships, adventure, magic, romance, and a wonderful, imaginative world. The interaction between Knife and Paul was heart-wrenching and the story keeps you guessing until the last word.

Knife is a beautifully written, charming story that captivates the reader. It's a tale about lost magic, love, and how secrets can force a whole generation to lose a special part of who they really are. I absolutely loved this tale and can't wait for the next one. Actually, neither can my daughter. lol.

Review from my 9-year-old daughter:

Knife is an awesome book. The chapters kept me guessing every time. I also liked Knife's attitude and the friendship between her and Paul. The secrets were amazing. I loved the characters: Wink because she helped Knife and Thorn was a nice, tough and a cool faery. Paul is sweet, kind and gives a helping hand to Knife.

Here's a picture I drew of Knife and Paul.

*Cassie*

Knife, April 2010, ISBN 9781408303122, Orchard Books Paperback

Monday, 26 April 2010

Some Urban Fantasy reading...

Last week, I looked at my TBReviewed pile, and because it was almost finished I decided to pick up a few of my own books. I was in the mood for an urban fantasy or two, because I love the genre so much.

And these are the ones I read, which as far as series books go, are some of my faves:


With her partner out of town, her family abroad, and her mentor estranged, newly-turned vampire Anna Strong is keeping a low profile.

But now young vampires are turning up dead, completely drained of their life force. And though Anna wants to say no when Williams, her former teacher and now leader of a supernatural enforcement squad, asks for her help, she can't. But soon, she'll wish she did.

This is the 5th book in the Anna Strong, Vampire series and I absolutely loved it. Actually, I found myself racing through it because I got so caught up in Anna's latest adventure.

If you've read any of the books in this series, then you know that Anna's headstrong and quite stubborn. Her life is also riddled with problems and this book's just as action-packed and problematic as the ones before it because Anna's fighting to save the lives of two of her friends. But saving them involves solving the mystery of young vamps that keep turning up dead. What she uncovers is pretty awful, but nothing's too hard for her to deal with.

Excellent book. No wonder this is one of my most fave series. :)


Morgan Kingsley, America’s most successful exorcist, is paying the price for an exorcism gone wrong. The victim’s family is suing the daylights out of her, the Exorcism Board has suspended her, and now she’s living on a diet of ramen noodles and bad coffee. But Morgan has a few good men at her side. One is her current boyfriend, nice-guy legal eagle Brian, who’s suddenly starting to reveal his inner bad boy. The other is Philly cop Adam White, who’s trying to help Morgan find out who sent her a little present—a severed human hand—and why someone seems determined to destroy her.

As her stalker turns more violent, leaving dead bodies in his wake, Morgan turns to the dark side of her life: a group of demons steeped in secrets, sinful eroticism, and otherworldly family feuds, including one sexy beast who shares Morgan’s body—and some X-rated fantasies. Soon Morgan must choose between her friends, her enemies, and her libido: to escape a mad demon determined to destroy her completely.

This is the 4th book in the Morgan Kingsley series, and as you've probably guessed: I loved it!

Morgan's another tough chick that I love to read about. She happens to be an exorcist, but wait, she's also carrying a demon within her, who happens to be a very important guy. It's been a great ride, to watch Morgan grow and accept what she's become. She struggled with Lugh a lot in the beginning, and while it's still not a picnic, at least they have a good rapport now and work with each other.

The few things that helped keep her mind off the impending demon war were her job and her boyfriend, but in this installment both come under threat. She's suspended because someone's sueing her, and Brian finally walks out on her because of her trust issues. Still, she can't just sit back and mope, she's got to clear her name and find out why a psychotic demon has targetted her and is intent on ruining her life.

I love the situations and characters in this series. I found out the other day that the next book will be the last in the series. :( So, I ordered it right away. As sad as I am that this series is over, I can't wait to see where Morgan and the gang end up. Oh, and because Jenna Black is such a cool writer, I know she'll have more fab books to offer in the future.

Monday, 19 April 2010

Sigh

This morning started out like any other morning: I got up at 7AM, gave Loki something to eat, did yoga while he sat nearby, then got breakfast ready for everyone. We had brekky and were getting ready to head out for a walk when hubby noticed some of Loki's fur on the bathroom wall!

I was like, what the hell? Anyway, we had a look at him and found a bald spot on his shoulder. And the skin looked red and irritated.

I'd noticed that he was scratching his ear a bit while I was getting dressed, but I thought it was because of the ear drops. Nope. Turns out he gave himself a bald patch. So we rang a few local vets and were able to take him to one of them. He took a look and put some ointment on the irritated skin, which helped right away. We got a tube of it and need to put it on twice a day for about a week, as well as the drops.

The vet said there were a few reasons why he might've done that to himself--the area where he got the shot could be itchy, or the drops are annoying him. Basically, it could be any of the changes we've had to make during the last two days. Still, those changes need to stay. So I hope he'll be okay now. He's been pretty relaxed since we got back home.

It's so strange, when we put him in his carrier and put him in the car he starts to cry. He cries all the way there, but when we're heading home he sits all quiet and cute. Almost like he knows he's going back home so he's okay. Loki loves routine. If anything's done out of order he doesn't like it. He's quite a peculiar little kitty, and I know these changes are bugging him.

I feel so bad that all these things are happening to him at once. :( But I'm glad that we're getting them looked at. *sigh*

Well, it's Monday. It might be the start of a new week, but I'll be tackling a goal that's carried over. I calculated that if I can get 30 pages done/day I can get this second draft done by Friday. Of course, rewriting means that the word count goes up and down every time I tackle a new section, so it feels like I'll never get to the end. lol.

I suppose I should get started. Daughter and I have to head out for a walk in a few hours, and need to stop by the grocery store for some bread. She goes back to school tomorrow.

See ya!

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Let's talk about Loki and some other things

If you read my blog, then you know that I have a cat called Loki. He's three years old and spends so much time with me that he's become my 'writing buddy'. He's such a cutie, too.

Well, yesterday we took him to the vet for his annual checkup and vaccine. Overall, he's a healthy boy and everything's fine but the vet did find a few things--teeth and ears.

I didn't expect the teeth, but she said it could be easily fixed by switching the dry food we give him at the moment from indoor to oral care. We grabbed a small bag that's prescription diet and when he's done with that we need to get his teeth checked again. The ear issue is something he's had since the day we adopted him. She gave us some drops for him, which he's had before. The prob seems to go away after the medication but comes back eventually. I think it's an infection he might've gotten as a tiny kitty when he was with the other tiny kitties, but I'm not an expert so I have no idea. That's just a guess.

He doesn't like the drops in his ears, but he's enjoying the new food. So that's cool. I'm just glad that it's nothing serious, but like everything else, if it's not treated now it could become a serious issue. Poor Loki.

Well, it's Sunday morning and I don't usually blog on Sundays, but today hubby and daughter have gone off to the pool for a little swim. I know I could (or is that, should?) be doing other stuff, but I think I need to finish off the weekend without pressure. I've been putting plenty of that on myself during the last two weeks, while trying to get through the second draft revision.

So I'm fifty pages behind... big deal, I'll just tackle it tomorrow. Right? I'm so used to piling on the goals and pushing myself to meet them that the few times I don't, I get all worked up. *taking a deep breath*

Besides, I intend to get the second draft of The Hidden #5 done by the end of this week. Then I'll put it aside for a few weeks before getting stuck into the final draft. With my daughter going back to school I should have more time.

One thing I did do the other night was start taking notes for a new idea that came out of nowhere on Friday morning. Actually, on Friday night I picked up a pen and notebook and wrote the first four pages by hand. Like I said, it came out of nowhere but when an idea is this pushy... I love it!

Well, that's it for today. I hope you're having a great weekend.

Friday, 16 April 2010

Fade to Grey...

That's the song I'm listening to right now, so I thought I'd use it as my post title. ;)

If you'd like to see the cover and read the Sneeky Peek of my story in the upcoming issue of Ethereal Tales, you can right HERE.

Well, here we are again. The weekend's so close I can taste it. lol.

Tomorrow we've got to take Loki in for his annual check up and vaccine at the RSPCA. That's where we adopted him from when he was a tiny, tiny kitty and keep going to the vets there every year. The poor buddy. He gets so knocked out by that needle, but at least the effects clear by the next morning.

Other than that, we really don't have any set plans. Oh, my daughter wants to go to check something out at a store but she always wants to do that. As long as we hang out together and go for our lovely walks by the river, I'll be happy. Doesn't take much to make me smile.

Well, it's almost the end of my daughter's holidays. She's got today and Monday to go, and although I'm into the full swing of the second draft I'm working on at the moment, I'm really tempted to put it aside until Monday and get a few other things out of the way instead. I've got an interview I need to proofread and email in, a review I need to proofread and post, as well as my monthly RomErotica post to write and post before Monday. That doesn't sound like much but when I try to squeeze it in between forty pages of revision, reading, and other daily stuff, time just runs out.

Last night I hit page 254/408. The word count's sitting at @81,656. I really got stuck into it last night but every time I get lost in it and the world around me fades away, I get interrupted. It's a shock to the system and really throws me off balance. Besides, it's Friday and I've been feeling a little glum most of this week.

Well, I guess that's it for today.

Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, 15 April 2010

MR MONSTER by Dan Wells


John Wayne Cleaver has always known he has a dark side but he's fought hard to oppress it and live a normal life - separating John from Mr Monster to survive. But after confronting and destroying the vicious killer that was terrorizing his town, his inner monster is getting stronger and harder to contain. And now more bodies are being discovered... With the police failing to catch Clayton County's second serial killer John is going to have to use his secret knowledge of the first demon-killer to trap the second...but will he be able to avoid suspicion falling on him, and, in the face of extreme horrors, will he be able to restrain Mr Monster?

Last year, I read and absolutely loved I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER. So when I found out that there was a sequel, I just had to read it. I grabbed it a few days ago and finished it this afternoon. My gosh, what a great book!

John Cleaver isn't you average teenager, although he tries to come across that way. He's fascinated with serial killers, helps his mother in the mortuary, and feels more comfortable with dead people than the living ones around him. And after killing a demon, he's been feeling a little desperate. He needs something to take the edge off his craving and setting small fires seems to help. For a while.

When the bodies of dead women start showing up around town, he suspects there might be a new serial killer in town. But what are the odds of that? After all, he lives in a small community where even one serial killer was an oddity. That's when he realises that the new killer might be trying to send someone a message. That's also when things get moving.

John becomes a target and when his secret desires are discovered, he finds himself in the starring role in a game set up by a vicious killer who likes to imprison his victims and calls them 'toys'. As if dating the girl he has macabre fantasies about wasn't hard enough to deal with.

Mr Monster is an awesome and very entertaining book featuring a very complicated sociopath. And you know what? He might have evil intentions in mind and might fantasise about horrible things I can't understand, but I couldn't help but like him. John breaks a lot of his own rules in this book, but at the end of the day manages to stumble out as a hero. Again.

I think this is a very clever series. It's hard to create a teenage character with serial killer tendencies and make him sympathetic, especially since he does some pretty awful things. But this book works on so many levels, and it's totally addictive! I want more.

Mr Monster, April 2010, ISBN 978-075-534882-4, Headline Paperback (B)

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

We have tickets!

That's right, we'll be going to this in July:


OMG! I'm so excited. Already counting down the days until the concert. And it's in my birthday month, too. How awesome is that? Yay!

The strangest thing is that I found out about this concert from hubby. See, I've been keeping a close eye on Twitter, their website, everywhere to make sure that we didn't miss out on the announcement. And you know what happened? The one day I'm not logged into Twitter is when they announced the tour. lol. So when hubby was driving to work on Monday and saw the above poster on a random wall, he called me and I got investigating.

To cut a long story short... we got our tickets this morning! Thank you Internet for making it so easy to buy just about anything at any time of the day. *mwah*

Okay. Now that the excitement's out of the way, let's get talking about what I've been up to.

The days are going too quickly, and mostly seem to be consumed by revision and hanging out with my daughter. Both are great things, of course. As far as the revision progress, I've been falling behind and haven't met my daily goals all week. Even last night I ended up 11 pages short of where I wanted to be by today, but that's fine. I'm now @ page 217/407. The word/page count keeps going up so much that it feels like no matter how much I do, there's always more tacked on the end. :/

Still, the fact that I'm now halfway through is great. And that the total word count has passed 81k is pretty cool too. Especially since I've been chopping SO much from the story. But since I'm changing almost every page, that explains the word count rise. Does that make any sense? It does to me. lol.

I better get to it, then. Hubby's got a half day today and I want to squeeze in a few things before then. :) See ya!

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

BEFORE I FALL by Lauren Oliver


Sam Kingston is dead.

Except she isn't.

On a rainy February night, Sam is killed in a horrific car crash. But instead of seeing a tunnel of light, she wakes up in her own bed, on the morning of the same day.

Forced to live through the same events - the drive to school, skipping class, the fateful party - she struggles to alter the outcome, but wakes up again on the day of the crash. What follows is the story of a girl who comes of age in a matter of days. Who discovers, through heartbreaking insights, the consequences of her every action. Of a girl who dies young, but in the process learns how to live.

And who falls in love...a little too late.

The concept of this story grabbed me as soon as I read the blurb. And when I picked it up, it hooked me in straight away.

Sam Kingston's life has taken a turn for the worst. Actually, she died in a car accident. But instead of moving on, she finds herself waking up on the morning of the accident. She finds herself living February 12 over and over again. A never-ending cycle of Cupid Day, a time that used to mean so much to her before, when the amount of Valograms she received was all that mattered.

At first she's pretty sure that the reason this is happening to her is because she's getting a second chance, a way to make sure that the accident doesn't happen. And so, she tries several tactics. Some of them seem to work but lead to other tragedies, and don't stop her from waking up to relive the day all over again.

It was great to read about each day, to go through the events, and seeing how everything changed slightly. During one of the days, she loses total control because she's so angry and figures no matter what she does, things will end up the same anyway. Slowly, she goes from being one of the most popular mean girls in Thomas Jefferson High, to a girl who's growing up and trying to make things right before the day is over.

It's also about what happens when a girl realises that everyone and everything around her isn't what it seems. While alive she'd never wondered about anything or anyone or how everything was connected. All she cared about were her three friends, her boyfriend, and setting trends. All of a sudden, Sam starts to see people and places through the eyes of someone who's about to lose them all.

I particularly enjoyed the Kent storyline. I loved the way their connection slowly developed even though she was the only one who knew what kept happening between them at the end of each day. It was also great to see how much she still loved her best friends--Lindsay, Elody and Ally--even after she saw all of their faults. It just made them more human, especially Lindsay, the one with the most secrets.

Before I Fall is a fantastic and very intoxicating book. It's a beautifully written story with a heartbreaking air that captivated me from start to finish. A story about really looking at everything and understanding what's important, instead of letting it pass us by like we usually do during our busy lives. This is definitely one of those books that I'll remember for a long time.

It's certainly going straight to my keeper shelf.

Before I Fall, April 2010, ISBN 978-144-470642-0, H&S Fiction Paperback

Friday, 9 April 2010

Hello, we've hit the end of the week


And you know, I forgot to mention that my short story, WAKING FROM NIGHTMARE, will be published in the next issue of Ethereal Tales. Yay. How awesome is that? And it happens to be the sequel for the story that was published in Issue Six. Can't wait to see the cover. :)

Doesn't Loki look comfy in the box that is too small for him? It doesn't stop him from trying to get in though. He's got a thing for boxes. You can't put one down anywhere without him trying to get in. lol.

Well, my daughter and I popped into the library yesterday. We hadn't been in ages. Mainly because I've got so many of my own books--and books to review--that I've tried to stay away. Anyway, I ended up borrowing two books, and this book is one of them. I've had my eye on this one for a while, so I couldn't pass it up. ;)

But first, I'm reading this one. It's one of the two books left on my TBReviewed pile. I started it yesterday and I'm pretty close to page 100 already. It hooked me in right away. I'm really enjoying it. Can't wait to get back to it, but that won't be for a while because it's time to concentrate on my own story first.

Yep. The revision is still going. Last night I hit my target (well, I went 3 pages over, yay!) and am now sitting on page 117/390. The word count's 77,235. Even after the amount of words I deleted last night, it still managed to creep up a little. Which is cool. I'd still like to reach/cross 80k by the end of this draft. I think I can do it. Well, I hope I can.

Today I'm aiming to reach page 152 before the end of the day. I should be doing that right now, but thought I'd squeeze in a blog post first. I find that most of the time, if I don't blog before getting stuck into things, I either forget or time slips away. So, here I am. :D

Better get started before I cave into more reading...

I hope you all have an awesome weekend!

Thursday, 8 April 2010

THE VAN ALEN LEGACY by Melissa de la Cruz


With the stunning revelation surrounding Bliss's true identity comes the growing threat of the sinister Silver Bloods. Once left to live the glamorous life in New York City, the Blue Bloods now find themselves in an epic battle for survival. Not to worry, love is still in the air for the young vampires of the Upper East Side. Or is it? Jack and Schuyler are over. Oliver's brokenhearted. And only the cunning Mimi seems to be happily engaged.

This is the fourth book in the Blue Bloods series, and things just keep getting worse for the characters.

A year after what happened in Brazil, Schuyler and Oliver are in Paris. They're on the run, and are hoping to meet with the European Conclave to get their help in proving Schuyler's innocence. She's been blamed for the death of her grandfather.

Bliss is confused. She wakes up in the Hamptons and has to go through her everyday ritual of remembering who she is because The Visitor has taken over her body. He's been in control for so long that she's slowly slipping away.

Mimi is now a Venator. She's also on the verge of bonding with Jack, but instead is trekking all over the world with Kingsley. They're trying to locate The Watcher--Bliss's younger sister--and in the process Mimi starts to see Kingsley in a different light.

The Van Alen Legacy is another interesting and fast-paced story weaved by the three very different female characters. It's once again filled with shocking revelations, as Schuyler finds herself being led back to New York by her love for Jack, Bliss fights to save herself, and Mimi finally does something that doesn't completely revolve around her hair, make up, or arrogance.

It'll be interesting to see where Melissa de la Cruz takes the story now...

The Van Alen Legacy: Blue Bloods Bk 4, April 2010, ISBN 978-190-565479-6, Gollancz Paperback

Sometimes you just miss a day...

And that's what happened to me yesterday. I ran out of time and didn't get a chance to blog. Although, I did post a new book review. So that's something, I suppose.

<---See this pic to the left, I took it last week with my phone. It's my cute, little Marvel Thor plush doll. Isn't he cute? I found him on eBay several weeks ago and couldn't resist him. I ended up placing a bid right away and won him. He's SO darn cute. If you don't already know, yeah, I'm a Thor fan. ;)

Well, tackling revision is always a time-consuming thing... especially when my daughter's home 24/7 and there are still plenty of daily things that need to be tackled. Still, I'm doing my best to keep to my daily goals. And as of last night I reached page 82/388. The word count started at 74,088 and is now at 76,468. And I'm not even halfway through yet. But I kinda expected this to happen.

I wrote this novel during the NaNoWriMo frenzy of 2006. I actually managed to write 73k in one month, way past the required 50k. It was hard work but the story just came so easily. However, since then I've learnt a lot of things about writing, and even my voice has changed a little. So there's a lot to delete, change, and replace. I'm finding that the core of the story was there from the start, as well as the character motivation and the adventure that she embarks on, but there's a lot of internal stuff--for lack of a better word--that isn't. And that's what I'm doing at the moment.

I'm not surprised at all. It's the same thing that happened when I revised Book 4 last year. That took two complete drafts to fix up, and it became a much deeper and larger story because of it. I'm hoping I can do the same with this one. I have a love-hate relationship with second drafts. It's when I start to question myself about every nitty-gritty details. It's also when I start to dislike everything about the story, but if I push on by the time it's time to get stuck into the third draft, the excitement is there again.

Revision is where the real work comes in, but there's also a lot to be proud of at the end of it. :)

Hubby left for work a lot earlier than he usually does so our day's going to be a little different today. My daughter and I are going to pop into the library this morning, go for our walk then, and have lunch when we get back. After that, I'm hoping to squeeze in an extra revision session. I'll see how it goes, because time slips away faster than you realise when you've got stuff to do.

Have a good one!

PS. It looks like the website that hosts the cute clock on my sidebar hasn't turned back their clocks for Sydney yet. So if you're wondering, the actual time is one hour earlier than what it's stating at the moment. ;)

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

SINGLE WHITE VAMPIRE by Lynsay Sands


Roundhouse Publishing editor Kate C Leever's first letter to her new author was meant to impress upon him the growing demand for vampire romances. And even though he'd expressed little-to-no desire for any publicity, book tours, or similar, it was clear this was an author just waiting to be broken out - despite himself, if necessary. When she suggested attending a romance convention his response - unusually quick to arrive - was succinct: 'No.'

But Kate was adamant: Mr Lucern Argeneau was going to attend a romance convention and meet his fans. By hook or by crook, despite his reclusive nature and odd sleep patterns, the surly yet handsome author would attend. And she was sure that, once there, he would reveal himself to be a true charmer.

Of course, that was before she realised that his 'romances' were more like biographies and it's literally her neck on the line...

This is the second book in the Argeneau series, a family of vampires living modern lives in Toronto. After really enjoying the first book I was looking forward to reading more about them. This is Lucern's story. He's the writer in the family.

He writes paranormal romance books featuring vampires that happen to have the same names as members of his family. His editor has been pestering him to take a more active role in the promotions of his books, something he has no desire to do. But when she travels all the way from New York and knocks on his door hoping to convince him, his hermit-like life is interrupted. Well, okay, it's changed forever.

Kate C. Leever is a headstrong editor who has to find a way to convince her most abrupt and arrogant writer to take a more active role in promoting his highly successful series.

Lucern Argeneau is the most reclusive of the brothers, but isn't spared his mother's meddling ways. That's how he ends up attending Etienne and Rachel's wedding with Kate. After that, he finds himself actually liking the annoying woman who pretty much refuses to go until he says 'yes', instead of his usual 'no'.

And so begins a funny and sexy adventure between them. A lot of which takes place at The Romantic Times convention, where Lucern meets some of his fans and becomes very involved with his editor. They're both unable to fight the attraction, even if doubts don't entirely fade right away...

Single White Vampire was another fun addition to this series. Once again, the multiple POV added to the reading experience. I also enjoyed the funny situations they find themselves in and laughed out loud several times. Although this story is mainly lighthearted and fun, I also like the way Lynsay is able to weave deep emotional attachments, and even an air of danger into the mix.

I guess it's Bastien's turn next. :)

Single White Vampire: Argeneau Vampire Book 2, April 2010, ISBN 978-057-509383-6, Gollancz Paperback

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Doesn't feel like a Tuesday...

...so I'm going to treat today like it's a Monday. ;)

How was your long weekend? Ours was awesome! We spent a lot of time relaxing, went for a lovely walk every day, worked out a little, read, caught up on some movies, enjoyed some nice meals, and just had a good time being together as a family.

It was great. If only every weekend could be this long. lol.

Today also marks the (official) first day of my daughter's school holidays. She goes back to school in exactly two weeks. I think she's got plenty of stuff to keep her busy, plus we'll be doing some stuff together too. But she knows that I've also got a personal writing goal to achieve--the second draft of a novel. Yep. This happens to be a story in The Hidden series. Book 5, to be precise. I'm looking forward to getting stuck into it.

The aim of this revision game: complete 38 pages per day for 10 days (not including weekends).

If I can do that, then I can get the second draft done by the time my daughter goes back to school. The first draft is 380 pages long, but that'll probably change. I think lots of stuff will get moved around/deleted/added because I wrote this book a while ago. The same thing happened when I revised Book 4 last year, but that's fine. Whatever it takes to sharpen, fix, and make it a better story...

This month, I'm one of the Featured Authors at The Romance Studio. So if you'd like to read a little more about CARELESS, you can check out my interview. :)

Also, today you can read my first guest blog post about my upcoming Eternal Press novel, SHADE OF GREY. It's over at Cate Masters' blog. Thanks Cate!

Well, I guess I better stop blogging and get revising. Catch'a later!

Sunday, 4 April 2010

KITTY'S HOUSE OF HORRORS by Carrie Vaughn


Talk radio host and celebrity werewolf Kitty Norville has agreed to appear on TV's first all-supernatural reality show. What she's expecting is cheesy competitions and manufactured drama starring shapeshifters, vampires and psychics. But what begins as a publicity stunt is all too quickly turning into a fight for her life.

Kitty and her fellow housemates arrive at the remote mountain lodge where the show is set, but no sooner does filming start when violence erupts. It doesn't take Kitty long to suspect the show is nothing more than a cover for some nefarious plot. Then the cameras stop rolling, cast members start dying and Kitty learns she and her monster housemates are not battling for a prize: they are, ironically enough, themselves the ultimate prize, in a very different game. Stranded with no power, no phones and no way to know who can be trusted, she must find a way to defeat the evil closing in...before it kills them all.

It's no secret that I absolutely love this urban fantasy series. Actually, it's one of my (most) favourite and I look forward to every new book.

Kitty's life is never easy. She might be married to a great guy, who happens to be a wolf like her. She might have her own pack, and a very successful radio show. She might even have a lot of cool supernatural friends, but nothing ever comes easy for her. And this book proves just how hard things can get.

When two TV producers aprroach Kitty asking her if she'd like to take part in a reality TV show with an array of other well-known supernaturals, it takes a bit of convincing but she agrees. Even if she's got quite a bad feeling about it. Still, she agrees to head to an isolated cabin in Montana, and meets up with several people she already knows and a few new faces. Everything starts off normal--the producers encourage them to engage in conversation and take part in activities that will highlight their talents.

However, the morning when Kitty wakes up and the power is out, everything goes to hell. The phone is also missing, and the crew has disappeared. Leaving them cut off from society with no way to call anyone. From this point onward, this book is filled with violence, mystery and tension as Kitty and the other supernatural beings struggle to not only figure out what's really going on and who's responsible for the attack, but also how to stay alive because it becomes obvious that someone wants to take them out one at a time.

It was great to catch up with Tina, Jeffrey, and Grant. I find Grant fascinating and can't wait to find out how this installment is going to affect him. There were also a new bunch of characters that added depth to this story. I'm looking forward to reading more about Anastasia and how she'll fit into what lies ahead for Kitty. Not to mention that throwing a skeptic into the middle of this plot was genius. ;)

Kitty's House of Horrors is a total treat! I absolutely loved every minute of it. Though it did make me really sad in some places. But the final scene definitely made me smile. This series is one of my most faves for an obvious reason: it's brilliant. I've always loved Kitty's voice, and her growth in every book is amazing. Not to mention that the writing is fantastic. I've only got great things to say about this series and I can't wait for the next book!

Bring on the impending war!

Kitty's House of Horrors: Kitty Norville Book 7, April 2010, ISBN 978-057-509008-8, Gollancz Paperback

Friday, 2 April 2010

REVELATIONS by Melissa de la Cruz

For the Young, Fabulous and Fanged...

All is never what it seems. Schuyler Van Alen's blood legacy has just been called into question: is the young vampire in fact a Blue Blood, or is it the sinister Silver Blood that runs through her veins? As controversy swirls, Schuyler is left stranded in the Force household, trapped under the same roof as her cunning nemesis, Mimi Force, and her forbidden crush, Jack Force. But when an ancient place of power is threatened in Rio de Janeiro, the Blue Bloods need Schuyler on their side.

The stakes are high, the battle is bloody; and through it all Schuyler is torn between duty and passion, love and freedom.

I was looking forward to getting stuck into this book because I enjoyed the first two so much...

Schuyler, Bliss, and all the other Blue Bloods are back in the third installment of this series. But things aren't going well for any of them. Their lives are becoming more complicated, the danger much darker, and the secrets slowly unfold to reveal some shocking truths.

Now that Schuyler has been taken away from her grandfather, and is forced to live with the Force family, she finds school a good place to hide. Jack doesn't have any time for her, Mimi makes her life uncomfortable, and Charles Force doesn't seem to care whether she's there or not. At least she's still got her best friend and conduit Oliver (even if she's not supposed to see him either), and modelling. Except, nothing is what it seems, and her connection with Jack has developed in an unexpected way.

Bliss is still suffering bizarre visions, and now has started to see a man in a white suit. At least Dylan's back, but he's not the same either. And when strange things start to happen within her family, she gets some very serious answers... that'll rock her very existence.

Meanwhile, Mimi is trying very hard to keep an eye on her twin, Jack, and does everything within her power to push their bonding ceremony forward. Of course, after what happened in Brazil, who knows how that'll turn out?

I'm still enjoying the secrets and the way all of their lives mix with each other. Plus it was great to get answers for many of my questions too. Yet, I have to say that I think this book is the weakest in the series, so far. The snappy chapters were something that I enjoyed in the two previous books but in this one, there were too many things happening off-page. Events that were then summarised by the narrators, which I would've preferred to just read as they occurred.

Revelations is a pretty good book, and the title's perfect. The amount of answers satisfied my curiosity about many things, but has now laid down a new bunch of questions that I hope will be answered in future books.

Revelations: Blue Bloods Bk 3, April 2010, ISBN 978-190-565478-9, Orbit Paperback

 
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