Personally, I've had a little more trouble than usual getting to sleep. Not sure what it is, but I did manage to sleep in longer than usual during the weekend. Not a bad thing, I suppose. Especially since I've been feeling exhausted lately.
Between getting on with the day, working out, yoga, walking, and everything else in between, I'm not sure how I manage to fit everything in. lol.
Anyway. It's Monday and I'm ready to get started on a new project. That's right, I'm going to get stuck into that YA/UF idea that I've mentioned a few times. I know what's going to happen during the first three chapters, so I can't wait to get all that outta my head. I'll see how I go.
I'm hoping to get between 3-4k words written every day, but I'm not going to stress if I don't. I want to ease back into the mad-writing sessions I put myself through during a first draft. Of course, once the story takes off, I know I'll end up there again. But until then, I'm going to take each section as it comes.
Evie's always thought of herself as a normal teenager, even though she works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she's falling for a shape-shifter, and she's the only person who can see through paranormals' glamours.
But Evie's about to realize that she may very well be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures.
So much for normal.
Firstly, this is such a pretty cover. I also think it captures the main character's description perfectly. It's lovely.
As soon as I started reading this book, I was hooked. Seriously, Evie's voice and attitude is so laidback that it made me like her right away. She's so funny. Although she lives in a world filled with danger and monsters, she's actually quite positive, and innocent. Which was another one of her charming qualities. Like I said, I was instantly hooked.
Evie isn't normal, but she wishes she was. It's the thing she wants most. Instead, she works for IPCA and lives there too. Because she can see through paranormal glamours, none of the monsters can hide their true face from her, which makes her the perfect tool. She doesn't have parents, doesn't know where she came from and her handler is the closest thing she's got to a parent. Oh, and her best friend's a mermaid, her ex a faerie. She might bag-and-tag paranormal creatures, but life isn't much fun. And she certainly never imagined she might be more than human.
However, when she finds someone breaking into IPCA, her whole world is turned upside down.
Lend isn't like other boys. He's a shapeshifter, and his origins are very mysterious. He doesn't like to talk much about where he's from and what he's doing in IPCA. Still, Evie's drawn to him and while he's kept prisoner finds herself befriending him. Of course, her ex happens to be an obsessed faerie who won't leave her alone, and he's trying to (physically) change her. Not to mention that someone's killing paranormals...
I loved everything about this book--the story, the mystery, the monsters, the worldbuilding, the characters, the humour... all of it! And I especially liked Evie and Lend. They were so sweet together, and determined to find out what's going on and why/who is killing the paranormals. This is an awesome book, and I can't wait for the next one:
Wow. Friday. I really wasn't ready for you. But hey, it means the weekend's around the corner, so I'm fine with it. :)
Yesterday actually turned out to be quite productive. I managed to get an interview finished, as well as an upcoming guest blog post written. I even emailed both of them in, and updated several things that I'd been ignoring (I mean, ran out of time to do) most of the week. So, for the first time in a week or so, I actually felt productive, lol.
I can't believe how much the combination of summer school holidays and working on The Hidden #6 revision threw me out mentally. It's taken me several weeks to get back on track, to even want to think about throwing myself into another project. Weird, huh? But I finally feel like I've recharged my batteries by not putting too many goals/restrictions on myself and reading up a storm.
I'm ready to get started on a new story next week. And I have a feeling it's going the be this YA/UF one. There's no point in ignoring my muse when she's ready to hand over a story...
So, the other night we popped into another local high school. This is the second open night we've been to during the last few weeks. My daughter's in year 5, so she's still got another year of primary school left after this one, before it's even time for high school. But I think it's a good idea to take a look around at our local schools. Besides, this time next year, we pretty much need to know which school we'd prefer her to go to. Visiting has helped figure it all out. Scary that she's only two years away from high school, though.
I think I'll spend most of today thinking/planning the new month--can you believe March starts next week?--and finishing up this awesome book. I'm having a total blast with it!
How's everyone today? I'm doing okay. Not very happy with the change in weather, though. It already feels like autumn. :( Luckily, I don't mind autumn--it's winter I can't stand--but I just don't think I'm ready to let go of summer yet. I'm especially not ready to give up on the longer days... which I think ends at the end of March. O_o
I didn't really plan it, but yesterday I managed to get the first 2,579 words written for my YA/UF story. I pretty much woke up with what was going to happen already inside my head and just wrote it out. I was in such a rush to get it outta my head, that I'm sure it's a disconnected mess. Might read over it today and see what I wrote, lol. It's a lot of fun. And it seems like every time I lie down to sleep, a little more of the story reveals itself to me. Fun!
Even though I wasn't planning to write this story next. I had plans for a novella, first. Oh well. Sometimes, you just gotta go with your muse's flow. I'll see what happens. But either way, I plan to get started on the first draft of a story next week. :)
Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has won the annual Hunger Games with fellow district tribute Peeta Mellark. But it was a victory won by defiance of the Capitol and their harsh rules. Katniss and Peeta should be happy. After all, they have just won for themselves and their families a life of safety and plenty. But there are rumors of rebellion among the subjects, and Katniss and Peeta, to their horror, are the faces of that rebellion. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge.
Let me start with: Wow. And then, sigh.
Katniss and Peeta made it out of the Hunger Games alive, and even returned to District 12 to a much better and supposedly easier life, but the complications didn't end. Her defiance of the Games has sparked a rumored rebellion throughout some of the other districts and the Capitol has made it clear that they won't stop until she's squashed. They need to remind everyone what happens when they don't stay in line...
So she finds herself in another cruel game. This time, the third Quarter Quell--which happens every 25 years--will feature former Hunger Games victors, and before she knows it, she's once again back in an arena fighting for her life.
I absolutely loved this book! I didn't think things could get any worse for poor Katniss, but they did. No matter how hard she tries to get on with her life. No matter how much she tries to protect the ones she cares about. No matter how much is going on behind-the-scenes that she doesn't know about, she's slowly becoming a pawn for both sides.
This was another amazing book, and I can't wait to see how this trilogy ends...
Well, it looks like the weather's decided to cool down. Again. It's amazing how quickly this summer has gone from hot-to-cool, and back again. To be honest, it hasn't been that great a summer. As far as weather goes. :/
Also, Naomi Clark is offering a free short story set in the same world as AFTERLIFE and her upcoming, DEMONISED. It's about PI Ethan Banning--a character that I can't wait to meet. You can check out how to get a copy of the short story, right here. I've already got my copy on my Kindle, and plan to read it before I get stuck into AFTERLIFE. :)
Oh, and I think this is hilarious. And totally cute. I love cats. They do the craziest things. lol.
As you can probably tell, I've pretty much spent the last week reading one book after another. And it's been a LOT of fun. I love reading, and catching up on some of the awesome YA books I've had sitting on my bookshelf for a while is awesome. There are still a lot of books to read on there, but I'm slowly working my way through them, and having a blast. Actually, during the last week, I've read about seven books and there was only one I didn't like. Those are some great odds! ;)
This week, I plan to do some real planning about what to write next. Last week, I really needed a mental break. It felt good to just relax on the couch with a book, take the odd note here and there, catch up on some online stuff, etc. But this week, I want to actually plan out what I'd like to work on next. And since March is only about a week away, I think this is a great time to get myself organised to get stuck into something next Monday...
Oh yeah, and that YA UF idea I mentioned last week? Well, it's become a lot more than just fragments and a circle of friends. The story's coming together, the main characters have names, and I've only got one major thing that needs to be figured out before I can really get stuck into it. :) Love it when that happens!
Frannie Cavanaugh is a good Catholic girl with a bit of a wicked streak. She has spent years keeping everyone at a distance even her closest friends and it seems like her senior year is going to be more of the same...until Luc Cain enrolls in her class. No one knows where he came from, but Frannie can t stay away from him. What she doesn t know is that Luc is on a mission. He s been sent from hell itself to claim Frannie s soul. It should be easy all he has to do is get her to sin, and Luc is as tempting as they come. Frannie doesn t stand a chance. But Luc has to work fast, because if the infernals are after her, the celestials can t be far behind. And sure enough, it s not long before the angel Gabriel shows up, willing to do anything to keep Luc from getting what he came for. But if Luc fails, there will be hell to pay...for all of them.
This book was totally unpredictable! Seriously, even after reading the blurb I was intrigued, but had no idea what to expect. It's why I was hooked from the very beginning. Not to mention that I really enjoyed the split-first-person POV. I thought it worked really well with this book--which is shared by Frannie and Luc.
Frannie's your average teenager in her last year of high school. She's a little rebellious and likes to keep people at a certain distance. Except, she's got some secrets and a gift she has no idea about. Luc is a demon who's determined to complete his job, which involves 'tagging' Frannie's soul. Then there's Gabriel. He's an angel and a lot more mysterious than Luc. Still, he suddenly appears in Frannie's life to do the same thing (for heaven) that Luc hopes to do for hell. Yet, what happens when they both fight to get to her is totally unexpected...
This was a fantastic story. I had a blast reading it. Seriously, it was an unexpected rollercoaster ride. And a lot of fun. The worldbuilding was great, too. I also thought the teens in this book seemed very realistic, with their indecision and misbehaving. Very cool stuff! I'm looking forward to reading the next one!
In a dark vision of the near future, a terrifying reality TV show is taking place. Twelve boys and twelve girls are forced to appear in a live event called the Hunger Games. There is only one rule: KILL OR BE KILLED.
When sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen steps forward to take her sister's place in the games, she sees it as a death sentence. But Katniss has been close to death before. For her, survival is second nature.
There's really no point in going into the story, because I think everyone in the world already knows what this book is about... so, I'm just going to say what I thought: I absolutely loved it! I think it's brilliant, and there's nothing I can say that'll summarise just how awesome this story is, or how much I enjoyed every second of it.
I couldn't get it out of my head, and couldn't stop reading. I was totally addicted!
I loved Katniss. I loved Peeta. I loved this dark and twisted world that made my stomach turn sometimes, and excited me the next. And I'm really glad that it's a trilogy because I can't wait to see what's going to happen with Katniss and Peeta now that they're back in District 12.
So, I've been doing pretty much nothing but reading. Oh, okay, I have been clearing up some clutter that I've had around the place. Things I put aside after cleaning/re-arranging my bookshelves in January. O_o I know, about time, right?
Now that I've got most of that done, I think it's time to de-clutter my brain. I've got a whole bunch of stuff in there. Things that need to get out, so I can clear my head. There's a new YA idea that keeps popping up, too. So far, it's just fragments. More about the main character and her circle of friends, than anything else. I love having a story slowly reveal itself like this, but I think it might be time to take notes of the bits & pieces I do have. Before I lose it all.
Speaking of NotB... the next installment in this duo/trilogy/series--not sure yet--is hounding my brain. Looks like Daria wants to tell her side of the story. She wants everyone to know what happens a year after the events of NotB. *grin*
Anyway. I have to go. I've got some more reading to do. ;)
The war between humanity and Faerie devastated both sides. Or so 15-year-old Liza has been told. Nothing has been seen or heard from Faerie since, and Liza's world bears the scars of its encounter with magic. Trees move with sinister intention, and the town Liza calls home is surrounded by a forest that threatens to harm all those who wander into it. Then Liza discovers she has the Faerie ability to see - into the past, into the future - and she has no choice but to flee her town. Liza's quest will take her into Faerie and back again, and what she finds along the way may be the key to healing both worlds.
After enjoying the first few chapters, I really wanted to love this book. The concept sounded great, but for some reason, I just couldn't connect with the characters and story as deeply as I wanted to.
As the daughter of the famous Silver Spirits paranormal investigators, Charlotte Silver is used to all things weird. But when coffins start floating down her street during a flood, life turns extra strange. And wonderful, when her friend and crush Noah signs on to help Charlotte and her folks in the aftermath. Cemetery cleanup might not sound exciting, but as shocking discoveries and a lurking stranger come to light, Charlotte learns that sometimes, raising the dead can bring unexpected rewards.
Well, because I absolutely loved the the first book in this series, I just had to read the novella that fits between the first and second Past Midnight books. :)
Several weeks after what happened in Past Midnight, Charlotte is helping her father during one of his lectures, only to find that when it's over, a huge storm has hit the town. So much rain falls that there are floods, and with those floods come roaming coffins. Of course, her parents are instantly drawn to the case. The strange thing is that for once, Charlotte is too. And after some advice from her sister, she decides to help them right what's happened.
Of course, the fact that she gets to spend time with her crush, Noah, is an added bonus. If only he would give her a hint about whether he feels the same way about her or not... either way, Charlotte is once again caught up in something strange and very creepy. As they help an old man who had no idea what he'd been guarding for so many years.
Wow, what an awesome novella. I loved it! I really like Charlotte, her family, friends, and this world she's trying to stay away from but just can't seem to shake. Now I can't wait to get my hands on the second book, which will hopefully arrive in a few weeks. :)
Let me set the record straight. My name is Charlotte Silver and I'm not one of those paranormal-obsessed freaks you see on TV.no, those would be my parents, who have their own ghost-hunting reality show. And while I'm usually roped into the behind-the-scenes work, it turns out that I haven't gone unnoticed. Something happened on my parents' research trip in Charleston - and now I'm being stalked by some truly frightening other beings. Trying to fit into a new school and keeping my parents' creepy occupation a secret from my friends - and potential boyfriends - is hard enough without having angry spirits whispering in my ear. All I ever wanted was to be normal, but with ghosts of my past and present colliding, now I just want to make it out of high school alive...
This is another book that I've had my eye on for a while... why did I wait so long to read it? It was fantastic!
Charlotte Silver doesn't live an average teenage life. Instead, she travels the country--and even the world--with her parents. They have a ghost-hunting reality show that's very popular, but it's not about chasing ghosts, as much as it is about debunking and/or explaining the scientific reason for the phenomena.
Her sister, Annalise, is now lucky enough to be in college, so her being carted from one place to another is over. But she also wants that for Charlotte. So, Annalise strikes a deal with her parents, and they agree that for one whole year, they'll stay in one place. That way, Charlotte can spend her senior year of high school in the same school, and the same town. The kind of stability she's never had. Charlotte loves the idea, and insists they move into a brand new house with no history. And when she meets a neighbour and they become instant friends, she knows she's going to love this place. This is her chance to finally be normal.
Except, something's followed her from Charleston, something to do with her parents' latest case. Not to mention that her new friend, Avery, has a few secrets of her own--something that points to another not-so-normal situation. So Charlotte once again finds herself caught up in a variety of strange 'situations'... so much for being normal! ;)
I absolutely loved this book! I was instantly hooked, was drawn so deeply into Charlotte's life that I couldn't put the book down. I enjoyed her very honest, intriguing narration. And there are some chilling, intense, creepy moments, too. I couldn't wait to find out who/what had attached itself to her and why. I also loved the way so many things come together because of her, and she has no choice but to figure it all out.
This is an awesome book that I enjoyed so much I already ordered the next one...
In the blink of an eye everything changes. Seventeen year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall what happened afterwards, watching her own damaged body being taken from the wreck. Little by little she struggles to put together the pieces- to figure out what she has lost, what she has left, and the very difficult choice she must make. Heartwrenchingly beautiful, Mia's story will stay with you for a long, long time.
I've been wanting to read this book for a long time, and this weekend, I decided that I was going to read it no matter what. And boy, am I glad I did!
This is one amazing and powerful story. The premise is heartbreaking and made tears rush to my eyes--many times--but there were also so many moments filled with wonderful joy. Mia's going through a terrible ordeal, caught in limbo, being aware of what's happened to her family and of the suffering those around her are going through, but is unable to do anything about it. Nothing, but watch.
She takes us on a journey through the happy moments in her life, the incredible relationship she had with her parents and younger brother, boyfriend, and best friend...
Her story was overwhelming, so emotional that I felt it soul-deep. And I enjoyed every single moment of it. I absolutely adored this book. It took my breath away, and really makes you realise that life can slip away from you at any moment. We need to live every moment to the fullest, appreciate what we have, and rejoice in the love we're lucky enough to experience.
Do yourself a favour and read this amazing book. This is a book that'll always hold a special place in my heart. I loved it. Words can't express just how special this book is.
Ryan McCarthy fled Applied Paranormal Theory and Tactics, her father, and her lover six years ago, desperate to build life away from the weird science and supernatural experiments of her childhood. But everything she hoped to escape comes back with a vengeance when she’s kidnapped and tortured by a possessed APTT employee out for revenge on the man responsible for his possession: Ryan’s father.
Now, reunited with the lover she abandoned, Ryan is forced back into a world of danger and darkness she no longer understands, pursued by enemies with powers she can’t fathom. But Ryan’s not entirely powerless herself. She’ll have to use every trick she knows – as well as the mystic gift she hates – to stay ahead of those enemies. And that will be easier said than done.
This story starts with a bang. From the start, the heroine, Ryan, is placed in a very bad situation. Enough to hook me in right away. Actually, as soon as I met Ryan, I wanted to follow her on her journey back into a life she tried to escape.
Six years after she left APTT--Applied Paranormal Theory and Tactics--and her absent father, as well as her loyal lover, Ryan's living in a quiet town in Scotland. For once she has a place of her own, a nice job, and is actually getting on with an average life. Yet, she finds herself dragged back into it by a psychotic former employee who'll do whatever it takes to find out where her father is. And that's how she finds herself right back in the world she wanted so badly to leave behind.
As if that wasn't bad enough, her former lover, Van, also makes a return into her life. And every step of the way, she feels as if someone, or something, is watching her.
This was an amazing adventure. Not just in the physical sense, because Ryan finds herself going from Scotland to Ireland, and then London, but also emotionally. Ryan is forced to face her turbulent feelings for Van, painful feelings of betrayal for a father who never had time for her, and a mother who's all of a sudden interested in getting her hands on her--even if it means hiring some thugs to find her. I felt Ryan's pain and confusion as much as she did, and I'm totally fascinated with this world of devas and asuras.
I absolutely loved it, and cannot wait to read the next one, Blood and Bones.
FREAK. That’s what her classmates call seventeen-year-old Donna Underwood. When she was seven, a horrific fey attack killed her father and drove her mother mad. Donna’s own nearly fatal injuries from the assault were fixed by magic—the iron tattoos branding her hands and arms. The child of alchemists, Donna feels cursed by the magical heritage that destroyed her parents and any chance she had for a normal life. The only thing that keeps her sane and grounded is her relationship with her best friend, Navin Sharma.
When the darkest outcasts of Faerie—the vicious wood elves—abduct Navin, Donna finally has to accept her role in the centuries old war between the humans and the fey. Assisted by Xan, a gorgeous half-fey dropout with secrets of his own, Donna races to save her friend—even if it means betraying everything her parents and the alchemist community fought to the death to protect.
Okay, firstly, I just want to say that I absolutely love this cover. And when I read the book, I actually had an A-ha! moment about what Donna's holding. It's an awesome touch. :)
Donna is seventeen years old and she hasn't had an easy life. She lost her father when she was seven, and her mother's institutionalised. Her hands were also damaged during the attack that killed her father, and now has iron tattoos that she likes to hide. She also has to be careful about showing her true strength. Actually, because of that, she actually had to leave the local high school and is now taught by a tutor in the Frost Estate.
The night she meets the mysterious, Xan, at a party, she feels a connection she hasn't felt before. Well, a romantic connection, because she's got a great friendship with her best friend, Navin. They've been next-door neighbours and best friends for years, but she now finds herself forced to explain to him why she pretty much lives in a different world to his. Even though it's forbidden. Donna belongs to a hidden society of alchemists, and knows of the existence of the dangerous elves.
When Navin gets taken by the elves, she's forced to risk everything to get him back. It's quite an adventure, and Donna's tested every step of the way. Xan has a few secrets of his own, but shares a very special and personal one with her. One that I hope he gets a solution for in the next few books. :)
I really enjoyed this lovely YA urban fantasy book. A lot! The world building is excellent, and I was intrigued by the world of the alchemists, elves, and the hint of demons. I also can't wait to find out more about Donna's parents, because I'm pretty sure that there's a deep, dark secret involved in the death of her father. Oh, and The Wood Queen too, what's she hiding?
The mystery has hooked me in and I can't wait to lose myself in this world again. Very soon, hopefully.
Lily Bard just wanted to start life over - but life had different ideas. A thrilling crime series from an international bestseller!
This omnibus contains the titles SHAKESPEARE'S LANDLORD, SHAKESPEARE'S CHAMPION, SHAKESPEARE'S CHRISTMAS, SHAKESPEARE'S TROLLOP and SHAKESPEARE'S COUNSELOR.
Lily Bard is starting over again. She's disguised herself as much as she can, cutting her hair short and wearing baggy clothes and she's moved to Shakespeare, Arkansas, where, working as a cleaning lady, she can sweep away the secrets of her dark, violent past.
But Shakespeare is not the peaceful little community Lily had hoped for and her idea of just fading into the background looks like it's doomed right from the beginning, when she discovers the dead body of her landlord...
Before long, everyone is going to know Lily Bard's name.
This is the fifth--and final--book in The Lily Bard Mysteries Omnibus.
After waking up one morning and almost strangling her husband, Jack encourages Lily to attend a therapy group for rape victims. No matter how much time goes by, Lily can't shake the terrible nightmares of what happened to her. The dark incident that changed her life, changed who she was, is a dark stain constantly haunting her, especially when she's asleep. So she agrees to go.
To her surprise, she actually doesn't mind it. She finds her therapist to be quite capable in getting the group to talk, and the other women seem like a nice enough group. But Lily's life is never straightforward and simple, so after only several visits, something horrible happens. A new member to the group is brutally murdered and left staged in a horrid position inside the therapist's office. Suddenly, she once again finds herself in the middle of a murder-mystery. As well as finding out that this murder has something to do with the counselor's past.
But Lily's got some personal issues to deal with at the moment. Her relationship with Jack has become a lot more serious, and she's learning the ropes of becoming a private investigator. And while all of this is happening, she's still cleaning. Not to mention that something absolutely heartbreaking--and unexpected--happens to her too. :(
Shakespeare's Counselor is absolutely fantastic! The plot was intriguing, full of twists and turns that made me as confused as the characters. The crimes are also very demented. This is an emotional installment to Lily and Jack's story, one with a satisfying conclusion.
I'm only sad that it's over.
The Lily Bard Mysteries Omnibus, January 2011, ISBN 9780575096448, Gollancz Paperback
Still mourning the loss of his wife, fallen angel Remy Chandler has immersed himself in investigating dangerous supernatural cases. His latest: the theft of a cache of ancient weaponry stolen from a collector who deals in antiquities of a dark and dubious nature. The weapons, Remy knows, were forged eons ago and imbued with unimaginable power. And if they fall into the wrong hands, they could be used to destroy not only Heaven but also Earth.
After reading the first Remy Chandler book, I was looking forward to this one. And it was just as good as the first one.
Remy might be a PI from Boston, but he's not your average man. Nope, he actually used to be known as Remiel, the Seraphim. Actually, his angelic personality hasn't completely left him, he just prefers to keep it hidden behind his human guise. After recently losing the love of his life, he's still mourning her death.
So he turns his attention to helping his friend, Francis (a former Guardian Angel) and finally decides to get back to his office. However, when he takes the job of helping a collector find some weapons that were stolen from his home, Remy finds himself once again deeply caught up in a very serious angelic situation. Because this man isn't the only one who wants these powerful and ancient weapons. Someone else wants to use them to release Lucifer from his prison.
This story was as addictive as the first one, and I absolutely loved it! Oh, and the twist towards the end was excellent. I didn't expect it until about one paragraph before it was revealed... very clever. I'm really enjoying this series. Good thing the third book's on its way. :)