Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Books, books, books!

I love to surround myself with books. Notebooks, books to read, eBooks... I'm not fussy. ;) But over the weekend, I actually bundled up just over 60 books from my bookshelf and took them to a local secondhand bookstore. Yay.

It was a HUGE load off my bookshelves. I had to get super tough with myself and asked myself: are you really going to re (or re-read) these books? And if yes, when? There were several books that the answer was 'yes', but for a lot it wasn't. They're the books I gave up. And not because they weren't good books, but some of them were genres that I no longer read. Or they were trade paperback size--which I really like to minimise on my shelves. They're just too bulky and take up too much room. I actually got rid of a few that I'm replacing with Mmp.

Anyway. It felt really good. And I think I should probably do a sweep of my shelves every three months or so. :)

Well, speaking of books... this week I'm working on the print galley for my own book, SPLIT AT THE SEAMS. It'll be released in print next July, so I wasn't expecting it to come to me so quickly but I'm glad it did. It means I get to read Book 2 one last time before getting stuck into the final draft of Book 3 in a few weeks. Busy-busy, huh?

Today I hit page 91/288. I have to admit that I was secretly hoping to have crossed the 100-page mark by today, but I seem to be working a little slower than expected. It's just a wonky week, that's all. Still, it just means that instead of finishing up by the end of the week, I'll have it done by Monday/Tuesday next week. No big deal, really. The deadline is mid-September.

Hubby and I watched the season 5 finale of TRUE BLOOD last night. I have to admit that I did get a few chuckles, and always enjoy seeing Alcide and Pam. Oh, and that SamFlyExplosion was pretty awesome. Still, it wasn't enough to keep us interested. I mean, WTF was all that crap with the faerie babies? Or the fact Sookie's pretty much a shadow of herself. What about Jason being all delusional about his dead parents? And the biggest WTFuckery has to do with Bill. I really don't get what they're trying to do with him, but it sucks. Pun intended.

So, we're done. Hubby and I will not be watching the next season. It's a waste of time, and there are plenty of other awesome shows to watch. Shows like BURN NOTICE, that just get better and better.

That's it for today.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

CHIME by Franny Billingsley

Briony knows she is a witch. She knows that she is guilty of hurting her beloved stepmother. She also knows that, now her stepmother is dead, she must look after her beautiful but complicated twin sister, Rose. Then the energetic, electric, golden-haired Eldric arrives in her home town of Swampsea, and everything that Briony thinks she knows about herself and her life is turned magically, dizzyingly, upside down.

This is actually a book that I'd been looking forward to reading for a while. As soon as I picked it up, I was hooked.

Briony is wicked. She's also a witch. She feels more comfortable using her left hand, enjoys spending time in the swamp, knows she's responsible for a lot of the bad things that have happened to her family, and isn't like other girls. To top it all off, she also hurt her beloved stepmother--who passed away--and is responsible for her twin sister's 'condition'.

She tries as hard as she can to keep her secret from everyone in Swampsea because not only did she promise Stepmother that she would, but also agreed to stay away from the swamp.

However, when the interesting Eldric comes to Swampsea, Briony's life is turned upside down. Not only do they become good friends, and even form a bad-boy club, but for a girl who (apparently) doesn't know how to love, she sure develops some strong feelings towards him. But there is someone standing in the way, as well as the secrets Briony is keeping.

When her sister, Rose, gets the dreaded swamp cough, she knows she has to save her and at the same time appease the Boggy Mun. However, in order to do so she'll have to reveal her secret to the village. In a place where they hang witches...

Chime is a wonderful, wickedly fun book that takes the reader on quite an adventure through an atmospheric and swampy place. Briony has a strange, yet totally addictive voice and an even more interesting story to tell. What made it even better was finding out a lot of important, secretive information at the same time as she does. I also loved Eldric, who was an amazing character. And the dark world that exists alongside her seemingly normal one. A world that has Old Ones, a Chime Child, Dark Muses, and witches.

I absolutely loved this book!


Chime, July 2012, ISBN 9781408803844, Bloomsbury

Friday, 24 August 2012

These weeks, they keep goin' faster...

Oh yes they do!

Yikes.
 
Anyway, the week started out pretty busy for me. I was still working on the second draft of Sierra Fox #3, while putting together a to-do list and celebrating the release of Sierra's second book! Yay.
 
There's always so much to do, and as soon as I got the revision done I got stuck into a to-do list that desperately needed my attention. Most of the items have now been crossed off, but I suspect some will remain on there until the weekend. LOL.
 
Hey, what do you think of my latest stationery stash? We went to Officeworks last weekend and I picked up a bunch of reduced notebooks. They're so pretty. I'm tempted to go back again and grab more, because the pretty (oh, so pretty) notebooks will soon sell out. I'm so addicted to stationery. As addicted as I am to books! ;)
 
Actually, that's another thing I have on my to-do list: to go through my bookshelves and get rid of some books. It's a lot harder to do than it sounds, but I have to be tough about it. I'm running out of room, so I really need to clear as many books as I can! Well, I better get to it.
 
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, 23 August 2012

WE CAN REMEMBER IT FOR YOU WHOLESALE by Philip K. Dick

Total Recall
The inspiration for the Columbia Pictures film Total Recall, directed by Len Wiseman and starring Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, and Jessica Biel. This ebook only edition of Philip K. Dick’s classic short story tells the story of Douglas Quail, an unfulfilled bureaucrat who dreams of visiting Mars, but can't afford the trip. Luckily, there is Rekal Incorporated, a company that lets everyday stiffs believe they’ve been on incredible adventures. The only problem is that when technicians attempt a memory implant of a spy mission to Mars, they find that real memories of just such a trip are already in Quail's brain. Suddenly, Quail is running for his life from government agents, but his memories might make him more of a liability than he is worth. Originally published as "We Can Remember it For You Wholesale."
 
 
This story is actually called, 'We Can Remember it For You Wholesale'. I've already read it, but wanted to read it a second time.

Douglas Quail can't stop thinking about Mars, but he can't afford to go. That's why he decides to visit Rekal, Incorporated. A place that can give you false memories.

Problem is, when they're about to do the memory implant they find out that Quail has already been to Mars--on a mission. And as soon as he remembers, government agents track him down...

This is an entertaining Sci-fi short story about a man with so many suppressed memories, you start to wonder what's real and what's not. I love that, because it's very PKD. :)

Really enjoyed it (again)!

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

It's release day!

All it takes is one broken stitch for everything to come apart at the seams.

Sierra Fox, Book 2

Spook catcher Sierra Fox has paid her debt to the Spook Catcher Council. Life should be easier. Except everything is going to the dogs—or demons, as the case may be. Her boyfriend Jonathan is acting like a possessive jerk. She can’t stop drooling over Jason, her hunky, injured houseguest, who turns out to be a werewolf. To top it off, something seriously freaky is happening to spooks all over Sydney.

Prime example: a ghost who wants to hire her fades while inside her office, and soon they’re disappearing all over Sydney— sucked out of existence. When Sierra finds out who’s behind it, it’s more than just her own life at stake.

As the problems continue to mount, keeping her head above water is a daily battle. Add a stalking, feral animal who is determined to take a piece out of her hide—literally—and life is anything but a bunch of buttercups. Especially when those around her start dropping their fa├žades.

Eventually, she knows, the dust will settle. Only this time, life as she knew it may never be the same.


Product Warnings
Spook catching: Do not try this at home, if you’re under eighteen, or under the influence. Must be prepared to fight off ghosts, demons, weird black dogs and sexy werewolves… Okay, maybe not the werewolf.




This is an exciting day! :)

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

STRANGENESS ON A TRAIN by Julia Crouch

Strangeness on a Train
Turning fifty has not filled Sally with joy. She's sitting on the Kings Cross to Harrogate train the morning after her disastrous birthday meal, feeling fed up and hungover to hell. And then a stranger climbs on board and sits down opposite her. You know those passengers who really, really annoy you on trains? The ones who invade your personal space, and worse? Well, he's one of those. And he's about to push Sally to breaking point.
 
 
Last night, while sorting through the books I have on my Kindle, I stumbled on this short story. I started to read it and was instantly hooked by Sally's story, but I had stuff to do so I couldn't read the whole thing.

This afternoon, I decided to sit on the couch and get to the end.

Sally just turned fifty, and after a disastrous dinner with her kids and ex-husband, she's on a train heading to see her elderly aunt. However, being plagued by the memories of how her ex ruined her birthday dinner and having to put up with a disgusting passenger on the train who has no sense of boundaries (or decency, really) she totally loses it!

I especially liked how she was trying to read a book but couldn't get into it, and it happened to be one of the author's other books. LOL. And I also enjoyed how the story unfolded and how it concluded with an obvious result but spared the gory details.

Great shortie!

Hello, Tuesday

So, how was your weekend? Mine was great!

I planned to blog yesterday but I was busy trying to get the second draft of Sierra Fox #3 done... and didn't get it finished until today. Yay.

I've decided to give myself the rest of the week off. Um, that kinda means that I still have a to-do list to get through, but it doesn't involve any new writing, revising, or editing. :)

Oh, and did I mention that Sierra Fox #2: Split at the Seams is released tomorrow? OMG. It is! And I'm so excited. I can't wait for Sierra's second book to be out in the wild.

Back to the second draft I finished today. The word count ended up at over 91k (I added 3k), and I suspect it might inch up a little higher after the third (and final) draft. I'm going to put it aside for a few weeks before getting stuck into it again. I'd like to have it totally finished--which includes the synopsis--by the end of September. Fingers crossed.

So, do any of you guys watch TRUE BLOOD? I know I've mentioned the show before because it used to be one of my faves. After all, I'm a huge fan of the Sookie Stackhouse series. But unlike the books, which happen to be awesome, the show has taken a shitty turn. Seriously, they've distanced themselves so far from the books that I don't even think the writers know what they're doing. It's all over the place--nothing makes sense, or connects together, the characters are slowly becoming shadows of themselves, and I've totally lost interest in it.

It's such a shame because it was SO good before. It just kinda feels like everything that happens is just for shock value, and the story no longer matters. :(

Hubby & I have decided that after this season is wrapped up... we're not going back for more. When a show becomes a chore to watch, you just gotta stop. Besides, there are so many other shows to catch up on.

Well, it's another lovely and sunny day in Sydney so I'm looking forward to heading out soon for my second walk today.

Have a great day!

Friday, 17 August 2012

It's the end of the week!

I have to admit that I didn't get as much done as I hoped to.

To start with, I'm still reading the same book I started last weekend. And I didn't reach the end of the second draft I started on Monday.

As I mentioned the other day, I was moving a lot slower than I wanted to but I've just been so distracted lately. :/

Today, I was hoping to get to page 200 so that I could get this finished on Monday. I'm now done for the day and have reached page 170/234. The word count is now sitting at 91,076, which is why I went super slow today. Instead of revision on the latest chapter, I wound up pretty much rewriting it. I'm glad that I did because the barbaric nature of it, as well as the emotional impact, is a lot heavier and will actually change a few consequences later on. But still, I was hoping for more progress, lol.

Oh well, that leaves me with 64 pages to go. Probably won't get them done on Monday... but Tuesday seems like a possibility. That's right, gotta keep that positive thinking going!

I don't know what the hell happened to the weather today, but a perfectly beautiful cloudless morning has turned into a super windy and dark afternoon. WTF? I don't know what's going on with this weather, but I want my sunshine back. ;)

Okay. The weekend's just around the corner, and I think I need it. Hopefully a few days away from the revision will revitalise my brain. At least, I hope it does.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

It's not seriously mid-week already, right?

Actually, it is. And I'm still trying to get myself into this new routine. It's a little harder than I thought it would be--especially since this is hubby's third week--but I think I'm getting there. :)

Over the weekend, I decided that I would devote this week to working on the second draft of Sierra Fox #3. But because I've got a love/hate relationship with second drafts, there are some (writing) outside forces nagging the back of my mind, and I've been easily distracted lately, I got off to a very slow start.

On Monday, I revised the first 30 pages. Yesterday, I managed to reach page 66. Not exactly as fast as I was hoping, since I originally planned to get 45pgs done each day. O_o But today, I think I found my groove and got to page 111/229. That's much better! I doubt I'll get to the end by Friday, but that's okay. Maybe the problem was trying to allocate only one week to this second draft.

Anyway. Enough about the page count, and the revision... which means that's it for today. LOL.

Have a good one!




Friday, 10 August 2012

THE DARK & HOLLOW PLACES by Carrie Ryan

There are many things that Annah would like to forget: the look on her sister's face before Annah left her behind in the Forest of Hands and Teeth, her first glimpse of the Horde as they swarmed the Dark City, the sear of the barbed wire that would scar her for life. But most of all, Annah would like to forget the morning Elias left her for the Recruiters.

Annah's world stopped that day, and she's been waiting for Elias to come home ever since. Somehow, without him, her life doesn't feel much different than the dead that roam the wasted city around her. Until she meets Catcher, and everything feels alive again.

But Catcher has his own secrets. Dark, terrifying truths that link him to a past Annah has longed to forget, and to a future too deadly to consider. And now it's up to Annah: can she continue to live in a world covered in the blood of the living? Or is death the only escape from the Return's destruction?

I've had this book on my TBR pile for ages. So last week I decided it was time to finish off this excellent zombie trilogy. Besides, my daughter's waiting to read it. :)

Annah has been surviving in the Dark City all by herself since Elias left her to join the Recruiters over three years ago. Just when she's ready to leave the city, she gets dragged back in when she's positive she spots her twin sister. A sister she hasn't seen since Elias and Annah left her alone in the Forest when they were kids.

But the city is a very dangerous place and the night a mysterious man who calls himself Catcher saves her, she meets the only immune person she's ever known. He also leads her to her sister, Elias, and a sanctuary that presents more problems than safety.

I really enjoyed this book. I think it was an awesome end to an awesome trilogy. It was scary, filled with tension, danger and a sweet romance between two very broken characters. Annah hides behind her scars, while Catcher hides behind his immunity. But in a dead world, it's not worth denying what your heart feels... Otherwise, what's the point of fighting so hard to live?

Loved it!!

Step by Step

And no, I'm not talking about the NKOTB song from way back! ;) Are you old enough to remember what I'm talking about? LMAO.

Anyway. Enough silliness.

Hubby ordered the DS game Walk with me! a few weeks ago because he thought it would be fun for me. I enjoy walking, so I agreed. 

I've been wearing one of the pedometers this week, and found out that I take about 12,000-13,000 steps/day. That's pretty cool, right?

Hubby takes his to work and at the end of the day we check our separate steps on my XL. It's so cool. And it definitely motivates you to keep walking the day away. Not that I need to be pushed. I really enjoy walking! :D

This week has (mostly) been filled with feeling crappy and catching up on housework. Seriously. I've been fighting this cold all week, and although it looks like I'm finally starting to feel like myself again, I was pretty miserable for a few days. :( It's hard to feel positive when you have a constant runny nose, watery eyes, and everything hurts. Still, like I said, I'm feeling a lot better. And with the weekend just around the corner, I'm bound to feel much better.

Also, having a mental break during the last few weeks has been great. I really needed to just step away from writing, revision, and editing. Long enough that I'm totally missing it and my head's a-buzzing with stuff. I think I might tackle the second draft of Sierra Fox #3 next week. Maybe. Hopefully.

Man, it's cold today. It must be snowing somewhere...

Okay. That's it for today. Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Ah-choo!

Excuse me. I'm not feeling 100% today. I've got a blocked nose and keep sneezing. Looks like it's my turn. Hubby and Daughter have already gone through it. :/

Anyway. Isn't this pic cute? It's another one made by my daughter on her iPad. She's really good at it. And the panda's so darn cute.

Well, I'm not feeling too motivated today. So I'm glad it's not a day where I had a bunch of things planned, or goals to meet. I think I'll just spend most of the day mucking around online, reading, and just enjoying the sun. I really don't feel like getting stuck into anything too involved.

Though I do have some goals to plan. And I keep checking my Inbox because I know there are emails I'm supposed to be getting. LOL. Just getting impatient, and hope I don't get forgotten. You'd be surprised how often this happens...

So, my daughter and I were walking home yesterday afternoon when we spotted some smoke in one of the parks we pass by. I knew something was burning, and so we got closer and found a log on fire in the middle of the path. I hate the threat of fires, and with the amount of trees, leaves, and grass around that area, we couldn't just walk away. So I ran to a random house and knocked on the door, asking for a bucket of water. The man was kind enough to fill up a watering can for me and so I ran back and drowned the log so much the flames were completely put out.

Phew. I thanked the man, gave him back his watering can, and continued on our way home. I'm just glad that we were able to do something before the fire got out of control. Not sure how it happened in the first place, but this isn't the first time something like this has happened to us. We walk around our neighbourhood a LOT, and so we see all types of strange stuff. And this is about the third random object-on-fire we've put out. Strange, but very true! O_o

Oh, check this out!! Do you see the cover for SPLIT AT THE SEAMS between two lovely covers?? Well, that's a Samhain ad in RT magazine. I actually had no idea about it, until the lovely Cassi Carver mentioned it on Twitter. Cassi, thanks for the link and also for posting a pic! It's SO exciting.

Okay. Have a great one!

Monday, 6 August 2012

Sunny Monday...

And I sure hope it stays that way. :)

Anyway. See the pic I posted today? It's my latest notebook stash. I know, I can't help myself. As soon as I see cute notebooks, pens, etc. I have to buy some. And as you can see, I did just that. ;) Problem is, my daughter seems to have developed the same *love* for stationery I have. So, she scored pretty well too. LOL.

We had an awesome weekend! Only thing is that after several walks, yoga, weights, and then jogging + more walking today, I feel a little sore. Still, it's good to be sore because of workouts!

So. What have I got planned for this week? Much the same as I did last week. This happens to be hubby's first week of starting work at 8AM, which means I need to re-shuffle my day. I can no longer get stuff done before my daughter wakes up in the morning. But that's fine. I just need to get used to starting my writing day after my walk.

I've got a few more things to put away and sort out this week. But mostly, I want to sit down with a notebook and pen, so I can get some sort of writing plan together. There have been some changes in my writing life lately that mean I have to rethink some stories/series--if you've visited my Coming Soon page lately, you probably know what I'm talking about--and figure out what to do with them next. I'm not talking about Sierra Fox. I know exactly which direction I want to take her series. :D

Well, that's about it for now. Think I'll have lunch soon, and then maybe start the next book on my TBR pile. It happens to be a book that my daughter (really) wants to read, but I told her she couldn't yet. Not until I read it first. Mean Mum, right? ;) LOL.

Have a great day!

Sunday, 5 August 2012

THE LAST ECHO by Kimberly Derting

Violet Ambrose is The Body Finder - Last Echo is the third novel in the series - blending serial killer thriller with romance.

Violet has always kept her strange ability to sense dead bodies a secret from everyone except her family and best-friend-turned-boyfriend Jay. But now she's using her gift to help track down murderers, working in a group that includes the mysterious and dangerously attractive Rafe. When Violet discovers the body of a college girl murdered by "the girlfriend collector", she is determine to solve the case. But now the serial killer is on the lookout for a new "relationship" and Violet seems to have caught his eye...

This is the third book in The Body Finder series, which I really enjoy reading. It's got a great mix of teenage angst, suspense that keeps you hooked to the very end, and a mystery that keeps you guessing. The latest installment didn't disappoint...

Violet is a seventeen-year-old girl with a strange and unusual gift. She can sense/hear the echoes of the dead, which means she can find dead bodies. Something she's been doing all of her life. But now that she's actually working with a team of teenage psychics, she's actually trying to help find dangerous killers. At the moment, they're trying to track down a "girlfriend collector" who seems to be targeting college girls.

And if that wasn't hard enough, although she loves her boyfriend--and best friend since childhood--Jay, there's a guy on her team that has a strange effect on her. Rafe doesn't get along with many people and he keeps his distance from everyone, but for some reason, he seems to shadow Violet wherever she goes. And she doesn't particularly like it. Still, the more she learns about Rafe, the more she realises that he's just a lost soul in search of belonging. A guy with a gift he can't control and hasn't always helped him save innocents.

When Violet captures the attention of both a psycho and a serial killer, it puts her right in the middle of their current investigation...

The Last Echo is another awesome addition to this brilliant series! It kept me on the edge of my seat, my pulse racing as I followed Violet from one dangerous situation to another, and loved every minute of it. I still love the way Jay and Violet complement each other. And the title is so fitting, but you won't know what I mean until you get to the end.

Yeah, this is fast becoming another one of my fave series. Love it! I can't wait to read the next one.

There's only one thing that I don't get, and it's got nothing to do with the actual story. I don't understand why they changed the look of the covers now. This is the American cover, and I think it fits much better than the Australian one. Oh well.

The Last Echo, June 2012, ISBN 9780755389155, Headline

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Hello!

This is another picture my daughter made on her iPad. It's lovely! Love it. I told her I would post it over here this week, so... here it is! ;)

Well, as I mentioned the other day, I'm mostly going to spend this week catching up on stuff and updating stuff. That's what I've been doing since Monday, and there really is a lot to catch up on.

Hubby's first week at the new job seems to be going good too. When he comes home, he smells like coffee. Which is totally a great thing.

I updated my website yesterday and noticed a few things:

(1). Satin Beauty: An Erotic Anthology is now available on paperback from The Book Depository, Amazon, and Amazon UK. It's a Static Movement anthology edited by Brianna Stoddard. Not sure why I missed it, but I ordered myself a copy.

(2). Split at the Seams is now available for pre-order on Kindle. Plus, you can pre-order it from the Samhain website for $3.85! And an excerpt has been posted there too.

(3). Although A Patch of Darkness doesn't come out in print until April 2, 2013, it's already on pre-order at The Book Depository, Amazon, and Amazon UK. This is so exciting! I can't wait to see a copy of it. :)

(4). My Coming Soon Page features only Sierra Fox books at the moment!

Yeah, the above are just a few things I've noticed. :D

At the moment, I'm reading THE LAST ECHO by Kimberly Derting. It's the third book in her Body Finder series. I really enjoyed the first two, and this one's pretty good so far as well. Not reading it as quickly as I would like, but I'm squeezing in reading time whenever I can.

I've also been taking photos and making icons to post on my blog from now on. It's actually a lot of fun, and I can't help but wonder why I didn't just make my own stuff from the very beginning. *scratches head* Anyway, I'm enjoying it.

Today, I'd like to put away some stationery I've got lying around. In the last week my daughter & I bought a bunch of very cute & cool notebooks that now need a home, LOL.

Have a great day!

 
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