Friday, 30 November 2012

NaNoWriMo: Done!

Isn't Loki cute? I took this photo last week, after I set up my writing area and was about to add my laptop to the mix. Guess where that was supposed to go? Yep, exactly where he's sitting in this picture. LOL.

He cracks me up! He sat there and waited until I saw him. Such a cutie.

So, today is not only the last day of the month, but also the official last day of NaNoWriMo. Yay. Did you make it? I verified my novel--well, a scrambled 55k-word version of it which I saved at the time--early this week. This is the sixth time I've taken part and won. Awesome!
 
I also finished the first draft of Sierra Fox #4 on Wednesday. I'm so excited about it. The word count ended up being 83,573 words, but I know that'll change during the revision drafts. There are already things I want to add during the second draft, lol. Still, the exciting thing is that Book 4 is written. One more to go. :(
 
I'm now going to take next week off. I need a little time to recharge my battery, I think. So I'll just tackle the to-do list I've already started. Yeah, I might not be planning to write a first draft, revise, or edit next week, but there are still a lot of things I need to do.
 
It would also be nice to squeeze in a little reading, because I just haven't had the desire to read these last few days. I think I'm just mentally exhausted after finishing Sierra's novel. Probably needed a few days of no reading/writing.
 
 
Have a great weekend!
 
 

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Check it out:

 
I officially verified my WIP over at the NaNoWriMo website.
 
My novel is longer than 55k, though. I'm still writing, but so close to the end...
 
Hopefully tomorrow! ;)

Sunday, 25 November 2012

NOTORIOUS NINETEEN by Janet Evanovich

New Jersey bounty hunter Stephanie Plum is certain of three truths: People don't just vanish into thin air. Never anger old people. And don't do what Tiki tells you to do.
 
After a slow summer of chasing low level skips for her cousin Vinnie's bail bonds agency, Stephanie Plum finally lands an assignment that could put her bank balance back in the black. Geoffrey Cubbin, facing trial for embezzling millions from Trenton's premier assisted-living facility, has mysteriously vanished from the hospital after an emergency appendectomy. Now it's on Stephanie to track down the con man. The problem is, Cubbin has disappeared without a trace, a witness, or his money-hungry wife. Rumours are stirring that he must have had help with the daring escape... or that maybe he never made it out of his room alive. Since the hospital staff's lips seem to be tighter that the security, and it's hard for Stephanie to blend in to assisted living, Stephanie's Grandma Mazur goes in undercover. But when a second felon goes missing from the same hospital, Plum is forced into working side by side with Trenton's hottest cop, Joe Morelli, in order to crack the case.
 
 
I know I've said this before, but I'll say it again: this is one of my favourite series. So I always look forward to catching up with Steph and the gang. :)
 
Stephanie Plum leads a dangerous life. She's always looking for bad guys, although they usually find her first. The two men in her life both manage to tempt her in their own way, even though she's really trying out a relationship with Morelli. Her cars keep getting blown up. And she's finally ready to admit that the danger and uncertainty that brings so much chaos into her life actually excites her. Yet, none of these things are going to pay the rent.
 
So when she grabs her latest assignment, she's ready to make some cash. However, the guy who embezzled money from an assisted-living facility went missing from the hospital after surgery. And now, he's impossible to find so she grabs a few more cases--a homeless guy obsessed with a tiki and runs too fast to catch (the guy, not the tiki), and a lady caught for soliciting who turns out to be just as sneaky. Not to mention the bodyguard job she takes as Ranger's 'date', which ends up in the hospital and with her having to wear a hideous bridesmaid dress. Oh, and it also makes her a target for a madman from Ranger's past.
 
If only things were easy... well, if they were, then it wouldn't be Stephanie's life, right? lol.
 
Notorious Nineteen is another exciting Stephanie Plum roller-coaster ride filled with fun, danger, sexy men, and really bad people. Sprinkle a good dose of fumbling criminals, funny friends, and her hilarious family, and it made for an excellent read!
 
I love this series. Can't wait for the next one. 
 
Notorious Nineteen, December 2012, ISBN 9780755385010, Headline Fiction

Friday, 23 November 2012

NaNoWriMo: Day 23


Um... yeah, I've been a super bad blogger. :(
 
This month is just turning out to be insane. My head's filled with Sierra stuff, and every spare moment I have is spent typing away like a madwoman. I'm so into this story that I didn't even have time to blog over here last Friday, which I really wanted to do because...
 
I reached 50,000 words on the 16th of this month. Yay! So exciting.
 
It's awesome to have reached my NaNoWriMo goal once again, but my novel's not done yet. I'm still writing Sierra Fox #4. Actually, as of the end of today's session, my word count is now: 71,130.
 
I'm getting close to the end, but not quite. I reckon the first draft should be finished by this time next week. The great thing is that I know exactly what's left to write, as well as how the story ends. I think this one might end up  being a little on the cliffhangerish side. I don't think that's too bad, considering the book that follows will be the last in Sierra's series. Right? ;)

Oh, and on an awesome note... I just found out Split at the Seams is available for pre-order at The Book Depository. That's right! The print version. I can't wait to see both of these books in print. :)

Well, I'm looking forward to taking the weekend off.

Have a good one!

Thursday, 22 November 2012

SECONDS AWAY by Harlan Coben

Following on from SHELTER comes the second novel in the fantastic, action-packed Mickey Bolitar series of young adult thrillers from the master of the hook-and-twist.
 
Having ended the Edgar Award-nominated SHELTER with a jaw-dropping cliffhanger, Coben picks up Mickey's story right where it left off in this suspenseful new adventure.
 
Mickey and his loyal new friends, sharp-witted Ema and adorably charming Spoon, once again find themselves in over their heads on the hunt for missing pieces to a puzzle they have yet to understand.
 
As the mystery surrounding Mickey's dad's death unfolds, he soon learns that they may be in more danger than they could have ever imagined.


After reading the first book in this series last year, I was looking forward to reading this one, especially after the cliffhanger ending in Shelter.
 
Mickey really wants to know what happened to his father, and is starting to wonder if he's really dead at all. The Bat Lady is the one who started him on this path in the first place, but now doesn't want to answer his questions and instead kicks him out of her house.
 
As much as he wants to know what really happened to his father and if a Nazi from WWII had anything to do with it, one of his friends is in trouble. Rachel was shot and her mother killed. So Mickey and his friends Ema and Spoon can't help themselves, they're determined to help figure out what really happened to Rachel.
 
As the plot thickens and Mickey continues to search for answers, he gets involved in a very serious situation that leads to some devastating conclusions...
 
Seconds Away is an interesting addition to this series. I enjoyed it, mostly. There were some high points--Ema's mystery is (kinda) solved and Rachel's case is wrapped up. As well as some low points--too many loose ends not being tied together and the mystery of his father is still not clear. I really wanted to, but I just didn't love this book as much as the first one.  It felt like it was missing something...

Seconds Away, October 2012, ISBN 9781409124498, Orion Fiction

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

WICKED AS THEY COME by Delilah S. Dawson

When Tish Everett forces open the ruby locket she finds at an estate sale, she has no idea that a deliciously rakish Bludman has cast a spell just for her. She wakes up in a surreal world, where Criminy Stain, the dashing proprietor of a magical traveling circus, curiously awaits. At Criminy’s electric touch, Tish glimpses a tantalizing future, but she also foresees her ultimate doom. Before she can decide whether to risk her fate with the charming daredevil, the locket disappears, and with it, her only chance to return home. Tish and Criminy battle roaring sea monsters and thundering bludmares, vengeful ghosts and crooked Coppers in a treacherous race to recover the necklace from the evil Blud-hating Magistrate. But if they succeed, will Tish forsake her fanged suitor and return to her normal life, or will she take a chance on an unpredictable but dangerous destiny with the Bludman she’s coming to love?
 
 
 
This is a book that I'd been meaning to get to sooner, but things just kept getting in the way. I picked it up last week and was hooked right away.
 
When Tish accidentally steals a ruby locket from an estate sale, her life gets turned upside down. All of a sudden, she's in a strange land called Sang, where vampire-like people called the Blud live in a steampunkish world full of wonder, and she can see people's futures by touching them. It's also where she meets the very mysterious and alluring Criminy. Without intending to, she gets involved in this wonderful and wicked world where not only is her life at stake, but so is her heart.
 
I absolutely LOVED this book! Everything about it was fantastical and amazing--the concept, the mishmash of genres that was very well done, the colourful characters, and the writing. I love the dark and dreary world of Sang. Oh, and I enjoyed going on this adventure with Tish, as she starts to not only trust herself, but also others. Criminy comes across a bit strong at the beginning, but we soon get to find out why.
 
Yeah, this was one awesome book! I can't wait to read Casper's story, because I was totally intrigued by him.


Tuesday, 13 November 2012

NaNoWriMo: Day 13

Hey! How you doing? My gosh, I've been really bad at blogging lately. But before, I really didn't have an excuse... now, I do! I'm busy taking part in NaNoWriMo!
 
I'm still taking weekends off, but getting 3-5k written from Monday to Friday is working out for me. As of this afternoon, I've written 38,224 words. Which also means I crossed the 100-page mark. Yep. My first draft is officially 101 pages long. So exciting!
 
It's not that exciting for Sierra, because there's so much crap going on in her life I sometimes wonder how the hell she deals with any of it. ;) Yeah, evil writer and all that.
 
I might actually reach 50k by the end of this week (or beginning of next week) which would be great, but it won't be the end for me. I'm going to write like a crazy person all month, and hopefully by the end of it I'll have an 80-90k word first draft for Sierra Fox, Book 4. Fingers crossed.
 
Well, that's it for today.
 
Later!

Monday, 12 November 2012

KETCHUP CLOUDS by Annabel Pitcher


Secrets, romance, murder and lies: Zoe shares a terrible secret in a letter to a stranger on death row in this second novel from the author of the bestselling debut, MY SISTER LIVES ON THE MANTELPIECE.
 
Fifteen-year-old Zoe has a secret - a dark and terrible secret that she can't confess to anyone she knows. But then one day she hears of a criminal, Stuart Harris, locked up on death row in Texas. Like Zoe, Stuart is no stranger to secrets. Or lies. Or murder.
 
Full of heartache yet humour, Zoe tells her story in the only way she can - in letters to the man in prison in America. Armed with a pen, Zoe takes a deep breath, eats a jam sandwich and begins her tale of love and betrayal.


When I received a copy of this book last week, I didn't know anything about it. It looked like a very pretty hardback book with lovely drawings and a very interesting blurb. It turned out to contain a beautiful story within its pages.
 
Zoe--although that's not her real name--has a huge and very dark secret. She's done something really bad. So bad that the guilt has been eating her up inside. She needs to tell someone what led to the event that ruined her life. So when she finds an inmate on a Death Row website, she decides to tell him her story. Stuart Harris is a man who murdered his wife, and is now going to pay for it with his life. So she's pretty sure he'll understand.
 
After I finished reading the book, I realised that Zoe choosing this man was no accident. For many reasons.
 
So, Zoe embarks on telling her story by sneaking into the shed and writing a series of letters in the middle of the night. In these letters she tells him what's going on in her life, while going back to where the trouble began. Each letter is about a boy called Aaron and his brother Max. All about how without intending to, she got caught up in a very messy love triangle. 
 
It all starts innocently enough but as the story progresses, Zoe gets herself so deep into the lies she's fabricated that they're bound to explode. All of her personal problems are only made worse by her family life--her father has lost his job and is concerned about his ill father, her mother is obsessed with her youngest daughter's loss of hearing and tries to control everything, her sister Soph is making things up, and the youngest, Dot, is absolutely adorable. And very funny. While her parents constantly fight, Zoe finds a way to escape, and in turn reaches a horrible climax.
 
Ketchup Clouds is an amazing book! I was hooked from the very beginning. It's funny, crude, honest, adorable, frustrating, beautiful, and sad. So sad. Actually, it's heartbreaking in places. This moving tale of a teenage girl making one wrong decision after another, and therefore forfeiting the happiness and love she craves so much, was beautiful. So well written.
 
I loved every second of this book. It took me by surprise, in the best possible way.

Ketchup Clouds, November 2012, ISBN 9781780620305, Indigo

Friday, 9 November 2012

DEATH WARMED OVER by Kevin J. Anderson

SINGLE DEAD DETECTIVE SEEKS CLUE
Ever since The Big Uneasy unleashed vampires, werewolves, and other undead denizens on the world, it’s been hell being a detective—especially for zombie P.I. Dan Chambeaux. Taking on the creepiest of cases in the Unnatural Quarter with a human lawyer for a partner and a ghost for a girlfriend, Chambeaux redefines “dead on arrival.” But just because he was murdered doesn’t mean he’d leave his clients in the lurch. Besides, zombies are so good at lurching.
 
Now he’s back from the dead and back in business—with a case load that’s downright unnatural. A resurrected mummy is suing the museum that put him on display. Two witches, victims of a curse gone terribly wrong, seek restitution from a publisher for not using “spell check” on its magical tomes. And he’s got to figure out a very personal question—Who killed him?
 
For Dan Chambeaux, it’s all in a day’s work. (Still, does everybody have to call him “Shamble”?) Funny, fresh, and irresistible, this cadaverous caper puts the P.I. in R.I.P….with a vengeance.
 
 
OMG! This is the first book in the Dan Shamble, Zombie PI series and it's awesome fun. I had a blast reading it.

Being dead hasn't stopped PI Dan Chambeaux from carrying on with his life. Sure, being a zombie means he has to take extra care of himself and really wants to solve who killed him, but there are bills to pay and Chambeaux & Deyer has a full caseload--including a messy divorce, two witch sisters who want compensation from a publisher for a 'spelling error', a mummy who wants to be free from the museum, and a vampire being threatened by a fanatical group.

Yeah, life in the Unnatural Quarter can get pretty messy, but Dan's an awesome detective. And along with his human business partner, his poltergeist girlfriend, and cop BHF (Best Human Friend) he's bound to get answers. Plus a lot of trouble, too!

I loved the tone of this book. It was funny, but still filled with dangerous situations. The characters are so likeable, and outlandish. I loved this book. A lot.

But the best thing about it is just how much fun it is. It's so much fun!

I've already preordered the second book...

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

NaNoWriMo: Day 6

That's right! And I actually took the weekend off. Though I did listen to this novel's soundtrack heaps of times and thought about the story. A lot. ;)
 
Anyway, this is my total word count at the moment: 19,017.
 
I've been keeping to my daily word counts. I didn't feel 100% yesterday. Not sure what was wrong but I think I might've been exhausted because I only had 4 hours of sleep on Sunday night. I had one of those I-can't-breathe episodes during the night and they always steal my sleep/rest. :(
 
I seem to have recovered. I think the writing actually helped during my wonky day. Lol. Maybe it's because I've put Sierra into all sorts of trouble. Stuff that will carry into the next (final) book.
 
OMG. Did you watch the latest The Walking Dead episode? Yikes! It was amazing. I loved every moment of it, though there were several sad moments. None--SPOILER UP AHEAD--that involved being sad over Lori dying. I knew it was going to happen sooner or later. I was sad to see T-Dog go, though. And that Governor sure is creepy, huh?
 
Love this show!
 
That's it for today. Just wanted to post an update about my word count. I'm really excited about this book and am looking forward to spending all month with Sierra & Co.
 
Have a good one!

Saturday, 3 November 2012

FRACTURE by Megan Miranda

 Eleven minutes passed before Delaney Maxwell was pulled from the icy waters of a Maine lake by her best friend Decker Phillips. By then her heart had stopped beating. Her brain had stopped working. She was dead. And yet she somehow defied medical precedent to come back seemingly fine. Everyone wants Delaney to be all right, but she knows she's far from normal. Pulled by strange sensations she can't control or explain, Delaney finds herself drawn to the dying. Is her altered brain now predicting death, or causing it?

Then Delaney meets Troy Varga, who recently emerged from a coma with similar abilities. At first she's reassured to find someone who understands the strangeness of her new existence, but Delaney soon discovers that Troy's motives aren't quite what she thought. Is their gift a miracle, a freak of nature-or something much more frightening?

For fans of best-sellers like Before I Fall and If I Stay, this is a fascinating and heart-rending story about love and friendship and the fine line between life and death.
 
 
This is one of those books that once you start, you just can't stop until you get to the end.
 
Delaney was clinically dead for eleven minutes, and then she came back. But after she wakes up from her coma, she's not the same. There's a strange sensation that keeps pulling at her, a physical compulsion she can't control. It looks like after being dead herself, she can now sense death whenever it's near.
 
This changes her, and affects everyone around her. Her mother's slowly becoming a stranger who acts like she lost her daughter, her father fills in the silence, things with her best friend are becoming complicated, and the kids at school treat her like the anomaly she feels she's become. And then there's Troy. The guy who appears out of nowhere and knows exactly what she's going through because he went through it as well. He feels the pull of death as much as she does, but he's actually doing something about it. Something that will put Delaney's life in danger...
 
Fracture was an intense and very well written thriller that had me hooked to every word. Going through Delaney's ordeal was quite the complicated journey, feeling all of her confusion and the need to understand what was going on was an amazing--and often sad--experience. The author captured the heroine's vulnerability as well as her strengths with her every action.
 
I loved this book! 
 
ELEVEN MINUTES: Exclusive Tie-In Story
 
This is a companion story for FRACTURE. It's in the POV of Decker, so we get to find out what he went through when his best friend Delaney dies for eleven minutes.

It's full of raw emotion, his personal guilt, and is totally heartbreaking. It was sad, but I really enjoyed this well-written short.

Can't wait to read more from this author.
 
 
 
Fracture, February 2012, ISBN 9781408817391, Bloomsbury

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Happy NaNoWriMo!

This was my work area today. I was ready to hit the NaNoWriMo word count as soon as I got back from my walk. After I'd listened to the soundtrack of this book, which happens to be Living Things by Linkin Park. :)
 
It wasn't hard to get back into Sierra's voice. I love her world, and jumped right into the first chapter. It wasn't hard to do because it's been playing out inside my head for days.
 
My personal daily word count goal is to add 4k words every day, Mon-Fri. I'm still going to take the weekends off.
 
Today, I managed to get over 2k written before lunch, and after lunch was ready to hit the 4k mark but the words just kept spilling. In the end, I stopped at 5,022 because I want to squeeze in a weights workout before picking my daughter up from school.
 
So, that's it for today. I've started Sierra Fox #4 and passed the 5k mark. If I can do the same tomorrow, that would be a great headstart. Though I can't update my word count on the NaNoWriMo website until it's officially November 1st in the US. That's okay, I'll update it later.
 
I'm looking forward to writing this book. It's sad to realise that after this one's done, there's only one more left in the series. Oh well, it's all good.
 
If you're taking part in NaNo, good luck!
 
 

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