Friday, 31 May 2013

End of Month/End of Draft

I took this photo at the beginning of the month, when I was just about to start writing Sierra #5.

It was an exciting day, and I was so ready to face the blank page that I ended up writing 5,124 words. The first three chapters of this book had been bouncing around inside my head for months, so as soon as I started... WHAM! I was off and running.
 
And I haven't looked back all month.

Oh, okay, I did have to backtrack a few times after I decided to change the direction of several scenes. Which meant I ended up cutting a bunch of words so I could replace them. O_o But it was worth it.

Today is the last day of May. I can't believe another month is almost over, and that we're halfway through the year. But it feels good to realise that I spent this month with Sierra Fox and the first draft of her fifth/final book is done! That's right. I finished it yesterday afternoon but wanted to read the Epilogue again. And it's done. For now. I've still got revision to do, but not until I get a little break from it.

So, here are the first draft stats: 88,698 words/223 pages.

Phew. Think I need a nap. Nah, not today. I wouldn't have minded a nap earlier this week when I felt like crap because the weather is changing. Even when it's sunny, it no longer feels like summer. :(

So, asides from working on this first draft what else did I do? Well, I read and reviewed two urban fantasy books for Hachette:
 
DEAD EVER AFTER by Charlaine Harris: the last book in the Sookie series, which I LOVED. I really don't understand why so many readers were angry about the ending. I thought it was awesome, and I was satisfied with her choice, since I thought they belonged together since the first book! ;) To be honest, I would've been happy with whatever direction Charlaine took. After all, it's her story!
 
THE SHAMBLING GUIDE TO NEW YORK CITY by Mur Lafferty: the first book in a new series about Zoë Norris, a travel writer writing guide books for the monster population. It was SO much fun. I enjoyed it so much I can't wait to read the next one, which takes her to New Orleans.
 
We also caught up with SUPERNATURAL, and are now up to date. Loved the season finale. I'm really looking forward to seeing Castiel in a sorta human role, and how the Winchester Boys deal with all those angels. Yikes! Their world is getting super crowded.
 
Hubby and I watched Season 6 of DEXTER, and are now halfway through Season 7. We should be all caught up by the time Season 8 (the final season) starts at the end of June. So, yay!
 
Well, that's about it. I'm going to reward myself by starting a new book. Reading two books in a month is just NOT enough. ;)

Have a great weekend!

Monday, 27 May 2013

THE SHAMBLING GUIDE TO NEW YORK CITY by Mur Lafferty

Sex and the City with monsters! Witty urban fantasy from fan favourite Mur Lafferty, about a travel writer finds she's agreed to write a guide to New York - for the undead!
 
Following the disaster that was her last job, Zoe is searching for a fresh start as a travel writer in New York City. After stumbling across a seemingly perfect position, though, Zoe is blocked at every turn because of the one thing she can't take off her resume - human.
 
Not to be put off by anything - especially not her blood-drinking boss or death goddess co-worker - Zoe delves deep into the monster world. But her assignments turn deadly when the careful balance between humans and monsters starts to crumble - with Zoe right in the middle.
 

There was so much to like about this book, but let me start with the cover. Isn't it cool? I love it. Not only does it have Zoë right there, but if you look closely there are a bunch of supernatural surprises. Like I said, cool. ;)

Zoë Norris is a travel writer and has moved to New York City hoping to escape her previous job and disastrous relationship. She got involved with her boss, who conveniently forgot to mention he was married! Poor Zoë finds out the hard way. So here she is, in the city--which she loves--looking for work, when she finds an ad for the perfect job. She's excited and is eager to apply, but the owner doesn't even want to consider hiring her because he feels the job isn't right for her.

Still, she's determined and a fitting position might not come her way again, so she persists and eventually gets the job with Underground Publishing. Except, she's not going to be writing an average travel guide, she's actually writing one for the supernatural community. And that's how she discovers the existence of monsters--coterie--at a time of upheaval. When, not only does she have to adapt and learn as much as she can about them, but zombies are losing their brains and attacking the living. While others are determined to turn the city inside out and throw it into chaos.

Before she realises it,  Zoë is doing a lot more fighting than writing. But when the biggest threat turns out to be someone from her past, she's got no choice but to face her own demons and hope it's enough to save the city.

The Shambling Guide to New York City is an excellent book! It was so much fun. As soon as I started reading, I was hooked. I couldn't wait to lose myself in this world of the supernatural and slowly peel back the layers at the same time as Zoë. The story is engrossing, the characters interesting, the dialogue clever, the worldbuilding awesome... it's a great addition to the urban fantasy genre, with a twist of humour that made me laugh out loud.
 
I also enjoyed reading the Guide Excerpts at the end of each chapter, I thought they added to the story's enjoyment. Yeah, I loved everything about this book. It's a keeper! I'm looking forward to reading more in this series.

Oh, and check this out:


LOL. right?
 

The Shambling Guide to New York City, June 2013, ISBN 9780356501901, Orbit

Friday, 17 May 2013

Long time no see...


Yeah. Wow. It's been a while! But like the graphic says, I've been adding words.
 
How are you all? I've been super busy.
 
At the beginning of last week I started writing the first draft of Sierra Fox #5. As you might know (if you read my blog) whenever I write the first draft of any story I get totally lost in it. Adding new words to the draft is what I do every single day while hubby's at work and daughter's at school. And then it's all I think about when I have a spare minute or two.
 
So by the time I remember that I haven't blogged for weeks, the day's slipping away from me. I tell ya, there ain't enough hours in the day to do all the things I want/need to do. O_o
 
Since it's Friday today I decided to give myself the afternoon off--if I was able to get to a certain word count goal, of course! And before lunch I reached 45,232 words, so here I am. I thought I'd pop in and post an update.
 
This draft is a little trickier to write because it's the final book in the series, so I want to make sure that everything is covered/answered/dealt with in the way I imagined it would be. Although a few unexpected things have been popping up. Looks like my subconscious has been figuring things out while I'm asleep, lol. Which is a great thing!
 
Well, that's it for now. Not much to report except that the word count is moving along as well as the story, and that I've hit the halfway point. :)
 
Have a great weekend! 

Monday, 13 May 2013

DEAD EVER AFTER by Charlaine Harris

Love, lies, mystery and danger, the final Sookie Stackhouse novel pulls all the punches!
 
Sookie Stackhouse has one last adventure in store.
 
Life has taken her from a waitress in Merlotte's Bar, Bon Temps, to part owner; from social outcast to the heart of her community; from a vampire's girlfriend to the wife of one of the most powerful vampires in the state.
 
She has survived explosions, revolutions and attempts on her life. Sookie has endured betrayal, heartbreak and grief. . . and she has emerged a little stronger, and little wiser, every time.
 
But with life comes new trials. The question is, in the end: who will love, who will live, and who will be dead ever after?
 
 
Well, this is it. I've just finished reading the last book in the Sookie Stackhouse series, and it's left me... satisfied. :) I was really looking forward to reading it, but also sad about facing the end because it's one of my favourite series.
 
Either way, I couldn't wait to get stuck into it...
 
Sookie has been through a lot since the day she met the vampire Bill. She's had to deal with all sorts of vampire problems and politics, deal with human prejudice, got involved with werewolves, fairies, shifters, battled witches, and found out some pretty big secrets about her grandmother. But she's never lost herself along the way, remained strong and kept her dignity. 
 
In her last adventure, she faces some pretty tough challenges. She's trying to get her life back on track after using the cluviel dor to save Sam's life and losing Eric in the process. Not that she really had him, since he'd been promised to a vampire Queen anyway.
 
She gets treated pretty badly by some, and several horrible characters from her past decide to return to Bon Temps to get revenge and cause her pain. She's betrayed, arrested, shot, ignored, dumped, stabbed, and mistreated, but there are also a lot of friends willing to stand beside her to try and figure out what's going on. I loved how things were finalised with everyone she's been personally involved with.
 
This is one excellent book. I enjoyed it from start to finish and was equal parts surprised, excited and sad as I read Sookie's story. She goes through some pretty bad things, but I was very happy with The End and how her friendships and past relationships turn out. After everything she's been through that she's able to stand on her own two feet is an awesome thing, and I loved that.
 
Dead Ever After is another awesome Sookie book, and a wonderful end to a series that I've enjoyed reading for many years. I'm going to miss Sookie, her friends, family, and the always fascinating--but sometimes terrifying--world she lives in.The final chapter really made me smile, and when I closed the book I was very content. For that, I have to thank Charlaine Harris.
 
This is another keeper! Loved it.
 
 
Dead Ever After, May 2013, ISBN 9780575096622, Gollancz

 
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