Saturday, 31 August 2013

Sierra Fox #4 Cover Reveal @ Tynga's Reviews!


 
That's right! You can see the beautiful cover for Book 4 at Tynga's Reviews.
Plus, there's also a contest!
 
Go check it out...
 
And have a great weekend!

Thursday, 29 August 2013

OMENS by Kelley Armstrong

Twenty-four-year-old Olivia Taylor Jones has the perfect life. The only daughter of a wealthy, prominent Chicago family, she has an Ivy League education, pursues volunteerism and philanthropy, and is engaged to a handsome young tech firm CEO with political ambitions. 

But Olivia s world is shattered when she learns that she s adopted. Her real parents? Todd and Pamela Larsen, notorious serial killers serving a life sentence. When the news brings a maelstrom of unwanted publicity to her adopted family and fianc , Olivia decides to find out the truth about the Larsens. 

Olivia ends up in the small town of Cainsville, Illinois, an old and cloistered community that takes a particular interest in both Olivia and her efforts to uncover her birth parents past.

Aided by her mother s former lawyer, Gabriel Walsh, Olivia focuses on the Larsens last crime, the one her birth mother swears will prove their innocence. But as she and Gabriel start investigating the case, Olivia finds herself drawing on abilities that have remained hidden since her childhood, gifts that make her both a valuable addition to Cainsville and deeply vulnerable to unknown enemies.
 
Because there are darker secrets behind her new home, and powers lurking in the shadows that have their own plans for her.
 

When I found out Kelley Armstrong had a new series coming out, I couldn't wait to check it out.
 
Olivia Taylor-Jones is the daughter of a wealthy Chicago couple. She's lived a life of privilege and does a lot of volunteer work. She's also engaged to a man who has ambitions of going into politics. She's still trying to find her place in the world, but she's young and free to make up her mind when she's ready. Everything is going well. Until the night she finds out she was adopted. Not only is it a shock because she didn't know, but she also happens to be the daughter of Pamela and Todd Larsen--serial killers.
 
With the revelation, her life is changed forever. Everyone wants to know her story and after a particularly dangerous invasion of privacy, she flees. Now she has to deal with keeping a low profile, as well as with the distance her mother has put between them. Alone and with minimal money, she discovers just how harsh life can be in the real world. And after several bizarre encounters ends up in a small town called Cainsville--a lovely place with friendly people, gargoyles on just about every building, and secrets.
 
But it's when she meets her birth mother that everything really changes. Olivia starts to remember things, has strange dreams, and sees omens others don't, everywhere. Pamela claims they didn't kill any of the couples and asks Olivia--Eden--if she could pass their case onto a non-profit organisation. They'd like to launch another appeal. She agrees, but decides to pursue the investigation herself. And with the help of her mother's former lawyer, Gabriel Walsh, sets out on an adventure that leads to more questions than answers.
 
Wow. I was hooked from the very beginning and actually found it hard to put the book down. I just couldn't wait to see what was going to happen next. I'm SO intrigued by the town of Cainsville, which seems to be built on myth and legends from the old world.
 
Omens is an awesome book! I enjoyed every minute of it. Olivia's a very interesting character with a lot of heart and determination. She wants to find out the truth, even if it puts her in the path of danger. Gabriel is an enigma with a harsh exterior and ruthless nature. The townsfolk of Cainsville are a mysterious bunch and know a lot more than what they're letting on, can't wait to find out all of their secrets. I also hope we get to find out more about Ricky. :)
 
There are so many questions left unanswered, so I'm looking forward to reading the next book!

Omens, September 2013, ISBN  9780751553468, Sphere

Sunday, 25 August 2013

THE CUCKOO'S CALLING by Robert Galbraith

When a troubled model falls to her death from a snow-covered Mayfair balcony, it is assumed that she has committed suicide. However, her brother has his doubts, and calls in private investigator Cormoran Strike to look into the case.

 

Strike is a war veteran - wounded both physically and psychologically - and his life is in disarray. The case gives him a financial lifeline, but it comes at a personal cost: the more he delves into the young model's complex world, the darker things get - and the closer he gets to terrible danger...

A gripping, elegant mystery steeped in the atmosphere of London - from the hushed streets of Mayfair to the backstreet pubs of the East End to the bustle of Soho - THE CUCKOO'S CALLING is a remarkable book. Introducing Cormoran Strike, this is a classic crime novel in the tradition of P. D. James and Ruth Rendell, and marks the beginning of a unique series of mysteries.
 

I'm a sucker for a good mystery, so I was really looking forward to reading this book. And it definitely delivered!
 
When the brother of a dead supermodel approaches Cormoran Strike to investigate her death, the private investigator is hesitant. Sure, this guy's brother used to be a friend of his when he was a kid--and died after an accident--but Lula Landry committed suicide by jumping off her balcony. Still, John Bristow is willing to pay a hefty fee, so Cormoran begins an investigation.
 
Robin Ellacott has just gotten engaged and is over the moon, so when she gets a temp job with a private investigator, it only adds to her happiness. However, her fiancée isn't as thrilled, Cormoran seems to keep her at arm's length, and she's not as involved in the investigation as she'd like to be.
 
As Cormoran gets deeper into investigating Lula Landry's last few days of life, he discovers that the beautiful supermodel's life was riddled with secrets, mental illness, disappointments, and the constant pestering of the paparazzi and media. The more people he interviews, the deeper he gets into the mystery. He even calls in a few favours along the way, as he slowly starts to piece together the despicable murder of a woman so determined to find herself...

OMG. I loved Cormoran and Robin. Cormoran is a man with a complicated and painful past. He's the son of a supergroupie and the lead singer of a 70s rock band, he's also a war veteran who lost part of his leg while in Afghanistan, and he's involved in a tumultuous relationship with a woman who keeps reeling him back in. Robin is a young, happy woman who wants to help Cormoran and believes in him, no matter what her uptight fiancée is saying behind the scenes.
 
The Cuckoo's Calling is an intriguing mystery, a total page-tuner. I was hooked from the very beginning. First by Cormoran and Robin, and then by solving Lula's murder. I decided pretty early on that it wasn't a suicide and devoured the details and clues leading up to the answer I wanted to know the most: who done it?
 
Yeah, I loved this book. I'm looking forward to reading more adventures featuring Cormoran and Robin.

The Cuckoo's Calling, May 2013, ISBN 9781408704004, Little, Brown Company

Friday, 23 August 2013

August is slipping away...



OMG. This month has been CRAZY! So far it's been filled with two weeks of revision and one of editing.

Phew. 
 
In case you didn't notice, I've been MIA from my blog lately. Sure, I've posted the odd review and even shared the new cover for my upcoming SFR, SHIVER, but I haven't stopped by to post an update for ages.
 
Like I mentioned above, I've been on a carousel of revision and editing. Last week I completed the second round of edits for SHIVER, and today I finished the second draft of Sierra Fox #5. Yay! Now I can take the weekend off. :)
 
I have to admit that reaching the end of the Sierra second draft made me a little sad. This is the last book, and although I'm putting it aside for a few weeks before tackling the third (and final) draft, it's still really sad to say goodbye to Sierra & the Gang. I've spent a long time with them inside my head, so it's hard to let them go. :( I'll just concentrate on spending more time with them next month. *positive thinking*
 
So, what else is new? Not much. Just trying to meet my daily goals. So far, so good.
 
If I get the next round of edits, I'll tackle them next week. If not, I'll take a breather. We'll see what happens.
 
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, 22 August 2013

It's time to SHIVER...



First there was a space cowboy in Wither.
Then, a shapeshiter in Clash.
Now, there's an arena warrior with a bloodlust problem in Shiver...
 
Here's my gorgeous new cover:
 

 
Blood made him a monster. Passion could be his salvation.  

Recast, Book 3 

After narrowly escaping brutal captivity in the Clash Arena and the bite of a bloodsucking creature, all Eniell Knox wants is to get off the crappy planet that ruined his life. When he steals an abandoned ship and is shot down over freezing northern Fray, he finds nothing but more trouble. An alluring young woman who stirs his hunger—and her shackle-happy mother—could push him over the edge. 

Day after day, Lian Shan lives like a prisoner, fending off a parade of creepy potential husbands her mother tries to force upon her. She longs to experience life outside the confines of her ice castle and meet the man whose face haunts her dreams. 

When a handsome, mysterious man crashes onto the estate her world breaks apart, spilling unfathomable secrets. Some of them her own. 

Though Eniell and Lian’s mutual attraction explodes off any known star chart, there’s something her dreams left out—he’s been bitten by a monster. Which means if he turns into one, the first thing on his menu could be her neck…

 
Warning: This book contains shared temptation hot enough to melt ice caps, a warrior with a blood craving, a rebellious heroine who isn’t afraid to share hers, and the galaxy’s most dysfunctional family.   
 
 
 Well, what do you think? Kanaxa did an awesome job, right? I love it!
 

RECAST SERIES
 

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Cover & Blurb Reveal @ SFR Brigade!



First there was a space cowboy in Wither.
Then, a shapeshiter in Clash.
Now, there's an arena warrior with a bloodlust problem in Shiver.
 
 
If you want to see the beautiful cover for RECAST, Book 3... click below!
 
 

Monday, 19 August 2013

THE BONE SEASON by Samantha Shannon

The year is 2059. Nineteen-year-old Paige Mahoney is working in the criminal underworld of Scion London, based at Seven Dials, employed by a man named Jaxon Hall. Her job: to scout for information by breaking into people’s minds. For Paige is a dreamwalker, a clairvoyant and, in the world of Scion, she commits treason simply by breathing.

It is raining the day her life changes for ever. Attacked, drugged and kidnapped, Paige is transported to Oxford – a city kept secret for two hundred years, controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. Paige is assigned to Warden, a Rephaite with mysterious motives. He is her master. Her trainer. Her natural enemy. But if Paige wants to regain her freedom she must allow herself to be nurtured in this prison where she is meant to die.
 

While I was reading this book, there was one word that kept coming up. That word was Wow! This is one of those stories that you just can't predict. You can read the blurb or watch the trailer, but you're still blown away by what happens within its pages. It's quite an adventure.
 
Paige Mahoney lives in the year 2059, in Scion London, where it is illegal to be a clairvoyant. She works for a criminal and her job is to track ethereal activity and read other people via their dreamscape. She's a dreamwalker, which is a rare gift to have. It's also dangerous--not just the actual act of dreamwalking, but because so many people covet the power.
 
She enjoys her job, catching up with her father, and cares about the people in her group, but the day she's caught, drugged and wakes up in Oxford everything changes. Her former life is stripped away from her and she becomes another clairvoyant slave to a strange race of beings that call themselves the Rephaite. Now she has a master and is expected to train with him, reveal the extent of her power, and eventually fight shadowy creatures. 
 
But Paige is resistant, strong, and very determined to escape the strange creatures that are responsible for the bleak world she lives in...
 
This is one amazing book! It's a futuristic, but also introduces an alternate reality very different to ours. The history varies, and the future seems foreign, but it's also very familiar. The worldbuilding is extensive, and very well explained. The Rephaite are a strange race and I feel they still hold a lot of secrets. I'm a sucker for psychics, ghost stories, secret societies, and mysteries, so I loved every minute of this story.
 
The Bone Season is a very unique story. It's well written, totally hooks you in from the very beginning and then doesn't let you go until you reach the end. Paige is a vulnerable character with flaws and even strange alliances, but she's strong, determined and never gives up. She just makes everything else going on in this dangerous, nightmarish world connect so well. And her uneasy relationship with Warden is absolutely captivating. 
 
This is a page turner! I loved it.
 
I can't wait to see what other secrets are revealed in this series... 
 
 
 
The Bone Season, August 2013, ISBN  9781408836439, Bloomsbury Childrens

Friday, 9 August 2013

TGIF




Well, this week has been one big revision session. LOL.
 
I started out pretty well--some deleting here and there, tweaking, adding some details, more atmosphere--and even managed to get a day ahead. Until yesterday. When I decided that the chapter I was working on needed to be rewritten because of something that hit me during my yoga workout, and was then solidified while on my daily walk. Yep. It was a great solution to a small plot problem, but it required some tweaking on previous chapters too...
 
So, I had to backtrack about 30 pages, and ended up only gaining three from Wednesday to Thursday. O_o I know, it doesn't sound like much progress, right? While it was a pain, the scene now makes more sense. And at least I'm still on schedule.
 
After today's revision session I have hit page 118/237, which is practically halfway through. Not bad. I did do a little bit of rewriting I wasn't expecting to do today, but something awesome happened while I was adding new words: something very important clicked into place. Absolutely love it when that happens! :)
 
I'm really enjoying this process and always love spending time in Sierra's world, but I am looking forward to taking the weekend off. I need the mental break. Phew. That way, by the time Monday hits I'll be super excited to get back to it.
 
Anyway.
 
In case you missed it, the other day I posted Part 7 of an exclusive enovella by Sarah J. Maas set in the Throne of Glass world. If you did, here's the link. It also includes where you can read the other parts. Enjoy!
 
Well, that's it for today. I just wanted to post an update because I've been neglecting my blog lately.
 
Have a great weekend!
 
 

Thursday, 8 August 2013

ANGELFALL by Susan Ee

Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days, #1)
Angelfall by Susan Ee
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I heard a lot of great things about this book, so when it was on special at Amazon I picked it up for my Kindle. And man, I think it's definitely worth the hype.

Six weeks after the Angel Apocalypse, Penryn, her mother, and wheelchair-bound little sister are on their way out of their hiding spot when they stumble into the middle of an angel fight. A cruel attack that leaves one of the angels bleeding on the road after his wings are cut off.

Penryn doesn't want anything to do with these disgusting creatures, but when one of them takes her helpless sister she decides to help the wounded angel in exchange for helping her find her sister. What follows is an amazing and very violent adventure on the way to San Francisco--which is where the aerie is located.

This is one awesome story that kept me hooked from the very beginning. I couldn't wait to see what was going to happen next. I also loved the building friendship between Penryn and Raffe. Their connection defies their initial dislike for each other, and proves that not all humans and angels are the same. Her sister's story is heartbreaking, and the endurance of her mentally-unstable mother is surprising.

I really enjoyed this dark book and look forward to reading the next one.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

EXCLUSIVE: THE ASSASSIN AND THE PRINCESS, Part Seven by Sarah J Maas



 
 
Nehemia emerged from the dressing room, already wincing, but Celaena beamed. Even Kavill let out a gasp of approval.

“Well, I’ll be damned,” Celaena said, putting a hand on her hip as she motioned for Nehemia to turn. “If you don’t buy that, I’ll never forgive you.”

“It’s…different,” Nehemia said in the common tongue, facing Celaena again. “Perhaps something subtler—”

“Nonsense,” Celaena cut in, shooing past Marta to adjust the dress herself. “You’ll wear this to the next royal ball and make all the men pant after you.” She cast a meaningful glance in the direction of Nehemia’s ample bosom. “And don’t you dare cover those up with a shawl.”

Nehemia chuckled, switching to Eyllwe. “I’d never dare disobey a direct order from you.”

Celaena grinned and replied in the common tongue. “Good. Then we’ll get one of these.” She turned to Kavill and Marta, who were standing quietly a few feet away, scribbling down measurement notes in Kavill’s ledger. “Any thoughts on what jewelry might best accent this?”

Kavill opened his mouth, but Nehemia cut in using Eyllwe, “I have jewelry from Eyllwe.”

“I don’t think it’d match.”

Nehemia straightened a bit and still said in Eyllwe, “I’d like some part of me to still remind people where I come from.”

Their eyes met, and for a heartbeat, Celaena thought of the night Nehemia had come into her rooms after learning of the massacre of five hundred Eyllwe rebels. How the princess had wept for her people, for their helplessness, for their enslaved world.

It was for that world that Nehemia fought—why Nehemia would buy these dresses and play the part of the queen’s confidante.

Perhaps Nehemia thought of the same thing, for the princess let out a long breath and said, “Maybe you are right, Elentiya.”

Celaena didn’t think Kavill or Marta would notice the name the princess had given her—but she glanced at them nonetheless. They were now just watching, faces bland but pleasant. Willing to get the jewelry and accessories at a moment’s notice. Nehemia turned to them and said in her perfectly false accent, “Show me your jewelry.”

And just like that, they went through another presentation of necklaces and earrings and bracelets, then gloves and brooches and hair ornaments. And when they had decided what looked best, Nehemia was measured and pinned some more, and then ushered into the next gown. And the next, and the next.

 
Continue reading this scene at Narratively Speaking tomorrow!

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Revision!



That's right! I've got another busy week ahead of me.
 
Yesterday I started the second draft of Sierra Fox #5. I managed to meet my daily goal--which is 23pgs/day for 10 days. As of today, I'm sitting on page 53/230.
 
I'm going to take my time because this is usually the draft where I start to develop a real love-hate relationship with the story. One second I'm totally in love with it, the next I can't stand it. It always happens. It's just part of the process. 
 
Besides, I'll be doing one more draft after this to sharpen everything up before submitting it. I've got a bit of rewriting to do on this one, but not much.
 
Right now I'm reading the story to make sure the sequence is right. I'm also deleting any excess or sentences/words that don't make sense, while trying to spot typos. I also want to add a few scenes that I left out during the frantic first draft writing, while adding a thicker layer of atmosphere, emotion, consequence, etc. It's a lot of work, but luckily I love Sierra's voice. :)
 
The hardest thing about working on this draft is that I'm getting one step closer to finishing not only this book, but the series. :( I really am going to miss it when it's done.
 
Oh, and I also--finally--visualised the beginning chapters of Recast #4. I wrote everything down in my notebook so I don't forget. I'd been trying to figure out the best way/place to start it for a few days, so it was cool when it hit me while I was walking yesterday. Love it when that happens. Now I just need to find the time to write it...
 
See ya!

Saturday, 3 August 2013

KITTY STEALS THE SHOW by Carrie Vaughn

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This week I received Kitty's 12th book, so I wanted to catch up with her. And of course, this is one of my fave UF series. :)

Kitty, Ben, and Cormac head to London so that Kitty can speak at the First International Conference on Paranatural Studies. But wherever she goes, so does trouble. It starts with something simple and harmless--Luis, the attractive Brazilian were-jaguar flirting with her--but ends with plenty of struggles, and more of a glimpse into just how dark and serious the Long Game is.

She also meets a few more allies: Ned, the Master vampire of London, and Caleb, the werewolf alpha of the British Isles. It was so cool to meet these two and I found them fascinating. I hope they pop back into the series. Cormac's ghostly passenger, Amelia, also gets a chance to go back home and meets some of her ancestors. I really want to read more about how Cormac was possessed by this ghost. Oh, and what about those creepy faeries? Yikes.

I really enjoyed this book! It's another interesting instalment that puts Kitty into the middle of the stirring war and even puts her credibility on the line. I can't wait to see where it leads...

Friday, 2 August 2013

Ducks, Plans & Clutter



The other day while walking over the bridge, I noticed there were a bunch of ducks in the river. So I took a photo, and then as I took the second shot, they all took off.
 
This is the photo, which I think turned out really nice. I especially like the little guy on the bottom left. So cute! I love taking photos of the river, trees, and the copious birdlife in the area.
 
So, this week has been a little strange but good.
 
July has blended into August (my gosh, I can't believe we're on the downward end of the year) and I've been taking a bit of a breather. Had a few feeling-wonky days, and a lot of my-head-is-cluttered-with-story-stuff days too. That brings on headaches, but I think the mental holiday I planned for this week is helping me get things into some sort of order. It's hard when my head gets clogged with story ideas, snippets, and stories trying to claw their way out.
 
Although it did help shape Recast #4 into a pretty solid story inside my head. :D
 
And yesterday I put together a very rough plan for the rest of the year, in which I slotted writing the first draft of Recast #4, and completing second & third draft revisions of Sierra Fox #5. I can't control when edits hit, but I can always shuffle things around when they do. I enjoy the editing process because it always puts the story into total perspective. Plus by then I've usually had enough distance from the story to notice anything that stands out.
 
Anyway. I like having some sort of plan. And I like putting together to-do lists, too. It helps keep me focused, otherwise I try to tackle a hundred things at once. o_O
 
Okay, I think that's enough writing talk for one day. The weekend is just around the corner, but I intend to get stuck into one of my projects next week.
 
See ya!


 
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