Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Self-imposed goal


Hey! How is everyone today? Great, I hope.
 
I didn't get a chance to blog last week because I was (super) busy working on the revision-check for Sierra Fox #5. What that entails is putting the Word doc on my phone and reading it one last time so I can spot any last-minute typos or plot probs, plus delete or add stuff. I actually ended up finding a few more things than I thought I would, but at least I caught it before submission.
 
Yesterday, I worked on the synopsis and formatted everything before hitting Send. Yay! The last book in Sierra's series is now done and submitted. I hope my editor likes it. Fingers crossed.
 
It's a strange feeling. I feel happy, sad, giddy... So many mixed emotions after getting to the end of Sierra's Obscurus arc. I know that it won't be the last time I read one of her stories because TORN FROM THE SHADOWS still needs to be edited, and if Holly contracts the fifth book that'll also need to be re-read several times...but it's still odd. I know Lavie has a spin-off tale to tell, and I might even have a Sierra & Papan novella or two left in me, but for the most part the story is done. :( & :)

So, I'm taking a day off, which really means catch-up time on things I neglected last week. LOL. I've crossed some things off the to-do list already but I'm taking my time. I'm in no rush today. I worked hard all last week to meet my self-imposed goal of submitting Sierra by the end of October, so I'm happy with that.
 
Tomorrow I'd like to brainstorm RECAST #4 so I can start writing it during NaNoWriMo on Friday. Though I might end up having to work on edits as well. We'll see how things turn out. :)
 
That's it for now. See ya!

Monday, 28 October 2013

WILD CARDS by Simone Elkeles

Wild Cards PROPRIETARY EDITION
After getting kicked out of boarding school, bad boy Derek Fitzpatrick has no choice but to live with his ditzy stepmother while his military dad is deployed. Things quickly go from bad to worse when he finds out she plans to move them back to her childhood home in Illinois. Derek’s counting the days before he can be on his own, and the last thing he needs is to get involved with someone else’s family drama.

Ashtyn Parker knows one thing for certain--people you care about leave without a backward glance. A football scholarship would finally give her the chance to leave. So she pours everything into winning a state championship, until her boyfriend and star quarterback betrays them all by joining their rival team. Ashtyn needs a new game plan, but it requires trusting Derek—someone she barely knows, someone born to break the rules. Is she willing to put her heart on the line to try and win it all?


When I received this book for review, I didn't know what to expect. I didn't know anything about it, and it seemed a little different to the books I usually read. Yet, as soon as I started reading I was hooked by Derek's voice. Then I read Ashtyn's chapter, and I knew this was a book I was definitely interested in checking out.
 
Derek has been kicked out of boarding school after a prank goes wrong and he takes the blame. So with his father deployed he's got no choice but to move to Chicago with his step-mother and step-brother. As soon as he gets there, he hates it and can't wait to leave.
 
Ashtyn has been rejected by people she cares about too many times to believe in anyone, but she's now the captain of the football team and pours her heart and soul into it. Football started out as something she hoped would bring her and her father together, but it's become her life line. The day she crosses paths with her sister's step-son, everything she's forced herself to believe is thrown into chaos.

Together, Ashtyn and Derek become drawn to each other, fighting against their mounting, mutual attraction by continuously fighting. They might outwardly get on each other's nerves and drive each other crazy, but there's a reason for that. Their emotions are riding a rollercoaster neither one is prepared to accept because of how their separate lives has shaped them, but when your heart's on the line...anything is possible.
 
The story is told in the alternating POVs of Derek and Ashtyn, adding a depth to the story that makes it impossible not to be drawn into their lives. It also gives the reader the real perspective of what's going on inside their heads, because these two guys seriously broadcast everything but what they're really thinking! It was frustrating sometimes, how much they lied to one another. But totally understandable once you learn their individual fears.

Wild Cards turned out to be an awesome surprise. It's an addictive book that keeps you hooked from beginning to end, with memorable characters you can't help cheering on. I loved Derek and Ashtyn. Their love story is tumultuous, sexy and riddled with familial complications.

I really enjoyed this book!


Wild Cards, October 2013, ISBN  9780802737380, Walker Childrens

Friday, 18 October 2013

PAINTED FACES by LH Cosway


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Painted Faces by L.H. Cosway
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I grabbed a free copy of this book for my Kindle a few weeks ago. I wasn't sure what to expect but had heard great things about it, so I was curious.

As soon as I started reading, I was hooked by Fred's voice and how cheeky and charming Nicholas turns out to be. From the moment they meet, their mutual attraction sizzles off the page. They're so adorable around each other and I couldn't wait for them to get together.

Fred lives in Dublin and shares a flat with her friend. She works several jobs and shortly after meeting her new next door neighbour, ends up working for Nicholas too. He's a cabaret performer and happens to enjoy dressing in women's clothes. He also has a great voice and captivates his audience. It doesn't take long for Fred to be smitten by him, but even though he's flirty towards her she's convinced he'll end up hurting her...

I loved this story! Both Fred and Nicholas have a few secrets in their pasts, things that follow them into the present. These two characters lit up the pages with their instant friendship, and I thought they were great. This is a deeply emotional story, but I also found it to be very sexy. Raunchy, even.

It was also a LOT of fun!

Ooooops...


This is becoming a (bad) habit, isn't it? But I once again have an excuse...I mean, a reason. ;)

I've been super busy this month. Between my daughter having a two-week break and hubby being home last week--yay!--I haven't had a chance to do much online. Well, except for pop into Twitter. LOL.
 
So that's what I'm doing now.

I did get a bunch of stuff done, though. SHIVER is now finalised and is even available for pre-order at Samhain, on Kindle, and even for the Nook! I'm super excited, since the release date isn't until January 7, 2014!
 
This week I got back into some writing work. The first thing I needed to tackle was the print galley for RECAST, Volume 1. That's right! WITHER and CLASH will finally be available in print, together! The space cowboy and the shape-shifter will be available next September! There's still a long while to go, but I can't wait to have the finished books. I don't have a cover yet, but will post it as soon as I do. Can't wait to see it.
 
Yesterday, I also signed up for this:
 
 
If you're taking part, this is ME.
 
After working on so many revisions and edits this year, I'm looking forward to working on a new WIP. I'll actually be writing Recast #4, so that's another thing to get excited about! I'm looking forward to it. And this year, unlike last year where I actually wrote 83k+ during the month of November, I'm only aiming for 50k. The Recast SFR books are smaller than my UF ones.
 
Personally, I really enjoy taking part in NaNoWriMo. But before that, I need to spend the next few weeks proofreading Sierra Fox #5 one last time so I can submit it by the end of the month...
 
So, what else is new? Oh yeah, I had some blood tests done a few weeks ago because I've been feeling a little sluggish/tired lately. Got the results back last week and it turns out that everything is fine. Actually, I was pretty surprised and happy about the results. Except, there is one thing: my Vitamin D deficiency. O_o I know, right? I walk every single day, yet I'm not getting enough sunshine in my day. I have to take vitamin supplements for 4 months and make sure I don't wear jackets while walking. Then early next year, we need to do the blood tests again.
 
It's not so bad, I suppose. But I just don't understand how this happened. The only thing that makes sense is the jacket-wearing, and the being sun-conscious. Well, that's gotta stop! Doctor's orders. ;)
 
That's it for today. Just thought I'd pop in for an update.
 
Have a great weekend.

 

Monday, 7 October 2013

DOCTOR SLEEP by Stephen King


STEPHEN KING returns to the characters and territory of one of his most popular novels ever, THE SHINING.
 
An epic war between good and evil, a gory, glorious story that will thrill the millions of hyper-devoted readers of THE SHINING and wildly satisfy anyone new to the territory of this icon in the King canon.
 
King says he wanted to know what happened to Danny Torrance, the boy at the heart of THE SHINING, after his terrible experience in the Overlook Hotel. The instantly riveting Doctor Sleep picks up the story of the now middle-aged Dan, working at a hospice in rural New Hampshire, and the very special twelve-year old girl he must save from a tribe of murderous paranormals.
 
On highways across America, a tribe of people called The True Knot travel in search of sustenance. They look harmless - mostly old, lots of polyester, and married to their RVs. But as Dan Torrance knows, and tween Abra Stone learns, The True Knot are quasi-immortal, living off the 'steam' that children with the 'shining' produce when they are slowly tortured to death.
 
Haunted by the inhabitants of the Overlook Hotel where he spent one horrific childhood year, Dan has been drifting for decades, desperate to shed his father's legacy of despair, alcoholism, and violence. Finally, he settles in a New Hampshire town, an AA community that sustains him and a job at a nursing home where his remnant 'shining' power provides the crucial final comfort to the dying. Aided by a prescient cat, he becomes 'Doctor Sleep.'
 
Then Dan meets the evanescent Abra Stone, and it is her spectacular gift, the brightest shining ever seen, that reignites Dan's own demons and summons him to a battle for Abra's soul and survival...


I always get excited about a new Stephen King book, and was really looking forward to getting my hands on this one. I mean, it's a sequel to The Shining--one of my all-time favourite books. So as soon as I received it, I got stuck into it. And I was hooked!

The story takes us back to what happened to Danny Torrance and his mother after they escaped the Overlook Hotel with Dick Hallorann. The young boy might have escaped the Overlook and its inhabitants, but some of them follow him. So Dick Hallorann teaches him how/what to do in order to ensure these ghosts from the past stop haunting him.

By the time Danny's all grown up, his mother has passed away and he's mostly known as Dan. His life is messed up and he's constantly fighting personal demons. He's became an alcoholic--just like his father--and can't keep a job because of his addiction. Not to mention that he keeps getting into bar fights, and constantly picks up random women he wants nothing to do with the next day. However, the day he wakes up beside Deenie and Dan encounters her young son, he decides to make a change. No matter how hard it is, he's determined to take control of his life, rather than handing the steering wheel to the bottle.

And that's how he ends up in the small town of Frazier. While checking out the Teenytown Railway he meets Billy Freeman, and his life changes forever. With the help of an AA sponsor, he turns his life around and ends up working in a hospice. Here, with the help of a cat called Azzie, he helps people face death and move on peacefully. Therefore becoming, Doctor Sleep.

In the meantime, we meet an odd assortment of people called The True Knot. A travelling bunch of oldies who traverse the highways of America searching for steam they can devour from unsuspecting kids with the shining. However, when the leader Rose the Hat comes across a little girl called Abra, she becomes obsessed and starts a quest she's determined to win but hasn't gone up against before. Because Abra Stone isn't like other girls. Hell, she's not even like other kids with the shining. She's remarkably strong, and her connection to Dan will help save them both...

The story is told in several POVs so we get personal insight into Dan's life, Abra's, and even Rose. By seeing the events through the eyes of a variety of characters, the story really shines. I was fascinated by The True Knot and even though I desperately wanted to hate the wicked Rose, I couldn't help but like her. Abra, such a young girl with so much power becomes determined to get justice for the baseball boy. And Dan, my gosh. I loved how his life hits rock bottom and he slowly finds his way to the surface to become an astonishing man. Oh, something that happens where the Overlook once stood, definitely brought a tear to my eye.

Doctor Sleep is an amazing book! I'm a huge Stephen King fan and love all of his work, so I'm not surprised I enjoyed this story so much. I didn't want to put it down, but at the same time took my time reading it because I didn't want to speed through it. King's characters always feel so real, they keep you reading. I found this story to be a rollercoaster of emotions, interesting events, creepy situations, exciting turns, and several revelations blew me away. Seriously awesome.

I can't express just how much I love this book! It's a total keeper... and makes me want to pick up all the other King books I've got on my bookshelf but haven't read yet. Amazing!


Doctor Sleep, October 2013, ISBN  9781444761177, H&S Fiction

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

OMG! MIA!


Hey! Long time no see. Can you believe it's the first day of October today? O.o
 
The last time I posted a real blog entry was almost a month ago. Yikes! Time sure flies when you're juggling multiple writing projects, but at least I made huge progress.
 
My plan was to have the third draft of the last Sierra Fox book and SHIVER finalised by the end of this week--because hubby is taking next week off--and I did it! Yay. Phew.
 
Strange how when it's condensed into one sentence, it doesn't sound like much work. But the revision took two weeks, the FLE several days, and the Proof Corrections a few days. I actually emailed the corrections this morning. Like I said, Phew!
 
When I wasn't working on revision/edits, I've been getting stuck into spring cleaning. Actually, it's been a family thing. We changed my daughter's room, which meant we had to go through EVERYTHING she had in there. And trust me, it was a lot. We hadn't gone through her toys, clothes and stationery since last year and she's outgrown so much of it. It's understandable, since she'll turn 13 this month. Her tastes are definitely changing from kid to teen. I think her room looks great now. Everything has a place, there's more storage, and we've recycled and given away a bunch of things.
 
Only problem with spring cleaning is that once you start, you can't stop. Hubby and I then moved onto the kitchen, and laundry. The next thing is our bedroom and the living room. I have to admit that although it's hard work and very time consuming, I love doing this every season. It's a great way to get rid of clutter, which usually builds around winter. For some strange reason.
 
Unfortunately, with all this cleaning/sorting and revision/editing, my reading has taken a backseat. I haven't had the time to read anything since mid-September! Which is horrible for someone who has SO many books and LOVES to read. Aaaahhhhhhh. I'm hoping to get some reading done this week because I've got Stephen King's new book! :)

I should mention that Sierra's book won't be finalised until I read it one more time on my phone. I also have to write the synopsis. But I've allocated the last few weeks of this month for that. My self-imposed deadline for submitting it is the end of October. So, fingers crossed!

I need a breather because I feel a little mentally exhausted...

Well, that's it for now. Hope you're all having a great week!

 
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