Wednesday 26 March 2014

Ideas & Thoughts

Hey! It's been a while. And man, it feels like I leave the blogging for so long that I wind up saying this every single time I pop in! O_o

Anyway. Since I finished Recast #4, I've been busy trying to stay off the main computer so I can sort out some sort of schedule for the rest of the year. The problem is that I've got A BUNCH of ideas and they all want to be tackled at the same time. Whenever that happens, I end up with a head full of clutter.

And that's why I spent most of last week jotting down notes, looking at my calendar, and trying to be realistic about my writing goals. I mean, it's not just the ideas, I also have to factor in school holidays and hubby's annual leave... So it takes a bit of planning. I think I've got a workable schedule for now.

Well, at least I thought I did until a certain idea hijacked everything else and demanded it be told RIGHT NOW.

To be honest with you, although I know this might be the one project that should probably be at the bottom of the list, it's jumped all the way to the top. I decided that to figure out if it's even doable, I need to try it on for size. Because, it could turn out to be a big ol' waste of time. But until I see if this works, I can't tackle the two other stories that spring off it.

Very mysterious, I know. But during the last few days I've written the first 7,168 words. LOL.

I'm going to stick with it until the end of the week and see how it goes. If the story keeps coming this fast and well, I'll keep going. If not, I'll abandon it and move on. If I do keep going, my goal is to reach 50k--or close to it. Fingers crossed.

What else has been going on? Oh yeah, we got flu shots yesterday. This isn't something we usually do, but I just hate getting a cold/flu and who can afford to be out for so long when it does strike? So, hopefully it'll work and we won't get hit with any of those really bad flu strains the news keeps trying to scare everyone with. ;)
Oh, BTW, did you see Sierra's pretty new cover? If you didn't, let me just post it over here again:

I think it's beautiful. I can't believe how well it fits the story. Kanaxa really is a super cool cover artist. Love her work and what she did with the Sierra Fox series. Love them! Check out how well they fit together...
 Well, that's it for now. Hope you're all having a great week!

Friday 21 March 2014

New SIERRA FOX cover!

I received the final cover for Sierra's fifth/last book the other day, and it's time to share it.
Are you ready? Yes?
Well, here it is...

What do you think?
I absolutely LOVE it.
I know I've said this before, and I'll probably say it again... Kanaxa totally nailed it. She captured everything perfectly. The mood, the intensity, the fiery atmosphere, and Sierra looks totally pissed off. Like I said, it's absolutely perfect!
I'm so giddy with excitement over this cover. :)
A STITCH ON TIME will be released later this year. Just in time for Halloween.

Wednesday 19 March 2014

MIDNIGHT CROSSROAD by Charlaine Harris

From the bestselling author who created Sookie Stackhouse and her world of Bon Temps, Louisiana, comes a darker locale populated by more strangers than friends. But then, that s how the locals prefer it.
Welcome to Midnight, Texas, a town with many boarded-up windows and few full-time inhabitants, located at the crossing of Witch Light Road and Davy Road. It s a pretty standard dried-up western town.
There s a pawnshop (someone lives in the basement and is seen only at night). There s a diner (people who are just passing through tend not to linger). And there s new resident Manfred Bernardo, who thinks he s found the perfect place to work in private (and who has secrets of his own).
Stop at the one traffic light in town, and everything looks normal. Stay awhile, and learn the truth...

I'm a big Charlaine Harris fan and I've read all of her other series, so when I found out she had a new trilogy coming out this year I was super excited. And then I received an ARC months before the book was due to be released, so I couldn't wait to get started.
Manfred Bernardo has just moved into the (very) small town of Midnight. He's a 'psychic' and has his own business, conducted online and on the phone, so this isolated place seemed like a good place to move. Most of his work includes the use of psychology and instinct, rather than psychic ability but he does sometimes get real psychic vibes. He's young, determined to get on with his own life, and actually finds the small population of Midnight very welcoming.
So he finds himself hanging out in the local diner run by a woman called Madonna, who has a baby and is married to the local handyman. He also meets the mysterious Rev, who only speaks when he has something important to say. Joe and Chuy are a couple and run an antiques store/nail salon. Then there's Fiji, the witch across the road with a very peculiar cat and a knack of constantly surprising Manfred. His next door neighbour and landlord happens to be Bobo Winthrop--now all grown up and no longer living in Shakespeare--who runs a pawn shop. Bobo has two other tenants that are guaranteed to fill you with wonder--one only comes out at night, and the other constantly disappears on secret missions. The Lovell family consists of Shawn and his two kids--Creek and Connor. They run the local gas station and keep mostly to themselves, but Manfred has his eye on Creek.
It's a small tight-knit community that accepts Manfred instantly.

The day they all get together to have a picnic near the river and find a dead body, things change because the police get involved and everyone's a suspect. No one more than Bobo, because the body is actually his girlfriend. The one he was positive had run out on him months earlier. As it turns out, she was killed and a lot of the evidence seems to point his way. Although he insists he's innocent, Bobo does have a few secrets of his own.
Actually, everyone in Midnight has some sort of secret. Why else would they live in such a desolate place? But one thing Manfred learns pretty early on is that Midnighters take care of each other. Even when faced with the most gruesome, unexpected revelation.
OMG. I had a blast reading this book! I loved every minute of it and didn't want it to end.

The main mystery is trying to figure out who killed Bobo's girlfriend, Aubrey, but there are so many other things going on in this book. The characters are interesting and full of personal secrets, but since we get intimately introduced to several of the characters via multiple POV, it adds an extra layer to the story and what's going on.

Some secrets are uncovered, others aren't. The one thing that will certainly happen is that you'll get caught up in the lives of these people and want to know more. 
Midnight Crossroad is another compelling book by Charlaine Harris. I love her storytelling style and the wonderful characters she creates. One of my other favourite things about this book is the fact that we catch up with several characters from some of her other series. Manfred is from the Harper Connelly series. Bobo is from the Lily Bard Mystery series. There are creatures from her Sookie Stackhouse series, and even a surprise character from her Aurora Teagarden Mystery series. It's all so cool. 
Plus, this might be a mystery at heart... but there's also a supernatural slant I really enjoyed!

Midnight Crossroad, May 2014, ISBN  9780575092853, Gollancz

Saturday 15 March 2014

BLOOD ORANGES by Kathleen Tierney

Blood Oranges by Kathleen Tierney
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a book I've had my eye on for a while, and finally picked up a copy a few weeks ago during an insane Kobo sale.

Quinn is an ex-junkie, a liar, and two-kinds of monster. She was attacked by a werewolf and then bitten by a vampire. A scary, old vamp that turns Quinn into her pet and weapon. Did I mention that she's also a monster killer? No? Well, she is. And btw, adding previously withheld info is something Quinn continually does quite a bit.

After becoming a monster herself, she starts getting deeper and deeper into trouble. As well as losing total control and waking up all over the place with no memory of why. Well, she does find some answers in her puke. :P

Quinn is a very unreliable narrator. She's a total liar, and has lived a very hard life on the streets after she ran away from home. I usually have problems with unreliable narrators, but not this one. I really liked her and wanted her to come out okay at the end.

I really enjoyed this book! It's dark, gritty and totally raw. The kind of book that makes you want to take a shower after reading it. LMAO. But you know what? I loved every minute of it. And didn't even mind that it was kinda poking fun at other PNR & UF stories. ;)

I'm looking forward to getting my hands on Quinn's next adventure.

Monday 10 March 2014

Monday, Monday

I know! I can't believe it's the beginning of yet another week... Yikes.
Last week, after finishing Recast #4 and subbing it, I had a pretty long to-do list. I highlighted most things as done, but decided to leave a few things for this week. There are some promo things I need to take care of for the upcoming Sierra Fox #4, but didn't have the energy last week.
So, I got stuck into it first thing this morning and emailed an interview back. Yay. Now I have three blog posts to write--which I would like to finish by Wednesday. I'd also like to schedule a few more spots because a few of the blogs I contacted didn't reply. :(
Oh well. You win some and you lose some, I suppose.
Plus, I have some reading to do. Lots of reading to do since I've fallen behind, LOL.
And my head is FULL OF IDEAS & STUFF. Things that keep circling around and need to be emptied out of there. I think it's time to pick up a notebook and start scribbling because there are several books that are already simmering inside my brain. I have to admit that it's very exciting when this happens. The worst thing about this stage is figuring out what to tackle next...
Well, that's it for now. Have a great week!

Friday 7 March 2014

DEAD AND BURIED by Anne Cassidy

Dead and Buried
It’s been five years since Rose’s mother Kathy went missing and, after recent events, all Rose wants to do is get on with her life. Which means taking a break from her complicated stepbrother, Joshua.

Then police officer Henry Thompson comes calling with bad news: a body has been found buried in the garden of Rose’s old house. A body that has lain undiscovered for five years. The body of a missing teenage girl.

With Kathy and Brendan implicated in her death, Rose and Joshua have one last chance to clear their parents’ names. But if they fail, the consequences will be deadly . . .

After enjoying the previous three books in The Murder Notebooks series--DEAD TIME, KILLING RACHEL, and BUTTERFLY GRAVE--I was really looking forward to reading the conclusion to Rose and Joshua's story.
It's been five years since Rose's mother (Kathy) and Joshua's father (Brendan) went out to dinner and never came back. The event changed both of their young lives, and as they got older they started wondering about the disappearance of their parents. Neither believed they were dead. Actually, when Joshua gets in touch with Rose to meet up again after not seeing each other for years, they get caught up in a personal investigation. Yet, the more they found out about what happened to their parents and what they were really up to, the farther they seemed to get from finding them.
But the two teenagers know too much now, and Joshua has become obsessed after losing his best friend. Rose, however, has decided she wants to distance herself and get on with her life. After all, she's doing good in school and wants to plan her own future, plus she's starting to get along with her posh grandmother.

No more looking back for Rose. Except, life has a way of disrupting plans and she soon gets dragged back into the past when the house she lived in with her mother, Brendan and Joshua reveals a secret in the back garden.
The new owners start renovations and when the work begins the body of a teenage girl called Daisy is discovered. Now the police are asking them questions and as the clues surface, they all seem to point to Joshua's father. So it doesn't take long for the investigators to put the girl's murder and their parents' disappearance together.

But that's not the only threat chasing them, because Kathy's and Brendan's sins are shadowing their children...
Wow. This book was great! Not only does it present a new and quite awful mystery to drag Rose and Joshua back into the secretive life their parents were living on Brewster Road, but it ties in with the rest of the series. I loved that! It was also good to see Rose find out that her mother wasn't perfect, and that life wasn't as fantastic as she remembers it.
I'm also glad that we finally got to meet their parents, and found out exactly why they decided to forfeit their lives and leave their young children behind. Because at the end of the day, now that I have all the relevant details, information, and understand their motivations, I think that their actions were unfair on Rose and Joshua. As much good as Kathy and Brendan think they did by eliminating bad people and saving other potential victims, it was at the expense of their children.
It's strange how they disappeared so that Rose and Joshua wouldn't be in danger but that's exactly what happens anyway. I guess you can try to outrun your past and pretend that the ends justifies the means, but the truth is everything catches up with you eventually. It's just too bad that for this family, it cost them so much. By trying to save their children's future, they actually ruined their connection with them. Because seriously, whenever they interacted with Rose and Joshua it felt so cold and distanced, almost as if they'd been undercover for so long that they forgot how to be themselves.
Sad, really.
Dead and Buried is an amazing conclusion to this thrilling series. The new mystery at the heart of the story tied up a very important loose end, and the overall mystery was solved very well. I was once again on the edge of my seat, hoping that Rose and Joshua would make it out of this alive. Or at least minimally scarred.What these teenagers go through because of their parents is quite terrifying. But I loved their fighting spirit and the way they found strength in each other, even when they were frustrated by the situation.
The end of a series is always an exciting, yet sad experience. So when the last book is done well and leaves the reader satisfied, it's a wonderful experience.
I hope Rose and Joshua have an awesome, successful life together.

Dead and Buried, March 2014, ISBN  9781408815533, Bloomsbury Childrens

Tuesday 4 March 2014

Hello, when will the sun come out?

As you can probably guess by my title, the weather has been horrible in Sydney lately. Actually, since Thursday night, it's pretty much been raining on and off. It's such a drag. The sun has teased us a few times, but it remains mostly hidden and I'm totally over it. I need some sunshine in my life. O_o
Anyway. Today, I have a headache. Or what I like to call the post-book blues. It's when I finalise a book, get it out the door and I feel a little lost afterwards. Even melancholy. I mean, it's super exciting to have gotten the book done and submitted, but I also miss it.
It's totally weird.
The book I'm talking about is Recast #4. I finalised the synopsis yesterday, checked it one last time and submitted it to my lovely editor. *bites nails*
Yeah, as soon as the story is out there waiting to be read by my editor, a new thing happens. I get to stress about whether she'll like it or not. LMAO. Being a writer is filled with all sorts of angst and worry, isn't it? ;)
That's why I need to get stuck into something else...
This week I need a tiny mental break. But I'm hoping to fill in the time with some reading (I'm SO behind on review books and my own TBR pile), writing a handful of guest blog posts, tidying up some of my wandering stationery, updating the Recast Series Bible, and maybe even brainstorming some of the projects I'd like to tackle this year. Exciting stuff!
OMG. Speaking of books, there was this TOTALLY INSANE 90% OFF sale going on at Kobo over the weekend, and I went nuts. NUTS, I tell you. I think I picked up almost 80 books! Yikes. It was awesome. I caught up on a bunch of series that I've fallen behind on.
As you know, I'm a huge reader and spend quite a bit of money buying paperbacks, Kindle books, and even Google Play books. Now I've added Kobo to the mix. I mean, I don't actually have a Kobo, but I have a Galaxy Note 3 so I can read my books on my phone. Like I said, AWESOME! :P
Well, lunchtime is sneaking up on me and I feel like I haven't done anything today. But that's okay, I'm not going to feel guilty over it. Not when I've been working my butt off during the last two weeks getting a story finished.
Have a great day!
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