Wow. What an amazing tale of friendship, childish stories/games, and growing up. I absolutely loved every minute of this intriguing and sometimes creepy story.
Zach, Alice and Poppy are close friends that enjoy playing adventure games with their dolls, action figures and imaginations. But that all changes when Zach's father throws away all of his toys because he claims it's time to grow up. This is so devastating that Zach becomes angry with everyone and turns his back on his friends.
Well, until Poppy and Alice visit him one night and insist they have to get the Queen--a creepy porcelain doll that might be made from the bones of a dead girl called Eleanor--to her grave. What follows is an amazing, and hard quest that helps the three friends on several levels.
Like I said above, this is an excellent and very exciting book. Not to mention, lovely. The illustrations were so nice.
When Decker drags his best friend Delaney’s lifeless body out of the frozen lake, he makes a deal: Anyone but her. Everyone but her. The lake releases her. It takes another . . .
All their friends blame Delaney for Carson’s death. But Decker knows the truth: Delaney is drawn to those who are dying, and she would have tried to help Carson.
Or so Decker believes until a body lies in front of him in a pool of water on his kitchen floor. Until he sees in Delaney’s eyes that she knew this would happen too – and she said nothing. Until he realises it isn’t the lake that is looking for revenge – Delaney is part of someone else’s plan. This powerful and emotionally charged psychological thriller follows Megan Miranda’s stunning debut Fracture.
After really enjoying FRACTURE, I was looking forward to reading the sequel.
This book is told in the POV of Decker, Delaney's boyfriend. He's still haunted by what happened to her at the lake--how she died, but survived thanks to him--and can now sense when someone is dying. When the most unexpected horrible thing happens to him, and death personally touches Decker's life, he blames Delaney. For not warning him. For avoiding his calls when she could've made a difference. For lying.
Then other strange things start to happen, creepy incidents that force Decker and his mother to actually move in with Delaney's family. It all points to the lake's curse, how it's come to claim them and has a vendetta on them because Delaney was supposed to die. But as everything slowly unravels, Decker discovers a much different plot. One that has nothing to do with any curse and everything to do with people hiding secrets.
I was actually hooked at the beginning. It was nice to catch up with Delaney and see things through Decker's eyes. When the strange things started happening I was creeped out and was looking forward to finding out what was going on. But Decker's attitude towards Delaney overrode everything. I know he was grieving and couldn't get over a very personal loss, but the teenage angst was too much. And unfortunately, the mystery at the heart of it wasn't enough to make up for it.
It's a shame because it started so well...
Vengeance is an interesting, well written thriller that keeps you guessing, but it was nowhere near as good as the first book. :(
Vengeance, February 2014, ISBN 9781408839584, Bloomsbury Childrens
Okay, I've been interested in this book for a while now, especially since I enjoyed Gillian Flynn's other novels. So I put it on hold at the library and started reading it as soon as it came in.
I was hooked! The writing is great, the plot intriguing, but the characters seemed unreliable from the very beginning. Still, I kept reading, actually couldn't stop because like Nick and Amy, I was getting deeper and deeper into their very dark story.
It's Nick and Amy's fifth Wedding Anniversary, and Amy has gone missing. There's a bit of a mess in the living room, and then there's the blood that has been cleaned in the kitchen. Plus there's the scavenger hunt, and the credit cards, and the items purchased with these credit cards. Everything leads to Nick possibly killing his wife, but he denies it. Even after it's revealed that he was cheating on her with a much younger woman.
As the reader, I disliked Nick right away. Amy wasn't much better. Her diary entries are... hollow. And it doesn't take long to figure out why. See, in the second part of this book, Amy enters the scene and actually tells the reader how she went about setting up her husband. How she saved money, pretended to be pregnant, took out credit cards and bought awful movies that make him sound like an evil bastard. She's hiding out, watching from a distance and enjoying her punishment. But he's not stupid, and via interviews starts wooing her back with his clothes, hair, and words.
It's really all very pathetic. And in the end she kinda gets herself into an imprisoned situation she manages to use to her advantage. The manipulative, evil ways of this woman are truly 'amazing' in a depraved, disgusting sort of way.
I've never HATED two characters as much as I hated these two. They were selfish, self-centred, entitled assholes that lied, cheated and manipulated their way through life. Their marriage was a contest, a way to beat each other in horrid ways that would end with them actually respecting the low ways they used each other. It was truly awful to watch. Ugh.
Actually, his lawyer nails it: "You two are the most fucked-up people I have ever met, and I specialize in fucked-up people."
These two truly are despicably, fucked up individuals. But you know what was worse? THE ENDING. I hated that ending. WTF? It made everything so much worse.
OMG. This book was amazing! It has a bit of everything: a feisty heroine, a brooding hero, excitement, adventure, danger, romance, and an intriguing paranormal angle. And it's all happening during 1927, in San Francisco!
Aida is a spirit medium. Winter is a wealthy bootlegger. When they meet during some very bizarre circumstances, sparks fly. The chemistry between these two sizzled off the pages. The sexual tension so strong it was only a matter of time before it ended in some pretty hot sensual encounters. But they both carry a lot of baggage, which turns out to work against them...especially since they're both so stubborn!
The supernatural angle and the mystery that got Aida and Winter together in the first place hooked me in right away. I also loved the Chinatown story. The atmosphere and era were fascinating. The characters all interesting, strong and flawed.
This is how paranormal romance should be done.
Yeah, I loved this book. Looks like I'm going to pre-order the next one right now. :)
First thing Saturday morning we had dentist appointments. Just our six-monthly check up and teeth clean.
It went well, and now we've all got clean teeth and don't need to go back until August. Cool. Then yesterday we popped into a shopping centre to pick up a few things. Not to mention everything else that needed to be done and watched. ;)
I also felt a little sluggish yesterday. Going to the shops always tires me and gives me a headache. It's much easier to shop online. LOL.
Anyway, let me go back to Friday... because that's when I finished the second draft of RECAST #4. I'm happy with how it turned out. I ended up deleting a bunch of stuff, then adding some new stuff. There was also plenty of layering. Though I did end up with a Third Draft Revision List that I decided to tackle this morning. O.o
The second draft word count is 48,474. That's 123 pages.
Now I will put it aside for a few weeks. I've actually got it allocated for mid-next month, and am looking forward to getting back to it.
So, what do I intend to do this week? I've already got a to-do list that involves sorting through my YA bookshelf, as well as my stationery trunk, while catching up on some reading and scheduling a few guest spots for April. Yeah, there's always something to do around here. ;)
Hubby only has to work until Thursday this week and then has a two-week break. Awesome! Looking forward to it...
I really enjoyed XVI, so when I noticed the sequel was available at the local library I put it on hold.
Nina might know the truth about her father--that he's alive--but life isn't getting any easier. Her grandfather's been arrested, her grandmother has a heart attack, and her boyfriend seems to be missing when she needs him the most. Not to mention that they get evicted.
At least her friend's family has offered Nina and her younger sister a place to stay. Determined to make a difference in a world where young girls are sexualised and the Media calls the shots, she wants to help an old friend. And joins the Sisterhood, hoping to make a difference.
A lot of stuff happens in this book, and most of it is bad. The world Nina lives in is bleak and definitely not female friendly. Some of the events are very disturbing, but true to the worldbuilding.
There are also relationship troubles for her to deal with. When her relationship with Sal starts to feel more like a title than a real thing and Wei's brother Chris starts to show an interest in her, she starts getting confused.
I enjoyed this instalment and am looking forward to the next one.
This week I'm working on the second draft of RECAST #4, which I wrote during NaNoWriMo last year. It's a great time to get stuck into it because Book 3 was released last week--yay!--and I'm still riding on that high.
Besides, it's a much smaller story so I can squeeze it in while my daughter's at home. It's hard to be productive when she's home, so scheduling smaller projects is the best way to get anything done. ;)
As of today's revision session, I've reached page 54/120. That's almost halfway through, and I've managed to cut two pages. I'm not surprised about that, knew that I would end up cutting a bunch of stuff and rewriting other sections. I wouldn't be surprised if this draft ends up somewhere between 45-47k. Which would be great, actually. That gives me some wiggle room for the third draft, where I sharpen/tighten everything.
I've got a love/hate relationship with second drafts. I always look forward to getting stuck into them but when I do, start dragging my feet. This is where I start hating the story and the process one day, then loving it the next. It's always a sluggish process, but once I reach the end my outlook changes completely. By the time I reach the third draft stage I'm super excited all the way through. It's a little strange, but it's my process. LOL.
So, the other thing I've been doing is tackling my Declutter Project. I spent the last week sorting through my ideas/research/WIPs/series paper files, and have managed to get rid of a LOT of stuff. I'm just glad it was all paper and can be recycled. I started out with two research binders, and about nine display folders/printed pages. Now I have one binder and one bound book with printed pages. Then there was the actual series/idea files which were all over the place! I cross referenced everything and wound up going from six magazine holders to one. Phew.
Now I can start a new and improved system of filing my book + series info without taking up so much room. There's still more work to be done, but I'm happy with the progress. :)
The only downside to all of this revision and sorting work is that I haven't had a chance to read for several days. Must. Remedy. That.
While at the library the other day my daughter found this on the shelf and gave it to me. It's one of those books I'd been wanting to read but had forgotten was already available.
So I borrowed it and was hooked instantly.
This is the story of what happens to Tori--the popular girl who disappeared in the first book--after Alison and Sebastian help her escape. Except, she's not really free. There's an obsessed cop and a lab eager to find out more about her. And then there's the other, more ominous problem: Mathis. The one who captured her in the first place.
That's how she finds herself living faraway and under a different name. Now she's Niki, trying to live her life while tinkering with electronics and designing some pretty cool, high-tech stuff. She even becomes friends with a co-worker, Milo. And when Sebastian returns because he needs her help, Milo also becomes her most trusted ally.
But when Niki realises there's only one way to sever ties with her past, it turns out to be a very drastic and dark situation.
I really enjoyed this story. It was fantastical, and filled with so much emotion. For someone who struggles with her lack of human emotion/identity, Tori/Niki sure turns out to experience a wide variety of feelings and compassion.
I thought this book was amazing. Loved everything about it, especially the Sci-Fi twist and the characters.
Lian took small steps toward the prisoner kneeling in the middle of the cell. Both his wrists were cuffed with chains, holding him steady on either side. A cup of water sat out of his reach. He looked unconscious, with his face lowered.
Her heart sped up. "Who are you?" she whispered, knowing he wouldn’t respond. She moved closer, intending to touch his head, arm or shoulder—any part of him that would confirm he was real. She reached for him. When her fingertips connected with the coarse stubble, he twitched.
The man raised his head and those intense dark eyes met hers. At first they seemed filled with confusion and anger, but slowly melted into something else—curiosity.
It’s him. It’s really him! Lian took a step back, not in fear but in surprise. She hadn’t expected him to wake up. "Who are you?" she repeated.
"More importantly, who are you?" He looked around the darkened, roofless cell. "And where am I?"
Lian opened her mouth to answer, but Vera charged into the room and grabbed her by the arm. "Come on, we need to go."
She couldn’t respond. Couldn’t do much more than stare at the man kneeling in front of her. The one making her heart feel as if it were about to explode inside her chest. She didn’t want to leave him. Not now, possibly not ever.
How could she feel this way about a total stranger when she constantly argued with her mother about not wanting a man she knew nothing about? No, this was different, because on some bizarre level, she’d known this guy forever.
"We need to go, now!"
Lian took a deep breath and sighed. "I’ll be back," she mouthed.
The man nodded and hung his head, but she kept her eyes on him. Vera practically dragged her out the door. It wasn’t until she heard the sound of footsteps and muffled conversation that she realized just how close her mother and the guards were.
Sometimes Lian wished she could jump onboard that heavy transport to escape this life. Vera and Hogan had suggested it countless times, but they all knew she wouldn’t go anywhere without them. The guards were physically tied to the estate by collars, but Lian was bound by blood. We’re all prisoners here.
She tried to force her anger away and took her seat. Sergei’s leering smile spread along his thick, pierced lips. He didn’t stand, but his predatory eyes followed Lian’s every move. She wanted to smack that greedy glare off his ugly face.
"I’m so glad to have you back," he whispered near her ear. His breath smelled like fish and wine.
Lian cringed at the blatant possession he already displayed, but kept her cool. She hated these fake dinner parties.
"Yes, so glad you decided to join us again." Meiling didn’t sound amused, so Lian avoided meeting her gaze.
"So, what did I miss?" She picked up her fork and started toying with the food on her plate—a tiny portion of sautéed eel with a tangle of spring onions. Gross. Vera would deliver her a plate of real food later—red meat, potatoes and chocolate cake. That’s what she called a meal.
"We were discussing potential wedding dates and locales," Meiling said with a chuckle. "Sergei’s home planet has summer all year round."
"How wonderful," Lian said with fake enthusiasm. "You must be uncomfortable here, then." She hoped he was uncomfortable in this snowy terrain.
"Not if I have someone to keep me warm."
Lian’s skin crawled.
"He also owns a space station, which happens to orbit his planet. Isn’t that exciting?"
Sergei took another bite from his fork, while ducking his other hand under the table to squeeze Lian’s knee.
She gritted her teeth, trying not to react, even if the fingers holding her fork twitched. The urge to plunge the tines into his roving hand made it almost impossible to keep herself under control.
"A summer wedding sounds exhilarating—sun, fun, flowers, summer fruits…"
Lian lost her concentration and let her mother’s chatter become an annoying murmur while all her attention zeroed in on the feel of Sergei’s thick fingers trailing up her thigh and under the hem of her dress. If he only slid his hand back and forth from knee to thigh, she could pretend it didn’t repulse her. If his fingers hiked any higher, she would lose it.
She glanced at Sergei and found his gaze pinned on her. His thick tongue poked out enough to flick the metal piercings along his bottom lip. If she wasn’t so disgusted at this feeble attempt of seduction, she would have laughed. Instead, she willed him not to do what she anticipated he would do next.
Don’t do it. Don’t do it.
His hand moved higher, index finger caressing the outside of her panties.
She pushed her chair back and it tumbled with a thump. Sergei’s hand reflexively went to the table as if he had done nothing wrong. That was when she stabbed the fork into the back of his hand, making sure the tines went deep enough to pierce his fleshy skin.
"Well, what’re you waiting for, human?" The vampire’s thin lips barely moved. Yet his threat carried clearly, as if they weren’t combatants standing on opposite sides of the vast arena, ready to fight to the death. Not even the crowd’s insane enthusiasm and constant cheering was enough to drown the bloodsucker’s threatening words.
Eniell Knox rolled his bare shoulders and felt the tense muscles of his back relax. He clenched his hands into tight fists, glad his nails were short enough they didn’t cut into his palms. His legs were ready to strike—whether that involved running, leaping, or holding steady.
He was ready for this fight.
The long-haired jerk who called himself Amon had taunted him for the last time. In this kill or be killed situation, there was only one thing left to do.
Knox gestured for Amon to "come here", hoping to put him off his game. He’d seen what this fanged bastard could do, and Knox had no intention of becoming his next meal.
Amon raised his nose and sniffed the air between them like a demented hound. A small smile curved the vampire’s bloodless lips and Knox realized he needed to act fast.
He took off. His toes kicked up the dirt inside this hellish place, but the discomfort didn’t deter Knox from his target. His opponent mirrored his motions, until they were speeding toward each other and collided with the hard thump of two muscled bodies.
The clash teased the crowd into an eruption of cheers so loud the air felt electric with a collective lust for violence, making Knox’s skin crawl. The spectator’s enthusiasm disgusted him but also energized his body, urging him to deliver what they’d come to see. As much as he despised everything about this arena, every time he stepped inside he couldn’t contain the excitement and desire to win. Most of the time, because winning was the difference between life and death. Other times, he simply wanted to be victorious.
Knox bounced off the wiry man, surprised at the creature’s strength even when he should’ve expected it.
"I’m going to enjoy feasting on you," Amon taunted, the grin never leaving his lips. The asshole flashed his sharp fangs like a hissing cat, but Knox refused to let him get under his skin. A measly pair of fangs wasn’t enough to scare him.
Knox wanted one outcome—survival. Sure, he yearned to escape this filthy existence, but only survival mattered within the confines of this arena.
"You’ll have to catch me first, mate." He smashed the heel of his right foot against the vampire’s forehead, not even feeling the pain.
Amon stumbled back a step but instantly regained his footing. A gash broke the taut, anemic skin above his left, gold eyebrow and dark blood beaded the cut, dripping into his eye. His unnerving smile returned, making him look hideous. "Is that all you’ve got?"
Knox slammed his other foot into the vampire’s midsection.
Beat, repeat—it’s the only way to get out of this alive.
"If you want to win, you’ll have to hit harder than that," Amon said with a laugh.
Now, there's an arena warrior with a bloodlust problem in Shiver...
Blood made him a monster. Passion could be his salvation.
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.
I never liked the word resolution, so I don't usually make any New Year Resolutions. It's the kind of thing that sounds more like a fad, than an actual plan. I think most people stick to them for a few weeks--maybe even a few months--and then forget about them.
Goals are different. When I make goals I have a time frame in mind. I write them down and keep referring to them during the year to see what's next, or if anything needs to be shuffled forward or pushed down the line.
These are goals/plans that I stick to until the end of the year.
So, yesterday I picked up one of my lovely notebooks and a pen and wrote down a bunch of things I'd like to achieve during this year.
The first thing on the list is to celebrate the upcoming release of SHIVER by trying to get the word out about it as much as I can. It's so exciting, and also brings me to my first project: completing the second draft of Recast #4. I've got it scheduled for next week. That way I can get it done, give myself a few more weeks distance from it, and then finish it off by the end of February. Fingers crossed.
My other big project is something I mentioned the other day: to declutter my ideas/research/WIPs/series paper files. At the moment I have way too many print outs and scattered handwritten notes. It's a mess and takes up too much bookshelf space. So, I've started to go through it and you wouldn't believe how much I've recycled already. Yikes!
From now on, I've decided that each series will be allocated one chunky notebook to take notes, stick pictures and info in, etc. It's worked out really well for the Sierra Fox and Recast series, so I'm looking forward to changing this. Everything else needs to be stored electronically. Sounds like a simple plan, and it will be once it's actually implemented.
As far as the writing goes, I'd like to write at least two new novels and two new novellas. Plus sort out a few other stories that need revision. I'll see how I go. Though I feel really good about getting everything down on paper.
The only other goals I've made is to finish reading a bunch of books that I've fallen behind on. There are several series that have since finished up but I'm still not caught up. Oh, and several Book 3s in a variety of trilogies. O_o
January is always a slow productivity month because my daughter's home for most of it, but I'm not going to sweat it.
I'd heard really good things about this book, and they were all true!
Fortitude Scott's life is pretty shitty. He's got a degree that qualifies him for nothing. His job is crap. His roommate refuses to pay rent. His girlfriend is a cheating bitch. And his family are all vampires. Well, he's kinda a vampire too. Although, not really.
When a foreign vampire visit their territory, Fort gets involved in a personal crusade to save innocent little girls from the vampiric predator. With the help of his bodyguard, Suzume--who happens to be a very tricky shape-shifter--he's willing to put himself on the line to make things right.
This is an amazing book. Not only a unique UF, but also a very different take on vampire mythology. The worldbuilding is solid, the story intriguing, and the characters are all very interesting. I also loved Fort's voice, and his interaction with Suzume. They make a great team. But what I liked even more was Fort's character growth. Excellent!
I absolutely loved everything about this book, and plan to order the second one ASAP.
I put this book on hold at my local library last year, but something happened and they lost their copy. :( So when I decided to check their catalogue again last month and found it listed, I put it on hold again.
SO glad I did because this was the perfect end to an amazing trilogy!
In order to rescue Cassian's sister, Jacinda has to allow herself to be captured and handed over to the enkros. Horrible people that have been capturing and experimenting on the draki for years. And once she's inside, she realises that although she's found Miram, it's going to be a hell of a lot harder to get out. There are a bunch of imprisoned draki, and one who's especially vicious.
Still, Will and Cassian don't let her down and the rescue happens. Although it doesn't go as planned. And as they try to get some distance from the enkros, they soon realise that hunters are chasing them down. Losing them isn't going to be easy, and instead leads to a heart-pounding battle scene that is filled with action when dragons and hunters collide.
I absolutely loved this book! It fit in perfectly with the rest of the trilogy and continues the passionate love story between Jacinda and Will in a way that makes you wish for their HEA. The danger levels are raised, and everything's at stake. There are also plenty of surprises, twists, turns, and revelations. Plus, the character development is amazing!
Remember how Tamra and Cassian annoyed the hell out of me in the previous books? Yeah well, they definitely didn't in this one. Everyone finds their place in the world, even if they have to risk losing everything to get there. Oh, and Deghan was a great addition to the story, too. :)
Like I said, amazing!
This turned out to be such an interesting and intriguing story. It's well written, captivating, and I enjoyed Jacinda's voice.
I highly recommend this trilogy to anyone who likes an awesome story.
It might be the beginning of a new year, but my brain's still cluttered with SO MUCH. There were also a few things I was hoping would be finalised by the end of the year that weren't...
I've decided that my main writing goals for January are going to be getting the second draft of Recast #3 done, and trying to get the word out on SHIVER. Did I mention that it will be released next week? *bites nails* I'd also like to start scheduling some guest spots for Sierra's 4th book.
I know those goals don't sound like much but with my daughter home for most of the month, they're realistic goals. I've also got some reading I'd like to tackle and a bunch of sorting. I think it's time to go through my bookshelves again. And not just to sort the books, but also to check my writing stuff. I have a bunch of files, papers, etc. that need to be sorted properly and I think now's the right time to do that. Not to mention that I need to plan what I'm going to work on after I finish revising R#3.
There are a few projects that I'd like to tackle, but I haven't decided on which yet.
I'm feeling a little indecisive at the moment. Maybe it's because I didn't get enough sleep last night. Or it could be because I'm still feeling sluggish from December. LOL. Either way, I'm not going to sweat it too much this week. Let the next few days be filled with mind clutter, indecision and laziness. ;)