Friday, 20 September 2019

More WIP Thoughts...


How was your week? As far as writing, reading and spending time with hubby went, it was great. The weather was really crappy, though. It rained most of the week, and you know I can't stand more than a few days of shitty rain. 😒

Personally, I don't find rainy days inspirational. I'd much rather have sunny days all week, but I didn't let that stop me from adding new words to my WIP.

The story's really coming along, so every time I sat down with my laptop, I typed up quite a storm. And that's why I once again gave myself the day off today. Not only does it seem to be working for the story, it's also great for my motivation and thinking things through.

So, the total word count is now: 40,203.

A lot of nightmarish and creepy things are happening to the girls in my story, and I'm really enjoying the adventure. There's a lot of dark stuff going on, and now that the ending is clear in my head, it's only a matter of getting there.

And I suspect that's not too far away. Everything's going downhill from here. 😁

Asides from the writing, I also read an awesome YA book. It's called THE DEATHLESS GIRLS by Kiran Millwood Hargrave, and is a re-imagining of the Brides of Dracula before they became the creepy vampires haunting his castle. And I loved it! It's SO good.

If you want to read more, my review is HERE.

After all the writing and reading, I enjoyed spending downtime with hubby every evening. Going for walks was a bit of a pain with all the rain, but we managed.

Well, since last week's super crazy thrifting finds, we're giving it a break. Not for long, of course. Just enough so there's time for new stock to arrive. LOL. And... I'm very proud to say that we didn't go anywhere near our usual haunts all week. I can't believe it! 😂

There you go, that's my update for now.

Hope you all have an awesome weekend!

THE DEATHLESS GIRLS by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

They say the thirst of blood is like a madness - they must sate it. Even with their own kin. 

On the eve of her divining, the day she'll discover her fate, seventeen-year-old Lil and her twin sister Kizzy are captured and enslaved by the cruel Boyar Valcar, taken far away from their beloved traveller community. 

Forced to work in the harsh and unwelcoming castle kitchens, Lil is comforted when she meets Mira, a fellow slave who she feels drawn to in a way she doesn't understand. But she also learns about the Dragon, a mysterious and terrifying figure of myth and legend who takes girls as gifts. 

They may not have had their divining day, but the girls will still discover their fate... 

Earlier this year, I read and absolutely LOVED Bram Stoker's Dracula. There were many things I enjoyed about this classic, but I was especially intrigued by the Brides of Dracula. I found them fascinating and wanted to know more. IMO, they just didn't get enough page time.

So, when I found out this book featured the Brides, of course I wanted to read it.

Lil and Kizzy are twin sisters who enjoy their peaceful and free lives as Travellers. But on the eve of their divining--when they'll have their futures read by the camp's Seer--their group is attacked by soldiers.

All the kids are taken to Boyar Valcar's castle, where their lives and dignity are stolen away. The twins are forced into a life of slavery in the castle's kitchen.

They might have taken their freedom, but they can't stop their thoughts or determination. They won't take their ability to love, and will never break their sisterly bond...

Wow. The first two chapters of this book are heavy. They really got me! Everything starts out lovely and serene, in a wonderful place that shows just how close the twins are to each other and nature, how peaceful their lives are, and how much they love everyone around them.

Then it burns all that happiness to the ground. 😞

After that, I couldn't put this book down. I knew I was going to love it. Lil's voice is strong and kind. She's selfless and determined to stay calm for her sister. Yet, she doesn't see any of that, doesn't realise her own strength in the face of adversity.

All of the characters in this story shine. Asides from Lil, my other favourites were Mira and Fen. Both tough in their own way and devoted to the ones they love. Hell, even the horrible ones leap off the page. They made me so angry and frustrated, I couldn't wait for them to pay. LOL.

For an origin story about the creepy vampire women living in Dracula's castle, there's a melancholy innocence throughout this tale of heartbreak and sisterhood. All Lil and Kizzy ever wanted was to find their own place in the world and be left alone, but find themselves fighting off constant unwanted attention.

I also have to mention how well the sense of location is portayed in this book. I could feel everywhere the characters went. From the overdone wealthy castles to the derelict villages, and especially the Traveller's connection to the land.

The Deathless Girls is an intriguing re-imagining about the girls who became the Brides of Dracula. It's beautifully written, dripping with atmosphere, and hooked me instantly. As the story slowly unravels and the stakes (pardon the pun) are heightened, I lost myself in the dangerous and violent world.

Although I already knew where this would end up, I still enjoyed getting there. I loved every minute of it.

Also, the cover is so pretty. The little details all represent something important in the story. Very nice!

The Deathless Girls, September 2019, ISBN 9781510106918, Orion Children's Books

Friday, 13 September 2019

My September WIP Thoughts

Hey! You know what I just realised? That I haven't posted anything about my current WIP yet.

Why? Well, to be honest, I just kept forgetting because I was too busy writing. 😃 

So, let's change that.

Last week, I decided it was time to get back into the gothic horror story I started writing earlier this year. It started speaking to me again last month, and when that happens it's not a good idea to ignore it.

I already had 6k words written, so the first thing I had to do was go back to the beginning and re-read what I already had. I couldn't move forward until I did that. It took a few days but, I'm glad that's where I started because once that was done, I was able to get back into the swing of the story.

This time around, I wanted to add words as often as I could and at the same time, squeeze in other things. Some days I added heaps, while others I didn't add much. Actually, I kinda took both Fridays off so I could finish reading books, proofread blog posts and reviews, plus sort out my ever-growing pile of books.

Every WIP is different, and this year I'm finding that every story I've written has dictated its own process.

It's funny, because I used to have a certain way of tackling first drafts and keeping track of word counts, but this year hasn't gone according to plan. But that's fine. As long as I'm writing and the stories are coming together, it's cool.

I do have targets, though. By the end of this week, I wanted to reach 20k and I'm happy to say that I did. Yay.

Total word count is now: 21,596.

I'm really enjoying this tale. It's dark and creepy, has a nightmarish feel that turns everything upside down. There are a bunch of different bits and pieces coming together in the back of my mind. All exciting and spooky things that confuse everything for my poor girls.

I still don't know how many words this draft will end up being, but I'm not too concerned about it. I just want to get everything out of my head because this particular story, and the characters living inside it, are crowding my brain.

Well, that's all I wanted to say. Just thought an update was overdue. 😁

Happy Friday the 13th and have a great weekend!

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

IT by Stephen King

You can now read my review of the ravenous monster that is IT here:

Friday, 6 September 2019


Girls with Sharp Sticks
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a book that caught my eye a few weeks ago. First I noticed the cover, then the title, and by the time I'd read the blurb, I knew it was something I would be interested in.

I'm a sucker for dystopian books about girls written by women because, although these kind of tales are bleak, the characters turn the narrative into strength and love. The fear lights a fire within them, one that puts them in motion until they end up risking everything for the freedom to be what every girl and woman deserves: the ability to be themselves and be recognised as a person.

So when I found it on the shelves during the new library opening last weekend, I had to borrow it. I'm really glad I did because it's amazing.

Mena attends an exclusive all-girl private school in the middle of nowhere. It's far from town and hidden near the picturesque mountains.

Innovations Academy is run by an all-male staff, all very eager to teach these students how to be better, proper girls for their investors. The girls are happy and willing to please, until dark secrets about the school start to surface...

OMFG. This book is brilliant. Absolutely brilliant! It's as disturbing as it is interesting. As infuriating as it is intriguing. And Mena's POV, as well as the writing style, hooked me in and kept me glued to the pages.

I seriously couldn't put it down. Didn't want to.

As soon as I started reading, the air of malice surrounding these poor girls is obvious and filled me with fear, for them. Shortly followed by rage, because the more I read, the more I started figuring out what was going on. And all I wanted was to see these girls succeed in finding themselves and being able to find their own path.

This story raises a lot of other issues because it doesn't just deal with the obvious imprisonment and control of girls. But I can't go into that without giving away the shocking secrets that are better found out while reading this very cool book.

I loved the characters in this book. Especially the girls. Their sense of sisterhood, and the way they love and support each other is so awesome I loved every minute of their interactions. The way they trust one another and are willing to do whatever it takes to stay together just solidified my appreciation for this story.

There are a lot of other unexpected things that happen. For starters, it's quite violent. And very bloody. Not to mention that all of these kinds of books are horror tales of the worst kind.

I've seen this book compared to a lot of obvious titles I agree with--The Handmaid's Tale, Never Let Me Go, Westworld--but I'm going to add another one: Frankenstein. Doesn't it always come back to man's desire to control everyone? 😒

Anyway, I'm so glad I read this very disturbing, but empowering book. Can't wait to read the next one.

Monday, 2 September 2019

More Kendall Reviews News

Hey, how are you today? 

I hope you all had a nice weekend, and that September is treating you well. I'm excited because spring is finally here. 🌞

Anyway, I've got a bit of an announcement.

Remember my post from the other day? The one where I mentioned I stopped by Kendall Reviews a few times?

Well, I joined the Kendall Reviews Team!

That's right, if you check out the Meet the Team page, you'll see me listed on there. Yay.

So, what does that mean? I'll be popping in several times a month, and you'll be able to read some of my reviews and other posts over there. Plus, I'll be part of a group full of really cool horror-lovin' guys who love to promote horror. 

It's going to be fun. 😃

Hope to see you over there!


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