Thursday 27 August 2020

MIDNIGHT SUN by Stephenie Meyer

When Edward Cullen and Bella Swan met in Twilight, an iconic love story was born. But until now, fans have heard only Bella's side of the story. At last, readers can experience Edward's version in the long-awaited companion novel, MIDNIGHT SUN. 

This unforgettable tale as told through Edward's eyes takes on a new and decidedly dark twist. Meeting Bella is both the most unnerving and intriguing event he has experienced in all his years as a vampire. As we learn more fascinating details about Edward's past and the complexity of his inner thoughts, we understand why this is the defining struggle of his life. How can he justify following his heart if it means leading Bella into danger? 

Firstly, I want to thank Hachette Australia for sending me a copy of this highly-anticipated book. 

Twelve years ago, I devoured the Twilight quartet very quickly. They were all long books but I was so addicted, so invested, that I read them in no time.

So, when I found out about THIS book, I was really looking forward to it. I mean, who doesn't want to read the story through Edward's POV and find out what he was thinking during all of this?

When Edward meets Bella at school, his dull existence changes instantly. It all begins with her silent thoughts and intensifies when he catches a whiff of her blood. But when he starts finding her interesting, his fascination deepens and spells disaster for the Cullens... 

As soon as I started, I was thrown back into this world and didn't want to put it down. Even knowing how everything turns out didn't diminish my intrigue and interest because everything felt so new and fresh, with a wonderful edge of familiarity. 

Reading Edward's POV was instantly captivating. The more I read, the more everything he was going through was slowly joining up with what I already knew from Bella's story. I might have read these books years ago, but the events returned to the surface in an instant. And I enjoyed discovering what Edward was doing off the page, why he was doing it, and the constant inner struggle that plagued him.

Not to mention getting a newfound appreciation for the Cullens. I loved their family dynamics and how close Edward was to his parents, Esme and Carlisle, plus Emmett and Alice, while having a strained connection with Rosalie and Jasper. Bella coming into Edward's life ultimately affected all of them. She changed everything, and the way they each dealt with this unexpected fact makes one hell of a story.

I enjoyed the many sides of this book. Sometimes it's action-packed, other times it's full of internal moody thoughts. There's plenty of happiness and romance that's always shadowed by gloom and doom. As well as some very interesting insights into the vampires of this world.

Midnight Sun is a fascinating book that delves into the mysterious Edward Cullen and his vampiric family in small-town Forks. His tale offers a fresh and exciting side to the story we all know so well. While it was familiar in many ways, this installment in the Twilight Saga kept me hooked from start to finish. 

I had a great time revisiting the intoxicating world. I'm really glad Stephenie Meyer finally decided to share Edward's inner-most thoughts with the world.

Midnight Sun, August 2020, ISBN 9780349003634, Atom

Sunday 16 August 2020


I'm Thinking of Ending Things
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a book I've had on my Paperwhite for a bit and because I saw the movie version is coming to Netflix next month, I decided now was the right time to read it.

She's thinking of ending things with her boyfriend. And once the thought enters her mind, she can't shake it. Keeps thinking about it. Keeps changing her mind. But when Jake suggests they go for a road trip to meet his parents, she agrees and isn't quite ready to deal with everything she discovers...

Okay. I need to start with this: holy fucking shit! Not just because this book is a mind trip that took me to so many thought-provoking messed-up places, but also because it's so well written.

It's told in such an intimate and snappy way that I was instantly drawn in and couldn't wait to read more.

I loved everything about this very disturbing, very clever story, but especially enjoyed the retrospective inner thoughts presented in such bizarre and strange ways. Everything the narrator thinks about and questions makes you think and mull it over until things start making some sort of weird sense.

Well, that's until you get to the end and realise you were led down a very dark and muddled path by an unreliable narrator trying to figure out some serious personal shit. And when you get there, when you realise exactly what's going on and what just happened, you can't help but think WOW. Just wow. 😲

On some level, I knew where this was going all along, but even then the reveal took my breath away. I can't say more than that because no one should spoil this book. And you're better off going in knowing minimal details.

Trust me, it'll be more exciting. And shocking. Definitely shocking.

I'll definitely be thinking about this one for a long while. Really looking forward to checking out the movie.

Saturday 15 August 2020

It's time to finish!

Hi! How are you today? Can you believe another week is over and we're still living the shitty pandemic life?

People continue to bug me because they don't understand the concept of social distancing, and governments continue to be assholes about it... but we're staying the hell away from everyone as much as possible.

Anyway, on a much better note, here's this week's word count:
  • Monday: 37,107 (added 4692w) 
  • Tuesday: 41,117 (added 4010w)
  • Wednesday: 44,612 (added 3495w)
  • Thursday: 47,716 (added 349w)
  • Friday: 51,604 (added 3888w)

That's right. It's done. I'm SO happy about finishing the first draft of my current WIP. Yay. 

Getting to The End of this story feels great because it's been eating my brain this whole week. Everything that was going on, as well as what was going to happen, kept spinning around inside my head because it was totally ready to be told.

Now it's outta my head and ready to be revised. 😀 Of course, I'll be taking a bit of time away from it, but have already started a Revision List.

This might be a slasher with plenty of kills and gore, but at its heart turned out to be quite an emotional roller-coaster ride. These characters really got under my skin.

I didn't get much reading done this week because of my own WIP, but we did watch a bunch of movies.

Well, that's about it for now. I'll probably take a mental break next week before hitting my next WIP.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday 12 August 2020

POWER by CS Alleyne

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I really like the cover for this book, it's nice and colourful. Very pretty.

Maude Caulkin lives in Victorian London, which is hard for everyone, but so much worse if you're a young woman. When she finds herself alone with her terrible stepfather, he gets her caught up in a business she didn't expect.

One that might find her trouble, fortune, love and a new calling...

Yikes! I didn't expect the story to go there. 😯

Maude is an interesting character who finds herself under the control of just about every man she meets. One beats her. One offers her a job with ulterior motives. One attacks her. One encourages her to find her inner freak. It's interesting to see how she manages to suffer at the hand of some of these men but ultimately turns it all around to suit her own freakish nature.

She's fascinated by freaks and frequents the local freakshow, which fits perfectly with the atmosphere and imagery invoked in this story.

If you're squeamish, this might make you uncomfortable because what ends up happening is quite disturbing. But I was fine with it. I like to see a fucking asshole get what he deserves. And if it's at the hands of the one he hurt, so be it.

But hey, let's not forget that what happens to Charles Courtney-Duff is in the name of science. 😬

Interesting tale about violence and revenge.

Sunday 9 August 2020

It's time to write!

Hey! Long time no blog. Well, I did post reviews, but I haven't provided any updates lately.

So, how are you? How's life treating you? How are you coping with this never-ending global pandemic situation and the foolish behaviour of those people who refuse to stop acting like selfish fucks?

Personally, I spent July with hubby, avoiding people and reading like a fiendish bookworm. I'm not even kidding, just look at all the reviews I posted below. I read SO many awesome books--including two different and fantastic 4-book YA series. I even managed to pass my 2020 Reading Challenge of 100 books. (Which I've now changed to 110.)

I also wrote the first 7,000 words of a new story on my phone, and took notes for a different idea. When the imagery is too strong to ignore, it's best to try and capture as many details as possible before they fade away. 😊

Yeah, my mind's really fertile at the moment. I keep getting random snippets for different story ideas I've had circling inside my head for ages, or new stuff that comes out of nowhere. So, I take a bunch of notes and then concentrate on the loudest.

The loudest right now is one I described like this on Twitter:

This week, I finally sat down at my desk and started adding words every day, and I'm very happy with the progress.

Here's how my word count went:
  • Monday: 8,804 (added 1637w) 
  • Tuesday: 13,130 (added 4326)
  • Wednesday: 17,296 (added 4166w) 
  • Thursday: 22,112 (added 4816w)
  • Friday: 25,472 (3360w)
  • Saturday: 29,031 (3559w)
  • Sunday: 32,415 (3384w)

Not a bad start. 

Like usual, I have no idea if this will end up being a novella or a novel. All I know is that I'm very excited about how it's going.

I got this idea last year after the first chapter came to me in a dream. I wrote a bunch of notes then, so I wouldn't forget a single detail. The most important thing I captured from the dream and never forgot was how it all starts so seemingly normal and fun, before the story takes a turn for the grim.

So, yeah, it's a horror story. A bit of a slasher with supernatural elements. It's also about the strong bonds of true friendship, the discovery of love, and dealing with loss.

I know a lot about what's going to happen, but some details are still a bit blurry around the edges. I'm at that stage where I'm juggling a whole lot of puzzle pieces and just need to put them together. It's exciting and creepy, plus I really like these characters.

Well, asides from all this writing, reading and walking, we've started watching The Golden Girls from the beginning. This is a show I used to watch when I was a kid, but never in sequence. We also loved the hell out of the second season of The Umbrella Academy, and I've been keeping up with the final season of The 100, while enjoying the return of Wynonna Earp. 😁

Yep. Keeping busy.

There's always so much to do. I honestly can't understand people who get bored at home. My only problem us that there aren't enough hours in the day to do everything.

Well, that's it for now.

Hope you have a great week!

MEG by Steve Alten

Meg (Meg, #1)
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed The MEG movie starring Jason Statham, and have been interested in checking out the book for a while.

Jonas Taylor is a professor and paleo-biologist. He's former Navy, a deep-sea diver and is married to a self-centered woman who clearly can't stand him. He's also suffering from PTSD and is obsessed with the Carcharodon megalodon, which he's sure is still out there...

Yikes. That was a lot of violent fun!

I liked this book from the moment I got stuck into it. Jonas is a great character because he's flawed, troubled and misunderstood. Not to mention determined to spread the word about a prehistoric shark he's sure has survived and still lives deep beneath the ocean. Even though people ridicule him, refuse to believe his claims, and are too keen to prove him wrong.

Of course, this turns out to be a recipe for disaster. Mostly for everyone who refuses to listen to his warnings.

The imagery is so vivid and the tension captured my imagination throughout. Once the expedition gets started, everything escalates pretty quickly and goes off the aquatic charts.

I loved how the tension built a bit more with each chapter. And I have to admit that although the Meg was callous, relentless and fucking terrifying, I really enjoyed seeing the action unfold through her POV. She was a vicious creature. She was also a lot of gory fun to follow around. 🦈

This is actually a great adventure story and I enjoyed it on so many levels.

In fact, my only beef was how annoying it gets when every woman is introduced as being 'good looking'. That got old pretty fast, but I suppose it's expected from a book written by a man in the 90s. 😁 Besides, it was easy enough to forget about this pesky annoyance because the most important female in this book is Meg.

I had a great time reading this story, and enjoyed it as much as I hoped I would. 

I have a weakness for giant monster stories.

Wednesday 5 August 2020

About my story...

Last month, GRAVEYARD SMASH: 2020 Women of Horror Anthology Volume 2 was released. Yay. 😁

I'm very excited to have a story included in this awesome publication. BTW, don't you just love that freaky-lovely cover? I sure do.

So, I wanted to talk a bit about my short story. It's called Love You to Death and is a tale about myth, love and Death. It's also set in the underworld and features a bunch of death-defying characters you'll probably recognise.

I got this idea after I stumbled across a lovely piece of artwork featuring a skeleton drinking at a bar. I remember thinking: Looks like Death might be waiting for his girlfriend Santa Muerte to arrive, but she's always late.

After that thought entered my mind, the story bloomed. 💀

The artwork is called Casadores by Carlos Torres:

I found it so inspiring and so sad, I had to write a story about this lonely skeleton I decided was Dea.

Here's the blurb for my story:

A story of myth and horror featuring the love between Death and Santa Muerte as they fight zombies in the underworld. 

I'm very proud to be a part of the second anthology released by Kandisha Press, alongside so many awesome Women of Horror.

The anthology is now available: 
Paperback | Kindle | Kobo | Nook Apple

Sunday 2 August 2020


Pete Riley answers the door one morning to a parent's worst nightmare. On his doorstep is a stranger, Miles Lambert, who breaks the devastating news that Pete's two-year-old, Theo, isn't his biological child after all - he is Miles's, switched with the Lamberts' baby at birth by an understaffed hospital.

Reeling from shock, Peter and his partner Maddie agree that, rather than swap the children back, it's better to stay as they are but to involve the other family in their children's lives. But a plan to sue the hospital triggers an official investigation that unearths some disturbing questions about just what happened on the day the babies were switched.

And when Theo is thrown out of nursery for hitting other children, Maddie and Pete have to ask themselves: how far do they want this arrangement to go? What are the secrets hidden behind the Lamberts' smart front door? And how much can they trust the real parents of their child - or even each other? 

I've read three JP Delaney thrillers and loved every single one for different reasons, so I was really looking forward to reading this one too. Thank you Hachette Australia for sending me a copy. 😊 

Pete is a stay-at-home father, but doesn't like that term. He's also a freelance journalist but devotes most of his time to taking care of his two-year-old son Theo, while his partner Maddie works in advertising.

The day a stranger knocks on his door and tells him their sons were switched at birth, their lives change in some very unexpected and dangerous ways...

Wow. I was hooked from the beginning and struggled to put this book down because I wanted to know what was going to happen next.

I'm not surprised, though. This author has an uncanny way of spinning a wicked contemporary tale starring seemingly average people in totally messed-up and complicated scenarios.

Everything starts out normal enough. A father drops his son off at preschool and when he gets home finds out the child he's been raising isn't his son because a complete stranger tells him this new piece of information. See? Very normal circumstances. 😳 I just wish this was the worst of it for this poor couple, because it doesn't take long for their lives to start crumbling.

This is one of those stories where you can see what's going to go wrong and wish you could warn the characters. Try to stop them before they make the terrible mistake they're so easily manipulated into without realising what's happening. There were so many things they should've checked, so many details they should've paid attention to, and a sticky web they should've avoided by not being so trusting. You just can't take things at face value, especially something this serious.

The story is told in the POVs of Pete and Maddie, slowly revealing how their lives fall apart on the day they meet a psychopath. There are also court papers, texts, emails, articles and letters throughout that really add depth as this family's life is torn apart one piece at a time. 

Playing Nice is an addictive psychological thriller about what happens when you allow complete strangers into your life after they've bamboozled you into an unexpected and really complicated situation, while taking advantage of your good nature. It's a deep study of a bizarre situation and led me down a very twisted path with a lot of unexpected and clever turns.

I can't wait to see what this author decides to tackle next.

Playing Nice, August 2020, ISBN 9781529400854, Quercus
Favorites More