Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Die For Me - Amy Plum

Die for Me (Revenants, #1)Die for Me by Amy Plum

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Kate Mercier lost both of her parents in a car crash and, wracked with grief, goes to live with her grandparents in Paris. There, she meets Vincent - the most handsome and enigmatic boy she has ever seen.

But Vincent hides a secret - something that could break Kate and Vincent's fledgling relationship apart. Can Kate take a chance and risk her heart again when she knows what Vincent is and the destiny he can't deny?

Monday, 26 September 2011

A ratty's tail

Guess I'm going for controversial today. I know, beyond a doubt, several of you will look at this post, and think, "Rats? Yuck! Keep them well away from me - about a universe will do."

Fair enough. I have the same reaction to spiders.

However, I find there are a lot of misconceptions about rats that lead to that response. Unlike spiders, when - really - how can you have a misconception about a creepy thing with eight legs that invades your bath just when you want to get in it?

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Things that help me write

  1. A pen (always useful to have some form of writing implement)
  2. A notepad (or a computer of some kind, but notepads are trusty standards and don't require power for me to write)
  3. A large chunk of undisturbed time (I write best when I have time to get into the story)
  4. A coffee (I also write best when I've made a cup of filter coffee to start me off  ;))
  5. A fair amount of energy (I fall asleep over the notepad if I'm tired, or end up writing nonsense, and having to rewrite it later to get it to make sense - neither of which make for a good story)
What about you? What makes for a good "butt-in-seat" session when writing (stories, blogs, essays, anything else you might be writing)?

Image: Paul /

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Promo - "Hushed" and "Glittering Ashes"

This was going to be a spot for one book, but I found two this week that deserve a mention, so here I am. They both happen to be by authors named Kelley - how weird is that?

First, "Hushed" by Kelley York.

He's saved her. He's loved her. He's killed for her.

Eighteen-year-old Archer couldn’t protect his best friend, Vivian, from what happened when they were kids, so he’s never stopped trying to protect her from everything else. It doesn’t matter that Vivian only uses him when hopping from one toxic relationship to another—Archer is always there, waiting to be noticed.

Then along comes Evan, the only person who’s ever cared about Archer without a single string attached. The harder he falls for Evan, the more Archer sees Vivian for the manipulative hot-mess she really is.

But Viv has her hooks in deep, and when she finds out about the murders Archer’s committed and his relationship with Evan, she threatens to turn him in if she doesn’t get what she wants… And what she wants is Evan’s death, and for Archer to forfeit his last chance at redemption.

Monday, 19 September 2011

The road to Hell... paved with good intentions. Who wrote that? Hmm. Now, I'm going to have to look up the author.

Good intentions. Everyone has them. Whether it's as innocuous as a plan to get the laundry done or get that English essay out of the way, or as high-faluting as devising a cure for cancer or banishing that Terrible Thing otherwise known as Reality TV.

The problem is the outcome.

How many times is the laundry put off due to a coffee and chat with a friend? Or the essay buried under a pile of much-more-exciting X-Box games? (Or my dream of ridding the world of the Terrible Thing blown apart by the knowledge that some people actually love it?)

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Classic animated films

Yes, I admit it *holds up hand* - I'm a long-time fan of the Disney classic animated films. I've loved them since I was a child, and still enjoy the stories, music, and characters held within the spectacular artwork. The animated films in latter years? Hmm, not so much. Perhaps I just prefer the hand drawings to the computer's influence. Anyway, here are a few of my favourites.

  1. Beauty and the Beast (1991 - For me, this has everything - great characters, humour courtesy of the enchanted objects and the Beast's initial attempt at porridge, amazing songs, and the lovely underlying message about beauty being in the eye of the beholder.)
  2. The Little Mermaid (1989 - Hands up who loves Sebastian? I adore that crab! This film really felt to me like a Disney return to form when it was originally released.)
  3. Snow White (1937 - Talk about an amazing debut! An animated film that could make the audience cry; who'd have thought?)
  4. Sleeping Beauty (1959 - I know this isn't as well regarded as some, but I liked that the prince actually had a character (look at Cinderella's prince), and that he and Rose didn't know who the other was when they met in the forest.)
  5. The Lion King (1994 - Timon and Pumbaa, stunning visuals, and Tim Rice's and Elton John's song "Circle of Life" - what's not to like?)

Does anyone else have any favourite animated films? Or prefer the computer generated films over the classic hand-drawn ones? Anyone else have "Beauty and the Beast" in their list of top 10 films ever?

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Star Book – Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Genre: Classic Literature

Plot Summary: Jane Eyre is a mistreated orphan who learns to survive by relying on her independence and intelligence. Her first job in the outside world is governess to the ward of Mr. Rochester, a man of mercurial moods. The tentative trust between them slowly develops into romance, but their hopes for happiness will soon be jeopardised by a terrible secret.

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Monday, 12 September 2011

The law of threes

I'm going to start with a true story.

In 1997, a small team banded together to save a piece of England's history - an aircraft. The XH558 is the last flying Avro Vulcan in the world, and it relies on donations to keep it in the air. To attract people to give these donations, it needs to appear at major airshows around the country. Understandably, these are in the summer when (it's hoped) the weather is at its best.

This year, as with others, the group of volunteers struggled to meet the donation target they needed in order to keep the Vulcan in the air, but they met it. Just.

So, aircraft ready to go. Airshows booked. All looked good.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Things I hate to see in stories

  1. The new cute / hot boy in school - This device is everywhere these days; I'm over it already.
  2. Love triangles - Maybe it raises tension, but I get a bit miffed to think the heroine (or hero) proclaims undying love for someone, and then thinks perhaps the other guy (or girl) would be a better choice. Seems flaky to me.
  3. Adverb ardour - yes, they can be useful, but does the author really need three in a sentence, one after the other?
  4. A prologue or beginning snippet that tricks me into thinking the book will move quickly, only to find I have to get to chapter 17 before anything happens - I know it's a way to sell books initially, but it's also a way to make sure I never buy a book by the author again.
  5. Characters who, after being silly and not bothering to think things out for themselves, get proclaimed "special" - Why? Why are they special? They didn't do anything to earn it.
Well, that's my pet moan for the day. What do you guys see in stories that make you want to hurl the book across the room (or the eReader for that matter, but then it might break - hmm, not such a good idea…)?

Image: Surachai /

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Blog Takeover: Amanda - No such thing

Amanda lives about one hundred years in the future. The world is ruled by those the humans call vampires. She's eighteen and a human, so you might be able to guess life isn't exactly great for her. Amanda is a character in my "The Mortal Cure" trilogy.

Journal Entry - 18th October

There is no such thing as freedom.

There is no such thing as a world without vampires.

Monday, 5 September 2011

The train and the writer

I'm on a train today, heading up to England's capital of London. The snack trolley has just gone past and the aroma of strong coffee is swirling about the carriage making me wish I'd bought one.

My favourite trick when I'm on a train, even when I've been on the journey several times before, is to stare out of the window. I don't know what I'm looking for. I'm pretty sure the trees and buildings won't have changed that much from the last trip, and the rail network is unlikely to have decided to reroute the railway lines so I get a different view each time. Still, as standard, me on a train equals me looking out the window.

Today is different. Today I have my NetBook. And more than that. I've actually got the NetBook out!! (Cue stunned gasps.)

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Quotes from "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"

I used to love this series! For me, it lost something in the latter series', but the team of writers' way with words never failed to produce new and shiny jewels. Here are a few that always make me laugh:
  1. So he is a good vampire! I mean, on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being someone who's killing and maiming every night, and 1 being someone who's...not. (Willow)
  2. I laugh in the face of danger. Then, I hide until it goes away. (Xander)
  3. Demons after money? Whatever happened to the still beating heart of a virgin? No one has any standards anymore. (Giles)
  4. Gee, can you vague that up for me? (Buffy)
  5. Tact is just not saying true stuff. I'll pass. (Cordelia)
How about you? Was this a show you enjoyed or you passed on? Any gems you want to share?