Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Book Review: Beautiful Creatures, by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power, and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.
In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.
(Summary from Goodreads)

There were no surprises in Gatlin County.
We were pretty much the epicenter of the middle of nowhere.
At least, that's what I thought.
Turns out, I couldn't have been more wrong.
There was a curse.
There was a girl.
And in the end, there was a grave.

Having just finished my much-anticipated CLOCKWORK ANGEL, I was having the low-after-the-high when I began to read BEAUTIFUL CREATURES, so it started a bit slow for me. I soon found myself hooked by the story though, and kept turning the pages because it was easy reading and I wanted to find out what happened next.

Both Lena and Ethan came across as well-rounded, real characters. Though I don't know how many boys are actually like Ethan Wate in real life, or if this is just how we (girls) want boys to be! Caring, sensitive, don't care what other guys think about them, and are willing to risk everything for the "different" girl. But so what? If we wanted real life we wouldn't be reading these kinds of books, would we?! Bring on the fantasy!

(Tiny criticism: possibly a little too long and drawn out...)

I imagined several endings to this story, and the one I got wasn't exactly what I expected. And it's great when that happens! I love being surprised! I've already ordered the sequel, BEAUTIFUL DARKNESS, because I want to know what happens next...

So here's me recommending this book!

Teaser Tuesday (3): Fire

Title: Fire
Author: Kristin Cashore

It did not surprise Fire that the man in the forest shot her. What surprised her was that he shot her by accident.

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read.
  • Open to a random page.
  • Share two "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page.
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! Make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don't want to ruin the book for others!
  • Share the title and author too so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Just for Laughs (1): The Man Rules

The Man Rules

Please note: these are all numbered 1. ON PURPOSE!

1. Men are NOT mind readers.

1. Learn to work the toilet seat.
You’re a big girl. If it’s up, put it down.
We need it up, you need it down.
You don’t hear us complaining about you leaving it down.

1. Crying is blackmail.

1. Ask for what you want.
Let us be clear on this one.
Subtle hints do not work!
Strong hints do not work!
Obvious hints do not work!
Just say it!

1. Yes and No are perfectly acceptable answers to almost every question.

1. Come to us with a problem only if you want help solving it. That’s what we do. Sympathy is what your girlfriends are for.

1. Anything we said 6 months ago is inadmissible in an argument. In fact, all comments become null and void after 7 Days.

1. If you already think you’re fat, then don’t ask us.

1. If something we said can be interpreted two ways and one of the ways makes you sad or angry, we meant the other one.

1. You can either ask us to do something or tell us how you want it done. Not both. If you already know best how to do it, just do it yourself.

1. Whenever possible, please say whatever you have to say during commercials.

1. Christopher Columbus did NOT need directions and neither do we.

1. ALL men see in only 16 colours, like Windows default settings. Peach, for example, is a fruit, not a colour. Pumpkin is also a fruit. We have no idea what mauve is.

1. If we ask what is wrong and you say ‘nothing’, we will act like nothing’s wrong. We know you are lying, but it is just not worth the hassle.

1. If you ask a question you don’t want an answer to, expect an answer you don’t want to hear.

1. When we have to go somewhere, absolutely anything you wear is fine… Really.

1. Don’t ask us what we’re thinking about unless you are prepared to discuss such topics as baseball or motor sports.

1. You have enough clothes.

1. You have too many shoes.

1. I am in shape. Round IS a shape!

Thank you for reading this. Yes, I know, I have to sleep on the couch tonight.
But did you know men really don’t mind that? It’s like camping.

Got something funny to share? Post it on your blog and leave a link in the comments below. Or, if it's short, just share it in the comments :-)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Memorable Moments


Being a huge fan of the Harry Potter books, I've been disappointed in the past by some of the movies. But I've also felt that as we go along the movies have been getting better, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part One was no exception. I really enjoyed it!

  • It was really moving when Hermione removed her parents' memories just before she left so that they wouldn't remember they ever had a daughter -- more so than it seemed to be in the book. I'm glad they placed importance on it in the movie; it really was a huge sacrifice she made.
  • The moment in the kitchen when Harry and Ginny are kissing and George sneaks in with whatever-it-was sticking out the side of his head so he can have his breakfast and stare at them. Such a random moment! Loved it!
  • Luna is hilarious. Her completely honest (inappropriate!) comments provide such humour. "Come Daddy, Harry doesn't want to talk to us right now. He's just too polite to say so."
  • When Harry informed Dolores that she was lying and that one must not tell lies, then proceeded to stun the horrible hag. Hee hee hee!
  • The acting of the three main characters has improved tremendously since the first movie. I noticed this especially during Harry and Ron's little showdown just before Ron left them. I could really feel every emotion there... 
  • When Hermione laid a Christmas wreath on Harry's parents' grave, I found that a really touching moment.
  • I loved the way they depicted the Tale of the Three Brothers. It was so not what I expected and yet it was perfect. The animation was superb! Magical!
  • The snake coming out of Bathilda Bagshot's body -- seriously creepy! I knew it was coming and I didn't know how graphic or gross it was going to be so I kept kinda looking away and then peeking through my fingers, waiting for it!
  • The scenery we got to see as Harry, Ron and Hermione travelled around the countryside was quite breathtaking at times. I especially loved the the snowy forest they ended up in after fighting the snake. The one Hermione remembers travelling to with her parents.
  • This wasn't in the book, but it seemed to add something else to the story when Bellatrix cut the word mudblood into Hermione's arm. It brought home just how much the Death Eaters hate anyone who isn't pure blood. The whole Bellatrix and Hermione scene was really quite horrifying.
  • And, of course, I had to blink really hard when Dobby died to keep my tears from falling. J. K. Rowling has incorporated just the right amount of loss into these stories to make us understand that no story can end perfectly happily and that there is always a cost when true evil is involved. Dobby died a hero.

So here's to the treasure trove of memorable moments that J. K. Rowling has left us with at the (almost) conclusion of seven of the most magical stories ever written. Thank you!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Photo Friday (1)

This is my home -- Durban, South Africa :-)

Want to join in? On your blog, post a photo you've taken and tell us what it's about. 
Leave a link in the comments below.

Here's To Being Organised

*raises a champagne glass -- one of those tall, thin, elegant-looking ones*

Blog memes are cool. They make life easier. It's like having a school uniform - instead of standing in front of the cupboard for ages trying to decide what to wear, you just put your uniform on (and I had a cool school uniform so I didn't mind wearing it ;-))

So, in an attempt to organise my blogging life, I'll be meme-ing (is that even a word?) more.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Laughs: How To Deal With Shark Attacks

Just for laughs!

Here in South Africa December is not a time when snow falls and people wrap themselves up in warm clothes and snuggle under blankets. No. It is HOT! Meaning that people like to go swimming...

You're laughing, right? Good :-)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

How Many Have You Read?

Via J. C. Martin @ Fighter Writer

Apparently (I can't find an original source for this!), the majority of people will have read only 6 of the 100 books listed here...

• Copy this list.
Bold those books you’ve read in their entirety.
Italicize the ones you started but didn’t finish or read only an excerpt.

I have read:
  1. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
  2. The Lord of the Rings JRR Tolkien
  3. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
  4. Harry Potter series – JK Rowling
  5. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
  6. The Bible
  7. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
  8. Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell
  9. His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
  10. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
  11. Little Women – Louisa M Alcott
  12. Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
  13. Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
  14. Complete Works of Shakespeare
  15. Rebecca – Daphe Du Maurier
  16. The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
  17. Birdsong – Sebastian Faulk
  18. Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
  19. The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
  20. Middlemarch – George Eliot
  21. Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
  22. The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald
  23. War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
  24. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
  25. Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
  26. Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  27. Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
  28. Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carrol
  29. The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
  30. Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
  31. David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
  32. Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis
  33. Emma -Jane Austen
  34. Persuasion – Jane Austen
  35. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe – CS Lewis
  36. The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
  37. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres
  38. Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
  39. Winne the Pooh - A. A. Milne
  40. Animal Farm – George Orwell
  41. The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
  42. One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  43. A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving
  44. The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
  45. Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
  46. Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
  47. The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
  48. Lord of the Flies – William Golding
  49. Atonement – Ian McEwan
  50. Life of Pi – Yann Martel
  51. Dune – Frank Herbert
  52. Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
  53. Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
  54. A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
  55. The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  56. A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
  57. Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
  58. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
  59. Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  60. Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
  61. Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
  62. The Secret History – Donna Tartt
  63. The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
  64. Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
  65. On The Road – Jack Kerouac
  66. Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
  67. Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding
  68. Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
  69. Moby Dick – Herman Melville
  70. Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
  71. Dracula – Bram Stoker
  72. The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
  73. Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
  74. Ulysses – James Joyce
  75. The Inferno – Dante
  76. Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
  77. Germinal – Emile Zola
  78. Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
  79. Possession – AS Byatt
  80. Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
  81. Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
  82. The Color Purple – Alice Walker
  83. The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
  84. Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
  85. A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
  86. Charlotte’s Web – E.B. White
  87. The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
  88. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  89. The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
  90. Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
  91. The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery
  92. The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
  93. Watership Down – Richard Adams
  94. A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
  95. A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
  96. The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
  97. Hamlet – William Shakespeare
  98. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
  99. Les Miserables – Victor Hugo
  100. ??? (For you observant types, yes the list does appear to be missing book no. 100)

I have read 18! How many have you read?

Teaser Tuesday (2): Beautiful Creatures

Title: Beautiful Creatures
Author: Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

So this was what girls looked like in the morning. I had never seen one, not up close.

(That line really made me laugh! As if girls-in-the-morning are a rare species that boys don't get to see often!)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Open to a random page.
  • Share two "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page.
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! Make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don't want to ruin the book for others!
  • Share the title and author too so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Book Review: Clockwork Angel, by Cassandra Clare

Magic is dangerous--but love is more dangerous still.

When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London's Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.

Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What's more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa's power for his own.

Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by - and torn between - two best friends: James, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm's length...everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world...and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all
(Summary from Goodreads)

Do you have favourite authors? Authors whose writing you love? And it almost hurts when you read their work because it's so good? And you kind of want to weep because your own writing falls so far of their standard?
For me, that's J. K. Rowling and Cassandra Clare.

I love the shadowhunting world! And this latest installment did not disappoint (though if I had to choose I'd say I prefer THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS to THE INFERNAL DEVICES). There is so much beautiful and original imagery in Cassie's writing, her stories really come alive for me. And her characters always come across as so real! I think that's the part I love the most - the people. Like them or hate them (if you thought Jace was a rude, opinionated smartass, wait till you meet Will Herondale!) there is always an undeniable depth to them. 
And the mystery... and the twist you never see coming... Love it all!

I definitely recommend this :-)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Thank You!

Just wanted to thank you all for your marvellous input on my last post about titles
I have loads of super ideas now! 
You guys rock!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Mirrors and Other Magic

Spurred on by the helpful comments I received to yesterday's Title Trouble, I've decided to be brave and post some actual-real-kind-of-sort-of options for my title/s...

So. My series has three books (why are you yawning? Wait, please don't go!), and at the mo I'm thinking of using the magical object that is important to each story as the title for each. Kind of in the vein of Philip Pullman's THE GOLDEN COMPASS, THE SUBTLE KNIFE, and THE AMBER SPYGLASS (which, if you didn't know, are epically awesome!).

So....     "The [adjective] [object]"

The object in the first book is a mirror.
It's large enough to show a person's head and shoulders.
It currently (though this is easy to change) has an ornate silver frame with amethysts set into it.
The magical part is that anyone who looks into it is protected against bodily harm.

Now YOUR part (pleeeeease!): I need an awesome [adjective] to go in front of the word mirror. Or, if your think this is a dumb series of names, please tell me (um, in a nice way!)

And if you have an adjective that has nothing to do with what I've mentioned but that sounds cool in front of mirror, tell me anyway! I can always do that sneaky thing I mentioned yesterday and go back to the text and reverse engineer something in to fit the title ;-)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Title Trouble

Please help!

Okay, so coming up with a title seems to be -- for me, at least -- one of the most challenging parts of writing a novel!

I've come up with a few possible scenarios for landing the perfect title (though none of them seem to be helping me that much!):

  • The title may be the first thing you think of, and the story kinda just follows on after that.
  • There may be a line in your text that sounds super awesome, and that line becomes your title.
  • There may be a line that isn't part of your text (and that might not even have much to do with your story!), but you like the sound of it, so you go back to your text and cleverly reverse engineer it in somewhere (sneaky...).
  • The title could be the name of a character or place in your story.
  • It could be an abstract idea that your plot kinda revolves around.
  • It could be an object that plays an important part in the story.

I would really like to know from YOU how you came up with a title for your novel/short story/any other kind of WIP.

I am particularly interested in the naming of novels that are part of a series.

How do you come up with the overall series name? Are the names of the individual novels all related in some way? Maybe your methods can help me find my title/s!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Teaser Tuesday (1): Clockwork Angel

Title: Clockwork Angel
Author: Cassandra Clare

"Many who have gazed upon me have compared the experience to gazing at the radiance of the sun."
"If they mean it gives you a headache, they aren't wrong."

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read.
  • Open to a random page.
  • Share two "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page.
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! Make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don't want to ruin the book for others!
  • Share the title and author too so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Too Hilarious Not to Share

Try reading this out loud to one of your girlfriends. It makes it even funnier!

When you have to visit a public toilet, you usually find a line of women, so you smile politely and take your place. Once it's your turn, you check for feet under the cubicle doors.

Every cubicle is occupied.

Finally, a door opens and you dash in, nearly knocking down the woman leaving the cubicle. You get in to find the door won't latch. It doesn't matter, the wait has been so long you are about to wet your pants!

The dispenser for the modern 'seat covers' (invented by someone's Mum, no doubt) is handy, but empty. You would hang your bag on the door hook, if there was one, so you carefully, but quickly drape it around your neck, (Mum would turn over in her grave if you put it on the FLOOR!) down with your pants and assume 'The Stance’.

In this position, your aging, toneless, thigh muscles begin to shake. You'd love to sit down, but having not taken time to wipe the seat or to lay toilet paper on it, you hold 'The Stance.'

To take your mind off your trembling thighs, you reach for what you discover to be the empty toilet paper dispenser. In your mind, you can hear your mother's voice saying, "Dear, if you had tried to clean the seat, you would have KNOWN there was no toilet paper!" Your thighs shake some more.

You remember the tiny tissue that you blew your nose on yesterday - the one that's still in your bag (the bag around your neck, that you now have to hold up while trying not to strangle yourself at the same time). That will have to do, so you crumple it in the puffiest way possible. It's still smaller than your thumbnail.

Someone pushes your door open because the latch doesn't work.

The door hits your bag, which is hanging around your neck in front of your chest and you and your bag topple backward against the tank of the toilet.

"Occupied!" you scream, as you reach for the door, dropping your precious, tiny, crumpled tissue in a puddle on the floor, while losing your footing altogether and sliding down directly onto the TOILET SEAT. It is wet of course. You bolt up, knowing all too well that it's too late. Your bare bottom has made contact with every imaginable germ and life form on the uncovered seat because YOU never laid down toilet paper - not that there was any, even if you had taken time to try.

You know that your mother would be utterly appalled if she knew, because you're certain her bare bottom never touched a public toilet seat because, frankly, dear, "You just don't KNOW what kind of diseases you could get."

By this time, the automatic sensor on the back of the toilet is so confused that it flushes, propelling a stream of water like a fire hose against the inside of the bowl and spraying a fine mist of water that covers your bum and runs down your legs and into your shoes.

The flush somehow sucks everything down with such force and you grab onto the empty toilet paper dispenser for fear of being dragged in too.

At this point, you give up. You're soaked by the spewing water and the wet toilet seat. You're exhausted. You try to wipe with a sweet wrapper you found in your pocket and then slink out inconspicuously to the sinks.

You can't figure out how to operate the taps with the automatic sensors, so you wipe your hands with spit and a dry paper towel and walk past the line of women still waiting.
You are no longer able to smile politely to them. A kind soul at the very end of the line points out a piece of toilet paper trailing from your shoe. (Where was that when you NEEDED it?)

You yank the paper from your shoe, plonk it in the woman's hand and tell her warmly, "Here, you just might need this."

As you exit, you spot your hubby, who has long since entered, used and left the men's toilet. Annoyed, he asks, "What took you so long and why is your bag hanging around your neck?

This is dedicated to women everywhere who deal with any public toilets. It finally explains to men what really does take us so long. It also answers that other commonly asked question about why women go to the toilet in pairs... It's so the other girl can hold the door, hang onto your bag and hand you Kleenex under the door.

This was one of those e-mail messages that goes around, so you may have already seen it. But just in case you haven't, I couldn't help posting it just to share the laughs!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Book Review: Soulless, by Gail Carriger

Summary from GoodReads:
Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations. First, she has no soul. Second, she's a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette.

Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire--and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate.

With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London's high society? Will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart?

Let me first get out of the way what I kinda, sorta (just a little) didn't like about this book...
Firstly, it seemed to take a little while to get moving, but once it did I was hooked. Secondly, the author changes POV quite frequently, sometimes even within one paragraph! This confused me initially (Why do I suddenly know what Lord Maccon is thinking and feeling when I thought I was seeing this all from Alexia's POV?) but once I figured out what the author was doing that was all fine.

So aside from that I thoroughly enjoyed this book! It had such delightfully proper English of the type I haven't read since, well, Jane Austen, probably, and yet the author managed to incorporate a naughtiness that Austen would have found highly improper, I'm sure! The humour (while not for everyone) had me almost laughing out loud at times :-)

Another thing I noticed was the absence of clichéd writing. There are only so many ways that you can say... well, pretty much anything, so after reading many, many books, lots of writing just seems like a cliché (the most ordinary of things can only be said in a certain number of ways and then those ways are all used up!). But when you're writing in the type of English that no one has spoken for about a hundred years, well, everything sounds fresh!

So while the story itself was good, I think I enjoyed this novel mainly because of the way in which it was written. That and the main character, Miss Alexia Tarabotti. Her mature, no-nonsense, matter-of-fact attitude toward just about anything made for the type of heroine I haven't read in a while--and really liked :-)

I definitely suggest this book to anyone who finds the idea of mixing fantasy, mystery, romance, steampunk and Victorian times appealing. Enjoy!

Thanks, Faith, for the recommendation!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Parcel in the Post - Clockwork Angel. FINALLY!!

My most anticipated book this year has finally arrived! The first in Cassandra Clare's INFERNAL DEVICES series,


My online book store let me down by not being able to get hold of it after I ordered it, and since I'd already paid for it I had to just wait until they could get stock... But now it's here :-)
I love the little angel on the front!

Have you read CLOCKWORK ANGEL?

Did you like it?
(If you didn't, I don't want to hear about it!)

Have you read any of Cassandra Clare's other books, from the MORTAL INSTRUMENTS series? You must!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Harry Potter Movies Fuel Illegal Owl Trade

Of all the possible Harry Potter-related headlines out there, this has got to be one of the least expected! But I suppose it makes sense... Harry Potter had a pet owl and Harry Potter was cool, so now all the kids in India want a pet owl too.

Sunday Times, Nov 7 2010

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Versatile Blogger Award

When I first started blogging, this award was the very first one I saw on the side of someone's blog. And I thought, Wow! People get awards for blogs?! And now I've got this one! So thank you, Quinn :-)

If you haven't yet, you should check out his blog, seeing, dreaming... writing.

So after thanking Quinn I now have to list 7 things about myself...

1. I would have finished my novel by now if I hadn't started blogging!

2. My recurring nightmare is about being late for something (work, the airport, anything... So then I'm already stressed by the time I wake up!).

3. I don't drink coffee and I hardly drink tea. Hot chocolate, on the other hand...

4. If I have the option I prefer to be driven around rather than driving myself. ("Home, James...")

5. I can't write with other people in the room. It just freaks me out...

6. People who stand in the middle of an escalator so that I can't get past them REALLY tick me off.

7. Sometimes I eat cereal in the evening (oooh, daring, I know...).

Now that the randomness is over, we come to passing the award on:

Hart @ Confessions of a Watery Tart
Brenda @ Brenda Drake Writes...
Tessa @ Tessa's Blurb
L'Aussie @ L'Aussie Writing

Go see the versatile bloggers!

Thursday, November 4, 2010


This gives new meaning to the words, "Biting off more than you can chew"!

I love it!

Picture credit.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Poor Abused Apostrophe

Doesn't it drive you NUTS?!

Is it really that hard to remember how to use an apostrophe correctly?*

I recently went shopping and decided on the way home to read the message on the bag:

Well. As great as the message is (and it really is great - saving the world one bag at a time) I just couldn't get past the its with no apostrophe! And I had to wonder if they did it on purpose so that people like me will have a reason to remember the message on their bag, or if they just don't know how to write English!

In case you're in any doubt as to how the poor, much-abused apostrophe should actually be used, do check out the Apostrophe Protection Society. (Yes, this poor, innocent little piece of punctuation has been so abused that a society now exists to protect it!)

Does this bother you as much as it bothers me?
Or do you really not care that much?

*If I have offended anyone, I do apologise. I know how easy it is when typing in haste for the little apostrophe to find itself hanging in odd places! And if you ever see me misusing one, feel free to beat me over the head with something. Hard.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Logline Blogfest

Instructions from Steena (whose blog name alone, Chocolate Reality,
is enough to send you over there to see what this blogfest is all about!)

On your blog site, post your logline for your novel.

One or two sentences.

I wasn't going to take part in this blogfest, but after reading several of the other entries I couldn't resist giving it a go! It will be a good challenge, I told myself. Good practise.
A challenge it most certainly was! Jeepers, I didn't know it was going to be so difficult!

Update: I have been through SOOO many potential versions of this now!
And, yes, the spelling of deemon with two e's is intentional.

Genre: YA Fantasy
*Most recently revised version*
After an unfortunate run-in with a deemon in a forest, sixteen-year-old Serra makes a shocking discovery: Her every memory is a lie. Her search for the truth soon becomes a battle for her life, as she realises she possesses knowledge that could save humans from the Darkness--or destroy them all.

Photo credit

I'm pretty sure that could do with a whole lot of tweaking, so if you have any ideas on how to make it better, PLEASE feel free to leave suggestions in the comments below! And thank you so much, Steena, for giving me a reason to make my first attempt at a logline.

Click here to see the other entries.
(That's the best part about this blogfest - the entries are so short you can read them in no time at all!)

Earlier Versions:

Version 1:

When Serra discovers that every memory in her mind is false, and that the life she remembers living never existed, she sets out to learn the truth about who she really is. Unfortunately, she isn’t the only one interested in discovering what lies hidden in her mind, and she must hurry to unlock her secrets before the servants of the Dark Prince can unlock them for her.

Version 2:

When sixteen-year-old Serra discovers that every memory in her mind is false, she sets out to learn the truth about who she really is. Unfortunately, she isn’t the only one interested in discovering what lies hidden in her mind, and she must hurry to unlock her secrets before the servants of the Dark Prince unlock them for her.

Version 3:

Sixteen-year-old Serra is shocked to discover that all her memories are false, and that she isn’t the only one desperate to know what secrets lie hidden in her mind. Her journey of self-discovery soon becomes a battle for her life, as she realises she possesses knowledge that could save the human Resistance from the Darkness—or, in the wrong hands, destroy it.