Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Bite Size Book Reviews (1)

Title: Watching Willow Watts
Author: Talli Roland

This may sound weird, but the first thing I enjoyed about this story was the fact that it was written in British English (same as South African)! Silly, I know, but I read so much American English, that it was refreshing to read the British version of words :-)

What I remember most from reading THE STORY BOOK, by David Baboulene, is knowledge gaps - and Talli does this excellently. She jumps from one character's perspective to another, so that you, the reader, usually know what's going on, but the characters may not always have a clue. Which ramps up the tension!

WATCHING WILLOW WATTS (and I like the alliteration!) was a fun read :-)

Title: Open Minds
Author: Susan Kaye Quinn

Sometimes you can tell when a book is self-published. In this case, you can't.

OPEN MINDS is a unique story with wonderful world building. I love (really love!) that Susan made up new words and slang to go with this imaginary futuristic world. She also surprised me in a few places when the story took unexpected turns - gotta love a story that's not predictable!

I'll definitely be reading the sequel, CLOSED HEARTS, when it comes out in 2012.

Title: Mockingjay
Author: Suzanne Collins

Oh my freaking FREAKOUT!
There. Are. No. Words.
So I won't even try.
(And everyone who knows what's good for them has read this already anyway!)

Title: Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Author: Laini Taylor

What incredible writing! And the story - the story! I could not have dreamed up something like this. No way. I have been completely captivated by Karou and the world(s) she inhabits.

It was like eating a fine handmade chocolate, dark and rich, after months of eating the cheap stuff. My literary appetite says, "Thank you, Laini, for an absolute delicacy of a novel!"

Definitely one of the best books I've read in 2011.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Swaziland Summer Holiday

The week before Christmas, I went to Swaziland with my family. We stayed at the Ezulwini Sun, which did well in living up to its name - the sun shone brightly and perfectly every single day :-)

Here are some of the more, ah, quirky photos!

Found inside a rather strange art gallery.

Multiple choice... Can I pick the time then?

One of the local hair salons.

Anyone read The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency?!

Is it normal to put your second-hand clothing and your herbal chemist in one shop?

Monkey with sunnglasses and necklace: one of the more interesting "crafts" I came across...

Yup, that's a mini-bus sticking out of the wall.

And we shall call it "babber" (not "barber")...

How has your Christmas holiday been?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Introducing... Creepy Hollow

I'm Going Indie!

As in independent. On my own.
After much reading around, thinking, and internal debate, I've decided to self-publish a series of novelette-length stories entitled Creepy Hollow.

The Details
  • the series name is Creepy Hollow (duh. Guess you figured that out by now!)
  • the genre is young adult paranormal fantasy (with some romance, of course!)
  • each story will be a novelette in length (I like that word ;-) )
  • there is an as yet undetermined number of stories
  • they will be published in ebook form
  • they will be published at the beginning of each month, starting in March 2012
  • here is the Creepy Hollow website, which still needs some content added to it
  • here is the Creepy Hollow Facebook page

Something Interesting

When I started blogging a year and a half (approximately) ago, I Googled my name. It was then that I discovered that author Kim Harrison had a paranormal series revolving around a character named Rachel Morgan. I was a little bummed that someone pinched my name (my real, parents-gave-it-to-me-at-birth name) before I could use it! But whatever.

I haven’t yet read the series, so I didn’t realise the following until this week, after I created the Creepy Hollow website. To check that the website is “discoverable”, I Googled it. Amongst the hits I noticed that Kim Harrison’s Rachel Morgan series is also called the Hollows Series.
Bummer! So now we have the Hollows Series about character Rachel Morgan, and the Creepy Hollow series written by author Rachel Morgan! Hmm...

What do you think about that? Is it a good or a bad thing for me? Am I likely to get in any “trouble” over this? I gather from the Goodreads blurb that the series is about witches and vampires (and werewolves?), none of which appear in my series.

Blog Tour

I'm planning a blog tour for the release of the first story (I couldn't do it for every one, of course. That's like a continual blog tour. People would get so sick of me!), but I'll email people individually to ask if they want to be involved in that.

So, there you have it! Watch this space.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Hunger Games Movie

Drool fest!

I can't wait for this movie. I seriously can't. I will be SO bummed if it somehow doesn't turn out well and "ruins" the story. But, looking at the actors/actresses involved, could it really be anything but brilliant? If you're an avid fan like me, you've probably seen all these pictures already. But where's the harm in drooling a little bit more? ;-)

And may the odds be ever in your favor!

What did you think of this series?
Did you love it as much as I did? (If you didn't, I don't want to know about it!) Were you satisfied with the way the series ended? *Try to avoid spoilers in the comments for those (insane) few who may not have read the books yet*

PS. Come back tomorrow for an announcement of awesomeness!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Teaser Tuesday (18): Open Minds

Title: Open Minds
Author: Susan Kaye Quinn

"Code of silence?"
"That's just what I call it. The vow of perpetual silence. Trust me; you don't want people to know what you can do."

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, December 5, 2011

Mindmap your Novel with MindMeister

Do any of you use mind maps during the planning stages of your novel? I used to, but these days I don't do much in the way of planning/plotting (*cough*... *pantser* ...). But I recently discovered MindMeister, which looks kind of fun.

Have you used this tool before? Is it easy?
(Cos I haven't actually tried it yet!)

What method of plotting (if any) do you use?
(If it works for you, please share it :-) I need to learn to plot properly!)