Thursday, June 23, 2011

JK Rowling Announces...

I'm still not a hundred percent sure what exactly will be happening at Pottermore, though I did catch the bit about JK sharing additional info about the world of Harry Potter that she's been hoarding for years! 
Have you seen the announcement? What do you think?

UPDATE: For more info about Pottermore, read today's Publisher's Weekly article.
I think I understand better now what will be on the new site :-)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Another Game of Tag!

I was tagged by both Amy and Laura in the same day!

1. Do you think you're hot?

Right, since everyone else seems to be avoiding the real meaning of this question, I'm just going to go for it.
(Okay, that was a joke, people, a JOKE! Stop looking so shocked! I'm actually really cold right now...)

2. Upload a picture or wallpaper you are using at the moment.

I have Windows 7 and my Desktop is set to the slideshow option of the landscape photos.

3. When was the last time you ate chicken?

At lunch time.

4. The song(s) you listened to recently.

This was playing on the radio when I drove back from gym just now...

5. What were you thinking while doing this?

I need to do this tag thing before I forget.
I think I pulled a muscle at gym. Why didn't I warm up properly?
I should dry my hair. Wet hair is probably why I'm still sick a week later...

6. Do you have nicknames? What are they?

Rach (That was kinda obvious, wasn't it?!)
My sister and I call each other Poo (or Poop). Can't quite remember why... I think it started out as Poodle.

7. Tag 8 blogger friends.

Okay, I'm gonna tag some of my newer followers :-)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Harry Potter and the Mysterious Website

Perhaps all you Harry Potter fans have seen this already, but just in case you haven't...

"Rowling Launches 'Mysterious' Website" is the title of an article published yesterday by Apparently there was this "Secret Street View" challenge where fans eventually pieced together the name of J.K. Rowling's new website,

If you click through to the website (which I know you've already done, you crazy Potter fans, you're probably not even reading this anymore!) you'll see that you can click on either of the owls. And that takes you to this awesome YouTube page with owls and branches sticking out everywhere (how do they DO that?) and a clock counting down the time until...

J.K. Rowling's announcement!


Monday, June 13, 2011

Book Review: Divergent, by Veronica Roth

Today I am launching into exam-marking mode (which shall last for approximately two weeks) so this review shall be a short one. Like, record short.

In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

Debut author Veronica Roth bursts onto the literary scene with the first book in the Divergent series—dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, and unexpected romance.

(Summary from Goodreads)

You know that post-awesome-book depressive slump you go through because you're so bummed that it's over and you're not interested in reading anything else because you're convinced nothing else could be as good andlet's face ityou just didn't want to leave Tris's world, dammit!
You know that feeling?
Yeah. DIVERGENT is that good. Well, I thought so anyway! Plus the cover is really shiny and I can't stop looking at it.

~ ~ ~

And if that wasn't a good enough review for you (come on... shiny cover! What more do you need to know?!) then you can check out the reviews at Goodreads. DIVERGENT currently has a 4.55 average rating!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

We have a winner!

Yes, the time has finally come to announce the The Power of Tension Blogfest winner!
(I won't waste any time waffling...)

First Prize:
Congratulations, Trisha!

I make it to the corner store with minutes to spare.

Rushing down the kitchen and bathroom aisle, I dart around the corner and see the storeroom door. Suppressing a yell of triumph and relief, I fly at the door and rattle the handle—it turns. I fall on it, push, slip inside. My breaths are harsh in my ears, but at least they’re still coming.


Trisha has won a $15 Amazon voucher plus an interview on my blog and Cally’s blog OR a 1st chapter beta read by both Cally and me. Let us know what you’d like, Trisha!

Second Prize:
Congratulations, Gabriellan!

For the past week, I’d had a countdown clock of sorts in my head. Now, the countdown clock read 00:00:01.

The door to my cell opened. Slowly, the steamy interior of the cell cleared.

“That’s not my name.” I made my voice as cold as I could.

Gabriellan has won a $10 Amazon voucher plus an interview on my blog and Cally’s blog OR a 1st chapter beta read by both Cally and me. Let us know what you’d like, Gabriellan!

Third Prize (is a tie!):
Congratulations, Damyanti!

I mean to kill. I know it is only a matter of time today, I’ve chosen my spot well.
A man on the hospital escalator going down watches a woman on her way up. A staircase separates the two escalators, perhaps for busy doctors who can’t get enough cardio into their week. The man turns, raises his head to gaze at her trim little figure. She does not notice him watching her, nor does he know I hold him in my sight.

Read More... (violence warning)

Third Prize (is a tie!):
Congratulations, Sarah!

Emily walked the bird block. Large almost-birds hissed and whispered in the trees—Bird hater, bird hater.

This last block to school belonged to the birds for a week now, though no one else heard them. Emily didn’t look at them. If she did, they would slide around on the branches like shadows. She wouldn’t be able to tell where their beaks ended and their heads began. The largest of them would open his mouth in a great yawn, and for a second, Emily would feel all swallowed up. That’s what happened the first day. The day after they’d lost the softball championship.


Damyanti and Sarah have each won a $5 Amazon voucher.

Honourable Mentions

Honourable mentions go to our two remaining finalists, J. C. Martin, Fighter Writer and Steph from Word by Word. Between them, they received over 20% of the votes in the competition, which just shows how close the results were.

~ ~ ~

Thanks again to everyone who entered the blogfest, to everyone who voted, and to everyone who commented. You helped to make the competition a wonderful success!

Yay for tension!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Good Girls Don't Skinny Dip!

In celebration of release day of Elana Johnson's POSSESSION, Ali Cross, Nichole Giles and Windy Aphayrath are hosting a fun blog hop! You just have to write a post on your blog about a time you broke the rules... ;-)

Picture Source - Wikimedia Commons

At the high school I attended we had what were known as Bonding Tours [think of any definition of the term "bonding" and I'm pretty sure it happened ;) ] at the beginning of each year. The 12th Grade Bonding Tour was something students looked forward to from the time they arrived at the school, because while the venues for the other grades changed each year, the Grade 12s were ALWAYS taken to Sun City...

In case you don't know anything of Sun City, it's huge. There are loads of different hotels and resorts there. Since it was the height of summer my six best girlfriends and I decided to swim in as many different pools as possible before we left.

One night we came across a pool that was deserted--not a single person was either in or near the pool. The "wild child" of our group (this was most certainly NOT me) decided we should take advantage of the darkness and STRIP under the water! After much giggling and coercion we were all waving our bikinis around in the air over our heads while treading water completely naked! A somewhat terrifying feeling for a good girl like me ;-)

After several minutes a few strangers (ahem, boys...) came wandering towards the pool, which resulted in a whole lot more giggling and squealing as we all tried to put our bikinis back on before the boys got close enough to realise we weren't wearing anything!

~ ~ ~

So what rule was I breaking there? Uh... a social etiquette rule? A personal rule to not embarrass myself in public?! Hehehe... So what rule have you broken?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Tension Blogfest Finalists Announced!

Wow, I had no idea it would be so tough to choose just six out of all those entries! Thank you once again to everyone who wrote a tension-filled piece. The standard of the entries was most deliciously high. Yum...

And now I can probably write any rubbish I feel like, because I'm sure you've skipped right past this part to see if your name is on the list.

Yum-di-dum-di-dum... Oodle-yoody-bum...

Right, here it is! Please join Cally and me in congratulating...

Our top six (in alphabetical order):


Where to from here?

Since it was so hard to narrow it down to six, we’ve decided we’re not going to choose who comes first, second and third. Instead, we’re handing that tricky job over to you!

Read the finalist entries to remind yourself what they're about, and then you have until 11.59pm AEST time Tuesday 7 June (which is 9.59am Tuesday in New York, if that helps) to cast your vote on who should be crowned The Tension Legend. Choose wisely, because you only get one vote. Cally and I will announce the winners on both of our blogs at 10pm AEST next Wednesday 8 June (8am Wednesday, New York time).

PS. We've intentionally hidden the results from you because we're mean like that ;-) Plus it will make the announcement of the winners more exciting!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Just for Laughs (11): Word Play

So there's this email that's been circulating for, um, YEARS! I know because when I received it this past week it looked VERY familiar to one someone forwarded me a few years back! And if you Google Washington Post's Mensa invitational you'll find this same email everywhere.

Nevertheless, it is still highly amusing, and I must have looked like a right idiot standing in the middle of the pharmacy this week as I read it off my phone and snorted out loud at these definitions.

So... here is the email:

The Washington Post's Mensa invitational once again asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition. Here are the winners:

1. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period of time.

2. Ignoranus : A person who's both stupid and an asshole.

3. Intaxication : Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.

4. Reintarnation : Coming back to life as a hillbilly.

5. Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.

6. Foreploy : Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.

7. Giraffiti : Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.

8. Sarchasm : The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

9. Inoculatte : To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.

10. Osteopornosis : A degenerate disease.

11. Karmageddon : It's like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's like, a serious bummer.

12. Decafalon (n.): The gruelling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.

13. Glibido : All talk and no action.

14. Dopeler Effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

15. Arachnoleptic Fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked through a spider web.

16. Beelzebug (n.) : Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.

17. Caterpallor ( n.): The color you turn after finding half a worm in the fruit you're eating.

The Washington Post has also published the winning submissions to its yearly contest, in which readers are asked to supply alternate meanings for common words. And the winners are:

1. Coffee, n. The person upon whom one coughs.

2. Flabbergasted, adj. Appalled by discovering how much weight one has gained.

3. Abdicate, v. To give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.

4. Esplanade, v.. To attempt an explanation while drunk.

5. Willy-nilly, adj. Impotent.

6. Negligent, adj. Absentmindedly answering the door when wearing only a

7. Lymph, v. To walk with a lisp.

8. Gargoyle, n. Olive-flavored mouthwash.

9. Flatulence, n. Emergency vehicle that picks up someone who has been run over by a steamroller.

10. Balderdash, n. A rapidly receding hairline.

11. Testicle, n. A humorous question on an exam.

12. Rectitude, n. The formal, dignified bearing adopted by proctologists.

13. Pokemon, n.. A Rastafarian proctologist.

14. Oyster, n. A person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddishisms.

15. Frisbeetarianism, n. The belief that, after death, the soul flies up onto the roof and gets stuck there.

16. Circumvent, n. An opening in the front of jockey shorts worn by Jewish men.

PS. You've got less than a day left to vote for the winners of the Power of Tension Blogfest!