Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Creepy Hollow Teaser: 7 Sentences

I was recently tagged by Carole Anne Carr to participate in the Lucky 7 Meme, so I thought I'd take a few sentences from the Creepy Hollow book I'm currently working on. So I went to page 7, scrolled down to the 7th line, and copied the next 7 sentences. Not the most thrilling of teasers, but here they are in a screenshot from my Word document :-)

Click to enlarge (if it's too small for you to read!)

Thanks, Carole :-)

If you've got your current WIP handy, you could post your 7 sentences in the comments below. I'd love to read them!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Bite Size Book Reviews (2)

Take a look at three of the books I read and enjoyed recently :-)

Title: Poison
Author: Bridget Zinn

This is my kind of story - fantasy, kick-ass heroine, some humorous moments, a bit of romance, and it doesn’t take itself too seriously. Plus the adorable magic pig. Who doesn’t love that?!

THE GOOD: I liked the idea behind the magic of poisons and how they can been mixed and diluted for different effects. In fact, I would have enjoyed seeing more of that! The occasional flashbacks were slotted pretty seamlessly into the main story, providing back story in bits instead of one large info dump. Most of the characters were believable, and I especially enjoyed Fred, who made me want to laugh out loud on several occasions!

THE BAD: There were some plot "twists" I saw coming, and some I didn't. One in particular could have been foreshadowed better, as it seemed to come out of the blue and wasn’t entirely believable. The pacing started off well, but after about halfway, the tension sort of … dropped.

THE PRETTY: As others have pointed out ... Have you noticed the similarity to the poster for Snow White and the Huntsman?! Anyway, I still like the cover :-)

THE BOTTOM LINE: Overall, it was an enjoyable story. I’d probably recommend it to a younger YA audience.

Title: Cinders & Sapphires
Author: Leila Rasheed

This review is based on the SNEAK PEAK from NetGalley (which, of course, ended at a VERY interesting moment!).

I am a major fan of Downton Abbey, so there was a good chance I was going to enjoy this. And I did! There's intrigue right from the first page, and characters you'll be desperate to know more about. (There are quite a few of them to keep up with, but if you pay attention in the beginning it's not too difficult.) The chapters flip between different characters, so you get to watch the dramas of the two different worlds (the servant one and the lord-and-lady one) play out at the same time beneath the same roof.

If you're concerned that you're just going to be getting a book version of Downton Abbey with different names, never fear. So far there is no hint of similar story lines.

THE BOTTOM LINE: I would very much like to read the rest of this book!

Title: Shadowhunters and Downworlders
Author: Many awesome names
Edited by: Cassandra Clare

Cassandra Clare's shadowhunter world is one of my top favorites, up there in the ranks of Harry Potter and the Lord of the Rings (for me, at least!), so I take any chance to read more about it. This book is a collection of essays from some fabulous authors who have come together to share their insights into the awesomeness of the shadowhunter world and its characters. Some serious, and others humorous (and others, admittedly, long-winded and a teeny bit boring), these essays go deeper into the ideas, worldbuilding and relationships that have made this series such a success.

THE BOTTOM LINE: This is a MUST-READ for any die-hard Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices fan!

(Thank you to NetGalley, who provided all three of these ebooks)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

What's Happening with Creepy Hollow in 2013?

Most of you know that I’m a mathematics teacher. For the past three and a half years I’ve been working at this awesome school called Inanda Seminary. What I haven’t told you yet is that I’m no longer teaching there this year because I’m now married and living just a bit too far away to drive there every day. This is both sad (my students were awesome and I’m really going to miss them) and exciting (I have more time to write now!).

2012: So last year I was writing in my limited spare time and I managed to release four novelettes, which equaled one novel.

2013: This year I have TWO Creepy Hollow novels planned (the remaining two in the trilogy) and at least one other unrelated novel.Yay! Creepy Hollow Book 2 should be released in March/April. Although ... I'm aware that the A to Z Challenge happens in April, so if the book is only ready for April, should I instead leave it for May? I don't know yet. Creepy Hollow Book 3 will probably be released in July.

And ... there's something else I may be launching this year, but I'll keep that a secret for now ;-)

What do you think? Would you release a book in the middle of the April A to Z Challenge? Or would you wait until that's finished?

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

I'm Back and I'm Married!

Hello bloggers!

Last time I wrote a blog post I was a week away from one of the biggest days of my life – my wedding. Excited, anxious, tired, happy, occasionally freaked out, plus a whole lot of other emotions. At that point I hadn’t yet had my kitchen tea or bachelorette party (and was starting to wonder just how close to the wedding my sister had planned them!), we still had to set up EVERYTHING at the wedding venue (which happened during one of the hottest days last year) and, of course, the big day itself was yet to arrive. And you know what?


All of it. I got blindfolded, tied up, and driven an hour away for my surprise kitchen tea, where friends and family were super generous and there was INCREDIBLE food, all made by my amazing best friend. My bachelorette party took place at a pole dancing class (so much fun!). And the wedding itself … wow. Wow! I really can’t remember ever being so happy!

I'll post more photos once I get all the official ones.

And then the honeymoon ;-) My awesome husband (I still love saying that!) had planned it all, and I didn’t know anything except that I had to pack malaria tablets. Hulala Lakeside Lodge, Nkambeni Tented Lodge by the Kruger National Park, and Winterton Country Lodge at the Rose Cottage in the Drakensberg. I loved it all!

So, tell me about your Christmas and new year :-)

(And here's a fun photo for you...)