Friday, 25 August 2017

[AUGUST UPDATE] Cephalopod Book Club & Goals







This month it was difficult to choose between the two novels I read. In the end I've gone with Katie McGarry's Dare You To, Book #2 in the Pushing the Limits series and actually my favourite to date. The honourable mention was Nyrae Dawn's Façade (Games, #2). Click HERE for my full GoodReads review of Dare You To, which contains spoilers.

I wasn't really sure what I would think of this book, since I'd recently re-read Book #1 and remembered why I loved it...and why I didn't. I can't remember Book #3 very well, but I think I'm safe in saying Dare You To is my favourite.

A problem I had with Book #1 was the patheticness of the heroine, Echo. Beth is a totally different kettle of fish; she's no shrinking violet, and doesn't faint against walls or black out. Wow, what a meanie I am! Poor Echo. ;) But seriously, I like that Beth didn't need to be constantly caught (literally, caught before she fell over) by the sexy hero. Ryan also gets major stars for not calling Beth "baby". He didn't, right?! I only remember Noah doing that with Echo... Disclaimer: I love Noah.

Dare You To cracked me up on many occasions - Beth's language is just as foul as mine (well, okay, I'm worse), and she was so fiery. Her early exchanges with Ryan were hilarious - she was a real force for him to reckon with. I also found it refreshing that Ryan was the 'innocent' one in this story, as opposed to the usual 'good' girl / bad boy dynamic in this series. Ryan was still sexy, so there was no letdown there. But Beth taught him a thing or two about life. That said, of course I adore bad boy characters - as long as they're not total assholes.

I remember reading Pushing the Limits and always wishing that Echo would become more of a rock for Noah. The school counsellor did that instead, while Noah was always having to be Echo's rock. Not that he was complaining. I was the one complaining. And I'm not really sure that Beth went much further in this regard than Echo did, but she had her moments. It was such a relief when she finally realised Ryan was right about her fear of having a new life...and possible happiness.


One downside to this read was seeing Isaiah so forlorn, but since I knew this gets addressed in Book #3, it wasn't really a problem.

I gave this book five stars!

This is the GoodReads blurb:

"If anyone knew the truth about Beth Risk's home life, they'd send her mother to jail and seventeen-year-old Beth who knows where. So she protects her mom at all costs-until the day her uncle swoops in, and Beth finds herself starting over at a school where no one understands her. Except for the one guy who shouldn't get her, but does. 
Ryan Stone is the town golden boy, a popular baseball star jock-with secrets he can't tell anyone. Not even the friends he shares everything with, including the constant dares to do crazy things. The craziest? Asking out the skater girl who couldn't be less interested in him. 
But what begins as a dare becomes an intense attraction. Suddenly, the boy with the flawless image is risking everything for the girl he loves, and the girl who won't let anyone get too close is daring herself to want it all...."


Currently Reading: City of Glass,
Book #3 in The Mortal Insruments series
(a re-read so I can finally read the last three books).








First up, some news! There is a new blog for this blog hop, rather than us going straight to Misha's blog. Check out the new Do You Have Goals? blog, and join our hop if you want to have some extra motivation for achieving your goals. :)

Now, some updates on my own creative goals:

  • Music - Somehow I believed I had recorded a song for our new album that I had never even downloaded the instrumental track for. Apparently I hallucinated an entire thing where this song was totally done already. So I still have one more song to do... Thankfully, Billy is happy with the other two, so no more work required on those!
  • DAPHNE - I'm continuing to post stuff at Absolute Write. I've had a lot of help from people with my opening few scenes for DAPHNE. It's been a hard slog (and isn't over yet), but I feel like I'm finally getting to the right place with the opening scenes.
  • Critique Partner! - In other exciting news, I appear to have found myself a new critique partner, one of the ladies who's been helping me on AW. So that's great! I'm excited at the chance to start getting some more in-depth and focused help on my work again, and to give said help in return.
  • ON THE OUTSIDE - I've been revising the first chapter of OTO, which has been driving me nuts. As usual with my stories, there's a lot of bloating that needs culling, and the first scene possibly needs to be merged with a bit of the next scene. I've whittled it a lot so far, but have a way to go. I wanted to post it on AW for critique, but my perfectionist self won't allow that till I've got it into better shape.

So, that's about it for August. How are you all going with your various creative / other goals? And yes, I have some catching up to do with your blogs too.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Kyra Lennon's REASONABLE DOUBTS - release blitz!

Hi everyone! I'm excited and honoured to be taking part in the release blitz for Reasonable Doubts by Kyra Lennon!

Blurb: Darcy Ryan is a woman on a mission. A mission to take down the corrupt cops who ensured her best friend, Matteo Torres, went to jail for a crime he didn’t commit – the murder of his wife, Rebecca.
                             
Darcy is willing to do just about anything to prove his innocence, including getting up close and personal with lead detective, Finn Drake.

She knows she’s playing a dangerous game, but it gets more dangerous than she could have ever imagined when she discovers everything she thought she knew about Rebecca Torres was wrong, and Finn Drake isn’t the man she thought he was either.

Darcy’s life and her best friend’s freedom are on the line. With her entire world turned on its head and time running out, she has to decide. Should she take a chance on Drake and go against her gut instincts, or go it alone and pray she can find the killer before he finds her?




Stalker Links

Website: http://www.kyralennon.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kyralennonwrites/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/KLennonWrites


Monday, 7 August 2017

A quick word count update!

Time for a quick revision update!

My initial 2017 revision of DAPHNE took me from 107,902 to 126,249 words.

Last time I checked in about word count, I had shed around 3.5 - 4k of words, but today I have a more encouraging update. I'm down to 116,968 words. So I've shed 9,281 words so far.

I'm not entirely sure where I want or need my word count to be, honestly, and I'm not usually the type to worry more about word count than about the story making sense and flowing well. I'm sure there are a lot more words I can cut simply because they're not needed. And some parts still need rewriting.

I don't have much more to say, I suppose, so I'll leave it at this very short update. For now...onward!

Saturday, 29 July 2017

[JULY UPDATE] Cephalopod Book Club & Goals





Oops! I missed the deadline, but oh well, I'm still here to post for this month's book club & goals blog hops.



I've read three novels / novellas this month, and have chosen Eleanor & Park as my novel of the month to share a review for. This is the non-spoilery version of the GoodReads (spoilery) version.


I vaguely remember back when I first heard about this book, reading some reviews of it that were mixed - I remember not everyone loving the book for whatever reason. I admit I was a bit influenced by that memory when I started reading - I was in the first chapter and wasn't sure if I was going to enjoy the read. Well, now that I've finished reading, I can say without hesitation that I loved Eleanor & Park! It was tragic, romantic, and funny. I love the emphasis on music, too.

The book ends on an interesting note that has seemingly divided readers - some are dying to know more, while others (like me) think that what we are left with is enough. It's not a neatly tied up ending, but there is a sense of hope that makes me happy.

Richie was such a creepy character - yech! I felt sorry for Eleanor's mum, but also angry with her, for much of the book. But I loved Park and his family - his parents were great characters.

This is the GoodReads blurb:

"Two misfits.
One extraordinary love.

Eleanor
... Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough...Eleanor.

Park... He knows she'll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There's a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises...Park.

Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try."


Currently Reading: my own novels...for editing.
But hopefully soon, book #2 in Lydia Kang's duology.








I'm continuing to work on my revisions for DAPHNE II, but now that studies are starting up as of Monday, I'm not sure how much progress I'll be making for the time being. I also did another thing - I logged back into Absolute Write (the Water Cooler forums) after approximately 6 years of absence, and started posting again.

I've shared the beginning of DIE BEACHSIDE and the first chapter of SUNDOWN III. The former has attracted feedback that surprised me - I need to cut out perhaps the first 1k of words. And I thought that little novella was pretty lean. Gosh, critique feedback is good. It wakes you up from your slumber. As for the SUNDOWN III chapter, that also needs some condensing, but the feedback was overall more favourable. I got some great feedback that I can work with for that one.

Oh, oh, something REALLY EXCITING? I finally got those last two songs done and sent them off to Billy. WOO! I just hope he doesn't ask me to do heaps more work on them. But if he does, so be it, I will do what I can. I'm hoping we can get down to the business of getting our second Woody's A Girl album out in the next few months.

I hope you are all doing well!