Friday, 31 January 2014

Cephalopod Coffeehouse & Do Ya Got Goals? [Jan.]

It's the end of the month, and so time to post for the Do You Have Goals? hop (hosted by Misha Gericke & Beth Fred) as well as the Cephalopod Coffeehouse Book Club (hosted by the Armchair Squid).

Fave book of Jan.

This month it's an easier decision than I've faced in some past months. I read four books in January and my favourite was by my blogger buddy and all-round-groovy chicka, Mina Lobo. Her book is called THAT FATAL KISS.

Here's a modified version of my GoodReads review:

First off, I love Greek mythology (I even studied it at uni), so THAT FATAL KISS, a re-telling of the Hades & Persephone myth, was a blast from the past. I thought it was interesting how Lobo treated Artemis, who has always been my favourite goddess. Artemis was basically a petulant, whiny little sister at times, which was cute, even if I do love the mighty huntress Artemis of myth.
Lobo portrays Hades as a delectable kind of sexy, brooding dude, but of course the brooding guys are always much better in fiction than in reality. ;) Still, I tend to leap right on that type in the fictional worlds I immerse myself in - and I'm perfectly happy doing so.
THAT FATAL KISS was humorous as well as sweet and romantic and, now and then, just a little bit steamy. I also just loved Lobo's writing, and having read a lot of 'meh' books, including some really frustrating self-pubbed titles, I was seriously glad to read a highly polished self-pubbed work. In short, I found pretty much every word pleasing.

Now for my DYHG? goals!

It's been a pretty lazy start to 2014, even though I did strike one goal off my list already - finishing the rewrite of my novella. But in terms of the goal I set myself for DYHG?

... I guess I can't say I made any progress at all this month. Except to clear my work desk, so to speak, by getting that pesky novella out of the way!

During March I will be participating in NaNoEdMo, and I will complete at least 50 hours of editing on one of my two chosen novels. Because that's not till March, I really don't know what I'm going to do in Feb! I do know that I can't just sit around doing nothing, 'cause that's a habit I am trying to break out of. Still, at least I have March to look forward to. I'm not sure which novel I'll be revising then, but it'll be either SMALL TOWN or DAPHNE II.

Wish me luck with both making a decision and sticking with it! And on having a productive February! ;)

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Cover Reveal: REBORN by Cherie Reich

WOOWWWWW, check this out!

Today I'm participating in the cover reveal for Cherie Reich's book, Reborn - and wow what a beautiful cover this is! What's Reborn all about? Read below:

To save a kingdom, a prophetess must challenge Fate.

On the day of Yssa’s death and rebirth, the god Apenth chose her as the Phoenix Prophetess.
Sea serpents and gods endanger the young prophetess’s journey and sour the omens. Yssa is cursed instead of blessed, and her duties at the Temple of Apenth prove it. She spends her days reading dusty scrolls, which does nothing to help her forget Tym, the boy back home. But the annoying yet gorgeous ferryman’s son Liam proves to be a distraction she can’t predict, even though he rarely leaves her alone for two sand grains. 
Her boring temple life screeches to a halt when visions of her parents’ murders consume her. Yssa races across an ocean to stop the future. If she can’t change Fate, she’ll refuse to be the Phoenix Prophetess any longer. Fate, however, has other plans for her and the kingdom. 
Yssa must either accept her destiny or fight to change Fate. 
Reborn, book one of The Fate Challenges, by Cherie Reich will be released on May 23, 2014. For more information about Cherie Reich and her work, please visit her website or blog. The cover art is created by Laura Sava. To add on Goodreads, click here. If you’d like to be notified when Reborn releases, please sign up for her newsletter here.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Write ... Edit ... Publish ~ NEW BEGINNINGS (Jan.)

It's time yet again for WEP, the monthly hop hosted by Denise at L'Aussie writing. You can check out January's blog list here. And now here is a bit of info about this month's theme:

It's time for the sign-up for our first challenge of 2014 - NEW BEGINNINGS. Whatever comes to mind that expresses NEW BEGINNINGS - you may want to share a true story, a fictional story, post photos that typify NEW BEGINNINGS...whatever you want, it's your choice!

So, with that out of the way, I thought I'd just put up a little list of new beginnings I'm anticipating experiencing this year (and I must admit that I haven't really done much editing of this list, but now that I've written it I'm going to publish it here on my blog):

  • I will begin to be completely student loan free sometime around the middle of this year!
  • I will begin a new travelling phase when I order a new passport at some point, since both of mine have long since expired (I have a British and Australian passport)
  • I will begin to very much enjoy my built-in bookshelves at home - once they've been built in, anyway
  • I will begin yoga again, at some point this year
  • I will begin to drink from a brand new bottle of Bailey's, at some point (I haven't had my beloved Bailey's in quite a while now)
  • I will begin a new life wherein I no longer have the Brothers' Grimm fairytales on my GoodReads "currently reading" list, and,
  • I will begin to read Ursula le Guin's Earthsea series at long last!

I think that will do for now.

P.S. Achieved my first goal from my list - rewriting LOST, MISSING, GONE. Neeeext!

P.P.S. Just finished reading Mina Lobo's THAT FATAL KISS, and loved it.

Friday, 17 January 2014

Let your musical nerdiness roam free (

In 2005, a friend who told me all about this little website called I can't even remember which friend it was, actually, but I can think of several suitably musically nerdy folks who might've been responsible. I cannot thank whoever it was enough.

What is

The people who run the site think of it as ... this (key words: " is a music recommendation service").To me, it's a place where:

  • almost all the music I ever listen to (in iTunes, on my iPod, on YouTube) gets recorded for public consumption, and collated into weekly, monthly, 3-monthly, 6-monthly, yearly, and overall charts
  • I find a lot of free music, uploaded to the site courtesy of the artists, and therefore discover a lot of new favourites
  • I find new favourites by clicking on a tag (i.e. chicks with guitars) and checking out all the associated artists
  • I upload my own music so that I might further spread the word about it
  • I regularly meet new music freaks who I can relate to and share my love of music with

music listening habits
Generated on January 17 2014 - My Music Habits
(other stats here)

Trisha's stats

I spend a fair amount of my leisure time checking out my own charts (yep, I did say "nerd" didn't I?), and so I can tell you that:

  • My library currenly has 2,837 artists in it
  • In the last 7 days I've listened to the Smashing Pumpkins 48 times
  • The last track I "loved" was Green Carnation's "As Life Flows By"
  • I belong to a group called "I Still Buy CDs", which currently has 76,192 members
  • The song I've listened to most since 2005 is Veruca Salt's "Sundown"
  • The last show I went to was Black Sabbath in May 2013
  • Back in June 2005, I listened to Silverchair 55 times
  • In June 2006, Nirvana was at #1 position with 35 listens

Oh, I could go on, but I won't. In short, this is an awesome site for a nerdy, music-obsessed librarian like me. ;)

Monday, 13 January 2014

Goals: 2014+

Today I thought I'd talk about this year's goals, and changes I've made to my "Goals" approach in general. You will see if you check out my Goals page that it no longer has a year attached. While I have listed a fair few goals, some of which I don't intend to accomplish this year, there are many more goals that aren't listed. But I thought I'd leave it how it is until I've achieved some of what's on there. :)

In the last two years, I think I've tried to achieve too much. In 2011, I managed to achieve every single goal I had set myself (and there were many). In 2012 I had less success, while still achieving many things. Last year was the "worst" yet, even if I did get two new novels written, as well some other goals achieved. But last year in particular taught me that what had worked well in 2011 wasn't working anymore. I guess I burned myself out. And I knew a change was in order.

As I've mentioned previously, 2014 will be a year of revision. During June and November, my traditional main writing months, I plan to write new stuff, but only to add to existing manuscripts that aren't finished. I have a few novels that aren't far off being finished, but some of them have been languishing in "unfinished land" for literally years now. So I want to knock those off. But the main focus of 2014 will be my attempt to get at least two of my novels revised, hopefully to the point that they can be sent out to beta readers.

For now, I am nearly done revising my novella, and when that's done I'll start reading through my first novel draft to be revised. True, I haven't decided which one to work on first, but I'll make that choice and then I'll use March (NaNoEdMo month) to revise whatever title I chose.

Obviously you guys will come along for the ride, if you so choose, and see how well I stick to 2014's resolution-style goal-setting. :P

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

IWSG #2 ~ picking a D-day

Here I am for my second round as an IWSG member. It still feels strange to say that I am a member since I spent so long visiting other people's posts on these days but never participating myself. One thing I learned in all that visiting was that everybody seemed to always have something new to say - something I hadn't seen before, or at least hadn't seen on anyone else's blog during that round of visits.

I guess if all of you can do it, I can as well! :)

I mentioned in last month's post that I am scared to self-publish. I'm still scared, of course, and probably always will be, but it is going to happen. I will make it happen. And that's just the thing - when you self-publish, YOU make it happen. Sometimes you can pay other people to help you make it happen, and of course you can employ the assistance of betas and CPs to help make it happen. But really in the end it comes down to you and what you're willing to give.

The book cover creation, editing, polishing and formatting for various platforms isn't what worries me. The thing that worries me most is the picking of a date. One particular date that will become D-day for my book. Or L-day, I guess (launch). None of my novels are ready for D-day, and I've been saying that for years (it's getting old). I've seen other authors pick a D-day before their book is ready, which has forced them to get their butt in gear in a big way. But I could never do that.

I must be READY, you see - and my book must be perfect (which I know it will never be). Only then could I possibly dare to take the plunge and pick THE DATE.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

New Year's reading resolutions ~ blog hop

Today I'm excited to be participating in
Rachel Firasek's New Year's Reading Resolutions Blog Hop.
So without further ado, here I go!

2013 reads - my top 5

Species Imperative (Books 1-3) - Julie E. Czerneda

The War of the Worlds - H.G. Wells

Open Minds (Mindjack #1) - Susan Kaye Quinn

Bitter Like Orange Peel - Jessica Bell

True Grit - Charles Portis

There's quite a mixture of books in this collection, which I think sums up my reading habits pretty well - oh, and my writing habits too. Basically, I'm pretty much up for reading anything that gets thrown my way, regardless of genre (with some few exceptions). But it does take a pretty special book to garner 5 out of 5 stars from me.

2014 reading goals

In 2014:

  • I'm going to aim to read 40 books, which is a bit more than I aimed to read this year - but this year I read 49, while reading at a leisurely pace. I never aim to push myself when it comes to numbers of books to read in a year. I just like to make sure I am always reading something, and with the size of my TBR list that's never a problem
  • Also, looking back on 2013's reads, I realised I read quite a few that I just felt "meh" about. I'd like to read more mindblowing books in 2014. So I'll see how I go with that when the year's up. ;)

Check out the other blog hop posts, and then enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Happy New Year everyone!

It's nearing the end of my first day of 2014, and what have I got to show for it? Well, so far today I have:

  • eaten a big and delicious breakfast at a friend's place following NYE celebrations last night;
  • finished re-watching all the Harry Potter movies, and become suitably depressed as a result;
  • taken my cats for a walk - or rather, been taken for a walk by my cats; it's a thing with them (yes, my cats are weirdos);
  • eaten really bad take-out for dinner;
  • thought about the fact that after this week I'm back at work!

I'm sure I did other things, but I'm in a bit of a holiday haze right now so those other things are escaping my thoughts.

I hope you all had a great New Year's Eve. Probably the highlight for me was when the Bon Jovi DVD reached a live version of "Always" and we all started dancing around my friend's kitchen and singing to each other about how we will love each other, aaaaalways.

It's been an uncharacteristically cool Christmas and New Year's around here, even if our friends in the Eastern States are sweltering. I have to say it's a really special treat when temps only reach, say, 25 celsius at this time of year.

I'm going to enjoy it while it lasts!

Anyway, I guess I just wanted to put up a simple post without any pictures (because I have none at the ready to put up), just to say Happy New Year to all of you - and let's make 2014 a great one!

I think I'm going to go and set my yearly GoodReads goal, at least if the widget is available yet.