Sunday, 31 December 2017

A 2017 GOALS review





As I mentioned on Friday, I'm not sure if this month's update is going ahead, since I had to schedule this one ahead of time as I'm currently travelling (happy New Year's Eve!). But even if others aren't posting, this is my end-of-year update on my goals for the year.

This is my 2017 Goals page.

Edits / Revisions / etc.
I guess my primary aim this year was to do more work on my revisions, and I did do quite a bit this year. I got back into posting on the AbsoluteWrite forums, and through those forums I found two new critique partners with whom I formed a little off-site group. On that group we're doing a lot of work on novel structure in general, as well as running story ideas by each other and keeping each other inspired.
New writing
I did a little bit of new writing outside of November, but the main bulk of new stuff was created during NaNoWriMo when I wrote most of THE FULL CIRCLE, as well as a small number of words on JARED & JENNA and another new story called HOTEL LOBBY. In December I managed to finish off THE FULL CIRCLE and now I'm starting a not-too-in-depth read-through/edit of it. I have bigger changes I want to implement, but I think I'll give the novel a breather before hacking at it too much. It's good to get distance sometimes! Meanwhile, I'll have to pick another project to revise.
Music
I really have finished all songs for the new WAG album, and my bandmate has approved them! We're looking at a Jan/Feb release, so we'll see how that goes. I'm pretty excited about this album, and now that I'm recovering from my studies, I'm excited about my creative stuff in general! Bring on 2018!
ReadingThis year's reading goals went well, especially after I decided towards the end of this year that I was going to count re-reads in my total reads for each year. I didn't realise that you can count multiple reads on GoodReads, but now that I do, everything with my reading goals each year will change! So far I've read 50 out of the desired 40 reads, including a handful of re-reads.
So... What's the plan for 2018?
  • Release new Woody's A Girl album (titled OBLIVION)
  • Revise THE FULL CIRCLE
  • Revise at least one other pre-existing novel (maybe SUNDOWN? I have my CP's notes to work off, and she's given me a LOT to work on)
  • Compete in (and win!) NaNoWriMo 2018 (I have so many new ideas to choose from...somebody stop me!)
  • Possibly participate in the A-to-Z challenge in 2018, assuming it's still running
  • Re-read at least 20 books that are on my "to-re-read-and-review" GoodReads bookshelf
  • Read at least 40 books in total as part of my annual GR challenge

And I guess that's a wrap for 2017! 
How did you all go with your goals this year? 
Do you have any plans in place for 2018?

Friday, 29 December 2017

[DEC UPDATE] The Cephalopod Coffeehouse Book Club



Firstly, I've decided to post my Goals post separately this month. I'm not even sure if that blog hop is still going ahead, but even if it's not, I'm going to talk about my goals and what I've achieved (or not achieved) this year. Secondly, I'm not actually here! I'm currently travelling so I've pre-written and scheduled this post.

Now, onto the book review part of the post! I've decided that this month I'm going to cheat and choose two books. In reality I'd probably like to choose four, but I'll stick to just book #1 of the trilogy I finished, as well as the other book that was its greatest competitor. My choices for December's books read are:


Melina Marchetta - On the Jellicoe Road

I can't believe it took me this long to read this book. Wow! I absolutely loved it. Sometimes, especially in the beginning, I found myself a bit confused about who was who in the flashback scenes. I got used to those scenes, of course, once I knew what they were, but I think it'll be a lot easier when I re-read the book (and oh yes, I will be re-reading it!).

I read Marchetta's Looking For Alibrandi back in high school days, since it was a prescribed text, and I really enjoyed it, but this one went that extra step into 'special' territory for me. Obviously Taylor is a great character, but Jonah is amazing and I love how things unfolded between the two of them. The turf wars were fun to read about, especially as the story progressed. I wonder what Taylor's forebears would have thought about how things ended up!

Pretty early on I suspected the true identify of the Hermit. What a sad story those five friends had - as if it hadn't started out badly enough for them. But their friendship was so strong and amazing to read about, and I felt like Taylor and her friends were forming their own similar posse.

Okay, enough rambling - let's summarise: I loved it, I'm so glad I finally read it, I will definitely re-read it someday, and savour every moment all over again!


This is the GoodReads blurb:
"Taylor is leader of the boarders at the Jellicoe School. She has to keep the upper hand in the territory wars and deal with Jonah Griggs - the enigmatic leader of the cadets, and someone she thought she would never see again.

And now Hannah, the person Taylor had come to rely on, has disappeared. Taylor's only clue is a manuscript about five kids who lived in Jellicoe eighteen years ago. She needs to find out more, but this means confronting her own story, making sense of her strange, recurring dream, and finding her mother - who abandoned her on the Jellicoe Road."


Jenny Han - To All The Boys I've Loved Before

First up: IT'S GONNA BE A MOVIE ERMAGERD! Now, onward!

This book made me go 'nawwwww', so I gave it 5 stars. I guess we'll see how I feel later once the fervour has died down (ETA: now it's "later" and I still feel that way).

There's a bit of a love triangle (well, really, there are sort of two), but I may have made assumptions about what would happen and I may have been proven wrong in the long run.  The supporting characters were fantastic - I think Kitty might be amongst my faves, even though she was a total brat sometimes almost all the time. She was so matter-of-factly bitchy that you kind of had to admire it! She's definitely the most strong-minded of the sisters, and she was constantly cracking me up.

I also love Lara Jean's conversations with Peter, where she brings him down a peg or two without even intending to, e.g. talking about how Gen has him "whipped" as if it's a basic fact, and one that everybody accepts. He's desperate to argue the point, of course.

In some reviews I've noticed a comparison of this book to Little Women, but as I haven't read that one (gasp!) I can't comment on that angle. But I can say I bloody love this book, and the two that follow as well, and cannot wait to see the movie.

P.S. Team Peter!

This is the GoodReads blurb:
"What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them… all at once? 
Sixteen-year-old Lara Jean Song keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren’t love letters that anyone else wrote for her; these are ones she’s written. One for every boy she’s ever loved—five in all. When she writes, she pours out her heart and soul and says all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly, Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control."
Currently (re-)Reading:

Friday, 24 November 2017

[NOV UPDATE] Cephalopod Book Club & Goals







It's been another month of quite a few reads, but this month I did not have any 5-star reads to choose from. I had quite a few 4-star reads, and the top two were the one I chose, and the final book in the Jessica Darling series. It was a tough choice, because I am so in love with that series, but I decided that I would choose Cassie Mae's Switched as my book of the month this month. Here's my modified GoodReads review:

Recently I went on a little Cassie Mae book buying binge, and this was one of the books I picked up for my Kindle. I wasn't sure what I would think because I didn't love the premise of a girl trying to break up her bestie's relationship - part of me thought I might detest Kayla all the way through. Thankfully I wasn't disappointed, because there was character growth and, after all, human beings aren't perfect, and I don't want to read about perfect Mary Sues anyway!

Having read many of Cassie Mae's books by now, this is probably amongst my faves. It helped that there were times when I literally burst out laughing and couldn't stop, and there was even gigglesnorting involved. So, humour? Big tick! (and they say laughter is the best medicine, sooooo...this book is healthy to read!) I loved the hero, Wesley, and as mentioned above (and as I saw mentioned in some other reviews too), I wasn't sure if I was going to think much of Kayla, but thankfully across the span of the book she learned and grew as a person. I will say that I think she was a very lucky girl to have such an understanding bestie!

All in all, this was a nice and swoonworthy story with imperfect characters who grew as people. Oh, and there were a couple of total hottie guys to drool over. What more could a (romance-loving) girl want?

This is the GoodReads blurb:
"Ever since high school, Kayla has been crazy for gorgeous football player Talon. But before she could muster the courage to tell him, he became a hot item with her beautiful BFF, Reagan. The only person who knows Kayla’s secret is Wesley, Talon’s best bud—and he’s got it bad for Reagan. Now they’re all in college together, hanging out 24/7. For Kayla, seeing the two lovebirds together is absolutely unbearable. So Kayla and Wesley hatch a plot to drive them apart before Talon has a chance to give Reagan the Christmas gift she’s been waiting for.
Soon enough, the once happy couple is fighting. Reagan suddenly can’t get enough of Wesley’s goofy sense of humor, and Talon seems to be paying more attention to Kayla than a guy who’s “only a friend” ever should. But just when everything seems to be falling into place, Kayla and Wesley accidentally spend a night together and discover a hitch in their plan they never considered: that switching partners may not lead to a perfect ending after all."


Currently Reading: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas







Each month, a group of bloggers report on what goals they have been working to achieve in the last month. A while ago now we set longish-term goals (and they were meant to be big goals, so we could feel bold and daring!) and each month we're tracking our progress towards achieving those goals. Check out the Do You Have Goals? blog for a list of participants, and feel free to join our hop if you want to have some extra motivation for achieving your goals. :)

This month's updates on my own creative goals:
  • EDITS IN GENERAL - No editing is being done this month, due to NaNo. Of course, they are always lurking there in the back of my mind, and I have not forgotten what awaits me after November is done! I got my last critiques back from my CP for Sundown but I am too scared to look at those yet. I'm saving it for later. ;)
  • NaNoWriMo '17- I was very relieved to get my last assignment done for my studies early in November, but I was doing surprisingly well with NaNo even before that. This is one of those years where the words are flowing easily. For the most part I've been writing THE FULL CIRCLE, but at one point I started jumping around to different scenes I wanted to write, so I am now working on filling various gaps. It's still flowing well and I'm at just over 70k for that novel. I've also written about 2,600 on my other project, HOTEL LOBBY, but that one isn't my main focus.
  • Music - This one is really hanging over my head and putting me under pressure all the time. I want to get it done but never seem to have the motivation on weekends, etc. I need to be in the right frame of mind to do music. That said, I hope to get recordings for two final songs done this weekend...
That's a wrap for November. How are you doing with your goals/projects/etc?

Friday, 27 October 2017

[OCT UPDATE] Cephalopod Book Club & Goals







It's been another month of quite a few reads, and it's another difficult choice between two top books this month. The honourable mention goes to The Mortal Instruments #6, because oh my gosh, I looooooved this. What a perfect ending. But shock of all horrors, this month another book wins the day, and that book is Second Helpings (Jessica Darling, #2). Yep, I know - I'm way late to this party! I'd never heard of these books until one of my critique partners put me onto them this month.

You can always tell when I adore a book because I will read it in a day or less. And in this case it was even more impressive because I was also doing homework during that time span, and watching stuff on Netflix. This is definitely a "lie on the couch and read" kind of book.

So, book #2 in the Jessica Darling series follows on from book #1's big cliffhanger, and the tension continues to build to near-unbearable levels this time around. The book's ending was so very worth the wait ... although of course the very ending leaves things open for the next book in the series (which I've heard mixed reviews about).

So what did I love about this book? Well, Jessica is hilarious - she makes me snort with laughter. The teenaged voice was so well done, but it was extra good because this is an intelligent teenager. I love the supporting cast too, with their various quirks. Each of Jessica's Clueless Crew have their own unique features that made reading all the dialogue between them a real treat. Then, of course, there's Marcus ...

He was great in book #1, but I much preferred him in book #2 where he was just too adorable - and of course, super sexy. Let's sum it up like this: *SWOOOOOOOOOOOOON* Okay, done. :) Sometimes I felt so sorry for him what with all those hoops he had to jump through. But it wasn't only Jessica's fault, since it takes two to tango (or not tango, as the case may be). And one of my very favourite aspects of this was book was "Tuttie Flutie"'s interaction with Gladdie. Gladdie, man, what a legend. The scenes at the nursing home were so wonderful.

To summarise, I'm so glad to have had this book recommended!

This is the GoodReads blurb:
"Jessica Darling is up in arms again in this much-anticipated, hilarious sequel to Sloppy Firsts. This time, the hyperobservant, angst-ridden teenager is going through the social and emotional ordeal of her senior year at Pineville High. Not only does the mysterious and oh-so-compelling Marcus Flutie continue to distract Jessica, but her best friend, Hope, still lives in another state, and she can’t seem to escape the clutches of the Clueless Crew, her annoying so-called friends. To top it off, Jessica’s parents won’t get off her butt about choosing a college, and her sister Bethany’s pregnancy is causing a big stir in the Darling household.

With keen intelligence, sardonic wit, and ingenious comedic timing, Megan McCafferty again re-creates the tumultuous world of today’s fast-moving and sophisticated teens. Fans of Sloppy Firsts will be reunited with their favorite characters and also introduced to the fresh new faces that have entered Jess’s life, including the hot creative writing teacher at her summer college prep program and her feisty, tell-it-like-it-is grandmother Gladdie. But most of all, readers will finally have the answers to all of their burgeoning questions, and then some: Will Jessica crack under the pressure of senioritis? Will her unresolved feelings for Marcus wreak havoc on her love life? Will Hope ever come back to Pineville? Fall in love with saucy, irreverent Jessica all over again in this wonderful sequel to a book that critics and readers alike hailed as the best high school novel in years."


Currently Reading: Lola and the Boy Next Door,
Book #2 in the Anna and the French Kiss series








For those who don't know, there is now a 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:
  • EDITS IN GENERAL - I've been doing edits here and there, including just adding notes to things for editing later. Homework has got a bit in the way of me doing much of anything for the last week or so.
  • Critique Group! & NaNoWriMo '17- We are all gearing up to do NaNo this year, and all have some pretty solid plans in place. We are all pretty excited about our projects, and we're ready to cheer each other on! I just have to get my last bits of homework out of the way before I can really settle into a NaNo rhythm once November kicks off.
  • Music - I have no updates. I still have not finished the last song because I forgot to do certain necessary harmonies for it, and until I do those it isn't finished. I also have to send Billy some other music files that he wants to work on, but I haven't had much of a chance to sit down and focus on getting that stuff done. Hopefully this weekend I'm going to have some spare time!
That's a wrap for October. How are you doing with your goals/projects/etc?

Monday, 16 October 2017

NaNoWriMo 2017



So, I had my plan all figured out for NaNoWriMo this year, with my 'beat sheet' written up and discussed with my critique group (though not in any great depth at this point). Then, boom, bam, lightning strikes and I get another idea ... which has sort of taken over my first idea.

I'll probably still start off writing my first idea during November, just because that was my original plan. BUT the second idea is really consuming me and I'm dying to start writing it. Currently I'm writing up scene summaries for what I'll be writing, and filling in any gaps that show themselves. And no matter how many notes I wrote, my excitement doesn't diminish. Ohhh, I love this inspired feeling!

Of course, before I can really get stuck into NaNo, I have my last two assignments to complete for my studies - and they're big ones hanging over my head. I also technically have to complete my research project which is a rather mammoth undertaking. So while I'm excited about NaNo, I'm super stressed about my studies.

It's a weird sort of situation to be in.

Friday, 29 September 2017

[SEPT UPDATE] Cephalopod Book Club & Goals







Okay, I have read a few books this month and the one I have to choose is City of Lost Souls, Book #5 in The Mortal Instruments. My GoodReads review is one big gushy ramble of mostly "Clace"-related blabbering, but I did edit the review later to talk about "the rest of those characters" who are in fact quite significant. So I'll try to make this review some semblance of useful for anyone unfamiliar with and curious about the book and/or series.

** If you don't want to know ANY LITTLE HINT OF A THING about Book #5, maybe skip the review. Okay **


This entire series has been a combination of "eewwww", "OMG" and "aaaaahhhh must read on ASAP" for me. I struggled with Books #2 & #3, and if any of you have read the series you may be able to relate. After Book #3 was done, I foolishly thought there might be some light at the end of the tunnel in terms of character happiness. What was I thinking, huh? These books are definitely full of teen angst and drama, but I think the kids have good reason to be angsty, quite frankly, so I don't hold it against them.

Something to note about this book is that my respect for Clary grew so much. Sure, she frustrated me at times, but I thought she was so brave most of the way through, and the epitome of her bravery was in that epic scene near the end when she made the hardest decision she'd ever had to make before - you know the one, right?! I was really, seriously impressed with her at that point.


On a sort of related note, I actually do feel sorry for "the bad guy" of the story, because despite the fact that he is truly a heinous bad guy, Clary was right when she said he's incredibly lonely. Yeah, he's a creep, there's no denying that, but still, it's not his fault he was born the way he was, is it? He had no control over how he turned out, and a great wrong was done to him very early in his life.

This book was quite a slow and torturous read (even though it was good at the same time, and sort of psychologically harrowing), and I was very tempted to skip ahead just so I knew that something good would happen in the end, but I hung in there and kept reading the pages in the proper order, as is usual for me. It felt like it took forever to read this book, but in fact it only took me a few days.

Regarding other characters, Alec continued to annoy me, and I was totally on Magnus's side with that whole thing. I'm a fan of Maia and "Kyle". As for "Sizzy", I'm torn, but mostly because I don't really find vampires hot in general, because they're actually dead people and I don't think dead people are hot. Like, why would anyone want to be with a corpse? That said, I do love my Buffy and Angel hotties. Sigh. Anyway, yeah, I'm torn on this one. Isabelle is so full of life and warm and all that, and I just don't know if she's suited to dating a dead guy. But I'll reserve judgment till I conclude the series I guess. Also, I was happy to see Maryse Lightwood kicking arse, as well as Jocelyn. But when Jocelyn was telling Clary to get off Jace, I was like, "Step off, woman! Get ye gone! Leave your daughter be!"

All in all, I loved this book, and I'm now reading Book #6 and hoping the light will be VERY bright at the end of this long, hard-slog tunnel

This is the GoodReads blurb:
"The New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments continues—and so do the thrills and danger for Jace, Clary, and Simon.

What price is too high to pay, even for love? When Jace and Clary meet again, Clary is horrified to discover that the demon Lilith’s magic has bound her beloved Jace together with her evil brother Sebastian, and that Jace has become a servant of evil. The Clave is out to destroy Sebastian, but there is no way to harm one boy without destroying the other. As Alec, Magnus, Simon, and Isabelle wheedle and bargain with Seelies, demons, and the merciless Iron Sisters to try to save Jace, Clary plays a dangerous game of her own. The price of losing is not just her own life, but Jace’s soul. She’s willing to do anything for Jace, but can she still trust him? Or is he truly lost?

Love. Blood. Betrayal. Revenge. Darkness threatens to claim the Shadowhunters in the harrowing fifth book of the Mortal Instruments series.
"


Currently Reading: City of Heavenly Fire,
Book #6 in The Mortal Instruments series








Just a repeat of last month's 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:
  • DAPHNE - I'm a little stalled on this one, but I've had a break from it so maybe it's time to return and try to tackle that third chapter again. I was happy with it until I realised the second half of it had a lot of dialogue. I want to rework the lead-in to that dialogue and think about what parts of the long chat I really want to keep.
  • Critique Partner Group! - Last time I mentioned I had found a new critique partner. Well, we have sucked another lady from AbsoluteWrite into our circle and now we are a little critique trio, and have our own PBWorks site to share our stories in and put feedback comments up, etc. It's really motivating and we are talking about NaNo plans and so on. So all is good there!
  • ON THE OUTSIDE - Last time I mentioned I had been revising Chapter #1 of this novel, and I finished that and shared it on my critique group. I got some good feedback and overall I feel like the revised chapter is better than what I had before, but it still needs some work. I think I'm going to leave it where it is for now, though, as I'm a little burned out on OtO at present.
  • NaNoWriMo 2017 - So yeah, speaking of NaNo 2017, I do have a sort of rough plan for what to write this time, but I only have plans for the beginning, and a hint of the end, and a very vague middle. I feel like I should at least have a skeleton plot worked out before November starts, despite my notorious pantsing ways. ;)
That's a wrap for September. How are you doing with your goals/projects/etc?

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!

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Anybody got time for dat? (beta-reading)


This is a quick entry to ask if anyone is in a position right now to be a beta reader for me.

I have a novella that I thought I would be fleshing out more (at least, that's what I said last year), but having just skimmed through it myself and made a few tweaks, I'm not sure if it actually needs fleshing out.

I can think of some areas that may do, however it could result in me adding words that don't need to be added. So I'd be curious to get others' thoughts on this before I do anything drastic. Here are the details:


Title: Die Beachside (working title)
Word Count: 32,805 (Scrivener)
Blurb: During her first year at university, Megan meets Avya, a fellow student who rather than living in student accommodation lives on the local beach in a cave.

The two girls clash at first, but eventually Megan becomes a confidant for Avya, who shares a scary secret - she's being stalked. In light of a recent unsolved murder in the area, this is especially worrisome. It also reminds Megan of difficult experiences in her own past, and she starts feeling paranoid.

She tries to protect Avya however she can, but campus security don't seem to want to take her seriously. Can Megan figure out who Avya's stalker is before something goes really wrong - and before she herself is put in the path of danger?

P.S. There's romance with a dark, brooding character too.

Let me know if you are willing to read it. :)

Thursday, 20 July 2017

DAPHNE revision update

I'm still going with this revision thing. I have next week off work, and the week after my studies begin, so my time is short. There was a point recently when I did a "mega-tweak" on my first chapter, and I thought I was almost there with fixing it. But as I read it on my Kindle, I got really discouraged by the amount of things I now needed to tweak in the wake of the mega-tweak. Thankfully I got past my moping and plowed on.

It's quite an undertaking, fully rewriting a novel. When I first rewrote this one back in 2012, some things stayed the same, like my main character and her family. But a lot changed. A previous "good guy" became a bad guy. A new love interest materialised, and became the male lead. A best friend became condescending, and her boyfriend a jerk. The setting itself also changed from "aimless new adults living life after high school" to first year of university.

After that 2012 rewrite, I left the novel to stew for, ummm, five years? Yeah, that's all. When I returned to it in 2017 I saw that I'd created a hot mess, but thankfully I much preferred this "new" mess to the old one. 2017's revisions / edits are making me love it even more. They say write what you love, and each new tweak of a sentence, paragraph or section is bringing me closer to loving this novel.

I think I've fixed most of the big problems, though there are still timeline blips to be worked out. I'm down to about 122,484 words, meaning I've shed 3,765 words or so. I need to shed a lot more! And no, I haven't removed my "darling" Jane yet. Still not decided on what to do there.

That'll do for now. But I wanted to mention that I'm reading Eleanor & Park after having it on my TBR for quite a while. I'm loving it.

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

One new scene = SPANNER

Oops!

I added one new scene to my novel, and it messed with my entire timeline! I spent a couple of days writing out chapter / scene summaries, and printed the summaries out and scribbled notes all over them, etc. Eventually I worked out how to rearrange sections so the timeline made sense again. I was helped by reading an article about using metadata settings in Scrivener to create a timeline. Using that advice, I assigned dates / date ranges to chapters and shifted said dates where needed. Phew. Crisis sorted.

Another 'oops' moment came when I realised this current edit has not removed words as I hoped, but has added them. So where my first revision word count was approx. 107,902, the current count is 126,249. Yep, I've done it again. I know I have some padding that can be trimmed, and thankfully I think I'm at the point where that can be my focus now.

Speaking of padding... During my last revision of this novel, I mentioned a minor character that was a bit of a "darling" I might have to kill. She started out as a source of humour, but in truth there is a lot more to her that we're not even going to learn about in this novel. So she could even be seen as a bit of a blue herring - ya know, a herring with no purpose. ;) So really there is no point keeping her, at least not for plot purposes. I'm reluctant to let her go, but maybe I can revisit her story in some other way in another setting sometime.

Anyway, that's my update for now. I hope you are all doing well with whatever you're working on.

P.S. My addiction to Louise Rozett's Confessions series has been rekindled, sadly for no tangible reason - e.g. there is no FOURTH BOOK YET! She hopes to write one, but needs a contract. I offered to buy it off her even if nobody else does, I'm that desperate to read the rest of Rose and Jamie's story. ;) Anyway...I shall continue to wait and hope for another instalment, while moping in a very morose fashion as long as I don't get it!