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Monthly Archives: January 2014

Review – Unraveling Secrets by Lana Williams **** Star

I received a signed copy of this book as winner of a Goodreads competition.

When I first saw the cover I can honestly say I was VERY put off… I’ll elaborate later but DON’T LET THE COVER PUT YOU OFF!!!! I really liked this book and it definitely deserves 4 Stars. The synopsis was what drew me in to reading the book and I’m so glad I ignored the cover. It was a great read.

The Pros – Abigail is a stubborn female who has a backbone (sometimes a rarity in books). Stephen is just a sexy character. He is the ultimate hero and definitely makes the girls swoon. The storyline is fairly easy to follow and the other characters, for the most part, have strong personalities and are well developed. I didn’t expected the sex scenes but as far as sex scenes go – they were sweetly written and passionate without being overly descriptive and offensive.

The Cons – Although there are a few things that bugged me it certainly would not stop me from highly recommending this book to others.

Unfortunately the cover just ruins the book before you even start. I got asked if I was reading a Mills and Boon book which was embarrassing. It honestly looks like a book from the 80’s with costumes from a costume shop. The ‘lights’ in the background street look like white LED lights not olden oil lamps. The weird, much too old but ripped man looks like her father and isn’t anything like the gorgeous Stephen I (and I’m sure, others) pictured. The descriptions of Abigail’s clothes were fantastic but then the cover looks like she’s wearing a cheap taking dress certainly not from the time the book is set. The male doesn’t have a face that I like or think Stephen would look like. I tried to ignore the cover of the book so as not to make me hate Stephen.

Apart from the cover which was it’s biggest flaw, I wish Abigail wasn’t so helpless so hopefully in the next book she is able to handle herself a little more. There was one scene that made me groan, too many “damsel in distress” scenes but I’m hoping for a stronger Abigail in the next book. I’m interested to see where the story heads in the next book as I sort’ve thought that it could’ve been summed up and finished in one book. Some language inconsistencies but otherwise great.

OVERALL – I was surprised how much I enjoyed this book, right from the first chapter. I had trouble putting it down and was really drawn in.

Thank you Lana Williams for the book. Sorry about the negatives but it was a great book!

Unraveling Secrets

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Posted by on January 29, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Review of Empower by Jessica Shirvington (The Violet Eden Chapters) ***** Star!

Can’t believe this is the last book 😦 but in saying that it ended perfectly (well for the most part). I’ve absolutely loved reading the Violet Eden Chapters series. Definitely one of my favourite series. I couldn’t put this book down! I definitely recommended this book but make sure you read the previous books first. I must say that I thought Empower might be sub-standard because I felt the series should have been resolved in the previous book but on the contrary, it was necessary and fantastic after all. The ending was perfect 🙂 Who doesn’t love it when the hurdles holding lovers back are finally over come. We all knew it was coming but it just made it that much better when they did finally get there. Surprisingly as much as I loved the previous books, I thought this book started very strange and confusing although eventually it got much better.  

I love how strong Violet is and the love that Linc continues to harbour for Violet is just beautiful. I think their difficult relationship really showed how strong someone’s love can be for another regardless of what happens.

My favourite character was actually Phoenix. He was so sexy, confident and suave at the beginning but watching him crumble when he was rejected was so sad. It was so relatable when he was just devastated when Violet broke his heart. His actions mirrored his pain and it really drew the reader in to remember their heartbreaks. I loved everything about Phoenix – his personality, his actions, his looks (haha of course). The only problem I had was how it ended for him. I felt he was sort of cheated out of a happy ending. I understand it seemed to be a fairly happy ending for him but I didn’t like it.

Violet was a great character with a very detailed personality but sometimes I felt like I couldn’t relate or understand her actions. Her actions were sometimes frustrating but otherwise she was very well written.

Lincoln was my other favourite because his love was so unwavering (although I’m pretty sure Phoenix’s love was nearly as strong). Sometimes his actions also confused me but his love was unlike other any other character I’ve read about. It was completely all-consuming. He never questioned it at the end.

I will miss reading about Violet, Linc, Phoenix and all the other wonderful characters but I think the ending was satisfying (despite a few cliche, groan-worthy moments).
Thanks Jessica Shirvington for creating such a wonderful series that really drew us in and made us re-think aspects of our own lives.

 
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Posted by on January 29, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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How to rate a free book? :|

I was fortunate enough too receive a free book in the mail a few weeks ago. Naturally I was stoked. I started reading it within a few days. I had high expectations as I assumed it was a Young Adult book with a touch paranormal weaved in. I WAS SO WRONG! This book must be New Adult because 20 pages in Fifty Shades of Grey would be proud. Now I’m no prude but a bit of warning would’ve been great. Some scenes don’t need THAT much detail. I mean I get it, they had sex it was great they both enjoyed the experience. I’m 40 pages in to this book and I look at the book all the time, cringing at it, desperate to give a decent review but too honest for my own good. The concept is stupid, the language is corny, the scenes are irritating and don’t make sense. I read another review of it and accidentally saw a spoiler where one of the main characters just dies, supposedly very uneventfully and unnecessarily. Yeah that’s given me incentive to persevere….. not! Some of the reviews are great and I’m glad for the author but I don’t really want to come in and say in short – this book is shit, you’re wasting your time. I may continue to read the book some time but right now I feel I have FAR better things to do. It might be best to now give a review or even a rating on good reads. I realise that there will be always be people who hate my writing my my empathy for this writing dictates that I forget it ever existed. 

I wonder how many people give very, very bad reviews for book they got as a gift/free?

 

  

 
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Posted by on January 17, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Uhoh I’ve run out of words…..

That’s it I’m all outta words for today – bookwise that is. I’m having a major writer’s block, like the worst ever. I need a few thousand more words but they just aren’t happening. I’m ready to end it (the manuscript) but I don’t think I can. I’m not going to waste all this time writing something that should be a novel and not a novella. Words why won’t you come to me? Grrrr.

writing_process

I found my favourite little gif to add to this blog (I apologise for those who get offended). I regret not loving when I was in the same situation where I needed to type, to get all of my ideas down as quickly as possible so much so that everything ached and I felt like the little guy who typed his fingers off. Its definitely feels like you can’t stop, unperturbed by the pain, cramping body parts and blood loss to the fingers. I want to move on, start another book (the second book in my series) but it’s not fair on this one. I’ve been dying to try my hand at the self-publishing game and I think this book is the perfect one. I’m lucky enough to have some beta readers who I know can whip through this book in no time then it’s on to trying to create a cover…. but I’m excited about it all. For that to happen though, I need a finish manuscript. I know I call my manuscripts my ‘books’ but to me they are and even if it’s not the ‘technical’ name for what they are, they’re my babies so I’ll refer to them in whatever way I think best suits them. When I first starting writing my first ‘book’ I wondered how I’d ever get the idea for another book. I was stumped but I was only half way through that one and the ideas for a second, third, etc flowed in. Slowly I started to have random thoughts about stories that would play out great. Ideas that I would be able to write 10’s of thousands of words about and now here I am. Once I finish this book I have not only the second book to start but there’s another idea that randomly fills my head, showing me the events that could happen, leading me to write a great story.

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Yet now I sit here blogging, not an idea in my head for this current manuscript. It’s empty, I’ve used up all my thoughts. I really hope they replenish and SOON.

I’m going to try my hand at book reviewing and I’ve read a few books in the last week so I guess now is the perfect time to vent my thoughts on them. I guess I’ll try not to add in spoilers but they ruin a book if you’re yet to read it. I may just sit here for awhile and blog til my heart’s content.

 
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Posted by on January 17, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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The Elusive Print Book

I’m desperate to have an actual book in print although even an ebook would suffice so that I can point to it and yell “See SEE! This is what I’ve been doing!” Unless you have something to show people they seem to think you sit at a laptop all day procrastinating, playing around, enjoying spending hours on Farmville, Candy crush or the like, or even blogging (ok so maybe I like to spend some time blogging). I think blogging can be a great thing. A chance to write without rhyme or reason, not caring about sentence structure, spelling or grammar and somewhere to enjoy allowing your mind to wander while your fingers type your thoughts. I write and I write but still a print book eludes me. The first manuscript I wrote is huge and I love it! I’m so proud of my work and enjoy it so much but when I want to get it published I want to know how to go about it in the right way so that I can do it justice. That means that the new idea that blossomed in my head needed to come out onto paper or should I say screen. I’m really enjoying writing this book too but I sometimes get lost in my first idea as it’s a series. The next books need to be written as my brain clouds with ideas but not yet! Despite me nearing a decent word count for this current manuscript, it just doesn’t seem enough so hopefully once I start to edit I can add in a few thousand words. The first manuscript is well over 100,000 and I think cutting into it too much will ruin it but with this one I’m currently doing, the scenes and I ideas aren’t as plentiful. I do love this manuscript though. Don’t get me wrong, I’m proud of it and even more so once it really comes together but I hope a word count won’t hinder it’s chance in its ‘life.’ (I sometimes enjoy leaving the grammatical and spelling errors in my blogs because I feel like a rebel). I hoping for around 40,000 words but hopefully I can add to that. Is that too short? I don’t know I’m a useless rookie in this game. This book I just want to have a go at making it an ebook at seeing how I go. The first time someone buys a book of mine I think I’ll be so excited that I won’t stop partying for weeks 🙂 Fingers crossed they don’t regret their purchase though. I do have the problem of self promotion – hence why my facebook page so far has no likes (I think) because firstly I’m embarrassed at that and secondly that I’ll push my fb page into someone’s face only for them to realise that wow this writers page sucks so maybe they do too. I suck at criticism. Yeah I’m in a great industry then. I got my husband to read a few chapters of this manuscript last night. My darling husband is one of those ‘it’s perfect/amazing/fantastic baby’ and despite knowing that I still hung around him trying to gauge his reaction the whole time. My hubby isn’t exactly a book kinda person but my theory is that if I entice someone who has read about 5 books in his life to read my book then I may have written something enticing enough to draw people in. I like my theory and I’m sticking to it.  

My goal as a writer (and I know it sounds a bit messed up) is to get my readers to cry over events in the book. To me that is such an honour to know that something is so well written that your readers care about the characters and what happens to them. I want them to mourn the loss of a character, chew their nails off when something scary or exciting is about to happen. So my goal is to have a print book to slap down in front of people who don’t believe I’m actually accomplishing anything and get them to read the book, feeling the intense emotions that characters feel. I want their thoughts to wander back to my story days/weeks later as they ponder about the storyline or what the character’s lives are like now. 

Earning money for my books is such an added bonus. It humbles me knowing people have spent their hard earned cash on my writing. They believe that their money is well spent when they buy a book with pages filled with my crazy imagination’s ideas. 

I received my certicate yesterday that say I now have a Diploma of Professional Writing (Novel Writing and Publishing). Really, really stoked about that because although it’s merely a piece of paper, it represents to me that I did it. I was capable enough to write my way through that course (which I loved). It’s given me confidence. 

I wish I could find some really experienced writer friends who could tell me what I should and shouldn’t be doing. As I said though I’m not good at annoying people and self promoting. Hmm, big downfall right there. I need to create a cover for my ebook as I know exactly what I want it to look but I don’t know how to go about creating it. I don’t want to put out heaps of money for someone else to create it for me when I’m decently skilled at IT and I have heaps of photoshop etc programs although I’m a bit new to operating them. I don’t want to put out heaps of money at the moment because I’m already a financial drag on my dear husband who is so super supportive I always feel guilty. I know I wouldn’t even need to ask if I could spend money on anything to do with my books but I want to try doing it without using heaps of ‘our’ (as he reminds me all the time) money. 

I’m also going to start writing book reviews because I love typing and reading so it seems only logical.

To my current loyal readers, followers and likers I swear I’m going to one day be even partially successful and you can say you liked me before I was big (I hope) haha.

 

 

 
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Posted by on January 15, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Lesson Learned – Never under-estimate the unconditional Love and Trust of an animal

Finally I’m able to blog again. Oh how I have missed it. My wonderful 3 month old laptop decided Windows 8 hated me so now that I’m back to using ol’ faithful windows 7 I’m back in action. Blogging to me means – sentences that aren’t always grammatically correct, aren’t always in the best order, spelling and typos that are totally ok and I can crap on with whatever I want and no-one can tell me that it’s wrong or is a bad storyline. Ahhhh nonjudgmental writing space, how I have missed you. I can only pray everyone else had an amazing Christmas and New Years but suddenly I would be ignorant to believe that was true but ignorance is bliss sometimes.

 

In the last few days I’ve remembered just how amazing animals are. My dear old horse is now 29yrs old. VERY old for a thoroughbred He hurt his leg many years ago so that was the end of riding him because it was cruel to hurt his leg but when he wasn’t ridden his leg didn’t even look like it affected him. Many circumstances led to him being a wild horsey who lived in our paddock which is nearly impossible to access which wasn’t an issue because he was healthy and happy. In the last week the creek dividing the house yard from his paddock dried up to almost nothing leaving Larry (the horse) without water. For the first time in over 4 years we had to get him across an appropriately name creek – Rocky Creek which is nothing but rocks. It was a blistering hot day last Sunday and I knew I had to get him to my parent’s house where he would have a big dam to drink out of. In hindsight I shouldn’t have been wearing thongs (Flip flops for all non-aussies) especially cheap slippery ones but I wasn’t really thinking. I fought my way across to Larry’s paddock now with wet thongs that I kept slipping out of. Not fun when both banks of the creek are near impossible to scale. I found Larry who was happy to see me as usual. He’s such a loving horse with a personality and sense of humour (I know he’s a horse but if you met him you’d understand). I only had a rope to put around his neck – not exactly proper equipment to lead a 500kg horse across terrible terrain but I had nothing else. I quickly realised that Larry was much skinnier than what I thought and he walked as though he didn’t trust his legs to keep him upright. I felt gutted seeing my powerful horse reduced to a shell of whatever he used to be. 15-20 years ago Larry was a perfectly trained Dressage horse who competed in Three day events (Dressage, Jumping and Cross Country). He was close to Olympic level trained but once we bought him we only use natural horsemanship on our horses and Dressage was not something we thought the horse enjoyed so that was out. We loved him and the basic things we did with him (competitively speaking) he was fun and well-behaved. This boy was so well trained with natural horsemanship that I could get him to lie down so I could get on although by the time he was mine (he was originally my older sisters horse) he had already started sometimes showing signs of being lame. I didn’t like to make him lie down because it wasn’t enjoyment out of it. My solution was lining him up against our fence and me clambering on to the fence then inelegantly getting on him all the while he was never once held there or tied up. He didn’t need to be he just knew that was what I wanted him to do. I never used a bridle on him (who wants bloody piece of metal in their mouth and being ripped around by it) and sometimes no saddle. We had a strong bond and understood eachother perfectly. Needless to say I love Larry. In the many years he was officially mine I never fell off him – he made sure of that even when I nearly fell off him over a jump he moved across to right my position on him. Larry is a magic horse. He is also a very very smart horse. When his paddock flooded our neighours cut their fence so he could get through to their higher paddock but obviously they couldn’t go get him as it was too dangerous. Larry knew that humans always were a positive so I guess realising he was in a bad situation he ran to the open fence and survived. Unfortunately the neighbouring horses that belonged to other people weren’t as smart as Larry and sadly perished.

 

Anyway so I lead him toward the dreaded creek. Me in shorts and thongs walking in front of a really big horse (he’s 16.3 hands high which is close to the biggest normal horse you can get) but not once regardless of me stopping randomly and changing direction, did he stand on my feet. I tried many ways to just get down into the creek but the grass was high and there was a half metre drop to dangerously rocky uneven ground below and small trees blocking our way. He refused to go into a very rocky part of the creek which was a fair walk to the only place to get up the bank on the other side so I tried elsewhere. There was only one spot that I could get him across. I needed him to get to the house so I could at least hand feed him and give him fresh water. I tried pulling him down a tiny path (created by the neighours dog running through. I cut down one of the small trees but he was having no part in it. He knew his wobbly legs wouldn’t survive a fall even if it was small, the rocks were unforgiving. I tried to guide him to the path I knew he’s be ok if he took. No go and I wasn’t going to force him, that wasn’t fair. It was hot and everything felt hopeless. I needed to make Larry better, I needed to fix him and make him feel better but I couldn’t. It broke my heart not knowing what I could do to get him across this creek which seemed like the divider between Larry being ok and not being ok. I cried, I couldn’t help it, I cried. I had let him down. I shouldn’t have let him get this old in this place, it was a death sentence now because I couldn’t look after him the way he needed. I stood there crying, pleading with him to trust me and let me help him. I gave up, the rope I was leading him with was loose. I stood in the creek a few metres from him, crying. I couldn’t look at him, knowing I failed him. The insane heat, exhaustion and dehydration can really break you. Then by some miracle Larry started to walk down the impossibly small path he was scared but he loved me. He looked at me wanting to be lead down the safest path. In that moment I knew that animals were so much more than what everyone assumes they are ‘just animals.’ That horse understood what I couldn’t explain to him, he fell back on the belief we had instilled in him – your owners will never let you get hurt. After he made that monumental step (it really felt like that) I knew he was going to be ok. He was steady walking across the rocks then even jumped up the other bank all the while never once standing on me. Once I gave him a hose down to cool him and fed him I realised his front teeth were very low so of course he wouldn’t have been able to eat much grass. He’s now living in our house paddock (about an acre) where we feed him morning and night because he wouldn’t be able to cope with the horse float trip to my parents and I don’t think he would be able to get enough food by himself. He learnt fast where we keep his new food and as we started feeding him morning and night the second day he came right up to the house and made sure to make a loud enough neigh to remind us it was feed time (he learns fast). Now he is safe and I can make it all ‘OK’ which is what I needed. Larry is finally happy again and it’s so nice to be able to give him a pat every day which he enjoys. He’s too old now for him to ever be fat again (very old horses especially thoroughbreds always have their ribs showing) but as long as he looks healthy and his coat is shiny then I’ll make sure he lives out the rest of his life in peace. I don’t know how animals know our thoughts but I was reminded to NEVER underestimate an animal ever again. 

 
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Posted by on January 10, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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