Wednesday, December 30, 2009

LOOKING BACK ON 2009 + *My Top Hot 5*

This year hasn't been particularly good for me. I can't say for the overall effect but I went through a really tough time when I lost my grandpa in June. Grandpa who was my confidant and the most awesome person ever. Losing him was something I never really contemplated...which I guess is silly because life's a flippant thing. I learnt that when an old friend of mine passed away at the beginning of the year. She suddenly fell ill one Thursday, was taken to the hospital on Friday where during a city scan the docs detected a tumour and on Saturday she was dead. Just like that. No symptom of any previous serious medical condition. Forever 18. 
Yeah, that's how flippant life is.

I'm not kidding about the tough thing. I've been through major, major upheavals this year. And each upheaval's left me numb each time. Numb and emotionally dead. Time passes, life goes on...and I found my escape in writing (lots of poems flowed out during this period). Writing and books. My santuary.

That's when reflection started trickling in, along with a sense of urgency. Urgency about doing it right now. About living in the moment. Carpe Dium.

That's why SW is so important to me. It helped me find my escape (and no, I don't think escapism is necessarily bad). My haven. I've never been the one draft in three-months-or -less-writer but I've never worked with such an urgency as I'm doing with SW. And, I've never held on to any work for so long.
I lost a lot this year but it has also given me SW, which is now a major part of my life.

The books, as always, have been awesome companions, comforters (that a word?). All these years and I can still count on them. This year there have been some great releases --fab debuts, fab non-debutes, shaken-not-stirred heroines, high calorie males. It's been a great year for the writing industry. So, I just thought I'd do Top 5s of my fave books, characters and such.


TOP 5 HOT BOOKS OF THE YEAR

TAKEN BY STORM. I've gushed and gushed and gushed about this book. My fave debut.

> HUSH HUSH. It kept me hyperventilating. I was ecstatic, thrilled, elated, frightened --I don't think any book's made me feel all the emotions at one go.

> WHEREVER NINA LIES. One of the best roadtrip books I've read. I don't know how accurate the portrayal of all those places was since I haven't been to any of them but I think this book had the mood just right. Breezy, then a leap right into thrilling.

> THE HUNGER GAMES/CATCHING FIRE. I don't know what to say about this. If you've read them you know what I mean. If you haven't, well, you're missing out.

> WINGS. This book is so sweet. It brought back magic (in a good way) since Harry Potter.


TOP 5 HOT FIC MALES OF THE YEAR

>PATCH (Hush Hush) *stops breathing* Move over, everyone! Patch makes you lust over a fic character like never before. The bad guy is here to stay.

>ADRIAN (Vampire Academy series). I don't want the popular guy, give me the outcast anyday! Twisted humour defines Adrian. Dream on.

>TAMANI (Wings). Charming. Witty. Gorgeous. Want more? He's a faerie.

> MICHAEL MOSCOVITZ (The Princess Diaries). Okay, Forever Princess came out last year, so technically he shouldn't be on this year's list, but, c'mon..who can get over Michael Moscovitz? He's perfect. He invented a robotic CardioArm. And he read Mia's 400 page romance. And said it was hot. Yeah, hot.

> PEETA (The Hunger Games). Good guys aren't done away with. Sweet Peeta's on the 'Most Wanted' list.


TOP 5 HOT FIC FEMALES OF THE YEAR

> LEESIE HUNT (Taken By Storm). Bogged down by rules of your faith --fight it or succumb? Hold your own. That's Leesie Hunt. Adorable. Strong. Someone you'd love to know. Oh, and she writes poems. Fab ones, too.

> KATNISS EVERDEEN (Hunger Games/Catching Fire). Equally capable of fierce love and fierce hatred. She hunts. She fights. And she can beat any boy any day. Absolutely K-I-C-K-A-S-S.

> NORA GREY (Hush Hush). Even with someone with as strong a presense as Patch, this girl knows what she wants. Being a mere human makes her no damsel in distress. And she's a fun person too.

> ELLIE (Wherever Nina Lies). No, she isn't paired opposite a hotter-than-hot male, nor does she have any significant talent. But Ellie is awesome. You can't help loving her. She is determined to track down her sister even when glaring, impossible-to-remove obstacles stand in her way. <33

> AISLINN (Fragile Eternity). The fifth was a difficult choice considering all the awesome female MCs and non-MCs we've got this year, but Aislinn it is. There's just something about her. Even when she wasn't Summer Queen she was special. And we should know how hard it must be to choose between Seth and Keenan.


BOOK(S) THAT SHOULD BE MADE INTO A MOVIE: (Tie!) HUSH HUSH & THE HUNGER GAMES

Really, there should be a Thank You Award sent to all the wonderful writers who have written such fantastic books this year (and, yes, over the years).
Anyway.
                                         THANK YOU!
From me.

And to all you lovely twifties, G'luck with all your WiPs and SNIs.
I, for one, can't wait to see them ALL in print! :D

                                           ~Wrapping up this year~

Monday, December 28, 2009

Sunday Sundae: CONNECTION ~Jo Ramsey

I know it's Monday, but I'll still go ahead with a SUNDAY SUNDAE post. Bear with me.


At the start of high school, Shanna Bailey doesn’t imagine her life will change. She’s always been the one everyone else puts down, even her own mother. Shanna is positive high school will be no better. But when she meets Jonah Leighton, everything changes. Though most other kids make fun of and even fear Jonah, Shanna finds him to be kind and thoughtful, and he amazes her with the things he knows. Even more amazing, he wants to teach her what he’s learned, and he wants to be her friend.



When Kaylie Sturbridge, one of the popular crowd, starts acting strangely, flipping out in school and shouting about a dark thing following her, her friends shun her. Only Jonah seems to know what’s going on, and he persuades Shanna to work with him to help Kaylie. But can the two of them rid Kaylie of the entity that wants to take over? And can Shanna trust herself enough to do what Jonah needs her to?
 
This is the first book of The Reality Shift series. I came across this writer on AW where she posted an excerpt and decided that I had to post about it. Always glad to see a new YA writer on the block. CONNECTION comes out in Jan. 2010.
Oh, and you can find out more about the book here.
 
PS. Aren't the models on the cover hot?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

*~CHRISTMAS CHEER to/from Writer Buddies~*

It isn't the Christmas warmth that's spreading over me. It's the warmth from YOU.
Yes, You-- all of you guys.

I realised something. Not like one of those sudden "BAM!" realisations, but a slow, steady one.
I've been writing forever. Atleast as long as I can go back to un-fuzzy memories. Like about the time I was six years old and I caught chicken pox so I was quarantined to my grandma's. That was the first time I stayed away from my mum for such a long time so, I wrote a letter to her everyday. Funny thing is, I never posted them. Just wrote them in this diary she sent me. Talk about kiddy personal satisfaction. When I got back home, I still had a lotta pages from the diary left, so I started writing. Just like that --poems and stories and just about anything. That's how writing stuck with me. I'm emotionally, psychologically dependent on it.
Anyway, the point I'm trying to make is, even though I've been writing all my life, it's taken on a new meaning since I got this blog, joined AW and met all you wonderful people. Most of my friends aren't writers. Atleast no one is as stuck on YA as I am (mentally stunted takes on a whole new meaning with me). So writing and wanting to getting published was always my BIG SECRET.

Being a writer in solitude might have a lot of pros but I think having people to share your work with has more pros. As I've observed since November, when I really got this blog going. Having writer buddies has not only spurred me on to write more, but it's made me a better writer, I can tell. Or rather, I know. Or, okay, maybe I'm just delirious with all the cold I've caught.

Whatever it is, I wanna thank all you guys for being such great people. ALL OF YOU. You're all very special "snowflakes" in your own rights.
                                             *HUGS*

In the meantime, though it's still Christmas Eve Eve

And, oh yeah, don't forget to tell me all your Mistletoe Stories (you know what I mean, don't you-- you accidentally/intentionally step under the mistletoe, falling into/out of the arms of...?)


*Hohoho*!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

*TSK TSK* Teaser~#4

Sorry I'm not doing a Kissing Day/Belated kissing day post.
This is just the usual teaser but one I had great fun writing.


***

*snipped*

Monday, December 21, 2009

READERBUZZ: The Goddess Society ~ Kelly McKain

I'm back! After a hiatus (you missed me right? Oh, tell me you did anyway!). The blame goes back to my troublesome keyboard. It's been replaced so hopefully there won't be another obstacle in my blogging life any time soon, unless of course, the monitor conks out or something (yeah, my comp's ancient).
So, here I am. Back with a book after, yeah, ages. I've read so many books lately, dunno why I never ended up reviewing any. Will do, soon though.
Kelly McKain's THE GODDESS SOCIETY came out a few years ago but I only picked it up from the library a couple of days ago.





Sex isn't always about love.



And love isn't always about sex… When Jen, Lia and Shelley form a society to lose their virginity they each expect their first time to be perfect. But there are a few teeny problems. Friends, parents, kid brothers and drag queens all cause chaos - not to mention the boys themselves…


I was really tired after a long day out and had an assignment to work on, so I planned only on reading the first chapter before zoning out. Bad idea. Assignment forgotten, I read the book in a single sitting. THE GODDESS SOCIETY doesn't have kickass heroines or damsels in distress swooning into the arms of the hottest guy in class/town. These girls are real people, goddesses in their own rights, learning about themselves, finding themselves in a maze of confused feelings. This isn't a female version of Melvin Burgess' DOING IT. It's about love and heartbreak, living and dying. In short, it's about the world we build in and around ourselves..about life itself.
From what I know, this is Kelly McKain's only YA venture (Point rates it strictly for teenagers) but she has a gem in here. It hooked me in, especially with the multi-narrator thing (each chapter is narrated by a different character-- Jen, Shelley and Lia) and warmed me within.
I really liked THE GODDESS SOCIETY and yeah, I do want to read the sequel, THE LOST GODDESS.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

*TSK TSK* Teaser: #3

I had one of my 'Eureka' moments Sunday night, which resulted in me going all the way back to Chapter One to add a new scene. This new scene will set off significant changes throughout the book which I now have to add/edit along. At the pace I'm going it's gonna take an eternity before I have a polished draft.
Still, my new Dec 31st deadline to whip up the first draft stays. For now.

So, yes, the snippet.

*snipped*

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sunday Sundae: SING ME TO SLEEP ~ Angela Morrison

I've been terrible lately, especially with the irratic blogging. Blame it on University. It's been eating up all my time, totally stressing me out. Plus, I'm trying to get SW done by the 31st of Dec. (Yeah, I know, I'm terrible with deadlines, but I'm hell bent on this one) so that's taking up the all the spare time I can manage. And, um, well, there's another tiny intrusion in the form of a *cough* Patch Cipriano *cough* (considering that HUSH HUSH arrived in my mailbox yesterday) but I'm trying to *cough* resist *cough* temptation *cough*.
So, a short post on 'Book To LOOK OUT For' but one I hope you won't mind.




THE TRANSFORMATION
Beth has always been “The Beast”—that’s what everyone at school calls her because of her awkward height, facial scars, and thick glasses. Beth’s only friend is geeky, golden-haired Scott. That is, until she’s selected to be her choir’s soprano soloist, and receives the makeover that will change her life forever.
THE LOVE AFFAIR
When Beth’s choir travels to Switzerland, she meets Derek: pale, brooding, totally dreamy. Derek’s untethered passion—for music, and for Beth—leaves her breathless. Because in Derek’s eyes? She’s not The Beast, she’s The Beauty.
THE IMPOSSIBLE CHOICE
When Beth comes home, Scott, her best friend in the world, makes a confession that leaves her completely torn. Should she stand by sweet, steady Scott or follow the dangerous, intense new feelings she has for Derek?
THE HEARTBREAK
The closer Beth gets to Derek, the further away he seems. Then Beth discovers that Derek’s been hiding a dark secret from her …one that could shatter everything.


I loved Angela Morrison's TAKEN BY STORM (you can read my review here). That was my first ever post (actually second, but the official first post doesn't really count). Infact, TBS was the book that inspired me to start a blog in the first place (not that it has anything to do with blogging but 'cos I so badly wanted to review it so that people read the book).
Just look at that cover. It's gorgeous! (yeah, I'm pretty much of a cover whore) Even the premise is so promising, it just draws me in. I'm certainly keeping an eye out for this one. It comes out in March 2010.
Sometime soon I'll try hosting Angela Morrison for CHATTERBUZZ, so keep a look out :D

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

*TSK TSK*....~Teaser~

I hope you'll allow me to ramble before I put up the teaser. 
Last week was awesome. I got tons written on Spirits Within *yay*..thanks to all the wonderful twifties and non-twifties on AW.
And the awesome Lauren Mechling I interviewed last week posted about the interview on her blog. Like I said, she's absolutely fab!
And, I won a giveaway on Marjolein's blog *punches the air*...
...yeah, it's been bliss.
Ahem, so back to the teaser. This is the rough, bare bones of it..which will need a lot of polishing, but I'll share it with all you awesome people anyway :-)
Plus, this one's kinda long. By the way, the Oliver guy mentioned here is a ghost.

 
*snipped*

Friday, December 4, 2009

CHATTERBUZZ: Welcomes...*LAUREN MECHLING*

STOP RIGHT HERE.

Welcome to the very first edition of CHATTERBUZZ which will feature interviews, writer tips and the usual chatter from writers far and wide, published, upcoming and soon-to-be-published.
Today, I'm really excited to present the fab...

*Drumroll*


....*LAUREN MECHLING*

She co-wrote the 10th Grade Social Climber Series and is the author of the upcoming DREAM GIRL series. DREAM LIFE comes out in January 2010.


So, hold your breath. Lets hear it straight from Lauren.


The Book we so HAVE to read...
"Dream Girl" is a delicious tale about a half-French girl detective who discovers that her dreams might be worth listening to. In the sequel "Dream Life," Claire gets tapped to join a very fabulous secret society.But it's not just clubhouse pajama parties and inexplicable traditions--thanks to her dreams she sniffs out that she and the club are both in quite a bit of trouble. It's all very action-packed, a la James Bond, except instead of a craggy-faced villain named Demetri or Nubius, the villains come in slightly more interesting--and slippery--forms.

And you are...
I am a newspaper editor by day, teen fiction writer by night. Well, early morning if you want to get technical about it.
What sparked off the inspiration for Dream Girl? 
"Dream Girl" is really a love letter to New York. I imagined what it would be like if all of my favorite places--the Waldorf hotel, the tea shops in the East Village, Green-Wood Cemetery, etc--were actually important places in somebody's daily life. I'm so jealous of Claire!
  
What has been your 'Eureka' moment so far?
I wrote Dream Girl when I was a full-time writer. Now that I have a day job, it's been fascinating to discover that I can write about half as much as I was as a "full-time writer"  in a fraction of the time. It's all about making the most of the tiny parcels of free time you do have.
Your website says that in fifth grade you whipped up a home-made pencil costume for Halloween. Was it any different in your teens?
Did I get my sexy on, you mean? Sadly, no. My 12th grade Halloween costume involved wearing an ET nightgown and elaborately teased hair.


Why write YA? You look very much like an adult.
It's true--I'm an old lady. I like to write YA because of all the roller coastery twists and turns it allows for. The stuff I've written for grown-ups tends to be slower and, well, not as good. Plus, I was a more passionate reader as a teen than I am now and I like to think I'm writing for people who love books harder than any other readers. I love love my readers.
If you were marooned on an uninhabited island and had the option of taking one book along (barring your own), which would it be?
Ooh! Can I say my Kindle, which has Edith Wharton's "Old New York," "Alice and Wonderland" and "Vampire Academy" on it? If not, I'd say my favorite book of all time: "Quartet in Autumn" by Barbara Pym. I should warn you, it's very weird.

The Golden tip for the writers. Okay, one that you feel aspiring writers should keep in mind.
As I said above, slow and steady wins the race. You don't have to despair if you can't write a book in a few months--however long it takes is fine. I take yoga classes, and the teachers are always talking about "my practice," meaning their daily commitment. I'm not sure I could handle pretzeling myself for 90 minutes every day, but I do like the idea of having "a practice" if it's writing. It centers me, to sit at my desk every morning. I'd recommend any aspiring writer try to write for ten minutes a day, just to see what it feels like to be committed to something for the long haul.

Five random things about yourself in the next thirty seconds.
I nervously twiddle my hair.
I always buy too much cheese at the supermarket even though I don't really like cheese.
I like the Twilight movies a lot more than the books.
I have dreams about people that change the way I feel about them.
I believe in wearing perfume at all times.
Okay, now spill a secret. *Grins*

Sometimes I go to the movies by myself and don't tell anybody.
Thanks, Lauren!
It's been great talking to you.
We wish you lots of bestsellers and a totally fab writing career.
To know more about Dream Girl or Lauren check out her website.
And go purchase the book on Amazon
~xoxo 

Saturday, November 28, 2009

WiP BUZZ : Spirits Within

First the good news : All's well with the University results. I got a first class honours :D *does a merry dance*

Now, the other good news: I'm finally here to talk about Spirits Within. 
So, breathe.


Introducing...


 


Rosa Rajput has forever been an outcast. Blame it on her freak ability to see and communicate with the dead. So when she is sent to live with her Mum's friend and her family to Oak Ridge, a small town in Northern England, after two consecutive expulsions, she is looking for a fresh start. Minus the spectral visitations, that is. Ghosts, though, seldom let go of their only connection with the living world. When Rosa's friend, Oliver, falls victim to a spate of baffling murders, it is up to her and a family of Healers to get to the bottom of it. Not exactly her idea of a perfect start. Not her comfort zone either....




......Hiding behind hoodies, skating the length of the town, Rosa finds her own personal escape in skater-boy Conner. As she fools around town with this mysterious boy and his group of friends, she is drawn to the comfort he offers, a break from her freakishly lonely world, unable to realise that the closer she gets to Conner's world the more she is risking herself to fate's worst nightmares. 



I have to be honest.
This is the first time I've done a synopsis of SW. The obvious reason being I'm bad with them. I don't know how good this is or how well it embraces the story but it's all in good practise, I guess. :D


*****
PS. I'll soon be starting a new section called CHATTERBUZZ featuring writing tips, interviews and of course the usual chatter from both published and unpublished writers.
Hope you guys will be looking forward to it as much as I am.
*****

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

FrEaKiNg OuT

I know I said I'll be posting about SW soon.
And I will. I promise.
Right now though, I'm freaking out.
Why?
'Cause my University results are coming out tomorrow and, well, a lotta things depend on it.
I need all the luck in the world. Help ho!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Discriminating Against a Sect of Writers: Free World?

This is a mail I got via 5 Minutes For Books and I thought I should share it with you all. Is this a reflection of our "free society"? I want to know what you think.


***
Dear Book Lover:
You may not know me, or my novels, because I am a member of a growing band of African-American writers of literary fiction who are slowly disappearing. And not because I am lacking in talent and credentials; in fact I have already published a number of books with major publishing houses and have been reviewed by national newspapers and well-respected literary journals, and have received critical acclaim and awards for my efforts. My work has been hailed as vivid, thought provoking and brilliant. I have been compared to Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Zora Neale Hurston and Gloria Naylor.
The fact that my novels may disappear is not due to the downward spiral of the economy or the pound of flesh it has taken from the book-publishing industry. No, my demise began long before the floor of the housing market began to rot away and the stock market crashed through.
Why?
I don't rightly know why publisher’s market fiction written by African-Americans ONLY TO African-Americans - but it has become common practice. And by doing this, they've placed all AA authors in one box forcing them to compete for the attention of ONE audience.
The word that has been coined to describe what is happening to AA writers is: Seg-Book-Gation
Segregation is an abominable practice no matter how you slice it - but when you apply it to art — it becomes a sin. Art of any medium should transcend color, race, class, religion and ethnicity, but alas, that is not the case in the publishing world.
AA literary writers like myself are being pushed out of the industry all together as we are no longer able to secure book deals, because publisher claim that AA readers are only interested in buying books about sex, street-life and drugs. We know that this is not the case. We are a diverse people, interested in a variety of subjects.
sugarOn January 9th, 2010, my debut novel, Sugar will celebrate its 10th anniversary. In order to commemorate this occasion, it is my great hope that this moving story of friendship and acceptance will sell 10,000 copies between now and the anniversary date.
It is my dream that the surge in sales for this decade old novel, will send a message to the publishers that we readers desire …crave and DEMAND a variety of literature from our AA writers because their stories are just as riveting, thought-provoking and universally appealing as the stories coming from their non-African-American counterparts.
***STOP PUBLISHING FROM RACIALIZING LITERATURE***
Please purchase at least one copy of Sugar for yourself, a friend or family member and spread the word as far and wide as you can.
Peace & Light,
Bernice L. McFadden
Bernice L. McFadden is the author of six critically acclaimed novels, including the classic Sugar and Nowhere Is a Place, which was a Washington Post best fiction title for 2006. Her long awaited seventh novel, Glorious will be published in May 2010.
Visit Bernice at: http://www.bernicemcfadden.com/
email questions/comments: bernicemcfadden@hotmail.com

***
 I may only be a novice writer who is trying to complete her own WiP, but I totally get how frustrating it must be to be in Bernice L. McFadden's position. I want to help her. And I want you to, as well. 
For a fellow writer, SPREAD THE WORD :)


 

Thursday, November 19, 2009

TENSE-ing Up

I'm in a dilemma.

Midway through SW  my writing voice is playing tricks on me.

Blame it on the tense. I don't know which one to use.
While some parts find clarity with the 'present' tense, others do so with the 'past' tense..and now I'm literally driving myself up the wall 'cause I'm all lost right now.

I know 'present' tense is the current fad, but I'd like to know, which tense sounds right to you?
And, what should I do? 'Cause IF's not being any help either.

Swell.

ON MY BOOKSHELF: New Buys

I was at the bookstore last night (which shouldn't sound unusual since I'm always there. Whether I buy or not, I'll be there simply to smell the books). There weren't quite as many as I'd have liked but there were some I've been wanting to read for long.
Here's what I bought.
And, yes, I'm broke now.












WICKED LOVELY - Melissa Marr 
(Yes, finally after so long!)













DEVIL'S KISS - Sarwat Chadda
(Heard exciting things about this one..expectant)













ENVY - Anna Godbersen
(I have read neither LUXE nor RUMOR but I couldn't not buy this..something about the cover deff)













INK EXCHANGE - Melissa Marr
(I lurrrrve the cover! Companion novel to WICKED LOVELY)













THE LOVELY BONES - Alice Sebold
(I should have got this ages ago..god only knows why I didn't)













WINGS - Aprilynne Pike
(When I read the first sample chapter on Aprilynne's web, I just had to get this...now I can't stop grinning :-P)

 SUMMER SISTERS - Judy Blume
(This lady still rules..:)







Worth being broke when you have a pretty post (thanks for acknowledging :-P) and such lovelt colours to brighten up your bookshelf.
Can't wait to read them! 
*Squee*
And they are all mine!
*Double Squee*


PS. I just realised I might have been unfair with the Teaser since I haven't really spoken about SW at length, leaving you with no clue to what it's about. I'll do that in the next post or the one after that.




Monday, November 16, 2009

*TSK TSK*: WiP TEASER

This is a bit from the unedited, unrevised draft of my WiP tentatively titled Spirits Within I thought I'd share.


           ***


*snipped*



                ***


So there.
I must get back to Rosa ;-)

ALERT: Giveaway on Marjolein Book Blog

Marjolein's  hosting a giveaway on her blog MARJOLEINBOOKBLOG . The book in question is EXPLORER X --ALPHA by L.M. Preston to be launched in Feb. 2010.
Drop by for a chance to win it!


~xoxo

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Blog Update after an unwilling vacation from blogosphere/ Ebook hindrance(?)

First it was my space-bar that betrayed me.
Then the 'h' key, followed by the 'c' key, the 'm' key..and on and on and on. Perfectly traitorous.
That left me only with the ability to read blogs and not post anything new on mine. I tell you, resistance is a difficult job.
Turns out though, I had a freaking great time reading the blogposts. Yes, I read every post on all the blogs I follow and some that I don't-follow.
*Applause* to all of you out there!!
Mari Mancusi, writer of the Blood Coven series, wrote an awe-inspiring post on Kristen Nelson's blog. You might wanna hop over and check it out: click here.
Congrats for the relaunch, Mari! And, oh yes, the covers are gorgeous :D
Teen writer Nina Zivkovic just wrapped up her first book The Core: The Beginning. Congrats to her too!! I hope you find an agent ASAP :D
The countdown to Rhonda Stapleton's  Dec. 22nd debut, STUPID CUPID, has begun as well. I'm looking forward to this light and funny teen rom-com. A copy of the book along with other goodies is up for grabs, so you might as well drop by her blog.
This already looks like an exciting time. And with the NaNoWriMo (my MuFiWiPMo) deadline bobbing it's head up ever so slightly, there's a lot to look forward too as well.


I hope you're having a fun time with your writing and reading!
That reminds me, what's your take on ebooks? I kinda realised that ebooks aren't exactly my cup of tea. I don't know if it's me or the comp but I have a hard time connecting with characters when I'm reading an ebook. I abandoned BOY MEETS GIRL (even though I mostly enjoy Meg Cabot's books), THE LOST SYMBOL (if you put down a Dan Brown book you're quite clearly insane), MIDNIGHT SUN/partial draft (and I absolutely LOVE the TWILIGHT saga) and THE CHOICE (and this was the shortest). The only one I've managed to stick out with for so long is Richelle Mead's VAMPIRE ACADEMY (so that one's deff got something about it). What about you? How do you get along with ebooks?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

November Blues: Study or Write?

I think I'm finally settling into November. This time of the year always gets me flustered for reasons beyond my comprehension and this year with NaNoWriMo/University tests and results things got more unsettling. And I'm trying to deal with each one separately. Yeah.

a) I'm withdrawing from NaNoWriMo *blows a kiss to Emilia and Trisha (who's not here but was equally encouraging)*. So, like I said earlier, it's MuFiWiPMo for me. I HAVE TO finish my current WiP by the 30th. I'm not quite sure how, 'cause it's actually pretty long, but I will. Yeah. Now that's motivation talking *grins to self*. And sometime soon I'm gonna talk about my WiP so that you know what is/are this book/characters I've fallen hook, line and sinker in love with. These days, I remain in their world longer than I remain in mine. Maybe that's 'cause I fit better there.


b) I have a pile of books on my desk that needs to be read. Textbooks. And they need to be read by Monday which is when I have a test. Frankly I don't know a thing...but I'm getting there. Atleast planning to. The problem with University, especially mine where they have a "reputation" to live up to, is that it so gets in the way of my writing. Sadly, that can't really be helped, so I'm learning to live with that. Ahem. The good thing is, Monday's test includes Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, which is a text I enjoy. If only my sadistic professors would be kind enough to spare some marks. Sigh.

I had a lot planned for the evening. Like lessening the pile of books on the desk. Increasing the word count of Spirits Within. Basically, being prepared for Monday and the 30th of Nov. (that's not very far now that I think of it). And, well, this is how it (the evening, ie) basically turned out. Not exactly what you'd call 'according to plan'.
1) Made a new playlist.
2) Replied to emails.
3) Read Chapters 1-2 of Alyson Noel's Shadowland. Online. Even though I've read neither Evermore nor Blue Moon.
4) Watched Evermore book video on Youtube. Ogled at Damen guy.
5) Debated whether I should read Wicked Lovely or Evermore first.
6) Saw Wicked Lovely video. Ogled at Seth and Keenan.
7) Logged on Facebook.
8) Snacked on nuts.
9) Logged off Facebook.
10) Dumped nuts.
11) Watched Werecats: Stray video. Ogled at EVERYONE. Too hot for comfort *eyes elated* (here's the link incase you decide to give your eyes a pleasant surprise too: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PwJX_c8eDGA&feature=fvw)
12) Listened to Rachel Vincent's (author of Werecats series) interview.
13) Debated between Wicked Lovely, Evermore and Stray.
14) Continued reading Vampire Academy from where I had left off. Only Ebook I've stuck to for so long.
15) Drooled over Ben Barnes, winced over Megan Fox in a VA book trailer. Ouch.
16) Made a cup of coffee. Planning on doing that a lot tonight to keep awake and get Monday's stuff done.
17) Started blogging.
18) Daydreamed of this secret world with Ben Barnes..*sigh of pleasure*
19) Blogging....


It's time. I should get myself off this chair and, well, start slogging. For Monday.
Except that Rosa's all excitedly whispering in my head..
And, well...
Okay, there's Pride and Prejudice..and the accompanying bundle of notes...
And, there's the pen...oh bugger, Rosa I'm coming!




Wednesday, November 4, 2009

NaNo or WiP or WiP INTO NaNo

 I'm so lost right now. I don't know what to do.
I took up the NaNoWriMo because I thought it would be an exciting opportunity to see how far I can push myself with a deadline looming and well, I like challenges. Thing is, four days into it and I'm not even sure if I'm cut out for it. My WiP characters are screaming inside my head: they won't let me rest in peace (in this case, work on the NaNo project). They want my attention and frankly, I miss them too. Not that the NaNo story doesn't have my attention. It does. If it didn't I wouldn't have spent even 24 hours on it. But what do I do? Does quitting NaNoWriMo make me a wimp? Should I get back to my WiP? And what happens with the deadline thing? Questions, questions. Only 26 more days left and I don't even know where I stand. Should I turn my WiP into my NaNo project and see how far I can proceed with that? Because quite honestly I need a deadline. I need someone to give me a nudge, a push..someone to say 'okay, if you don't get this done by then, you're not getting this (whatever 'this' is)..' From the little that I've learnt about myself, I do think I thrive under pressure. And, it's high time I complete my WiP, Spirits Within. The other night I literally woke up in cold sweat 'cause while on one side my SW soulmates were stamping their feet in need on the other side NaNo was smirking and shaking its head in slight disapproval.
The gnawing in my mind doesn't cease. Every time I decide on NaNo time Spirits Within launches into full fledged action. And when I finally make up my mind on SW, NaNo wags a finger under my nose as if to say 'you'd never get anything done' (go figure). 
Maybe I should turn NaNoWriMo to MuFiWiPMo (Must-Finish-WiP-Month) but then, will it be the same as working under an actual deadline? (Jeez, I need someone to wave a whip in my face as I race to Nov. 30th). Funny, a month that's supposed to embody something concise..condensed..nano is making things so complicated for me.
Sound/unsound advice anyone?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Goin' Nano..

That time of the year.
And, I'm going nano!

Honestly, it IS time to buckle up and commit to my book..in totality. Without the distractions. Yes. Ahem. Okay, so I really can't do much about distractions especially if they come in the form of something totally irresistable but then I'm gonna try not to DO much about them either.
So writing time. Now. Full-fledgedly. Atleast as much as I can manage with college getting in the way *grumble*
Anyway, here goes.
Rosa, Conner, Oliver...I'm all yours!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

HALLOWEEN Spooks

I may be too late for a Halloween post, but I'll shoot nevertheless. 
I'm curious about what you guys have decided to BE tonight. I mean, with the traditional vampires, werewolves, zombies, witches and fairies being given glorified new dimensions to themselves and blending in with the common folk, they've kinda lost their appeal as Halloween, um, Monsters? 
It's supposed to be a Scarrific night, if I'm not mistaken (not that I should be, atleast out here).
Like this, maybe?
 But, heck, you gotta agree it's gotta be weird trick or treating in a vamp's costume when the current popular belief has etched a picture of a gorgeous, long-lashed gentlemanly male or an even bewitching female in your next door neighbour's mind.
So what exactly would be an apt costume?
A tennis star?
A loony toon?
The homecoming queen?

What was YOUR costume?
Shoot.
Looks like Halloween itself is going for a makeover of sorts. 

HOPE THE SPOOKINESS LEAVES ITS TOUCH ON YOUR HALLOWEEN

Muhahaha! 

Friday, October 30, 2009

Hide and Seek with the Inspiration Fairy


My Inspiration Fairy is a smart, cheeky nymph. She knows she is beautiful and she knows she can get her way with her clients a.k.a. writers, so she loves to take them for a ride. Playing games. Sneaking away. Paying a surprise visit in the middle of the night or when you've just settled for a long, slow bath. Then of course there's her trademark giggle as you struggle to wipe sleep/water out of your eyes, hunt around for the pen, grope for the notebook to pen down the magical words she's whispered into your ears. She draws you into a lovely reverie, filling your mind with images and a steady splatter of words...ah, bliss. You love her. Reveries, sadly, are short lived *long dramatic sigh*. Another mesmerising giggle from her. Then out of the blue the magical words start disappearing from your head. In their place there are sequences that make no sense and words that would drive even the local farmer's ass insane. You pick up your ears hoping to catch the chiming of bells in your head (which could be her insouciant giggle) or the the free flow of words like a gurgling river. Bottom line is, she's disappeared. Yes. And just like that too. 
No clue to where. 
Maybe to the Goddess Inspiration Fairy Park
 
Or perhaps to her abode among the clouds which she shares with her equally quirky friends. Possibly called Inspiration Castle.








While she's on her holiday (mostly short unless she's planning some revenge game on you), you bang your head against the walls, tear at your hair and basically look for ways to end the the torture your sadistic muse has left you to. Even death would be pleasant then. Your notebook lies blank or ruined with useless ramblings (like this one) and your mind molested. Urgh! You'll kill her when she arrives, you swear. Oh yes! She's not getting away next time! But thing is, she does. She keeps up her cheeky games. She hides and you have to seek her. Because until you find her, your work lies tattered.
You have to admit, you love her. Grudgingly so. Inspite of her driving you up the wall sometimes, if not always. You cant do without her. Because she gives you your escape in the form of the magical tinkle of words she filters into you. *The girl's smart*


Food for thought: You have to seek her right? A ginormous Troll just hit me and said that she (yes, SHE, the cheeky lady) is probably seeking us out. *Cough cough* Maybe its my head. Bloody troll. Setting off thoughts in directions I didn't expect. Argh. Now where's my pen? Ah, lovely, the notebook! And the blank page. Now to write. Okay, the blank page...ahem, the blank page...INSPIRATION FAIRY, WHERE ART THOU??!!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

READER BUZZ: Quick Snips of Random Reads

My net conked so I was off for sometime. Got so much to talk about, so much to write but now that college's restarted, it's taking up all the time...argh!! Oh why, oh why cant there be 72 hours a day? Then I'd have time for my book, other books, a romcom/drama/musical, my blog, the guitar, bloody college, assignments, a long, long bath (instead of the usual quick shower), facebook, twitter, youtube, author websites, daydreaming, night watching, looking for my very own vampire/werewolf/fairy king/merboy EVERY SINGLE DAY. Ah, life can be so sadistic *long sigh*....
Okaaaaay, now here are some quick snips of some recent and some not-so-recent reads. JLT (maybe 'cause I just cant stop rambling :-P)
Here goes.
Arguably WHEREVER NINA LIES has to be one of the best debuts of the year. When sixteen year old Ellie sets off in search of her sister, Nina, who disappeared two years ago, with hot guy Sean for company, you know it's going to be a fun ride.What you don't know is that the breezy will give way to the pulse-racing. I was so engrossed I read it in one sitting. I'd definitely suggest you pick this up. It's a great holiday read, especially if you're on a roadtrip with your friends, Phantom Planet screaming "California" from the stereo...bliss.

My first Jill Mansell and I can't say I was particularly impressed. At seventeen, Lola was made an offer in exchange for her boyfriend, Doug. Though circumstances forced Lola to take up the offer, she never really got over him. Now years later when she accidentally stumbles upon him again, she knows she has to get him back. Except this time she's dealing with a different Doug. What do I say about this one? It was fun but very, very predictable. Mansell's characters are a cheery lot and you'll fall in love with them...but (there's always a but) a lot of the storyline seemed forced. The natural flow of things falling into place was not there. Instead, a lot of the characters ended up with each other simply because they had been single and Mansell decided they needed a partner. Forced.

Baby (yes that's the protagonist's name) lives sometimes with her absent druggie dad, sometimes in foster homes and sometimes with the local pimp. This is the story of her journey from innocence to the loss of innocence and finally the attainment of higher innocence (I get I'm sorta talking Blake..blame college influence). I loved this book. I love Baby. She goes through the worst possible things in her short life. Yet hope doesn't falter in her. Because she's still a child. She's 12. She refuses the ugliness of her life to haunt her even though it does haunt the reader. It's obvious that Heather O'Neill borrows a lot from her own life. The interview at the back of the book speaks for itself. A great debut, I'll be looking forward to more from this writer.

Believe it or not, the writer of STAR-CROSSED is just sixteen and yes, I'm jealous (ah, to have your name on the cover of a paperback/hardback *drool*). This one's a contemporary take on Romeo and Juliet, set in high school. What is unique about this book, aside from the writer's young age, is the unusual second-person narrative (first one I've read). That is an effective tool for drawing readers into the story at the word 'go'. It was kinda neat. Apparently, Rachael Wing's also written a contemporary A Midsummer Night's Dream called LOVESTRUCK. Set at a rock concert. No kidding.

My first Carole Matthews and such a delightful read too! I enjoyed it so much I didn't want to put it down (however much of a cliche that sounds). A bit impractical but her quirky sense of humour more than made up for it. Emma, in all her craziness, is one of my favourite characters ever. I want a sequel of this one. Definitely awaiting more from Matthews' pen.

Like I mentioned in the previous posts, the paranormal obssession's definitely here to stay. And, I, for one, am all for it. Raven, the sole Goth in "Dullsville" has always dreamt of becoming a vampire. Things heat up in town when a vampire in shining sunglasses, Alexander, moves into the haunted mansion at Benson Hill. A very quick read and an engrossing one at that. The first of the Vampire Kisses series (Ellen Schreiber has 7 books in mind), this one is for pre/younger teens, I'd say. Perfect for a delay at the airport.

I don't have much to say because what I say will not justify it. NINETEEN MINUTES is a gripping, edge-of-the-seat psychological thriller chronicling a school shooting while delving deep into the mind of the teen killer. Extensively researched, at times traumatic,although it does have its share of light moments (very few though) it's one of those books that haunt you (in a good way) long after you've turned the final page.And, yes, there's a twist toward the end. My next Picoult read will most probably be MY SISTER'S KEEPER (triggered by the movie, but only partly). Not worth a miss.

Adrian Mole was a legend in the 80s and rightfully so. I LOVE Adrian. He is your usual 15 year old teenage boy, drooling over his love, Pandora, and musing about his parents (and their respective lovers). Well, almost usual, except for the fact that he thinks, rather knows, he's an intellectual and mails poems to the BBC hoping to get his own personal show on air. THE GROWING PAINS OF ADRIAN MOLE is a brilliant stick-in-the-eye on adult morality. If you don't read this, you'll be missing a gem. I don't know what to say to Sue Townsend but...hats off. A genius of sorts.

I have tons else to talk about but as the owls hoots and the bats start their nocturnal days, I have to return to my writing (not the blog, the book), if I can avoid falling asleep on the keyboard itself (tiresome academia has it's price...seriously, what's the point?). So goodnight or goodmorning, depends on which part of the world you're from, and wicked dreams. For a change. *Chuckle*
Bee --xoxo 

Monday, October 26, 2009

Quick Bite

This is just a quickie since I'm going to be out all day. So here's what I grabbed last night




And well, I'm reading it right now. The paranormal obssession's definately getting the better of me!! Anyway, from the buzz that's been going on, this book's been on my TBR pile for long..now's to reading it finally :D

Friday, October 23, 2009

READER BUZZ: Everyone Worth Knowing

Sophomore book talk...

*DRUMBEATS*
...EVERYONE WORTH KNOWING, the second book to come from the bestselling author of THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA, Lauren Weisberger.

Bette Robinson, 27, shares her apartment with Millington, a dog, works within a shower sized cubicle at CWK Hoffman and hangs out with her best friend, Penelope, and her gay Uncle Will. In short, her personal life is a monotony, her social life nil. Then one fine day she quits her job and lands the opportunity to work for a PR Agency that boasts of Hollywood's A-listers among its clientele. Now Bette gets paid to party with the rich and famous, a far cry from her old boring job. Sometimes though, keeping up with 'everyone worth knowing' has its price. As Bette turns up in the tabloids with a notorious British playboy and is drawn deeper into the world of glitz and glamour, she finds herself far away from her known world of Harlequin Romances, 80s music and the place where truth mattered. As Bette struggles to find her true calling, is there her own Harlequin Romance hero waiting to sweep her into his arms? Moreover, where does that leave her?

EVERYONE WORTH KNOWING takes a long time to take off. For me the long time was about a 100 pages. Seriously. Even though I've only watched THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA movie I do think the premises of the two books are kinda similar. I liked Bette. I found her more relatable than the characters of CHASING HARRY WINSTON, Weisberger's third outing (which I might take up later). Among the male characters Sammy was the only one I really liked (though Uncle Will/Simon were almost equally likeable). Infact, I have to admit, Sammy was the reason I clung on to the book. My problem was with the writing which I felt was inconsistent and the font which gave me a headache. While some parts got me excited, others dulled in comparison. It might have been a better work had some of the details been cut down, in turn reducing the number of pages. However, having said that, i do feel the author did a good job with the ending, wrapping up Bette's story in a justifiable manner.

Have you read the book? If so, what did you like/dislike about it?
Let me know. Until next time,

Bee

xoxox 

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

READER BUZZ: Taken By Storm

Okay, hold your breath.
Here's the first book I'm going to talk about.

TAKEN BY STORM -- by Angela Morrison

*Applause*

So here goes.
Belonging to the only Mormon family in a tiny town means saying "no" to a lot of things. Seventeen year old Leesie Hunt learns it the hard way. She is harrassed by the jocks and mocked as the "Mormon Ice Queen". Her salvation lies in poetry; the Lord above; and BYU, her dream school, her escape.
Michael Walden, a free diver, arrives in Tekoa to live with his grandmother after a devastating tragedy snatches away his parents' lives. Disillusioned in a desolate world, Michael need Leesie to save him from losing himself.
But how can she give him what he wants when abiding by the Mormon rules she has to keep her feet firmly on the ground?

TAKEN BY STORM is beautifully written. A compilation of Leesie's poems, Michael's dive journal entries and chat logs, it's like a breath of fresh air drawing the reader in instantly. The characters are well fleshed out and relatable. It is easy to understand why Leesie wants to protect Michael. He is beautiful and broken, drowning in his own tragedy. Inspite of the religious undertones TAKEN BY STORM doesn't come across as preachy. Leesie isn't a fanatic. She is sensible, trying to hold on to her beliefs.
Angela Morrison writes like a dream. Lyrical and poetic, Leesie and Michael's story is heartrendingly touching as their very different worlds threaten to tear them apart.

This book is special. I loved it so much that I had to write a justifiable review which is why I started this blog in the first place.
Leesie and Michael might have two more books to them -- UNBROKEN CONNECTION and CAYMAN SUMMER. Here's wishing this exciting new author congratulations on her lovely debut and good luck for her writing career.

If you're interested in knowing more about the author or if you simply want to read the first chapter, log on to www.angela-morrison.com

So there's my first review. If you're reading this I hope you enjoyed it and will stick around for some more.
Until next time :D

The Inaugeration

I should have started this ages ago. Honestly.
Books have been my nourishment as long as I can remember. And banter. And random musings.
Don't know why it took so long.
Blame it on the flippant internet connection.
Or school/college that all-encompassed my life (still does).
Or my own writing aspirations that require all the free time I can get.
Or simply, my own ignorance.
Whichever was the biggest reason, the thing is, now that I'm here, I'm planning to stay.
So whether you've accidentally stumbled upon this page or you've really been searching for random blogs, blow a kiss and wish me luck on my blogging life.

I NOW DECLARE BOOKS, BANTER & RANDOM MUSINGS OFFICIALLY OPEN!!

Read on.
 
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