Meeting The New (Book) Baby

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It’s a weird thing leaving one book behind. Even weirder starting the new one. One moment you’re obsessed with a group of characters, interrupting conversations to scribble down a plot note, and the next… You send them out into the world for readers, and you move on.

Technically my last project was three books, but they had the same characters throughout. I feel like I know Jay and Kayla inside out by now! By the third book, it was pretty much instinctual to write how they’d react to certain situations.  Not to mention, to each other 😉

After leaving them behind I meant to give myself a bit of a break. Which I did…for a week. Then I couldn’t ignore the burning niggle of a new story, and told myself I’d just write a couple of pages to see where it went.

As you’ll see by my last few blog posts, I didn’t stop at a couple of pages! (By the way, do you like seeing my book progress? I thought it was a bit of fun, and it’s one way to stop me slacking.) The new story is quite a different one from the lighthearted fun of Kayla and Jay, and the change of pace is refreshing, I’ve gotta say.

One thing I wasn’t expected is that new characters and a new tone has led to a different structure. Not radically different, but the chapter length and frequency has certainly changed. Not to mention there’s a bit less description, because, well, we’re not in Hawaii anymore.

If you write, do you find new characters change the structure of your book? And what do you think of my book progress updates?

 

 

(Current book progress: 20,149)

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Review: Scarlet

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Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

 

I stayed up until 4am to finish this one. I could have read it in the daylight the next day, but I just couldn’t put it down to sleep. My husband snored on beside me, wearing an eye mask, because I wouldn’t turn out the light. That’s how good this was.

I’m going to stay away from plot, just in case anyone hasn’t read this yet. Trust me, the plot is excellent, but that’s all I’m going to say.

What I found most enjoyable is that Marissa Meyer has seriously nailed writing strong women. They’re believable, flawed people, but both Cinder and Scarlet have shot to the top of my role model list. They kick ass.

It didn’t hurt that Scarlet’s relationship with Wolf was everything I could have wanted. His abilities are scary and intimidating, but Scarlet gives nil fucks. When they’re working together it’s a true pairing of brains and brawn. I know everyone loves Kai (why, what am I missing here?) but I loved Wolf because he wasn’t so damn… bland.

Add in a little light relief with Captain Carswell Thorne, and this book just had me. Am I wrong for having a little crush on him? I mean, he’s Such. A. Douche. And yet so endearing. Maybe it’s the sarcastic exchanges he has with Cinder. It may be the lowest form of wit, but sarcasm is still my favourite.

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This one – five stars!

 

(Current book progress; 14,367 words into first draft)

Free Stuff Is The Best Stuff

 

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Freebies! Do you want them? A chance to get your mitts on books from any and all genres?

I’ve teamed up with some of my author buddies to create a book fair. It starts on Facebook this Saturday – yes, this Saturday. We’ve got lots of giveaways scheduled and posts about new books every day. Check out the link to get amongst it.

http://www.facebook.com/events/927569970656592 

I’ve put a copy of the Hawaiian Heartbreak trilogy up for grabs – yes, all three books. And while there are plenty of other romance authors involved, there’s also fantasy, sci-fi, mystery… the list continues. There’s almost 100 authors taking part, so I can guarantee you’ll find something to tickle your fancy.

Happy reading, and good luck with the giveaways!

Review: Cinder

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Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

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I should start this review with a disclaimer. I have a major soft spot for sci-fi, which I don’t indulge often. I also love a good fairytale retelling. So when this book floated across my Goodreads homepage, I knew it was a likely winner!

This retelling was truly a delight. There were plenty of twists and turns to give it a fresh take, while keeping the original story recognisable. Add in a sassy, sarcastic main character with Cinder, an even sassier android sidekick in Iko, and you’ve got me hooked. The scenes jumped off the page, particularly  when they were describing that gruesome disease. Seriously; gross, but awesome. I stayed up all night to finish it in one day.

Admittedly, it wasn’t perfect. I did see the major plot twist coming, but I find that happens more often these days. It was still highly enjoyable watching the moment of realisation dawn for the characters.

I was also not really won over by Prince Kai, possibly because he seemed a bit… well, spineless is harsh, but close to that. However, he was bound by duty, etc etc, so he had his reasons.

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All up, 4.5 stars, and GIMME THE NEXT ONE.

 

(Current book progress: 11,071 words into first draft)

The Times A-Changing For Kindle

Change is coming to Kindle! This is particularly big news for romance readers and writers, because damn, we get through so many books that most of us are eReader addicts.

 

I know, change is scary, but I think these are genuinely exciting! For one thing, it’s linking to your Goodreads and Amazon wishlist. So you might actually get through that enormous TBR list. (However slow the process may be…)

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Here’s what those wishlists will look like

You can also get recommendations from what your Goodreads buddies are reading, as well as bestsellers in the genres you read. It refreshes every time you turn on the Kindle from sleep mode.

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Fun!

The last change I’m most excited for is the ease of sharing favourite quotes – because let’s face it, I’m reeeally lazy about that on Goodreads currently. Now it can be as simple as highlighting!

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So. Easy.

I promise this isn’t a Kindle ad – if you’ve got a Kobo or a Nook, more power to you. But it’s some major changes from a giant in the industry, and I’m pretty psyched for them! If you’re interested, you can check out the full list of changes here.

Do you like the changes?

 

(Current book progress: 3,482 words.)

 

Hawaiian Homecoming

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Release day is finally here! You can now find out how things end for Kayla and Jay, when you download the final book right here. It’s already getting some good reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, which is a relief after so long nurturing these books!

For those of you waiting to binge the trilogy in one go, the release of the combined volume is only a few hours away. But you can pre-order your copy right here, and it will be waiting for you on your Kindle soon.

Happy reading everyone!