Saturday, October 30, 2010

Weekend Book Club: Dancing Backwards in High Heels

I mentioned last week how reading the first few chapters of this book made me miss the morning school bell.

Well, the pages kept turning from there.

Here are a few reviews for DANCING BACKWARDS IN HIGH HEELS:

'Written with panache and flair, this charming story captures that loss of identity that can come with marriage and children. Madeleine is 42 and, despite loving her family very much, she feels so isolated that she has to do something about it. That "something" turns into dance classes. The joy of music and dance transforms her, although as Madeleine discovers, the bump and grind of Latin can take you into dangerous territory …' (Australian Women's Weekly)

'Dancing Backwards in High Heels is an exploration of one woman's search for identity against the backdrop of being forty-something, a full time mother and wife, and living in a new country. It also examines the issues of family and marital relationships, and the impact of infidelity, both real and contemplated. Madeleine is a likeable first person narrator and the problems she is faced with are familiar for many women, and believable. An insightful exploration of one woman's complicated life.' (

From start to finish, this novel is a delight.
The characters are REAL, as are the problems they face.
Moral questions are raised and you turn the pages very quickly to discover the choices the characters make.
And the dancing is just sheer joy!

Absolutely loved it!

What are you reading this week?

Friday, October 29, 2010

Editorial week

Check this out at the Harlequin blog, starting Nov 1st.

Does your imagination run wild with vivid characters? Have you ever dreamed of becoming a USA TODAY bestselling author? Well, our editors want to make those dreams come true. We are hungry to find talented new writers for Harlequin Books. Through podcasts, blogs, and discussions with our expert editors and current authors, we’re going to help you understand the appeal of the romance genre. And there’s a special daily challenge with feedback that will give some great insights into crafting the perfect story. So for the next week, come by to hone your skills and get started on the path to publication. So you think you can write? Here’s your chance to show us!

The full timetable is here.
Looks fab!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Pearls of wisdom

Nathan Bransford always has pearls of wisdom for writer-folk.

Loved this one yesterday on Goals and Obstacles in preparation for NaNoWriMo.

*ROB campaign update

-Weight lost this week: 0kg (considering it has been a BIG birthday week with cake, cake and more cake, guess I should be thankful I didn't put on!)
-Exercise: zumba
-Overall results: 2kg lost, tummy much flatter. Should've taken inches measurement before I started...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Layering lushness

When I write a first draft, the words pour out.
I know my characters: what drives them, where they want to go, where they'll be at the end of the story.

How they get there? Well, that's the fun of sitting down and just writing.

I'm almost at the end of my current WIP and stumbled across a whole load of pics I'd researched at the start for my vintage heroine.

They are so evocative, they instantly add richness to the story.
I'm going to use these pics while I layer during my next draft.

Which got me thinking...all you writers out there, how do you layer?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Weekend Book Club: Spirit Bound

I reviewed another Vampire Academy book last month but SPIRIT BOUND demanded a review all of its own!

Here's the blurb:

Dimitri gave Rose the ultimate choice. But she chose wrong…

After a long and heartbreaking journey to Dimitri’s birthplace in Siberia, Rose Hathaway has finally returned to St. Vladimir’s—and to her best friend, Lissa. It is nearly graduation, and the girls can’t wait for their real lives beyond the Academy’s iron gates to begin. But Rose’s heart still aches for Dimitri, and he's out there, somewhere.

She failed to kill him when she had the chance. And now her worst fears are about to come true. Dimitri has tasted her blood, and she knows in her heart that he is hunting her. And if Rose won't join him, he won't rest until he's silenced her...forever.

The 5th book in this page turning series, I absolutely loved this instalment.

Each book builds up in the series and this one is by far the best.

Every page is filled with tension and the character!

While action-packed throughout, it's the emotional aspect that catches you unawares.

Loved every heart-stopping page and can't wait for the final VA book, LAST SACRIFICE, coming in December.

What are you reading this week?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Getting lost in a book

Parking at my kidlet's school is atrocious so I go early every morning (and afternoon) and read.

Never have I got so swept up in a book that I missed the school bell but that happened this morning.
I'm only 3 chapters into DANCING BACKWARDS IN HIGH HEELS but I'm thoroughly captivated.

Maybe because I can identify with so many emotions the heroine goes through, I'm finding it riveting and can't wait to devour the rest.

And in another first, I drove home with a lump in my throat!

Promise to do a review for Weekend Book Club once I'm done.

ROB campaign week 2

Exercise this week: zumba, body jam, tummy, tail & thighs
Weight loss: 1kg
Total lost: 2kg

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Agent expectations

Rachelle Gardner has a link to a great series of blog posts by Wendy Lawton, an agent at Books & Such, about agents and expectations of themselves and writers.

Really worth a look here.

Monday, October 18, 2010

THE WRITE WHISPER: The greatest gift

I love receiving fan mail.
It's such a thrill to discover people read and enjoy the stories I create.

I also love it when people take the time to comment here. The interaction and feedback is great.

Every author has regulars, lovely people who read our books and take time out of their busy days to let us know. You have no idea how uplifting it can be when you're having a tough day and the WIP isn't zooming along and the PC crashed and the dog ate your get the general idea.

Feedback is important.
Positive feedback also sells books.

So what's the greatest gift you can give an author?
(apart from a six figure advance on a 5 book contract?)

Word of mouth.

If you love a book, tell people.
Loud and proud.

Post reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, Shelfari, Twitter, your blogs, wherever people will see them.
If you don't have time to post a review, 'star' the book.

Every little bit helps and the more sales an author makes from word of mouth, the more contracts they'll be offered and the more books you'll get to read from your fave authors.

Sounds self-serving coming from an author? Maybe, but I love recommending good books and my favourite authors, because readers buying books keeps the publishing industry alive and in the long run, that's a bonus for us all.

Plus I want you to enjoy curling up with a good book as much as I do :)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Weekend Book Club: Copycat

I've been picking up a lot of 'new to me' authors recently and Erica Spindler is one of them.

I love a good thriller and this one delivered.

Here's the blurb:

Five years ago, three young victims were found murdered, posed like little angels. No witnesses, no evidence left behind. The Sleeping Angel Killer called his despicable acts 'the perfect crimes.' The case nearly destroyed homicide detective Kitt Lundgren's career-- because she let the killer get away.
Now the Sleeping Angel Killer is back.
But Kitt notices something different about this new rash of killings-- a tiny variation that suggests a copycat killer may be re-creating the original 'perfect crimes.' Then the unthinkable happens. The Sleeping Angel Killer himself approaches Kitt with a bizarre offer: he will help her catch his copycat.
Kitt must decide whether to place her trust in a murderer-- or risk falling victim to a fiend who has taken the art of the perfect murder to horrific new heights.

Really enjoyed this book. The liberal use of red herrings throughout kept the pages turning and the main character, Kitt Lundgren, is so real, so down to earth, you instantly sympathise with her.
I love strong characterisation in a book and this one had it in spades.
Copycat certainly won't be my last Erica Spindler novel.

What are you reading this week?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Being a bridesmaid in Spain

Isn't this cover so romantic?
Looks like Spain has new covers too. Lovely.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Weekend Book Club: Heist Society

I've been interested in reading this book since I heard it had been optioned for a movie by Warner Bros...before the book had even been released!

Ally Carter is well known for her YA series, the Gallagher Girls, about a teenage girl at spy school.

So what's Heist Society about?

When Katarina Bishop was three, her parents took her on a trip to the Louvre…to case it. For her seventh birthday, Katarina and her Uncle Eddie traveled to Austria…to steal the crown jewels. When Kat turned fifteen, she planned a con of her own—scamming her way into the best boarding school in the country, determined to leave the family business behind. Unfortunately, leaving “the life” for a normal life proves harder than she’d expected.

Soon, Kat's friend and former co-conspirator, Hale, appears out of nowhere to bring Kat back into the world she tried so hard to escape. But he has a good reason: a powerful mobster has been robbed of his priceless art collection and wants to retrieve it. Only a master thief could have pulled this job, and Kat's father isn't just on the suspect list, he is the list. Caught between Interpol and a far more deadly enemy, Kat’s dad needs her help.

For Kat, there is only one solution: track down the paintings and steal them back. So what if it's a spectacularly impossible job? She's got two weeks, a teenage crew, and hopefully just enough talent to pull off the biggest heist in her family's history--and, with any luck, steal her life back along the way.

This is an enjoyable, light-hearted romp around the world as Kat and her friends try to pull off a major heist.

A fun read.

What are you reading this week?

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

The Good, the Bad & the Unread

Thanks to the power that is Google Alert, I've stumbled across a fabulous review today from the good folk at THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UNREAD.

I need to become addicted to another Harlequin series line like I need a hole in the head, but I think it’s now safe to declare that I’m hooked on Harlequin Romance. I think it was in a comment thread here at TGTBTU that someone dropped a Nicola Marsh suggestion in my ear, and if it was you: thank you mysterious commenter! What a delightful read this was!

The conflict that keeps this story chugging along is their past together, and their own personal baggage. There were moments when I just wanted them to sit down and really talk to each other, and they do get around to that eventually. When it does come spilling out into the open, it’s hard to not root for these two crazy kids, and be charmed by them. Lord knows I was.

Thanks to Wendy the Super Librarian!
Here's the full review.

And word of mouth truly is a great way to gain new readers. I recommend books I truly love to others.

What have been your recent book recommendations?

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Weekend Book Club: Uglies

I picked up this Scott Westerfeld book after he sent me a humorous tweet on Twitter.

Knowing nothing about the book, I flipped it over, read the blurb and was hooked.

Here are the basics:

Uglies is set in a world in which everyone has an operation when they turn sixteen, making them supermodel beautiful. Big eyes, full lips, no one fat or skinny. You might think this is a good thing, but it’s not. Especially if you’re one of the Smokies, a bunch of radical teens who’ve decided they want to keep their own faces. (How anti-social of them.)

The premise intrigued me and once I started this YA novel the pages turned themselves.
Loved Tally's braveness, her strength, her convictions.
Loved her developing relationship with David.
And the ending had me picking up the next installment, Pretties, immediately.

There's nothing like discovering new authors you know you'll revisit time and time again.
I'm really interested in reading Scott Westerfeld's adult novels now.

What are you reading this week?