Monday, October 24, 2011

Ahoy! Sea Serpent?!? Blog Hop

Kerri over at Craft Junky has been working hard to organise a choose your own adventure blog hop. To catch the start of this story go here.

Do you still go?

The sea-slicked deck rattles noisily as an unseen force strikes the ship repeatedly. Balanced precariously against the rail you dig your nails into the siding desperately reconsidering the whole venture. The captain staggers wildly too stubborn to fall, glaring out at the ocean around him with blazing contempt.

Crewmen stumble about on deck desperate to know what is going on, they slip and tumble under the assault shaking the ship. You wince as one of the men collides with the railing before plummeting limply over the side. You can see spot where he hit the water bubble and roil but he doesn’t resurface. The remaining men give into panic as the ship starts noticeably titling towards your side. The dark sludgy water is a lot closer than it used to be.

Captain Contemptuous barks furious orders trying to bring his crew back under control. It looks to be working too. That is until the tentacles come smashing up through the deck like horrific mutant daisies. One by one, the greasy limbs drag the crew down through the floorboards, until all that remains is you and the captain. A tentacle gropes blindly at his leg looking to take him, without pausing, he removes a large knife from his belt and buries it deep into the creature’s flesh. The tentacle spasms beneath the blade, smearing bluish-black ichor across the remains of the deck as it retreat.

“You!” The captain screams swinging his blade in your direction. “You did this! You cost me my crew. I’m going to gut you where you sta-…”


A burst of water rockets up along the far side of the ship. The towering funnel continues upwards as if it were a dagger aimed for the heavens. A loud twisting roar of monstrous rage booms across the ship like thunder and for an instant the colossal wave stops moving entirely, and all you can see is the smouldering green eyes at its core, then that moment passes. The wave crashes down on the deck as though it were cement and not water suspended above you. The force sends you tumbling backwards over the railing.

You hit the icy water like a sledgehammer. Plunging down into its depths, your last glimpse of the ship is of a massive serpent entwining itself around the hull and Captain Contemptuous cursing angrily after you for bringing this beast down upon them. His rage maddened eyes glowing with the same luminous fury as the eldritch serpent consuming his ship.

The murky water presses in around you, crushing you with promises that something much worse than the serpent is waiting for you down here. Your world spins rapidly around you as you sink. You’re no longer sure which way is up anymore. Direction has no meaning in this oppressing black void.

You’re not sure how much oxygen you have left. If you don’t find your way back to the surface, you could die down here. Twisting around, you strain to see something in the darkness surrounding you. The icy blackness plays tricks with you. Is that area of black nothing ‘above’ you really lighter than that other patch of black nothing? Or is it your imagination? You struggle to push down your mounting fear as best you can, but nothing makes sense down here.

Suddenly an icy finger runs down your spine and you spin round to face this new threat. Floating there in front of you as clear as day is your beloved. Seemingly unaffected the cold depths, she smiles brightly at you. A luminous white glow surrounds her as she beckons you to follow her.

‘That’s not her.’  A weak voice issues from somewhere inside your head. ‘You need to get to the surface. Go up!’

She looks back at you, a look of concern spreading across her face as she drifts away from you. Her beckoning grows more frenzied the longer you remain frozen. Your indecision could wind up killing you. What do you do?

Do you: Follow your beloved

Do you: Listen to the voice urging you to go up

Go back: Stay where you are and hope it's friendly

Or Start over

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Review: Liar

Liar by Justine Larbalestier

Synopsis (From Goodreads): Micah will freely admit that she’s a compulsive liar, but that may be the one honest thing she’ll ever tell you. Over the years she’s duped her classmates, her teachers, and even her parents, and she’s always managed to stay one step ahead of her lies. That is, until her boyfriend dies under brutal circumstances and her dishonesty begins to catch up with her. But is it possible to tell the truth when lying comes as naturally as breathing? Taking readers deep into the psyche of a young woman who will say just about anything to convince them—and herself—that she’s finally come clean, Liar is a bone-chilling thriller that will have readers see-sawing between truths and lies right up to the end. Honestly.

Micah is a liar. Everything she says is a lie, so how can you know what she's telling is the truth? Now her "after school" boyfriend is found dead in Central Park, a place where they spent so much time together, she is forced to tell the truth. But how can anyone decipher what the truth is when everything else out of her mouth is a lie? Rumours start to circulate around the school about who killed Zach, but it's not just Micah who is being accused.

As Micah tells her story, there's only two questions left to answer. What is Micah's secret? And, what really happened to Zach?

What can I say about this book that won't give away all the secrets? Justine Larbalestier does an excellent job of creating a confessional type story told from Micah's perspective. From the first page where Micah promises to tell the truth all the way to the end the reader is kept guessing as they try to figure out which version of the story they should really believe.

Even though Micah is an unreliable narrator, it works. Throughout the story, Micah changes the story and announces that what she's told the reader has, in fact, been lies. This kept the twists and turns coming and had me thinking about what was really happening. Even some of the truths that I thought were lies turned out to be real, or so she leaves the reader believing. The story is split into three parts Before (Zach's death), After and family history. This helped build Micah's character and showed her motivation and reasons for why she's the way she is.

I can't really say much more about what lies or truths she did say without giving away any of the twists. I would recommend this to anyone who likes to be kept guessing or for those who likes to solve a good mystery, because that's what Micah is, a good mystery, as the reader tries to figure out if she is telling the truth, or everything is a lie.

Source: Audible
2011 YA Reading Challenge: #28 of 50
2011 Aussie Reading Challenge: #4 of 12

Friday, October 21, 2011

A new experience is always welcome

Out of all my university days I have never pulled an all nighter, so I decided what the heck. Due to work, I've been working through till 1 am and haven't managed to get much done, so I decided to stay up and get a 1500 word essay on Romeo and Juliet done.

Hey, it was me and my sister (yep, she stayed up too), with the entire season 1 of Pretty Little Liars and really boring indepth articles on Shakespeare. I made it and I am not even tired (5:30am here at the moment).

It's always good to allow yourself to know new experiences, especially as a writer. Now, if I need to know what it feels like to go without sleep for close to 24 hours then I'll easily be able to write one.

So, do you like to experience new things? Has anyone done the all nighter and been like me who's left their assignments till the last minute?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Endings: Happy or Sad?

Okay, don't get me wrong, I do enjoy a happy ending, but sometimes I actually like a story if the bad guy wins (if done well). I've seen several movies where the villain succeeds and I wouldn't have picked any other way to end on.

I think it's more of a challenge to end on a sad note and still leave the reader fulfilled, although I have never actually read any novels where the villain does win. I've been thinking about the pros and cons of happy vs sad endings, mainly because my Nano novel might not exactly end on a happy note (yes, I've already planned the ending). It's a Horror so I think I can get away with it.

So, what does everyone else think? Do you prefer happy or sad endings? Will you read a novel where the bad guy wins if it is done well?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Review: Die for Me

Die for Me by Amy Plum

Synopsis (From Goodreads): In the City of Lights, two star-crossed lovers battle a fate that is destined to tear them apart again and again for eternity.

When Kate Mercier's parents die in a tragic car accident, she leaves her life--and memories--behind to live with her grandparents in Paris. For Kate, the only way to survive her pain is escaping into the world of books and Parisian art. Until she meets Vincent.

Mysterious, charming, and devastatingly handsome, Vincent threatens to melt the ice around Kate's guarded heart with just his smile. As she begins to fall in love with Vincent, Kate discovers that he's a revenant--an undead being whose fate forces him to sacrifice himself over and over again to save the lives of others. Vincent and those like him are bound in a centuries-old war against a group of evil revenants who exist only to murder and betray. Kate soon realizes that if she follows her heart, she may never be safe again.

Amy Plum has created a thrilling debut set in the romantic setting of Paris. Kate is struggling to deal with her parents deaths after they die in a tragic car accident. Moving to Paris with her older sister, Georgia to live with their Grandparents doesn't help her to feel less depressed. Instead of spending night after night out like her sister does, Kate recludes to Parisian art and reading at coffee shops.

When Kate meets Vincent, he helps her to move on and feel happy for the first time since her parents deaths. As she begins to fall in love with him, she learns that he is a revenant, someone who has died while protecting others and is destined to save the lives of others over and over again. Kate is pulled into a war that has existed for centuries between Vincent's revnants and those who are destined to destroy people. Kate must decide whether the safety of her own life is more important than Vincent.

From the moment I'd heard of Die for Me it was at the top of my list to-read, and I'm glad I did. The idea of Revnants were interesting. Beings destined to die over and over again so that they can rescue other people, now who wouldn't want to read that? Kate was an honest and typical teenager who's dealing with a lot of grief, but that doesn't stop her from doing what needs to be done, and she is also very protective of her older sister.

The relationship between Vincent and Kate developed at a believable rate, and with it being set in Paris, you can't go wrong. The twists and turns Plum throws at the two as they move through their relationship, which leads up to a thrilling conclusion. Plum has created a unique and thrilling paranormal romance and I can't wait to see where the story continues in the sequel.

Source: Audible
2011 YA Reading Challenge: #27 of 50
2011 Debut Author Challenge: #13 of 20

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Can't believe it's nearly November

This year I've signed up for NanoWriMo (again). For those that don't know, it's the National Novel Writing Month and the goal is to write 50k in one month. I'm lucky this year I have several ideas floating around, and I have already started plotting. This is a lot better than last year when I ended up having no idea at the start of November.

November is looking to be a quiet month for me with only one uni course and work to contend with, but since I'm going to Japan at the end of the month, I'll need to push myself to get more at the beginning.

So, what am I writing? A YA Horror by the name of The Making of Amber Wright (seriously I had the title before I even had the character for this one).

A mysterious girl with no memories and only a restaurant badge with the name Amber wanders into town and is taken in by the town doctor. As her memories begin to return she starts to question what is real and whether these memories are even hers. This is made worse by the appearance of faceless ghosts and creatures intent on getting to her.

When people start disappearing and only she can remember them, she starts to question "who exactly is Amber Wright?"

I'm actually looking forward to tackling this novel and can't wait for November to begin so I can jump straight in.

Who else is crazy has signed up to NanoWriMo? Have you got any idea of what to write yet?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

It's Spring for crying out loud!

It's Spring down here and it's hot, yet I still manage to get the flu. After spending the week in bed, as well as a trip to the physio... how I managed to throw my neck out in a coughing fit is a mystery to me. I'm back up and about, trying hard to edit Shadow Embraced and prepare for NanoWriMo... as well as complete my uni work.

I'll be back next week (I promise) with my regular posts. Expect a lot more about Nano since I've already got a fully formed idea, just need to do some last minute plotting.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Random Acts of Kindness: October Signup

Book Soulmates hosts this fantastic monthly event which encourages people to sign up and give (as well as receive) the gift of books. If you haven't checked it out, jump over to book soulmates.

• Sign up each month you'd like to participate in.
• Show off your participation! Grab one of the buttons available :)
• Create a wish list and post it in the Google Doc located in each R.A.K post for the month. {Post on your blog, Amazon, where ever as long as there's a link to it.}
• If you choose to do a R.A.K for someone, check out their wish list and contact that blogger for their address.
• Please, once you receive a R.A.K., email or tweet {Vanessa} so that she can update the Google doc. There are a lot of requests for this!
• At the end of the month, SHOW US YOUR R.A.K!
Make a post saying 'Thank You' to whoever granted one of your wishes and share it with us :)

Let's keep our International bloggers in mind and in our hearts.
Remember, there's always the Book Depository and they offer FREE shipping!

My own wishlist can be found at the Amazon. I wish everyone a good October.
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