Friday, December 20, 2013

I Need a Break from This Book

One of the joys of writing to me is the way as I write, I would often find myself in each and one of my characters either 'good' or 'bad'. Sometimes I hate them for it, sometimes I love them for it but either love or hate, I understand them better because of it and in understanding them, I understand myself even more.

It is through them that I sometimes realize a problem that I should be dealing with or an obstacle that I should have dealt with but didn’t, sometimes I see a solution to a problem that I’m currently dealing with or a better understanding of what happened in the past years of my life or why I did the things I did.

Sometimes, as in most cases, I find pieces of myself that hadn’t the chance to show themselves in my main characters and it amuses me, sometimes it confuses me. 

This character though that I’m working on disturbs me a little bit. Okay, a lot.

In Leah, my character in the Touched series, I see the stubborness in me, the spite and fury and pride that often pulls me back from what I should have done. But it felt good to be in Leah’s skin because she is strong, she is capable, and she is surrounded by people who love her and because she is sure of herself and what she can do and because she keeps her chin up and is able to adapt quickly within her life. She might not be able to fight her fate, or to elude her destiny, but by God she would fight it every inch of the way. And I respect that fierceness in her, her strong grip on her sense of self. Leah is, for better or worst, a survivor.

In Lorelei, my character in the Wolves series, I find cunning and caution and compromise. Lorelei will not move until she knows all the consequences, she knows how to move people, to influence people with words and with actions. Although she is powerless at first among powerful people, she is able to pin-point what needed to be done and she would either do it herself or find somebody who has the right tools to do so.

Lorelei is not only smart but intelligent, when people look down on her, she merely goes around them and does whatever she wants anyway. Again, she is someone who is secure in herself that she doesn’t need approval from anybody. While everybody would be so busy grandstanding you can always see Lorelei at the background trying to find a way to solve the problem as best as she can. Lorelei doesn’t want to be the great pooh bah, she doesn’t want power or a grand position. She only wants people to feel happy and get along. People might find that weak, or gullible or say that's she's a pleasure, but that side of her that wants to help, that is willing to give, that is selfless, I find that admirable. And it's humbling and mortifying to be in her skin because I know I don't have those qualities in me. But once in a while I would have to do something and I think "Lorelei would find the strength and the caring to do it" and I would swallow my pride or selfishness and did what needed to be done.

Medea though, in this NaNoWriMo book, is...she’s different. She’s like the female version of Justin (anyone whose read my posts on writing Touched series, knows how baffled I am of his character), I can’t pin point her, I can’t relate much to her because she doesn’t relate to anyone, she doesn’t love, she doesn’t fight, she doesn't live--if you know what I mean. Medea lives like a ghost passing through, because of her condition--her nightterrors and darkness--she’s currently living in the edge of her sanity. She concentrates on living one day at a time, a wrong move and she will crack and break open. Medea avoids the very whisper of confrontation, she shies away from strong emotions, she doesn’t get mad, she doesn’t hate, she’s in a constant state of antipathy. She doesn’t plan ahead, she doesn’t have dreams, she doesn’t have friends, and she lives in constant fear of people thinking her crazy or that her adopted parents will see how damaged she is and exchange her with a better child.

And writing her opens up cracks inside me in ways that I’m scared of, makes me see things that I’d rather not about myself, feel things that—I feel sad all the time. I go around in a state of near tears. It’s horrible to be this fearful and this empty, to have this certainty that you are unwanted. That somehow you can disappear and everything around you won't change

Terrifying thought, ain't it? And selfish.

Things happened in my life that makes me fear abandonment, and I guess the way I deal with that is by sorting my relationships in neat little boxes, by compartmentalizing each section of my life into different categories. I choose people who has certain aspects that makes me able to shake loose from them. If you don't get too close, it won't hurt too much when they leave you. I give them some of my time, then spend most of it alone as if to prove to myself that yeah, I can survive being alone. And I do like being alone. I'm not saying I don't boo hoo woe is me, but sometimes I wonder how much of my solitary habit is because of just me and my hermit habits and how much is because of fear. 

And then there are darker thoughts. And Medea has really dark thoughts add to that her nightterrors and her inabillity to sleep...you kind of get why she's so desperate and alone and frustrated and empty. 

How she wants everything to just end.

Then there is the Fae. Creepy buggers. I've never taken a shine to the Fae world because they creep me out. I have no problem with vampires, and ghosts, and zombies, and werewolves because for better or worse, they were humans once. We can understand them but the Fae were never human. While the vamps and werewolves and zombies can kill you, the Fae--like Elena says--they won't kill you, they will unmake you. 

Putting myself into the Fae's shoes, being so crafty, and manipulative, and sick, and twisted, and ruthless, and ageless, and so willing to hurt people kind of makes me feel like I need to take a shower every few minutes. To find myself thinking of such thoughts makes me feel *shudder*.

Due to my emotional condition, I need to take a break from this book and start on another. Something less hopeless, and less dark. 

So...yeah. 





Thursday, November 7, 2013

#WritingAdvice

Books take time.  It’s a difficult concept to grasp until you worked on one.  Things will occur to you between the first and final draft, sometimes months later.  We just now figured out the right epilogue to Clean Sweep.  This morning.  We had finished it what, early summer?  It’s almost as if the narrative is a wine and it needs to age to reach a certain maturity level.  That’s when the structure of the story becomes apparent and suddenly you realize that you need to cut twenty thousand words because the book is better for it.  So my advice is, don’t put artificial direction on your story.  Go wild.  Write what makes you happy, finish it, and then, once done, step back and evaluate it.

-Ilona Andrews

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

So, I'm moving again.

This will be the third time I'll be moving in a year. Geez.

Glad for the move though, finally I would have time to write full time.

Speaking of writing, guess what? It's NOVEMBER which means NANOWRIMO.

Gah, I'm such a masochist.

To make matters worst I decided to pull out DreamWalkers from the idea book and though I have some idea about what it's about, I'm pretty much winging it at this point. I don't know whether that's a good thing or a bad one.

Well, at least I'm writing.

There were things that happened which brought several questions to the front of my mind, certain doubts if you will, that made me rethink about the big decisions that I made in the last 10 years. 

And though I don't regret that I made them, I regret the consequences that the people around me had to live with because of it. It's strange to say it, but the bottom-line is I feel guilty for not feeling guilty enough.

...only humans would be this complicated, right?

Other than a little cough and feeling a little lazy and sluggish, I'm good. I hope that things would only get better from now. 


Friday, September 13, 2013

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

BOOK IS FINALLY OUT!!! WEEE

You can get the printed book here.

The ebooks will be on a sister site that is still in progress. 

I am so happy and relieved.

Though I wince at the mistakes I found on my copy edit, but since the printed book is applying a system called POD or Print on Demand, I assume that we can fix those as we go along.

I hope.

Tee hee.

BUT YEAH, BOOK IS OUT!!!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Men may fight, but women endure.
-Aisyah, The Sword Series #2-The Saint

 Copyright © 2013 by D.F. Jules
Funny.

Yesterday, people actually commented twice on how silent I move.

I wonder what that was about?

Is it done out of an unconscious desire to be left alone, a self-defensive manuver so I don't attract to much attention?

Is it the fact that I spent years of dancing on the balls of my feet? Or because I've been fat most of my life and I'm very aware of every creak and stomp that would draw people to the size of my body?

Weird.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Wolf Series: The Wolf Series Novella

The Wolf Series: The Wolf Series Novella: Connor fidgeted in his seat and told himself not to worry. After all, every kid who had their First Change was called into the Elder's ...

Dear Friends,

"We're too old to surround ourselves with bad energy." was what I told a friend of mine who was having trouble with his friend.

And though I still maintain that thought, I wondered whether I was too callous.

When we were kids we practically did everything to get and keep a friend. We want people to like us and want to be with us and often times we do stupid things because of it. Peer pressure after all is a result of a strong desire to fit in.

But as we grow older, we tend to get more choosier about who we surround ourselves with, I guess it's because we know now that not all type of friendships are good eventhough they start that way. We already met enough people to know the kind of person who are good for us and vice versa. 

Me, I like to befriend people who are individuals in their own right, people who do not cling and have a life of their own outside the friendship so I can hibernate in peace when I need to. 

My friends are usually blunt so we tend to not have any miscommunication, who are opened to deep thoughts and silliness at the same time, and, I am fortunate in my friends, generous with themselves (their time and affection).

Maybe it's because of that, that surety that I have because I know who my friends are, and  am secure in their friendship and my relationship with my friends that I can practically say to my friend 'cut them out of your life if all they bring is trouble".

It might be cold, it might be harsh, but you only live once and that life is short. Having bad people around you or people who make you feel bad makes it even shorter.


Sunday, August 4, 2013

Dear Life

Hm...haven't been here in a while.

I just moved from one office to another and this office that I am in now has more privacy than the last one. Not to mention, I have more free time here.

Which is awesome.

And Meda has become the sacrifice since I took her space upstairs and she took mine downstairs.

Ha. Sorry, kid.

I've been...not great health-wise, other than that, I'm pretty good.

I'm sleeping well and eating well which is...

I haven't been writing though. And I haven't been dreaming either. Not that I can remember that is. There's always that sense that I did dream but the memory of it quickly disappears.

Meda and I haven't killed each other yet even though we live day in and day out with each other, there were friction as expected but we ignore it and move on.

I really need more time to write.

News on publishing, I've asked about the pre-order option but no news about that.

Man, publishing books take forever.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Today....no wait yesterday

...was my birthday.  Spent it working (I know, that's sad) and fasting because my birthday fell on Ramadhan. Had  great time breaking my fast though, we bbqed some chicken...I 
had plans on watching Pacific Rim but decided against it. Will watch it tomorrow with bro.

My thoughts on turning 30?

Absolutely nothing,as in I have no special thoughts about it like some people do. First of all due to  awexome Asian genes I  haven't changed much since I was 15. I also don't feel old. I'm still the person i am a day before so nothing special abt turning 30. * shrug*

Sure there are a few things that I had hoped I would have by now, but all in all life is pretty good so...no worries

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Work. Not That Bad.

It's holiday today but I had to go to work since it was my turn to man the office when we have a break.

But of course, since it was a holiday the office wasn't so busy, I just had to answer a few calls, write a few things. Then I ate free cakes, watch a couple of movies and listened to music.

In short, it wasn't a bad day at the office.

In fact, it was a bit boring and I actually wanted to work because of it.

The ac and the non-work made me drowsy and all I wanted was to fall asleep.

Hadn't had time to write though. Bleh.

Have to go to work again tomorrow.

I don't know whether I should feel glad or peeved that I actually like my work and workplace. Especially since it's cutting down on my writing hours.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Friends Make Everything Better

Hey, I'm back.

In the last post I mentioned that I was sick, yeah, I was sick a few days after that. I was sick for a week. I am not kidding.

My eyes turned yellow, okay, and I couldn't even smell food without puking. But what really had me was the fatique. I was just so tired and sleepy all the time.

I'm better now though I still have to watch what I eat and how I sleep. And also about not stressing out.

So far so good, though I have a headache that lasted for two days. Ugh.

On publishing news, Stacey sent me the covers with higher resolutions and I've sent it to publisher. No news from them.

I was sort of demoralized by the illness and I was worried about work, and also because my laptop was broken...but yesterday, I turned it on without expecting for it to actually turned on but it did!

Laptop, healed thyself!

I think it refused to turned on when I was sick so I actually got some rest and now that I'm all better, it leaped into service. XD.

Anyway, my new niece arrived today in the afternoon. YEY!

My sister is dealing with her job interview.

Aaaaand, my mom isn't feeling to well.

Aaaaaaaaaaand....man, I need to carve me some writing time. Haven't written anything since the novella deal. 

OH, AND FINALLY RECEIVED MAIL FROM CC! It was pretty crumpled when it arrived but nothing a good frame couldn't fix. I hope. I AM SO IN LOVE WITH IT. And with the self-made key chain that came with it. And a letter. D'awwwww.


Friday, May 17, 2013

First Printed copy of Touched: The Sword



Look what my publisher just gave me a pic of!!!

*strokes monitor* It's so BEAUTIFUL AND SHINY!!



There was still a problem with the cover, the resolution was too small so I contacted Stacey to resend me the cover. Hopefully she answers soon.

But damn, look at it. MY BOOK!!! *dances*

I am so happy (and yet, I also have been sick for three days) right now.

On another note, I really need to wash my hair.

It's time for me to sleep since I'm sick and I still have to go to work tomorrow.


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Wolf Series: The Wolf Series Novella

The Wolf Series: The Wolf Series Novella: His footsteps were different now, the rhythm, the very sound of it but Mey knew that it was him. She opened her eyes and sure enough...

Saturday, May 11, 2013

It's almost two weeks on the new job.

So far so good.

The work is kind of monotonous but like I've said before since I'm new, everything is still interesting. Fortunately, I haven't done any disastrous mistakes.

I met a white dog the other day and I met it again today with its walker and it recognize me. It wagged it tail and greeted me happily. Made me feel good.

It also made me miss my pets. I've ordered my sisters to send their picture once a week.



(my fur babies)

God, I miss my babies.

I know that I need this job and hey, it's kind of fun. And it gave my mom some inner peace but the job really minimize my writing time. 

Since I've been busy with the job, I haven't written at all since I came here. Once I come home, I just want to rest. I work Monday through Saturday from 8 to 5. Once Sunday comes I spent the time to wind down. 

I guess I should be more disciplined and spent and hour or two to add to my word count. I should. I really should. 

Anyway, editor emailed me the edited galley of Touched buuuuut although the PDF is nearly flawless, the epub is still a mess. 

*sad face*

Monday, May 6, 2013

6th day of work

I'm dead.

My senior at work, the one who I have to learn from was sick. So I had to do all the work by myself. It was a slow day but it was still quite busy.

And most of the time it was because I have no clue what to do.

Ugh. I didn't even get to break at lunch because I was so busy.

Friday, May 3, 2013

3rd Day on the Job

Okay, job is actually quite nice. The people are laid-back though the job is pretty intense and I haven't made any bad mistakes. I only need to walk 5 minutes from home, I get fresh pastries in the morning and also lunch so I don't need to spend money on transportation or food. More money to buy books!

And sister in law just told me that yeah, there's a big bookstore here that sells import books.


Of course, I have to restrain myself. Damn.

I need a book shelf.


BTW, look what CC made me!!!


She made my dream a reality and made it even more awesome. I love the vividness of the colors, and there's a cat. And a monkey, and I have so much love right now. And I kind of want to cry. 

It's so beaaaaaautiful!



Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Friday, April 26, 2013

Mood Journal


One of the things I hate are people who dismiss your pain. As if just because they don't consider it important, or that they've never felt that way, then it must be something that you can just shake off.

Well, depression doesn't work that. It sticks, it clings and it smothers. All you can do is keep moving on and keep doing stuff and not let it have too strong of a hold on you.

But one day it will no matter how much you fight it and yes, you will feel like dying inside and all you want to do is shut out the world because it's just too much, because people are just too much, because feelings are just too much. You curl up inside yourself and let everything hurt and bleed and fester and hope you can resurface.

Then you go back to moving and breathing and doing.

And that pain is real and it is real and nobody can tell you any different. But you are going to beat it down and stand up again and struggle through it. And you will make yourself happy by doing things that you love and finding things that you will love day after day. Because your happiness is not up to other people, it is up to you. AND YOU ARE GOING TO BE HAPPY, DAMN IT.

...I'm moving to Balikpapan btw.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Mood Journal

So, I have mentioned that I've been a slump this month. I haven't done anything much, not even things that I enjoy. I kind of just want to sleep the day away. That or read. With the food poisoning I've also been--well, I have difficulty in trying to find something I can eat without puking it back out.

I haven't even written anything so Camp NaNo was a bust.

I guess it's time for me to change some things like my day to day activity.

Time for me to pick up my butt and start doing yoga and jogging again. I need me some endorphin to shake off my mood.

I also plan to clean my room and rearrange stuff. Have less clutter and--

Marvelously just planning these things make me feel better, and I'm pumped to write again.

It probably helped that today I got out of the house for the first time in two weeks.


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

BookTalk: Kelly Keaton's Gods and Monsters #1 Darkness Becomes Her


Summary


Ari can’t help feeling lost and alone. With teal eyes and freakish silver hair that can’t be changed or destroyed, Ari has always stood out. And after growing up in foster care, she longs for some understanding of where she came from and who she is. Her search for answers uncovers just one message from her long dead mother: Run. Ari can sense that someone, or something, is getting closer than they should. But it’s impossible to protect herself when she doesn’t know what she’s running from or why she is being pursued.

She knows only one thing: she must return to her birthplace of New 2, the lush rebuilt city of New Orleans. Upon arriving, she discovers that New 2 is very...different. Here, Ari is seemingly normal. But every creature she encounters, no matter how deadly or horrifying, is afraid of her.

Ari won’t stop until she knows why. But some truths are too haunting, too terrifying, to ever be revealed.

Thoughts

First of all, I just have to say it so I can move on. Sebastian. *sizzle*

Ari is shy of her eighteenth birthday and is searching for any news about her mother.
She found out that her mother committed suicide and that the female half of her family was cursed, always dying at their 21st birthday. She needs answers and she can only find it in New 2, where she was born. We know New 2 as New Orleans post-hurricane. In Kelly Keaton's world New Orleans is an isolated country that governs its own and controlled by the Novem; 9 families that rich and powerful. There are murmurs of 'magic' and 'vampires' and 'supernatural' about New 2 which isn't surprising since, well, it's New Orleans.

In New 2 she stumbles into a group of freaks, people who like her, are peculiar in some way. Chunk who is able to fix everything, Henry whose eyes seem to glow in the dark, Violet who has fangs for teeth and Sebastian who is able to influence people to do what he wants them to do.

In her hunt for her history and the secrets of her family, she is also hunted by strange armored men who tries to kill her and by the Novem itself.

This story is dark. Oh, trigger warning: rape.

The story is well written and well plotted, taking the Greek mythology, religion and paranormal creatures and supernatural elements that we know and crafted it into a tightly wound story that is rich and exciting. The characters are fun and engaging, some more than others and the chemistry between Sebastian and Ari is insane.

I love the genius of Kelly Keaton that she sets her story in New Orleans. It makes all these crazy things happening in the book believable and it gives the book an ambiance that is otherworldly.

The Novem itself is interesting: 3 families who have magic, 3 families who are shapeshifters, and another 3 who are vampires.

The action is amazing, Ari is kick ass and the story telling so detailed and intricate that you can see it in your mind.

I am most definitely reading book 2. And it's actually already out!! Just read the excerpt and woah, it pushes limits.


Reading Next:



Book talk: Karen Mahoney's Falling to Ash





Summary

You can't choose your family . . . living or dead

Trapped between two very different worlds, newly made vampire Moth is struggling to find her place in either. Not only does she have to answer to her strict Irish-Catholic Dad, but her over-protective maker, 

Theo, is intent on making her the star attraction in his powerful Boston vampire clan. Moth will have to pull off the double-act of the century to please both of them . . .

Adding to her problems is the dangerously attractive Jason Murdoch, a trainee vampire hunter who loves to play cat and mouse in his spare time (Jace = cat; Moth = mouse). But when the young and gorgeous teenagers of Boston's wealthiest families start to disappear, it forces Moth and Jace into an uneasy truce. Will they be able to solve the mystery behind the disappearances - before someone winds up undead?

Thoughts:




I really liked it!

Eventhough the writer creats its own twist in the original 'vampire lore' it keeps the important points, e.g they're dead, they are violent and they do drink human blood. Yes, no vegetarians or sparkling here people. Move along.

Anyway, the story tells us of Marie who in the start of the novel has already been turned into a vampire by way of her Maker, Theo who is also a Master of his own House. The prologue of the book tells us how he changed her and it is violent and dark and painful. As it should be. Take that Twilight!

As is custom when turned you pick a new name, your vampire name, a new name that has no trace of your old life. Marie chose Moth.

Due to her transformation and how it had occurred strained the relationship between Moth and Theo though it is clear that there is a bond there outside of Maker and Childe. The angst and tension between them is delightful.

But the creation of Moth is somewhat of a problem for Theo because he has not been given permission to turn her by the Head of all Vampire houses. Theo did in fact turned her because he lost control 'in the head of the moment' if you know what I mean and nearly drank her to death. Rather than killing her, he turned her.

She was nineteen at the time. And now,she will always look nineteen.

Theo's lost of control is not a good quality to have as a Head of a House, it shows weakness. So Solomon, the great poobah of all Vamps said "give me the head of Murdoch, the vampire hunter who has vexed me so cruelly and I will not kill you and your childe. You have one week."

I like Moth. She's practical, she's funny, she's kick ass and she actually thinks before she speaks. But you know, she grew up with a drunk father and when you do, you kind of learn how to judge the mood and your surroundings. She's not brooding although she does have her dark moments and she makes the best of who and what she is.

One of the things that I like about this book is her relationship with her sister, Caitlin. Her fierceness when her sister was in danger.

And I find it hilarious and kind of sad that Caitlin struggles to keep her family together including to have a family dinner with her drunk father and vampire sister. Oh, and the other human sister.

Then there is Jace, Murdoch's son who is also a vampire hunter. I was intrigued that one of Theo's test for Moth was to fight Jace (he wrapped her up in silver chains and she broke his leg). Despite the fighting and the fact that they were supposed to kill each other there's a connection there. And when revanants kept popping out all over the place (and those people are actually known to Mother) both Jace and Moth actually worked together to find out what was going on.

As if having Theo in her life wasn't enough of a headache, Moth is also attracted to Jace and vice versa.

Theo is the typical politicking, Master of the house vampire, he is imperious, he is powerful, seriously hot, intelligent, stubborn and brooding. I kind of hope to see more of Theo as a Master vampire but since Moth is only just entering the vampire world, we don't get to see him in action. Although Solomon himself did say that Theo would be the heir to his throne once he ascends to a higher seat which says something about Theo's status (and Moth's as association). When it came to Moth he is protective and there are some undercurrents in their relationship that intrigues me. It is clear that Moth isn't just food to him, and also isn't a one night stand. He calls her anamchara which is Gaelic for soul friend or in this case soulmate.

And I love that he means that literally. Because in this world the mythology of being able to turn a human into vampire is to give them a piece of your soul. So not all vampires can turn a human, and they don't do it willy nilly.

There isn't much world-building but the book does stay true to the mythology. The vampires drink human blood (from bags and from vein), they are dead, they have no reflection and they exist in secret.

The story is good, the plot is good, the pacing is a bit off and there are bits and pieces that seems to be dump in randomly, but the characters keep me going.

Reading Next:





Monday, April 22, 2013

BookTalk: Jennifer Lynn Barnes' Every Other Day


Summary:

Every other day, Kali D’Angelo is a normal sixteen-year-old girl. She goes to public high school. She argues with her father. She’s human.

And then every day in between . . . she’s something else entirely.

Though she still looks like herself, every twenty-four hours predatory instincts take over and Kali becomes a feared demon-hunter with the undeniable urge to hunt, trap, and kill zombies, hellhounds, and other supernatural creatures. Kali has no idea why she is the way she is, but she gives in to instinct anyway. Even though the government considers it environmental terrorism.

When Kali notices a mark on the lower back of a popular girl at school, she knows instantly that the girl is marked for death by one of these creatures. Kali has twenty-four hours to save her, and unfortunately she’ll have to do it as a human. With the help of a few new friends, Kali takes a risk that her human body might not survive . . . and learns the secrets of her mysterious condition in the process.

Thoughts:



Jennifer Lynn Barnes like Maggie Stiefvater is one of those writers that write interesting books that I just can't seem to dive into. 

I like the idea of this book and the interesting preternatural creatures, especially the original use of chupacabras but either than that I'm not really immerse in the world building. 

There were no surprises for me, no twists, as I read I'm rewriting all over the place to make the plot a little more interesting for me.

I like that the three main characters are actually girls with characters so different from each other, and I like reading them together. 

AND FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, WHY?  WHY DOES MY FAVORITE CHARACTERS ALWAYS DIE. Well, that was sad.

I enjoyed the book, the story-line was okay and the pacing also was okay. I just wished the twist would have been more unpredictable. It probably would have been if I cared a little bit more about the characters but since I did I was like, "huh, that happened" without being shocked or feeling what the main character must have felt. 

Although I like the characters, I didn't connect with them and that was a bummer.

I'm not interested enough about this book to read book 2. 

Wait, will there be a book 2?

am reading next:


Sunday, April 21, 2013

Book Talk: Maggie Stiefvater's The Raven Boys





Summary:

There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him."
It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.
Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.
His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.
But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.
For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.
From Maggie Stiefvater, the bestselling and acclaimed author of the Shiver trilogy and The Scorpio Races, comes a spellbinding new series where the inevitability of death and the nature of love lead us to a place we’ve never been before.

Thoughts:

Hm, the summary is kind of misleading for there isn't much romance in this book. Which I like.  Anyway, The Raven Boys is book one of Maggie Stiefvater's The Raven Cycle series. 


It kind of has everything: family drama, romance, intrigue, friendship, bromance, supernatural bits, mythical lore, murder...am I leaving something out? Nope, yeah, I think that's it.

It certainly has an interesting plot and world building and characters but--

I have no idea why but Maggie Stiefvater's books never really got to me. I tried to read them but I just can't seem to immerse myself in them, so I picked up this book with some trepidation.

But, hey, I liked it.

It wasn't epic for me but I liked it.

Honestly, eventhough I should actually love the story because it has all the elements that I love I think her writing style doesn't mesh well with me, I liked the characters but I didn't love them. I couldn't relate to them, I couldn't lose myself in their lives and in their stories. I laughed and sympathize but my emotions weren't involved.

It's a well written book, and the characters are appealing and I will read the second book but I don't think I will be rereading the book anytime soon.

what I'm reading next


Friday, April 19, 2013

I'm in a pretty big slump today. I don't even feel like writing. Wait did I say today? I mean THIS MONTH.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Fanmix: Unspoken

A Kami&Jared Fanmix. Two character's from Sarah Rees Brennan's The Lynburn Legacy's Unspoken. I massacred Cassandra Jean's awesome artwork (blasphemy, I know. Isn't her artwork just--I can't) with my heavy hand and non-talent. It was by this artwork that Sarah Rees Brennan mentioned FRECKLES AND SCARS and I thought 'hey, that would be an awesome fanmix title'. Featuring artist such as Daughter, Lauren Aquilina, Passenger and so many more.

Disc: None of these are mine. Not character, not book, not songs. I only have love. I know, sucks to be me. 

Original artwork by Cassandra Jean looks like this




Boy&Bear-Blood to Gold


And if this blood don't turn to gold

(the mention of blood and gold reminds me of the children's song about the Lynburns (apple reds, and corn gold, and the lyrics somehow just made me think of Jared)

 

Blue Foundation-Bonfires

Drifting astray with your hand in mine

(obviously Kami and Jared, about how they are there for each other in spite the distance between them, and how everything, at the end, came full circle)

Daughter-Smother


I want him but we’re not right

(this is pretty obvious. A pretty dark song actually. And Kami though she's vivacious and perky at times, she has her dark side and her dark moments (DARTH-KAMI))

Passenger (feat. Josh Pyke)-What You're Thinking



You’re just a stones throw from me,
But throwing stones could never be the perfect way to start

(Jared song about how he feels about Kami, how she's keeping her distance)



Lauren Aquilina-Fools

I want you more than I've wanted anyone 
Isn't that dangerous? 

(Kami's song about her feelings for Jared)

OneRepublic-Something I Need



And I had the week that came from hell

And yes I know that you can tell
But you're like the net under the ledge
But I go flying off the edge

You go flying off as well

(Jared. Obviously)

Passenger-Things that Stop You from Dreaming



Well if you can’t get what you love you learn to love the things you’ve got

If you can’t be what you want you learn to be the things you’re not
If you can’t get what you need you learn to need the things that stop you dreaming


(Jared in general. How he doesn't give a crap about anything else but Kami ├žause she's the only one that hasn't left/betrayed/disappointed him...of course that's before...*cough*)

Wake Owl-Wild Country




What will become of the truth when we keep it in
Things we don't remember when they ask us "when"

We did the things that we learned we shouldn't do again
What wasn't learned from mistakes we will make them

Maybe this is my heart and maybe it is yours
Burns away the eyes peering in our doors


(this is a song about the whole 'situation' between the families and what's happening in the town)

Peter Bradley Adams-Between Us


And these desperate nights I'll call you again and again
There's comfort, comfort in things we believe
Other than danger, wanting the things I can't see

(Both Kami & Jared. I just imagined them lying in bed talking to each other in happy moments and in sad moments)

Avalanche City-Love, Don't Leave

But I saw her skin change before me
And cold became her face
So I took my hand from hers
And began to walk away
Love don’t leave me now



(Jared and Kami, I can just imagine them as the boy and girl in this song...just switched around)

Gabrielle Aplin-The Liar and The Lighter


Oh love, we want the ones that we will grow to hate, to hate.

(at what happened at the end. ALL HAIL, EVIL TORMENTER SARAH REES BRENNAN!)

There's my mix. What do you think?

Oh, here's a bonus: Somehow, this song reminds me of Ash.

Patrick Watson-Big Bird in a Small Cage


He said 'Open up your ears and hearts, you put a big bird in a small cage and he'll sing you a song'
That we all love to sing along to the sound of the bird that mourns


Friday, April 12, 2013

So, I was in the shower, and of course as always when in the bathroom, I get an awesome idea. I finally could link Fateless to the Three Kingdom books!






--and was so excited I danced around and nearly slipped and cracked open another elbow.

Such is my life.

But, damn, that was a stroke of genius. I wonder when someone will create something that is waterproof so we can write/read in the shower. I mean, seriously. WE NEED IT!

Anyway, so damn psyche about this idea!


#amreading


Summary:

When Camille was six years old, she was discovered alone in the snow by Enrico Vultusino, godfather of the Seven—the powerful Families that rule magic-ridden New Haven. Papa Vultusino adopted the mute, scarred child, naming her after his dead wife and raising her in luxury on Haven Hill alongside his own son, Nico.

Now Cami is turning sixteen. She’s no longer mute, though she keeps her faded scars hidden under her school uniform, and though she opens up only to her two best friends, Ruby and Ellie, and to Nico, who has become more than a brother to her. But even though Cami is a pampered Vultusino heiress, she knows that she is not really Family. Unlike them, she is a mortal with a past that lies buried in trauma. And it’s not until she meets the mysterious Tor, who reveals scars of his own, that Cami begins to uncover the secrets of her birth…to find out where she comes from and why her past is threatening her now.

Thoughts:

*spoiler alert*



How to say this.

I liked it, and loved some parts of it. The mythology is awesome (the snow white twist), the world-building complicated and layered...which was the problem for me. It was too layered and the author sort of just dumped information on us and hoped we understood. Sure you can relate some events in this world to our world for ex; the REEVE or the magical revolution as the, I'm guessing, Industrial Revolution.

I'm still half-convinced there was a prequel or something. No?

Anyway, the world called New Haven, is controlled by the Seven Families, like I said, they're kind of like the vampire mafia. And there are Jacks (which I'm not really sure what, maybe shapeshifters) and the Twists (people that has their Potential twisted by hate or rage) and then there are the fae.

Cami, or Camille, our heroine was a foundling, an orphan found in the snow by the head of the Vultusino family. She is adopted into the family and grew up along with his son, his heir, Nico.

Keep in mind that this is a version of Snow White so you already know the gist but I'm not saying that there are new elements in this story: for instance, the vampires, like Papa Vultusino and Nico, ghouls, mere-humans, magic users like Cami and Cami's friends Ruby (Red Riding Hood) and Ellie (Cinderella). There will be an evil queen, there will be the huntsman etc.

The pace of the story is okay, I guess, the pacing is pretty fast, you get to know everybody also pretty fast and you get the story, also pretty fast. It's twisted and dark and kind of harrowing at times as your imagination finally grab a hold of the world.

It kind of reminded me of Labyrinth in a way, you know, that movie with David Bowie as the Goblin King?

I was disappointed that we didn't get more Nico though, I was interested on how he went from heir to Head of the Family. Why he was often gone.

And I'm intrigued by how Lili St Crow created the difference between Nico and Tor, how they switched placed in the middle but then we totally see who was on Cami's side and not so much.

Well, will I read this book again? yes, yes I would. Is it flawless? Nope.

But still, an interesting (though not so original, at least on the White Queen part) read. Give it 3/5 stars.


am reading next


Summary: 

To survive in a ruined world, she must embrace the darkness…

Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a walled-in city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten. Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred ofthem—the vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself dies and becomes one of the monsters.

Forced to flee her city, Allie must pass for human as she joins a ragged group of pilgrims seeking a legend—a place that might have a cure for the disease that killed off most of civilization and created the rabids, the bloodthirsty creatures who threaten human and vampire alike. And soon Allie will have to decide what and who is worth dying for…again.

Enter Julie Kagawa's dark and twisted world as an unforgettable journey begins.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

#amreading


Just finished this book last night. I gave it a 4/5 stars. 

Summary:

He makes good girls...bad. 

Dante Walker is flippin’ awesome, and he knows it. His good looks, killer charm, and stellar confidence have made him one of hell’s best—a soul collector. His job is simple: weed through humanity and label those round rears with a big red good or bad stamp. Old Saint Nick gets the good guys, and he gets the fun ones. Bag-and-tag.

Sealing souls is nothing personal. Dante’s an equal-opportunity collector and doesn't want it any other way. But he’ll have to adjust, because Boss Man has given him a new assignment:

Collect Charlie Cooper’s soul within ten days.

Dante doesn't know why Boss Man wants Charlie, nor does he care. This assignment means only one thing to him, and that’s a permanent ticket out of hell. But after Dante meets the quirky Nerd Alert chick he’s come to collect, he realizes this assignment will test his abilities as a collector…and uncover emotions deeply buried.

Thoughts:

** spoiler alert ** 

Truly enjoyable. I picked up this book because I was just tickled about how an anti-hero Dante Walker is. Of course as the story progressed he grew a conscience and then a heart and it was heartbreaking and rewarding to read about. 

The story itself is excellently paced with dips and highs that hit you hard. There were tears as I read Dante's POV who can be a dick of the highest order but can also be the biggest sweetheart. He's damaged (of course he is) and he doesn't apologize for any of his attitude or bad behavior. I find it interesting on how continually torn he is about 'work' and 'feelings'. 

I like Charlie though her agreeing to the contract was kind of a, "huh, really?" moment for me. She's a smart  girl and yes, a beautiful soul without being perfectly, annoyingly, good but I thought she would question the 'contract' part. 

Of course, the addiction part of the contract make sense too.

But this book wasn't just about the 'love story' between Dante and Charlie, but it was also about family (that bit of when Dante came home and saw his mom on top of the stairs KILLED ME. SOBS GALORE) and friendship and what you do when you love someone, the limits you pushed when you want to protect them. 

Charlie and Annabelle and Blue. Charlie and Blue and Charlie's grandmother. Dante and Charlie's grandmother and Charlie. Dante and Charlie's grandmother. Dante and Annabelle. Dante and Blue. 

The relationships, even the friendships were real and complicated and yet extraordinarily simple at times; Blue and Dante's brohate relationship, Annabelle and Dante's smack talking contest. 

There wasn't clear manipulation of our emotions though you feel for the characters. 

There is no prolong angst though yes, there were hard and sad moments. 

I have to say though, eventhough Charlie and Anabelle and Dante are made of awesome, my heart belonged to Blue, so the ending slayed me.
I hope in book two, Blue would be a Liberator, 'cause that would be awesome.


Am now reading this book.



Summary:

When Camille was six years old, she was discovered alone in the snow by Enrico Vultusino, godfather of the Seven—the powerful Families that rule magic-ridden New Haven. Papa Vultusino adopted the mute, scarred child, naming her after his dead wife and raising her in luxury on Haven Hill alongside his own son, Nico.

Now Cami is turning sixteen. She’s no longer mute, though she keeps her faded scars hidden under her school uniform, and though she opens up only to her two best friends, Ruby and Ellie, and to Nico, who has become more than a brother to her. But even though Cami is a pampered Vultusino heiress, she knows that she is not really Family. Unlike them, she is a mortal with a past that lies buried in trauma. And it’s not until she meets the mysterious Tor, who reveals scars of his own, that Cami begins to uncover the secrets of her birth…to find out where she comes from and why her past is threatening her now.

Thoughts:

** spoiler alert **


The world-building is...well, I'm still confused about it, the beginning was kind of jarring for me though the author did manage to pile in the character introduction there. But it was also filled with loads of information that was unfamiliar but the author made it seemed like we should know this already. Was there a prequel that I should know about?

Anyway, what's interesting to me is that by cover and by explanation is that this seems to be a twist on Snow White...if Snow White was a magic-user or something. And her friends Ruby (Red Riding Hood) and Ellie (Cinderella) are also magic-users and is in the same school as her.

Lili St Crow's story tend to go dark so I'm interesting on how she'll twist the old fairy tale stories that we all know and love.

I am intrigue by how Cami got her scars and where she comes from and her relationship with Nico, the heir to the Vultusino (I get the impression that they are like the Supernatural mob) throne. 

Cami speaks with a stutter and as such is often frustrated with herself, she also use a lot of gestures to get her feelings across and her relationship with Nico, a sullen, difficult and volatile boy who grew up with her as her brother. Their relationship is sweet and the fact that Nico's name is one of the words that she hardly ever stutters on is extra sweet. I love it. 

Though Cami is pampered, the Patriach of the clan is hard on Nico. He is very strict and is not hesitant on doling out corporeal punishment which doesn't seem to do much now. Nico seems to expect his father's anger, his disapproval. And his father can't seem to be kind to him although he does love him. Cami knows this. And Nico although he won't say it, yearns for his father approval. 

Cami seems to be the only thing they have in common these days. 

Anyway, back to reading.