Wednesday, October 31, 2007

It's Halloween! Yay yay yay!!

In honor of the holiday, I thought I would follow Libba Bray's example and blog about some of my all-time favorite scary movies. I'm in charge of candy tonight. I plan on pulling on some sweats, plopping down on the couch with a bowl of popcorn, and having one serious horror fest. I have no idea what movies will be in the queue, but these are some of the possibilities.

Halloween: How can you do a scary movie list without this classic flick? I'll tell you what. My mom took my sister and me to see this movie when we were extremely young. I figure it was probably free to take us to the movies (yes, we were THAT young) and a lot cheaper than hiring a babysitter. At any rate, I don't remember that much about the experience other than when the friend bought it in the car, my sister and I started screaming and didn't stop screaming until our mom took us home. (g) It's been near and dear to my heart ever since. I love the use of music and camera work to create tension... man, it's a goodie. I enjoy the sequels, but nothing tops the first.

Friday the 13th: Once again, the original is best. I also saw this when I was quite young, and nothing freaked me out more than Mrs. Voorhies speaking in that little kid voice, begging for help at the end. *shivers* I guess you could say it was my first glimpse at madness, and it's stuck with me to this day. I've never been so glad to not have gone to summer camp.

The Blair Witch Project: If Friday the 13th didn't spoil the woods for me, this movie definitely ruined me for all things out of doors. I know a lot of people criticized this movie for the lack of showing, etc... but man, my imagination was more than capable of filling in the blanks. The laughter and noises in the woods -- the creepy house with the little handprints... the bundle of sticks and piles of rocks. Egads. *shiver* I remember going to bed that night and hearing a loud crunch in the dark. I freaked out, but lay there frozen...too scared to look. Turns out a throw blanket had fallen off the edge of my bed and landed on a shopping bag. LOL. We had great fun after this movie. On a trip out to a friend's farm, we all went four-wheeling in the middle of the night. My friend Shawn and I came across one of the four-wheelers just sitting in the open field... when our headlights hit it and we realized the drivers were missing, we made TAIL back to the house, screaming the whole way that the Blair Witch was coming to get us. I watched this movie the other day...and it STILL freaks me out.

The Exorcist: Oh man, where to begin. I don't care how good special effects are, how much gore there is in a movie...nothing tops the scare factor better than this movie. I don't know. There's just something really scary about the idea of demonic forces taking over an innocent girl's life and terrorizing her and her family. The idea of a supernatural force laughing in the face of a priest and using a cross to... eee, you've seen the movie. You know what I'm talking about. It's just all kinds of wrong and SUPER freaky. The music made this movie truly terrifying for me. And I swear, the image of the priest getting out of his taxi to stand before those glowing windows, the thick fog surrounding him...then cut away to the demon's glowing eyes, waiting. EEE. It's one of the most powerful images I've ever seen.

Nightmare on Elm Street: I'm not talking about the campy sequels here. I'm talking about the first one--when Freddy didn't spout off a one-liner every other minute. I'm talking about not being able to sleep. I'm talking about freaking out every time one of my friends started singing that silly nursery rhyme... One...two...Freddy's coming for you... Yeah, shivers. The scene where Tina is killed is still seriously frightening for me. The image of those cuts slashing across her stomach, their source invisible... her climbing up the wall to scoot across the ceiling, all the while begging her boyfriend for help. YIKES. The scratchy voice calling to her..."Tina!" Still a great movie.

The Omen: The music is SCARY, and the image of the nanny standing on that ledge, screaming, "Damian! Damian! This is all for you!" and then stepping off to hang herself. The scene in the car when the baboons attack... that freaky little boy just....well, heck, he didn't need to do anything. He was freaky just standing still. The beautiful mother falling from the second story, and the fear in her eyes at seeing HER little boy... oh man. Good stuff here.

Poltergeist: Dude, they're here. I've never been so scared of static in my life! It's a bit tame compared to these other movies, but it still has some of the best scary moments ever. Little things -- the time the mother is cleaning the kitchen and pushes all the chairs in (again), and then turns away for a split second only to find them stacked in that intricate design. EEE. Oh, and don't let me think about the clown doll attacking the son. I've always been afraid of (a) clowns (b) dolls (c) worst case scenario--a clown doll. *shiver* Heh, anyone remember what was on the jacket he kept using to cover that doll up? One hint...can we say wookie? Yeah, it was chewbacca on one of those lovely satin jackets.

The Entity: I've never been so taken aback as when Barbara Hershey is innocently readying herself for bed, looks up, and is slapped *wham*. Then the brutality of the attack that followed...all the while, with nothing there. This one is supposed to be based on a true story, which makes it doubly freaky in my book. Imagine being brutally attacked by a spirit/demonic being and never being able to get away from it. This is a huge influence on The Presence, though TP will be MUCH tamer and won't include sexual attacks.

Okay, that's a good start for now. I have to quit because class is about to begin. I may be back if more come to mind. What movie/s scare you?

Tentative Decision

Okay, I'm going to start out by dipping my big toe into the water, but nevertheless, it's going to be tough.

I've made a BIG decision tonight. Taking a cue from Claire, I'm going to be cutting myself off from the internet--google reader, the forum, etc. for a while. She was talking about how she planned to do it, and I really started getting all glassy-eyed and envious. I said to myself, man, that sounds lovely.

So, I'm starting small. Once the houseparty is over, and I've posted my chapter for the group novel, I'm gonna flip off the little wireless button on my computer. I'll see how it goes until mid-month. (I don't want to let anyone down in goals on the forum, so I'll be back to do those.)

As of late, I've been so involved with internet related things -- the forum with it's houseparties and group novels...the wonderfully interesting threads about this and that. Don't even get me started on google reader -- I spend too much time following blog posts. I think I'm up to something like 40 blogs now. Very time consuming, even when only a third post regularly.

To be honest, I don't know how I'm going to manage this, but I need to. Not only do I need to get crackin' on the final push on both of my MS's, but law finals are coming. Before I know it, they'll be here and I'll be freaking out again. Yes, this is a good idea in theory...practice is another thing. (g)

But there it is. (g) And finally, and this one is hard to do -- I'm gonna have to decline any further betareads until after finals are over. That's approx. Dec 15th. I hate to do this, but time is tight right now. I need to concentrate on my books first, and time is limited the way it is.

Yeah...*taking deep breaths* I'm still trying to decide whether or not to maintain my own blog during this period. Cold occasional hit...cold turkey...hmmm. Tough call. I'll think on it -- see how I feel about all of this tomorrow. (g)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Yep, It's Halloween.

This morning, I awoke to the sound of my stereo disc thingie turning. You know how they make that loud shuffling noise when it's jumping to the next disc? Anyway, if that didn't bring me to full alert, the sound of my printer (on the OTHER side of the room) doing it's thing, did.

So I sit up, head pounding...looking between the two. They're still going at this point, but quickly settle down.

"Huh, that's weird." Must be a power surge, right? I glance at the clock on my nightstand...not blinking...time is the same as the clock across the room, which also isn't blinking. (And BTW, the stereo and the clock on my nightstand are plugged into the same power source.) Now that's weird.

Booooooooooo!! (g) I'm sure it was just some weird electrical glitch, but I honestly can't explain why, if the stereo and printer were reset, my clocks weren't blinking. I've owned both for a long time, and trust me, even the slightest hiccup in electrical power restarts them both. Eeeeeeee.

Blah, I Had To Do It

I've activated the letter verification thingamajig in comments. I didn't want to do that because I personally find it very annnoying--but, I've been getting a string of comments from these random companies, etc...and well, I'd like it to end. LOL. I'm told this is the only way to make them stop... so alas, word scramble it is. Sorry!

Still trying to recover from last night. (g)

Monday, October 29, 2007

I'm Alive

That's about all I can say after one seriously wild wine tasting last night. Whoa. But man...we had fun. (g)

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Halloween Puppy Pics!

I don't know if it's a dog thing in general or just these two, but I just gotta ask. Do YOUR dogs go comatose if you put something on them? I mean to the point they stay in the same position you left them in for several minutes...only moving to collapse on the floor to sulk? (g) You'd think their oxygen levels were being cut off or something, but seriously...I checked. Air flow OKAY. WTF? (g) Anyway, a brief fashion show. First Chloe crying, "Aaaaarr!!" Then Bailey, slowly getting into it. I swear, she could pose for Playdog. (g)

Saturday, October 27, 2007


The houseparty has officially begun. I just finished posting the kick-off scenes, etc. YAY. I also know what Ben and Darcy look like now.

Darcy Maguire, age 16, 5’6”, shoulder-length brown hair, dark blue eyes with thick lashes, slender—bordering on too thin. She’s somewhat standoffish, but loves to laugh. She’s warming up to people in general, but needs you to take it slow at first.

Ben Holburn, age 17, 5’10”, reddish-brown hair cut short, blue eyes, but not nearly as dark as Darcy’s – athletic build, light freckles. Whereas Darcy is a bit shy, Ben loves to meet and talk to people. He’s a little protective of her, so don’t be surprised if he hovers around, jumping into any conversations to help put her at ease.

I'm beginning to get a feel for them...can't wait to work on this book.

Next on the to-do-list is wine!! Need to go raid my favorite wine shop. Then to the grocery store for cheese and grapes, etc. I need to make the desserts tonight and set up the table. Trust me, it takes forever. Then I want to continue with my beta-read. I only got 60 pages in yesterday, so I'm hoping to get a little further tonight.

Of course, I'll be keeping a close eye on the houseparty, too. I hope people join in tonight. :)

Friday, October 26, 2007

Random Thoughts

Today, a friend and I realized what true internet junkies we are. We have all but one class together this semester and decided to grab some lunch between our 1030 and 1pm classes... The first gets out at 1145... so for us non-math people, that's exactly one hour and fifteen minutes.

Jen: So, what sounds good today?

Friend: Hmmm...somewhere with internet.

Jen: (throws out a bunch of ideas, but most are sit down places and we're afraid we won't get back in time)

Friend: Burger King has internet, but I hate BK.

Jen: Yeah...

Jen & Friend: Hmmm.

Jen: Well, it _is_ only an hour... surely we'll be okay without our email.

Friend: *deep sigh* Yeah.

Jen: We're pathetic.

Friend: Yeah.

LOL. Okay, it wasn't nearly that pathetic...but dang close!


Nathan Bransford posted his short-list on opening paragraphs. Whatever the reason, I feel completely inadequate after seeing his choices. (1) Because none of them really jumped out at me -- at all. (2) None of my openings are even close in scope to the ones he chose (3) He actually took a swipe at the authors (there's five of them -- he did a search) who used some form of "the last thing I expected to be doing" in their opening lines. As FI opens with a version of that, it stung a bit. Made me want to scream through my computer, "Well, DA LIKES IT!!! NYUH!" (g) (4) I really thought my short stood a good I'm thinking maybe it's far from being as good as I thought... insecurities...insecurities...insecurities. Yeah, it was supposed to be fun, but I feel blah about the whole thing now.

Whatever. *sulks* (g)


I'm up next for the group novel on the forum. I have to say this -- I'm totally overwhelmed by the prospect of trying to add on to this particular story. It began as a sci-fi...turned into some contemp about a guy who kills people/birds with his mind...and now it has a detective/thriller/sci-fi feel to it (Oh!! And they're supposed to go to Costa Rica!) It's not what I consider paranormal. At all -- on any level. Frankly, I haven't a clue where to take it next. I had hoped to write about ghosts and the like...something light and fun...but am now faced with trying to follow up chapters heavy on exposition and description, not to mention scenes that are very dark... not my kind of writing. If you hadn't noticed by now. (g) My chapter is going to stick out like a sore thumb.

Yes, I will be pounding my head on the wall over this one. Many times.


The houseparty starts tomorrow! YAY. I can't wait. Dude, give me a simple tale of ghosts and ghoulies anyday. It's a relief, but I still need to write my opening scene, etc... AND figure out what both Darcy and Ben REALLY look like. Right now they're sort of these shadowy figures with blurred features... a few things are sticking out. For instance, I think Ben is a red head. Nothing fiery and all crazy... but subtle, dark... hmmm, we'll see. He isn't totally in focus yet. Darcy is a brunette, thin, stunning dark blue eyes with thick lashes.. Yeah, she's getting there.

Anyway, I'm excited to get the ball rolling on this one.


I finished SOME NERVE last night. I'm letting it sit for a while before I do my review. I'm hoping to squeeze in that second beta read I have in the queue. We'll see how it goes. I have to prepare for my winetasting -- go shopping, make dessert, set up the table... it's a lot of work. LOL. Plus I need to find Chloe a costume so she and Bailey can be cute little co-hostesses. In the true nature of little sisters the world round, Bailey is getting a hand-me-down from Chloe. (g) I'll post pics some time in the next few days.

I need to write double my daily word goal tonight. I didn't finish reading last night until way late, and my eyes had started hurting by then. Headache galore.

Anyway, LOTS to do.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Official Review -- Sorta

On Facebook, I joined the Avon Reading Group. They're an imprint of HarperCollins. Anyway, the woman running the group has decided to start a review circle of sorts. Basically, if you're first to sign up, you'll get one of about, I think it was 15 copies. Then, you post a review on your blog or whatever, and link it to the group site. Then we discuss. From what I understand, the author will get involved at some point for a little Q&A. Anyway, I got my copy in the mail today. Free books! Heck, sign me up. :)

First in the queue is SOME NERVE by Jane Heller. It's contemp. women's fiction, about a celeb reporter of some sort. Anyway, looks like a light, fun read. But I will let you know what I think later. :)


I met my word count goal AND finished THE TIME TRAVELER'S WIFE tonight. Woohoo. I'll do a review when I get an opportunity.

Getting back into FI is a little strange. I'm trying to capture the feel of it again. Right now the scenes I'm working on seem to have a more serious tone -- it's so weird. I'm dying to lob a one-liner somewhere, but I can't really work them in. Tomorrow I'll have to work on something lighter. (g) I need Maddy's snark to come out again.

At any rate, I got my words in! Whoot!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Off To The Races

Okay, I've made a schedule for myself. My hope is to finish all revisions of FI by the end of the year. It's going to be a lot of work -- and it'll be hard to juggle writing with all of my school demands, but I think I can do it. True I've said this before (BTPM ringing any bells? The revisions on that MS still aren't finished. LOL), but I'm gonna give it a go. If I can at least vow to catch up on the weekends, or during any downtime (ROFL -- yeah, right), I think it will be a nice little Christmas present to myself. My daily word count seems manageable, but I'll definitely have to stay focused. I used to brainstorm ideas every night before I went to bed... I didn't necessarily know what the scenes would be, and lord knows they rarely turned out the way I first "envisioned" (if that's what you'd call it), but I always had a _starting point_ to begin with.

It's time to get down to business. (g)

Jen ain't playin' anymore. ;) LOL.

Anywho, I read back through the most recent scenes of FI. You know, I can't tell you how pleased I am. That stuff ain't bad, dude. Several of the scenes have been left hanging, so there's always those to work on. But the thing I'm not going to hold myself to is writing in order. I will write whatever is speaking and go from there. With my outline, I should be able to figure it all out along the way. So, I'm off to see if I can squeeze out some words -- I didn't count today, so it'll all be a bonus chance to get back in a groove.

Oh, I'm not sure I'll be continuing the lines of the day. Maybe a line of the week would be more doable. Right now I have to concentrate less on blogging and more on getting my job done. Though if I squeeze in any reading, I'll be sure to write up some reviews...still owe those four. Okay, I'm off. Wish me luck!

ETA: I managed a quick 750 on a new scene--had to stop due to (1) the late hour and my EARLY morning class and (2) a need for medical advice. I sent a note off to my friend who's a nurse. With any luck, she'll get back to me before I begin writing tomorrow. Not much, but decent.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


I finished a beta-read this weekend -- sent off my comments/suggestions today. To be honest, I'm a little gun-shy when it comes to crits lately. I've had such mixed responses to the ones I've done -- from anger, to outright rebuff, to hurt feelings... all over the place. I'm beginning to feel like the crit-devil. LOL. Oh well, I'm still taking the stance that mine is just one opinion. But it's always nice to be appreciated. I'm a SLOW reader, I know I've said this before, so it takes me a lot of time and effort to get one of these things out. I hope that people understand the good intention and painstaking thought I put into them. So, I'm blunt... can't help it. (g) Why waste time, right? lol

Anyway, I've had this terrible headache today. Have a feeling it's eye strain. I tend to get it every now and then -- especially when I spend a lot of time glued to the computer screen. Which, quite honestly, is what happens most days of my life. (g) No forward progress on anything this weekend, but I'm happy to have finally gotten comments out on this one MS. One more to go...maybe next weekend. At least it's a little shorter. (g) A little.

Oh...and if you haven't noticed, my pleasure reading has come to a stand still. However, I still owe four book reviews. EGADS. lol. I'll get to them someday. The lovely thing about this week is that my classes are really cut prof has canceled our class twice, and another class is canceled because we're doing interviews outside of our class time. So yay, it's a good week to get things accomplished. Big week ahead, tho. Houseparty starts on Saturday and I'm hosting a winetasting at my house on Sunday. On top of that, I'm expecting to be passed the baton in the group novel we're writing on the forum. Goodness. So many things... plus HALLOWEEN. (g) I must find costumes for my puppies. YES, I'm one of _those_ kinds of people. I'll post pics. (VBG)

Anywho, calling it a night. Hoping my eyes feel better on the morn so I can move forward on _something_.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

*Feeble Wave*

I'm exhausted! LOL. I spent a good portion of last night beta-reading for a friend. I'm about half way through her book, and I hope to finish it up tonight or early tomorrow. Then I have just one more to read. Not sure I'll get to it this weekend, as I really want to get a good chunk of BTPM cleaned up and ready to go. Bless her heart, I have a reader bribing me with goodies and recipes to help get my creative/inspiration juices flowing. I hate to keep her waiting, so I'm hurrying as best I can. This friend has waited a number of weeks for me to get to her MS, though... so I really need to work on that.

I have Monday off for Fall Break. (woohoo!) So, there's a lot of time available as long as I kick my butt into gear. I'm a little sad that this weekend is Surrey... but I'm trying to keep it happy, though I couldn't attend. The weather is beautiful here.. the leaves are changing colors... oranges, yellows, and reds...and all shades in between. *Takes a deep lungful of the crisp air* Lovely.

I've sent out the official Halloween Party Invite on the forum... Darcy and Ben are excited to get the ball rolling next weekend... I'll admit it's been a lot of fun preparing. I've decided to set the book here in Lincoln. SCARY. It's much easier to place a book in a city you're not familiar with. Not in the details, but in the responsibility to get things JUST right. lol. At any rate, I've found Darcy's house and figured out where she lives in the city... fun stuff. I hope lots o' people show up for the party... always fun.

Oh, and Thursday was HELL. I got up around 530, went to school at 1030, and didn't come home until 9 that night. BLAH. But as my fam was out for the evening, I stopped at a drive-thru to get dinner. The girl working the window completely reminded me of Darcy and sparked a few ideas to flesh her out as a character. Really exciting when things like that hit you when you're least expecting them. If I'm lucky, I'll have FI finished by the end of December and be able to begin working in earnest on The Presence. I'm psyched like you wouldn't believe. I even have plans to talk to one of my aunt's friends who knows a lot about the high schools here in Lincoln. So, even though I'm busy with other things, I'm still thinking about all the projects I have in the works. Gah, I love writing.

Okay, off to clean the house. (joy)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Forgotten Scene

Tonight my fam and I decided to watch Rebecca -- old Hitchcock film. Anyway, I pulled out a notebook, figuring I could doodle and maybe get some bits down on the current scene. Lo and behold, I find notes for a scene that I completely forgot about. I even BLOGGED about it and how excited I was to add it. LOL. Now I'm wondering where I can put it. It's too good to just discard... so, I'll be thinking on that. The great thing is that I was basically free writing -- jotting down images and lines of dialogue. It won't take much to knock out the rest of it. The hard part is figuring out where to place it.

It was kinda like finding a twenty dollar bill in the pocket of a jacket I haven't worn in a while. WHOOT!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Basic Shape

I didn't get a lot of words in tonight -- only about 500, in fact. But the great thing is that I've finally figured out the basic shape of chapter 15. I knew what I wanted, but executing "the vision" is always a challenge. I tried a new technique. Nothing flashy or anything, but I tend to be a pretty straight-forward storyteller and it was something I've never tried before. At least not that I can recall.

I basically went from the present moment...back into a little flashback from after the end of the last chapter...and back to the present moment. I hope I've done it smoothly. When I've had flashbacks before, they've always been pretty far back in time...certainy not a matter of minutes the way this one is. I saw a similar technique used in one the books I've read recently, though I couldn't tell you which one for the life of me. LOL. If I could remember, I could study it again to see if I've pulled off the technique. Oh well...onward.

I guess that goes to show that reading is a VERY useful tool in our bag of tricks. I tend to get too busy to squeeze much in. But lately, as y'all know, my schedule has done LITTLE to stop my devouring book after book. It's been great, tho -- helps me to pinpoint what I like/dislike. Right now I'm in the middle of The Time Traveler's Wife, which is a very entertaining book. However, as I told Claire, the dialogue is atrocious. I'm reminded time and again how important it is in a book. Despite really enjoying TTTW, I'm constantly being jerked out of the story by some really lame bit of dialogue that makes me roll my eyes and say, "No one talks like that! What planet did the author grow-up on??" LOL. She can tell a story, but jeez... lol.

Anywho, maybe tomorrow I can pound out the rest of this chapter... that would be good. :)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Well, I'm still plugging away at BTPM. AAARGH. The only good thing, is that I really like the stuff I'm writing. The bad is that it's going slowly and not really working with the "time frame" I had in mind. LOL. OH well, what can you do? I'd much rather have the end book be GOOD than written quickly at this point.

You know, I keep wondering... what happened to me?? I used to churn out words like there was no tomorrow. These days I'm lucky if I write every day... and when I do write, to churn out 500 words. It's weird and I don't like it. lol. I want to go back to my days of abandon when I'd churn out 25K in a week... when I threw caution to the wind and believed in myself... gah.


At any rate, that original scene that I cut took up chapters 13-15. I've finished 13 & 14, and have a pretty good idea about what I'll do with 15. After that, I'm back on track and hopefully I can gut my way to the end. We shall see.

I'm also letting FI simmer as it's slowly moving from the back of my mind to the forefront. I'm so geared up to work on it. Perhaps I'll get some of the old Jen back while writing completely new scenes...random...willy-nilly...saying f*ck what people think of this, cuz I love it. LOL. Yeah, if you know me, you know the last part isn't true... but SOME confidence would be nice.

Oh, and I need to work on the prep for the haunted house party I'm throwing. Must do that soon.

Busy. Gah.

Friday, October 12, 2007

STRAY by Rachel Vincent

It's been a while since I read this book, so I hope I can keep everything straight. (g)

Brief Synopsis: Faythe Sanders isn't your normal coed. She's a werecat desperately trying to distance herself from what she really is. But when someone begins targeting Tabbies (unwed females, of which there are only 8 in all of the U.S.), she is rushed home and back into the protection of her family. There, she must face the life she's tried so hard to leave behind -- the adopted stray, Marc, to whom she was once engaged... Jace, one of her father's pack protectors for which she shares a mutual attraction... but most importantly, the responsibility of living up to who and what she is within the ranks of her pack. But these problems pale in comparison to the danger of her being kidnapped by the Stray on the loose...

Dunt dun dun.

Okay, I think this book was pretty dang entertaining. I liked the concept a great deal. I think Vincent has a very fresh voice--not to mention some serious chops when it comes to turning a phrase and coming up with snappy dialogue and descriptions.

I've thought long and hard about this review, and whether or not I liked the book in the end. I'm not sure I have an answer.

There are some things I really liked. The concept, the dialogue, her use of's all great. But then, there are some things that I just didn't like.

Without giving too much away, this book has what I call the "Bad Girls" syndrome. Ever see that movie? I can't remember all of the stars... I know Drew Barrymore was in it... Anyway, it's a western focusing on four women. As it's an OLD movie, I'll tell you the basic plot -- at least what I can remember. There's a bad guy, and he kidnaps one of the girls. The rest of the group rescues her. Two seconds later, they take one of the other girls... they rescue her... Then the hero in the movie is in trouble and they save HIM... then another girl is taken and they need to come up with another escape plan... Did I mention one of my friends actually threw his shoe at the movie screen?

Okay, I know it sounds MEGA harsh to compare this book to this obviously crap movie. I don't mean to make it sound like that. But one particular plot line -- dealing with Faythe's various love interests reminded me SO much of this...i.e. I'll make out with this guy for a while...oops, we're caught... then I'll go mack on this other guy... drat, someone walked in... rinse and repeat, several times in like a 36 hour period. (A period, I must mention, during which one of her dear friends and one of her _cousins_ has been kidnapped -- and during which she herself is being hunted.) Not only did it make me question WHY I should like this character, but made me fear for my sanity. Talk about a revolving door love life. Okay, okay...she's young, I get that. But honestly, I didn't like her so much during this part of the book, and it was at the beginning. THAT said, the sexual tension was good...and it MADE me want to turn the pages... but only because I wanted her to end up with one of the guys, and I was waiting for her to snap out of it.

That brings me to my second issue with this book. I love strong female characters. I like it when women stand up for themselves and know how to fight back and not always play the victim. But saying they're strong and actually being strong are two very different things. I can't tell you how many times characters told Faythe how strong she she's meant to lead the pack...and yet, nothing she did convinced me of this -- at all. Quite the contrary, in fact. I thought she created more problems than she solved--her decisions most times made in order to avoid taking help from men or admitting she was weak. This of course resulted in predicaments that could've been avoided.

That's not to say she didn't earn my respect during certain parts of the book. There were times she really stood her ground when most would probably freak out and wallow in self-pity. It's just that I didn't think she quite lived up to reputation before it was thrust upon her. Had it just been herself making these claims, I think I would've believed it -- but it was everyone around her... With her behavior most of the time, I was actually quite surprised her father didn't throw her into the cage he kept threatening her with.

And finally, one last gripe. Over-explanation. Every time a member of Faythe's pack would do something, Vincent would launch into a bunch of backstory about werecat history/laws/behavior patterns, etc. Okay, that makes sense... but this lasted throughout the entire book. It got to the point where she started repeating herself in certain spots... and well, I'm not convinced most of it was even necessary. Most of it could be inferred from what was happening at the time...or summed up more succinctly. She even did this with other things -- slowly revealing backstory about relationships, etc. I don't necessarily have a problem with that, but when you're not finding out a pertinent bit of history until late in the book, it seems weird. Could be me.

Anyway, I'm sure it's probably unclear why I'm so torn on this book. It sounds like all I'm doing is complaining about the things I didn't like. But the truth of the matter is that I _really_ wanted to like it -- thought it had so much potential, but it JUST missed the mark for me. It's one of those books that had so much going for it, that these things stood out like big red banners. Sigh.

Will I read the next book? Absolutely.

Buy or Rent? I just don't know.

LADY OF THE FOREST by Jennifer Roberson

I'm sure there's not many people out there who aren't aware of the basic story of Robin Hood and Maid Marian. Not to mention the Sheriff of Nottingham, and Robin's merry band of men. This book is simply one account of how it "could have happened." If you're expecting a similar telling to anything you've seen in the movies (Prince of Thieves comes to mind), you are probably going to be a bit surprised by its content. But it's a great book, simple as that.

Brief Synopsis (at least I'll try): Robert, son of the Earl of Huntington has recently returned home from The Crusades, where he was held prisoner of war for some time. During the war, he served as the right hand man of King Richard, and is harboring a dark secret about the fate of Sir Hugh FitzWalter, the father of Marian FitzWalter. Before dying, Hugh entreated Robert to carry a message to his only daughter. Weary of war and death, Robert tries to find his place back in England when all he wants is to free the King, who is being held prisoner in Germany.

Marian FitzWalter is motherless, and now fatherless, and is just now ending a year of mourning over her father's death. As a ward of the Crown, this means she is available for marriage--a fact that puts her in a great deal of peril. To put it simply, she is highly sought after and has caught the eye of William deLacey, the Sheriff of Nottinghamshire, amongst others.

Thrown together at Robert's welcome home celebration, Robert at last delivers Marian's father's dying wish -- for her to marry deLacey. But it's quite obvious there's something else that he didn't tell her, something that haunts him and makes him feel an obligation to protect her. When Marian is later snatched and carried away into Sherwood Forest by Will Scarlet, Robert pursues them, determined to do right by the daughter of the man he failed.

And so begins one hell of an adventure. One that finds Robert becoming the person known as Robin Hood, determined to raise the King's ransom and bring him home to England before the King's younger brother steals the crown out from beneath him.

Oh man, that doesn't even begin to describe it. LOL. Oh well, it's too complicated to sum up.

I'll admit that the first couple of chapters were a tad overwhelming. Roberson's writing style is very vivid -- almost to a point it's too much and you feel overloaded with detail. I'm not sure what changed--whether I grew accustomed or what, but once I got into the book, there was NO turning back until I finished.

This book is NON-stop. It's from one thing to the next and you simply have to keep turning the pages to find out what will happen next. Filled with scheming and intrigues, it is a complicated book that doesn't allow you to ever truly say: Okay, this character is on Marian's side... this character is going to support Robert, and so forth. Everyone has their own agenda, and goodness they are conniving. There are so many interesting subplots and secondary characters... remarkable Roberson managed to keep it all straight. (g) But the great thing is that she carries it off seamlessly. Wow, what a writer.

Not much to complain about. I found the romance to be a major thread in the story, but not overwhelmingly sappy to the point you'd consider this a straight romance. No, it's more of an adventure with a strong romantic element. I've seen the movies, heard the legends... I knew how it would end up between the two of them. But I couldn't stop reading until THEY knew how it was supposed to be. (g)

And of course -- the sheriff. Gah, what a slimeball. (g) The constant threat he posed created so much tension, that of course the book wouldn't be the same without him. So, I loved to hate him. :)

Little John, Will Scarlet, and the rest of the merry bandits... gotta love them.

All in all, a great read. Hmmm...I have Lady of Sherwood on my shelf...

Buy or Rent? BUY!!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


See sidebar -- right there, underneath the status of FI and BTPM. (g)

ETA: I had to change my title here, the previous one was attracting drug companies. LOL.

Let Me Off The Reading Train

This isn't normally something I'd complain about, but dang it... I need to stop getting sucked into good books. Lately I've been reading more than anything else -- that includes writing and working on school related stuff. But I can't seem to help myself. I must've stumbled upon a really great bunch of books -- because man, of the last 6 I've read, I've absolutely loved 4. Now I'm getting completely sucked into LADY OF THE FOREST by Jennifer Roberson. At this rate, I'll never get my nose out from between two covers.

Do you ever get into these cycles? Where you finish one and literally go and pick up another to begin? I get so involved in these worlds that leaving them starts to become majorly irritating -- wanna skip class and put everything else aside. Don't worry -- hasn't reached that point. Yet. (g) Nah, I'm always able to put it aside when I really need to, but that's not to say it's easy. LOL.

I've vowed to get through 2K tonight before I allow myself to pick up a book. Lately I say I'll "warm up" my brain with a little reading before I start work... then I realize...oh, you only have another hundred pages to read. Go ahead and finish! Then it's late and it's easier to pick up another book than make my brain work at writing my own. LOL. LAZY. I'm being lazy. But tonight it ends! I'm out of class in 35 minutes and then it's time to concentrate on BTPM.

But then... I wonder what's gonna happen next in LOTF.... aaaaagh.

Monday, October 8, 2007

YOU SLAY ME by Katie MacAlister

OMG...this book was flippin' hilarious!!

Brief Synopsis: Aisling Grey is a courier on her first assignment. She's been sent to Paris in order to deliver a statue, but when she arrives, the person she's supposed to hand it off to is dead. Not only that, but it appears she's been killed in some sort of demonic ritual. It's then Aisling discovers she is a Guardian, i.e. a keeper of the gates of hell. Not only that, but she is the destined mate of a Wyvern (a leader of a dragon sept), Drake Vireo (hot green dragon in man-form). MUCH mayhem ensues. In order to gain information, Aisling ends up summoning a demon to question. Said demon turns out to be a talking Newfoundland dog, who has absolutely no powers other than a sharp tongue and a willingness to point it's lethal power at Aisling at the most inconvenient of times. So, she ends up a Guardian, demon lord, and Wyvern mate all before she knows what the hell is going on. Oh, and the police think she murdered the woman she was delivering the statue to.

If you want a serious laugh, you have GOT to run out and get this book. It is the silliest thing, but yet so much fun that I literally couldn't put it down. There are MANY laugh out loud moments...some that brought tears to my eyes.

Aisling is a GREAT character. She has the most unique voice I've read in a long time. She's flippant...sarcastic...totally ridiculous, and maintains that voice throughout the entire book. She was such a breath of fresh air. She's smart, but a bit of a wimp, and yanno....she knows when to run when she's gotten in over her head. I dig that about her. She wasn't one of those alpha females who think they are the be all/end all of solving things themselves...the ones who refuse to take the help of men just because they're...yanno, men.

Drake...MMMM...Drake. What to say about him? Sexy. That's what I'll say. That and man, why don't I have dreams like that??? LOL.

The mystery of the story is pretty good -- not the greatest. There were some leaps in logic that I didn't quite get, but overall it was good. Mostly I was so entertained by Aisling that I didn't pay that much attention. lol. I did guess who the bad guy was, but then got my theory taken away...only to find I was right in the end. Either way, it's a wild ride that is very enjoyable.

And Jim -- that's the demon dog... man, talk about hilarious. Many of the great laughs in this book are due to him. Kudos to MacAlister for such a unique idea.

Now, if you happen to get this book down the road, it's going to be a little painful in the beginning--especially for you writers. In one chapter, I think she mentioned Drake's "green eyes," in all possible variations, about a dozen times. It was so repetitive, but I realize now there was a purpose to it. Her writing is fresh and funny and has some great lines that make me say... "MAN...wish I'd thought of that!" It gives me hope for FI doing well. (g)

Buy or Rent? BUY.


So, I've been a reading maniac... I now have six book reviews to get caught up on. I thought I'd try doing two a day until I catch up. Maybe more if I can manage and don't get sidetracked with another book. (g)

Okay...first up... Keturah and Lord Death by Martine Leavitt

Brief Synopsis: Keturah follows a Hart into the woods one day and becomes lost and left on the brink of death. She meets Lord Death, staving him off by striking a bargain. She tells him a story, and will only tell him the end if he allows her one more day of life and time to warn her village of the oncoming plague that he has warned her about. In that time, she must also find her one true love, the one thing she regrets never having found--or face eternity as Lord Death's wife.

One word to describe this book: BEAUTIFUL.

I loved it! It has this classic fairy tale feel to it. Even though I could guess the ending, I never really knew for sure -- and was left on edge as she continually tries to save her loved ones and to find her true love.

Okay, so the "magic" she enlists to find her true love was a bit creepy. I won't tell you what it is, but I thought it was one seriously gross method. (g) But it's something I so could've seen happening in any of the classic fairy tales from when I was a kid.

I love the message--sometimes love is something you can't control. And sometimes your true love is someone you least expect them to be.

I'm sure there's much deeper stuff in there, but I just read and enjoyed. I'm a terrible judge of what is appropriate for what ages, but I think this would be a great gift for tweens and deals with some pretty heavy issues (death, love, sacrifice), but is truly beautifully told. Made me cry. :)

Buy or Rent?? BUY.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Pushing Daisies

Did y'all catch this show's premiere this week? I missed it on Wednesday, but they ran it again tonight. OMG... I'm in love with it already. The main character, Ned, is _adorable_.

If you don't want to hear any spoilers...turn away now.

The basic gist of the show: Ned can bring people/animals/houseflies back to life by touching them. There are a few caveats, however. If he touches someone and they live for more than a minute, another person must die in their place. I'm not sure how that person is chosen exactly, but it seems to be someone in the general vincinity of the person brought back to life. Then, to make matters even more complicated, the original person will die if he touches them again -- no matter when it happens.

Okay... MAJOR spoilers ahead...STOP NOW if you don't want the first episode ruined.

In the opening episode, Ned is a young boy in love with a girl named Chuck. (g) He finds out about his gift when his dog is hit by a semi. Then, his mother drops dead from a brain aneurysm. He brings her back of course, and a minute later, he sees Chuck's father keel over across the street. That's when he learns "the rules" so to speak. But then the real horror comes when his mother tucks him into bed that night and dies again after kissing him goodnight.

So, fast forward to present day. Ned has become a pie maker -- not to mention one serious cutie patootie. (g) He teams up with a detective, bringing people back to life for their minute so they can find out who killed them, and then collect the reward money for solving their murder. Kinda tasteless, but dang funny when you see the state of their bodies.

Then Ned learns that Chuck has been murdered. When he gives her the minute to clue him in, he can't make himself touch her again, hence letting her live, but without the ability to touch her... Oh, man.

This show is too cute/sad for words. They're soooo sweet to one another, but they can't touch!! At one point in the show, Ned tells his detective buddy to give Chuck a hug... *sigh* And I love that his dog is still with him and that he pets him with a fake hand. This is the most unique romance I've ever seen. It has this great fairy tale/film noir thing going for it. Reminds me of Edward Scissorhands in a way, Big Fish in another... the bold colors and quirky characters are going to make this show a huge success. It better anyway! Cuz I'm hooked...big time.

Anyway, I'm really looking forward to seeing what happens next. Will they figure out who killed Chuck? How will they ever live without the ability to touch one another? Will he slip up someday and send Chuck back to her grave? Hurry up, Wednesday. (g)

Friday, October 5, 2007

It's A Start

Today has been a _rough_ day. I started at 1030 and didn't leave school for good until around 8 tonight. Dang. How much should one person be expected to take?

Didn't have much time to work on anything writing related, and by time I got home, there was no way much was gonna happen. LOL. I did sneak in a few minutes here and there, mostly over lunch...and managed 318 words, to be exact.

Like I said -- it's a start, albeit a small one. More tomorrow -- It's mapping out in my head... hopefully I can manage a good chunk of it. Did I tell you I was prolly cutting 5K or so?? Yeah, painful...and I probably need to write at least that much to replace it with the new stuff. All good...yes, good.. lol.

Yeah, I'm ready to focus back on FI.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

A Change Will Do Me Good

Okay, so that big scene in BTPM. I'm almost one hundred percent convinced I'm going to take it in a different direction... well, cutting it would be a more apt word. (g) It's taken a lot of thought and arguments with myself, and a doggedly determined friend helping me to weigh the pros and cons, but I'm nearly convinced. I love the scene -- and honestly, there's not a dang thing wrong with it as far as I'm concerned. It fits in the book, but what I realized is that to make it work in the grand scheme of the overall plot, I'll need to extend my wordage a great deal. Also, it's not accomplishing my "goals" as well as I'd like it to.

So scratch it. (g) Bummer, but oh well. I've already got another plan in action that I like a great it utilizes the space MUCH better. I'm not cutting everything. The "scene" became three chapters. I'm keeping the first, pretty much as it is now... just a minor tweak at the end. The second will be cut, and parts of the third will be inserted into the new stuff. Crazy, but I'm saving everything -- Just in case. (g) Also, this is weird, but I think I can use part of chapter 2 for FI 2. (VBG) Waste not, want not!

Even though this means I have a great deal of words to rewrite, I think it will make the last quarter of the book _extremely_ easy to get through. Here's hoping. (g)

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


I've had my nose buried in REBEL ANGELS the past couple of days. But I'm almost finished and will peek my little head out of hiding soon.

In the interim, I've been mulling over the "big scene" in BTPM quite a bit...trying to decide whether or not I'm happy with it and the ripples it will cause in the MS as a whole. I think I've finally come to some conclusions on what I should do, but there will be no telling until I sit down to work on it. Which should be tonight...after I finish RA. (g) (Seriously, it's soooo good, it was hard to put down and come to class today).

Speaking of which, I owe quite a few book reviews. I've been a little reading machine lately. Finished four books and one betaread. So, I'll get caught up eventually. So, look forward (or not so forward) to my thoughts on:

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

Stray by Rachel Vincent

Blue is for Nightmares by Stolarz (Can't remember her full name.)

Rebel Angels by Libba Bray

I also have another betaread ahead of me...and a couple looming in the distance... plus I've been a book-buying fiend. OH MY, my shelves are overflowing. It's a wonder I get anything accomplished.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Did You Get It?

A friend of mine said "JackAlopes" (I misspelled it last night) aren't all that well known. Did you get what I was talking about in that last line of the day? I'll probably stick with it -- even if none of you did -- just cuz I think it's a great line. (g) Plus, I think it's fun to introduce people to the frightening world where the possibility of such a creature exists. (g)

For more information on this wild beast, please see this:

The Jackalope Conspiracy

The Stars Weren't Aligned

Too many unexpected distractions this weekend -- plus a big snag with that big ol' scene I was trying to merge into the MS... *sigh* I won't be finished on time. Blah! BUT, the good news is that I've gotten past that scene -- heading into old territory next. It's a HUGE accomplishment as far as I'm concerned. Sure, the scene isn't perfect yet, but dang it, I think it's looking pretty good after the final tweaks I made tonight.

Plus I tied up the last bits I had left hanging... *sigh* There are a couple of moments in there that give me the chills. :) More importantly, I made Jenna like Ty again. ;) She even said he might surpass Drew for her affections. LOL. Amazing.

At any rate, IF I'm really diligent, I may be able to finish the revisions in the next day or two... fingers crossed. It may not happen, but I'm seriously happy with where I stand right now. I've worked hard.

Anyway, I'll try to dig up a line/snip that isn't too much of a spoiler. (g) Been a while since I posted one.