Thursday, 25 September 2014

Round 3 2014 - Final Check In

"Alice Springs ridge". Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons -
I was away on a 5 day retreat a couple of weeks ago. In Alice Springs. And since then, something has shifted inside me. I still can't pinpoint exactly what it is, but something seems to be simmering away. Calmly, but simmering nonetheless. :)

So, I'm not sure what this means in terms of writing, but for the final check in, let me share what I was doing before I went to Alice.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

August Recommended Reads

Last month, there were no books I read that I could recommend to others, but there are plenty for August. :)

This post contains affiliate links. This does not alter the cost of the books, but simply means that I will earn a small commission should you decide to buy the books through these links.

Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead

Once I saw this book in the bookshop, I couldn't leave without it. I absolutely love and adore this series because Sydney has some real obstacles to overcome: racism and going against everything she's been taught to believe is right.

The Bloodlines Series is a paranormal series, so the race in question are the Moroi (good vampires), while Sydney is a member of a human organisation sworn to cover up any activities that might lead humans to discover vampires exist.

Plenty of romance, but Mead does conflict so well. When things go wrong, they really go wrong. When they go right, it's only a matter of time before something will go wrong.

Unputdownable, and a keeper on my shelf.

Trinity Rising by Elspeth Cooper

Yes, oh yes, oh yes. I love the new character that's been introduced, Teia. Her journey in particular has been a pleasure to read and I can't wait to see how it will interact with Gair's and Tanith's. Everything is building to a crescendo, slowly but surely.

I did check the ending of the next book in the series, The Raven's Shadow, and to my surprise I find it's not the final book in a trilogy. There'll be a fourth book which will end the series. I've got mixed feelings. On the one hand I love reading the books, on the other I really want a HEA so I can leave all the tension behind!

But yes, on the whole, it's good to know that there's another two books waiting for me to dive into.

Ransomwood by Sherryl Jordon (MG)

I don't normally read Middle Grade, but I was drawn to the cover and the blurb on the back appealed to me, so I got it.

It's told from an omniscient narrator's point of view and the viewpoint character will change over the course of a scene, but it was all so well done, so simply done, that I never felt like I was being pulled out of the novel. In fact, it was more like looking at a pattern where every thread is connected and I look at one particular thread for a few minutes, and then another, and then step back to see the whole section (scene).
It was a lovely story, well told, had me teary-eyed in places, and ended with a HEA but not in any contrived or forced way.

Definitely a keeper on my bookshelf. It won the Australian Young Readers' Book Award in 2013. Well deserved in my opinion.

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Words cannot do justice to how I feel after finishing this book. It's an absolute treasure. The characterisation in this story is EXCELLENT. And I love how the themes and motifs were worked together to add layers.

A beautiful, fascinating, insightful story - set during World War II - told extremely well. I found myself laughing at some things and in tears at others.

Even though it's a YA novel, there is no colouring with rose-coloured tints. The good is lovely, the bad is harrowing. It has won several awards and it's a definite keeper.