What the heck is this place?

This is my space for books - as if I don't have enough of them in the house! ;-) My plan is to create an on-going catalogue of what I own, what I've borrowed, and what I'm planning to read. It's mostly for my own benefit, but I hope you enjoy it nonetheless if you happen to pop by.

I'm also using this as my research "database" for my writing, with links to articles, blogs, websites, and other interesting tidbits at Webography...

I also have a blog for my cross-stitching passions at The Workbox.


Saturday, 7 March 2009

Now presenting...

This is a brief introduction to the five stories that I am currently trying to wrangle with. All of these characters and ideas have been in development for at least two years or more. It is an attempt to formally organize their structures, with the goal in mind to actually complete something (maybe I should begin a writing rotation...?)


      Genres: urban fantasy, romance

      Paranormal Element: fairies (aka fae), banshees, vampires, werewolves, etc. - I'm pulling out all the mythological stops with this one! ;-)

      Donahue's story is actually planned as a series of three books - when she first popped into my head, and I began to delve deeper into her life and her world, I just knew that one book wouldn't do it justice. Now I just have to figure out all the tangled plotlines...


      Genres: high fantasy, slightly militaristic fantasy, mystery, romance

      Paranormal Element: elves, fairies, and one very annoying vampire

      Nia began life, like most of my characters, from a piece of art that I found on the internet (and now I cannot find it again for the life of me - argh!). The character, the woman portrayed, was dark-haired, staring at the viewer as she wiped the blood from her sword. Something about that glaze drew me in, and I drew together the strands of her life, slowly at first, through scenes and interactions with other characters. She gathered a family - distant parents, adoring grandparents, and two beloved younger brothers (one of whom hero-worships his sister, despite his own rise to prominence) - and eventually, a partner.

      Nia has so many stories to tell that I'm not quite sure which one to write about. Though the arrival of Mac (her partner) in her life is quite important, that's not what her character wants to reveal.


      Genres: paranormal, romance

      Paranormal Element: trickster character, psychic powers

      The Solace storylines were conceived from the desire to try and write a Harlequin (aka: a traditional romance). I've developed the characters (there are six-ten pairings) and a history of the town; at one point, I was even flirting with the idea that it could be condensed into a book of short stories. Currently, this project is stashed away...


      Genres: paranormal, romance

      Paranormal Element: Witches, werewolves, vampires, magic

      Kee is unusual - her story does not follow the usual romance guidelines:

"To be considered in the romance genre, a novel should adhere to the following criteria:

* the story must contain a relationship and romantic love between two people
* the story must have an emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending."
[from "Romance Genre" article on RomanceWiki; italics my own]
      While I'm no way arguing that Kee does not (and will not!) have "...an emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending" (she does; I've written half of it! ;-) she does not have one partner - she has two.

      Kee's story is about her relationship with her two mates (they're werewolves) and her development from a crippled outcast who has retreated from the world into a strong, protective woman who finally accepts her life - and her heritage; it is neither erotic romance or erotica, both of which often focus on multiple partners (among other things...).

      It just happened that Kee's life is with her mates - both of them.


      Genres: high fantasy, romance

      Paranormal Element: dragons, magic, sorcery, shapeshifters

      The dragon lord's story evolved from a Dungeon and Dragon's inspired backstory about a sorceress turned wandering scholar. Slowly, the story's focus has shifted from her to him. He is a reluctant hero; only desiring his solitude, his rescues unwillingly, only to be pulled (kicking and screaming) into the world beyond his home.

      Both the dragon lord and his sorceress are (still!) unnamed.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Writing and goals...

So like every second person in the world, I write. I have dozens (upon dozens, upon dozens, etc.) of notebooks filled with snippets, plots, characters - you name it, it's probably there.

The Easy Bits
I write a heafty amount of fan fiction - though I always create new characters to interact with the old (which are usually sideline characters, not the main ones - i.e. Otto from Sherrilyn Kenyon's DH series; Charlie from J. K. Rowling's HP series also used to be a favourite). I'm not quite sure if this is the norm for fanfic writers, but that is what mine has evolved into.

Genre-bending, or Bending the Genre Lines (which ever you prefer)
My personal writing has plans to become books (please excuse me while I break into gales of hysterical laughter). I don't compose poetry (it's lovely to look at, but just not my thing), nor do I write children's lit or short stories (though I may be reconsidering on the ss thing...). My genre's include fantasy (urban and a version of high), romance, history, and mystery - all mushed together to create...um, I'm not quite sure yet. Which is why I now have "THE GOAL" (from she who hates creating goals, because she never finishes them...). So, here it is in all it's glory (drum roll please):

      1. Complete a chapter by July 2009.

Not setting the bar too high, am I? (snicker)

But considering that I have never finished anything except for a school piece, it's not too much to ask for. Though if I do (by happenstance) fulfill "THE GOAL" by July, then there is always "THE GOAL, PART TWO"...

Friday, 27 February 2009

Otis Frampton's "Oddly Normal"

Title: Oddly Normal, volume 1 and volume 2 ("Family Reunion")
Author/Illustrator: Otis Frampton, Sergio Quijada (ill. vol. 2 only)
Published:May 2006/May 2007 by Viper Comics
Genre: Graphic Novel, Fantasy, Teen

      Oddly Normal (yes, that's her name) is half-witch with green hair and is miserable in the rain/snow. Up until her tenth birthday, she lives a deary life with her parents (a witch mother who went to the human world looking for "normal" and found Mr. Normal, Oddly's human father), teased and belittled by the kids at school. After an "unfortunate wish," she ends up in Fignation, and under the care of her great-aunt.

      Beginning life as a web comic, this wonderful series has continued to grow (volume 3, "Fignation Times" was released September 2008). It was listed on the American Library Association's "Top Ten Graphic Novels for Youth" in 2007, but has enough substance to keep an adult entertained! If you liked the Harry Potter series, give Oddly a go - the circumstances are different, but the themes - discovery, magic, belief, friendship - are the same.

      This series was recommended to me as an example of a writer who is also the illustrator (first volume only) of his work - but as I delved into Oddly's quirky little world (I desperately want a blinkie for "I love Oopie"! ;-) I found myself becoming attached. Oddly's no shrinking violet, despite what circumstances (and certain English teachers) throw her way, and her adaption to her new life (and friends!) shows us that, while it's not easy, we must believe in ourselves, or we'll never move forward.

      I borrowed both volumes' through the library, and devoured them (not literally, LOL!) on my lunch breaks. I can't wait to get my paws on volume three, but Chapters doesn't carry the series and Amazon.ca is out of stock for the first two, and doesn't even list the third... (whimper, whimper)


Edit: I still haven't read Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dream Warrior! It's sitting on the bookshelf, taunting me... (along with Susan Carroll's Midnight Bride, though I'm waiting for book one of the St. Leger Legacy before I touch that baby! ;-) But I am determined to get the first part of the Grand Abecedaire SAL done first, especially since part four was just released...

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Dead after dark anthology

Title: Dead after dark
Author(s): Sherrilyn Kenyon, J. R. Ward, Susan Squires, and Dianna Love
Published: December 2008 by St. Martin's Press
Genre: Paranormal romance
      * Sherrilyn Kenyon's "Shadow of the moon"
      * J. R. Ward's "The story of Son"
      * Susan Squires' "Beyond the night"
      * Dianna Love's "Midnight kiss goodnight"

Since it included Sherrilyn Kenyon's latest addition to the Dark-Hunter universe, this anthology was a must-buy (actually it was a Christmas present that I only now - cough, cough - got around to reading!), but I loved 3 out of the 4 stories contained within it's pages. I'm not, for the most part, a fan of short stories - since I prefer, for the most part, character over plot (though the plot has to be there as well - I'm not an easy girl to please ;-), there's not enough character development within the span of a short story (for obvious reasons).

      * Kenyon's "Shadow of the moon" is Fury's story - the latest addition to the were-hunter sub-series. It was a good little snippet, a teaser with old characters reappearing (Z, but no Bob - pout!), a new plotline that will probably be carried over, and all the while whetting our appetite for Fang and Aimee's story due out in the summer.

      * Ward's "The story of Son" was unexpected - I had borrowed her first book in the "Black Dagger Brotherhood" series, but I never got around to reading it and she was pushed back to the end of my authors-to-read list. After breezing through this story, I've already ordered the first two books in her series! It starts out with a female lawyer who has no interest in the domestic sphere, or anything to do with men - until she is held captive for a rather unusual man. Nice mix of sex, sensuality, action, and plot.

      * I have never read anything previously of Susan Squires, but after flipping through her "Beyond the night," I probably won't. A female vampire masquerading as a ghost, the hero on the lam, and a dead-former-love - with a weird vampiric backstory. Too much eroticism, not enough plot.

      * What wasn't there to "love" about Love's "Midnight kiss goodnight"? It had strong characters, a driven and up-beat plot, backstory...shades of Kenyon's 'Dark-hunter' and 'BAD' series combined, but a girl can't be picky, can she? ;-)