Jul 31, 2012

Review: Doubleblind

Doubleblind

(Sirantha Jax 3)

By Ann Aguirre

Paperback, 302 pages

Science Fiction Romance with a dose of diplomatic intrigue

Published by Ace
Released September 29, 2009


My Summary:

Finally having reached Ithiss-Tor, Sirantha must complete her diplomatic mission to save humanity from the impending Morgut invasion, but her complex political position is only further compounded by her lover's decline into a dark psychosis.

My Review:
This, the third  novel in this series is fun, while not as prone to random plot whorls as it's previous two, and has a mix of diplomacy, mystery, romance, and action.

Ms Aguirre manages to create a love story in these novels that is strong enough to get over itself. Nothing in these books have been about the main character's love interest being the thing that defines her or the singular thing that drives her. In fact, it ends up being the first thing she has to sacrifice in many cases. And yet, she and March are mature enough and level headed enough that they can get over themselves and deal with the problems at hand and then find a way to return to what they are/what they had.

To be honest, I was a little worried about this novel's plot. Political intrigue can be and a tricky thing to pull off well, and I wasn't sure what to expect, especially with a main character as vocal about her ineptitude with this sort of thing as Sirantha is. But she did it very well. The amount of help that Sirantha receives seems like the amount she'd need to perform in her task. And overall, this very alien situation came across feeling very real.

Buy, Borrow, Brush Past:

I'd give this novel a solid Buy. Like the first two in the series Ms. Aguirre manages to hold you attention and lead you to places you don't expect.




Review Book 1: Grimspace 
Review Book 2: Wanderlust 
Review Book 4: Killbox
Review Book 5: Aftermath

Jul 30, 2012

MI: Cybe-eye



This is what happens when I have too much fun with photo-shop and my own eye... and it's what I imagine a cybernetic eye would resemble... powered up.

Jul 26, 2012

Update: Ticking away

This Week has been a rather slow progression. But I've got a pretty good system down. From 8 to 9, I write out chapter maps for what I plan to write for the day. And then I have an hourly word count to meet. It's actually been working out quite well. And hopefully that holds up. 

So, each morning I look to my outline (which usually has about 3 words describing the general issue in that chapter) and then I slowly build up to a more substantial count.


This week's writing...
With as slow as the writing has gone,  I only just got back to doing any revision work yesterday. Which is why last week saw 382 pages edited.. and this week I get a paltry 60. But that's okay. I had time for Novel 5 to marinate up in my brain pan and that is always a good thin. Especially since something came up at work that totally needs to find it's way into that book.

This Week's Revisions:

I'm pretty sure you don't want to see my spreadsheet that catalogues how may words I want to get written/pages revised/pages read/blog posts written... You might get tired just looking at it. (I'm a very goal oriented person)

Jul 20, 2012

Linkage on this Friday



Here's a pdf you wouldn't want to accidentally buy with Amazon's one click....

See what happens when a six year old judges books by their cover (Warning: Adorable!)

Have you ever wondered what the First Daughters are reading? (Via People)

Dario Ciriello talks about Slush Pile and Editor Mind

Ever wondered what a blog tour is like? S. J. Kincaid gives us a look into that part of authordom

Neil Gaiman signs a 5 book deal!

Chrystal Patriarche tells us how book publicity is like a zip line on Writer Unboxed

Check out Salvador Dali's Creative Thinking Method

Sarah Foster tells us how not to get rejected before agents even read a word

Kate Nolan talks about word counts and contemporary romance

Lets face it, a book written by this guy would be adorable!

Jul 19, 2012

Yet Another Update!




To be honest, I'm a little disappointed in this week's progress. I probably shouldn't be. I only missed my word count goal yesterday... and I'm a day ahead on my revisions... but still. It irks me.

Here are the charts!

Revisions:


I had people waiting on the first revision (and this is the 8th? time we've gone through that one, so it's mostly just little formatting/grammatical issues that pop up) The other two aren't as far along, so they'll take longer.

 Writing:

You'll notice I've only got one novel on my plate for this month, that's because it's a first draft that I was starting pretty much from scratch. It's an idea I've had bouncing about in my brainpan for a good long while, and I decided this was the time to get it done!

Jul 18, 2012

My iPad as a Writing Tool

So, I got an iPad for my birthday, several months ago, and it's great.

I use it a ton for writing, because it's super portable and let's face it, writing is something you can do anywhere if you have the right tools!

I use everything from a word proccessing app, to dictation software, to the dictionary app to add to my daily word count, and it's awesome.

One of my favorite apps for my writing is the magical pad app. It's brainmapping software and this is what one of my unfinished brainmaps looks like
 
Pretty cool, right? It's been really fun to use and is actually super helpful.

And let's face it, iPads are fun just in general, especially when you can get a super awesome skin for the back of it, like this one:

Which graces the back of mine. I got it from Society6.  They have a ton of options (too many, if you don't have a  lot of time to browse through everything...)

Do you use an iPad or some other portable device to take down those words that come at you at random? Or do you still stand by the tried and true method of a notepad and pen?

Jul 17, 2012

Review: Rebels and Lovers

Rebels and Lovers

(A Dock 5 Universe Novel)

By Linnea Sinclair

Steamy Science Fiction
Paperback, 592 pages

Published by Bantam

Released March 23, 2010




My Summary:
Devin Guthrie has three major problems. The first is that his parents are pushing him into marriage. The second, is that his nephew trip has grand schemes of joining up with Uncle Phillip’s rebel forces and has run away. The third is that in finding his nephew, he winds up in close quarters with the woman he really loves, a woman who, by all of his family standards is a terrible match.

My Review:
The plot in this book seems a little too heavy for the book, and it ends pretty open. I think both of these things can be explained by the fact that there was supposed to be a fifth book that ended up being scrapped – which I think is a terrible thing, because this series had the potential for an amazing finale.
As with the third book in this novel set, I find the relationship to be strongly crafted and completely realistic. The hero is very much the beta male, which I find an interesting departure from the majority of Sinclair’s books, but it works with the set up of the Guthrie family in the first three books.

Buy, Borrow, Brush Past:
Even though this ends with a clear next-book-lead-in, I think the story as-is is entertaining enough to warrant a read. I’d give this a BUY, especially if you’ve read the first three books in the series.

Other Novels in the Dock 5 Universe

Jul 16, 2012

MI: When Ideas Combust


This is what I imagine the idea light bulb above my head does when I have a rather heavy occurrence of plot bunnies.

Jul 13, 2012

Sort Friday's Links! (A Little Late)


Albert Ceriteño has some amazing artwork. Check out his Etsy shop!


Lydia Kang (Author of the forthcoming CONTROL) tells us the truth about her query journey.

Janet Reid tells us what every query MUST HAVE.

Ash Krafton Talks about Engineering a Fiction Series over on the Query Tracker blog

Nathan Breansford wonders if we aren't Stripping the Modern Novel Bare

Mary Lindsey gives us the chance to explore the setting for her next novel Ashes on the Waves

Jul 12, 2012

Update Week 3: Pile-up


I’m presently in the midst of what I’m referring to as a revision pile-up. That up there is what’s on my plate and like a fitful child, I must keep at it until I’ve finished it all.

  • Sunday night my fabulous Editor-mom got back her suggested changes for Draft 9.1 of Novel #4. I completed the go-through of her changes and now I have Draft 9.2
  • The Wednesday before yesterday I finished Draft 6 for Novel #5.
  • This past Tuesday I completed Draft 1 of Novel #7.

All of these things need to be gone back over with a discerning eye and a hungry red pen.

And, to stay ahead of schedule for the writing things, I also have to start work on Draft 1 of Novel #8.

Luckily it’s well past 100 degrees outside, so I have no real desire to get on outside and commune with nature or anything. (not that I usually do)

Here’s the chart for the last week! (They’ll change a little next week)
Words Written. Less than last week or the week before, but that's fine. I'm still ahead of schedule.

Pages Revised. Looks pretty pathetic, but I did spend all day Tuesday inputting Editor-mom's notes, and that doesn't show up on any of my chartage.


 Hope you all had a productive week! Are you getting in some writing time?

Jul 9, 2012

MI: High Desert Forest


This picture (of Northern Arizona) is an ispiration for the novel I plan to finish in October (Novel #10!) and all this week I've had a song that inspires me to work on it playing - this means there's been lots of notes.

Jul 6, 2012

Friday's Links on this Wack-A-Doodle Week

This beautiful art by John Picacio just blows me away. I'd love to have him as a cover artist one day!


Ever wondered how a specific word is pronounced in an obscure language? Check out Forvo and see if they can help with what you're looking for!

Veronica Sicoe tells us How to Write a Kickass Outline (in 5 sentences!)

Natalie Whipple announces her 2nd book, HOUSE OF IVY AND SORROW

Gina Conroy talks about The 5 Stages of Rejection Grief

Jeffe Kennedy gives us some insight into why you shouldn't start with tons of backstory as an info dump

Lisa Hall-Wilson gives us Rules for Facebook Engagement

Cover reveal for Scarlet (and an excerpt) the follow up to Cinder

Wiley takes a bite out of crime... get's $7,000 in Piracy lawsuit.

Jul 5, 2012

Update: Week 2 (of the crazy plan of craziness)

This is working out better than I expected…

This week has been all kinds of whack-a-doodle. What with the holiday yesterday and just life in general, but I’ve managed to stay on track, and better yet, get ahead! (Though to be fair, I was rather lenient in my word count requirements for these two novels.)

Tuesday, I finished the rewrite of Draft 6 for Novel 5! Which is awesome (even though, that night as I was doing dishes I realized something I’d forgotten and need to work in when I go back through it AGAIN.

And now I have just over 8k-words left to go with Draft 1 Novel 7! So I anticipate having more completion news for you next week!


It feels so good to get things accomplished!

Jul 4, 2012

Happy Fourth of July!

I hope you’re all celebrating it in your own way. I’m exercising my right to read whatever I want today. (Granted, I exercise that right most days.)


 - Source -


Jul 3, 2012

Review: Alien Proliferation by Gini Koch

Alien Proliferation

(Book 4: Alien/Kitty Katt Series)

By Gini Koch

Comical Earth-Based Science Fiction Romance 
Paperback, 458 pages

Published by DAW

Released December 6, 2011



My Summary:
To keep from spoiling, I’m not going to summarize this one.

My Review:
Much more somber than the series first three installments, this book continues with Koch’s normal plot structure with a major climax 3/4 through the book and then a final battle/event to cap it all off. At least it’s consistent.
The novel does introduce my two favorite pairings of the series so far, one romantic and one professional – though it does involve Kitty, so there’s always some flirting involved.
There is an event that occurs that strives to level the playing field for kitty (and while it doesn’t, I have to wonder what the point of it was. It fell flat for me.

Buy, Borrow, Brush Past:
At this point I think if you’re invested in the series, keep buying them, but if you’re not terribly smitten by the first three, this one probably won’t hold your fancy.


Review Book 1 - Touched by an Alien (Kitty Katt)
Review Book 2 -
Alien Tango (Kitty Katt)
Review Book 3 -
Alien in the Family (Kitty Katt)
Review Book 5- Alien Diplomacy (Kitty Katt)