Book Review Missing You by Harlan Coben

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What better way to spend frigid days than holed up binge-reading twisty thrillers. If you haven’t read this one, I highly recommend it. The slow build and layering of plot was done with just the right amount of suspense that it kept me hooked from the very first page. The story centers around NYPD detective Kat Donovan, who thinks she has rekindled with an ex-fiancee over a dating website. When he seemingly doesn’t recognize her, it twigs her suspicions later on as Kat discovers missing persons, all of whom had supposedly gone away with romantic interests off the same dating website. Kat is made to go on a leave of absence when her line of questioning has her accusing her superior in her father murder from years ago, Her line of questioning brings her face to face with a mob boss and  her real ex-fiancee (who has changed his name).

This story ends in a fire-y showdown at a farm on the outskirts of Pennsylvania , where the con men responsible for over 40 kidnappings and murders are killed, many of them by a current hostage. Kat rekindles with her fiancee, though only to find heartbreaking news related to her own father’s past and her fiancee’s involvement in his murder.

If you love thrillers, crime, mystery, or just a plain old excellent story, pick up Harlan Coben’s Missing you – you will not be disappointed.

Avast, Ye Airships : Steampunk Anthology Book Review

First book review of the New Year. Seems I made too many goals that I needed to jumpstart asap and let reading fall a little behind. Or, it’s that I got too excited about all my new books and tried reading them all at once. My most recently devoured book was an anthology from Mocha Memoirs Press, Avast, Ye Airships!,, which included tales of airship robbery, mechanical dancers, pirates, and countless creatures. While I didn’t enjoy all of the stories in this anthology, the majority of them were fantastical, action-packed and wove great story lines amidst steam-powered ships. My favourite three stories are below.

  1. Maiden Voyage by Jeffrey Cook & Katherine Perkins

This story features Emily and Lucca, strong female characters who use their intellect, cunning, and epic fighting skills to defend a cruise ship from pirates. I loved this story not only for its intricate descriptions of machinery, but also for its LGBT partnership between Lucca & Emily, and also for the way the authors portrayed Emily’s leg braces as her strength and talent, rather than something that held her back from dancing.

2. A Wind Will Rise by Andrew Knighton

These opening lines. Just yes. ” Dirk Dynamo pedaled frantically, legs going hell for leather to keep the pedalo-thopter’s wings flapping. A fierce wind lashed at him, stray cloud brushing his face like Death’s own icy fingers” This story focused on a goofy, yet resourceful pair, who are thwarted as they try to take over a pirate ship. Our hero, Dirk Dynamo, outwits the pirate and slaver Colonel Storm, using a flag to wrestle Storm’s lighting-gun during a final fight scene miles above the ground on an airship.

3. Lost Sky by Amy Braun

Another great opener that makes your eyes race to the next line, needing to know what unfolds, ” The sky used to hold hope for me. Now it held only terror”. For anyone familiar with Braun’s work, which, if you are not, head over to her blog yesterday and get acquainted – you won’t be disappointed, this story delivers.  (Amy Braun Blog) Braun packs a punch, introducing Hell creatures from another reality, pirates with a heart, and the unconditional love of a sister who braves Hellions and the skies to rescue her sibling. The descriptions of the creatures and of the airship alike draw you in, making you feel like you are the one trying to outrun the ‘onyx claws’ of the Hellions.

These are just three of the stories that stood out. Others included squirrel-invaders, pirates who are only plundering aprons, and ghosts that take over an airship. All in all a great collection of stories and one I would highly recommend if you have even the slightest interest in steampunk.

Happy #8Sunday

This week I have been totally immersed in editing my werewolf story (starring my new favourite character, Lex). This snippet is from the beginning of the story, where we see Dr. King and Price. Dr. King has been infected by their discovery and they have both just witnessed their intern succumb to the violent symptoms.

Saara-Jean dropped to her knees, her shoulders shaking when she found no pulse.

“John, don’t let this virus get out. And please, take care of Hero,” Saara-Jean thought of her sweet chocolate lab as the first of the cramps rocked her body.

“Saara, oh Saara. I’ll take care of him, I promise.”

Saara injected the needle into her side, not wanting to be awake for the last of the symptoms to pull her into oblivion.

John watched his colleague and friend sink to the ground, blood starting to pour from her nose. Her body spasmed a few times and was still the moment before he heard helicopter blades.

John clutched his bag and computer to him standing beside the helicopter. Men in hazmat suits came out with two black body bags and sealed a container with their discovery in it. The helicopter lifted and John stared at the shrinking research camp, his brain frozen at the implications of what they had unearthed in Siberia.

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Happy #8Sunday

First post in the new year and I am so glad that it gets to be part of #8sunday by weekend writing warriors. I’m still working on some stories with Lex, trying to improve dialogue in general, so have included a piece about her. In it,  Lex has found out that werewolf hunts have been legalized and goes in for her first day back at work since finding out.

“Lex! Good to see you, hope everything with your family turned out ok?” Bobby, my boss, was a harmless sweet guy and I nodded, smiling.

“Yeah, thanks for giving me the time off to get that sorted,” I said, walking behind the desk and away from any curious follow up questions.

“Good, good, so a few things have been added to the info chat we have with hunters,” Bobby hiked his khakis up and slid his bright brochure towards me.

“Lotsa people in here asking about werewolves, even just the curious ones, so we went ahead and made that up. My idea,” Bobby grinned and I forced a smile, knowing the right answer was to be impressed.

“Wow, looks like you’ve covered lots. I’ll make sure to use this,” I said, looking through the three-page booklet.

Every time I had to hand out that book, with its bright, cheery message of the best and safest ways to spot and kill a werewolf, I ground my teeth, using every last ounce of willpower not to shred the papers, and then the tourists ‘ necks.

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NaNoWriMo is Happening!

As usual, it seems that my posts are starting with “It’s been so long…” blah blah blah. It’s true. It HAS been so long. Sometimes I get into my own head way too much, then just second-guess any writing and decide not to post. I’m sure this is a cycle many writers are familiar with. That being said, sometimes it might be a long time between posts, but I’ll try to get over myself and get some words out there. To that end, #NaNoWriMo is here and I have finally decided to participate! Yesterday I took the plunge and am now sitting at a whopping 3300 words…only 47,000 or so to go (writing, not math, is my jam). Here is the tentative opening/tiny snippet of the post-outbreak, werewolf-hunting world I’m living in this month.

Saara-Jean huffed out a breath, watching it hang in front of her before it dissipated in the frigid Siberian air. Her team had been at the research site for almost two weeks. She had a good feeling about today.
“Dr. King!” she heard her partner, Dr. John Price, call her.
She waddled over as fast as she could in her extra padded and layered snowsuit.
“How are we doing?” She asked, staring at the screen he held in his hand, which was tracking the progress of the slow drill they had pushing into the depths of the permafrost soil.

Thanks for stopping by and for reading. Good luck to all the crazy, dedicated, amazing people participating in #NanoWriMo this year!

#8sunday

So glad to be back after such a long break. Summer and my new real person job sucked up most of my time. This #8sunday is with the same male character from my previous one.

Tapping my hand on the knife at my hip, I picked my way around downed trees and smoking craters. It looked like metal glinted from the bottom of one of them, but sulphuric smoke billowed up and choked me before I could get a good look. Spluttering, I backed away, heading towards my neighbours, the Gubsons. A nice middle-aged couple who had had their “miracle” child in their early forties. The trees began to thin and I hurried into the clearing. Black spots swam across my vision. Bookshelf must’ve come down harder than I thought. Taking a deep breath cleared my head and I ran. The twisted remains of wood and metal monkey bars couldn’t take away from the child’s shoe I had seen sticking out from what had been a red plastic tunnel slide.

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#sunday

I have been trying to write from the male perspective and in a different tone; I am working on an apocalyptic story right now playing with this. Went over a couple sentences, had to chop up some run-on ones happening. The main character, Scott, is a crass young man and survivalist. Slightly crude opening alert. Thanks for reading and check out other awesome writers at wewriwa.com

I always thought when the end came I’d be ready. Safe in my steel-reinforced bunker with a year’s supply of food, water, and weapons. A good woman would’ve been nice, minus the extra yapping mouth to feed. In all those scenarios, I was never jerking off in my living room, porn on, trousers down.

I wrenched my arm  from under me to pull my boxers up. They were gritty, but it was better than smashing myself against the ikea monstrosity pinning me to the couch, raining survival books and harry potter down on me. Wriggling my toes, I slithered into the tiny space between the shelf and couch.  I brushed the slivers of my Nana’s coffee table from my hairy legs, standing and pulling up my jeans. My eyes adjusted, the bookshelf and coffee table were the only casualties – the shelf a new addition.

“Should’ve bolted it up first thing,” I muttered, wincing when I put weight on my leg.

Thanks again for reading! Don’t forget to check out wewriwa.com #sunday

Vision in Silver – Anne Bishop

Vision in Silver is the third in this epic fantasy series by Anne Bishop. Bishop is able to transport you into this amazing and complex world she has built. In every series I’ve read of hers, the worlds she creates are tangible. She handles and switches between characters at just the right times, adding layer upon layer to her world(s).

This story focuses on Meg, a quirky blood prophet, who has sought refuge with the Terra Indigene, non humans, at the edge of a human-run city. She helps the Terra Indigene, seeing visions at great cost to herself, helping them to avoid devastation wrought by an overzealous and ill-advised human-rights movement.

By this story Meg has escaped the people who had locked her away, charging clients to cut her and receive visions of their future, with the help of a Wolf (Simon) and her new and deadly friends. She has introduced a human pack into the courtyard, helping to improve relations between humans and the Terra Indigene…or so you think until BAM! third book…and the Humans First and Last Movement is messing everything up, hoarding food, blaming the Terra indigene, and attacking Meg’s friends at a local market.

I absolutely loved the fast-paced action mixed in with the funny and sometimes tense relationships that are building in this world. I would recommend these books to anyone who: read the Black Jewels series and loved it, loves fully developed fantastical worlds, is into the supernatural, wants to lose themselves in an epic story for the next few days (because you won’t be able to put it down).

“For the shadows of war are deepening across the Atlantik, and the prejudice of a fanatic faction is threatening to bring the battle right to Meg and Simon’s doorstep”

#8 Sunday

Happy Easter all! This week’s #8sunday is a short I’ve been working on. A young girl is hardened from her mistreatment over the years by foster parents and plans to get even.

I stared at the sagging wooden bunk above me; the newcomer was crying again. I used to cry, when I first got shoved into this hell hole; when I still had hope that a nice family would come for me and I would get a happily ever after. I now knew better. This was the last stop for kids like us. The child above me hiccupped a few times and was silent, her breathing evening out. I swung my legs over the bed, pulling the jacket from under my bed and holding my shoes in my hand. Our window looked over the dilapidated garage and I slid it open. For weeks I had been greasing it with the slop the adults slid through the crude flap in our door.It slid open without a creak and I sighed in relief.

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#8sunday

In this snippet Keresa has sought the help of her other sister, Kerenina. Unknown to her, her mother’s hold on power is much more tenuous than she had realised. Her sister gives her a bit of tough love before the two head to meet with a powerful being.

“Oh Resa, why are you always calling mother for the smallest of things? Don’t you know; she has to appear strong – there is much unrest in the underworld,” Nina sipped her drink, the ice clinking as she swirled the dark liquid.

“I didn’t know,” I all but whined.

“Of course you didn’t, you gallivant around earth pretending to fit in, then are too weak to defend yourself against your own siblings. You make Nyx look weak – you make all of us look weak. Mother is struggling to hold onto her power in the underworld and she has to come save you from a trucker,” Nina hissed at me, her breath hot on my face.

My head spun, the bar seemed too loud and too close. I realised Kerenina was hungry and mad; her control slipping on the darkness that she commanded.

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