Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Books I've Loved - Rose Under Fire

A few years back everyone was talking about this book called Code Name Verity.  It was about a girl pilot during WWII who was captured.  I read it, enjoyed it, but didn't quite get why it was getting the rave reviews everyone seemed to be piling on it.

Then I found this follow-up book and in my humble opinion, this is the one that should have got rapturous reviews.

It's not an easy book to read.  Set in a WWII concentration camp, Rose is subjected to some of the most inhumane treatment anyone could ever endure.  Her fellow prisoners are abused and mistreated horribly.  But what a group of women she's in with.  Every character is unique and fascinating and strong.  And when they can't be strong, the rest of the group are strong for them.

This is a book that really delves into the resilience of the human spirit.  It shows how even a tiny shred of hope can be enough to let someone survive the worst indignities known to man.  And it shows the lengths people will go to to help one another.

I was sucked wholly into this world, horrible as it was.  And I couldn't put the book down until I knew the fate of every woman in Rose's cabin.

If you don't believe me, here's the blurb…

While flying an Allied fighter plane from Paris to England, American ATA pilot and amateur poet, Rose Justice, is captured by the Nazis and sent to Ravensbrück, the notorious women's concentration camp. Trapped in horrific circumstances, Rose finds hope in the impossible through the loyalty, bravery and friendship of her fellow prisoners. But will that be enough to endure the fate that's in store for her?

Elizabeth Wein, author of the critically-acclaimed and best-selling Code Name Verity, delivers another stunning WWII thriller. The unforgettable story of Rose Justice is forged from heart-wrenching courage, resolve, and the slim, bright chance of survival.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Weekly Goals 25-5-15

After sort of accidentally starting a new book last week, I'm well into it now and am quite certain it's the book I'm supposed to be writing now.  I have settled into both the POV voices easily where in my other project I wrote about 20K of different POVs and wasn't happy with any of them.  So for now, I'm going with this project.  My goal is to hit 10K by the end of the week.

My other big goal for the week is to try and make it to the gym more than once.  I have all the best intentions, but every week things stand in my way of getting home early enough to go and still get dinner for the kids at a reasonable hour. Maybe I need to start feeding them at unreasonable hours…

What are your goals for the week?

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Celebrate the Small Things 22-5-15

This post is part of  Lexa Cain's bloghop, Celebrate the Small Things (Lexa has just taken it over from VikLit who has hosted it for the last 2 years). Head on over there to join up! 

So, what am I celebrating this week?

I accidentally started a new book.  I was working away at my painfully-slow-to-come book, and suddenly an idea popped into my head that felt too intriguing not to explore.  So I opened a new document and started writing.  And this one is coming way easier.  So I'm going to leave the other project alone for a bit and focus on this new one until I get stuck.

I went to see a band play last night and caught up with an old friend from Australia.  It's been ages since I went to a gig and I enjoyed it very much.

I have a day off from work today because my partner is working and I need to pick up the kids from school.  Before that I'm going to take care of all those boring things I never have time to do when I'm working - going to the dentist and that kind of thing.

What are you celebrating this week?

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Books I've Loved: Black Iris

Wow!  I don't even know how to start with this book.  It's dark and twisted and disturbing and sexy and oh, so, so beautiful all at the same time.  The narrator is unreliable, but tells you right from the start so it shouldn't be a surprise when she turns out to be the most sadistic, fucked up person I've ever had the pleasure??? of spending a few hundred pages with.

There are so many layers of betrayal here.  Family. Friends. Lovers. Enemies.  It's no wonder Laney's head is all over the place.  Not to mention the streak of mental illness and drug abuse that threads through everything.

This book deals with heavy stuff.  Nasty stuff.  But it deals with it in such gorgeously beautiful prose, you almost forget how repugnant some of these people are and how wrong their actions are.  It says a lot when you adore a book even when you hate all the characters in it.  And that's this book for me.  I couldn't put it down even though the people in it literally made we want to vomit.

Definitely not a book people looking for a nice, safe story with some hot sex in it.  The sex is there, but there's nothing nice or safe about this book.  In the best possible way.

If you don't believe me, here's the blurb…

“Love is not a thing that we create. It’s an undoing.”

It only took one moment of weakness for Laney Keating’s world to fall apart. One stupid gesture for a hopeless crush. Then the rumors began. Slut, they called her. Queer. Psycho. Mentally ill, messed up, so messed up even her own mother decided she wasn’t worth sticking around for.

If Laney could erase that whole year, she would. College is her chance to start with a clean slate.

She’s not looking for new friends, but they find her: charming, handsome Armin, the only guy patient enough to work through her thorny defenses—and fiery, filterless Blythe, the bad girl and partner in crime who has thorns of her own.

But Laney knows nothing good ever lasts. When a ghost from her past resurfaces—the bully who broke her down completely—she decides it’s time to live up to her own legend. And Armin and Blythe are going to help.

Which was the plan all along.

Because the rumors are true. Every single one. And Laney is going to show them just how true.

She’s going to show them all.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Weekly Goals 18-5-15

Not much different this week.  Again I didn't hit the word count I'd hoped to over the last week.  I'm 3K shy.  Given this is a weekly occurrence now, I'm revising down my projected weekly/daily word counts.  I used to do 1500 words per day no problem.  Now I think I have to be happy with 1K.  Maybe once I get further into the meat of the story, the words won't be so hard to come by and I can shift up again.

So, my goal is to hit the 17K mark by next Monday.  I may be pushing it because this week is a very busy one, but I'll do my best.

I got a bread maker for my birthday and my goal is to make all our bread from now on.  I just need to work out a good schedule for making it so it's ready at the key times.  Especially since it is hard to slice when it's too fresh.  Right now I'm going quietly insane at the scent of fresh cornbread cooling on the counter…

What are your goals this week?

Friday, May 15, 2015

Celebrate the Small things 15-5-15

This post is part of  Lexa Cain's bloghop, Celebrate the Small Things (Lexa has just taken it over from VikLit who has hosted it for the last 2 years). Head on over there to join up! 

So, what am I celebrating this week?

It's my birthday.  So regardless of what else is going on, I'm celebrating (or perhaps mourning) being another year older.  I'm having lunch with a friend today, and tomorrow night I'm going out for dinner with some girlfriends.  As usual I left it too late to organize anything, and most of my friends are busy, but I have five people joining me, including a friend I haven't seen in a few months.

We had a storm yesterday with rain so heavy many places flooded and both the main roads in and out of the city were closed.  I'm lucky that my house remained dry, and I live in an area that was unaffected by the road closures and public transport shutdown.  Some of my colleagues were not so lucky.

I've made some progress on my WIP and have hit 11K.  I'm feeling okay about it and will keep writing forward rather than going back and changing things I already know I want to change.  I figure  there will be a lot of things I want to change and it's better to have the basic shape of the story there before going back and changing things.  Changes always end up having ripple-on effects, so it's better to wait and change everything at once.

What are you celebrating this week?

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Books I've Loved: All The Rage

I just finished this one on Monday, and wow!  What a powerful story.  What an important book.  I've read other books that dealt with rape and surviving rape, but this book feels so honest about the feelings.

The main character, Romy, is kind of a bitch.  I didn't like her most of the way through the book, but I understood why she was a bitch.  Sometimes acting that way is the only defense.  Everyone around Romy treated her so badly, it's little wonder se put walls up to keep them out.

The other thing I liked about this one is that Romy's mother was very present.  She didn't understand what was going on with her daughter either, but she was there and she cared and she did her best with what Romy offered.

And the romance in this book is perfect in that it's barely a romance at all.  Romy isn't in a place where she can do that, and the book is completely honest about the way Romy acts around the boy who likes her, who she likes, but can't get close to without losing her mind.

But, if you don't trust me, here's the blurb:

The sheriff’s son, Kellan Turner, is not the golden boy everyone thinks he is, and Romy Grey knows that for a fact. Because no one wants to believe a girl from the wrong side of town, the truth about him has cost her everything—friends, family, and her community. Branded a liar and bullied relentlessly by a group of kids she used to hang out with, Romy’s only refuge is the diner where she works outside of town. No one knows her name or her past there; she can finally be anonymous. But when a girl with ties to both Romy and Kellan goes missing after a party, and news of him assaulting another girl in a town close by gets out, Romy must decide whether she wants to fight or carry the burden of knowing more girls could get hurt if she doesn’t speak up. Nobody believed her the first time—and they certainly won’t now — but the cost of her silence might be more than she can bear. 

With a shocking conclusion and writing that will absolutely knock you out, All the Rage examines the shame and silence inflicted upon young women after an act of sexual violence, forcing us to ask ourselves: In a culture that refuses to protect its young girls, how can they survive?