Sunday, May 29, 2022

Weekly Goals 30-5-22

 I didn't manage to get any writing done over the weekend.  I blame the huge mountain of laundry that I had to do.  Somehow, by the time I got all that put away, there was nothing much left of Saturday afternoon.

So my goal this week is to add at least 5K to my MS.  I know that's a lot, but I have the day off to write on Friday, plus a three-day weekend.  I think I can do it.  I know I can do it!

So that's my goal for the week.  What are yours?

Friday, May 27, 2022

Celebrate the Small Things 27-5-22


It's the end of the week, so it's time to Celebrate the Small things...

What am I celebrating this week?

It's the weekend!

It's been a pretty crazy week, so I am looking forward to a couple of days to relax a little.  And to write a little too.  I usually try to put Sunday afternoons aside to write, but this weekend I'm going to the movies Sunday afternoon, so I will have to try and squeeze some writing into Saturday afternoon.  But if that doesn't work (and it may not as I only managed 4 hours sleep), I'm taking Friday off work so I can have a full day writing at the library.  And then it's a long weekend.

My bestie was down from Auckland yesterday and we had lunch.  It's the first time I've seen her in over a year which is crazy.  But with lockdowns and everything, that's the way it's had to be.  It was great to see her and to catch up.  Hopefully we will be able to do it again before another year goes by.

And that's about it for me.  What are you celebrating this week?

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Books I've read; The Liar's Child

This one looked interesting so I picked it up off the "recommended" shelf at the library.  It wasn't a bad read, but I didn't enjoy it as much as I had hoped I might.

Set in the Outer Banks area of North Carolina, the book is told from multiple points of view.  There's Sara who is brought to the area by the Feds and who is in the witness protection programme.  She has a past as a con-woman, something she was brought up to do by her criminal father.  There's Cassie, a 12-year-old girl desperate to grow up and fighting her family for the freedom to do so.  There's Whit, Cassie's father who struggles with an unstable wife, an unfulfilling job and trying to do the best by Cassie and her younger brother Boon.  And finally, there's Hank, a retired sheriff obsessed with missing children cases after the loss of his own son.

The book's timeframe is fairly compressed - a few weeks, maybe two months at most - and follows these people as they deal with life's challenges.  Sara settles into the crappy apartment and cleaning job she's been assigned but can't help noticing the strange behaviour of the kids in the apartment next door.  On summer vacation, Cassie tries to balance her desire to hang out with the older kids in town and her father's demands that she stay home to look after Boon after their mother mysteriously disappears.  Whit needs to work, but is constantly torn between that and the children he knows he's neglecting at home.

When a hurricane threatens the area, Whit is forced to leave the children to go help his parents batten the hatches. When he doesn't return, Sara makes the decision to rescue the children and hits the road, desperate to escape the Feds and a life she never wanted.

But nothing goes quite as planned and when her path and Hank's cross, the consequences are devastating for all involved.

I think the biggest problem I had with this book was the lack of detail about who Sara really is.  There are hits at her past, but they are small and subtle and don't really point to what it is she did to get caught by law enforcement or who she squealed on.  Perhaps this was intentional to create more sympathy for the character, but in my case, it backfired because my imagination took me to the worst place and made me super suspicious of her.  I wanted her to stay away from the kids and knew that whatever she did, it was going to be self-serving.

I also struggled through most of the book to understand how Hank fitted in.  His sections were small and sparsely scattered through the narrative, but never fitted with the main story being told.  Obviously it became clear in the end, but with so many story threads being resolved in the last little bit of the book, it felt a little rushed and I never really got much sense of who he really was.

This was a quick read and there was enough going on to keep me turning the pages to see what happened next, I just felt like I was left with too many questions after I finished and didn't feel wholly satisfied the way you should upon finishing a thriller.

But don't just listen to me.  Here's the blurb:

In this intense and intimate family portrait that moves at a thriller's pace, a troubled woman faces a gripping moral dilemma after rescuing two abandoned children from a hurricane.

On the outskirts of North Carolina's Outer Banks sits the Paradise, an apartment complex where renters never stay long enough to call the place "home"--and neighbors are seldom neighborly. It's ideal for Sara Lennox, who moved there to escape a complicated past--and even her name--and rebuild a new life for herself under the radar. But Sara cannot help but notice the family next door, especially twelve-year-old Cassie and five-year-old Boon. She hears rumors and whispers of a recent tragedy slowly tearing them apart.

When a raging storm threatens then slams the coastal community, Sara makes a quick, bold decision: Rescue Cassie and Boon from the storm and their broken home--without telling a soul. But this seemingly noble act is not without consequences. Some lethal.

Carla Buckley crafts a richly rewarding psychological portrait, combining a heart-wrenching family drama with high-stakes suspense, as the lives of three characters intertwine in an unforgettable story of fury, fate--and redemption.

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Weekly Goals 23-5-22

 As I suspected, I didn't get a chance to write this weekend so my goal this week is to actually add to my word count.  

I don't feel as bad as I could because while I haven't worked on the book, I have been writing a little bit.  The writing website I'm part of has a contest with daily prompts and I've been trying to do that each day, just to get back into the habit of writing every day.  The stories can be a maximum of 1000 words, so they're pretty quick to write - I usually give myself half an hour - and I've been exploring my characters through writing these little pieces of flash.

You never know...  Some of them might even make it into the finished novel if I'm lucky.

And that's about it for goals this week.  What do you hope to achieve?

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Celebrate the Small Things 20-5-22


It's the end of the week, so it's time to Celebrate the Small things...

What am I celebrating this week?

It's the weekend!

It has been a weird week.  Most of my team at work is in Cannes so it has largely been me manning the fort. 

I've been tired this week.  I rather foolishly decided to change the pillow I use and the new one is much higher than the old, worn out flat one I've been sleeping on.  So I have been struggling to sleep and keep waking up with a sore neck.  And I'm too damn stubborn to give up on the new pillow...

I'm going up the coast this weekend to see my friend which will be nice.  I'm hoping the weather will be okay so we can have a walk on the beach.  It's been pretty dramatic lately - this morning I got up to thunder and lightning and got drenched just walking to the end of the driveway to pick up the newspaper!

I want to get some writing done this weekend too, but am not sure I'm going to get the time.  I shall see if I can outsource the housework to the kids again...  Not sure that they'll go for it after they did it last week because it was my birthday.

What are you celebrating this week?

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Books I've Read: The Red Lotus

This is an exciting, twisty little thriller that I enjoyed very much even though some of the premise kind of grossed me out.  I won't go into that part because it's part of the twist, but just be aware that there are some parts that may not be good for the squeamish...

The book opens with Austin and Alexis meeting in the ER after Austin is shot in an altercation in a bar.  It quickly fast forwards six months to the now-coupled pair on a cycling trip in Vietnam.  Austin's father and uncle fought in Vietnam and the tour they are on takes them close to the place they fought.  The ride planned for that day doesn't go by the place, so Austin sets out alone, leaving Alexis to cycle with the group and return to their hotel ahead of him.  But when Austin hasn't returned by dinner time, Alexis begins to worry.

With a dropped energy gel the only clue to his disappearance, Alexis finds herself thrust into a nightmare.  She has to deal with local police, the FBI, Austin's family and her own complex relationship with her mother.  And as she grapples with these things, she discovers that Austin lied to her about several things, forcing her to question if he really was the person she thought he was.

After returning home, Alexis continues to try and discover what actually happened to her boyfriend, and who he really was.  And as she digs deeper, she discovers more secrets and some shady people who seemingly will stop at nothing to turn a profit.

This was a quick, compelling read that I raced through in order to find out exactly what was going on and who was involved.  Most of the characters are little more sketches or stereotypes, but in this type of story, that is less important than the action driving the plot forward.  And when the truth is revealed, it's pretty horrific to think about.  Yet time and time again we have seen how people can be compelled to evil for far less than what is at stake here.

So I'd recommend this one if you're looking for something fast-paced and engrossing and don't mind the odd disgusting bit.

But don't just listen to me.  Here's the blurb:

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Midwives and The Flight Attendant comes a twisting story of love and deceit: an American man vanishes on a rural road in Vietnam, and his girlfriend, an emergency room doctor trained to ask questions, follows a path that leads her home to the very hospital where they met.

The first time Alexis saw Austin, it was a Saturday night. Not in a bar, but in the emergency room where Alexis sutured a bullet wound in Austin's arm. Six months later, on the brink of falling in love, they travel to Vietnam on a bike tour so that Austin can show her his passion for cycling and he can pay his respects to the place where his father and uncle fought in the war. But as Alexis sips white wine and waits at the hotel for him to return from his solo ride, two men emerge from the tall grass and Austin vanishes into thin air. The only clue he leaves behind is a bright yellow energy gel dropped on the road.

As Alexis grapples with this bewildering loss, and deals with the FBI, Austin's prickly family, and her colleagues at the hospital, Alexis uncovers a series of strange lies that force her to wonder: Where did Austin go? Why did he really bring her to Vietnam? And how much danger has he left her in?

Set amidst the adrenaline-fueled world of the emergency room, The Red Lotus is a global thriller about those who dedicate their lives to saving people, and those who peddle death to the highest bidder.

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Weekly Goals 16-5-22

 I was very lazy over the weekend and didn't do any writing at all, so my goal this week is to add at least 2K more to the new MS.  Preferably 4K if that is at all possible.  I have a bunch of scenes in my head, ready to go, but I'm not entirely sure how they are all going to fit together.  

I'm sure I'll figure it out though.  I almost always do.  I really love these characters and I'm hoping I can get their story right for them.

And that's really it for goals this week.  What are you trying to get done this week?

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Celebrate the Small Things 13-5-22


It's the end of the week, so it's time to Celebrate the Small things...

What am I celebrating this week?

My birthday!

It's on Sunday and I had plans to go out to lunch with my family, but my father tested positive for COVID yesterday, so they're isolating.  Maybe next week, assuming my mother doesn't catch it and need to isolate too.

So instead I'm going to go to the movies and get takeaways or something with the kids.  And my partner and I are going to get some new sheets for the bed as a birthday present for me.  100% cotton, high-thread-count sheets just make me happy!

And maybe someone will even offer to clean the house for me!  Not expecting it, but it would be nice...  And I could then use that time to write.  Or read.  Or just do something other than cleaning the house.

What are you celebrating this week?

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

New release: A Quick Death by Patricia Josephine and Patricia Lynne

My friend Patricia has a new book out this week!  Let's find out more about it, shall we?  Then scroll down for an awesome giveaway!


The Afterlife

These things fascinate our imagination. Delve into a collection of tales that explore death and murder. Each story is told in exactly 200 words and designed to give you a quick thrill no matter how busy your day is.




Buy Links


Universal Link




About the Author

Patricia Josephine is a writer of Urban Fantasy and Sci-Fi Romance books. She actually never set out to become a writer, and in fact, she was more interested in art and band in high school and college. Her dreams were of becoming an artist like Picasso. On a whim, she wrote down a story bouncing in her head for fun. That was the start of her writing journey, and she hasn't regretted a moment. When she's not writing, she's watching Doctor Who or reading about serial killers. She's an avid knitter. One can never have too much yarn. She writes Young Adult Paranormal, Science Fiction, and Fantasy under the name Patricia Lynne.

Patricia lives with her husband in Michigan, hopes one day to have what will resemble a small petting zoo, and has a fondness for dying her hair the colors of the rainbow. 



Social Media Links: 






Patricia Josephine:


Amazon Author Page


Patricia Lynne:


Amazon Author Page


DEATH DIDN’T COME TODAY. Night had fallen, and the lure of sleep tugged on me. I dragged myself to my feet and dumped the now cold tea.

Maybe tomorrow, I told myself as I brushed my teeth.

I ignored the little voice that whispered it wasn’t normal to wish for Death. I understood that, but normal was boring. Normal didn’t take you on adventures around the world.

Normal didn’t introduce you to Death.

I remembered the first time we met. It had been an autumn day in New Zealand.I was waiting for the tour to start. I was finally seeing where The Hobbithad been filmed. My excitement was palatable. An older man collapsed and the medics were called. Their attempts to revive him were fruitless. That was when I saw Death.

Noone else seemed aware of him. I watched him weave through the crowd. He was reaching for the body when our eyes met. Confusion flitted across his pale face. Later that night, I saw him again. He didn’t understand why I saw him. It wasn’t my time.

When, I asked.

He shrugged. One day. Then he was gone. I have been waiting for him ever since.

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway is US only.

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Weekly Goals 9-5-22

 I got a few more words written on the new book over the weekend, so my goal this week is to just keep going.  The pacing is way off...  I'm five chapters in and we're still on the first day of the story's timeline, but I almost always write 10K more than I need at the beginning while I get a feel for the characters.  

I'm hoping things might quiet down a little this week, but I'm not 100% convinced that will be the case.  But if it does, I may get more than two hours or so to write.  Not counting on it, especially since it's my birthday this weekend.

What are your goals this week?

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Celebrate the Small Things 6-5-22


It's the end of the week, so it's time to Celebrate the Small things...

What am I celebrating this week?

Well, it's the weekend!

It has been an insane week and right now I feel like all I want to do all weekend is sleep.  Unfortunately, I know that's not going to happen, so let's just forget I even said that.

My closest colleague at work finished this week, so I'm feeling somewhat bereft.  Especially with the rest of the team going to Cannes over the next few days.  Luckily we got a new team member a week or so ago, so it won't just be me, on my own, at our end of the building.  But it will still be weird.

I haven't touched my new book since Sunday, so hoping I can find a few hours to put into that over the weekend.  If I'm only going to make it to 2K a week, it's going to take most of the year to finish this thing...

What are you celebrating this week?

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

IWSG - May

 It's the first Wednesday in May, so it's time for the Insecure Writers Support Group!

The awesome co-hosts for the May 4 posting of the IWSG are Kim Elliott, Melissa Maygrove, Chemist Ken, Lee Lowery, and Nancy Gideon!

And here's this month's question:

It's the best of times; it's the worst of times. What are your writer highs (the good times)? And what are your writer lows (the crappy times)?

This is a tough one!  Being a writer is often like being on a roller-coaster but interspersed with long periods that feel like sailing on a becalmed sea.

Highs come when the writing is going well, those days that you're in the zone and the words feel like they are all there already and my job is just to let them fall through my fingers onto the page.  Highs come when my in-box pings and it's a request or an offer of publication.  And then there are the reviews that make my heart soar because the reader so obviously got what I was going for and my words made a connection.

Lows come when I can't find the time to write, or when I sit down to do it, the words don't come.  When I'm revising something and I just can't get it to work, no matter what I try.  When my in-box pings and instead of good news, it's yet another rejection, another story that someone has deemed "not right" for them.  When the book I still believe is the best thing I've ever written can't find a home.  Those are the lows.

Sometimes the bad outweighs the good and that can be paralysing.  I've barely written in the last 18 months because it all just started feeling too hard.  I've been working my ass off on this writing thing for more than ten years, have written 14 complete novels and hundreds of pieces of short fiction, yet still can't make enough money from writing to buy a bottle of modestly priced wine.  Some quarters buying a cup of coffee is out of reach.

But last week I started writing a new book and it felt good.  I wrote over 5K in a couple of days and I enjoyed it.  I fell back in love with the process of writing.  I'm excited to sit down in front of my computer again.  Who knows how long that will last, of course.  There are bound to be points in the writing process where I get stuck or discouraged, but I feel like I've learned enough to move past that and to get to "the end".  At least I hope I have...

What are the highs and lows of writing life for you?

Sunday, May 1, 2022

Weekly Goals 2-5-22

 It's the last week before my team start heading to Cannes so it's going to be busy.  It's also my colleague's last week with us before starting a fabulous new job, so there's that too.  So I'm not expecting to have much time and energy to write this week except at the weekend.

I did add a couple thousand words this weekend, so if I can continue in that vein, we'll get there eventually.  Especially if I take the odd day off here and there to work on it.  I'm not sure anything I'm writing is very good yet, but at least I'm getting something on paper.  I feel like maybe the pacing is off, but I can fix that later.  Right now I'm feeling my way into the story.  I want the reader to feel for my MC even though he's pretty messed up and into some fairly abhorrent things at the beginning of the book.

What are your goals this week?