Monday, April 30, 2012

Book Review - Breakaway by Michelle Davidson Argyle

When Naomi Jensen is kidnapped, it takes her parents two days to realize she’s missing. Escape isn’t high on her list of priorities when all she has to return to is an abusive boyfriend and parents who never paid much attention to her. For the first time in her life she’s part of a family—even if it is a family of criminals. But she’s still a captive. In a desperate attempt to regain some control in her life, Naomi embarks on a dangerous plan to make one of her kidnappers think she’s falling in love with him. The plan works too well, and when faced with the chance to escape, Naomi isn’t sure she wants to take it.

The first thing I loved about this book was the cover. It's so emotionally captivating and I wanted to read the book as soon as I saw it. I thought the premise of the book was fantastic and I couldn't wait to get my hands on it.

The story played out very differently to what I was expecting. I guess I was a little disappointed by this, but it didn't stop me from finishing the book in two days.

I really like Ms. Argyle's writing style. It is so subtle and unobtrusive, you don't notice at all, which allows you to delve into the story with no interruptions. 

The book is written with raw emotion and I found myself sometimes confused on how I felt about each character. Were they good or bad? Should I be cheering for them or not? I think this was very clever as it kept you on an emotional roller coaster throughout the book.

I liked seeing Naomi's journey. It was very realistic. I don't want say too much, because I don't want to give anything away, but I felt the ending was appropriate for the style of the story. It definitely left me thinking.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys an emotional journey that deals with some of life's heartache in a very raw way.

3-stars from me :)

To find out more about The Breakaway check out: 
Breakaway Official Author's Page 

You can find out more about the author on her:

Friday, April 27, 2012

Friday Favourites ~ Jewellery

I'm not a BIG jewellery person, but I do wear a few things daily, in fact I probably never take them off: watch, wedding rings, earring studs and my twisted maori carving pendant from my bestie. I do have about 20 different pendants, mostly very cheap and from countries I've visited, but they only really come out for special occasions.

When I'm writing though I'm not sure I always remember that my characters probably wear jewellery too and should be mentioned. Like sucking on their pendant (which I constantly do) or something. Perhaps another character fiddles with their watch or is constantly beeping the buttons.

At the same time it's important that the jewellery suits your character and fits with the story. No point making a list of all your characters jewellery if it has no bearing on the story.

Can you remember any books that have important jewellery or if it's even mentioned?
The only one that jumps to mind for me right now is the Twilight books where Jake gives Bella that little carved wolf and does she wear it on a bracelet?

Have a great weekend

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Novel Climax

As I plan out my next manuscript I'm thinking a lot about the final climax. When should the climax come? How big should it be etc.... It made me wonder when I prefer the climax to be. Do I like it to be on the last page with little or no story after it, or do I prefer there to be a scene or two following the climax so we can see everyone is happy or all is okay?

Let's look at both extremes: (spoliers)

Romeo and Juliet. The climax is obviously when they both die. The story basically ends there, there can be no happy ending or anything else. Their deaths kill the story. But man, what an ending. Sudden, unexpected and you'll be thinking about it for weeks.

Twilight's Breaking Dawn. Is there a climax in this? Without an actual fight happening, Breaking Dawn sort of just ends with the Voltaire leaving with their tails between their legs and then we get the super gooey romantic stuff between Edward and Bella, with the added little twist of Bella's new power. Personally I loved all that gooey stuff and like Romeo and Juliet still thought about it for weeks.

How important is it that the climax is big and unexpected?
 What are your favourite books and how important was the climax to you enjoying it?

Monday, April 23, 2012

Interview with Mica from Forbidden Territory

Forbidden Territory is due out July 1st this year, so Brenda and I thought it would be fun to do some character interviews and share little tid-bits about their world before the book is launched. Don't worry - this will be spoiler free :)

Brenda interviewed Lexy a little while ago - here is the link: Lexy Interview.
And now it's my turn to interview Mica Latham. Now I thought I'd include a little model pic, so you can get an idea of what she looks like in my head. I couldn't find the perfect photo, but this was pretty close... this is how I imagine her hair anyway :)

Thanks for joining us, Mica.
No worries :)

So - let's start with some basics. 
How old are you and how long have you been living in Te Anau?
I'm 16. I'll be 17 soon though.
I've lived here since I was 3, so you know, forever.

Do you like it?
Yeah, it's okay. I mean it's pretty and everything. It can get a little boring and majorly claustrophobic. I guess it's lucky I like Lexy so much, huh. She grins. We hang out a lot. She keeps me sane.

What's she like?
Lex is great. She totally cracks me up, because she's my opposite. I mean her room is like, pristine - everything has a home and makes it there at the end of everyday. You can see the carpet and everything. She works really hard and is smart and good at school. She seems to like it, unlike moi. She totally knows what she wants out of life and isn't afraid to go for it.  Um - what else? Oh yeah - she's gorgeous and I'm only a little bit jealous of that. If she wasn't so sweet and unassuming about it, I'd probably hate her. She laughs. She's also really responsible and keeps me out of trouble unless my persuasive skills are on overdrive... then we get up to mischief.

Is there...?

Oh yeah - one other thing. She has the world's hottest brother, who also happens to be sweet and generous and strong and wonderful and everything I could ever possibly want in a guy.

I assume you're talking about Eli?
Grabbing her necklace, she fidgets with the carving and gives a blushing nod.

By the sounds of things you three had quite the adventure hiking over Easter.
Yeah, with Tom as well. Lexy's like totally in love with him, I'm sure she's told you. He's pretty cool actually - the closest thing I've ever had to a brother. I really love him. He's a sweetheart.

But yeah, hiking was... very adventurous. I mean, hell scary and not something I'm overly keen on repeating in a hurry, but in spite of all the crappy stuff that happened, some cool stuff happened too. So I'm still glad we went. I wouldn't change it.

I think we'll stop there for today, but I might ask you and Lexy back in a week or two for some quick fire questions.
Sounds like fun. I'll be there.

Thanks, Mica

If you want to find out a little more about Mica and Lexy, you can check out Forbidden Territory on Goodreads, LIKE the Mica & Lexy Facebook Page and there is also a FREE SAMPLER available with the first few chapters of Forbidden Territory.

Thanks so much for stopping by everyone :)

Friday, April 20, 2012

Friday Favourites - Fight scenes

Before I get started with FF this week, I just want to say... Cooks Beach was AWESOME!! There is nothing cooler than hanging out with your bestie non-stop for 4 days. Love it :)

Now ironically, I'm going to talk about fight scenes... something that never happens between me and my bestie, but something I really love reading or watching on screen.

Am I crazy?

I just love a good fight scene. Do you?

There's something so exciting about being caught up in a fight, whether it's physical or verbal, on the pages or on the screen. Your emotions are stretched to their limit. You are either heart broken or elated... and it's those moments in a story that have you hooked.

For me, there is something so alluring about two people battling it out... especially if it's a guy fighting to save his girl. Yeah, yeah, I know - I'm a romantic sap!!

But come on - you can't pass up the moment in Robin Hood Prince of Thieves when Robin catapults himself over a castle wall and runs through the hallways shouting "Marion!" only to battle it out to the death with the Sheriff in order to save her life. (Okay - hands up if you think that sentence is too long!) But you get the idea - it's cool!

Or what about that moment in Twilight when Edward arrives in the ballet studio just in time to save Bella.

Or that moment when Ren finally gets to punch the crap out of Chuck in Footloose.

It's those times you want to throw your hands in the air and cheer. It's those moments when true character is revealed. When everything is put on the line and the MC finally finds what they need to fight it out and win the thing they crave the most.

What kind of fights do you enjoy?
Do you enjoy them? If so - what is it that makes them so enticing?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Time For Some Fun At The Beach!

With our gorgeous husbands both being a school teachers, we have decided to take advantage of the holidays and head to the beach.

We will be away this week with our families. Awesome!! We're so looking forward to hanging out and having big chats while our kids play together :)

We will be back on Friday for Friday Favourites.

In the meantime, we hope everyone has a stupendous week!!

This is where we will be... Cooks Beach, this gorgeous little place on the Coromandel coastline and just around the corner is Hot Water Beach where you can basically dig your own spa pool. Super fun :)

Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday Favourites ~ hair styles

I have long hair. I grew it long when I was 15, after years of my mum cutting it short and not letting me grow it. I guess you could say I rebelled!! And I haven't been able to cut it short since. Recently it was so long it almost reached my butt, but I got my brother (a hairdresser) to give me a new style and now it's layered, which is great as it suits my hair curly and straight (I love my straightener).

Anyway I do tend to get stuck in a rut with my hairstyle. I don't really follow trends, I just like it long. When it comes to the characters I write, I always give them long hair too. I seem to have a 'thing' about short hair (I still blame mum and my childhood). I wear braids a lot, throw my hair in a ponytail or messy knot but hardly ever wear it down (my children tend to pull on it).

What I was wondering today was, does a character's hair say much about who they are?

When I watch movies, I find it unrealistic that females have their hair down and styled through the whole movie when that SO doesn't happen in real life. We girls put our hair up to get it out of our faces (or out of the way of grubby baby hands), we don't have it dangling down while we clean the toilet etc... etc... so I'm thinking it's probably good to be aware of that while we are writing so our characters are real, not movie characters!

After saying all that, what is your fave hairstyle or what hairstyle would you love to have ?
I have messy curls that aren't tight and springy or loose and gorgeous, did I mention I love to use my straightener!! But if I had more time (and skill) I'd love those loose big curls that hang perfectly around the face and shoulders!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

That first kiss!

How far into the book do you prefer the inevitable first kiss to be? The book I'm reading right now, has the kiss on the first page. The girls' FIRST kiss and it's on the first page. No build up, no getting to know the character, no story. To be honest, it was too soon for me. Yet I don't like the kiss to be left until the last page either.

As a teen, I couldn't WAIT to be kissed. It was what I dreamed about, what I read about... I can remember vividly my first kiss with my husband (back in high school a few months after we started going out) it was on his trampoline one sunny afternoon. It was perfect and very much anticipated.

Writers: do you carefully plan that first kiss in your books?
Readers: what are your favourite first kisses in books?

Monday, April 9, 2012

What Are You Reading Right Now?

I was hoping to do a book review today, but things keep getting in the way of me finishing my book. I am not great at reading multiple books at a time and when my proof copy of Pure Blood arrived, I had to set aside 13 on Halloween so I could do a final read through and get the last book of my trilogy ready for paperback release on May 1st.

Are you the type of person that can read more than one book?

What type of books attract you the most?

I get bored with just one genre, so I like to jump around. I am reading a ton of YA at the moment, which I love the most, but every now and then I like to pull out an adult book.

I really do like a wide range - everything from chick lit to action/thriller, my only criteria is a little romance.

How about you? What's your criteria?

Whatever you're reading at the moment, I hope it's a great book and you're managing to get lost in a world of drama, humour, magic, mystery, romance or all of the above :)

Friday, April 6, 2012

Friday Favourites - Setting

I have finally found the time to start working on Betwixt. It's taken a while, but I'm ready to get into it now. So over the last couple of days, I've been working on my research. As I was scrolling through information and pictures of the setting (Big Bear Lake, CA - GORGEOUS!!!), I started thinking about my favourite settings for books.

I am a total mountain, chick. I don't know what it is, but I LOVE the mountains. When I think through my database of stories, quite a few of them are set in the mountains or at least an area with lots of trees. Forbidden Territory is an example of this.

I think trees and forest create such an awesome setting, because they bring with it an element of danger and surprise. So many more things can go wrong when nature is added into the mix.

My next favourite setting is small town. I love small town. You can have so much fun adding in quirky characters and bringing the reader into an environment where they can get to know the place as well as the MC does.

So, how about you? Where do you like stories to be set? Do you have a favourite book that you're read, or written, where the setting brought the story to life?

Monday, April 2, 2012

Have You Ever Fallen For A Character?

I am in the throes of planning my next book, Betwixt, at the moment. I had a scene dancing in my head yesterday and I was thinking about the MC's reaction, which then got me thinking about the kind of character she was falling for, which then got me thinking about the kinds of characters I fall for in books.

It is so tempting for me to write a similar love interest. There are certain things I look for in a guy and I can't help pulling it into my writing. I have to fight the urge to write the same personality type each time.

If you're a writer, do you fall into that trap?

I guess I like to fall in love, just like my MC's do. I like to get emotionally drawn into a story.

It's the same when I read a book. I LOVE reading books where I fall in love. So what kind of love do I look for in a book? I love it when the guy is a strong commanding character. He might come across as grumpy, but this does not frighten the female. She is feisty and can counter whatever he has to throw at her. He quietly loves this and finds it very attractive, which makes him care deeply for her. He is the kind of guy that wouldn't hesitate to risk life and limb to protect his love. He also displays moments of tenderness, which make you realize that in spite of his tough veneer he would be lost without her.

There are SO many examples of this type of love that I can think of, but I'll just go with the two that are dancing in my head right now...

First is Jamie Fraser and Claire Randall from Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (I know it's not YA, but how can I not mention Jamie and Claire!!!)

And the second is Alex Fuentes and Brittany Ellis from Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles.

Ooo! And I just thought of another one - again not technically YA, but I read this book as a teenager and LOVED it. Atretes and Rizpah from As Sure As the Dawn by Francine Rivers.

Now - ironically - Harrison (male lead from Time Spirit Trilogy) is not actually like the male lead I just described. He is a sweetheart and has no problem bearing his soul. He is still commanding though and doesn't mind taking charge. I really like that about him. He also cares for Gemma more than anyone else and would do anything to protect her. I LOVE that about him :) They are a strong couple who fight the toughest odds to be together.

So - what do you look for in a romance?

Which characters have you fallen in love with over your reading years?

Do you think it's important to fall in love when you're reading?