Monthly archives

Between Yesterday and Tomorrow ~ Charmaine Pauls

Between Yesterday and TomorrowBetween Yesterday and Tomorrow by Charmaine Pauls

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I’m not a big fan of romance novels – I’m more of a crime & mystery girl when it comes to cozy contemporary reads – but lucky for me Charmaine Pauls’ book had a few bites of mystery to it to keep me turning the pages. I love that this book is about a South African but is set in France. Funny enough my minds eye took to the French scenes far more easily than it did to the few chapters set in South Africa. I thought that was kind of funny. Like I should “get” the South Africa part, but the French part was just lovelier and more beautiful to think about :)

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Gods and Fathers ~ James LePore

Gods and FathersGods and Fathers by James LePore

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

When confronted with a book like this one I often feel a little ill equipped to give a fair review. The thing is that while this book is very well written I can’t say that I enjoyed it. It’s one of those books that I refer to as a “boy” book. I didn’t gel with the character dynamic, often feeling a little oh-for-heaven’s-sake about the exchanges between them. The main character is barely likable, but isn’t awful enough to excuse the fact that you just don’t really care what happens to him. His son, who all drama revolves around is repulsive and I really felt no sympathy for him at all – so much so that I would have been quite happy if he went to jail for a crime he didn’t commit, simply because he was an asshole and bad shit should happen to assholes. On top of all that is was about Muslim terrorists. Oh. Dear. Lord. No thank you. I am so sick of this subject and am constantly finding myself disappointed when the “Muslim terrorists” make an appearance in the books I read. I LOVE crime fiction – but rather give me a serial killer please. Of course none of this is the fault of the writer – I bet we don’t like our eggs done the same way either! But the subject matter and the heaviness of the book just didn’t do it for me. I’m giving it a four for being decently written and well researched, but I’m afraid I have to give it a two for enjoyment value.

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Matched ~ Ally Condie

Matched (Matched, #1)Matched by Ally Condie

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Actually I want to give this book a three and a half but it won’t let me :-/ I like Ally Condie’s style of writing. I am one of those readers who likes to read books that are a bit like floating in a lazy stream. None of this dragging your body against a pulling tide kind of thing (does that make sense?) Anyway – now that I have gotten to the end of the book I am glad I read it. It’s not often that I pick up a series book because I usually kind of feel like oh hell now I have to invest the next couple of years of my life for one story, but I do appreciate why they work. I do like that the book sort of buzzed with activity towards the end. I think it was fitting. All the dull druggery of living like a pod person (sorry) and then suddenly the insistent need to break free of it is kind of thrilling. Of course the reader is going “oh my god don’t live like this!” from the beginning so I was happy when it climaxed into a flurry of rebellion. I will probably get the next book.
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Introducing a Little Competition

So after an evening of gabbing away with each other, The Tequila Thursday Writers Club came to this conclusion: We need some friendly competition.

It all started with the possibility of a few of us writing something to enter into this competition and basically just grew from there.

We need to write more. Let’s get competitive! (more…)

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Taryn Coates

Who am I?

“Tell me about yourself”

“Where are you going in life?”

I hate these questions, but I love them at the same time. On the one hand if I knew who I was and where I was going I imagine life would be a very different experience for me. On the other hand there is something quite exciting about knowing that I am not yet who I am meant to be, that I haven’t quite arrived, that tomorrow things may be different. The fact that I am 27 and still haven’t figured out my life scares me, but if you can show me another 27 year old who has it all together please do,  I’d like to be just like them when I grow up. (more…)

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Romantic Thursday

Last week and the week before we dealt with bios and bio pics and as you can see it seems to be going relatively well. I love how different everyone associated with our little club is. I will be posting all of the pics as soon as I have them all.

This week The Tequila Thursday Writers Club is getting a little romantic. A romance writer friend of mine, April Vine, suggested that I take part in this competition. Now I don’t imagine that I will (though perhaps I should) but I thought it might be a fun exercise for us to try tonight. And if anyone wants to enter their work into the competition – YAY!

Otherwise maybe we’ll be sharing some romance novel intros up here soon.

Could be interesting…

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The Hostile Hospital ~ Lemony Snicket

The Hostile Hospital (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #8)The Hostile Hospital by Lemony Snicket

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Not my favourite in the series so far. The ending is pretty cool though in that it makes you want to read the next book. I’m very eager to get to the end now.

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Meet Gillian…

Born early in the ’70s means my teen years were wrapped around the 80s. When I recall those years in suburbia the first two things that come to mind are Nancy Drew and U2 and that, in short, is a summary of me. Fiction and music. Both as essential to me as breathing.

Knocking on forty’s door seems to have aggravated my biggest problem i.e. a runaway imagination, or perhaps it’s worse because I have more ‘me time’ since ending a 13 year marriage. Even mundane things dump me into a whirlpool of fiction. The sound of kids splashing in the pool next door leads me down an unknown path of unfolding drama until the kids are sobbing beside the grave of their father or dancing at their mother’s wedding, depending on what mood I am in at the time.

As a child day dreaming took up 90 percent of my free and conscious hours but, as an adult that isn’t enough anymore, I have to write it all down. Sometimes the writings are so painfully close to the truth they get filed far far away for nobody to see but, when you think about it, everything that falls out the pen has some truth to it which is probably why I have never published anything. Until now. Because now I have realised that, God willing, I only have 20 to 40 years left on this planet and it’s high time I do something with that time, privacy issues be blowed.

Thus I am currently on a journey of self discovery and acceptance. I have never considered myself an author and perhaps that is half the problem. If you don’t believe it, you can never achieve it.

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Why my sister is awesome…

I keep going back and watching this video every now and then. The work my sister does with her church amazes me. It’s so much more than charity work. They really do take lives in their hands and help people to live better. I can’t help but tear up every time I see this.

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Dirty Little Angels by Chris Tusa

Dirty Little Angels

Dirty Little Angels by Chris Tusa
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Reviewed by request

The story of Hailey Trosclair and her brother Cyrus takes place in abject poverty in New Orleans, where their father has lost his job, so drinks and plays pool all day. Their mother just had a miscarriage, and she is overwhelmed by grief and depression. Hailey spends her days at school with a girlfriend Meridian, who is not such a good friend after all. At night and on the weekends, Hailey drifts with Cyrus as her companion, and they spend a lot of time with Moses, a failed preacher and ex con, who is a very bad influence on them, and everyone around them. When Moses’ ideas and twisted religious beliefs draw them into his violent world, the horror and fear create more problems than they ever had before.

Dirty Little Angels is not my sort of book, and I struggled to finish it, although I did manage to. The story just ‘ended’, leaving me frustrated, and I’m still not sure what the meaning of the story was. It seemed like the book was filled with a lot of violent criminals who never seemed to get caught, all living in a dirty, drug riddled, downtrodden world.

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The Help ~ Kathryn Stockett

The HelpThe Help by Kathryn Stockett

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

From the first page of this book I felt the most intense connection with Aibileen, as if I wan’t reading her thoughts but had her in the room with me, telling me her self. I could hear her voice and see the expressions on her face so incredibly clearly. I can’t express how incredible this book it. How heartwarming. How frustrating. How true. I can only simply be grateful for it’s existence. And for being lucky enough to have it on my bookshelf. What an amazing read!

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Dirty Little Angels – Chris Tusa

When I got the list of books that I could choose from, I was immediately drawn to the title. Why? To be honest I really don’t know, but I do know that I am very happy I chose that book. It was a very easy read which I enjoyed over the Easter Weekend.

The book is about a 16 yr old girl, Hailey Trosclair,  her family, close friends and the pressures she has to deal with growing up in New Orleans. Her Mother, who comes from a wealthy family, had just lost her baby. Her Father lost his job and had turned into an alcoholic who never comes home and worst of all cheats. Her Brother, Cyrus, is a hypochondriac but he is a very sweet boy – underneath all the trouble he finds himself in. (more…)

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Meet Avi…

HP Lovecraft and Terry Pratchett got drunk together on absinthe one night.during the resulting booze fueled blackout, a mad scientist spliced their DNA into a hamster. Said hamster tried a tragic death involving 2 llamas and a combine harvester and now haunts Avi Cohen. Cursed by online gamers, he distills the demented whispers of the hamster into literary form.

 

Monthly archives

Getting back on the horse…

Ah so today I actually wrote a bit. I’ve been going through my novel just to familiarize myself with it again. It has been SO long since I last worked on it. But today I did actually do a little work and I must admit it felt pretty damn fantastic.

It’s funny how the thought of getting back into it has been been such a weight on my shoulders, and yet today it just worked so naturally. I do love my chosen profession. I do know that I would never be happy doing anything else –  now if I could just be happy with the idea that I can only be happy if I write!

I really did think it was going to be harder though. I’ve been doing a bit of ghost writing work lately and that has been kind of heavy. It’s not hard work (o sometimes it is) but it’s just not my work. I think maybe for a while I confused the two. As in “this is how hard it is to write” when really it isn’t. The two kinds of writing are completely different, and while I did know the difference from a “Working” point, I think I forgot the difference from a fun point. As in my  work is fun. I do love the stuff I write about. I love my characters. Some of them I even fall in love with. And I have most definitely missed them…

So…Edward, Harriet, Jenny, Walter and Damien…. I am really glad to have you guys back!

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Meet Charles

One day, when the first zombies start to rise and everyone else is panicking and losing their minds, I will have found my true calling, but in the meantime I will be writing what I can, when I can, and it will most likely involve zombies, and maybe dragons, possibly both.  I also blog a bit, sometimes about zombies (you getting the the common factor here?) and I have even been known to submit an article or two or Technorati (not about zombies though, yet).

I was born in the hilly green forests in Greytown, Kwazulu Natal. I was too young to remember much of that time, but whenever I’ve been up that way, I feel at home somehow, except for the heat. That I definitely do not like… I love the cold, but that could have something to do with my body’s internal thermostat being broken. At the slightest hint of heat, I start gushing out like Niagara Falls, so in cold weather I just feel more comfortable. Also since my thermostat is broken, I tend not to feel the cold.

Anyway, after that my dad was transferred up to some small “dorpie”, Iswepe, in what is now Mpumalanga (even dorpie is giving it too much credit, the fact that it has a name is enough). I was only there until the end of my first two years of school though, but to give credit where it’s due, some of my fondest childhood memories are from that time, but that’s not credit to the place, it just happened to occur there.

In primary school, my dad got transferred again to another random small town in the Eastern Cape, Ugie. Most people give me a blank stare when the name is mentioned, and who can blame them, it’s a beautiful yet insignificant little town on the southern tip of the Drakensberg. Either way, it was an improvement over the previous place I lived. I can’t say I planted my roots there at all because since there were no decent schools within 100km, I was shipped of to boarding school: Queens College in a smallish town 20 kilometres away, Queenstown,. It’s a very proud school, over 150 years old, steeped in tradition and all that; it kinda made me who I am today in a way, the good and the bad, but I won’t get into that. My first sparks of interest in writing began in my standard 8 (grade 10) year there, but all that writing of that time,  is lost now. If someone had to miraculously find all of it, they could make a rather large  book called “The Lost Works of Charles Vincent” or something, there was that much.

My dad then retired and we decided to move to Port Elizabeth, or PE as it is also known. I was given the choice to stay in Queens College, or go to a new school in PE for the last two years of high school. I was a naughty little shit while I was in boarding school and if I had stayed any longer in Queens I would have probably been expelled, so I decided on a PE school and ended up in Victoria Park High School. I never made much of impression in those last two years, but I made some of my best friends there and probably didn’t focus nearly enough on my education, even my writing stopped, until as recently as a few years back.

After high school I studied IT and after a year of struggling to find work, I did my security training to become an armed response officer for a large international security company, where my love of guns began. I did that work for close to 7 years before moving back into IT, still at the same company. During my nights as a response officer, my love of reading did flourish however.

People came into my life and people left. Life carried on, but my writing never started up again. I did however, in addition to reading a bit more, start to develop a love for all things zombie. I can’t explain it, I just developed a love for the subject. I watched all the movies I could, I read what there was and it has stuck to this day. Since joining a group of odd characters called the Tequila Thursday Writers Club a couple of years back, I had started writing a bit more, mostly blogging, but some poetry and fiction inbetween as well. Last year, someone very special came into my life to stay, I will be marrying her next year, and I’ll be honest I haven’t done much writing since, except blogging a bit, but I still do try to get some in here and there.

I might never finish writing a novel, I’ll probably never make money from my writing, but that’s not why I do it, I write for the love of the written word. There is a certain magic in putting pen to paper (or finger to keyboard to PC rather,) putting my thoughts down is a great stress relief. I lose my self in worlds of superheroes and villains, dragons and knights, love and tragedy, in places that will never exist except in my head. I love that when I read a work and someone else reads the same thing, what we have seen in our minds is not nearly the same. And that’s exactly what it is, the world and the characters are only limited by your imagination. That is the beauty of the written word, it is unique to each person. You might hate my favourite book, I might love yours. You may wonder why someone even bothered writing a book that they did, it may have been the worst book you have ever read, but to someone else it may be a world full of magic. If only one person thinks your writing was great, it’s all worth it.