Showing posts from 2012

Real Mermaids Festive Treats!

ot a treat for you all today!

I love Hélène Boudreau's Real Mermaids series of books, which all started with Real Mermaids Don't Wear Toe Rings:
Read the first chapter here!
Today I'm lucky enough to have heroine Jade here, presenting...
Real Mermaids Festive Treats

Hi everyone! Jade here from Real Mermaids.

One of my favourite things about the upcoming holidays is the great treats we get to make and share. I love food so much, in fact, that I included a recipe for some of my favourite snacks in each of the Real Mermaids books.

My friend Cori and I thought we'd experiment a bit and 'holiday-ize' each recipe for you!

In Real Mermaids Don't Wear Toe Rings, I was stuck at my Gran's cottage without any chocolate in sight. That's when I turned to Google and found a recipe for a 5-minute Chocolate Mug Cake. Yes! Cake in FIVE MINUTES. I added raspberries and whipped cream to this version. Holiday dessert, anyone?

Chocolate Mug Cake with Raspberries and Whi…

Blog of the Year Award! Also Year-end Writing Review and December's Sparkling Sentences

ay blog award!

Thanks so much to Melanie for the 2012 Blog of the Year Award!

Here are the official rules:
1 Select the blog(s) you think deserve the Blog of the Year 2012 Award
2 Write a blog post and tell us about the blog(s) you have chosen – there's no minimum or maximum number of blogs required – and present them with their award
3 Please include a link back to this page Blog of the Year 2012 Award and include these rules in your post (please don't alter the rules or the badges!)
4 Let the blog(s) you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the rules with them
5 You can now also join our Facebook group – click like on this page Blog of the Year 2012 Award Facebook group and then you can share your blog with an even wider audience
6 As a winner of the award please add a link back to the blog that presented you with the award and then proudly display the award on your blog and sidebar... and start collecting stars... I've learned from so m…

The Hobbit Review, and Year End Books Read Statistics!

ong post ahead, beware! Brief mention of an award, reviews of The Hobbit, and The Books Read in 2012 Statistics!

Thank you to Melanie for the Blog of the Year Award!
I'll be passing it on in my next post.
So, The Hobbit. I've posted reviews on a few blogs, and I'll summarise my main points here. I'm sorry if it all sounds like criticism. But I've been reading these books every year for over 20 years, and I have to say, they change things and I simply don't understand the reasoning for it. Not everything has to be over-the-top. It can be real, without losing any of its epic nature.

Here's the review I submitted to The One Ring (with a couple of embarrassing typos corrected):
As a lifelong fan of Tolkien, I'm excited to be living through the release of these grand-in-scope movies, both of The Lord of the Rings and of The Hobbit. Having relied on my own imagination and Tolkien's illustrations for years, it's interesting, and more often than not …

End of ROW80 Round, Year-end Goals, and Romantic Friday Writers Snip!

Round of Words in 80 Days ends tomorrow!

The current round, that is. Thanks to NaNo, I met my major goal, which was to get Santiago and Mawdlen's story, Captive of the Sea, down on paper. Also sent a few more queries for Out of the Water. But I've stalled on the editing, so my goals for next round will involve more of that, in better structured fashion. I might have to start doing some early morning rounds again; it's just so much easier to be productive earlier rather than later in the day, after work.

As for all the goals from the past year... back in January we posted yearly goals on the Compuserve Forum. I've met quite a few of mine:

Edit Rome, Rhymes and Risk. I did, but on paper. I haven't yet entered the edits on the MS...

Keep agent-hunting for Out of the Water. Ongoing.

Try to write another short story or two and submit them somewhere, and edit the darn plot bunny story already. Sort of done. Rejections.

Think about cutting back on blogging from three days a w…

Wish List!

hat gifts are you hoping to receive this year?

No one has actually asked me, and those who have, are family members and friends whom I feel guilty sending on what - to them - might be feel like wild goose chases. Easiest to ask for stuff for the house (who doesn't love new towels?).

There are a handful of items that I really, really want, however:

Miss Lupescu, Banana Peel in a Graveyard, or The Owens' Tombperfume oil blends from the Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab. Yes, all inspired by Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book.

A Tolkien Society membership. Yes, really. Can you believe I'm not a member? At first it was because teenage-me couldn't afford it. Now I'm not sure what the excuse is. It's about time! I've got tickets for The Hobbit tomorrow. No spoilers in the comments, please!

Lush stuff, such as a Space Girl bath bomb and Big Shampoo. I'm not much of a bath person, but I love the feel and the smell of (most) Lush products.

Mugs and coffee from TimPeaks

Jessica Bell, Hobbitfest, and Dispatches from the Twitterverse, featuring Doctor Who and Joe Hill

ne hundred books challenge is nearly at an end!

This post serves as a prelude to my upcoming Books Read posts. I've knocked off all the poems and short stories and one-off chapters and forewords from the list at the bottom of the blog (unless they were part of an anthology or collection) and I've got... 93 so far! Er, and that's counting all the children's and board books I've read. Think I can catch up in two weeks?

I've got longer than that for the Canadian challenge, at least - all the way until next July. So far I've read these awesome Canadian authors:

Talli Roland

Kate Pullinger

Hélène Boudreau

Kim Bellefontaine

Meanwhile, across the seas, Jessica Bell's Show and Tell in a Nutshell is out!

Have you been told there's a little too much telling in your novel? Want to remedy it? Then this is the book for you!

In Show & Tell in a Nutshell: Demonstrated Transitions from Telling to Showing you will find sixteen real scenes depicting a variety of si…

Gaiman is Rochester, The Next Big Thing, and Amelia Bedelia

orgot to check in for A Round of Words in 80 Days last week!

The current round is ending soon, but things are moving slowly, now that I'm back into editing. I sorted all my snips and notebooks and a few beta notes, and now... all that's left is to pick a story and edit the heck out of it. I've got four novels and five short stories to choose from.

That's why NaNo was so helpful - I seem to work better with external pressure. If I had an agent setting deadlines for me, now that's when I could work in a whip-crack frenzy. How do I apply it to myself by myself?

Especially when there are other things to get distracted by, such as Neil Gaiman saying if he could be one historical person for a day, he'd choose the Earl of Rochester. Ah, Rochester. I sort of feel proprietary, now that I've written stories about Rochester. I wonder if this happens to all historical novelists?

Speaking of stories, I've been tagged by Jeff in My Next BIG Thing:

Hmm, I've alr…

IWSG, and Whole Lotta Authors: Talli Roland, Alberta Ross, J. R. R. Tolkien, and Richard Russo

very Talli Roland book I read becomes my new favourite, and The Pollyanna Plan is no exception!
"Thirty-something Emma Beckett has always looked down on 'the glass is half full' optimists, believing it's better to be realistic than delusional. But when she loses her high-powered job and fiancé in the same week, even Emma has difficulty keeping calm and carrying on. With her world spinning out of control and bolstered by a challenge from her best friend, Emma makes a radical decision. For the next year, she'll behave like Pollyanna: attempting to always see the upside, no matter how dire the situation. Can adopting a positive attitude give Emma the courage to build a new life, or is finding the good in everything a very bad idea?" The story is told from both Emma and Will's points of view, and I found both characters equally compelling, all the more so because they fit so well together!

It's always hard to pull off love-at-first-sight, whether you'…