Tuesday, January 15, 2013

'Kill Me Softly' by Sarah Cross, a review.

One year ago, this book showed up on my Tumblr feed. Now, I love fairy tales, I love fairies, I love fantasy. It's pretty safe to say I love all these things to do with 'F'.

It's also safe to say that I enjoy reading Young Adult fiction.

So, as you can imagine, when I finally got around to this novel, it was an absolute delight to read!

Part Holly Black's Valiant, part Cassandra Clare's 'The Mortal Instruments', part Alex Flinn's Beastly, this book was all parts awesome. Sarah Cross managed to put into this fairy tale novel a real sense of grittiness into the town of Beau Ridge which is, to all intents and purposes, a fairy tale town. But not a nice, censored, Disney-style town. This is a town in which Bluebeard tries to pick up the damsel in distress and Sleeping Beauty makes the choice to prick her finger in order to save her life.

In all honesty, after a year of knowing about this book and not being able to find it, I almost completed the whole thing in a day!

The only reason why I didn't was, of course, because the reading of this book also overlapped with the last days of having my partner's daughter in the state. She is absolutely adorable, and I wouldn't have missed out on a minute of extra time I got to spend with her.

However, as some of you know, I've been dealing with depression and anxiety over the last several months, and I gave it until the date of this little lady's departure to stay on a regular course of St. John's wort and see if that might prove a possible alternative to something harsher, like anti-depressants.

It's not been all smooth sailing. During the time of this course, my car battery died outside of a shopping centre and it seems like the very warm weather Melbourne has been experiencing aided an infestation of maggots in my living room. In addition to that, my work lifted the 20 hours per week of my contract to a full 40 hours over two weeks. Last week was a very shit week. And it was with a combination of practical solutions to these problems as well as the mental space that the St. John's offered that got me through it. I've had to jump up to 2000mg (a full sized tablet rather than the tablet cut in half) to get the effect I wanted.

This week has been much easier.

The only problem I'm facing now? The knowledge that I'm not ready to come off this herbal supplement just yet. I have tried halving the dose again, cutting it down while still keeping it in my system. Within hours after, I'm feeling anxiety creeping up and I just don't have the mental reserves yet to keep it at bay, to shut it in a box called 'Irrational' and keep moving forward. Not yet.

So, I'm still leaning on it, then. For a little while longer at least.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013



I have a Goodreads account. I'm a Goodreads author. I've been mm-ing and ahh-ing for a while about getting one of these, deeming that it would be too much of a drain on my time and, you know what? One week in, and I'm starting to think that past-me may have had that exactly right.

This isn't helped by the fact that, each time I'm procrastinating on there, I'm telling myself that it's work. It's promotion time, I keep telling myself. Quite different to wasting time, actually.


Hmm, I'm still not sold about that. Still, the numbers can't be argued with, and the number of people it's putting me back into contact with can't be sneered at. All in all, it's a far superior option to Facebook, if only because the people are already interested in books, so when you start talking about books, you don't get looked at weirdly.

Still, it's just another thing to add to the list: write a novel, go to work, cook dinner, put out dinner for cats, play with cats when they are suddenly full of energy....

Merrily enough, Goodreads is at least turning out to be good for my reading time. The 'update status' option feels a lot like a contest you're winning every time you read more words and the percentage of the book goes up. Also, the option to add what you're thinking of the book each time you update is just enough like Twitter that I think I'm in love with that feature alone!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Obligatory New Year post

Happy New Year! So far, I seem only to be missing a resolution.

But we're in the third day. As of yet, I have no complaints, and the year is certainly looking more kindly upon me than last year.

New Year's Eve was spent with dozens of friends that filled the walls of my small-ish town house almost to bursting, but everybody seemed to have fun. We put the kiddly-winks up to bed at about 8.30pm, but I think we all knew they were still up closer to ten.

The night flew by with cheese and dips and more sugar than we could actually consume, and then somebody was suddenly running around yelling that it was only ten minutes till midnight.

Which was around the time we realised someone local had fireworks and was letting them off behind our back fence. While we oohed and ahhed about that, the time grew ever closer to midnight, and then there was the countdown, and then there was a lot of kissing. I was incredibly lucky this year. I got to spend New Year's Night with all but three of my very favourite people in the whole world.

New Year may not have brought around much in the way of resolutions for me (yet, but I reserve the right to make them, even as late as February!) but it has prompted a bit of a spring clean and adding of material to this humble little site. I now have three new tabs across the top bar, posting a little about me, the various places to get hold of me around the net and one of my up-coming projects.

I've also been reading and thoroughly consumed by the Puzzle Quest game (which is actually eating into quite a bit of my reading time...). The books I'm reading are The Secret Life of William Shakespeare, a historical fiction by a writer I'd never heard until I happened across the book in my local library. Jude Morgan also writes historical fictions based on the friendship between Byron, Mary Shelley and Percy Shelley, and also about the Bronte sisters that are now on my to-be-read list, and, of course, my other novel is an old favourite: Kushiel's Mercy from the series by Jacqueline Carey that I don't think I'll ever get sick of.

Lastly, I have a couple of chats coming up this month, on the 19th and 26th of January with Coffee Time Romance, where I'll get to talk about my novel Gothic and maybe a little bit about my upcoming novel Revelry, too. More information about those soon.