#LoveOzYA #aww2019 Book Review: “The Zigzag Effect” by Lili Wilkinson

Title: the Zigzag Effect
Author:
Lili Wilkinson
Genre: Contemporary
Target audience: YA
Date Read: 04/02/19 – 05/02/19
Rating:
★★☆

Review:

I knew I had to  read this book as soon as I learned that it was about a girl getting a summer job with a magic show. I wanted to be a magician when I was a kid, and while I learned a few card tricks that I’ve now forgotten, I still have a soft spot for all  things magic.

I thought the main character, Sage, was really well-written. She’s homesick and sad, and trying to make the best of it. She’s also really capable, and pulls the magic show into the twenty-first century.

At first, I really loved Herb, the backstage assistant and total magic nerd. I enjoyed learning about magic as he excitedly taught things to Sage. A couple of times I went and googled things to learn more. But he did say a few things that deserved a smack on the upside of the head (like tarot and crystals being “women’s magic”) and while Sage calls him out on it, I never really got the sense that he would stop. He also complained about her stage makeup when she is replacing the usual assistant, but there was no mention of the fact that male performers also  wear makeup onstage. Look, Herb is not the worst YA love interest, by far, but he did still bother me a bit.

I think Bianca was my favourite character. She’s the superstitious magician’s assistant and it is through her character that the book examines the way the magic industry is stuck in a sexist past that a lot of other forms of entertainment are at least trying to move away from. Bianca has a lot of baggage and to be honest, there were times I wished she was the main character, because she seemed a bit more interesting than the other two.

It did weird me out a little that the theatre had no staff of its own, and that the entire thing seemed to be run by three people closely involved with the show, but not the theatre. Where was theatre management?  Where was the tech crew? To be fair, it’s only because I do theatre in my spare time that any of this stood out to me. I’m sure it wouldn’t bother a reader who doesn’t do a musical every year. 

I thought the ending was satisfying but I wondered whether others might think it ended with the kidnapper/saboteur not getting their comeuppance.  I guess YMMV on that one. I don’t want to say too much because I don’t want to spoil anything. It definitely picked up a lot in the secocnd half after a bit of a slow start. 


This review is part of my 2019 Australian Women Writers Challenge. Click here for more information.

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“You don’t really want to know. You want to be fooled.” // Review of “The Prestige” by Christopher Priest

Title: The Prestige
Author: Christopher Priest
Audio book narrator: Simon Vance
Genre: Thriller/historical fiction
Date Read: 20/06/2016 – 29/06/2017
Rating: ★★★

Review:

I hate to say it, but I think this is one of those rare cases where I thought the movie is better than the book. Having said that, it was intriguing to see where this story began, and it may be just that because I saw the movie first, it is the version I ultimately prefer.

The action centres on the feud between two stage magicians at the end of the nineteenth century and early twentieth, the way their rivalry consumed so much of them, and how it still affects their descendants nearly a century on.

I really enjoyed the atmosphere of turn-of-the-century London, and how the book used the popularity of illusionists and magicians of the time to also examine how easily we are fooled because we don’t really want to know the secrets. This applies to both magic tricks and real life.

The structure of the book was its main downfall. It is in five parts from four different points-of-view. Two are the diaries of Alfred Borden and Rupert Angier, the stage magicians, and the other two are their descendants, who meet in the 1990s. Having one part follow on from another, rather than switch points-of-view when the plot most accommodated it, meant that there was a lot of dancing around the plot twists that I knew were coming. There was a lot of plot that could have been considerably condensed, I felt, if the point-of-view had alternated throughout the book (and I say that as someone not a fan of alternating points-of-view as a rule).

On top of that, apart from offering some intrigue, I honestly thought the modern-day aspect of the book was pretty unnecessary. There would have been ways to reveal the twist without it, and the continuation of the feud through the generations didn’t make a lot of sense to me. The ending was also unclear. I think Priest was probably going for mysterious and ambiguous, but it just confused me.

Simon Vance’s narration of the audio book was commendable – he had distinct voices for each of the narrators and the characters within their stories. I listened to the entire audio book, but I do think that having 12 hours of audio to listen to rather than reading a few hundred pages did highlight the structure issues mentioned above.


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#WWW and #WIPpet Wednesday – 27 July, 2016

It’s time for WWW Wednesday! This is a blog hop hosted by Sam over at A World Of Words. Link up with us by commenting on Sam’s post for today, and just answer the three questions.

wwwwednesday

  • What are you currently reading?

ashalawolfcoverStill going with the audio of Paper Daisies by Kim Kelly. It’s going on a bit, but I’m kind of at that “Well, I’ve committed now” point.

In print, I have started The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf by Ambelin Kwaymullina. This is one of my Indigneous Australian author reads for the Australian Women Writers Challenge. I only started it today, but I like it so far and I’m hoping it might be the book that ends my long slew of 3-star reads and gets a four or a five.

  • What have you recently finished reading?

islasinheritanceAs expected, I finished Wonder Women by Sam Maggs, and my review went up on Monday. I do want to go back through it and note down some of the books written by the featured women and bios written about them, because I would love to find out more.

I then proceeded to finish Isla’s Inheritance by Cassandra Page very quickly (less than 24 hours). It was enjoyable enough, but I didn’t feel compelled to continue the series.

melodybittersweetgirlsghostbustingagencycoerAfter that, I finished off Melody Bittersweet and the Girls’ Ghostbusting Agency by Kitty French, which I saw on someone else’s WWW posts in the last couple of weeks. It was cute, though I did not like the love interests at all, which did put a damper on the “romantic comedy” aspect. I did really like the mystery, though.

Last night, I read the preview excerpt of Vicarious by Paula Stokes, which is available on NetGalley in the lead-up to the release next month. If I had actually read the listing properly and realised it was a preview, I probably wouldn’t have requested it, but it was interesting.

I also posted my review of Blood of My Blood, the third in the Jasper Dent series by Barry Lyga, on Friday.

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

I also Am I Black Enough For You? by Anita Heiss out from the library for the AWW Challenge, so it may well be next. I also have a few books of my own that I’m going to try to read soon.

wednesdaybannerAnd now for WIPpet Wednesday. This is another blog hop in which writers share excerpts from their current WIP that somehow relate to the date. Clicking the blue guy on the right will take you to the linkup for this one.

In this scene, Frederick has just told Grace that he shouldn’t teach her any magic, and should instead tell her to go back to her room and never think about it ever again. Seven sentences for the seventh month.

Grace looked at him with a wry expression. “You think you can just tell someone to forget about this sort of thing?”

“No,” he replied. “I know you can’t. No one can. That’s what makes it so powerful. The second you get a taste for it, it has a hold over you.”

Frederick does have his reasons for showing Grace the magic in the first place. I’m not saying they’re good reasons (in fact, they’re pretty weak), but they are reasons nonetheless.

This week I’ve been writing from Frederick’s POV, and that’s been interesting. He’s very private but I’ve managed to needle out a lot of his past, which has been good. I also had an epiphany the other day (after writing the first 16k, of course!) that the whole thing would work a lot better if Grace were the governess to Frederick’s children, rather than a maid in his household. So I’ll have to a whole lot of revision there, but that’s okay.

That’s it from me, as I have a few things I need to get done tonight. I also need to consume the rest of this delicious lemon meringue pie sitting next to me. See you on your blogs!

~ Emily

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#WWW and #WIPpet Wednesday – 13 July, 2016

Hey guys. Just letting you know that except in a couple of cases, due to blogging technology being against me, I am having trouble commenting on posts on non-Wordpress blogs. I am not ignoring you, I just can’t get them to post! 😦

It’s time for WWW Wednesday! This is a blog hop hosted by Sam over at A World Of Words. Link up with us by commenting on Sam’s post for today, and just answer the three questions.

wwwwednesday

  • What are you currently reading?

wonderwomencoverI am back to reading Wonder Women by Sam Maggs. I’m still really appreciating learning about all these awesome women who history has forgotten, but I am still a little irked by the Tumblr-esque writing style. It’s fine if I’m on Tumblr, but I’m trying to read a book. I should finish this over the next few days and hopefully have a review up on Monday.

Also just started the audio book of Paper Daisies by Kim Kelly. Early days yet, and while there are a couple of things already irking me about the writing style, I think they might stop once the story really gets going, so I’m continuing for now.

  • What have you recently finished reading?

Nothing,  unfortunately, apart from DNFing The Secret River by Kate Grenville. I was disappointed because I loved her other book, The Lieutenant, but this one was just so dull!

I did, however, post reviews both for All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr and Game (Jasper Dent #2) by Barry Lyga. Click the links to read them.

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

islasinheritanceI’ve decided to start trying to whittle away at the unread stuff on my Kindle, and I plan to start with Isla’s Inheritance, the first in a series by local author Cassandra Page. My aim is to try to get through one or two Kindle books a month, along with everything else. I’m also trying to nut out how to approach my reading challenges in the second half of the year, so I have a few other things on my immediate radar for that.
wednesdaybanner

And now for WIPpet Wednesday. This is another blog hop in which writers share excerpts from their current WIP that somehow relate to the date. Clicking the blue guy on the right will take you to the linkup for this one. I’m still sharing from my July Camp NaNo project. The night before, Frederick Merrow had been showing Grace some of his magic, which led to Grace being awake all night thinking about it, and being unfit for work the next morning. Seven paragraphs for the seventh month.

“It’s Frederick,” the voice outside replied, startling Grace into leaping out of bed. “I heard you were unwell. Is there anything I can do to help?”

Grace opened the door. She must have still looked exhausted because he took a step back to take her all in and then said, “I hope I am not to blame for your current state.”

“I couldn’t sleep last night,” she said. “I kept thinking about everything you showed me. So I suppose it is your fault in a way.”

Frederick barked out a laugh.

“Sir, surely you shouldn’t be down here.”

Frederick shrugged. “Why ever not? This is my house, isn’t it? I can go where I please.”

“Yes, but… going to the bedroom of one of your female servants. What would people think?”

That’s it from me, see you on your blogs!

~ Emily

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#WWW and #WIPpet Wednesday – 13 July, 2016

Edit: Hey guys. Just letting you know that except in a couple of cases, due to blogging technology being against me, I am having trouble commenting on posts on non-Wordpress blogs. I am not ignoring you, I just can’t get them to post! 😦

It’s time for WWW Wednesday! This is a blog hop hosted by Sam over at A World Of Words. Link up with us by commenting on Sam’s post for today, and just answer the three questions.

wwwwednesday

  • What are you currently reading?

secretrivercoverI will finally start The Secret River by Kate Grenville at some point today. I did listen to maybe the first quarter of it on audio earlier in the year, but I realised it was one that I would get through faster by reading the print version. I’ve actually had this out from the library for over a month, but I kept finding other things I wanted to read first.

  • What have you recently finished reading?

gamecoverI’ve had a much better reading week this past week than the last couple. I finished the Jasper Dent series, reading both Game and Blood of My Blood. I thought Game was a good follow-up to I Hunt Killers, though I did think the story got a bit messy in Blood of My Blood.

verygoodlivescoverI also read Very Good Lives by J. K. Rowling, which is actually just a transcript of the 2008 Commencement speech she gave at Harvard University, but I really loved it, despite the annoying illustrations on every second page. (I also looked it up on YouTube, it was lovely watching her deliver it as well).

I ended up DNFing White Cat by Holly Black. I just wasn’t interested, and Jesse Eisenberg wasn’t the most riveting narrator.

Reviews of two memoirs, The Fictional Woman by Tara Moss, and Catch Me If You Can by Frank Abagnale Jr. went up this week.

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

No idea! The Secret River is the last library book I have out at the moment, and I will probably try to get through a few books that I own before I start requesting again. Also, next Monday heralds both the start of the new university semester AND the first rehearsal for a musical I hadn’t intended to audition to, except then I did, and I ended up with a role… so reading might slow for a few months at that point…

wednesdaybannerAnd now for WIPpet Wednesday. This is another blog hop in which writers share excerpts from their current WIP that somehow relate to the date. Clicking the blue guy on the right will take you to the linkup for this one. In this scene, Grace is on her afternoon off, sitting out in the fields with her shoes and stockings off (scandal!) and is about to get caught in a summer storm that has come over very suddenly, when she meets the master of the house, about whom she has heard all sorts of rumours, but who has proved rather elusive up until now. Thirteen lines for the thirteenth of the month.

“Nice day for it!” he called to her. She blushed,  and didn’t reply. To her horror, she realised that he was making his way over to her. She looked down and concentrated on getting her boots done up.  She felt the first splashes of rain on her head, it was going to come on thick and fast any moment.

“Here, allow me,” Mr Merrow said, and Grace’s heart nearly leapt out of her chest in shock as her boot laces started lacing themselves, far faster than her panicked fingers had been managing. She glanced up at Mr Merrow,  and he nodded towards her second boot. She slipped it on, and the laces once again did themselves up under Mr Merrow’s gaze.

“I can trust you to keep a secret, can’t I, Miss…?”

“Kent,” Grace said, looking up from her shoes.  ”Grace Kent.”

“Well, Grace, we’d best be getting up to the house before we’re soaked,” he said. He held out his hand to Grace,. She took it, and he pulled her to her feet. “I can’t control the weather,  though I might be able to keep us a little drier than the rain would like us to be.”

Just how he plans to do that is a WIPpet for another day. (Any typos in the above excerpt are to be blamed on auto-correct, as I was typing that scene on my tablet at a writing group meet-up. Having said that, I think I caught them all).

That’s it from me, see you on your blogs!

~ Emily

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#WIPpet and #WWW Wednesday – 25 May 2016

First of all, I’m excited to announce that I’m doing a giveaway! Launching a book in the middle of semester was perhaps a silly thing to do, as it meant I couldn’t properly promote it at launch time. But that’s all done with now, so here I am with two signed paperback copies of A More Complicated Fairytale to give away. It’s open to everyone, anywhere in the world, because if I restricted it to Australian entries I’d probably get maybe two. 😛 You can go here to enter. Good luck!

(If you want to know a bit more before entering, the Amazon and GoodReads links are both in the sidebar to the right)/;’

My goodness, this has been a good writing week. You can read a long ramble about the reasons for the sudden upturn in my progress in Sunday’s post, but suffice to say – you know how last Wednesday I was all like, “It’s taken me from November to now, but I’ve just reached 20k on Worlds Apart”? Well, I’ve added over 5k just this week. My aim for the ten weeks between uni semesters was to add another 10k, but I’ve upped that goal to 30k, which will bring me to a total of 50k by the time I return to uni. Fingers crossed I can keep up the momentum! I’ll still try to keep my WIPpets somewhat in sequence so as not to cause too much confusion, but at least I don’t have to worry about running out of material to share from now.

wednesdaybannerFor today’s WIPpet I have five lines, which also happen to make up two paragraphs in my Scrivener file (and it’s the 25th). Quite a lot has happened prior to this scene, but all you need to know is that Princess Adelyn and Carrie Cortain had the royal guards catch up to them while they were trying to escape. Due to circumstances that would take far too long to explain here, Carrie has been taken by the guards and Adelyn has lost all of her memories of who she is, etc., and has been left alone in a giant forest. And yes, there is a reason she thinks she may be Carrie, but again with the “too convoluted to explain” thing.

The girl wandered the forest, her hands brushing against the rough bark of trees as she passed. She jumped every time she heard a noise. The pack on her back made her shoulders ache, but she kept moving. She didn’t know if it would be safe to stop, though she didn’t know where she was going, either.

The other girl had called her Carrie. Was that her name? She assumed so, though they had seemed to be in trouble. Perhaps she had been using an alias. Why didn’t she know who she was, and why was the other girl so keen for her to get away to the point of sacrificing herself? And who was Milton Nethercote, the man she was supposed to somehow locate?

If you are unfamiliar with WIPpet Wednesday, allow me to elaborate. It’s a blog hop where writers get together and share snippets from the WIP that somehow relate to the date (eg. my 2 paragraphs/5 lines thing for today). You can reach our link-up by clicking the blue guy in the right-hand sidebar. Please feel free to join in with us! We’d love to have you.

wwwwednesdayNow onto WWW Wednesday! This is a blog hop in which we answer questions about what we’ve been reading this past week. This is hosted by Sam over at A World of Words. You can join in by commenting on today’s post over on her blog.

  • What are you currently reading?

The Kingdom of Little Wounds by Susann Cokal. Ive only read the first 100 pages so far, but I’ve already witnessed the marriage of a twelve-year-old girl (thankfully, despite my fears, there is no wedding night described), and the violent miscarriage of another girl not much older (it’s set in the 16th century, so basically everything is awful) yeah. It’s going to be a bit harrowing, I think.

I also made a very decent chunk in the audio version of The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor. I got the email from my library that was available this morning, so I delayed leaving for work slightly and downloaded it. I’m already halfway through. I’m quite fussy about Alice in Wonderland retellings/adaptations, but I am actually liking this one. I think the fact that the Mad Hatter-equivalent character is not the love interest for once is helping. His connect to Alice/Alyss is entirely different. (I know that in Splintered, the Wonderland love interest was based on the Caterpillar, but I hated that book, so it doesn’t count :P)

  • What did you recently finish reading?

disclaimercoverI finished two audio book thrillers this week. The first was Disclaimer by Renee Knight, about a woman who has to confront her deepest, darkest secret when she is delivered a novel which clearly references said secret. It required a fair bit of suspension of disbelief, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. It made me think. Second was Viral by Helen Fitzgerald. It’s about a girl whose worst moment ends up as a viral Internet video. It was good, and really drew attention to the woefully inadequate laws we have around video uploads and that sort of thing. But one of the two POV characters was quite unrealistic, I felt, which let it down a bit.

As Friday night was the beginning of my first weekend with no uni work, I spent it in bed reading The Poison Diaries by Maryrose Wood, which was a very quick read in the end. While there were some parts I didn’t especially like, the ending was really gripping!

I realised that I wasn’t going to get The Last Days of Magic by Mark Tompkins finished by today, when it was due back to the library, so I gave up and returned it on Monday. However, I’ve put it back on my GoodReads TBR shelf rather than my DNF shelf in the hopes I’ll be able to come back to it when I’m in a better mood for it. It’s one that I do want to give a proper chance to.

I posted two new reviews this week, one for Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton (3 stars) and one for World War Z by Max Brooks (3.5 stars).

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

A Gathering of Shadows FinalMy next audio book is Reluctantly Charmed by Ellie O’Neill, which sounds cute and lighthearted and charming.

It’s not so much a case of reading next, but getting back to reading. The Edge of Darkness by K. L. Schwengel  and A Gathering of Shadows by V. E. Schwab have both been sitting, started but not completed, on my Kindle, waiting for me to get back to them once I got rid of all my library books. Kingdom of Little Wounds is the last of my library haul for the moment, so I will actually be able to return to these.

Whew this was a long post! If you’ve made it all this way, you have my thanks. I’ll sign off now, and go and catch some of you on your owns blogs!

~ Emily

#WWW and #WIPpet Wednesday – 18 May, 2016

Once again, I have failed at keeping up with everyone’s blogs! However, on the brighter side, I handed in my final two assignments for the semester this week, and now I am free for ten glorious weeks! My aim is actually to get a lot of writing done in that time, but it will mean increased blogging time, too, I hope.

Anyway, now is time for WWW Wednesday, a blog hop in which we answer questions about what we’ve been reading this past week. This is hosted by Sam over at A World of Words. You can join in by commenting on today’s post over on her blog (though I’m posting quite early, so if the post isn’t there yet, check back later).
wwwwednesday

  • What are you currently reading?

lastdaysofmagiccoverThe Last Days of Magic by Mark Tompkins. It’s not exactly wowing me and the writing feels a bit clunky, but it’s early days so I’m not writing it off just yet.

  • What did you recently finish reading?

rebelofthesandscoverRebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton. I actually realised about two thirds of the way through that there was no indication from the book that some of the things I had been expecting would be there, so I guess I did a bit of a disservice to myself and the book by having unfounded expectations. I still enjoyed it, but not as much as I might have otherwise. My review goes up on Friday.

I also finished World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War, which I was listening to on audio. My review will go up on Monday. I enjoyed it, though my mind wasn’t blown.

I  posted my review of Rivers of London by Aaronovitch on Monday.

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

kingdomlittlewoundscoverThe Kingdom of Little Wounds by Susann Cokal, which I mostly picked up because of the stunning cover (seriously, go check it out), and The Poison Diaries by Maryrose Wood are the last two of my library books. I will probably read the Poison Diaries first because it’s shorter, and hopefully I’ll get through it before the due date, though I’m actually keener to read The Kingdom of Little Wounds.

Now for WIPpet Wednesday. My WIPpet maths this week is such – it’s the eighteenth, and so I have a nine-line paragraph because I added the two digits together. Carrie is getting Princess Adelyn out of the city, but they have to go on foot, and they’re getting into the dodgier parts of town.

Princess Adelyn kept her hood raised as they walked. It was still dark outside, but the street lamps lit their way. She wasn’t sure how much longer that would remain the case, though, as they headed into the poorer parts of the city. Once they reached the forest Jasper had mentioned, she didn’t know what they would do to see their way. Carrie seemed to know what she was doing though. She walked confidently through the streets. Adelyn was surprised that a young woman from the part of town where the Cortains lived would know her way out of the city by this road so easily.

If you are unfamiliar with WIPpet Wednesday, it’s a blog hop that I coordinate, wherein us writer types share an snippet from our current WIP (hence, WIPpet) that somehow relates to the date. The date correlation can be as tenuous as you like; we enjoy creativity in that respect. 😉 You can join in by clicking the little blue guy to the right. 🙂

On the subject of this WIP, I am very close to hitting 20k on it! Which isn’t a lot given I started it November, but I’ve had some rough patches lately, writing-wise, so I’m getting excited at any and all milestones.

Now that I’m done with uni for a while, I’m hoping to do some proper promo and marketing for A More Complicated Fairytale. Some people actually bought it despite my lack of marketing! But I’d like to see a few more! (If you’re keen, you might like to use the link in the sidebar to buy your own copy, but I am going to hopefully have a giveaway up and going in a week or so, so you might like to hold off until then).

Well, I’d best be off now. I’m going to the circus tonight! 😀 Hopefully this week I’ll actually manage to get around to a lot of your blogs. Until then!

~ Emily

#WWW and #WIPpet Wednesday – 11 May, 2016

I’m sorry I haven’t been a great blogging friend/colleague lately!  Time has been of the essence and while it’s one thing to put a post up, actually getting around to the rest of you guys and interacting is a whole other story. I’ll try my best this week and hopefully once I get uni out of the way for the semester next week, I’ll be able to hang out with you guys a bit more.

Anyway, now is time for WWW Wednesday, a blog hop in which we answer questions about what we’ve been reading this past week. This is hosted by Sam over at A World of Words. You can join in by commenting on today’s post over on her blog (though I’m posting quite early, so if the post isn’t there yet, check back later).
wwwwednesday

  • What are you currently reading?

Technically, The Edge of Darkness by K. L. Schwengel  and A Gathering of Shadows by V. E. Schwab, but they are both still on hold while I get through my pile of library books.

Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton is the next book from my library haul! It’s received mixed reviews but I’m hoping I’ll enjoy it. I have been craving something else with djinn since reading The Golem and the Djinni last year. At time of writing this post, I’ve read 14 pages, but I did like them! It feels a bit like a Western, except with an Arabic-inspired setting.

  • What did you recently finish reading?

I finished Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch just this morning. It was due back to the library yesterday, but they generally give you a couple of days’ grace before fining you, so I think I have got away with no fees. I wasn’t too fussed on it and don’t intend to continue with the series. I’ll write a full review to go up on Monday.

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

The Last Days of Magic by Mark Tompkins, as it is the next one due back at the library, and also the only one of those that I had on my TBR, rather than just randomly picking up.

Excitingly, I am also making a return to WIPpet Wednesday! Hurray! I know how much you all missed me. 😛 I didn’t have the best writing month in April, because I was stressing about how I really didn’t know where nay of my three WIPs were going. However, I have returned to Worlds Apart, which is the one I actually have outlined right to the end, even if the world-building isn’t complete yet. My plan is to just finish the damn first draft and then fix things. If you are new, you can read previous excerpts from Worlds Apart by going to the relevant blog category.

This scene follows on from previous ones I’ve shared, where Jasper Cortain and his wife, Helena, are being questioned about the Princess’ disappearance by Captain Eli Masden. Masden is using his mind control magic on Helena in order to get information out of Jasper. Jasper tries to go to her. The two words mentioned in the first sentence are just “No, stop.” I’m sharing 2 paragraphs because it’s the 11th and 1+1=2.

As Masden spoke the words, Jasper something inside his head. It was like a worm was crawling around in there, preventing his normal brain function and instead making him do as Masden instructed. He froze mid-step.

Jasper grimaced, and tried to move his legs. The worm in his head resisted, but he could feel it give. He summoned up the magic he used to drive out ailments in others, but instead of letting it blast out through his hands and into another affected person, he directed it at the spot in his own head where he could feel Masden’s magic setting in. The force of the blast took him by surprise, and Masden as well, by the looks of it. While Jasper staggered a few steps backward, he saw the other magician get thrown roughly into the back of his chair.

If you are unfamiliar with WIPpet Wednesday, it’s a blog hop that I coordinate, wherein us writer types share an snippet from our current WIP (hence, WIPpet) that somehow relates to the date. The date correlation can be as tenuous as you like; we enjoy creativity in that respect. 😉 You can join in by clicking the little blue guy to the right. 🙂

Well, I’d best be off now. I’ll try to catch you all soon!

~ Emily

#WWW and #WIPpet Wednesday – 09 March, 2016

 First up is is WWW Wednesday, a blog hop in which we answer questions about what we’ve been reading this past week. This is hosted by Sam over at A World of Words. You can join in by commenting on today’s post over on her blog.

  • wwwwednesdayWhat are you currently reading?

Life in Outer Space by Melissa Keil. I read her other novel, The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl (review here) last year and loved it. There are quite a few similarities between the two (the most obvious being that this has an MC who is an aspiring filmmaker, while Cinnamon Girl had an aspiring comic artist, and they’re both struggling to write), but her narrative voice is just so great, so I’m overlooking it. I think I’m finally out of my reading slump!

  • What did you recently finish reading?

I finished Seraphina by Rachel Hartman last night. I really enjoyed it! It had been too long since I read something with dragons. I would dearly love to read the second book, but I’ve had several people warn me that while they loved the first one, they found the second one severely disappointing. There are lots of GoodReads reviews to that effect, too, so I don’t want to risk it.

I also completed the audio book of Matthew Flinders’ Cat by Bryce Courtenay on my way to a meet-up with my writing group tonight. It’s not the sort of book I’d normally read, but I did enjoy it, in spite of some really tough subject matter at times. My mum is telling me I should read The Potato Factory and its sequels, also by Bryce Courtenay, but I haven’t quite decided yet whether or not I will. Humphrey Bower is a very good narrator, though, and he did all of Courtenay’s books, but to be honest this has has given me an urge to listen to his reading of the Chaos Walking series again.

I eventually gave up on Cogling by Jordan Elizabeth Mierek last week. It just got too boring. I also read a review that said there was a scene where one character was imprisoned and possibly being sexually assaulted, and their solution to that was not to take down the people doing the assaulting, but just swap out their friend with a homeless girl no one would miss. I’m sure the homeless girl really appreciated that.

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

I haven’t decided yet, but I have a few books to choose from. To be honest, I should be putting reading on the backburner for a bit while I start on my uni work. Semester started on Feb 15, and I have my first assignment due March 16… do you think I’ve done any work yet? This is the one disadvantage to studying online/via correspondence.

wednesdaybannerNext up is WIPpet Wednesday, a blog hop we writer types do each week, in which we share snippets from our WIP that somehow relate to the date. You can find our linkup by clicking the little blue guy to the right. Please feel free to join in! Today is the ninth of March, so I’m sharing nine sentences. This follows on from last week’s scene. Jasper Cortain and his wife have been brought to the Palace to be quizzed about the Princess’ whereabouts by the Captain of the Guard.

Two of the guards pushed the doors open and led the way into the room beyond. The room had no windows and Jasper started when he realised the room was lit by a glowing orb floating at about eye-level at the back of the room. He may have suspected the use of magic in the palace, but it was still a surprise to witness it. Below the orb was a desk, and a man in red robes behind it. His had his fingers linked together and was resting his chin on them, watching as the guards parted to give him a view of Jasper and Helena.

“Gentlemen,” he said, addressing the guards. “What have you brought me?”

“Witnesses saw the princess being led to this man’s house,” said the guard who had first spoken to Jasper at his front gate. “He’s as much as confessed to being a
magician on the way here.”

“Did he indeed?”

 The Captain’s name is Eli Masden, and you met him back in December. He’s the psychopath I mentioned last week, though in some of his scenes he has tried to convince me that he’s really a sympathetic character underneath it all. I don’t trust him at all.

I’m going to love and leave you all now. As I mentioned above, I had a meet-up with my writing group tonight, which means time has got away from me, and I should be heading to bed pretty soon. See you all later!

~ Emily

#StoryADayMay Day 6 – What’s in the house with the purple picket fence?

Click the image to be taken to the Story A Day website

Click the image to be taken to the Story A Day website

A while back, I asked my boyfriend to give me a writing prompt and while I can’t remember the exact wording of it off the top of my head right now, it was something to do with a purple picket fence. From that prompt, a kid’s story evolved in my head, but I never actually got around to figuring out the nitty-gritty and writing it. This is a condensed version of what it might have been. (NB: The run-on sentences? They’re deliberate, yes.)

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