Wednesday, 30 July 2014

#bookreview: Special Agent Francesca by Mimi Barbour

Special Agent Francesca (Undercover FBI)Special Agent Francesca by Mimi Barbour
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Special Agent Francesca Donovan can't wait to start her new life as an undercover FBI agent in Las Vegas. All her life, she's been trying to prove herself to her mother, the Special Assistant to the Director of the FBI, and now she gets the chance to do just that - if only she doesn't mess up her first assignment! Other than that, she just has to pop by and introduce herself to the father she just found out she had... and try not to fall in love with her new partner, Sean Collins, Psychiatrist and LVPD Profiler, who's posing as her fiance.

Mimi Barbour takes you on a wild ride with Francesca and Sean as they work undercover to clean up the gang that has been threatening hotels in the neighbourhood. It's pretty light and funny reading, with Francesca's sass and Sean's reactions providing a lot of comic relief. Special Agent Francesca is definitely not a serious girl, so don't expect anything deeper than an entertaining afternoon read.

Parts of story are steamier than I usually read (this is NOT for the kiddies) and there were times I skimmed through thinking "Am I really reading this?" so that contributes a little to my ambivalence between a 3 and 4 star rating.

Also, some strong swearing involved. Just saying, cause this deviates from my usual fare.

I received a free copy for review from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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Monday, 28 July 2014

Snapshots is back with a new look and a #giveaway. #SnapshotsRelaunch

Welcome to the SNAPSHOTS relaunch blitz!

photo 89b7292a-d6ba-4528-a1e9-04a0147b5b6c.jpg
Add to your Goodreads shelf
Buy on Amazon | Smashwords
It's said the eyes are the windows to the soul, but that's a lie. They are snapshots of a time yet to come–the future of the person to which they belong.

Cyclop Blaine stands out in a crowd with his pale skin and mismatched eyes, but it’s his ability to see the future that really sets him apart. The unusual gift makes him an invaluable asset to Tyler, his adoptive father and leader of the Victory Street Gang. It also means Cyclop must hide what he can do from others. Once, a man he knew only as Master controlled him, using him for experiments. Cyclop has no desire to return to that life.

But he may have no choice. A man claiming ownership over him haunts his dreams and waking moments, leaving him no choice but to go back to the past he thought he had escaped. Cyclop must face this man, along with his past, if he wants to reveal his own future.

About the Author

photo PatriciaLynneAuthorwithbook.jpg
Patricia Lynne never set out to become a writer. In fact, she never considered it an option during high school and college. But some stories are meant to be told and this one chose her. Patricia lives with her husband in Michigan, hopes one day to have what will resemble a small petting zoo and has a fondness for dying her hair the colors of the rainbow.

Follow Patricia on Twitter | Goodreads | Google+ | Author Blog


Friday, 25 July 2014

#fridayflash: The friendless generation

"I have no friends," she whined, as she marked the 30 notifications as read and skimmed through the long list of links and updates in her feed. "Why doesn't anyone want to go out?"
She picked up her mobile phone and stared at it, finger hovering over the dial button of the one friend she was fairly sure might want to go out for a coffee. Oh wait, he's dating Mindy now. He's probably busy. She put the phone back down on the table and scanned through the vapid conversations some of her friends were having in the Whatsapp group. She added a few random comments just to remind them of her existence.
Turning back to her laptop, she opened facebook again and searched through her 2,364 friends, trying to find one who might possibly be physically near her location and also online and maybe willing to hang out. She fired off a few messages only to see them pop offline. She frowned, then decided to ignore the coincidence. A message popped up and she looked at it eagerly:

Sorry, girl. Busy tonight.
Oh, alright. You take care.
See ya.

There went the one person she normally thought she could count on. She sighed and shut down her laptop, put her phone to silent and turned off the light. Her bedside clock blinked 22:30 and she turned it to face the wall so she wouldn't have to see its depressingly early time.
She woke up to 10 messages apologizing for being too busy to hang out, 5 requesting a rain check. She shook her head in despair. "I really have no friends."


Theme: Paradox

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

#bookreview: The Ghost Bride by @yangszechoo

The Ghost BrideThe Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So I had to read this because it was written by a Malaysian, right?
I'd heard about The Ghost Bride sometime last year, probably through Goodreads, but was always putting off getting a copy because I'm not really a fan of ghost stories/Chinese superstitions. Then I saw it in a bookshop and I was in a book buying spree... so... *shrug*

Seventeen-year-old Li Lan has received a marriage proposal into the esteemed Lim family. However, there are several complications: The groom is dead, and Li Lan has her heart set on another. Set in both the beautiful bustle of ancient Malacca and the terrifying Plains of the Dead, Yangsze Choo weaves a haunting story of a young girl struggling to save herself and protect her family after she is drawn into unseen world of the afterlife.

The book is split into four parts and I would frankly say that I loved parts 1 and 4 the most. The first part of the book draws you into beautiful Malacca, inviting you into the interesting culture of the Straits settlement Chinese in the 1860s. Part 2 and 3 plunges you into the strange world of the afterlife, and though it was very well written, I didn't enjoy it as much (as I said, I don't really enjoy ghost stories). Part 4 brings you back to Malacca again, and its lovely romantic ending will leave you teary eyed.

Excited to read more from Choo! (I believe her next will be set in Ipoh...)

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Sunday, 20 July 2014

I don't suppose I'll be on hiatus, but we'll see

Hello from San Jose!

I haven't decided if I'm going to blog more or blog less. I suppose it depends on my mood at night and whether I'm rushing (or not) to complete anything.

Or if I'm lazy.

I owe my editor stuff.
I owe my pastor stuff.
AND I haven't written a few e-mails I was supposed to write.


And I started a few draft blogs here as well as one on medium.

And I'm supposed to finish that script for Christmas as part of my Camp Nanowrimo challenge (20K words in July)... and I am still at the grand word count of.... ZERO!

*GO ME!*
*waves pompoms*

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Happy birthday, @yeohjo!

Where do I even start?
I've known you since... forever. Hah. :) I was going to dig out some old photos, but I figured that *I* would probably be more embarrassed about them than you, so... I'm sticking to (mostly) what's already on the internet. (Also I'm lazy. I can't remember where they're kept and I'm a little disinclined to go search. Besides, that's what Facebook is for.)

You've always been the musical one, so it's not surprising that most of my memories with you include music somewhere - singing Disney ballads after watching the cartoons, caroling, firebrands worship team, youth camp...

... and the fasollado singers!

I am blessed to call you a friend. Proverbs 27:17 says, "As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend," and I believe I have learnt so much just by growing up with you. Where else would I have learnt to be such a perfectionist? (and competitive as well!) I am always encouraged to hear what God has been doing in your life, even if we only meet like... once in six months or so. Haha.

Okay, that picture wasn't on facebook, but, for memories' sake, that was a big part of our history! (At least before everyone started going their merry ways.) Still waiting for the next one... or at least the next album from you. This year, right? ;)

As you enter a new stage of life, may you find greater fulfilment in Christ; may Christ alone satisfy your every need and deepest longings. May His fire and His passion fill your soul; may your mind and your eyes be renewed each day to think as He does, to see as He sees. May your mouth be filled with endless praise and your heart be filled with ceaseless songs; may you be His instrument of worship as you transcribe the songs of heaven, and raise them up again as incense to His name.  

Thank you for being a significant part of my journey so far. This has been us. :)

Happy 30th, Josh.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Mini #bookreviews

A to Z in 10 by 10 [flash fiction compilation]A to Z in 10 by 10 [flash fiction compilation] by Donna B. McNicol
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Picked this up from Donna during the 2014 A to Z Challenge.
A to Z in 10 by 10 is a quick read - 26 flash fiction pieces arranged from A to Z which will take you less than half an hour to finish.
I enjoyed most of the pieces - some had rather interesting twists.

Half Way HomeHalf Way Home by Hugh Howey
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

After hearing so much about Hugh Howey, I jumped at the chance to pick up one of his novels when it was offered free on Noisetrade Books for a short period of time.

A little ambivalent about this one. I liked it quite a lot until I got to the end and went... "eh?"

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Wednesday, 2 July 2014

#bookreview: The Depths by Nick Thacker

The DepthsThe Depths by Nick Thacker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Jen Adams' boss, Dr Elias Storm, is killed on the same night that her son Reese is kidnapped. Jen and Mark Adams sneak into Dr Storm's office to look for clues - only to find themselves snatched up by the British Royal Marines, Amphibious Task Division and taken to the Agartha station - an abandoned research station deep beneath the Atlantic Ocean.

The Depths is pretty much a classic thriller. I read it in (almost) one sitting; it was a very enjoyable read, despite a few errors (well, I think they were errors - swapped names and such which didn't make sense - either that or I was speed reading too much that my brain fried).

I loved the plot-twist towards the end (*jeng jeng jeng, you've all been looking at the wrong person and in the wrong place!) though what Mark did right at the end threw me a bit. I didn't think it was necessary and I'm not sure it made sense, but oh well.

I received a free copy of this book in return for an honest review.

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