Saturday, March 31, 2012

Review!! Intensity by Dean Koontz

"Chyna Shepherd is a twenty-six-year-old woman whose deeply troubled childhood taught her the hard rules of survival, and whose adult life has been an unrelenting struggle for self-respect and safety. Now rare trust has blossomed for Chyna into friendship with the woman whose family home she is visiting for the weekend: a farm in the Napa Valley surrounded by vineyards and hills, which Chyna can see from the guest-room window where she sits at one o'clock in the morning, fully dressed, unable to sleep. Suspicions she learned in childhood still make her uneasy in unfamiliar houses--even this one, where her closest friend is sound asleep down the hall. And in this case her most disturbing instincts prove reliable. A man has entered the house, a man who lives for one purpose: to satisfy all appetites as they arise, to immerse himself in sensation, to live without fear, remorse, or limits--to live with intensity.

His name is Edgler Foreman Vess. He likes to make words with the letters from his name--GOD, DEMON, SAVE, RAGE, ANGER, FEAR, FOREVER, are just a few of them--and then makes sentences with the words. One of his favorites, GOD FEARS ME, is sometimes the last thing he whispers to his victims. Edgler Vess is a self-proclaimed "homicidal adventurer": On this night, his adventure--murdering everyone in the house--becomes Chyna's long nightmare.

Trapped in Vess's deadly orbit, Chyna thinks only of getting out alive. But when she inadvertently learns the identity of Vess's intended next victim, waiting for him far from Napa Valley, Chyna is gripped with concern for this other person, who is as innocent as Chyna, and as endangered. Driven now by a sense of responsibility for another, by a purpose and meaning beyond mere self-preservation, Chyna rises to unexpected heights of courage and daring--her only hope as the threat of Edgler Foreman Vess closes in and grows more horrifying moment by moment.

Intensity unfolds over the course of just twenty-four hours, but within that brief time frame, Dean Koontz gives us what is perhaps his most inventive, emotionally intricate, and terrifyingly suspenseful novel yet."

My Review:
     At the beginning of this book, I had my doubts. The main character, Chyna, seemed whiny and not likable at all. As the book progressed, it became clear that this was part of a well devised plan for character growth. Vess, though, as horrible as he was, was an amazing character. His way of thinking and living with "intensity" was so foreign it was fascinating. 
     I found myself thinking that Chyna would fall for her captor or something, but that definitely wasn't the case. The twists and turns, not to mention the pure terror in this book kept me enthralled. It was just superb. If you like horror novels, I would highly recommend this book. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Fate (My Blood Approves, Book #2) by Amanda Hocking

"Alice Bonham thinks she's finally found a balance in her life between the supernatural and real life with her brother Milo. Jack - her sorta vampire boyfriend - keeps her at arm's length to keep her safe. As for his brother Peter... she's not sure where he's at, or what he wants with her. Worse still, she's not even sure what she wants with Peter. 

When tragedy happens, Alice finds herself struggling with a terrible choice. Her decision has consequences that reach farther than she'd ever imagined..."

Synopsis from Goodreads

My Review:
     Last summer, I bought the first book in this series on Goodreads. I read the first few pages and set it down to peruse the other books on my shelf. Almost a year later, I went back to the eBook and gave it another go. I was sucked in to it immediately. I finished it within a few days, which is fast for me. 

     The characters are so vivid and realistic that you really think that this is happening around you. That is when you know you have found a good book. When you are so completely immersed that you believe that you are a spectator to the scene playing out within the story.

     I can't really say a lot about the plot without giving away some MAJOR juicy tidbits, but I will try. Alice is trying to abolish her love for Jack, because her blood it meant for Peter, his brother. Peter and Jack are not really brothers, that's just an attempt to appear normal to the humans. Alice is torn between her feelings for the two guys, but soon she is distracted by a tragedy that hits closer to home. Everything in her world changes in an instant. Now Alice has to deal with her family crisis, her vampire love triangle, her drunken best friend and her senior year of High School. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Teaser Tuesday #1

Here's how Teaser Tuesday Works
1. Grab a book you are currently reading
2. Open it to a random page
3. Choose 2 sentences from somewhere on the page
4. Try not to include any SPOILERS
5. Post it !!

"He stared pointedly at her for a few seconds, but she refused to meet his eyes. He looked at her so possessively, as if she were a lover he had already won and he was just waiting for her to realize it."

-Page 143 of Wings by Aprilynne Pike

Monday, March 26, 2012

Second Writing Exercise

The idea was to describe a place that we had never been. Please take into account that this is my first piece in a very long time. Let me know what you think and what I can improve.

     Melanie leaned her forehead against the door. The taxi was stuffy and smelled like a pile of sweaty tube socks. She rolled down the window. With a pleasant whoosh, the wind replaced the smell with fresh air. She was beginning to feel more at ease now. Closing her eyes, she let the warm summer sun lick her face. Lost in thought, she didn't notice the tendrils of auburn hair swirling around her head.  
     This was the first vacation she had taken, well....ever. But it isn't really considered a vacation if you just quit your job and walked away from everything you've ever known. New Orleans would be the perfect place to spice up her mundane existence and tan her pale skin. Years of working in an office had left her with ghostly pale skin and a mild case of carpel tunnel. 
     Jazz music floats to her eardrums over the honking cars and screaming children. Opening her eyes, the buildings fly by in a blur. Noticing without really seeing the passing view, she nibbles her lip nervously. Nana had always been furious with this habit. "As a woman, you must never show weakness. People can be snakes, and snakes strike at the first sign of weakness." She may have been difficult to handle, but Melanie really missed her. Night Flights were a horrible idea. Jet lag had her taking a trip down memory lane. 
     Prying herself back to the present, she turned to the cab driver. "How much longer?" Hoping her anxiousness had not come through in her voice. 
     "We'll be pulling up in just a few minutes" he said, in an accent that Melanie could not determine. 
     Melanie nodded and hitched forward. The Honeysuckle Inn. It was what had drawn her to this part of the country. Rubbing her palms on her jeans, she thought, this moment will determine where my life will go from here.
     She fidgeted like a child who had to go potty, not the 29 year old woman she was. Catching herself on the verge of bouncing up and down, she attempted to calm her growing excitement. The cab slowed and made a right turn. Traveling almost in slow motion, she noticed the sign for the Inn and held her breath. 
     Coming to a full stop, the driver noisily clicked the car into park and said "Here we are. That'll be $30."
     Melanie couldn't budge. Awestruck by the beauty of this place.
     Popping the trunk, the driver exited the car to unload the luggage. Jarring her from her trance, she stepped onto the wide sidewalk. It was much warmer than she had initially thought. Carlos, a tall man with dark chocolate skin, set her bags at her feet. She dug through her purse and came out with exact change. before she could get her wallet back in her purse, the cab was squealing down the road. No turning back now. 
     The Honeysuckle Inn was more than she had expected. Gathering her bags, she made her way through the wrought iron gate and up the cobblestones pathway. Honeysuckle grew along the gate and around the perimeter of the veranda. Pausing before heading up the stairs, she leaned over to smell the flowers. The scent was delicious and almost dream inducing. For a moment, she considered sleeping right there on the lawn. She hurried up the stairs.
     The two-story Inn was painted the color of sunflowers. The porch wrapped around two sides of the building and had an array of white wicker furniture that gave it a country feel. She hesitated as she approached the large white door with a stained class window. Reaching out, Melanie rang the doorbell. Setting her luggage down, she ran her fingers through her mussed hair in an attempt to subdued its unruly nature.
    She tapped her foot in anticipation. Reaching out, she rang the bell again. 
    "I'm coming!!" a rough masculine voice called. 
    Imagining an elderly widower, the door flew open. A man stepped out, wiping his hands on a towel. "Sorry about that. I was just getting dinner ready. I'm Luke Devon, you must be Melanie Caswell. Welcome, I was expecting you for a couple more hours. Would you like some help with your bags?"
    The elderly man she was expecting was 30 something and extremely attractive. He was about 6'2", ice blue eyes and skin browned by the sun. His short brown hair made her reach out and touch it. Luke smiled at her, her legs turned to melted butter. 
    He picked up her bags and headed inside. "Let's get you settled, dinner will be ready shortly." Even with his lose black shirt and cargo shorts, she could tell that he was not your typical innkeeper. This man was a real slice of heaven to look at. Melanie followed him inside, not paying attention to her surrounding, just the man leading the way. She couldn't help herself, the view was definitely fantastic. Smiling, she thought, this was definitely the right decision. 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Bloggin' Noob

For those who don't know what a "noob" is, it's someone who is a newbie or new to something. I have considered started a blog for a couple years, but I finally decided to go ahead with it. However, being a noob, I have absolutely no idea what I am doing, so any feedback would be a huge help. 

The main reason that I started this blog was because today I joined a creative writing course online. The course is a self-paced class which has to be completed within six months. There are assignments and exams like any regular class, but I get to explore the lessons at my own pace. With these teachings, I'm hoping improve on my writing abilities and become more confident. 

Some of the things that I will be posting on this blog will be:
    * Writing Exercises
    * Assignments
    * Daily Ramblings (when I remember)
       - The course suggests writing everyday, no matter how little
    * Book Reviews

What I would like from you, the reader:
    * Feedback on my writing/blog in general
    * Writing Prompts or Questions you would like answered
    * All participation will be greatly appreciated