Monthly Archives: February 2013

Book Review #13: True Love Story by Willow Aster

I rate this book 5 out of 5 star.

(Finished Reading 28/02/13
My 12th book this year)

I don’t often give out 5’s unless the book is absolutely amazing. I’m not even sure how long ago it was since I last read a book worthy of a 5 star rating.

Willow Aster is one of the most amazing romance novelists. The book had me captivated from page 1 all the way to the end.

I felt the passion and joy and pain with the main characters as they progressed through their relationship.

Sparrow is a unique girl who always wanted to save herself for marriage. She had her life planned out and knew what she wanted in life. Until she met Ian Sterling. Her life was then full of surprises, excitement, unexpected ups and downs.

Ian is a musician. Handsome and troubled and falls into Sparrow’s life. He has every girl falling for him but he only has eyes for Sparrow… Until he’s away from her.

I don’t know how Willow Aster made every page worthwhile. I wish I could write like her. But believe me when I say, you get caught up in their whirlwind romance and wish with all your will power for it to be a happy ending.

I’ll say no more for fear of telling too much. I would like to say that this is a must read!! Highly recommended. Before I finished reading the book I was already searching for more work written by this amazing author! Well done Willow!

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The Woman in Black: Story Extract

“Hood pulled down, briskly walking across the park. It’s freezing cold outside, with every breath a puff of smoke follows. The white, frost tipped grass stands rigid and sharp. A gentle mist settles across the earth, curling around the tree branches, exploring the open space around me. I walk as fast as my legs can carry me and look up across the river. Suddenly I see a woman standing still with her hands in her pockets just staring at me. I feel a chill up my spine and look down at my feet and I keep powering on, feeling the sharp, cold air cut through my lungs. I look back up and the woman in black is still staring straight at me.

I feel like I should avert my gaze, yet something compels me to take notice of her. Her black coat is trimmed with white cuffs at the sleeves and a thick white collar. I’m guessing it’s fur but it’s hard to tell from this distance. She’s standing a lot closer to the river bank than anyone should be. I feel the urge to shout a warning but I know she wont be able to hear me.

I turn around and look behind me, but there’s no one else around. Just the mist surrounding me, getting more dense with every few breaths that I take.

As I look towards the river again, the woman in black has vanished. My eyes frantically search left and right, my heart is beating an erratic rhythm.

All I can think of is a story my granny once told. About a woman by the river who jumped. It is said that one will meet her gaze and be taken in by her spirit. He or she will walk as she did straight off the side of the river bank and plunge into the waters to take her place and free her from roaming this land…”

Written by Ling Lee (26/02/13).

I was rushing home from work and I really did see someone across the river who freaked me out. She really did vanish, but then reappeared once I got past the tree that was blocking my view.

My heart fell out and I felt much colder than the outdoors. That massive relief floods through your body when you realise that your mind was being over imaginative… Again!

Happy reading! This is my first ‘scary’ piece of work online… Let me know what you all think. 🙂

Categories: Random Thoughts, Story Extract, Writing Ideas | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Book Review #12: Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles

I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.

(Finished reading – 25/02/13
My 11th book this year.)

This book is the 2nd of the “Perfect Chemistry” series. It is about the 2nd boy, Carlos, in the Fuentes Family. He is just like his brother, Alex, used to be. Full of attitude, spirit, surrounded by gang drama but eventually having hopes and dreams of a different future.

The main female character, Kiara, is the good girl who wants to make a difference. But she has a speech impairment causing her to stutter whenever she is nervous, embarassed or under pressure. More of a tomboy who prefers hiking boots and big baggy T-shirts over the latest fashion. Kiara also knows her cars, how to bake, and comes from a loving family.

The 2 teens play pranks and challenge one another until one day their games become more serious.

So the big drama is the battle of keeping the relationship together whilst they work out gang issues, trust issues and Carlos’ troubled past and Kiara’s unique personality.

At 1st, this book felt like I was reading Perfect Chemistry (book 1), all over again with additional scenarios. But then the last quarter of the book was very well written. Although I feel like the gang scenes could have done with a little more imagination, I absolutely loved every moment that Carlos and Kiara had together.

I would recommend this book to any teenagers. I guess the older generation would probably not enjoy this series as much as I have so far.

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Book Review #11: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

This is a very difficult book to rate. But I guess overall I would give it a 3 out of 5.

I guess I was disappointed with the first half of the book. I’m surprised that such a large number of readers have gotten this book a rating of over 4.10 on Goodreads.

The story itself didn’t really feel real even in my imagination. The words don’t seem to flow as smoothly as many other supernatural books that I have read. The style of writing makes the book feel like it was written for young teens, or maybe even a younger audience than that. But then the story has a lot of random gruesome scenes and a very disturbing relationship between two characters. I don’t want to mention their names as I hate spoiling books for those who are intending to read it.

But then about 2/3 of the way through the book, it feels like a different writer has picked up where the first person left off. I began to enjoy the book towards the end and felt like the first part MUST have been either unedited or more probably written by a ghostwriter.

What I loved about this book is the way the ‘sight’ allows certain people see demons and other supernatural beings. The way ‘glamour’ (the cloak/mask that humans see) can make something terrible look magnificent or visa versa.

Usually I try to start of with a brief review of the book. I hate leaving negative comments about books but there’s something about the way this book was written that I just cannot place and cannot keep to myself.

Very briefly, this book is about Clary, raised as a human but with ‘shadowhunter’ blood in her. One night out, Clary all of a sudden gains the ‘sight’ and watches a ‘shadowhunter’ kill a demon. She cannot understand what she has seen, especially when there’s been a murder but the bodies just disappears.

Then her mother suddenly goes missing. Clary then finds herself getting dragged deeper and deeper into this whole new world where vampires, werewolves, witches, warlocks and demons all coexist. Clary’s human best friend is Simon. Simon has secretly had feelings for Clary since forever, but as always she just doesn’t know it. Then along comes shadow hunter Jace, who is a good looking ‘bad boy’, who slowly develops feelings for Clary. Clary also begins to fall for this boy. The ‘shadow hunters’ team up with a pack of werewolves on a search for Clary’s mother, meeting challenges and betrayal all the way.

My suggestion is, if you choose to read this book, then please, please, please read the WHOLE book. Sometimes the 2nd book in a series is better than the 1st, so I might be willing to give book 2 a try sometime in the future. But if I were asked to recommend a read, unfortunately, this would not be one of the books on my list.

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Her Mind, Caught in a Memory: Story Extract

“Pain and frustration etched into the lines of her face. She stands immobilised with her mind caught in a memory, taking her to a different place to where she is staring.

A tear escapes the corner of her eye, down the side of her face. She doesn’t move an inch. I watch in agonised silence because no matter what I say or how I hold her, I cannot bring her mind to join us in the present moment.

I lean myself awkwardly against her still, standing form. I rest my cheek against her tear stained face, my tears mingle into hers, wishing I could take away the pain that I caused in her life.

No amount of regret will make things better for her. Now I live everyday in guilt as I watch her pained expressions with her mind caught in another time and a different place.

I should never have pushed her this far. Should have seen the struggles she endured, long before she lost her mind. I should have been the one to make her happy but instead my mistake has crushed us. Now, every day I wish I could turn back time, undo my wrongs, go back to before the day she caught me betray her.

Today, I stay by her side. I realise what’s important in my life and I hope she will one day forgive me and free me of my never ending regret for the pain that I’ve caused. But for now I live the results I have created, say a silent prayer, and thank the stars that today has been one of her good days…”

Written by Ling Lee (23/02/13).

Late into the night, I take one step back and feel like my life is heading in the wrong direction. It’s sad but it happens to each and every one of us.

But I remind myself, my dreams are still within reach. I can still create my new tomorrow if only I take a chance and take the other path…

I’ll leave off here. Exhaustion is claiming me as my eyes burn from tiredness. This night is exceptionally cold, I hope this feeling of illness washes over me once I get some much needed sleep. To a better tomorrow!

Categories: Depression, Story Extract, The Darkness, Writing Ideas | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Book Review #10: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

I rate this book 3.5 out of 5 stars.

(Not quite what I had expected the book to be like. I assumed it would be focused on gangsters and crime.)

The book is about a journalist known as Mikael Blomkvist. He publishes a story on a billionnaire caller Wennerstrom, which turns out to gain him a libel case leading to a prison sentence and a large fine costing almost his entire savings.

He’s then approached by an extremely wealthy old man known as Henrik Vanger. The 82 year old man offers a crazy big sum for Blomkvist to supposedly write a biography for the Vanger family, but this is more of a cover story in order for this desperate old man to try one last time to find out what has happened to his missing niece for the last few decades.

The story is full of darkness, abuse, rape and wrong doings that Blomkvist slowly draws intothe open in regards to the Vanger Family’s “dirty laundry”.

With the help of a social outcast, with multiple tattoo’s, a lousy attitude to the human species in general, Lizbeth Salander has amazing talent as a freelance private investigator. Blomkvist and Salander solve the case of the missing Harriet Vanger.

I guess I would recommend this book to people but at the same time I didn’t feel like it was enjoyable to read. I felt disturbed by the events that happened and in some parts, the biblical references were interpreted quite literally and acted upon in the most grotesque manner.

I’m still considering if I will finish this series or not, as this is not within my usual preferred genre to read.

Categories: Book Review, Reading Challenge | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

He’s Really Gone: Story Extract

“Not even a goodbye as I try to grasp hold of his fingers one last time, he twists his hand free and walks away. I crumple to the floor knowing he’s never going to be a part of my life again. He’s taken a big piece of my sanity with him as well as leaving a big, empty void in my heart.

I’m completely numb and can’t feel a thing. It’s like when you go to the dentist and they give you that scary looking anesthetic. Then you feel nothing, absolutely nothing as you wonder what they are doing in your mouth. Like how I wonder what is happening to my heart. There’s no tears, no pain, no screaming, no nothing. Just plain emptiness.

I lie in bed all dry eyed and wide awake. I don’t even have the energy to twist or turn. I just look out the window in a daze. Not even the moon is out to shed me a little light. Today I really have hit my lowest of all lows. Today I feel like I have died and left behind a shell of a body that just exists without a soul.

What is life without love?”

Written by Ling Lee (15/02/13).

Now that Valentine’s Day is over and done with, I can resume my normal style of deep, dark, depression.

When you reflect on moments in your life, there’s always at least one moment when you feel absolutely devastated. This moment always creeps up on you unexpectedly and destroys you all over again, every single time.

There’s one or two in my life who made a difference. It’s excruciating when they step out of my life, but so intensely wonderful when they come back into my life and act like nothing ever changed.

But this is for me. A reminder that although this is one of my weaker pieces of writing, I am writing none the less, through the soul less body that is finding my way back to what’s worth fighting for in life.

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One Hot Valentine’s Meal: Story Extract

“Tucking her chair in as she sits down, he leans over from behind then kisses her on the cheek. He tucks a stray lock of hair behind her ear and inhales her enchanting fragrance before walking round to his seat across the table from her. A silver waxed candle flickers on the tabletop making her smile glow warm like the flame.

The waiter pops open a bottle of champagne, pouring the golden bubbles into a beautiful crystal flute. They make a toast to many more happy memories together.

He is mesmerised by the twinkle in her eyes. He barely notices the waiter refill their glasses, taking with him the remains of their starters. His eyes never once leaving her face.

Leaning in towards the table, she inhales. His eyes travel down from her face stopping only for a second to watch her stroke the glittering diamond pendant round her neck, before being distracted by the sight that rests a little lower. A smile plays across his lips as she bites the corner of her mouth, he knows the promise behind this silent exchange.

As she runs a finger round the rim of her champagne glass, he lifts his share and takes a mouthful, running his tongue across the edge. Her breath catches ever so slightly before she dips the tip of her finger into her glass and brings it to her mouth for a taste. His eyes grow wide in anticipation of the evening ahead.

As the waiter brings their next course of food, he feels a slight annoyance at the interruption. But he soon forgets as her toes travel from his ankle, up his calf, until she rests her foot gently against his groin. He sits up suddenly and straightens his jacket, looking both left and right as he realises the golden tablecloths cascade all the way to the floor. He grins at her and gives her a wink.

For his cheek she taps him in warning with her foot, before she begins a circular motion in his lap and he suppresses a groan from escaping his throat…”

Written by Ling Lee (14/02/13).

Naughty but nice. A little something I always wondered about. Do people really do these things inside a restaurant?

Anyway, Happy Valentine’s Day to the lucky ones who have found love for this day. As for the singles out there, go out with friends and be happy! You might just find yourself a handsome gentleman who gets caught in that smile.

Categories: Fiction, Secrets, Story Extract, Writing Ideas | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Losing Control: Story Extract

“Struggling to battle through to the end of the day. Anger bursting from every pore on my body. I’m crushed that I’m no longer in control. Tears threaten to drown me as they flood down my face, mingling with the scalding hot water that’s spraying above my head. I’m trying to take slow, deep breaths whilst I count from 1 to 10 then back down to 1 again but nothing seems to help. I can feel the hot water beating down on my shoulders and my back, stinging from the heat, leaving my skin a nice tinge of pink. No amount of physical pain can draw my attention away from my excuse of a life.

Yet again the kids are fighting, one is whining whilst the other whinges. Moments like these make me wonder why I ever had kids. My fingers curl tight into my hair as I yank hard and wince. I don’t know how to cope anymore, there’s no escape. I just want to scream and cry and lash out until there’s no energy left inside of me. Then I can curl up and drift away into my world of dreams where all my problems are exchanged for the warmth and protection of a wonderful man. A promise to take care of me and to make me smile. A lie I choose to believe, just to help pull me through just one more day of my sorry existence…”

Written by Ling Lee (13/02/13).

My story has brought me to another dark moment. The pent up frustration of all work and no play is starting to take it’s toll.

Just remember that all my work is fictional and hopefully all building up to an epic novel. I guess it will be a novel full of darkness and violence.

People always think the “grass is greener on the other side”, but I’m guessing there’s just as much sh*t there too.

Just remember that just because you see someone smiling on the outside, it doesn’t neccesarily mean they are happy. Their lives could be falling to pieces right before them and there’s no one around to save them.

Categories: Depression, Random Thoughts, Story Extract, The Darkness, Writing Ideas | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

Book Review #9: Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.

This book is about a teenage boy called Alejandro (aka Alex), who is in a gang called Latino Blood. Then there is a rich girl, Brittany, with everything ‘perfect’ in her life, except when term starts and her Chemistry partner for the year is none other than Alex.

We readers get to journey through both of these people’s lives who are diversely different. One poor, Mexican, gang member, living life on the edge, never knowing which day could be his last. One rich, seemingly perfect girl, with a gorgeous appearance and flashy car, having her future mapped out for her.

Then their lives clash, and they have to make conversation and complete this project together. We watch them quarrel, play tricks on one another, then begin to develop a friendship before they both become confused about what they want from one another. By then they are too far wrapped into each others worlds that they cannot turn back.

I like the idea that our lives can be completely turned upside down, or become better depending on the people we meet in our lives.

The start of this book feels out of place and I didn’t think I would enjoy reading it at all. However, the author seems to find her flow and the book magically became appealing and exciting.

Unfortunately, I feel like I didn’t believe any of the story could actually happen, yet I still enjoyed the book. I’m looking forward to the 2nd book of the series so I would only recommend this book to those of you who enjoy books about gangs and cross cultural encounters. I love my bad boys and excitement in life, so well done Simone Elkeles for the fun read.

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