Friday, April 17, 2009

Scary Beautiful

3. Scarth Wood Moor North Yorks Moors

My 1st round edits for Only the Moon Will Tell (Weirdly 3) came in late last night. I shuffled through the corrections for a while, worked on accepting changes on the first few pages, but it was so close to midnight I thought better of doing to much with it. Best to play it safe and tackle it when I'm not feeling so tired. I'll hit on them this afternoon when I'm back from errands, and throughout the weekend.

I also have to write this weekend - the summer story is tiptop high on my priority list right now. I hope to get through revising at least half of it over the weekend, otherwise, it's going to be a tough week next week since I'm running awfully close to deadline. The thing is, over the weekend, I'm going to have both kidlets here, and hubster has to work. The entire situation has "stress headache" written all over it. If nothing else, it should be very interesting to see how much gets done vs. the resulting domestic carnage. *_*

That said, there are a couple of events going on today...

First, there's a featured book giveaway going on over at the Midnight Moon Cafe Blog. All you have to do is drop by and say hi in the comments to be entered for the drawing. The prize is a signed copy of Ancestral Magic, by Moondancer Drake.

Also, today is #queryday on Twitter. If you have a question for an editor or agent, this is a good way to get an answer straight from the source. Keep in mind, though, this isn't a pitch session. These are industry questions, stuff pertaining to writing and submission. A few editors/agents who participate: Colleen Lyndsay, Elaine Spencer, and Angela James. Follow any number of authors and you'll usually crosslink with one of them and find your way to the hot spots. *thumbs up*

Split, by Kristina Lloyd

I found Split by participating in the Blow Hard Tour: Kristina Lloyd was one of the encore stops. She posted an intriguing excerpt of Split on her blog that had me wondering just how the heroine was going to get herself out of a very uncomfortable situation. I ordered the book on spot, and it arrived yesterday afternoon from Barnes and Noble.

Like I always do when I get a new book, before I ever sit down to read it, I crack the cover and check out the first few paragraphs just to see what I'm getting myself into. In this case, I sat down and became so involved in those first few paragraphs, by the time I looked up again, I'd read the entire book.

Split isn't for the reader who needs every little detail spelled out for them. If you are that kind of reader, you're not going to get it. You're going to feel there is too much left to conjecture. However, if you are an intuitive reader, sit up and listen. This is book is haunting - scary beautiful - and I give it my highest recommendation.

The story starts out with a woman named Kate Carter recounting a vacation she and her then boyfriend took to a small town called Heddlestone, in Yorkshire. While they're there, they visit this garish puppet museum with erotic puppets, and afterward, on the way back to their hotel room, they glance up toward a window and see a woman dressed up like a painted ballerina. She is tied up and slumped over against the window. They can't tell if she's alive or dead. Kate and her boyfriend debate calling for help, when two men come into the scene. Soon they realize the woman is there of her own free will. Fascinated, they watch everything the men do to her.

This is a turning point for Kate. When she returns to London, she can't get the incident out of her mind. Frustrated with her life, her boyfriend, she wants more than anything to be that woman she saw in the window. She wishes she could go back to Heddlestone - the need to do so is like a compulsion driving her to madness.

When she gets one of the email newsletters from the puppet museum saying the owner is looking for an assistant, Kate jumps on the chance. She tells her boyfriend that she needs some time apart, and in that short amount of time, she reorganizes her life, gets a leave from her current job, sublets her apartment, and takes off , telling her boyfriend nothing.

From this point Kate is swept into the oddity that is Heddlestone, and the sexual deviations of its residents. Jake, the ower of the puppet museum, has no real job for her, and although he swears he is in love with her, he keeps insisting she sleep with his brother, Eddie, a cruel man who runs the local pub. She can sense there is something secret going on here, something dangerous, but no one is talking. Soon she learns women often come up missing from Heddlestone, but she can find no details to explain why. Fear is her constant companion. She no longer trusts Jake, or anyone else in the town. She's told her fears are all in her mind, that it's the moors, they mess with you like that. Others tell her it's the ghost of Laura, a Victorian woman who drowned in Heddlestone Brook.

All I can say is this book is not what it seems. I can't tell too much without giving away the magic behind the story. Kate is a compelling character, the honesty of her nature is blunt and real - it gets to the guts and grit of human emotion. But make no mistake, there are no hearts and flowers here. Kate explores her own sensuality in the face of humiliation and uncertainty, not knowing if she will live to see the next day. I suggest you read the book all the way to the end, then go back and re-read the first chapter to let the gravity of the foreshadowing really sink in.

The sex in this book isn't for the meek or prudish, and despite the text on the cover, this isn't what I'd call an erotic romance, or even a contemporary. Yes, the setting is contemporary, but I feel I should point out this is a paranormal novel. As subtle as the otherwordly elements might be, they are paramount.

Split is one of those spellbinding books told from the viewpoint of a woman who loses herself to find out who she really is. Kate is frighteningly real. From page one, I couldn't put down her story. I know this will be one of those books that will stick with me for a very long time. **

**Click here to buy this book from Barnes and Noble.

That's it for me today. I have kids to round up and errands to run. Don't forget to pop over the MMC and enter to win Ancestral Magic! :*) Happy Friday, everyone.


  1. great review Cora - yeah the excerpt Kristina posted made me want to read it and this review just reinforces that - gotta whittle my pile down a bit before I go ordering more. ;-) But this is tops.

  2. Glad you liked the review, Robin. Split is one of the best books I've read since last year, no doubt about it. Definitely one for the keeper shelf.

  3. Anonymous5:08 PM

    Yes, Cora, thanks for the review of "Split." There are so many books out there, it's nice to have a recommendation from a trusted authority.

    And congrats on all that "hard" decision-making you're going to have to do this weekend. You're living the dream, girl! Glamorous, isn't it? Really, you should be proud of yourself.

    I started the Lisle book. Love it. I also copied a portion of the intro and sent it to one of the young girls in my creative writing course. The professor was very critical of her mid-term piece and she was a bit discouraged. I know how she feels and so does Lisle. I'm hoping it helps!

    Enjoy your weekend.


  4. Cerulean, I write because I'd go crazy if I didn't, but I'm still not where I want to be. Still waiting for the day I can go into a bookstore and hold a print book with my name on it in my hands. Now that would be glam! ^_^


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