Grave Secret by Charlaine Harris

Grave Secret by Charlaine Harris

Newest acquisition — Grave Secret by Charlaine Harris. With this, I’ve finally completed all four Harper Connelly novels.

Book Description:  When she was 15, Harper Connelly was struck by a bolt of lightning, which left her with a spiderweb of red over her body, headaches, and episodes of weakness. Sometimes her right hand shakes. And she can find dead people.

It’s taken a while, but at last Harper’s pretty happy with her life: she’s making a living, using her unique talent to help people, and she’s got a lover – her stepbrother Tolliver. That creeps some people out, but though they grew up together, and got each other through the real bad times – their parents’ drug-use, the abuse, the disappearance of Harper’s elder sister Cameron – they’re not blood relatives.

Then Tolliver’s dad arrives on the scene, seeking forgiveness for the sins of their youth, and the police get a tip-off that after all these years, Cameron’s been spotted in a mall. With all this going on Harper realises life is getting a little complicated, but she doesn’t expect those complications to include Tolliver getting shot, or watching a cop die taking a bullet for her.

Harper can find dead people, but now it’s clear someone wants her dead . . .

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Love Affair with Books and Writing

Okay, I’ve always loved books. I devour them, I absorb them. And if people would stop commenting on my state of mind and insisting I wear a straightjacket, I would’ve married a nice young book to give me little book children.

Books shaped my life. Through reading, I learned how to write. And by learning to write, I took up Journalism in college and graduated with that degree.

I was thirteen when I borrowed this fun book from my classmate. It was R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps. I’m pretty sure you’re familiar with that one. Don’t Go To Sleep was so exciting I decided to write a story too, in the style of Mr. Stine.

Of course, my writing clock back then ticked just between ‘amateur hour’ and ‘derpy mediocre’, but I was so excited and proud of my first creation that I forced my friends into reading it. I wasn’t imaginative enough to create my own characters so the story featured me and my friends.

I wrote it in my intermediate pad and started something like this: “Give me back my pen, you stupid dork,” I shouted at Mark as I chased him around the classroom. When he didn’t stop, I picked up a textbook and threw it at him, hitting him in the face. That scene was inspired by something that actually happened around that time in class. I was so annoyed with my classmate, Mark that I did throw something at him. It was a lampaso (dried coconut husk used for scrubbing waxed floors into awesome shininess).

Anyway, the story ended with: The last thing I remembered was the bloody foot walking to Adrian. Since then, I’ve written a lot of shorts. Almost always, I didn’t get to finish them. I remember one involving a camping trip (inspired by our class’ actual educational tour to Legazpi City) where the kids have to lock themselves in the school bus to fend off a horrible monster.

Sophomore year and it was the V.C. Andrews phase. I couldn’t get enough since I’ve read Dark Angel. I wanted something older in my palette and Ms. Andrews was it. So I abandoned the kid-stuff scary stories like a sailor trapped in a ship full of Twilight groupies and exchanged it for gothic tales of incest and young love. Needless to say, I wrote some short fiction in the spirit of dear Ms. Andrews and her ghostwriter. They were about heroines caught in tough family drama and hormones. I used to encode it in our PC, have it printed and smack it against my friends’ faces so they could read it. I’d follow them home if they wouldn’t.

Here are some of them stories: Catherine – she’s a girl with a pleasant personality (what you might call fugly or in Filipino terms, ‘saksakan ng pangit’) who was so unloved by her family that she had to fake her own death by burning down their house (with her family still in it).

Iris – who has always lived in the shadow of her perfect sister, even after her death.

Jade – an Oriental girl who was sexually abused by her adoptive father. When she discovered who her real father was (a Triad boss), she had dear adoptive daddy stabbed to death.

Forgot-Her-Name girl—she fell in love with a famous violinist who was a guest in their home. But when she discovered him sleeping with her mother one night, she pushed him off the terrace.

You’re sensing a pattern, right? Someone’s always getting killed in my creations. That’s because I was having that transition from V.C. Andrews to Ed McBain. 😀 By high school senior year, I’ve run through various works of fiction; from fantasy to detective novels; from romance novels to cat mysteries (I know, crime-solving cats, what the hell?).

I loved the variety though; the mix of influences that reading has given me. So when it was time for me to choose my college course, I immediately picked something where I could write all time.

I never regretted it. 😀

The Reading Club 2000

The Reading Club 2000 at Balagtas St., Brgy. La Paz, Makati City

Books are expensive. Even with libraries and secondhand book stores around, people still can’t afford it. But with this awesome little nook in Balagtas St., located in Brgy. La Paz, Makati City, money doesn’t matter in the spirit of book enjoyment.

Caretaker and Reading Club founder, Hernando Guanlao has said so himself: “No rules. People can borrow, they can read, they can take home. In fact, the club is open 24/7. I never close.”

Now there is no excuse NOT TO READ. XD

Read the article at Inquirer Lifestyle featuring the popular Reading Club here.