Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Dead Trees - By Eli Constant

My mind is wandering down crazy paths today! I'm so close to finishing the editing for my alter ego's novella, and all I want to do is write the prologue for Dreamland. I have it all sketched out, and I'm eager to jump in! Maybe I"ll get that started today once I hit my editing goals. Sounds like a plan to me!

So, recently I was gifted the audio book Dead Tress by +Pamela Lorence. She saw my review on That Ghoul Ava, and highly recommended +Eli Constant's book. Pamela also does the narration for Dead Trees and it is superb!

Dead Trees was definitely not what I expected from an apocalyptic story. It opens six months after the disintegration of society, although we do get bits and pieces of information that fill in what happen during that time. Most of the book is told in Elise's POV, but there are a few scenes that aren't, and I'll call those guest POV's because it's not the norm. This is Elise's story.

As a mother, I related to Elise on a lot of levels. Not the kick-ass warrior part, but the mommy part. (I've already faced the fact that I would be a goner in the first 48 hours of an apocalypse if Buffy or the Winchesters don't come save me,) Elise is smart and willing to do what it takes to not only protect herself, but her two daughters. Now, as a mother, as soon as I found out she had a toddler in the car, my stress level shot through the roof. There were some very tense scenes that I ended up sitting in my car after the drive home just to listen to them. I had to know what happened!

The monsters in this book, or maybe I should say beasties, were so well done that I actually had nightmares about them. Yay for my over active imagination!

Pamela Lorence did an awesome job bringing Elise to life, and there were a few times I actually teared up while listening. I immediately bought book 2 for my kindle once I finished, which I've already started. Let me tell ya, book 2 starts out super creepy. It might take me a little while to get through this one since I have to find the time to read, but maybe I can catch some downtime this weekend. It is the calm before the NaNoWriMo storm.

So there's my Dead Trees review, and an audible review of a full five stars will accompany it. I may take the rest of the week off blogging while I wrap up the novella. Unless something else exciting comes up, I will catch you guys next week!


Friday, October 17, 2014

Next on a very special That Ghoul Ava - T.W. Brown

Got my coffee, got my music, got my dreams of going full-time author... I think I'm set.

Yesterday was an excellent, and I mean excellent editing day! I think it may have been a record because I finished up three scenes. However, this is a stand alone novella, and much different than trying to keep track of all the characters and plot lines for The Phoenix Curse. Hopefully I'm learning though. At the pace I'm going, the romance novella Thief should be sent to my editor before the end of the month, and then Katlynn Rose will be born! Dat exciting!

Also, romance with a happy ending is such a refreshing change of pace than the desolation of humanity and death.

Kinda like the difference between That Ghoul Ava and the Dead series by +Todd Brown (I totally just figured out how to do that, BTW.) Dead is a very dark, very gritty, very curl-up-in-a-fetal-position-and-cry set of books, while That Ghoul Ava is the polar opposite. Ava is fun and funny, a light read full of comedy and references. Glorious, glorious references that make me feel a part of something bigger. Man, do I love it when I get a reference.

Anyway, Next on a very special That Ghoul Ava was just as great as the preceding novels. It was a bit more serious that the others, but still managed to make me laugh out loud in parts. Ava (and the reader) gets to learn a little bit more about the history of ghouldom and just how awesome Ava could become, but everything isn't all flowers and butterflies. Ava is forced to make a life(unlife)-impacting decision with some pretty serious consequences either way. I can not wait for the next book! Hell, I was so excited for this one, I couldn't wait for the audio book to come out, so I snagged the e-book.

The mythology and lore is excellent in this series, and I really need someone out there to make a dedicated beastiary for Ava's world. Seriously, if you enjoy some light-hearted, supernatural fun, grab Ava's first adventure and give it a shot. It's reasonably priced, and well worth the time/money invested to see if you like it.

And there is my un-spoilory review. Do we like unspoilory reviews, or should I start going straight up... "OMG THIS HAPPENED AND I WAS LIKE WOW, AND THEN THIS HAPPENED AND IT WAS ALL... WOAH DUDE!!!" ?

I don't know. I'll think on. I hate getting spoiled to things, so I want to spare people that. I was a full season behind on the Walking Dead and I still haven't finished Breaking Bad, so for a while there, I was tip-toeing through reddit and Facebook like it was a minefield. Still got spoiled.

For now though, it's time to get some egg-rolls, listen to another chapter of Dead Trees, and enjoy the upcoming weekend, free from the 8 to 5 workday problems. Enjoy your word of the day, cuz that's what I'm going to be doing alllllllll weekend!

re·lax·a·tion
rēˌlakˈseiSH(ə)n/
noun
  1. 1.
    the state of being free from tension and anxiety.



Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Rise of the King - R.A. Salvatore

So, one of my most-beloved stories just released another book on September 30th, Rise of the King by R.A. Salvatore. Highly anticipated!!

The stories of the Companions of the Hall, and pretty much every other character Salvatore has created in this world, are tots my favsies. And I'm talking of ALL my favsies. Yes, I love A Song of Ice and Fire, and Wheel of Time, but nothing has touched my heart like Drizzt Do'Urden, and the wide cast of characters that has passed through his life. If you follow my blog, you're probably well aware of that fact since I tend to gush every time there's a new release.

Well, gushing might be somewhat limited today at least.

Now, a couple months ago, I blogged about how I felt about the e-book pricing war. (If you care to read it, it's here.) And in that post, I stated there were very few e-books that I would spend over $10 on. At the time I wrote that post, Drizzt came to mind, as well as Winds of Winter. Those might have been the only ones I would have broke the bank on.

Turns out I was wrong. I was very surprised to find that on the day of release, the kindle version of Rise of the King was still set at $15.49!

Nope!

Call me cheap, whatever, but nope. The hardcover is only $2 more, and I'm much more willing to pay a higher price for a physical copy, but an e-book? And I love my Drizzt, I really do, but I'm also aware that the price has to drop eventually. So I looked at the page with disappointment, ranted with my husband a little bit (because he loves Drizzt stories as much as I do) and we both decided we would wait.

Until I remembered I had audible credits... (insert cheesy grin here)

So instead of reading an over priced e-book, I got to listen to the talented Victor Bevine narrate yet another stellar performance. He does such a wonderful job that I know which character is speaking without having to be told, and he makes the action scenes so intense! If you like fantasy/audio books, I recommend grabbing Homeland or The Crystal Shard. I don't see how anyone could be disappointed in the stories and performance.

And now the spoiler free review.

It was... okay. The book wasn't bad by any means, and there were some very stand-out action scenes that I enjoyed, but this book was pretty much all set-up. A slew of new characters get introduced, and we find out where everyone is, and what's going on, but not much beyond that. It's actually what I would expect from a mid-series book, so now I'm dying for the next release!

If you love Drizzt and Co., this is definitely a must read, but if you are riding the fandom fence (and it kills me to say this) a thorough synopsis might do just as well for you. And a diagram. Hell, I think I need a diagram of all the new names being tossed around. And a map. Anyone got a map?

Not the best review I've ever given. If I could ever get back onto Goodreads, I will leave my spoilery review there, but unfortunately, with the little time I have, Goodreads is one of the things that fell behind. I'll be back there someday, I promise.

Next review will be on the new Ava book, and then Dead Trees! See? I'm trying.

I've also got my NaNoWriMo month all planned out, and the edits for my novella are coming along nicely, for me anyway. I still struggle with that. I may have started an origin story for one of the Phoenix Curse characters and... well... first drafts come along A LOT quicker than editing.

Anyone want a little more background on Seth??

So much to do and so little time... And Dreamland is simmering on the burner.

I better get to it!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

That Ghoul Ava - By T.W. Brown

Do you guys want to know how many books I've read this year? 27.

Do you know how many reviews I've gotten up on my blog? One.

I'm ashamed. Some of those books have been indie novels too. I try to make it a point to always always leave reviews for indie novels, and I have failed miserably this year. I am going to strive (hards) to do better.

That being said, I have left reviews for a handful of books on Audible and Amazon, they just never made it to my blog. I still have a very long, drawn out post in my drafts for The Dark Tower series that I poke with a stick every now and then, and ideas for The Wheel of Time, which I just finished this year. I will say that Sanderson did a wonderful job finishing up Jordan's work. The Last Battle totally blew my mind, and I will always remember the night I finished it. Many tears were shed, and there are scenes that I'll remember forever.

But on to an actual review! Oh. My. Goodness!

Little over a months ago, (geez, has it been that long?) Mr. Brown graciously gave me the audible versions of the three That Ghoul Ava books in exchange for a review on Audible. As soon as I got the books downloaded, I proceeded to devour them.

Ava instantly grabbed me. The books are light-hearted and well written, and both the narrators did an excellent job. I got a kick out of all the chapter titles, as well as the buttload of references strung through all the books. I caught at least one Buffy reference, and I think there was a Dexter ref in there too? And WHAT'S WRONG WITH JOURNEY???

Anyway...

There were several scenes that actually made me laugh out loud, which is somewhat rare for the type of books I generally read, so this was a much appreciated change of pace. The plot for all three books were solid and true to the core of the story. There wasn't a lot of extra, unneeded fluff, and there was just enough mystery to keep you wondering what was going to happen next.

But what did I absolutely love about these books? Ya know, besides Ava...

The mythology! Man, am I a sucker for a twist on the standard mythology of supernatural beings. Ava's universe has something new and different for them all. Vampires (dead sexy), ghouls (OP!), zombies (delicious... what?), fairies (bitches) ... There's something new for all of them. Oh, and goblins. Yucky!

These books are good fun, and I highly recommend them if you want a hearty laugh. Like I said in my audible review, they're like a supernatural Nancy Drew for adults.

I know the fourth book is out, and I don't think I can wait for the audible release! I might have to fit that one in before Rise of the King comes out on Tuesday.

Also, the cover art is absolutely fabulous!

        

This concludes my spoiler free review for That Ghoul Ava. Yay! I finished a review! Time for a cookie.

Oh! And for those of you who may have missed it, After - Part Three is on the way. Release date is set for September 30th! Weee!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Get ready!

Are you ready for After - Part Three? If you've been following my Facebook posts, you know the release is just around the corner! The rewrites are done. The first round edit changes are done. The polishing is done, and now it's in the hands of my final copy editor. WE ARE SO CLOSE!!

To celebrate, the first two parts have new covers! The changes to part one are pretty small, I just added a little eyeliner (snicker), but I think part two got a pretty big make over.

ARE YOU EXCITED YET? I know I am!!

   Get it now for just $.99!         Buy it now for $2.99!

If you haven't started yet, now is the perfect time! After - Part One is available in e-book or paperback.

Alright guys. I'm off to work on the next project until the manuscript is back in my hands again. Expect some updates soon!! Here OR on Facebook, and eventually Twitter, but I suck trying to use Twitter. Me using Twitter is like having to watch my Grandpa program the clock on his VCR. Yes, I said VCR.  

Is my age showing again?

Anyway, love you guys! Have a wonderful week!

Monday, August 11, 2014

The Titans are Fighting...

www.macobserver.com
And the question is... Do I join this war? Hrm...

So, this weekend I woke up to an email from Kindle Direct Publishing, detailing their side of the war on e-book pricing, and to email the CEO of Hachette on my stance. The letter I received seemed very thought out and well written, but had the tinge of one-sidedness that you often find in these things. They have become very public on their stance, and you can find the letter here if you want to read it.

So the first time I heard of this issue was when I got a kickback from Barnes & Noble for the few e-books I purchased from them. Now, I loved my new bright and shiny e-books and was all about putting a request for a Nook in my letter to Santa, but the affair I had with B&N burned brightly and died quickly. It's a sad story, really. After a heated brush with customer service when all my books went poof (error on their side), I immediately turned to Amazon without a look back.

Don't dick around with me when I'm on the penultimate chapter of a Stackhouse novel, people.

But fair is fair, so here's another side of the story, published by the NY Times. It details the hardships that Amazon has brought some of Hachette's authors by refusing to sell Hachette's e-books until they cut their costs.

Now, I had a really hard time seeing past the media spin they put on his tale of woe and actually digging out some compassion for these 900 authors, but despite the odds, I did it. I don't think it had the desired effect, because I'm definitely not on Hachette's side, as a consumer or an author, but at least it did give me another perspective to eye Amazon with.

Annnndddd....  I think both companies are wrong.

I'm not on the fence though. I know what I agree with, and I do agree with Amazon's basis for this war, just not their methods. I think banning Hachette's sales might have been a wee bit too much. That's not to say that I agree with Hachette's stance. In fact, there isn't anything I've seen come out from Hachette that I agree with at all. Their tag line of 'lower e-book pricing devaluing the authors work' is bogus. That's not going to happen. Are we, as consumers, THAT stupid? I don't think we are, but I guess that question's still up for debate. I admit I might have a little more faith in humanity that's justly deserved, but I still say no.

So I do not agree with Hachette, and I'm having loads of trouble trying to find their justification. Also, this article doesn't help. Really, Hachette? You think lowering e-book prices is going to devalue the authors work, but their work is only valued at 25% of an e-book sales to you? Is there something I'm missing here?

And I guess there might be, because I've only ever dealt with Smashwords and Amazon, who both give their authors a much bigger slice of the pie, so I will just put a pin in that question for now, and for the love of a run on sentence, I'll just sit over here quietly with my mind boggling on that point. The one above, I mean. With the 25%. Yeah. Got it? 'Kay, moving on, then.

So where do I stand as a consumer?

That one's easy. Amazon and Smashwords, all the way. Why? Because duh... Lower e-book prices. With as much as I read, I can't afford to drop $10+ a few times a month just to snag another book. There are only a few, and I mean A FEW books that I would spend over $10 on... does that make me cheap? Don't care.

Let's go way back for a sec, before all these fancy-smancy e-books, back when all the other kids at school thought I was the 'weird' girl cuz I was always carrying around a 600 page tomb by King or Jordan... Do you know how I got those books? I got them resale. And I'm not talking about the hardbacks that resale for $14.99 still, I'm talking about the beat-up paperbacks that were coming off the spine, because that's what I could afford. And you know what else? I LIKED IT. Because I didn't have to save up my precious pennies just to wait for weeks to buy ONE story. I was able to buy multiple and be taken away to a different world each and every week.

Did that devalue any of those stories I read? No, it didn't. And that's why I keep my e-book price low. I write for my stories to be read, not to be looked at and passed over because the price was too high. But that's how I want to approach it as an author. As much as I don't agree with Hachette, I still think the authors have the right to set their own e-book price. If they want to sell their book at $19.99, by all means, set the price at $19.99!

I could be wrong on that, but with every author able to set their own price, I doubt there will be many books being sold for $19.99, because Amazon and Smashwords will still exist, giving readers the lower cost for their fix. And even (godforbid) that was taken away, I'd be back at Half Price Books, buying up all the paperbacks again.

War sucks. Whether it be fought with a pen or a sword, apparently there are casualties either way. I can't see the justice or the reasoning behind everything that's happened/happening with the e-book struggle, but I do believe the consumer will be the deciding force in the end. That's the way of the beast. It's how it's always been, and how it always will be. At least until the zombies come eat all our faces.

And I'm out. 14,000 words left to go! Have a glorious week, everyone!