Bookin' It

So Many Books. So Little Time. Let's Review!

Archive for the month “September, 2013”

The Joys & Pitfalls of Self-Publishing Part II

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My ebook has been out there for a month now, and I have reassessed a lot of things over these past couple of weeks. Self-publishing is definitely a great option for some of us, but it does come with a unique set of issues to take into consideration. I will probably be posting more on this subject, as I learn new things and form new opinions on what works and what doesn’t,  but I have to say, I already know one thing that is a major pitfall for those seeking to self-publish. EDITING! Read more…

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It’s FREE-ky Friday, Again!

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I have some fun things coming for Friday give-aways, but since they aren’t here yet, I’m going to offer free copies of Wake-Robin Ridge again. The first five people to email me will receive a gift download from amazon Kindle. Don’t hesitate to write just because you don’t have a Kindle, though. You can download free Kindle apps for your PC, your iPad, or your smartphone. If you want to read it, we can find a way, honest. Just let me know. This went over pretty well last week, so email me quickly if you want a free copy. (Check my Contact Me link at the top of the page.)  Happy reading!

Cold Copper by Devon Monk

Cold-Copper

My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

Cold Copper was one of those books you just hate to see end! I mean it. I did not want to put it down. There’s so much more to come from this story, and yet, no information to be found on how long I’ll have to wait for Book 4 in this fantastic steampunk series. That makes me sad. I love Read more…

Reading & Writing & Cataracts, Oh MY!

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Ahhhh, getting older! It’s so much fun! Okay, maybe not so much, but it does beat the alternative, so go with me on this. 😀

I have been gradually getting harder of hearing for the last ten years, but apparently I’ve also been slowly losing my eyesight, as well. Or at least some aspects of it. I’ve known for 5 years I had cataracts building. When you have lived in a very sunny place for as long as I have, and you are fair-complected and light-eyed, your chances of developing cataracts past a certain age are apparently highly elevated. But what I didn’t realize was just how bad mine were getting until a couple of months ago. 

Yesterday, I had surgery on my right eye, which is my dominant eye. (My left eye doesn’t really focus on anything, though the vision isn’t too bad in it when my right eye is covered. But that’s a whole ‘nuther story.) Anyway, I have discovered that everything in my world has been covered by a nasty, yellow haze for some time. Kind of like that “waxy, yellow build-up” old floor wax commercials used to decry. Dang. Now, I’m looking around and even though my eye isn’t healed yet & is still blurry, my walls are so bright and beautiful, it’s amazing. Now I don’t need to repaint! 😀  And don’t even get me started on the plants in my garden! Oh, what a riot of colors are out there, even amidst the summer-long neglect. 

The insidious thing about cataracts is, they build so gradually, you don’t even know what you are losing, until they are removed, and you take a look around. All the other little details I couldn’t see are now apparent, too. No WONDER I missed so many typos in my last manuscript. (Which I am still correcting on Kindle, btw. You may contact me at any time, if you want an updated version.)

Of course, my eye isn’t healed yet, so I have to cover it up to force my left eye to work, in order to post here or do any reading at all.  I’ve got another week or two ahead of me before the eye is stabilized and we will know if I’m still going to need glasses for distance or not. But that’s okay. I know that better, clearer vision is coming. For now, I’m just wandering around with one lens removed from my glasses, and occasionally covering my eye to see something close up.

You know, for someone whose life centers around reading, writing and painting, you’d think I’d have been more aware of what was happening. But I guess anything that slow, quiet and stealthy can sneak up on you, if you aren’t careful. (I should know that from all the Urban Fantasy I read.) You folks out there beyond a “certain age,” need to do yourselves a favor, and even if you don’t think you have any vision issues,  get your eyes checked regularly, and not just for things like cataracts. You need to watch out for other eye health issues like glaucoma, or retinal problems. Your eyes are so precious, you really don’t want to neglect them. How are you going to read all the good books there are, if you do?

Take good care of yourself, folks! You are all special to me!

Tin Swift by Devon Monk

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My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

Another 5-star Roller Coaster Ride from Devon Monk! Is Tin Swift great literature? Nah. But is it a whole lotta fun, written well, developed well, and filled with excitement, cover to cover? Yep! If anything, Tin Swift is even better than the first book of this series, Dead Iron, so it gets a full 5 stars from me for pure entertainment value.

Again, the setting is an alternate steampunk version of America and the westward expansion, as it never was, of course, but Read more…

Beta Readers Needed!

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I’m looking for a few people who would be interested in reading my next book, chapter by chapter, as I go through the entire writing process. With Wake-Robin Ridge, I had several good folk who read the rough draft for me, as I went along, and gave me input that was invaluable in shaping my story. This is not the same thing as an Advanced Copy reading, and won’t be something everyone would be interested in. But if you think you’d enjoy being in on the ground floor and being able to offer suggestions about plot or character issues, at a time when it could influence the final outcome, please use the Contact Me button at the top of this page and email me for more details.

This second novel will be a romantic suspense set in Florida, with murder and mayhem on the wild and scenic rivers I’ve spent many years canoeing. Hope some of you might think it an interesting enough concept to want to come along for the ride. You will be able to read and comment at your own pace. Please don’t hesitate to write for more information if you are at all intrigued. Thanks for considering this. 

Thank You!

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A big thank you to everyone who emailed me Friday about a free copy of Wake-Robin Ridge. Your support and encouragement means more than you can imagine! Hope you all enjoy the book!

What Are You Reading?

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Since I missed my chance to post this question on Friday, I’m asking this morning! Inquiring minds still wanna know, even a day late. What are you reading today? Or what have you read in the last few days?

I’m half way through Tin Swift, the second book in the Age of Steam series, by Devon Monk. I simply love this series. This book is even better than the first one, Dead Iron. I can’t wait to review it, and start the third, Cold Copper

Your turn now? Tell us what’s got you turning pages today?

FREE-ky Friday!

FREE TODAY!

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I have decided that Friday’s need to be more than just “What Are You Reading?” Days.  My plan is to have some sort of weekly promotion or giveaway or contest, though I may have to figure out the details as I go. But to start with, for today only, the first five people to email me will receive a free download of my book, Wake-Robin Ridge. If you like romantic suspense, with not one, but two, very different love stories, a decades old murder mystery, and the triumph of good over evil, let me know, and I’ll send you a free download of my book. Just click on the Contact Me button at the top of this page, and let me hear from you. If you are one of the first five responders, you can have Wake-Robin Ridge on your Kindle, iPad, smartphone or computer today. Did I mention Free? How can you go wrong?

Wake-Robin Ridge

Thieves’ Quarry by D. B. Jackson

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My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Plus Bonus Points for Gorgeous Cover

Thieves’ Quarry is the second book in the Thieftaker Chronicles, and it is even better than the first one, Thieftaker, was. D. B. Jackson has done a first-rate job of writing historical fiction with an Urban Fantasy slant, and it makes for a lot of fun reading.

The hero of the book, Ethan Kaille, is a thieftaker by trade (a sort of Early American bounty hunter), and a Read more…

Chimes At Midnight by Seanan McGuire

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My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars
and a BIG Woohoooooo!

I have been a fan of Seanan McGuire’s October Daye novels since Rosemary & Rue came out in 2009.  I don’t know of another series more jam-packed with Magic (with a capital “M”) than this one. It is true Urban Fantasy, set in the streets of San Francisco, yet connected to the world of the Fae, and it is utterly filled with every type of mythical creature Celtic folklore has ever spawned. Selkies and barghests and mermaids, oh my! Rose goblins, sea hags, and Cobblynaus, and far too many Read more…

Free 9/17 and 9/18: Kindle Version of Silver Birch Press Summer Anthology

Another chance to check out this great anthology!

Silver Birch Press

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To celebrate the last official week of summer (in the Northern Hemisphere) we are offering a FREE Kindle version of the Silver Birch Press Summer Anthology on Tuesday, September 17, 2013 and Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013. This offer is good in all hemispheres! The collection features summer-related poetry & prose from over 70 established and up-and-coming writers around the world — including some classic authors from the past. 

Find your free Kindle of the Silver Birch Press Summer Anthologyat Amazon.com. (If you don’t have a Kindle device, get free kindle reading apps for your computer at this link.)

We would appreciate any reblogs, tweets, or Facebook posts about this offer! 

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The Literary Cat #7

murphylegs3Sgt. Karrin Murphy, alias “Murph,” 
Showing off her Mismatched Front Legs

“Cats randomly refuse to follow orders to prove they can.”
― Ilona Andrews, Magic Strikes

Biting Bad by Chloe Neill

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My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Chloe Neill’s Chicagoland Vampires series has had me hooked from book one. I like our heroine, Merit, and think she does fewer really dumb things than many female leading characters. Now and then, I want to knock her up beside the head, but mostly, Read more…

The Joys (and Pitfalls) of Self-Publishing Part 2

 

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Copyrights. If you are writing a book, poem, or anything else that might be published with an eye toward making you some money, you must NOT forget to be careful of copyrighted material. In my case, I was very nearly done in by song lyrics. I hadn’t stop to think about them Read more…

The Second Time Around: Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier

In keeping with my plan to intersperse some older reviews of more “literary” works with my current reviews, which are often Urban Fantasy works, here is The Second Time Around #2. Enjoy!

Charles Frazier's Cold Mountain cover

My Rating:  5 of 5 Stars

Written in 1997, Cold Mountain remains one of my favorite books of all time.  A modern day classic set during the Civil War, it details the long journey home Read more…

The Second Time Around: Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

NOTE: Lest new blog followers think I never review anything that doesn’t have a vampire or werewolf in it, I thought I would re-run a couple of older posts on books of other types. And never fear, I do plan to read newer books in different genres, too. There are several things in my To Be Read basket that are most assuredly not Urban Fantasy. But for now, I’m going to do a few “Second Time Around” posts, starting with my all-time favorite book by my all-time favorite author. Enjoy!!

Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca Cover

MY RATING: 5 of 5 Stars

“Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again…”

So opens one of the great romantic mysteries of all time, written by my very favorite author, Read more…

Promo Is Over

Thanks again to everyone who downloaded my book, Wake-Robin Ridge, during yesterday’s Free Promotional. Because of you guys, I had 855 total downloads for the day, including 77 in U.K., 13 in Denmark, 2 in France, 2 in Italy, 2 in Japan, 3 in India, and 11 in Canada! Wow! That is some amazing stuff! Now, I’m sure there are many authors out there who have surpassed these numbers by far, but to me, thinking the someone in India is reading about my Sarah Gray and MacKenzie Cole is just mind-boggling. I’m so stoked! 

My heartfelt appreciation and love goes out to every single person who downloaded a copy, told a friend about the book, posted on their Facebook page, Tweeted, emailed, or posted a review on amazon. This book was a labor of love, and I hope that at least some  readers will enjoy it. I’m hard at work on my next one, and just finishing up my poetry book. I’ll let you guys know when those are available, but in the meantime, back to your originally scheduled programming! (And I’m heading to the Comfy Chair to finish my next book for review.)

Hugs to ALL!

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It’s “What Are You Reading Time” Again!

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Yet another Friday has rolled around. Strange how that happens, isn’t it? Almost like the calendar was planned that way! 😉  And we here at Bookin’ It (I’m using the Literary “We”, of course), want to know what you are reading this week. Tell, tell! How else am I supposed to keep my To Be Read list at the current level, which is somewhere between “An Awful Lot of Books” and “An Amount of Books Impossible to Be Read In A Dozen Lifetimes?”

I am just getting started on the latest in the Chicagoland Vampires series, Biting Bad, a series I have been following since the beginning. I have to say this book isn’t grabbing me as quickly as some in the series have done, probably because there is an awful lot of Mallory in the first few chapters. I don’t know about you other fans of Chicagoland, but I do not like Mallory. Never have. Probably never will. No matter how hard Chloe Neill tries to make her likable, forgivable, or even interesting (I’m over the blue hair, btw), she just doesn’t work for me. Luckily, there’s Merit who is forgivable, even when she’s being a dope, and Ethan, who can do no wrong in my book. Or Chloe Neill’s book, if I’m being accurate, here. Ethan Sullivan is one of my favorite vampity guys, in a world filled with a veritable GLUT of them to choose from. He stands out in the fangy crowd, to me, and thus I will finish the book, even if I have to read about the infinitely whiny Mallory, blecch. Merit and her Liege are worth it.

So, what are YOU reading that I need to know about? My last 2 books reviewed, Dead Iron and Libriomancer, were suggested to me by a fellow blogger, so I’m interested in knowing what your bookmark is resting in today! Share, please! And happy reading!

Wake Robin Ridge

Thank you, Caitlin, for this wonderful post. Lovely words from a lovely gal!

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My good friend  Marcia Meara has published a book!

Look at the pretty cover…

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The blurb:

“A PHONE RINGING AT 2:00 A.M. never means anything good. Calls at 2:00 A.M. are bad news . . . Someone has died. Someone is hurt. Or someone needs help.”

On a bitter cold January night in 1965, death came calling at an isolated little cabin on Wake-Robin Ridge. Now, nearly 50 years later, librarian Sarah Gray has quit her job and moved into the same cabin, hoping the peace and quiet of her woodland retreat will allow her to concentrate on writing her first novel. Instead she finds herself distracted by her only neighbor, the enigmatic and reclusive MacKenzie Cole, who lives on top of the mountain with his Irish wolfhound as his sole companion.

As their tentative friendship grows, Sarah learns the truth about the heartbreaking secret causing Mac to hide…

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Dead Iron by Devon Monk

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My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

I’ve only started reading steampunk in the last two years or so, but hands down, this is my favorite book in the genre, so far. Written with far more intelligence than most, Dead Iron is filled with characters who pull you in, a plot that is Read more…

Libriomancer by Jim C. Hines

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My Rating: 3-1/2 Stars out of 5

This book was a lot of fun. So much fun that I debated giving it a full four stars, but then decided that “fun” would only carry it so far. The premise is wonderful. A certain group of magic folk, libriomancers, can reach into books and pull forth objects, Read more…

Wake-Robin Ridge, a romantic suspense novel by Marcia Meara

So very nice of Silver Birch Press to post this! Thanks, SBP. Hope to have the opportunity to work with you again in the near future!

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Congratulations to Marcia Meara, whose poetry has appeared in all three Silver Birch Press anthologies (Silver, Green, and Summer), on the August 26, 2013 ebook publication of her first novel, Wake-Robin Ridge. Marcia has dreamed of writing a book since she turned five and now she’s done it — 64 years later. (Marcia is candid about her age — check out her blog, where she offers book reviews and other cultural posts). Wake-Robin Ridge is the first book in Marcia’s Darcy’s Corner series.

Find the Kindle version of Wake-Robin Ridge by Marcia Meara at Amazon.com. A print edition will be available soon.

Kudos to Marcia on her book’s professional cover — excellent design by Nicki Forde at nickifordedesign.com.

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Bookin’ It News!

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Good morning, Fellow Book Lovers! Just wanted to touch base quickly on two bits of news, both related to my new novel, Wake-Robin Ridge. Then it’s back to business as usual, with two new book reviews I hope to get up today.

First, if you purchased an early copy of Wake-Robin Ridge, you might find some typos that seem to have been generated by Book Gremlins during the upload process to Kindle. I think they slipped into my library in the dead of night and made nasty changes to punctuation and a few other things, while I slept innocently, dreaming only of my immense satisfaction of having finally finished the book. I’m sure–sure, I tell you–that those errors didn’t come from me! No, no. I won’t have that! At any rate, gremlins or no, I just want to let you purchasers who downloaded before 9/2/13  know you are entitled to a free, corrected update, and I definitely want to see that you get one. Stay tuned to this blog to find out more on that. Or email me privately, if you wish.

For those who haven’t downloaded the book yet, (notice I say “yet” … :D) it has been re-proofed, and I think it’s looking pretty good now. You should be safe! Download away!

The second bit of news is that I’m going to establish a separate page here on this blog for “Author News” on Wake-Robin Ridge, Summer Magic, and any other writing I publish in the months ahead, for those who want to track give-aways, news on new releases, and other things related to the writing part of my life now.  That way, I can keep the original part of this blog set up for those who are more interested in book reviews, and yet still have a way of sharing writing milestones with you.

Hope this will work out well for everyone. More as things take shape! Now, as you were, folks. Back to your Labor Day Weekend. Hope it’s a good one!

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