Wednesday, August 31, 2011

My mom's new Nook Color

iconiconI did it — I talked my mom into getting a Nook!  Initially she got a Nook 1st Edition, just like mine, but she was having a hard time reading that one so she returned it.  Then she ordered a refurbished Nook Color, which is available for $179 for a limited time — usually I think these are $199, so it's a good deal, and only $40 more than the Nook Simple Touch Reader.  You also get the same warranty as a new Nook, and can also buy the same extended warranty if you want.  (Click the image link to go to the refurbished Nook Color on B&N's website.)

Anyway, my mom got hers and is absolutely thrilled.  She can read the backlit screen much more easily than the eInk, for one thing.  The system also seems to be a little simpler, with all the sideloaded and B&N ebooks being in the same place (they are in two different places on the N1E).  By sideloading books through Calibre, the sideloaded books show up with covers, too, which makes it easier for her to scroll through her library and choose what she's going to read next.

I'm taking the advice given by some people on the B&N forums: Two (or more) Nook owners in the same household should have their own B&N accounts, and sideload books onto one another's Nooks when they want to share.  So, I picked out some ebooks to share with my mom, and sideloaded them on.  When I first opened one of the ebooks, I had to type in my name and credit card number on file — that's how the Nook "locks" the ebooks.  The Nook remembers that information, though, so I won't have to do it again, and now I can share my ebooks with her (without having to use the LendMe feature, which is only available on certain ones, anyway).

The Nook Color seems to be so successful for my mom that I would recommend it for other older readers who have a hard time seeing the eInk screen on the N1E and the Nook Touch.  I think that as my mom is aging, she is needing a much brighter reading light than she used to (she's been having a hard time reading paper books, too).  The Nook Color solves this problem quickly and easily, and also allows her to change the font, line spacing, margins, etc. within the books.

In a way, I'm kind of jealous.  I still love my Nook, but the Color is pretty cool!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs

iconiconI had a hard time finding a decent-looking paperback edition of this book, but the one I've linked to here looks like a good one, published by Penguin Classics.  I also liked the look of the Mars Trilogyicon, which includes the first three books in the series.  If you prefer the ebook, you can get it for free from Project Gutenberg.  (I recommend the file with images — it's neat to see the old illustrations!)

A Princess of Mars is the basis for the movie John Carter that is coming out in March.  My husband and I watched the trailer a month or so ago, and I was instantly smitten.  I've watched it probably a dozen times now, downloaded the song that was used for it, and of course, read the book.  I am so excited, I don't have any idea how I'm going to wait until March for this movie — but I'm pretty sure I'll be there on opening night, schedule permitting!

The book was first serialized in All-Story Magazine in 1912, but it wasn't until 1917 that it finally came out in book form.  The author, Edgar Rice Burroughs, also wrote the Tarzan series, with the first book coming out in 1912.  The interesting thing about Burroughs' books is that because of the age, some of them are in the public domain in the U.S., but many of them aren't.  For instance, of 11 books in the Barsoom (Mars) series, only the first 5 books are available to download from Project Gutenberg, and only the first 8 of the Tarzan books (out of a total of 26).

Anyway, A Princess of Mars starts out as a pretty typical science fiction book from 100 or more years ago: lots of description, antiquated ideas and writing styles, etc.  When the story picks up, though, it really does pick up.  Shortly after the Civil War, John Carter finds himself transported to Mars, where he is almost immediately captured by a tribe of "green Martians," as he calls them.  He is a classic hero with a distinct advantage of them, as he is much stronger than they are, despite their great height.  Burroughs explains this as the result of the reduced gravity on Mars — the creatures there are only as strong as they needed to be in that degree of gravity.  His strength and heroic feats earn him no small recognition in the green Martians' warlike culture.

He soon discovers that there are humans on Mars, just like himself, a race of "red Martians," the result of all the races mixing together over many thousands of years.  A princess from one of the red Martians' tribes is captured, and John Carter (naturally) appoints himself her protector and savior.

It's a fairly short book — my Nook said it was 146 pages — and once you get past all the description during his early time with the green Martians, it moves pretty quickly.  Considering when this was written, the story and world Burroughs created was pretty impressive.  It's a great adventure story, and better written than most children's series of the era, so I'm surprised it hasn't been better known over the years.  Hopefully they will do a good job with this movie, though, and that will change.

I'm planning to read more of the series, so stay tuned for future reviews!  In the meantime, here is the trailer for the movie that's due out in March — perhaps I can get you as hooked as I am!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

iconiconUnearthly has been on my Barnes & Noble ebook wishlist since before it came out, when it was just a pre-order.  I was ecstatic when my library acquired the ebook version a couple of weeks ago, and checked it out right away.

Unearthly is about Clara, a girl who is a normal high school teen in every way, except that she is a quarter angel.  Her mom, who is half-angel, has been preparing her for when her powers begin to develop, so when she has a vision relaying her purpose as an angel, they move to Jackson's Hole, Wyoming, so that she can pursue her destiny.  There she meets two very different guys, makes friends as well as enemies, and learns that even being an angel isn't easy.

The book reminded me a lot of another author's take on the YA angel romance idea: Halo, by Alexandra Adornetto.  But whereas I didn't like that one very much, I found Unearthly to be very compelling and mysterious.  I think it helped that it wasn't as aimless as Halo — Clara's purpose gives the story a much stronger plot than Halo had.  The idea of a love triangle with an angel was interesting, for one thing.  I have to admit, I suspected the plot twist at the end, but it didn't make the revelation any less intriguing!  I hope there is going to be another book, as there seems to be with most YA books these days.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Never Have I Ever by Sara Shepard

iconiconMy library just recently got in a bunch of YA ebooks that I've been wanting to read.  One of them was Never Have I Ever, the sequel to The Lying Game, which I read earlier this year.  These books are by the same author as the Pretty Little Liars series, which I have no interested in reading, but I've been enjoying these quite a bit.

The heroine of the series, Emma, is posing as her twin sister Sutton while she tries to find out who killed Sutton.  You know Sutton has to be dead, too, because she's narrating the books.  At least, she pipes in from time to time with an observation or a foggy memory — she can't remember very much, not even how she died, and can't help Emma at all.  All she can do is tag along and observe while Emma pretends to be her.

It's an interesting series, and as I pointed out in my review of The Lying Game, reminds me a bit of Stranger with My Faceicon, a favorite Lois Duncan book from my childhood.  Of course, Never Have I Ever hasn't wrapped things up, not by a long shot, but thankfully the next book, Two Truths and a Lieicon, is coming out in February.  I'm glad this author seems to put out books a little faster than others who write YA series — it would be a difficult series to have to wait a year for each book!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Here and Then by Linda Lael Miller

iconiconLinda Lael Miller is a blast from my past — I used to read her romance novels when I was in high school — so reading this book reminded me of being young, in a fun way of course.  Incidentally, the book was originally published in 1992, which was shortly before I started reading romance novels.

This book reminded me a lot of my favorite romance novel back then, Forever, Ashleyicon by Lori Copeland, which was about a modern-day woman who time-traveled back just in time for the Revolutionary War.  It was hysterically funny, a real treat to read.  Here and Then wasn't quite as funny, but it did have some amusing moments, and of course, it was a time travel romance too (they were really popular back then).

Rue, the modern-day heroine of the novel, time-travels back to 1892 when she is trying to find her cousin Elisabeth (who has also, incidentally, time-traveled — and is, naturally, the heroine of an earlier book, There and Nowicon).  Unlike Elisabeth, who chose to stay in the past, Rue knows she belongs in modern day — so it's just a matter of convincing the handsome sheriff Farley Haynes to come back with her.

It's no literary masterpiece, obviously, but it was good fun, and a fast read!

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry

iconiconMy mom read this book recently, and liked it so much that she read it a second time as soon as she finished. I thought that was a pretty good recommendation — reading a book twice in a row, I mean — and decided to read it myself.  I was quite happy to find that my library had the ebook, and checked it out right away.

It took me a little longer to read it than usual, partly because we were busy over the weekend, and partly because I wasn't  getting into it as fast as I thought I would.  The book is about a woman named Towner, who returns to her hometown of Salem after 15 years of being gone.  Her great-aunt has disappeared, and as much as she wants to continue running from her past, she can't deny how much Eva means to her.

It's hard to tell what's going on at first, but you start getting the feeling — just a little bit here and there — that something is pretty wrong with Towner, and with her family.  Brunonia Barry has a style of writing that I think it best described as subtle.  Very rarely can I say that I was completely shocked by the ending of a book, but in this case I was — I didn't at all expect the revelation that is made at the climax of the book.  This is how I mean that her writing style is subtle — I didn't even realize that a surprise was coming, so I wasn't trying to figure anything out.  Slowly doling out backstory without giving the game away — now that is what I call talent.

And of course, I did the same as my mom, and the instant I finished the book, started over again.  Mostly I just skimmed, as it was all the interactions with her family, and the references to what had happened to her, that I wanted to reread.  There is a lot that happens early on that you interpret in a different light once you know the truth.  Like I said, though, it's really subtle.  I can't say enough about how talented a storyteller Brunonia Barry is!

Friday, August 19, 2011

A Man to Call My Own by Johanna Lindsey

iconI read A Man to Call My Own in-store on my Nook.  It took me a while to finish it, for a variety of reasons — mainly because there were several times when we went to Barnes & Noble that I had something else I wanted to read.  Reading a romance novel in fits and spurts is also not as enjoyable as reading it straight through (or at least with only short interruptions); they are designed to be fast reads, I think, so long interruptions take something away from the experience.

It wasn't a bad book, though, and I enjoyed it — so I think I would have even more so had I read it at home, and finished it in a couple of days, as is my habit.  It was classic Johanna Lindsey: some fighting between the hero and heroine, and lots of sticky situations that make you cringe for the characters.  Lindsey loves to take what seems like an impossible situation, and make it all turn out all right.

I'm not sure she's ever ridden a horse, though.  There was one part where the hero was giving the heroine a riding lesson, and told her that once you get on it's easy to stay on.  Uh-huh.  If she's ever really ridden, it wasn't enough to discover how difficult riding can be.  Riding is one of those sports where the more you know, the harder it gets.  I've fallen off more than a dozen times, learning to ride again as an adult, and I can tell you, it's HARD to stay on.  Maybe it's easy enough at a sedate walk, but if any little thing goes wrong, you'd better watch out!

In any case, here's another example where the read in-store feature has saved me money on a book I wouldn't want to own permanently.  I'm using read in-store to read books that my library doesn't have and I don't particularly want to spend money on or own, but do want to read, and so far it's working out really well for me!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Spirit by Graham Masterton

iconiconI bought Spirit a few weeks or so ago, when the ebook was on sale for only $2.99.  (I'm addicted to ebook sales, if you can't tell!)  I hadn't heard of the author before, but the book had some good reviews, so I thought I'd try it.  Besides, I'm a sucker for a ghost story!

Interestingly, even though the book is horror/suspense, it's written in a rather literary style.  You know, longer paragraphs, longer descriptions, slower action scenes, and I don't even know how I would describe the tone — a little bit distant from the characters, I suppose, and slightly old-fashioned.  The novel is set in the 40s and 50s, and if I hadn't already checked the publication date of this novel (1995), I would have sworn it was written back then, too.

Despite the slightly different tone and style of writing, and despite the fact that I don't normally read this kind of horror, I really enjoyed this book.  I didn't really find it scary (I think the last time I was scared by a book I was about 8, reading Roald Dahl's The Witches), but it was haunting, intriguing, and kind of sad.  I thought the connection to literature was rather original, as well, and enjoyed all of the literary references.  I'll probably read "The Snow Queen" next so that I can see for myself the parallels in the novel, even though the author seemed to do a good job of explaining them.

An enjoyable read, though it's not very horror-like — for some people, like me, that's a good thing!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

iconiconIt's funny, when I started Lauren Oliver's new book, Delirium, I wasn't thinking I was going to like it as much as Before I Fall.  Part of it was that I just couldn't imagine anything being as powerful as her first novel, and part of it was that it sounded so different.  Before I Fall is a modern-day tale of a popular high school girl who has the chance to make some changes to her last day, a day that ends in her death, and how it changes her every time she has to live the day over again.  Delirium, on the other hand, is a futuristic dystopian novel, very much like The Giver (one of my all-time favorite YA novels).

Lena lives in a world where love has been diagnosed as a disease, and people have found a cure — a surgical operation that is done on everyone at age 18, forcibly if necessary.  There is a small resistance who live in "the Wilds," the uncontrolled areas beyond the border fences that enclose every city, but Lena and everyone else she knows are so thoroughly brainwashed to think of love as an illness that they actually think forced brain surgeries, raids, and lifetime imprisonment are good things rather than bad.  There is even a degree of paranoia that reminds me of the Red Scare in the mid-twentieth century, where suspected sympathizers to the resistance lose their jobs, their homes, their entire lives.

It took me a little while to feel like I was getting into the novel.  It's not a fast-moving, action-driven novel at first — although the action does start picking up substantially toward the end, a lot of the first third or half of the novel is Lena explaining what's going on, leaking backstory here and there (her mother's inability to be cured and eventual suicide has followed her, marked her, all her life).  She is nearly 18 and will be getting the "cure" soon, and although she believes that it will save her from her mother's fate, she meets a boy and things start happening to make her question whether the cure — her entire society — is truly right and good.

In this way, you gradually start seeing the ugly side of their "perfect" society.  By the last third or so of the novel, I couldn't put it down, and I was rooting so hard for Lena that I just knew something awful was going to happen.  It wasn't what I expected, but it did make me cry.  Ultimately, it's a novel that asks, "What if humans found a way to keep themselves from feeling?  What would happen to our humanity?"  And I don't think the novel's answer to that question is too far from the mark.

Amazingly, I think Lauren Oliver has done it again — written another absolutely haunting YA novel.  I can't wait to see what she comes up with next!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan

iconiconA funny thing happened last time I was at Barnes & Noble.  I was sitting in the cafe, and right on the other side of the railing was a table full of Rick Riordan's books.  An older couple walked up and started pointing at the various books in the Percy Jackson series, and I swear I heard the husband ask his wife, "Which one do you need?"  And she was pointing to each one saying, "I have that one... and that one..."  I'm certain she was saying that she had the books, and not (for instance) that a grandchild did.  I was pretty tickled to find out that I'm not the only adult who enjoys these books!

Anyway, The Last Olympian is the fifth book in Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson series.  Here are all five books, listed in order, and linked to my reviews of the earlier books:

The Lightning Thief
The Sea of Monsters
The Titan's Curse
The Battle of the Labyrinth
The Last Olympian

Of course, the way everything was built up throughout the series, but especially in the previous book (The Battle of the Labyrinth), The Last Olympian was the classic final showdown between good and evil, kind of like The Last Battle in the Chronicles of Narnia.  The chosen demigod in a terrible prophecy, Percy is dealing with the pressures of having the future of Olympus resting on his shoulders.  And though he does play a pivotal role in the conclusion of the novel, it's different than you might think, and very cleverly done on the author's part.

Having finished the entire series, I have nothing but good things to say about it, and plan on reading the author's other books.  (The end of The Last Olympian leaves the story open for future installments, and there is a new series now, Heroes of Olympus — The Lost Heroicon is the first book, and there is a second, The Son of Neptuneicon, scheduled for release in October.)  These books are kind of like Narnia for today's kids — not that they are not reading Narnia (I hope they are!), but I think kids today can probably relate to Percy and his friends a little better.

In any case, I'm on the hold list for The Lost Hero at my library, and looking forward to reading about the next set of adventures!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Ebook SALES to celebrate Georgette Heyer's birthday week

iconiconTo celebrate her birthday, Sourcebooks has put all Georgette Heyer ebooksicon on sale this week.  Georgette Heyer was a prolific author writing in the 1920s through the 1970s.  She wrote primarily historical romance, including a lot of Jane Austen-esque Regency romances, but she also had a couple of detective series.

A couple of her ebooks have been free or on sale via Sourcebooks over the last few months, and her first novel, The Black Moth, is in the public domain so you can get it for free from a variety of publishers.  (Click here to get The Black Moth from, which is the best formatted free version I've found.)

All the rest of her books are published via Sourcebooks, and are normally around 10 bucks a pop, so this sale is substantial.  Supposedly all of her ebooks should be $1.99 via Sourcebooks, although I think I've seen a couple that haven't been discounted yet.

Remember, Sourcebooks is a publisher that is known for extremely limited-time sales — their free ebooks usually are only free for 2 or 3 days, and their ebooks sales are usually similarly short.  This sale is supposed to be going on all week, but definitely don't wait if you see any titles that interest you, as prices are sure to go up immediately at the end of the week.

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan

iconiconI've been reading the Percy Jackson books whenever I can get them from the library, and after reading the second one (The Sea of Monsters), I put holds on for all the remaining three ebooks.  As a result, I ended up getting the fourth (The Battle of the Labyrinth) and fifth (The Last Olympian) books at the same time, which meant four days of Percy and a huge grand finale to the series.

The 9-year-old boy I babysit for read all of these books not too long ago, and I'm trying to remember which he said was his favorite — but I think he said it was the fourth book, this book.  If so, I can see why.  The good-versus-evil conflict is really starting to heat up in this book, and therefore there's a lot more fighting and a lot more on the line for Percy and his friends.  Plus, there's something extremely compelling about a few kids trying to navigate the labyrinth.  Maybe that's because it was one of my favorite myths as a kid.

Anyway, it's a pretty fast-moving book.  All of them were to some degree, but for some reason this one was even more so — perhaps because, like I said, the danger is getting more immediate, or perhaps because the entire adventure, from beginning to end, happened more smoothly than usual.  The kids literally went from one crisis to the next the entire book.

A great book... and boy was I glad I already had the last book when I finished this one, because this one ends in a way that makes you want to read the next one right away!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

YA recommendations

NPR ran a story recently with a list of recommendations of new YA books.  The theme of the article, as you'll see, is teen books that will appeal to people of any age.  Since I'm a 31-year-old who loves YA and reads it compulsively, I have to agree that the best teen novels are the ones that can transcend the age group it's initially written for.

Hooray for YA: Teen Novels for Readers of All Ages

Some of these look pretty good — in fact, Lauren Oliver's Deliriumicon is next up on my reading list.  I loved her last book, Before I Fall, and though this one looks dramatically different — a futuristic dystopia instead of... how would you describe Before I Fall? — I'm quite excited to read it.

What about you?  Any books on this list that you might be interested in?

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Procrastination Equation by Piers Steel, PhD

iconiconThere's nothing quite so funny as procrastinating about reading a book on procrastination, is there? My library actually got the ebook of The Procrastination Equation a couple months ago, and I put a hold on it way back then.  But every time my hold inched closer to the front of the list, I had too many other books out, so I kept canceling and re-instating my hold to push it further back — all the while thinking how ironic it was that I was doing so.

I finally got the book, though, and read it a few days before it was due back (of course!).  But I found it was a great book, full of lots of useful information.  First the book talks about why people procrastinate, and has you take a quiz to find out why you procrastinate.  After scaring you silly by going on for a couple of chapters about all the detrimental effects of procrastinating, the book goes on to talk about techniques you can use to combat each of the three types of procrastination.

If you are interested in finding out a little more about what the book has to say, check out a post on my writers blog about how to stop procrastinating, which I wrote after reading this book.

If there's anything that the author wants you to take away from the book, it's that procrastination is pervasive — everyone does it, and you're never going to get rid of the habit entirely — but that there are ways you can minimize the habit and improve your productivity.  A great book, easy to read, and packed with useful information!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Strange Neighbors by Ashlyn Chase

iconiconI blogged a couple of days ago about Strange Neighbors, which is currently free from Sourcebooks.  Surprisingly, though the sale has been going on for a little while, the ebook hasn't yet gone up to full price — but I expect it to any day now.

I read the book right away because I wanted to decide whether to buy the sequel, The Werewolf Upstairsicon, which is currently $2.99 for the ebook (I believe that's also a sale price).  The sales are probably intended to promote the third book in the series, The Vampire Next Dooricon, which just came out beginning of the month.

Strange Neighbors is kind of like the series Friends, but with a bunch of paranormals living in the building instead of regular people.  Between the shapeshifters, the witches, the vampire in the basement, and the ghost haunting his old apartment, there is a lot going on in this building!  Merry has moved out of her parents' house thinking it was time she got out into the real world, but she got a lot more than she bargained for when she chose this building as her new home!

I struggled a bit on what to call it, but ultimately decided that the explicit and rather frequent sex scenes probably designated it as romance.  (Chick lit was my second choice.)  So just as a warning, if you decide to read this...  It's yummy, but it's very very naughty!

Ultimately, however, I decided not to buy the second book.  Although Strange Neighbors was fun and entertaining, the tongue-in-cheek tone came across as a bit awkward to me at times.  It was still good, especially for a free ebook, and if my reading list weren't so long I might go for the next one... But I have so much else to read right now that I just couldn't justify spending three bucks on a book that might not be compelling enough for me to get to it anytime soon!

Friday, August 5, 2011

I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore

iconiconI have really mixed feelings about this book.  First of all, I saw the movie of I Am Number Fouricon a month or two ago, long before I read the book, and both my husband and I really liked the movie.  So I was surprised when I found I didn't like the book as much.

Part of it is the writing style.  I think it's crap.  I'm not usually too fond of first-person present-tense, for one thing, but I also really hate it when authors use incomplete sentences for effect (or so they think).  I Am Number Four is full of that kind of thing, especially during the action scenes.  The result was that I had a really hard time getting into the scenes that should have been the most tense and compelling in the entire book.

The book's plot was also a little different than the movie's, and in most cases I actually found that the way they did it in the movie seemed to work better.

I don't know whether knowing the author's identity made a difference in my enjoyment or not, but I suspect not — the grammar would have bothered me in any case.  I just don't think the guy can write.  But anyway, the author's name is obviously a pen name, so my husband looked it up — and found that the author is the infamous James Frey.  No wonder he used a pen name, with that kind of stigma attached to his name!  Of course, he was vain enough to leave "clues" to his identity in the novel.  Idiot.

I loved the idea and the story line (which is why I liked the movie so much), and I will probably read the other books, but I definitely enjoyed the movie much more.  This is one case where I don't mind advising people to skip the book and just watch the movie — it's much more enjoyable!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Free ebook: Strange Neighbors

iconiconI picked this one up for free a couple of days ago. I'm reading it right away (not my normal behavior) because the sequel, The Werewolf Upstairsicon, is also on sale for $2.99.  All of this is to promote the author's newest book, the third book in the series, The Vampire Next Dooricon.  I don't want to buy the second book without having read at least part of the first one, but knowing Sourcebooks, the sale on The Werewolf Upstairs won't last very long!  I'll make my decision tonight.

Take my advice, and if you think this might be something you'd be interested in, download Strange Neighbors now, while it's still free.  Sourcebooks is notorious for very short free ebook promotions, and this one may go back up to normal price as early as tomorrow!

Blind Faith by C.J. Lyons

iconiconI heard about Blind Faith from The Cheap, a blog and corresponding Facebook page that I follow.  It looked like a pretty good story and had high reviews, even though it was self-published, so I decided to give it a try.

After reading it, my thoughts are pretty much the same: Great story.  I was truly impressed.  The editing left a lot to be desired, though.

I guess I'm kind of a grammar Nazi, because this kind of thing bothers me.  Within the first couple of chapters, she used "good" instead of "well."  I reread that sentence probably half a dozen times, because I was so annoyed, and actually contemplated highlighting it and making a note on my Nook to immortalize my feelings about the error.  If it were a physical copy, I probably could not have resisted correcting it in red pen — and I'm normally a stickler about not defacing books.  I don't even like to write my name in them!

Throughout the book, I noticed other errors.  Most were extremely minor and probably wouldn't be noticed by the average reader, but something the author did a lot of, and something that really annoys me, was using commas where there should be periods.  You cannot join two complete sentences with just a comma.  This is basic grammar, people!  Use a period and start a new sentence, or if you have to, use a semi colon, a dash, or a connecting word like "and" with that comma.  Don't use a comma if both parts of the sentence can stand on their own as complete sentences.  You will forever alienate me (and lots of people like me) if you do.

Aside from that little rant, though, the story was quite good.  The author apparently is an ER doctor and has a lot of experience working with cops on big cases.  The story felt authentic, like she really knew how the process worked.  The plot moved quickly and maintained suspense well the entire way.  The formatting needed some work: The pagination was ridiculous, showing as 900 pages, but every page I turned was equivalent to 2, and sometimes it took far longer than it should have for the next page to load.  Between that and the grammatical errors, I was somewhat distracted from the story, but it still managed to hold my attention pretty well.  Just imagine how stellar that plot would be if the grammatical and formatting errors were corrected!

This ought to serve as a warning for anyone who is thinking about self-publishing.  Ebooks have made self-publishing more acceptable than ever, and there are some really great self-published ebooks out there.  But if you want to be taken seriously, make sure you don't skimp on these two steps:  1) Hire an editor.  And 2) check and double check your formatting before you make the file available for download!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The new Jane Eyre movie available for preorder on DVD

iconiconYou may remember me being excited about the new Jane Eyre movie when it was coming out in the spring.  I never blogged about it, but I did go see the movie.  It was very well done, though they changed and simplified the plot in places, as you can imagine they would have to in order to whittle it down into a 2-hour movie!

Anyway, the movie is due out on DVD this month, August 16th.  You can pre-order it from Barnes & Noble by clicking on the image link.  They also have a special going right now where you can get $5 back in the form of an egift card if you pre-order.  Not a bad deal, as it makes it only about $15 for the DVD ($21 for the Blu-Ray), and members of course get free shipping!