Next Up For Review

Next Up For Review
The Center Cannot Hold, Elyn Saks

Friday, March 18, 2011

Fairy Tales For The Here & Now. Plus, Genius Ideas For The eReader Market

Wow. I feel as if I blink, & suddenly I am behind on everything. But really, I am doing things...important things! (Well, they're important to me anyway)
I've been a busy reader over the past week or so, and now I will share the fruits of my labors with you. Per my usual, I will post on three really interesting factoids/books.

1. Lending Library/Swap Spot For ereader Books.
Oh boy, this cutting edge site must have authors everywhere on the defensive. Remember how crazy everybody went when decided to list books that were selling for $24.99 in the store for mere pennies on the dollar? Well, get ready for another ebook revolution! is a site that came to my attention this week via the Clark Howard segment on CNN morning news. The creators of this genius site decided to take full advantage of the Kindle & nook policy of being able to loan your book out, one time, to another reader for a two week period. They have created a catch all for every reader of  books that wants to share/share alike. All you have to do is sign up for a free account & voila! you are on your way to virtual library.
As a reader, I love this idea. As a I mean come on, how am I ever going to make any money if you people keep coming up with this stuff? If I'm not careful I will have to resort to full time work again. That can't be good for the writing career. (It won't stop me from getting on there & swapping though)

2. A Test In Tolerance
For those that are unaware, I write a blog for another site. I love it. I use it as my sounding board for my precocious wit. Last week I posted about my new adventure as a paid book reviewer. My first book was male/male romance-erotica...with a murder-mystery to boot. I felt it necessary to blog about it because people could not wrap their minds around the fact that I was willing to review the material.
Um, okay. It's a job. A paid job, reviewing a book...which in case you hadn't noticed, was kind of my thing. Sure, it's my first time--but there's a first time for everything. After much ado about nothing, I read it, enjoyed it, and finished my review. It isn't out yet, so I don't want to spoil it. However, if you'd like to take a peek at the post I wrote looking for opinions, you can read it Here. I encourage you to read it. Stretching is good; it makes you limber :)

3. A Fairy Tale of a Book,That Deserves a Storybook Review
(Finally, a review!)
A month ago I downloaded a novella from Carina Press. For those that haven't been there, it is a nice little site. A subsidiary of Harlequin, they publish solely in ebook format & every Tuesday(? I think?) they post  selected titles at a discounted rate. On the particular Tuesday in question, they had a novella...for FREE. Now, we all know I'm not one to pass up a free book. I snatched it up, put in on my Kindle, & forgot about it--until yesterday.
The Sevenfold Spell, by Tia Nevitt is Sleeping Beauty told from the perspective of the spinning wheel spinster, Talia. It sounds unusual, but I assure you, it is one fantastic read. I liked it better than the last three books I've read by famous, not to be named here, authors. It was one hundred pages of great fun (I gobbled it all up in one day). Ms. Nevitt's writing is full of grace & beauty (pun intended. I do that--sorry!) that will make you yearn for more. It has humor, romance, and some steamy love scenes. Not erotica, just steam. It is part of her Enchanted get ready to fall in love, repeatedly!
Kudos to you Ms. Nevitt. You wrote one heck of a fairy tale for the young at heart that require a more adult version of life. I give it five solid stars and a swish with my magic wand.
It is no longer free; but at a mere $2.69 for the download, it is still a steal.
That's all I have for now folks. Enjoy the spring weather. Take your reading to the park & get lost in adventure!

P.S. I'm still looking for people interested in chatting with Nancy Volkers...Email me if you want in.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Admit This

 Shame on you Goodreads!
I want to start off by saying that I am a contributing member on Goodreads (like every other person that has ever written or wanted to write a book). I use it to connect with readers & as another spot I can cross post blogs, promote my material & review what I read. This was a mutually satisfying relationship until yesterday. Now I think I might want to break up.
It appears that Goodreads is now a competition to see how fast you can read & review books. Every morning I open my inbox to the usual: NEW UPDATES FROM JOHN, KIM, SARAH, SUE, JIM BOB... and every other one of your thirteen hundred closest friends you've never met. Clicking on the link would reveal an even more disturbing trend. Each & every person bookmarked somewhere around 45 books in their to read pile--per day. Is there a hefty prize package I missed out on somewhere along the way? I think not. I think it's mostly ego based thinking. ie. If I can read a million books a year, I will somehow propel myself into stardom, or be considered a brainiac with a manifesto more viewed than Charlie Sheen. Or possibly these people don't sleep, eat, have jobs or sex. Not sure yet.
I would love to keep up with the lofty goals of the Goodreads crowd, but I'm just too darn tired.
Feeling rather sheepish, I delete each morning email & return to my healthy but meager one hour a day reading habit. 
However, this annoying habit is not the reason I'm considering a Dear John letter--oh no-- the plot has grown much more sinister than that my friends.
Today, while checking my email @ the unholy hour of five am I noticed a new notice. It read:
You have been reading Admit One: My Life in Film for nine days. Would you like to update your status?
The sad part is, I had been updating. This was merely cyber pressure & I for one am not happy with the new strong arm tactic.
Nine days? Is that too long to read a 216 page book? Keep in mind I work full time, write, work out, & am still in the throes of raising a few children that have late night last minute school projects. When did we set a time limit on how long book turnover should be? Is this the latest hurry up for no good reason created by the virtual world we live in? Egads. Gimmie a break. Sorry Goodreads. I will give you one more chance; but if you keep pressuring me--we're through.
Enough with my cranky pants complaining; time for my review (of the afore mentioned book. Which, I'll have you know, I finished later that day. Not because I felt like I had to, but because I wanted to). Here we go, off to the races...
Admit One? First, I have to admit this...
I'm a buffoon. I read the first eleven (that's right I said eleven) chapters of Emmett James's book  
Admit One: My Life in Film before I caught on to fact that the author is actually an actor (hence, the title). I got it right about the time he finished hunting down a well known director that was filming in England and headed off to America to make his way in life via the craft of actor.
Yep, I will repeat, I am a buffoon.
Up until that light bulb went off, I was enjoying the book, but not nearly as much. I thought it was about a writer that was writing his memoir & relating it to movies he'd seen. Sure, the name seemed familiar, but every writer tries to coin a name that reeks of best friend or someone famous comfort. I thought Emmett James was one of the lucky ones that came out with a great moniker or picked on up to sell his writing.
Wow, was I wrong. This guy was in Titanic, a porn & a soap opera that claims the love story of Luke & Laura. Not in that order of course, but you get the idea. He crashed Oscar parties pretending to be a director and  convinced James Cameron to keep him on the set long after his bit part wrapped. This guy is an evil genius.
In retrospect, I'm glad I didn't have the full back story. I actually think it was more fun that way. Plus, I believe my review is far less tainted than those that were star struck from page one.
I give the book four stars. I think if I were from England, it might have been a five star review (humor is just a little different over there). His antics in the quest for fame are unbelievable; and it carries a good message. To paraphrase: life's success is in the journey. Do what you love. A list status isn't the grand prize...that comes from following your passion & enjoying the ride.
The only issues I had were as follows: I felt that he isn't very fond of his mother at all. He seemed to prefer his father. He also clearly hates his brother. None of those things should have bothered me, but they did. I thought it came across as a tad bitter. But, then again, those are his feelings. Can't change that.
It's a good read; and as promised, right now it's FREE for your Kindle on!

Cheers! (that's British for until next time...I think)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Questions, Food, & Fun.

Greetings fellow reading, writing, and (hopefully) eating enthusiasts. It's been awhile since I've hit this (meaning the blog of course) and I woke up this morning with many tidbits rolling around in the usually empty five a.m. version of my noggin'. Alas, I had to go to work, thereby delaying the post until now. I'm good with that. Right now blogging is preventing me from doing many other necessary, but far less thrilling vacuuming.
Let's get started.

1.Question: To agent or not to agent? (That is the question on every author's mind)

Answer: That depends.

No matter how many articles I read about the passing fad of print books and the crumbling of brick & mortar bookstores, I still can't help but feel left out of the big leagues. I, like many others, would love nothing more than to be discovered as the next big, Stephen King-Stephanie Meyer- Jennifer Weiner- insert your favorite big name author here. We all pretend like it doesn't matter, but on some level it does. I can't put words to just. matters. 
My question to you is this: is this really, truly, left over brainwashing from an archaic machine that refuses to die? Are we a branded generation of writers--the dinosaurs--that can't wrap our traditionally trained brains around the shift in the paradigm? I believe we are, but I still think it would be awesome to get an agent (a good one) to step up & say, "You, Elsie Love, writer of great fiction, ROCK! We are going to make you a star bigger than Snookie (who, by the way, was paid millions for a book idea based on her life that someone else penned--ACK)."
So far it's a no go. That hasn't set me back too far. I've published two books, with a third on the way & a fourth in the works, but still...I wonder.
I have a friend that is currently waiting on four different NY agents to give her a thumbs up (or down). I wish her all the best. For now, I'm going in a different direction and crossing my fingers. Maybe on the next book.

2. Food!
I was chugging around Goodreads yesterday when I stumbled across a pretty unique site that I wanted to share with my Elsie Love readers. (In case you weren't aware, every person that has ever written anything is on Goodreads and they all have review sites just like this one; so when I say it's different--it is) 
The creators of this site are doing something unique & special. They have combined books & writing with...FOOD! And no, it isn't a cookbook. 
Kudos to the creative genius behind Authors & Appetizers.
When you combine good food with great books, amazing things can & will happen. Please stop by the website and check out their amazing content. Who knows? Maybe you will find a great book club choice & your menu for that meeting you haven't prepped for tonight.

3. Fun!
Well, not quite yet. I'm a tad behind the eight ball. If I were supermom, octomom, or any other mom with a cool name and millions of dollars that kept me in a life of leisure, I would most certainly have a big fat review of my newest read: Admit One: My Life In Film, by Emmett James. Unfortunately, I am an overworked, underpaid mom who passes out from exhaustion at the stroke of nine p.m.. I will tell you this:
I'm halfway through the book
It is an award winner
It is interesting
I will post a review early next week for sure. I super promise, cross my heart & hope to die.
Until then, may your life be filled with love & joy. May your casket (or box) of wine never run dry. And, most importantly, may your spouse do the dishes & your children learn to cook.
Keep Reading!