Saturday, 28 February 2009

Look What i Found – Anne’s Addictions

In my quest to get people into reading. I have been doing my own thing in my life to encourage young people and adults to take up a book and enjoy the world that is there for them to find.

I have decided to extend this to my blog and trawl the net to find, little bits of something special that makes reading a pleasure.

I found my next guest products, when looking for a cover for my e-reader, as i wanted something different –something with a bit of personality. I took the bull by the horn so to speak and asked her if she would be keen to tell my readers about her products and why she came up with the idea.

Anne is an author of ebook publications, so she has first hand knowledge of the industry – and is no stranger to the every changing machinery that we call technology.

 

Join me welcoming Anne to Erotic Horizon.

 

 

-1- Do you own an E-reader and if yes which one - have you named it yet.

 

I own a couple of different devices for reading eBooks. To start with, like many, I used my computer, graduated to the laptop (when I started writing), and then got with the program a little more by using my existing Palm Pilot. I upgraded models on the Palm for the larger screen for easier book reading (plus I can use it when travelling for writing), but in 2008 I finally succumbed to the lure of e-ink and upgraded to a Sony Reader for strictly reading with. I also have another new gadget - an iPhone - and while it's lovely as well, and I can see why many might think it will win the race for options for reading eBooks, the e-ink is much easier on the eyes.

 

-2- Were you dragged kicking and screaming into the E-book era or like me did you welcome it with open arms.

My love affair with eBooks started about 5 years or so I guess (does that make me an early adopter? :) ), and came about from buying some erotica/erotic romance books off of Amazon and finding the links at the back of the books about the publishers websites. You can say I slid very quickly down the slippery slope into eBook reading from that point onwards. Then late 2005 early 2006 I wrote my first erotic romance, subbed it , and the rest, as they say is history. I've now had 10 stories (both short and mid length) published strictly as eBooks.

 

-3- Tell us about this product

Anne's Addictions covers are currently designed only for the Sony Reader, and are a simple, padded, slip-on cover that fits over the grey outer cover that comes standard with the Sony PRS505 Reader (Although, I have it with good authority they fit the 700 just perfectly, as well). In the majority, the covers are made from cotton fabrics, so are wash and wear - but you might have to use that dreaded, four-letter-word instrument of torture known as the iron to get it all crisp and flat again :)

So there is a bit of form, as well as function - they individualize your reader, and the padding gives a little extra layer of comfort and protection.

 

-4- How did you come up with the idea

Anne's Addictions came about from a discussion on Dear Author not long after I received my Sony Reader. I wondered if people would 'dress them up' with covers, and from the discussion ran off and made a prototype, and Voila! Anne's Addictions was born. I'd just recently wound up my sewing business (designing/sewing children's boutique clothing), so I was looking for a way of reducing my epic stash of fabrics without making my husband a very unhappy man, and this worked out perfectly. I'm getting to use up my stash, it's not as horribly time consuming as making frou-frou girls dresses, and I've a ready-made market that I already had a name (albeit small) in as an eBook Author.

 

 -5- Which E-readers are you currently targeting and what sort of customization are you offering

Currently the Sony Reader (PRS505 and 700) with its stock grey cover, is my target market. (I also can make covers for the lightwedge cover that came out for the PRS505, but I do them on a case by case basis.)

I'm willing to work with customers to a certain degree - maybe a fabric that they really want, or maybe a certain colour way or fabric style. And I have taken the basic cover one step further via fabric embellishment already. I hope to take that idea a little further in the future with one off covers with hand-sewn, 3-d detailing in the future. I've also been tossing around some pouches versus covers, but I've still got a piece of the puzzle missing on that front. I'm hoping to figure it out soon.

Unfortunately, I don't have an embroidery machine, so personalizing with initials/names etc is not at this time possible at this time (Fabric embellishment of initials is, however).

 

-6- Where can we get these wonderful covers and what is your delivery time like.

You can get Anne's Addictions cover on etsy.com: http://annesaddictions.etsy.com .

Delivery time is usually pretty quick - especially if the cover is already made (I usually make one 'sample' to photograph, then make each one as an order is placed). You should get your cover from as little as 3-5 days later up to about 15days. (Factoring in construction/shipping times out of the USA)

 

-7- Where do you see the e-Book industry going - pro's  and con's of the craze so far.

The ePublishing industry in general is only growing in leaps and bounds. There have been, of course, teething stages - especially now that NY is getting into the scene - but I feel I can safely stay that eBooks are here, and they are here to stay. They are a good compliment to regular bound books, and simply perfect for those on the go, travellers, and people like me who just don't have enough shelf space :)

The lack of a cohesive standard format for the industry does seem to be an issue, though. Amazon's Kindle has so much going for it, but is locked in totally to Amazon; Sony was chic right out of the gate, but lacks connectivity and Mac support, the iPhone/touch is pretty and portable too, but has it's own issues with filetypes etc.

One thing is for sure, those far fetched ideas in Science Fiction from the early 20th century, and shows like Star Trek are becoming more and more possible every day.

 

 -8- On a more commercial level - how has your product been received - so far - Positive and Negative.

Reports so far have been wonderful, and I'm doing my best to fill some of the suggestions for the covers (ie cutesy/traditional checks and plaids etc). I've been very pleased with how well they have been received.

 

Some of my feedback:

"I LOVE my ebook reader cover!!!! It fits perfectly and it looks so cute. The material is really sturdy too so it looks like it will stand up to washing. Thanks! (Oh, this was shipped really quickly, thank you! ^__^)"

"Fantastic product and fantastic seller. Very quick to respond to questions and the product itself is very well made and fit my reader like a glove!"

"I love it, I love it. Really fast delivery to the UK through the snow and ice, and it has turned my e-reader from something impersonal and mechanical into a nice, tactile object - thank you so much, and thank you for the pen too! Highly recommended."

-9- The important info now - give us some contact detail -

            Full name of the product: Anne's Addictions eReader covers

            Contact details - email: anne@annedouglas.com

You can also find Anne at http://annedouglas.com (warning, contains HOT romance!)

 

-10- Any promotional event you want to let the readers know about.

In conjunction with DearAuthor.com, Anne's Addictions will be including a free cover for the winner of the Sony Readers Dear Author will be giving away over 2009.

 

Follow up:

Since i did this interview, Anne can also now be found on Twitter at http://twitter.com/AnneDouglas . You are also more than welcome to toss all your questions, comment and suggestions out and Anne will most definately get back to you.

 

 

Read rest of entry

Friday, 27 February 2009

Ain’t it Sweet.

 

 

Today is a rather special day for me, and my family were at a lose finding something special to treat me with. My passion other than my beloved books are Handbags  and Shoes. My family did the next best thing other than buying me more shoes or handbags.

 

 

I got this in the post this morning all five – They are CHOCOLATE SHOES – aren’t they divine. Now i don’t know if i should just look at them or eat them – and where do i begin – heels or toes.

 

 

Read rest of entry

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Bloggers - BlogSpot – Follower and Backing up

I, along with many other blogger (BlogSpot) have been experiencing issues with the blogs they follow or the people that follow them recently. To say that i am annoyed  is putting it mildly – as it has taken me months to set up my reader (Google) with all  the blogs i check on daily and the setting was just right for quick access and at my finger tip service.

 

I am now having to start all over again – plus visiting all the blogs, i do follow and setting up the whole thing again – I am mightily put out.

 

Anyhow, I am not going to dwell on it – i have sorted it and all is well with my world again, however in light of this incident, a few question jump into my mind and i would like all your input here.

  • Do you back up your blog – entire content – Where ?
  • Do you back up only the post and treat the widgets as peripherals' and can be sorted as and when?
  • Do you back up at all – if not – why not?
  • Is it worth it to back up – other than this – any other horror stories out there?
  • Lastly – Has there been any word from Google on the matter?

 

My Answer.

Hell yes – I back up – the whole shebang – widget, post , comment  - the whole lot.

 

I started backing up only post – then thought – I have invested too much time and effort in my blog to loose it all – so i went the whole nine yard.

 

It’s definately worth it for me – and i have not had any horror stories – but read enough on the web to know that – back up – back up – back up.

 

Other than sending Google an email myself letting them know my problem – no –one has actually gotten back to me and i have not found anything on the net to explain why this is happening…..

 

 

OK guys here’s your chance – let me know if any the the above applies to you.

 

 

P.S . For all the blog i have been following – I have gone through and re-activated the whole lot – at least as much as i can remember.

 

 

 

 

 

Read rest of entry

Sweet Treats - Stormy Glenn

 

 

 

The Blurb

Brandon Erikson knows he doesn't have much chance of finding love. There aren't a lot of opportunities for a man with a little extra padding around the waist and hectic work hours to find the man of his dreams. That is, until he slips and falls at the jazz festival and discovers that the way to a man's heart is through sweet treats.


Dr. Nicolas Syranno is tired of dating men who order salad when he takes them out. He wants someone who takes pleasure in life the way he does, someone who isn't toothpick thin, and someone who understands his crazy work hours as an emergency room doctor.

When Nicolas sees a sexy little blond slip at the jazz festival, has he found the love he has been searching for?

 

 

 

 

The Review

On an outing to a jazz festival with a friend, Brandon Erikson wonders if his luck will turn in finding a man who was interested in him. When fate helps him along and he slips right into the arms of Dr Nicolas Syranno, he just goes with the flow.

Nicolas is unlike anyone that Brandon has ever known. Not only is he genuinely interested in him, but he has a sweet tooth a mile long. With everything between the two out in the open from the moment go, there shouldn’t be a fly in the ointment, but there is. Nicholas and Brandon have to find that middle ground to get along before they lose what little they already have.

Sweet Treat is another Stormy Glenn masterpiece. A true love story of men wanting it all and is willing to invest the time to make it happen.

Nicholas has been through the ringer with past lovers who have never understood or tried to understand his life. When he meets Brandon he feels as if he has found a new lease in life.

Brandon has enough sweet treats to match Nick’s sweet tooth, however to balance that off he has a whole heap of  insecurities that he has to deal with if he wants to have a relationship with a man who is becoming to mean a whole lot to him.

Nick and Brandon are fun together, from the first moment of their attraction. The sexual tension is clear and we have fun through the book with them.

Sweet Treat is a fun read that will leave you with a most satisfied smile on your face.

 

 

Read rest of entry

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Perfect Game - Jordana Ryan

 

 

 

 

The Blurb

When her mother dies, Jessie decides to take a chance and get to know the father she had idolized from a distance, but never really had a relationship with. In Santa Fe, she's determined to make a new start no matter what it takes.

Trevor Malone is the pitcher for the Santa Fe Devils, the team Jessie's father coaches. When a career threatening injury occurs, he is forced to get to know Jessie as the woman she is rather than the bratty child he remembers from a single visit years ago.

As the two come together in their own individual times of tragedy, they find that they can take of their masks and just be who they really are. Despite the odds, Jessie and Trevor begin a journey that changes them and those around them.

Could love really be better than chasing the high of pitching the Perfect Game

 

 

 

The Review

The last time Jesse visited her father, the visit was less than spectacular. However now that her mother has died she feels the need to make that connection with the man she has never got the chance to know. In Santa Fe, where her dad was the coach of the Santa Fe Devils, was not only a team that thinks of her as a jinx, but the man that thinks she’s a brat… Trevor Malone.

Trevor Malone is at a precarious stage of his career when a litany of life changing events happens, literally all at once. He gets injured and has a chance to step back and look at where he is and what he wants. Jesse the coach’s daughter is back… and this time she is different.

A tragedy shared is not a tragedy halved as Jesse and Trevor quickly find out, but with an attraction that cannot be denied they come together despite their emotional instability. Life has a way of getting into the mix of things when you least expect it and Trevor and Jesse have a long battle finding their way home.

Perfect Game is my first read by Ms. Ryan and it was an absolute pleasure. We are introduced to Jesse who comes with her set of scars and fears, but she is also determined to take things in stride and get on with the choices that are available to her. She has a lot to deal with and adjust to, but with Trevor’s help she learns more about herself and the people she loves.

Trevor, star pitcher for the Santa Fe Devils, is going through his own share of trauma as well, injured and having the reality of life literally catch up with him is an eye opening situation that catches Trevor unawares. He clings to Jesse to get him through it.

Jesse and Trevor’s love is a gentle process that builds from friendship and overcomes a lot to be a force that they cannot deny. The supporting cast lends themselves to not only making them stronger people but also let them know and understand the quality of the love that they have for each other.

Jordana Ryan has penned a fantastic novel with Perfect Game that drags you through the emotional battlefield of life and love with characters who have found each other at the time they need each other. You’ll shed tears and fall in love all over again.

 

 

Read rest of entry

Young Adult - The Extraordinary Adventures Of Alfred Kropp – Rick Yancey

Finally decided to start reading some young adult fiction – and after trawling and recommendations – i have decided to start with The Extraordinary Adventures Of Alfred Kropp – Rick Yancey.

 

 

 

 

 

The Blurb

Alfred Kropp's uncle gets him roped into a suspicious get-rich-quick scheme that changes his life forever: stealing Excalibur - the legendary sword of King Arthur. But after Alfred unwittingly delivers the sword into the hands of the enemy, he sets off on an unlikely quest to try to right his wrong and save the world from imminent destruction.

 

 

 

Let see how I get on – really looking forward to this book.

 

 

Read rest of entry

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Saving Tampa – Jo Webnar

 



The Blurb
For as long as she could remember, Rachel Cunningham feared and hated her psychic ability. When a strange man accidentally touches her, she sees the death of thousands. Rachel knows the FBI won't believe her, but she has to try. Lives are at stake. Special Agent Arrons dismisses her information as a publicity stunt, yet his conscience nags him.
When Rachel identifies an Al Qaida cell leader, Arrons puts his career at risk and issues an alert. Together they race against time to prevent a terrorist attack. Will the terrorists' threat succeed, or will Rachel and Arrons find the solution in time to Save Tampa?



 The Review

Rachel has always been different and as her mother puts it, she’s just a little bit more special than everyone else. Rachel has a gift and not the kind that she is happy with, the only sure thing about her Psychic ability is that she never knows when it will kick in. When she get a feeling by accidentally touching a passerby, she knows she has to do something or tell some one, and she does… with unexpected consequences.
When Special Agent Arrons is told that he has a job that is just right for him, he knows that it would not be a pleasure, but he was not expecting a woman, a dog and a premonition that may change the entire face of his city.
When Arrons goes on his gut feeling and follows Rachel’s vision, they uncover a more sinister plot than they could have ever imaged and they are in a race against time to prevent it.
Saving Tampa is absolutely a winner. Jo Webnar has not only given us a story that has a plot we can identify with, but characters that are intelligent, gutsy,  and also willing to go the distance in the name of truth and honour.
Rachel is a brilliant artist, challenged by the fact that she can and does get a glimpse of the future at the most unexpected time. When she does the right thing she ends up in the middle of more than she wants to be involved in and with an attraction that she hasn’t felt in a long time.
Arrons is up against a woman who knows what she wants and not afraid to speak her mind. Constantly impressed with her colourful choice of words, he is caught up in the chase to find a threat against his city while keeping the woman who’s becoming to mean more to him than he ever could have imagined safe.
Ms. Webnar has outshines all the books I have read this year. Saving Tampa holds you from the first page and with twist  and turns, emotional highs and lows you are caught in a web that is believable, gripping and have you hoping never let it end.
Ms. Webnar Saving Tampa will have you standing up and cheering loudly from the side stand.


Read rest of entry

Dakota Heat Book 1: Her Dakota Men - Leah Brookes

 

 

 

The Blurb

Stacy Daniels left the ranch she loved so much years ago. Not being able to cope with her abusive father, she'd stayed away as much as possible. Infrequent visits to the ranch to visit those she loved caused her heartache, but she couldn't stay away.

Wolfe, Travis and Cash Dakota, the foreman's three sons, lived and worked on the ranch and she'd loved them forever. Realizing the futility of loving all three, she carefully kept her love for them hidden as guilt consumed her.

She wanted more than anything to stay on the ranch she loves so much with the only real family she's ever known. But if she gives in, loving all three of them the way she does, she'll ruin everything.

Not wanting to cause anyone pain, she has no choice but to flee.

Wolfe, Travis and Cash Dakota have other plans for her and won't let her go. They've waited for years to be Her Dakota Men.

 

 

The Review

When Stacy Daniels left  home five years earlier, she left behind a home she loved, a set of guys who were her friends and always looked out for her, and an abusive father who she could not please, no matter how she tried. Now her father was gone, her home was still there and the guys are all grown up.

Wolfe, Travis and Cash Dakota have waited a long time for Stacy to come home. Having known her and loved her for so long, they are also aware of the animosity between Stacy and her Dad. Now that her father was no longer a factor in her coming home, the three set about on a plan to make Stacy theirs. They forgot one thing in all their planning however, they can’t wrap Stacy around their finger as easily as they thought.

Dakota Heat is another outing linked to the Siren Ménage Amore from Ms. Brookes. She most definitely has a love for this genre and it’s reflected in the quality of the books that she writes.

All the characters are all likeable on an individual level and while the plot is age old, Ms. Brookes has gifted her men with enough testosterone to make this a pretty thrilling hunt.

Stacy is a little bit girly, but she fits in well with the group of Dakota men. Her unhappiness is plain to see and it is a pleasure to know that she finds all that she wish for with these three men   

While I liked this story there was something very off about these three men. They are alpha males, which there is no doubt about. However it is almost unlikely that these three can get along and share a woman without someone giving up more and getting less in return due to the pecking order of the relationship.

Her Dakota Men is a good first book in the Dakota Heat series and I am most definitely looking forward to where Ms. Brookes goes with this series.

 

 

 

Read rest of entry

Monday, 23 February 2009

Guest Blogger: KAT – Book Thingo

 

 

 

 

My guest today is Kat from the site Book Thingo, and the blog that i have been following the longest. I and many of her loyal readers have been with her through a few years of blogging  - from - Ménage a Kat to Book Thingo. When Kat accepted my invite i was so pleased, i had to pinch myself, so you can image my frantic rush to get the questions out - I know I probably have not asked her all the things I want to - but I had fun coming up with the questions that I did think of and it was a pleasure reading her response.

I have seen Kat through rainy days, sunny days, ultra sounds, first tooth to the terrible two’s – even day care and the horror and funnies of being a parent. She’s an avid internet blogger and when she’s on a roll – hold on to your horses  - she lets loose with fact and figures and all in her own words.

These past few weeks she has been going crazy with her excitement about the  Australian Romance Readers Convention, to the extent that i have my Twitter feed updating every 15 mins to get her updates – she is hilarious – and i can’t imagine all the cheeky things she will and probably do get up to at the convention.

Without much ado guys – Welcome Kat from Book Thingo.

 

 

 

 

1- Firstly you have promoted your site as "Mostly Romance" can you let us know what's your specialty romance area and how/why you got into it.

 

I don't have a specialty per se, but my favourite romance subgenres are historical romance and paranormal romance, so Book Thingo features those types of books more often. I've been blogging about books for a while now, but it was only last year that I decided to go ahead and create a dedicated blog about books. Although I run and edit Book Thingo (feed), I have a blogging partner, Wandergurl, and I'm hoping to have other readers reviewing on a regular basis.

 

-2- I originally know of your work through the blog Menage' a Kat - can you say why you changed from a blog to a domain   name.

 

Ménage à Kat is my personal blog, and it hasn't disappeared. In the last couple of years, I'd thought about having a separate blog for books, and last year I finally decided do it. I got a domain name because I had some goals for Book Thingo that I couldn't achieve if I used a platform hosted by a third-party.

 

 -3- Was it worth it and some of the positives and negatives if any.

 

Book Thingo has only been running—in terms of publishing original posts as opposed to reviews I migrated from my personal blog—since December, so it's too early to really measure whether the effort has been worth it.
The great thing about having my own domain name is that I have control of pretty much everything about the blog—layout, plugins, content, advertising. That's also the negative because it's a great time suck. It took almost 6 months to get Book Thingo into a state where I felt I could start telling people it exists. I chose to get a .com.au domain and to use a domain host in Australia so pages would load faster for Aussie readers, and those have come with their own set of issues.

 

-4- Anything you actually missed about having a blog.

 

Yes, the convenience and ease of use. Not having to manually do version upgrades.
I do still occasionally post on Ménage à Kat. The reason I post less often now isn't because of Book Thingo. I'm actually tossing up whether or not to get a domain for my personal blog.

 

 

–5- Tell us about the name "Book Thingo" – what's the story behind it.

Originally, I was thinking of naming the blog Stacks On! When you call "Stacks on!" a group of people kind of jump on top of someone and all pile up on top of each other. And I though it was a good play on words--stacks of books, and readers yelling Stacks On! before piling on their comments on a book. But that name was already registered in NSW, and you can't get a .com.au domain name without registering a business name or trademark.
Wandergurl and I brainstormed names, and we finally came up with Book Thingo. We like it because it reflects how we talk about stuff. I use "thingo" all the time in everyday conversation.

 

 

-6- How much of your personality is reflected in you site. It's quite streamline and there is an element of structure and organization to it - is this an element of you or am i being a paranoid old witch.

 

Oooh, good question. I'd say Book Thingo's design reflects some of my goals for the site. In terms of personality, I'd say the header/logo and the humungous orange RSS icon probably reflect my personal tastes.


When I was looking for themes, I wanted a magazine-style layout and of all the free themes I found, Arthemia had most of the features I wanted. I'd love to customise the design further, in terms of colours and fonts and frivolous prettification, but after 6 months of stuffing around, I realised that the most beautiful design wasn't going to be of any use unless I actually started posting some content. So I stopped tweaking the humungous orange RSS icon and started blogging about books, which is, after all, what the site is about.


And I'm a clutter disaster in real life, so no, the structure probably doesn't represent me at all!

 

-7- While the web is world wide, do you find you have a dedicated Australian crowd that follow your blog or is it a mix bag and some noticeable differences.

 

I'd love to attract more Australian traffic, but at the moment, I'd say we get about half our traffic from A/NZ. We get plenty of hits from North America and the UK, plus a smattering from other locations. I'm currently focused on

growing our audience—from anywhere, really—but yes, I'd love to have more Aussie readers participating in the site.

 

 

-8-While blogging gives away a piece of our identity - do you feel you have changed - become more adventurous - more aware since blogging.

 

Because Book Thingo isn't a personal blog, I don't feel as though it's changed me much on a personal level. But certainly, it's made me more aware of my blogging style and how I express criticisms about a book—I'm probably a little more circumspect than I would be on a personal blog. That's a deliberate choice because I feel that at Book Thingo I'm obliged to be more aware of my own reading biases. With Book Thingo, I have a much more elaborate editing process, whereas in my personal blog I write off the cuff.


That said, Book Thingo has helped me expand my knowledge about the book industry in Australia—and that's just been from  2 months of blogging. For example, I wrote a couple of articles on the parallel importation of books (part 1, part 2), which is a very important and contentious issue in Australia at the moment. I learned heaps during my research and it has changed my personal opinion on the subject.

 arrc-logo-wordpress1

-9-What would be your ultimate blogging/site experience - you may have  experience it already, or it could be a wish.

 

I'm not sure I can think of an "ultimate" experience because I'm interested achieving not a crescendo but a long, steady run. I'd love to do author interviews, and particularly Australian/New Zealand romance(ish) authors who haven't received much coverage in other romance sites. I'd like to write feature articles about authors. I'd also like to do more multimedia posts, but that's a long way in the offing since I can barely find time to post weekly.

 

 

We've just liveblogged the Australian Romance Readers Convention, and I'm in the middle of writing a round-up of the whole event. That was very exciting, often amusing, but also exhausting. I'm not sure I'd ever do it again--I suppose it depends on the feedback we get. But it's a full-on task to tweet regularly over two days.

Obviously, if for some reason Book Thingo reached the top of some important blog ranking list or started some kind of craze, that would be awesome, but I'm just not sure how we could link bacon cat to romance.


-10- One or two of the most memorable events on your blog/site.

 

It would definitely have to be liveblogging ARRC09. I'd love to know what it felt like reading the liveblogs, so if anyone followed us on Twitter or on the blog, please let me know what you thought.

Also memorable was getting our first ever non-SPAM comment.

 

-11-  What are some of the more noticeable positives and negative of the romance genre over the past few years for you.

 

I don't think I could possibly list all the positives, so I'll just go with those that have been important to me personally. Over the past few years, I've discovered edgier romances that push the boundaries of the genre—not so much in terms of the Happy Ever After, but what kinds of characters and actions can be acceptable in a romance.


For example, a few years ago I never would have thought I'd ever enjoy books in which one of the main characters sleeps with someone else, but Lover Eternal by JR ward is one of my favourite novels. I'd also have said that I could never enjoy a book where the hero knowingly rapes the heroine.

Now, I enjoy Kathleen Woodiwiss and goodness knows she's written a  few bodice-rippers, but you couldn't compare those to Claiming the Courtesan by Anna Campbell, in which the rape is blatant and devastating. Or Anne Stuart, who I personally think writes darker scenes in which consent isn't always clear. In my review of Claiming the Courtesan, I link to a real story by an escort in which the ambiguity of consent is both thrilling and empowering. I'm not saying I agree with it, but there's something very honest and compelling about those relationships, and I think that yes, maybe an author can sell me a relationship that's had that kind of dynamic.


Other positives include books with strong female characters, really good cross-genre books (particularly in paranormal romance: CLWilson *swoon*), and the increase in literary criticism for the romance genre—driven mostly by blogs, I believe.

On the negative side, what is with the never-ending paranormal series? I love a good series myself, but I think it takes a deft hand to write a series that spans more than 3 books. It's sad when a good series starts going off the rails—sadder still when I can't seem to stop myself from buying the next book!

 

-12- Now to get to the books. Tell me all - the ones that started you off onto the genre, some favourite through the years and looking forward to books.

My first adult romance was a chaste little Mills & Boon I found in my grandmother's garage. There's a kiss at the end and my 10(ish)-year old self fluttered wildly at the thought. I loved Sweet Dreams (YA romance) books.

 
The first book with a sex scene that I read was A Secret Intimacy by Charlotte Lamb when I was around 12. It had kissing cousins (I think), which makes me feel icky now, but at the time I couldn't afford to be picky. Mum read it first and told me it wasn't appropriate—somewhat apologetically, if I recall correctly. Well, I read it when she wasn't looking, and it was just thrilling.

 
Once Mum realised I was reading adult romances anyway, she told me about her favourites, and to this day, we share a common love for The Wolf and the Dove by Kathleen Woodiwiss.


I've had heaps of favourites along the years. My favourite author would have to be Laura Kinsale. Her best writing is an

absolute treat. Some of my favourite books include:


Enchanting Pleasures by Eloisa James
Romancing Mr. Bridgerton by Julia Quinn
Mr. Impossible by Loretta Chase
The Longest Night by Kathleen O'Reilly


Since Book Thingo is an Aussie blog, I want to mention Aussie books in particular. My favourite Aussie romance author is Melanie La'Brooy although she's really chick-lit with romance on the side. I'll be reviewing her books in the next few months. One author I'm expecting great things from is Bronwyn Parry. I'm not a fan of outback romances—mostly because the ones I've read have been atrocious—but Parry's debut novel As Darkness Falls is just lovely.


Other autobuy authors: Patricia McKillip (technically fantasy, but I think her writing is romantic), CL Wilson, Nalini Singh, Ann Aguirre, Meljean Brook. I thought I was over JR Ward, but after reading excerpts for her new release, she's back on the list!


My most anticipated book of the year would have to be Queen of Souls and Song by CL Wilson.

 

-13- With technology now walking hand in hand with our beloved print book - do you own an e-reader


     A. If no - why not         

I don't own an ebook reader because holy crap, have you seen how much those things cost??? I actually spend very little on books compared with many other bloggers around, so an ebook reader isn't a priority. That said, I've been to Dymocks to check out the Iliad and I got to hold it, and the thought of absconding with it did cross my mind, but I didn't think I could outrun security.

   B. What do you think of the ereader /ebook craze


I think ebooks are great if I can just afford an ebook reader. Seriously, I think publishing and book distribution are still in transition. I'm not convinced that ebooks as they are now will be the final outcome, but they'll certainly be around for a while. I think people (consumers) are crazy for investing so much on a technology and an industry in transition, but at the same time I'm grateful because all those early adopters are basically helping to fund innovation and driving the cost of ebooks and ebook readers down.

 

   C. What ereader are actually available in Australia - as some brand are not sold outside of mainland USA.


The only ebook retailer I know of is Dymocks, one of Australia's largest booksellers. They sell the IRex Iliad at insane prices and the Cybook. I believe you can get the BeBook in Australia, but I haven't heard of a bricks and mortar distributor where you can actually go in and touch it and test it out.

 

 

  D. Last book read that you though - it can't get any better than this.


The last (figurative) bookgasm I had was for Love Struck and The Babymoon, both by Melanie La'Brooy. The first one isn't genre romance but I found it very romantic, and the second one is more about pregnancy than romance, and I thought it was hilarious. I kept the books on my bedside table so I can reread bits whenever I felt the urge. For genre romance, the last wow book I read was probably As Darkness Falls by Bronwyn Parry.

 

-14- Any tips for new and future blogger.

 

Depends on what you're blogging for, but in general, I'd say be honest but try to be accurate in how you

express yourself. It's a terrible thing to have someone come and rip you a new one because they misunderstood what you were trying to say. My second tip is not to take anything personally even when it sounds personal.

 

  -15- Sneak peek at any future plans for the site or any upcoming events for you, and let us know where else we can  find  you on the web.

 


We're planning to hold a few contest on the blog, so that's pretty exciting. I'm taking home a lot of goodies from ARRC09 and I plan to give them away on the blog, so check back at Book Thingo for those contests. I won an interview on a popular romance reader site, so I hope that's going to introduce a few more readers to Book Thingo. I'm also trying to talk a few people into writing guest reviews, so expect some new voices in the future. Plus, more reviews of Aussie romance books and authors.


Book Thingo is also on Twitter and Facebook.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read rest of entry

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Decadent Deceptions – Keta Diablo

 

                                                 

 

The Blurb

 

Daring and desperate to win Morgan’s love, Olivia Breedlove embarks on a reckless folly. But everything backfires when Morgan remains one step ahead of her and the game ventures down a path of duplicity and murder.


A decade ago, Morgan was a heartbeat away from taking Olivia’s virginity. Her father, Thaddeus, intervened and threatened to meet him over pistols if he so much as looked at his daughter again. But now, Thaddeus is dead and Morgan has no intention of ignoring the ravenous hunger he’s harboured for the blasted woman for ten years.
One way or the other, he will quench this burning desire and make her his forever.

 

 

 

The Review

After the death of her father, Olivia Breedlove and her brother Cain finds out the terms of his will – and Olivia is not happy. When the true nature of what she must adhered to in order to gain her inheritance sinks in, the gleam of mischief shines bright in her eyes.

Everyone around knows Olivia is a feisty soul and when she sets her mind to something, there’s little point in trying to talk her out of it. With only a limited time to honour her father’s request, she goes after the one man her father has forbidden her to ever see again.

After a few years away from home and the woman he gave his heart to, Morgan Gatewood is back. A libertine, a rogue of the first order when it comes to women, Morgan is no saint when it comes to desires of the flesh; despite all that however, when he gave his words years earlier to Olivia’s father that he would not see her again – he meant it. Now, that he was dead – nothing will stop him from claiming Olivia for his own.

Olivia in her quest to be her own woman and get the only man she wants, sets in motion a chain of events that might have Morgan and her losing everything they have ever hold dear.

It has been more than a year since I have read an historical romance, so when I got the chance to do a review of Decadent Deception, I jumped at the chance and I certainly have not regretted it.

Set in a time when a ladies reputation was valued about all else and a man’s word was his bond, we meet Olivia. Trying her best to defy the plans her father has drawn up for her, she does what she normally does best, sets about on a harebrained scheme in her own stubborn, which eventually affects not only her immediately family, but puts her in a position to experience the passion and pleasure which she is adamant is her due, before she mates.

Morgan has taken just about all he can when he gets winds of Olivia latest plot. In a position to not only protect her, but gets his own back at her – he sets her plan in motion with devastating result. Morgan has kept not only his love a secret from Olivia but his business acquirements, and it may just be the thing to save her or it might just be the thing to break them forever.

The introduction of a murder mystery was a stroke of genius by Ms. Diablo, not only did she hold the who done it until the end, but the tension - was real, the fear – chilling and the steps Olivia and Morgan takes to protect themselves will have you literally biting your nails in anticipation of the outcome.

I admit this book started off a bit slow for me, however by about page thirty – I was hooks and the pages just kept flying. Once the paced picked up, Decadent Deception took on a totally new dimension. Love, friendship, and loyalty are tested, secrets are revealed and Ms. Diablo manages to give respectability to an area of society that is frowned upon and a humanity to situation and scenarios’ that could easily have been trivialized.

I enjoyed Decadent Deception and it’s is a read I most definitely recommend. Well done Ms. Diablo.

 

 

Read rest of entry

One To Watch – land of the Falling Stars – Keta Diablo

 

 

 

 

 The Blurb

Penniless, her parents and brother dead, Sophia Whitfield struggles to save her beloved childhood home during the Civil War. Another bluecoat is staggering down the hill, but before Sophia allows him to rob and pilfer like the others, she shoots him. How was she to know it was Gavin, the dark knight of her youth, carrying secrets too horrific to imagine and a passion that ignites her deepest desires?

As Sophia gradually learns Gavin's secrets—and enjoys his talents in the bedroom—she discovers how to finally know her own heart. Can she survive in the Land of Falling Stars, or will she lose it all to the horrors of the War and Reconstruction? And will the Southern lady and the Yankee soldier be able to recapture the bliss of their youth—this time in each other's arms?

 

 

 

I didn’t review this book, but my friend Phoebe from Talk about my Favourite Authors say about Land of the Falling Stars

 

This is one steamy hot erotic historical eBook that I devoured as soon as I got a couple of pages in……I recommend all you erotic romance readers to go out and buy this eBook because it is a keeper.

 

Another of Ms. Diablo’s works to add to your library - enjoy.

 

Read rest of entry

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Letting Go of the Reins Bk 1 – Slade and Kally – A.E. Rought

 

 

The Blurb

Running from pain—falling into love.

Letting Go of the Reins, Book 1

Weeks before Thanksgiving, Kally Jensen leaves her life in Michigan and her abusive fiancé behind. With her sister’s money, a teddy bear and bruises she cannot hide, she tries to disappear. She almost does—permanently—when icy roads force her car into a ditch, leaving her stranded and injured on a cattle ranch in Hulett, Wyoming.

Fate answers ex-police officer Slade Carlson’s unspoken need for change by delivering a hypothermic girl into his arms. Kally is like no call he’s worked before; her abuse-related injuries and unconscious cries for mercy pierce his lonely heart. Nursing Kally back to health and helping her see life beyond the pain gives Slade the purpose he’s been looking for.

Holding back his feelings until she can work through her own emotional pain will be the hardest thing he’s ever done. Yet new love blossoms like a Christmas Lily in the Wyoming winter.

Still, Slade’s love may not be enough to protect Kally when the shadows rise from her past…

 

 

The Review

Running away never helps a situation, but when Kally had her latest fight with her boyfriend she knew she had to go– she had to disappear. With only the blessing of her sister, a raggedy teddy and a whole lot of bruise, she gets in her car and high tails it. When an icy road and a lonely stretch of pasture, lands her in a precarious situation, she can only pray that the arms that are holding her will never let go.

Officer Slade Carlson is home and helping in the family run ranch business. As fate would have it, he checks out a disturbance on one end of the property and finds more than the cattle in the pasture. With the weather being so bad he has to move fast to get Kally to safety, but just the mere fact that he is there at the precise moment when Kally needs him is a sign that she is the one.

Kally and Slade are instantly alert to the attraction between then, but with Kally’s near past not exactly behind her and Slade’s insecurity still with him, can they wade through the emotions and misunderstandings to find each other before it’s too late?

If you have never read a book by A.E. Rought, you have no idea what you are missing. Slade and Kally is that book that stays with you long after you have read it.

Slade is missing his career; he misses the thrill of the chase, the hunt and excitement of doing the right thing. Feeling like he’s not fitting in, he gets on with the family ranching business. When Kally more less falls into his arms – albeit that he had to pick her up – he knows, that all the excitement he needs - is in his arms.

Kally is trying to make a new start, and find herself. With new possibilities on Slade’s family ranch she has the chance to be herself and let her natural shine rise to the surface. Things are not plain sailing as the past has a way of creeping up when you least expect it and Slade and Kally have to battle through to hold on to their union - as fragile as it is.

Slade and Kally is a wonderful book, with a couple who wants that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, but has to face up to the challenges placed in front of them and confront their fears. A.E. Rought writing style is easy on the eyes and there are moments of humour that are just so real, you’ll feel as if you were there.

Slade and Kally is a not to be missed read.

 

 

Read rest of entry

Desire, Oklahoma 3 - Creation of Desire – Leah Brooke

 

 

 

The Blurb

 

Boone and Chase Jackson have managed to avoid Rachel Robinson for months, although it wasn't easy. She's a forever kind of woman and they've been burned too badly in the past to ever want a commitment again.

When Rachel gives up on them, though, they're not happy. Seeing that other men have decided to move on her, they give her a night she'll never forget. But they all get more than they bargained for when Rachel discovers she's pregnant. The men are quick to throw off their fears and make her their own.

But she doesn't believe them. Deciding their desire to commit is only for the baby's sake, Rachel refuses to believe that it's her they want. But the passion between the three of them is hotter than ever.

When the pregnancy is in danger, can she and her lovers still have a future?

 

 

The Review

Boone and Chase Jackson are at the lowest point in their lives. In love with a woman that they feel, they have no right to approach, so they avoid her as much as possible. However when someone else decides to take an interest in their woman – all bets are off.

Rachel has only ever wanted Boone and Chase and has done everything to get them to notice her. When it look as if she can’t get her wish – she gives up and resolves to get on with her life.

When the boys are pushed to the limit they take Rachel in hand - literally with unexpected consequences. They however find they have a mighty hard time convincing her that they have her best interest at heart.

Number 36 in the Siren Ménage Amour series, Creation of Desire follows up with another set of brothers finding their woman.

Not an easy partnership, as both men drags their feet getting their act together and with a huge chip on their shoulder – they have a hard time convincing the girl of their intensions. Boone and Chase are not only attracted to Rachel, but feels as if she is theirs, but the past has easily become a barrier that they have a hard time breaking down in order to make a start at wooing Rachel.

Rachel has tried every trick in the book and has just about given up when the whole situation changes between the three, and the little town of Desire is in for a battle of wills between these three.

Leah Brooks had continued with her exciting series with two hot alpha male and a feisty woman who knows exactly what she wants. The sexual tension is rampant all through the book and with old friends and new ones making an appearance, the next in the series looks to be just as exciting.

Creation of Desire is a wonderful read by Leah Brooke and a perfect addition to her Desire, Oklahoma series.

 

 

 

 

Read rest of entry

RE: For the Love of Reading - Why Use Books as Punishment?

Found this on one of my upcoming guest blogger site and thought I'd share, as it’s something I've always hated and i seem to be hearing it more and more recently. Have a read and join in the discussion.

PLEASE DO NOT COMMENT HERE – GO TO For the Love of Reading - Why Use Books as Punishment? TO LEAVE ALL YOUR COMMENTS.

 

Grrr. Time to let out some steam.
I have a very difficult time trying to make certain teachers understand one basic principle: If you use reading as a punishment, then don't complain when the child's reading scores are low!
Have you ever heard this?
"If you don't behave, I'm going to put you over in that corner with a book!"
"You just lost recess, buster! When we go outside, take a book with you so you'll have something to do."
"No, sir. You're going to In School Suspension. Take your library book with you."
There are other similar quotes, but you get the picture. I cringe every time I hear an adult threaten a child with reading a book if they don't do "such and such". Heck, I would LOVE it if I could get out of some of my more boring classes, and instead be sentenced to a day of reading!
Why do teachers AND PARENTS use reading as a form of punishment, when we're trying to RAISE our reading test scores? Does anyone else see the double standard in this?

 

 

 

Read rest of entry