Posts Tagged by other people’s books
|February 13, 2014||Posted by annathepiper under Boosting the Signal|
I’ve been thinking for a while that I’d like to do something similar to how John Scalzi does his Big Idea column over on the Whatever, and how Mary Robinette Kowal does My Favorite Bit. I know quite a few authors at this point, many of whom need all the help they can get to get the word out about their books. And well hey, I’ve got a blog. So I’m going to start inviting folks to come borrow my blog every so often to, in fact, boost their signals.
What I’ll be putting into these posts:
- Author name
- The title and genre of their book
- Links to where it can be bought
- Cover art
And most importantly, here’s where the Boosting the Signal part comes in.
One of the characters in these books will have a goal. Protagonist, antagonist, hero, villain, I don’t care which–if the author has done their job, this character is going to want something. And their only path to achieving that goal is for people to come check out the book. So in the voice of this character, my guests will be telling you what that goal is.
Right now this semi-regular feature will be invitation-only, as I want to first give precedence to folks I know from several of the indie, hybrid, and self-pub circles I’m a part of. I’ll be pinging a few folks in particular to gauge interest. The rest of you, you can expect this to feature several of my fellow Carina authors, current work by the other folks who used to write for Drollerie Press, as well as possible folks from NIWA (the Northwest Independent Writers Association) and other self-pub or small-press folks I know.
I’ll be running these on Fridays when I have ‘em. Hopefully this’ll be fun, for me to post and for y’all to read!
|February 13, 2014||Posted by annathepiper under Other People's Books|
A local writer friend of mine has just released her very first novel, the YA urban fantasy Stronger than Blood! I beta-read an early draft of this, and am proud to see it finally getting out into the world. Here’s what I said about it on Goodreads and Amazon:
(Disclaimer: the writer of this book is a friend of mine, and I beta-read this before its release! These remarks are based on my beta-read of the novel.)
Stronger Than Blood does a deft job of avoiding tropes I give the side-eye to in both YA and urban fantasy. It involves high school students, yet it avoids a lot of the angst I’ve seen in other titles I’ve sampled. And it’s urban fantasy with werewolves–but I found the heroine, B, refreshingly atypical. She’s not only not a stereotypical badass, her transformations cause her active, major health problems, and this is one of the neatest explorations of what exactly monthly shapeshifting can do to a body that I’ve had the pleasure to read.
And what does our heroine, B, have to deal with? Discovering that she is not in fact the only werewolf in the world, and that furthermore, the pack she discovers is not plagued with her health issues. But her initial quest to find out whether these other weres can teach her how to not only endure her transformations, but to get her strength back as well, is only the first layer of a nicely complicated little plot. B’s got to maneuver dangerous pack dynamics if she wants to survive not only her own changes, but her new place in a world that contains others like her.
So yeah, go pick this one up. And tell Genevieve I sent you, won’t you?
To which I’ll basically add here that if you like YA, and if you like werewolves, and if you’ve got a Kindle or any of the various Kindle apps, give this ‘un a read! You can find it for sale on Amazon right over here.
|January 14, 2014||Posted by annathepiper under About Me, Other People's Books, The Internet|
Some good reading on the Intarwebz today! First up, I bring you today’s Big Idea column over at the Whatever, where Mr. Scalzi brings word of Brad Meltzer’s new children’s books about Amelia Earhart and Abraham Lincoln. Parents of small children, especially daughters, go check this out. Especially if you’re fans of Calvin and Hobbes. The art for the Amelia book looks adorable.
Meanwhile, Jim Hines has put up a good post today going over a writing advice question I hear time and again: i.e., whether you should try to write to the market. I said over there, and I’ll say here too, that even though “don’t try to write to the market” and “be aware of the market” seem contradictory on the surface, for me they’re actually kind of not. You want to be aware of what people who aren’t you are writing, so you aren’t writing in a complete and utter vacuum, and accidentally writing stuff that people lost interest in reading five or ten or even more years ago. Plus, you never know what awesome ideas you may have spark for your next book.
Fellow Carina fantasy author Shawna Thomas is talking up her work over at Eleri Stone’s place, and in particular about coming-of-age fantasy. Go give her a look, ’cause fantasy by Carina is love!
I’ve been following the news posts on TheOneRing.net for a while now, because hi, yeah, Tolkien geek, yo. But this post of theirs made me up and join their message forums for the express purpose of voicing my appreciation to their forums member who wrote some nice fanfic about Dís, the mother of the dwarves Kíli and Fíli, the only female dwarf Tolkien ever named. Looks like Cirashala’s getting her epic on with further fanfic about the character, too, based on what she’s saying in the thread that the news post links to. I approve!
And last but least, speaking of Tolkien, I’m posting about reading fantasy in other languages over on Here Be Magic today! I talk up the Trilingual Hobbit Reread, but also a couple of the novels I want to read out of Quebec SF/F as well, like the ones by Élodie Tirel I’ve been talking about, as well as Esther Rochon.
C’mon over and tell me about nifty non-Anglophone genre works English speakers should know about, won’t you?
|January 6, 2014||Posted by annathepiper under Other People's Books|
I’m into chapter two now on Luna: La cité maudite by Élodie Tirel, and so far I’m having great fun with it. Not only because of the language geekery, which was part of why I wanted to try this in the first place, either!
Some of it turned out to be the surprise glee of reading a book where the language is mostly beyond me, but where I have just enough to get the general idea of what’s going on. This feels very much like when I was a child and grabbing any book around me to read, especially Stephen King or The Amityville Horror off my dad’s tables, just because OH HEY BOOK. And being all “ooh hey what’s this word? How about this one? And this one over here?” And looking stuff up if I don’t understand it.
And reading a thing in French without an English translation–and also without resorting to Google Translate or the reverso.net dictionary if I can help it!–feels like riding a bike without the training wheels for the first time. Sure, I’m wobbly, and maybe I’ll only make it a block or two down the street before I go skidding into a neighbor’s driveway and wind up skinning my knees on the asphalt. But that’s okay, because holy crap omg I was on the bike go me!
Language-geek!me is, however, still noting interesting words to look up. One was the verb songer, which is not to be confused with singing–it’s apparently a synonym of penser and means “to think about/consider/daydream”. And I also noted both forms of the word for “prowler”, rôdeur and rôdeuse, used to describe the drow that are the bad guys of this story.
And writer!me is amused by what I’m able to get out of the story, too–particularly things that I’ve seen industry professionals in the US markets advise against using, in no uncertain terms. For example, a prologue! Because there is one, setting up the backstory for how our heroine, Luna, is born. And for example, having our young heroine described to the reader by way of her admiring her own reflection in the water. (Complete with the obligatory description of how, of course, she is totally beautiful above and beyond the standards of her tender age, even for elves.)
But mostly, this is about amusing reader!me, and reader!me is finding this delightful so far. It’s making me have to slow down my reading speed considerably, because I need to be able to try to understand the words. And while I’m finding a lot of them still beyond me, a lot of them aren’t, and I’m getting the very basic gist of the action, just enough to let me build an idea of the plot. It will be amusing to read this again as my comprehension of French improves, just to see how my understanding of the plot changes!
Also, since I’ve been asked about this–the copy of this book I’m reading is a physical print copy, which I bought in Quebec in 2012. I will not be loaning this out, because it would be difficult to replace if anything happened to it.
But that said, if anyone else wants to try to tackle these books, they are available electronically for US readers from a couple of places. Barnes and Noble has a bunch of Tirel’s books for the Nook. Kobo has them as well. Interestingly, they are not available for the Kindle in the US, although Amazon seems perfectly willing to let you order the paperbacks. Amazon.ca DOES have Kindle editions as well as paperbacks, though.
If you want the paperbacks, though, I’d recommend either ordering them from Amazon.ca, or else getting a Canadian friend to scarf you copies and send them to you. Chances are good that I myself will be continuing this series electronically, though I may continue to purchase the print copies on general principles of ‘gosh this cover art is pretty’.
More as I continue through the book!
|January 4, 2014||Posted by annathepiper under Other People's Books|
I haven’t quite finished off the Trilingual Hobbit Reread yet, but I’ve been itching to progress with my French reading. And so as of today I’ve started reading a book called Luna: La Cité Maudite, by Élodie Tirel. This is a Quebecois YA-level fantasy novel, which I’d heard about via
This is also the book which, when I bought it in Renaud-Bray, got me the amused commentary from the clerk about how “you know this is for children, right?” And I told him that was absolutely fine, because I was trying to learn French and I thought it’d be a good way to practice. He told me he did the same for English.
And as you can see by the cover, there’s a silver-haired elf girl riding a wolf here. In addition to this art just being lovely, it amuses me by reminding me of Clearbrook from Elfquest.
This will be the first I’ve tried to read anything in another language without having an English translation handy, so yeah, this is going to be fun. I started reading it slowly today, and was pleased to discover in the prologue that while I couldn’t pick up on all the language, I did get enough to realize that the character being described was a young elf who’d been enslaved by the drow along with her loyal servant, that she was forced to live underground and sorely missed living on the surface, and that ohnoez!, she’s about to have a baby.
Which tells me that while I have a long way to go yet with French reading comprehension, I can at least pick up on the basic details of a story. Which is very promising indeed.
Bonus too that this series is actually available electronically for the Nook. We’ll have to see if I like this one well enough to buy the rest!
ETA: Oh hey the series is also available for digital purchase via Kobo. This will require looking into, given that I do have a Kobo account set up to support Third Place!
And wow, this series is up to twelve books!
|November 6, 2013||Posted by annathepiper under Books||
And now, another episode of the What Books Has Anna Been Getting Her Hands On Show!
Grabbed from B&N for the Nook:
- Parasite, by Mira Grant. Because anything written by Mira/Seanan is Love. First half of a new duology, and I have high hopes of seeing her prowess at all things parasitological on display here.
- Some of the Best of Tor.com, 2013 Edition. Pretty much what it says on the tin. A collection of various short stories published on Tor.com this year, and bonus, it’s FREE as of this writing. Confirmed as present on bn.com, NOT present on Kobo as of tonight, though I’m pretty darned sure you should be able to get it for the Kindle too.
The next book I grabbed was from one of my NOT usual ebook sources: i.e., ebooks.com. I’ve had an account there for ages, and in fact, it was one of the first places I opened an account on when ebooks started becoming a thing. I went to this site for this book on the grounds that I’d TRIED to buy it from Kobo before, except that for some reason, when I bought it from them, I got an entirely different book. I reported this to their support people at the time, and as of just the other day, they still hadn’t addressed the problem.
So, yeah, right then, went looking for it elsewhere. Ebooks.com had it, so here you go:
- Sherlock Holmes: The Breath of God, by Guy Adams. First of what appears to now be an ongoing series from Titan Books featuring new Sherlock Holmes adventures, with a touch of steampunk and/or supernatural going on.
And lastly, here, have an assortment of various titles I’ve acquired because of supporting people’s Kickstarters:
- Ravensblood, by Shawna Reppert. Shawna is a fellow Carina author and this is a self-pub release, an urban fantasy set in the Pacific Northwest. For obvious reasons, I’m rather partial to those! She’s deployed it for sale on the Kindle. If you’d like to see her deploy it to other platforms, consider visiting her at her place. And buy her Carina title, The Stolen Luck, while you’re at it.
- Twenty Palaces, by Harry Connolly. Got this because he handed it out for free to his Kickstarter backers, for his project to deploy a fantasy trilogy. People keep telling me I need to read this man, and this is his prequel to his Twenty Palaces urban fantasy series that starts with Child of Fire.
- Bone Shop, Broken Mirrors, Grim Tides, and The Complete Stories of Tim Pratt, all by T.A./Tim Pratt. I was one of Tim’s Kickstarter backers for a new Marla Mason novel, and since people have kept telling me I should read him too, well. More urban fantasy, and Tim didn’t skimp on handing out free copies of several of his works to backers. Thanks, Tim!
174 for the year.
|October 26, 2013||Posted by annathepiper under Books||
Just two in this post, both picked up from Barnes and Noble in ebook form:
Divergent, by Veronica Roth. YA dystopian SF. Got this one since it was on my queue and as of this writing, B&N’s selling the ebook version for $3.99.
Jurassic Park, by Michael Crichton. I saw this on sale for a VERY brief window for $1.99, so thought what the hey, I’ll grab it. I used to have a paperback copy, and wouldn’t mind having this around on the occasions when I might want to read about chompy dinosaurs.
165 for the year.