Jun 8, 2014

What I wrote about this week

I recently attended BookExpo America, and I am still sorting through all the notes for articles I plan to write. There should be at least four or five more articles in the works from BEA.

This is the second year in a row I attended the event. The first year, I was completely unprepared for it while I brought a little bag and carried too many books. I was smarter this time around by limiting the books I picked up and bringing a much bigger bag.

Here are the posts from Teleread on my trip to BEA so far:

Publishing houses -- at least Simon & Schuster -- not avoiding fan fiction

Novelry looks to be the online bookstore when it comes to discoverability

Over at Books and Pals, where I get a chance to read indie books, two of my reviews were posted. One was on a fictional baseball book and the other took place in a dystopian future.

Hang a Crooked Number

Far Out

May 17, 2014

The Dresden Files on sale today from Amazon

There are a number fans of The Dresden Files, and Amazon is offering a nice deal for them today.

The e-books from The Dresden Files are just $1.99 each today. The Dresden Files are a series of mysteries with the main character being Harry Dresden, who is a private investigator and a wizard.

If you always wanted to pick these books up, now today (Saturday) would be a good time.

May 12, 2014

Book accessories for under $5

Everywhere I look, I see owls.

I think owls have replaced mustaches as the next trendy thing. My nieces have owl everything I noticed. They made a mother’s day card for grandma, it was decorated with owls.

So here’s a cute gift for someone who likes owls, and likes to read. These i-clips owl magnets page markers are only $3.55.

As a bonus for anyone who likes to read in the dark or in poor lighting, here is a portable, foldable LED reading light . You can clip it to a book, or likely on the edge of on e-reader. I used to have something similar for my Nook, but I certainly didn’t pay $1.54 for it, which is the price right now on Amazon.

If you’re looking for something a little more traditional, check out these Tiffany paper bookmarks , which are $1.50 for 12. 

May 6, 2014

Review: The Case of the Werewolf Puppy

I keep doing this. I start with the wrong book in a series. I don’t do it on purpose, but it turned out The Case of the Werewolf Puppy was actually the second in The Warlock Case Files.

The good thing, however, is that there was enough information and action that I didn’t feel as though I was missing anything by starting with Book 2. It made for a good stand-alone book within the series.

Author Juli Monroe has a great voice with a very easy, casual feel about it. It’s almost as though a friend is telling you a story rather than an author trying to put a series of actions together. Getting inside the head of Dafydd, the protagonist, is also interesting. He’s a warlock, but it’s more about rituals and potions. That doesn’t mean he is bad. In fact, Dafydd goes through some serious soul searching as he learns more about evil and how far he is willing to go in the name of doing the right thing.

The Case of the Werewolf Puppy has an interesting premise with Dafydd finding a werewolf child. The problem is he and his friends learn the child is an infected werewolf and not a natural one. That is a big no-no.

Dafydd and his friends aren’t typical crime fighters. He is a gay warlock. His evil-fighting partner is a vampire, Paul, who doesn’t want to drink from humans. His best friend, Laura, is a quadriplegic who was paralyzed in a car crash in high school. And they bring in a local werewolf pack leader for help.

They mesh well and have easy conversations. Even though, they are all dealing with their own daily struggles, there is still enough light in their lives that it won’t allow the darkness to consume them.

I started with Book 2, and I fully intend on heading back to the first book of the series to see how Dafydd and Paul’s partnership began. 

May 4, 2014

Book Review: Blind Sight ... a fun read, especially for Supernatural fans

Where to find it: Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | iTunes

Being a teenage girl and growing up without a mother is tough enough. Throw in special powers, a brother who resents you and angels and demon vying for your attention, and you have the world going crazy around you.

Jordan has visions that allow her to see evil monsters. She relays those images to her brothers who hunt the creature and kill it before it can do more damage. Jordan is isolated, but loves her family. Her only friend is her family’s guardian angel, but even he has been acting shady as of late.

Jordan’s most recent vision sends the entire family on a hunt to Tennessee where they have to destroy a rare creature that is killing people in a small town. This hunt is anything but ordinary – if killing mystical creatures can be called ordinary – as Jordan learns more about her true nature.

The book is well written and the action moved throughout. The twists are interesting and you feel for Jordan. She tries her best, but that may not be good enough because things happened before she was born that she cannot change.

This is the first book in the Celadon Series by Nicole Storey, but you don’t have to worry about there being a major cliffhanger at the end. The creature story wraps up and all the big secrets are out in the open.

However, I’m intrigued to see where Jordan’s next adventure will take her.

May 2, 2014

Review: Moon Called by Patricia Briggs

Moon Called | Patricia Briggs

Summary: The introduction of Mercedes Thompson, a stubborn mechanic who wants to keep to herself. But other people don’t intend on leaving her alone. Mercy lives next door to an Alpha werewolf and they don’t always play nice as she can change into a coyote. However, when her new employee, a newly made, lone wolf from out of town ends up dead on her doorstep and the Alpha is attacked and his daughter kidnapped, Mercy’s instincts kick in to help.

Where to find it: Amazon | Apple | Barnes & Noble

Review: I started backwards, reading the seventh book in the series first. I enjoyed that book so much, I went back to the beginning.

I can see why readers have enjoyed the Mercy Thompson series. She’s a fiery, independent woman who doesn’t want to take people’s crap. She doesn’t seek trouble, yet it has a way of landing on her doorstep.

What I found intriguing was the development of certain relationships. I know where Mercy ends up – because I read the seventh book – but watching the journey unfold is fun.

The first book by Patricia Briggs is a great set up. We learn about Mercy, how she grew up, and the world that now surrounds her. Mercy navigates these obstacles the best she can, but it’s inevitable that she runs into problems because she is stubborn and doesn’t want to be submissive to anyone – including the pack Alpha who lives next door.

In Mooncalled, Mercy rescues Adam, the Alpha, and saves his life more than once. She also helps save his kidnapped daughter. While Mercy works out reasons behind the attack, some of her ideas were a bit of a stretch, and I actually found the “big reveal” to be a little far-fetched. It didn’t detract from the fun nature of Mooncalled, and the Mercy Thompson series is one I will continue reading.

Apr 28, 2014

Review: The Picture of Cool by Laurie Boris

The Picture of Cool | Laurie Boris

Summary: Charlie is a television producer that meets an interesting man who is a guest on the show. The two connect, but Adam has a secret that could tear his family apart.

Where to find it: Amazon

Review: When reading a book about people and seminal moments, the characters have to be believable. They need to feel real and not as though they are forced into a moment for the sake of a story.

Boris did everything right in The Picture of Cool.  

The characters are real and in situations easily imagined. The pain Charlie feels as he pines for Adam is something that any person can relate to. Their relationship is gradual and sweet.

It doesn’t matter that the main characters are gay, anyone should be able to enjoy this book.

Boris leaves a note at the end stating she intends to make these characters part of a longer book, and one I fully intend to read. I actually wanted to learn more about the characters, including some of the supporting cast. The Picture of Cool is an easy, smooth read where the reader is pulled into the lovely story. 

Apr 15, 2014

Picking up a baseball gig

Writing about baseball has been one of my favorite things. Covering ball games, talking to players, dissecting the nuances of the game.

I love it all.

Almost two years ago, I stopped writing about baseball because -- what I tell people -- I took a desk job. I became on editor at Beckett Media where I write about trading cards and collectibles.

For the most part, I rarely write about baseball. In fact, I write about every other main sport.

A couple of weeks ago, I contacted one of the editors of It's About the Money. It's a blog dedicated to the New York Yankees. Luckily, they were happy to have me write for the. So far, I wrote a couple of game recaps, but I also wrote three other posts.

Bernie Williams should be celebrated with The Core Four

Replay slowing the pace of baseball games; is it worth it?

Why players don't care about Michael Pineda's "dirt"

Check out the site, especially if you are into baseball. There are a lot of interesting writers over there who have a lot of thought-provoking things to say about baseball and the Yankees. I am happy to write about baseball again.

I hope you enjoy my contributions.

Feb 26, 2014

Book review: The Chase by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg

The Chase was a gripping thriller, blurring the lines of the law to get justice. Even though Kate O'Hara and Nicholas Fox were once on opposite sides of the law, they don't let that get in the way of their relationship. They work well together, picking up traits from each other along their journey.

I didn't read the first book of the series, but the good thing about The Chase was there was enough background information that didn't leave me confused as to how an FBI agent and a career criminal ended up working together.

Evanovich and Goldberg did a nice job of recapping their history without making it feel bogged down.

The Chase was a fun read, and reminded me of the TV show Leverage where -- to borrow a line from the opening credits -- sometimes bad guys make the best good guys.

I'll probably read the first book to get the full picture of how these two started on their path of catching the worst crooks in the world and doing crazy heists all in the name of the FBI and country.

One drawback was how it ended. It wrapped up a little too cleanly and just seemed as everyone did exactly what they were supposed to do including incredible feats to win the day. Overall, however, it was enjoyable and a reminder of why I enjoyed Evanovich when she began the Stephanie Plum series.

Note: I received an advanced copy of this book through Netgalley.

Amazon: Yes Apple: Yes Barnes & Noble: Yes Smashwords: No
Click on Yes to go to the store where you want to purchase a copy of the book

Feb 21, 2014

Becoming a pal

I recently started writing for Books and Pals, a popular site dedicated to reading indie books.

I’m excited about the opportunity for several reasons.

1.       I love to read: This gives me a chance to read as many books as I want while finding great new voices.
2.       It makes me a better writer: By reading more books, I will find great techniques that I may want to employ or even things I don’t like. Reading and writing more will only help in the long run.
3.       A better sense of community: I’ve noticed over the last couple of years that self-publishers are a close group. So many of them are willing to help with design, formatting, and pass along great ideas. I look forward to meeting more of those people.

I’d like to give a special shout out to Al for bringing me on board.

My first review is up and I am reading my second book now. This is about three times the size of the last book so it’s taking me a bit longer to get through.