Thursday, August 30, 2012

Selling ebooks to Libraries!

What a concept!


Joe Konrath has this GREAT idea about selling one copy of his ebook to a library and they can lend out as many copies as they like in whatever format they like. FABULOUS!

I'm a huge supporter of libraries and I think this is a fabulous idea. Libraries would get one ebook at $3.99 and be able to lend it out to readers. No more waiting for a book, or even going to the library. You could simply download it and read it. Due date comes -- poof, it's gone from your reader. It would save the library an immense amount of money that they currently spend on trying to recover overdue books. It would save the reader money, since he/she doesn't have to worry about returning the book, it's all automated. And authors would get more of their books "out there" for readers, building a larger fan base.

I think this is freaking awesome!

And check out the comments, there are some great ideas on how to do this.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Glowgems for Profit - 5 Stars!

This is another of the books provided to me for review. I really, really liked it and gave it 5 stars! I also added it to my book website,, on the "Black" page. I have no qualms about a teen reading this book, what little sex there is, well, it's the "she came to me in the dark" and boom, next chapter. No vivid descriptions of sex. A bit violent, definitely a grittier universe here, but teens see worse on their video games and movies...

Let me just plunge right into the review:

I'd read the sample, so I picked up where I'd left off and the next thing I knew, it was very, very late and I was done with the book. All I can say is WOW!

This is the action adventure sci-fi that hearkens back to an earlier era, when science fiction was a rip-roaring, wild ride through the universe. There's not a bit of magic in this book to muck up the science, nor are there long boring explanations of how futuristic gadgets work -- a sci-fi fan's dream of the perfect science fiction novel!

Refreshingly, Davis' universe is diverse, with good guys and bad guys of every ethnicity and race, and often you have to guess by the last name or a bit of a description to figure it out. Zack himself is Black, an unusual feature in science fiction in general -- a Black main character -- and he doesn't even get killed off. I can't call him African-American, he's from Mars. With his crew/partner, Deuce; an intelligent artificial intelligence (AI), Sylvia, running the ship; a wheelchair-bound sidekick/hacker, Rabbit; and an Asian love interest, Cleopatra Lee (hmmm, makes me think of Cleopatra Jones), and an assortment of bad guys, they leap from one situation to the next, never quite stopping between.

I haven't read good, action-packed sci-fi like this in a long time. I liked the main character, Zack. He's flawed, hard-headed, haunted by the past, a war and an experiment that he survived -- more or less intact. He's not perfect, he loses his temper, he gets it all wrong at times and he'll hit a girl. And I still like him. I also like that the nanos inside his body aren't all perfect, he uses them and sometimes they use him, but there's a price to pay, IE pain. The science is just "there", he doesn't worry about how this or that works. No boring explanations in this book, the author jumps right into the story and off you go!

The bad guys are bad guys, his disabled sidekick who also survived the wartime experiment, but not so well, is a computer genius. And the good guys? I questioned as I read, wondering who was a good guy and who wasn't. No spoilers here, you'll have to read the book to see what I mean.

Several times I was expecting the plot to go in one direction and it made a sharp turn, leading in another direction entirely. Interesting! The story kept me riveted until it was over. It's obvious that this is the first of several titles and I'm looking forward to the next one in the series.

I was so busy reading the story, I didn't really notice the few typos that had crept in despite careful editing by the publisher. The book is well formatted, none of those weird glitches that plague e-books.

(I was provided a free copy of the book by the publisher. Other than the book, I received no compensation for this review.)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Book Review - Children of Destruction

My book website,, is doing pretty well, drawing some attention.

In fact, recently a small publisher contacted me, submitting books for inclusion on my website. In addition, he asked me to read and review a couple of books.

I must say, after reading the first book, those of you who are hesitating to dive into the self-published book market, you need to take a deep breath and go for it. Just be sure to read the samples and reviews so ensure that you have an idea of the author's ability to write an interesting tale, and then get the darn book! You can't go wrong, the prices are darn near used book prices and you can read them on a Kindle or Nook, on your home computer, or depending on the publisher, download a pdf that you can print out a few pages at a time and read at your leisure. (Use the fast draft option on your printer and print two sided to save paper!)

One of the books provided to me (I haven't read the other yet), the Children of Destruction by Al Philipson is a good read, coming to a very satisfying conclusion.

Here's my review, posted on

I really enjoyed this adult romp that extends from the deaths of darn nearly everyone on Earth to a distant planet, spanning 200 years. A new beginning for both societies, leading up to a violent and satisfying conclusion.

Like another reviewer, I felt like the Matthews family saga dragged a little in the middle of the story, until it jumped 200 years into the future. I would've like to have read about their first contact with other groups of surviving humans. On the other hand, I liked the way the author mixed a bit of social commentary into the mix, in a very Heinlein-like way, and the solutions to their continued survival. I was a bit concerned at how few survivors there were, as I know a lot of very, very intelligent people who have high IQs; it seemed a little unrealistic on that point. But then again, this is science fiction so perhaps some didn't survive due to their mental quirkiness. A little more diversity in the original disaster would've been nice too. Only two children survive to join the Matthews family, one a teen, and they're both white. Hmmm. Surely there would've been more highly intelligent children who lived, some of them children of Color? And no gays or lesbians?

I would've also enjoyed reading a snippet about the alien's evil wife and her reaction when she found out how she'd out-smarted herself. And too bad they didn't take a few slaves along, it would've been cool to see how they'd have adapted to space and a new world. However, the callousness in how they were abandoned highlighted the aliens' brutality and inhuman (and yet all too human) disregard for other species. I did see some irony in the alien protagonist's situation and the end result, 200 years in the future. No spoilers here, you'll have to read the story to see what I mean!

On the formatting and grammar end, there were actually very few typos and misused words. A few places where there was an extra space between a word and a comma, and the smart quote problem where the single quote faces the wrong way on shortened words like 'em. (You have to put two single quotes in, then delete the first one. Write ''em and then change it to 'em) In general, nothing that held up the progression of the story or made me groan in frustration. One more proofreading pass through the book would've taken care of those small issues.

All in all, I'd recommend this very creative and practical science fiction adventure to adult sci-fi fans. Due to the sex, I'd say it's definitely an R-rated adult book. Some scenarios, including the sex and group marriage, may be disturbing to more conservative readers.

Please note that the book was provided to me at no charge and I received no other compensation for reading and reviewing it.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Where Does The Time Go?

I sit at the computer, day after day, week after week, working away at articles. I often wonder where the time goes, how can it take so long to write what appears to be simple little articles.

Well, you know, they really aren't all that simple.

I have to provide reputable references and resources for each article. I have to figure out my own original view for each topic, making sure that I'm writing in a clear, concise and friendly, yet authoritative manner.

It's not as easy as it looks.

Where does the time go? Between researching, thinking, writing and rewriting, it goes very, very quickly.

But the good thing is that I keep writing steadily, so I must be doing this right...