Friday, April 29, 2011

Blogger Hop #20 - Apr29-31

It's time for another Book Blogger Hop, courtesy of Crazy for Books! (My first in almost 2 months)

Book Blogger Hop


"Summer is coming - What 2011 release are you looking forward to?"
Wow, this feels rather unfamiliar - I haven't had the time to do justice with the Hop in over a month!
The release that I'm looking forward to is Magic Slays by Ilona Andrews, Book 5 in the Kate Daniels series. I'm a fan of hers, as regular e-Volving Books visitors know: 
My review of Magic Burns and Magic Bites (the first two books in the series)
You can click here for an Excerpt of Magic Slays from Ilona's website.
Do you like book jackets? You might want to stay and look through Penguin's latest idea that re-furbishes some childhood classics
The most awesome thing I've seen this month:

If you decide to follow me, let me know  so I can follow back!

P.S> I know bloggers will name GRRM's #5, Anita Blake's #20 (I've stopped reading this series), and just so you know, I got to Pre-read and review Hard Bitten by Chloe Neill early. Hmmm what else am I missing?!
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Thursday, April 28, 2011

For all the aspiring authors out there - Avoid Publicide

The recent months have been filled with author mails asking me to review their books. I'm interested in the self-publishing phenomenon, so I was thinking of all the possible road-bumps in the path to actually getting a good book out there. There are plenty of self-doubts one goes through while doing anything, so publishing your own novel must be extra hard!
Here is a super article called "Publicide" on common mistakes made by new and self-published authors:
I'd recommend you check it out, the remarks are pretty funny!

Sample quotes from the article:
"10. Failing to secure a way for the world to buy the book besides one’s own website. There are currently 4 billion websites—how will your buyer find you? A basic Amazon Advantage account is a start. Acquiring Baker & Taylor as a wholesaler is better. In some cases, getting a distributor for the book is best. Also Death by Supply Chain."
© Jacqueline Church Simonds 2009

Oh, and for a Pick-me-up, all you aspiring authors and self-publishing gurus should know that these authors also self-published:

Edgar Allen Poe, Beatrix Potter, Margaret Atwood, Virginia Woolf.
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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Teaser Tuesday #34: The Foundling's Tale Series by Cornish

I was in a slump of books, before starting the Foundling's tale series, by D. M. Cornish. I know I need to pick up things off my Goodreads TBR list (next time!), but somehow that never seems to happen. Luckily, I had time to drop into my library this week, and stumble across this unlikely YA series about monsters and monster slayers.
I say unlikely, because the writing is not your usual YA style. While the story is told from the point of view of a 15 year old boy, the style is slower and fuller than the average YA fantasy.
I've read both Foundling and The Foundling's Tale, Part Two: Lamplighter this week, and am hoping to finish The Foundling's Tale, Part Three: Factotum this week. Here's the teaser:

"Hpmf!" Europe pursed her lips. "What I'd like to know is this: when does adventure stop and violence begin? Answer me that and we'll both be wiser."
Fansitart had been right after all: lahzars were strange and discomfiting folk.

I'm looking forward to adding at least 5 new Follows this week, so let me know if you follow me, or have something new to say about ebooks/authors/publishing/fantasy.  I will be on your site, commenting away!
Teaser Tuesdays is hosted at Should Be Reading.

Teaser Tuesdays
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Thursday, April 21, 2011

The wonderful people at Penguin have come up with some interesting innovations around Book Jackets. Finally, a breath of fresh air in this industry! A publisher that seems to be open to ideas, and experiments.
What am I talking about?
This is a CRAZY COOL concept - have an artist design covers around some great books, and relaunch said books (with some extras like new forewords). Penguin Threads is an intriguing concept, and they've certainly picked some crowd-pleaser classics for the launch. Black Beauty, Emma and The Secret Garden, all childhood/teen favorites of mine, and of many others.
Penguin has commissioned Jillian Tamaki to design these covers, and hand-stitch them. We get that you and I can't buy a hand-stitched book jacket, but the mass-produced one still looks to be a gem!
I've never seen these in India yet, book jackets tend to be just for show on shelves. Maybe there should be a campaign around showing off your book jacket via Facebook/social media?
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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Teaser Tuesdays #33 Burning Bridges (Retrievers #4)

Those of you used to seeing my Teaser (after all, this is my 33rd!) might know that I tend to post usually from some book in a series, usually not the first.
Well, then this week isn't any different ;)
Laura Anne Gilman is a new author, one I've read for the first time over the last week.
Here's the teaser:
"What's going on here?"
He didn't mean to use his Dad-voice. Just like Lowell's tone, it always seemed to slip out when confronted by the two of them hissing and spitting like cats.
Another Teaser from the beginning of the book:
Wren Valere was spitting mad. Literally. Her arms ached, her leg muscles still burned, and she could feel the adrenaline still running in her body like a drug, despite having been home, safe, for twenty minutes and more.
"I hate my job, some days."
Mini Review: 
A good, gritty urban fantasy story. This wouldn't convert non-UF readers, but a decent read for those of us who crave a solid heroine-centric fantasy story.
While Laura has a well-paced writing style, I'm not sure you missed a lot if you missed one or two books before starting the series. Still, I'm going to keep reading the Retriever series this week. 
Teaser Tuesdays is hosted at Should Be Reading.
Teaser Tuesdays
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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Blogger Spotlight #7 - Lindsay Cox from The Violet Hour

We took a break from the Blogger Spotlight, but its BACK!
Introducing *drumroll, please* Lindsay Cox from
Give us an idea of who you are: I'm 26, and have been married for almost 7 years. I'm a hair stylist, and my husband and I live in a small town in West Virginia.
We are both crazy bookworms, and had accumulated so many books (lost count at around 300) that we've had to downsize our "bookstore", and keep/buy only books we love. With the eReader, we don't have to worry about books taking up so much space!

E-Reader: Kindle (3rd Generation)
A Recent Read: The Iron Daughter by Julia Kagawa. It was FANTASTIC. Meet my reading buddy, Stella!
About your blog: I borrowed the name from a song that had been stuck in my head for a few weeks, The Violet Hour by Sea Wolf.
I've read paranormal/horror books since I was a kid. (Goosebumps and Fear Street, anyone?) None of my friends read very much, and if they do, it's not 'my genre', so blogging about what I'm reading is my outlet to talk about books.

Meet Stella, Lindsay's reading buddy!

Did you consider other readers in the market? Why did you pick the Kindle 3
My main two focuses were the Amazon Kindle and the Barnes&Noble Nook. Both sound great, and have a lot of the same features.

I based my decision on a few things:
  • price ($139)
  • physicality of the device (Kindle is 7.5″ x 4.8″ x 0.335" and weighs 8.7 ounces. Nook is much heavier at 12.1 ounces.)
  • screen contrast and glare (reported 30%-35% less glare than Nook)
  • battery life (The Kindles battery lasts up to a month before needing recharged, with wireless off or minimally used.)
  • cheaper, wider range of books
  • eInk technology and faster page turns
At the time, the Kindle 3 was the newer of the two eReaders. The color and touchscreen are big selling points with people for the Nook, but I wanted something that felt, as much as possible, like I was reading an actual book. I like simple.

What's the top thing you like about it?
I love how thin and light my Kindle is! Even though I carry a huge purse, a bulky hardcover took up too much room and was very awkward to haul around all the time. Especially on vacation when we'd have 5 or 6 books each!

When do you read a paper book and when do you pick up an ebook?
I read it at work in between appointments, while traveling, pretty much any chance I get. I normally save the paper books for when I'm at home simply because of the size and weight of the book. If it's a really good story, though, it goes in my purse along with the Kindle lol.

Have you transformed your reading style or frequency?
I don't think my reading style has changed, but frequency has increased. The Kindle also offers text-to-speech, so I can listen to my book while I'm cooking or cleaning. The 'voice' is a little funny sometimes, but not that big of a bother to me.

Meet and greet Lindsay over at
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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Lendle - Why not?

The latest development on the Kindle i.e. Amazon Kindle now to Lend books (I wrote that back in Oct '10), has of course, resulted in a host of new business models and opportunities.
This site seems an all-round best in class:

Lendle. The easiest, fastest, fairest, and best way to lend and borrow Kindle™ books.
You can log in, and you get two initial borrows. The more books you lend, the more you can borrow. I ran through their book list, and it is pretty great.
My only thought is - why didn't I think of this first?
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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Review: Kings of the North by Elizabeth Moon

Grade: B 
Released: March 22, '11. 
The Hook: The latest offering from Elizabeth Moon, Kings of the North (The Deed of Paksenarrion) follows Oath of Fealty in the Legends of Paksenarrion books. What does this mean to you and me? Well, the story picks up from Oath of Fealty (where King Falkieri moves into his Kingdom, and Duke Dorrin Verrakai cleanses and takes up her land). 
My Summary:
The plot mainly takes a rotating view of three characters - Dorrin, Kieri and Arcolin (Kieri's ex-Captain). Kieri has to fend of scheming neighbour Kings, young women of marriageable age, and deal with an unco-operative Elf Queen. Dorrin uncovers more mysterious almost-sentinent crowns and royal jewelery that only respond to her touch. Both of them must face challenges to their rule from multiple sources.

Plus: The story kept up a good pace, and the fight scenes were detailed and graphic. Lots of fight scenes with interesting sub-plots and cameos by

It felt a bit lazy - the author was moving on predictable lines with a large chunk of the storyline. The King of Lyonya (Kieri) and Duke of Tsaia (Dorrin) rebuild their respective areas, armies, and connections with the King of Tsaia.
I'd recommend it to: Hmm, for those of you who haven't read E. Moon before, start with the Serrano series, or The Deed of Paksenarrion. Leave this particular one for later.
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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Teaser Tuesdays #32 - Kings of the North by E. Moon

The latest offering, so new it still smells of the publishing house, from Elizabeth Moon continues the Legend of Paksennarion. 
From Chapter 1 of Kings of the North (The Deed of Paksenarrion):
Then, sudden and strong: betrayal and warning.
Kieri scarcely breathed.
Betrayal? Danger? Who?
They lie. She— But that was interrupted; his right cheek seemed to feel more pressure.

I'm very close to finishing it, so I can say that this book is aimed at readers familiar to the world, but not necessarily to Paks. The story revolves around Kieri, the newly crowned King, and other newly promoted Dukes & Captains from the previous book. Paks is inconspicous, so read this for new plotlines, and plenty of fight scenes.

On the flip side - the story feels a little stale now, and some characters don't develop interesting depth in the novel. 
Check out the full review here tomorrow!
What's in your hands and on your ereaders this week?
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Monday, April 4, 2011

2011 Man Booker Prize results - Final 13!

The weekend brought the Thirteen finalists for the famous Man Booker International Prize:

  • Wang Anyi (China)
  • Juan Goytisolo (Spain)
  • James Kelman (UK)
  • John le CarrĂ© (UK)
  • Amin Maalouf (Lebanon)
  • David Malouf (Australia)
  • Dacia Maraini (Italy)
  • Rohinton Mistry (India/Canada)
  • Philip Pullman (UK)
  • Marilynne Robinson (USA)
  • Philip Roth (USA)
  • Su Tong (China)
  • Anne Tyler (USA) 
There's only a few I've read here (Carre, Pullman, Roth) so I'd love for book recommendations. Who would you read first and why?
The last Booker winner I read was Aravind Adiga's The White Tiger.Alice Munro is the only past winner on this list (I'm not sure if I've read her or not).

In other gossip, John Le Carre has asked to be removed from consideration so that other lesser known authors can win!! Cool guy, that.
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