Monthly Archives: July 2012

Enter to win or grab it free

There is roughly a week left to slide on over to Smashwords and grab a digital copy of The Weeping Empress for FREE. You don’t even need an ereader as you an read it on your computer.

Because I wanted to highlight this fabulous freeness I am running a Goodreads giveaway to win a signed  hardback edition. So like I keep asking, ‘Why not go grab yourself a digital copy and hope it gets upgraded to a hardback at the end of the month.” Who doesn’t like an upgrade?

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Weeping Empress by Sadie S. Forsythe

The Weeping Empress

by Sadie S. Forsythe

Giveaway ends August 01, 2012.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win


Review of Rae Gee’s Mars on the Rise

Author, Rae Gee, sent me an ecopy of her M/M stumpunk novel Mars on the Rise.

A storyteller steps off a pier and into a world of steampunk oddities, fearsome weapons, and a dangerous man. Promised fame and fortune by the country’s largest weapons manufacturer, Cedo gratefully falls into the arms of Erus Veetu. Dark, dangerous and with nothing to lose, Erus shows him that Svenfur isn’t all Cedo thought it was. For beneath the streets is a dark, gas lit world of slavery, human sacrifice, and deadly machines. With the machines waging war in the East, can Cedo stop the country’s deadliest man from bringing it to the shores of England? Or is he too late to penetrate the cold exterior of his Master and halt the cogs and gears of progress?

Warning, some spoilerish stuff going on below.

I love what Mars on the Rise is trying to do. Pairing the pure Cedo with the evil warlord (Erus) who is actually trapped in his role and longing to be a better person is pretty classic stuff. Gee’s description of the environment is such that the reader is easily able to imagine it. The characters of Cedo and Billy are fairly well rounded, though Cedo does seem so innocent that you wonder how he even survived at all. Erus’ character isn’t as clear, but since the story is predominantly from Cedo’s point of view and he is confused by Erus’ personality too, this isn’t really problematic. The writing is crisp and clear. It seems to have a storyteller feel to it. Which matches the main character really well.

The problem is that the reader never sees why Cedo follows and falls in love with Erus. Erus just shows up, says follow me and Cedo does; no questions, no getting to know each-other, or good times before things go to shite. But Cedo dedicates himself to Erus all the same and you wonder why. If you’ve ever read any Yaoi manga you see the same thing. In a 25 page short you have to accept that there isn’t time to establish everything, but in a 300ish page book it is fair to expect more. The reader also always wonders why Cedo stays. There is a fairly predictable pattern, every-time the two of them have a loving or enjoyable time, something horrible happens to disrupt and ruin it. So you don’t really see the good times Cedo refers to.

This is the first in a series and I see real potential for the continuation of the series. The last few chapters really redeemed the book in my mind. With Cedo and Erus’ love finally declared (even with Billy still confusingly still in the middle) I think a lot of the story’s maudlin nature will fall away, leaving a strong adventure plot behind. Certainly Gee has the writing skills to pull it off and I look forward to reading it.

A 5 step plan to clear my shelves

Do you have an ereader? How many books do you have stored in it? Me, I’ve got a Kindle, my husband has a Nook and the family has a computer, all of which have books on themthousands of books. I could stop gathering them now and still not need to buy a new one for a couple of years. I won’t, but I could. Be that as it may I still prefer a real physical book. I love the heft of it, the ease of flicking back and forwards, the visual reminder of how close to finished I am, the smell (I know, weird right), and the ability to have it autographed.

What I don’t love is hundreds and hundreds of books that I’ll never read again gathering dust in the corners, on the shelves, under the bed, or anywhere else I can find a place for them. Don’t get me wrong, there are some books I’d always want a copy of, preferably hardbound and prominently on display. Those books qualify as art and are exempt from anything I might say from this point forwards, but what of all of those relatively inexpensive paperbacks that I’m finished with?

I have tons of them and simply can’t bear to throw them away. That would be beyond wasteful. I’ve put some thought into this and I have a plan. A plan, as you might have guessed, I intend to share with you so that you might do the same. Here’s what I’m going to do to clear my shelves, making room for new books, in a series of 5 simple steps.

First, I’m getting together with a few girlfriends of mine, who like, me have too many books. No doubt you know a few too. I’m inviting them over to lunch with instructions to bring 5 good books they’ve read and are willing to part with. Over pasta and a good red (no one said I was much of a cook) we’ll lay the books out for discussion, debate, negotiation, and eventually rehoming. Hopefully everyone will leave with five fewer read books and five more new books to read. You could also join forces with your friends to have a joint book sale. Me, I can’t be hassled. 

Next, those books that were a little pricier and therefore might be worth a few bob I’m giving to the local charity. In my experience they have become a lot more selective about books. They don’t want all of that pulp cluttering up their shelves either, but hardbacks still seem to be welcome.

Third, I’m sending some out into the wild. If you haven’t discovered the Bookcrossing yet, you should. The whole idea is intriguing. It started in 2001 and has grown into an international phenomenon. According to the website there are “here are currently 1,181,663 BookCrossers and 9,197,339 books travelling throughout132 countries.”

Once registered with the site (which is free) users are able to tag their books by marking them with a provided BCID (BookCrossing Identity Numbers). Each one is unique to each book. After that pass the book onto someone you think will love it, or better yet leave it on the train, in the cafe, the dentist’s office, etc. This is releasing it into the wild. Once registered and released, its journey can be followed as it travels the world. 

Fouth, I’m signing up for one of the online book swap  groups. There are a number of them these days, Read It, Swap It, BookMooch, Paperback Swap, Title TraderBook Exchange (UK), etc. In most cases you just create an account, list the books you wish to put up for offer, and wait for a request. The downside is that it can be awful hard to resist also making a request or two of your own. Keep on task. The idea is to get rid of books, not find new ones. 

Last, those last few books that I just couldn’t get rid of for whatever reason I’m going to get creative with. I’ve never actually tried making book art, so I don’t expect to create anything too grand. They have some amazing ones here: Book art. These two look comparatively simple though. 




That’s my five stage plan to clear off my shelves. I fully expect to fill them again, but that’s part of the fun isn’t it. So, how about you? Have you got any other suggestions? I’d love to hear them.