Tuesday, May 31, 2011

4 June Giveaways Around the Blogging World

I love the picture for this month. It makes me want to go to the beach. If you have a giveaway going on, why don't you link it up here? I'll help spread the word ! All you have to do fill out Mr.Linky below. Don't forget to put when your giveaway ends. If you have any questions you can email me or @ me on twitter(@2readornot2read).  Bookish giveaways only please. 

Saturday, May 28, 2011

0 Sunday Confessions May 29, 2011

Happy Sunday everyone! I'm not going to do Sunday Confessions today. This week has been super busy with deadlines looming all around me.  This weekend is also Memorial Day weekend. I was hoping for some rest and relaxation but no such luck. Oh well. I hope wherever you are, your weekend has been great. I hope you'll come back for next week's Sunday Confessions. 

1 What's Your Status?

Zakiya from Butterfly Feet Walking on Life has a fantastic meme. In this meme you post your status of the books your reading this week, books you finished this week, books you're going to read next, and books you plan on buying this week. You can also post what reviews and memes you participated in for the week. 

I want to let everyone know that Zakiya is back and hosting What's Your Status and she has a little contest going on. Zakiya wants you to vote on your favorite blog that participates in WYS for a chance to host WYS. Click here to read all about it. So go check out all the blogs that participate in this meme and vote for your favorite one. I know who I'm voting for (and no, it's not myself).

Here is my status for this week:

Last week I read: 
Cinderella Ninja Warrior by Maureen McGowan
Sleeping Beauty Vampire Slayer by Maureen McGowan
Blood of a Werewolf by T. Lynne Tolles
My Vampire Stalker by Allison Van Diepen

I'm currently reading
Happy Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling (I hope to finish it this weekend)
Ada: The Legend of a Healer by R.A. McDonald

Up next in my TBR pile:
The Kringle Khronicles: The Legend of Winterdale by B. Jason Roer
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling

Don't forget to check out these giveaways

What's your status this week?

Friday, May 27, 2011

8 Armchair BEA Blogging about Blogging

This week is coming to an end. I've really enjoyed reading everyones Armchair BEA posts. Today the suggested topic is Blogging about Blogging. Today I thought I would share one of the most important technical things I've learned about blogging. Are you ready? This is huge. You might want to go get a pen and write this down. Always remember. Never Forget to back up, back up, back up your blog. I've heard horror stories of blogs just disappearing. One day they wake up and their blog has been deleted. All their hard work is gone. A few weeks ago, blogger had some technical difficulties. They had to take down any changes made after a certain day. They were able to restore most of what was taken down but not everything. This was like a slap in the face to remind me how important it is to back up your work and your blog. So today's post is on how to back up your blog. It's so easy and it only takes a minute.

Step 1. Go to blogger in draft
Step 2. click on your settings tab, under basic, find 'export blog' (it's located near the top)
Step 3. click on export blog. (This will download your blog onto a file on your computer) From there you can move it to a zip drive or CD.

That's it. Now you've backed up your blog. It's not a huge file. It's about 5mg. It takes less then a minute to download. I do this about once a month. You can do it as often as you want. If for some reason blogger deletes your blog all you have to do is go through Step 1and Step 2 but instead of clicking on export, you click on import upload your file. It's so easy to do, it only takes a few minutes and it will save you tons of stress.

3 Cinderella Ninja Warrior and Sleeping Beauty Vampire Slayer Giveaway

Yesterday I reviewed Cinderella Ninja Warrior and Sleeping Beauty Vampire Slayer by Maureen McGowan. If you missed it you can check it out by clicking here. Today I have the pleasure of giving away a set of these books to one lucky person thanks to Teddy Rose from Premier Virtual Author Book Tours and Maureen McGowan.

To enter:
You must be at least 13 years of age
Giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents only
You do not have to be a follower to enter
You MUST fill out the form below
Giveaway ends June 3, 2011

Thursday, May 26, 2011

5 Double Review of Cinderella Ninja Warrior and Sleeping Beauty Vampire Slayer by Maureen McGowan

Title: Cinderella Ninja Warrior (Twisted Tales #1)
Author: Maureen McGowan
Publisher: Silver Dolphin Books
Publication Date: April 1, 2011
paperback, 320 pages
ISBN13: 978-1-60710-255-7
ISBN-10: 1-60710-255-2
Available @ Amazon | B&N | Book Depository

Summary: In this fast-paced story full of adventure and romance, Cinderella is more than just a servant girl waiting for her prince—she's a tough, fearless girl who is capable of taking charge of a dangerous situation. Seeking to escape the clutches of her evil stepmother, Cinderella perfects her ninja skills and magic talents in secret, waiting for the day when she can break free and live happily ever after. In a special twist, readers have the opportunity to make key decisions for Cinderella and decide where she goes next—but no matter the choice; the result is a story unlike any fairy tale you've ever read!

Cinderella is a beloved classic story. It has captured the hearts of many. However this Cinderella is different from the other stories. You see this Cinderella possesses certain skills. I'm not talking about cooking or cleaning, I'm talking about Kung-Fu Panda, kick-butt ninja skills. No, that wasn't a typo. That's right. Cinderella has some serious skills. Not only is she a ninja warrior but she also possesses the skill of magic. She needs both skills to help her deal with her misguided stepsisters and her truly evil stepmother.  Cinderella Ninja warrior is a fun book to read. It's a choose your own adventure sort of book. You get to choose Cinderella's path at pivotal points in the book.  There are eight different paths you can take with this novel.  This is a twisted tale so it's not the same Cinderella story that you're used to. Maureen McGowan did a great job twisting this story into something new. The characters in this book resemble the original characters plus a few new ones. McGowan amped up the evil for the stepmother quite a bit.  Overall this is a good book to read. I truly enjoyed choosing Cinderella's path. 

Title: Sleeping Beauty Vampire Slayer (Twisted Tales #2)
Author Maureen McGowan
Publisher: Silver Dolphin Books
Publication Date: April 1, 2011
paperback, 320 pages
Available @ Amazon | B&N | Book Depository

Summary: In this thrilling story full of adventure and romance, Sleeping Beauty is more than just a lonely princess waiting for her prince—she's a brave, tenacious girl who never backs down from a challenge. With vampire-slaying talents that she practices in secret, Sleeping Beauty puts her courage to the test in the dark of night, fighting evil as she searches for a way to break the spell that has cut her off from her family. In a special twist, readers have the opportunity to make key decisions for Sleeping Beauty and decide where she goes next—but no matter the choice; the result is a story unlike any fairy tale you've ever read!

Sleeping Beauty aka Lucette is cursed. Literally. She was cursed as a baby by the vampire queen. Since that fateful day her life has been full of tribulations. Lucette's parents are always arguing and she can't help but feel this is all her fault. Her parents will stop at nothing to keep her safe. However the closer she gets to her sixteenth birthday the worse things get.  In order to survive the curse she must sharpen her slayer skills. In order to break the curse she must find her true love.  Will she find true love in the boy who helped perfect her slayer skills or will she find it with the enemy? 
This is another fun book to read. Like Cinderella you get to choose Sleeping Beauty's path at certain points in this story, each path with consequences. Lucette is quite different than the Sleeping Beauty I'm used to. I felt sorry for her always being caught in the middle of her parents arguments. However I think that's what made her character so great. She had a vulnerable side along with her tough exterior. There are eight possible routes throughout this book, each leading you in a different direction. I love these twisted tale books. Maureen McGowan definitely shakes it up a bit. Gives these stories a modern twist. I absolutely love that she makes the heroines a force to be reckoned with.

If you like these books come back tomorrow for a chance to win them. 

Find out more about Maureen McGowan @ her blog | facebook | website | twitter

A copy of both books were provided to me by Teddy Rose from Premier Virtual Author Book Tours in exchange for a honest review. This is no way influenced my opinion of the books. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

7 Armchair BEA (day 2) Best of 2011

Best I've read in 2011 (so far)

Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a
 Ship of Her Own Making
by Catherynne M. Valente

Vampire Empire:
Book One The Greyfriar

Timeless by
Alexandra Monir

Wither by Lauren DeStefano

These were some of my favorite books from 2011. I've read many great books and I'm also looking forward to the release of others such as:

Bloodlines by Richelle Mead
In the Forest of the Night by Kersten Hamilton
Half Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout
The Rift Walker (Vampire Empire Book 2) by Clay and Susan Griffith 

What are some of your favorite books this year? What books are you looking forward to?

Monday, May 23, 2011

0 Treasure Me Giveaway

Last week I had the pleasure of having Christine Nolfi guest post. If you missed it, click here. This week she's giving away an e-copy of her novel, Treasure Me. Check out the summary below: 

Petty thief Birdie Kaminsky has arrived in Liberty, Ohio to steal a treasure hidden since the Civil War. She’s in possession of a charming clue passed down in her family for generations: Liberty safeguards the cherished heart.

The beautiful thief wants to go straight. She secretly admires the clue’s author, freedwoman Justice Postell, who rose above the horrors of slavery to build a new life in Ohio. According to family lore, Justice left South Carolina at the dawn of the Civil War. As Birdie searches for the treasure, she begins to believe a questionable part of the story: a tale of love between Justice and Lucas Postell, the French plantation owner who was Birdie’s ancestor.

If the stories are true, Justice bore a child with Lucas. Some of those black relatives might still live in town. Birdie can’t help but wonder if she’s found one—Liberty’s feisty matriarch, Theodora Hendricks, who packs a pistol and heartwarming stories about Justice. Birdie doesn’t know that an investigative reporter who has arrived in town will trip her up—as will her conscience when she begins to wonder if it’s possible to start a new life with stolen riches. Yet with each new clue she unearths, Birdie begins to discover a family history more precious than gems, a tradition of love richer than she could imagine.

About the author:
Christine owned a small public relations firm in Cleveland, Ohio. Her articles and 
press releases have appeared regionally in The Plain Dealer, The Akron Beacon Journal, Cleveland Magazine and other media outlets. Her short story, Night Hour, appeared in Working Mother magazine.Christine closed the firm fifteen years ago after she traveled to the Philippines and 
adopted a sibling group of four children. She has been writing novels fulltime since 2004.

Treasure Me is the first book of the LibertyOhio series, available at Amazon:
The second book in the Liberty series,Second Chance Grill, will be released summer, 2011. 

To enter to win a e-copy of Treasure Me:
  • You must be over 17 years old
  • You do not have to be a follower
  • You MUST fill out the form below
  • Giveaway ends June 3, 2011
  • The contest is open internationally 

4 The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente

Title: The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making
Author: Catherynne M. Valente
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Publication Date: May 10, 2011
Hardcover, 249 pages
ISBN: 978-0-312-64961-6
available @Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository 

Summary: September is a girl who longs for adventure. When she is invited to Fairyland by a Green Wind and a Leopard, well, of course she accepts. (Mightn’t you?) But Fairyland is in turmoil, and it will take one twelve-year-old girl, a book-loving dragon, and a strange and almost human boy named Saturday to vanquish an evil Marquess and restore order.

I was super excited when this book arrived in my mailbox. I absolutely love the cover to this book. It's a beautiful jewel toned red with a picture of a dragon chained up and a girl with a huge key. This is a beautiful cover for the book. 
I had watched the book trailer a few weeks back and it piqued my interest. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making takes place during World War II. Summer's dad gets shipped off to be a soldier while her mother works in a factory building airplane engines. Summer is utterly bored with life when the Green Wind comes to take her away on an adventure to Fairyland. Summer is eager to leave her home and her life behind with little thought. 
I think this book is brilliant. I absolutely love the storyline. It has the unpredictability of Alice in Wonderland. I had no idea which way the story was headed. It also has an extraordinary cast of characters that are unforgettable. Summer is the main character in this story. She's an average twelve year old with a not so average destiny. I liked her character because she is vulnerable but wise. Along her journey she makes unusual friends but also has to learn things such as sacrifice, humility, loyalty, and perseverance to get her through Fairyland. 
Overall this book is perfect for people of all ages. I would not have a problem with my kids reading this and I would even recommend it to my mother. I can't sing this books praises enough. I'm going to go as far as to say it is on my top ten favorite books this year. This is Catherynne Valente first children's novel. I really hope she writes more of them.

To find out more about this book and the author check out her website | blog | facebook

*This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for a review. I did not receive any monetary compensation.

8 Armchair BEA: Monday

Armchair BEA was set up by many fabulous people for those of us who could not attend BEA. It's a week full of lots of fun stuff. I'm so happy to be participating in this event.

Today's question is: Who are you and how do you Armchair?

I always feel weird answer questions like "Who are you?" because I can never think of anything interesting to say. My name is Marcie and I'm from the United States. I started this blog a little over a year ago. I review books in many genres. Although reading is my passion, I have many other likes and hobbies: such as knitting, spending time with my two kids and husband, watching movies and TVD. When I'm not busy with all of that, I teach. For the second part of the question "How do you Armchair?" I will be Armchairing from an armchair. I'm really excited to to follow armchair on twitter and find out everything that's going on during BEA. I hope one day I'll be able to attend BEA but for now I'm happy to be apart of Armchair BEA.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

9 Sunday Confessions May 22, 2010

This is a weekly meme started by yours truly as a way to get to share a bit about myself and also learning more about you. Sometimes its about books and book related topics and sometimes it's not. This is all in good fun and I would love it if you would participate.

I'm am so happy to have Momo from Books Over Boys here to help me with today's topic. Today's topic is How do you feel about parents who monitor their children's reading.  I'm a parent of two elementary aged kids and I wanted to get a teenagers perspective on this subject also.  So whether you agree or disagree, remember to be polite. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. 

This is what Momo has to say on the subject: 

Do your parents monitor your reading?
  • My parents do not monitor my reading. But they think that I read too much and I'm just like, "WHAT?!" LOL
How do you feel about it?
  • At my age, I'm feeling alright with it. I think I am old enough to decide what is and isn't appropriate for me to read; what I'm comfortable with reading and such. And I mean, I'm reading - that's got to be a plus for any parents? Right? Right?!
Is there anything you would like parents to know?
  • I just want parents to know that there's definitely a difference in age, even if it's only by two or three years. For example, my niece is in 7th grade, that's what? 12 years old? And sometimes I even try to monitor what she reads. LOL! I guess when your kid picks up a book, take a look at it, see what the back summary says - try to get a feel for the book.; see if it's an adult book or just perfect or...yeah! I mean reading is anything but bad, but that's coming from an avid reader, aha! ;)

Momo, if my kids read as much as you do I would probably be doing cartwheels in the kitchen. As a parent, I do monitor what my kids are reading. As I mentioned before they are both in elementary school and I want to make sure the books they are reading are age appropriate. As they get older I think I will continue to monitor what they read. Not so much like censorship but more about being aware of what their interests are.  However if I did see them reading a book that I didn't think would be appropriate for their age (example reading a PNR such as Kresley Cole at age 14), I would definitely step in. I've read a few YA books last year that I thought had a very mature story line. I would not have been comfortable recommending said book to younger teens. I agree with Momo that parents should read the blurb on the back of the book. Maybe even read the book with your kids and have a conversation about the tougher subjects. 

Tell me how you feel on this subject: Do your parents monitor what you read? How do you feel about it?  If you're a parent what are your views on this subject?  If you answer this question on your own blog, please leave a link in the comments so I can come visit.  Thank you again, Momo, for stopping by today. Please make sure to stop by her blog or tweet her to say hello. She's awesome. 

4 What's Your Status?

Zakiya from Butterfly Feet Walking on Life has a fantastic meme. In this meme you post your status of the books your reading this week, books you finished this week, books you're going to read next, and books you plan on buying this week. You can also post what reviews and memes you participated in for the week. 

I want to let everyone know that Zakiya is back and hosting What's Your Status and she has a little contest going on. Zakiya wants you to vote on your favorite blog that participates in WYS for a chance to host WYS. Click here to read all about it. So go check out all the blogs that participate in this meme and vote for your favorite one. I know who I'm voting for (and no, it's not myself).

Here is my status for this week:

What I read last week: 
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente

What I'm reading now:
Sleeping Beauty Vampire Slayer by Maureen McGowan
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling

What I plan to read next: 
Cinderella Ninja Warrior by Maureen McGowan

I also had some really great guest posts last week:

Thursday, May 19, 2011

14 Guest Post by Pauline Jones: Not Your Great-Grandma's Corsets

Not Your Great-Grandma’s Corsets, Sweetie

As one who was in college during the Women’s Movement when bras were burned with considerable glee (though not my own since I couldn’t afford to replace them), I tended to regard corsets as instruments of torture. And yet I recently purchased—brace for it—a corset pattern.

It is true. I confess that I am considering making a corset.  I haven’t bought fabric yet, but the pattern is here. In my house.

I’m not thinking about it because I want to (or ever could) have a Scarlet O’Hara waist, but because, well, corsets have become fun again—or maybe fun for the first time.  Fun, you ask, with brows arched in shock. These aren’t your great-grandma’s corsets, sweetie. For one thing, your great-grandma would have worn hers under her clothes. These corsets are for making a statement.

The return of the corset comes to us courtesy of a movement called steampunk and its not just corsets they bring to the table. Jeff Vandermeer points out that steampunk “embraces divergent and extinct technologies as a way of talking about the future.” It started as literature and spread into pop culture, the aesthetic seeping into movies, art, music and fashion. The upcoming Sugarland Incredible Machine tour is heavily laced with steampunk elements, including lining the stage with specially crafted vintage looking light bulbs.  And take a look at that cover----à


They are probably the most mainstream band to embrace steampunk (though they are by no means the first!), but both NCIS and Castle had shows with some steampunk (Castle did it better, IMHO) in their storylines.

I first heard about steampunk on The Galaxy Express blog and had to check it out because, well, I’m a sucker for quirky fiction. My first steampunk book was Gail Carriger’s Soulless. It was a lot of fun, loaded with quirky and left me with an urge to…try it myself. The closest I’d come to historical fiction was a time travel to World War II! (Out of Time) It was supposed to be a short story, but instead, I penned a steampunk/science fiction romance novella mashup called Tangled in Time, which led to me purchase a steampunk hat at ApolloCon.  I’m not exactly sure why the two events are linked, just that I bee-lined to the display after I wrote my novella. Maybe a love of hats is buried in the female psyche and steampunk sets it free? And the hats are both fun and cool.

Then I had to get my goggles on because its windy when flying an airship and one needs eye protection while working on that steam engine. And because these aren’t your great-grandpa’s goggles either. Also cool. As you can see from this one sample, the steampunk artisans have got both style and flair down for something that is generally very utilitarian. I got these goggles for one of my daughters to wear for Halloween. No surprise she got lots of comments and compliments.

While I have yet to create a “steamsona” (a steampunk persona), I did up the ante by purchasing some glasses to go with my hat and goggles. And there is that corset pattern there next to the duster pattern…

Confession time! Do you have a steamsona? Do you want one? What’s your favorite steampunk accessory? Read a steampunk book yet? How did you like it?
In honor of her visit to the blog, Pauline is offering one commenter the choice of a pdf of either Ghostly Dreamspell or Romance of My Dreams 2.

Pauline Baird Jones is the author of eleven novels of sometimes quirky peril and romance, including two steampunk/science fiction romance mash ups. The most recent is called Steamrolled, and its available in print and digital. You can find out more about her and her books at: http://www.perilouspauline.com

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

9 Guest Post with Christine Nolfi

Today it's my pleasure to have Christine Nolfi, author of Treasure Me on my blog. She will be checking in and answering questions. Please leave your questions in the comments. Without further ado, I'll turn it over to Christine Nolfi:

Publishing’s Overlooked Sea Change

Recently the publishing industry experienced a sea change you probably missed.

In January, Amazon announced they’re now selling 115 Kindle books for every 100 paperbacks sold.

If you’re shrugging your shoulders, consider: Traditional publishing houses release the vast majority of paperbacks. New releases are rigorously slotted into genres so bookstores know where to place them on the shelves. In your local bookstore, you won’t find the Harry Potter series shelved beside romantic suspense or Stephen King’s latest work.

Novelists understand this as “branding.” Most of us learn early on that if we’re to catch a literary agent’s eye then proceed to the big prize of a publishing contract, we must write stories with a specific audience in mind. This works well if, for example, you write straight romance or fiction that’s easily recognizable as Young Adult.

What if you don’t? Most people have heard of J.K. Rowling’s struggles to bring the Potter series to print. That critical first step—finding an agent to represent her masterpiece—was nearly impossible. Advances for so-called “children’s books” are usually small. Most agents prefer working in the adult market where the pay is better. Like the rest of us, they have to eat.

It was pure luck that an office manager at a literary agency in London fished Rowling’s manuscript out of the reject basket. Bryony Evens liked the smart black cover. Once she started reading, she couldn’t stop. Neither can 45 million readers worldwide.

That wasn’t the only miracle. A host of rejections followed—editors couldn’t “brand” the book. Was it meant for the children’s market? Middle-grade? Was it an adult fantasy novel? Once Bloomsbury Publishing finally took the gamble, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone received a tiny print run in the U.K. If it weren’t for Rowling’s dogged persistence in promoting her work after Scholastic brought the novel to the U.S., Harry Potter never would’ve become a household name.

You might ask, “What does this have to do with Kindle books outselling traditional paperbacks?”

It has everything to do with branding, baby.

Today there are thousands of novelists tirelessly writing books you’ll want to read. Sadly, their creativity doesn’t fit the confines of a publishing house’s profit and loss statement. Many have worked with a literary agent—or several agents. They’ve received compliments from editors on their skillful handling of plot and character. They’ve been told, time and again, that their books deserve a wide readership. But they never garner a publishing contract because no one knows, precisely, where to sit their books on the shelves.

I know. I was one of those novelists.

The questions posed by editors were difficult to answer. Were my books Romance? Women’s fiction? Was I writing women’s fiction bordering on literary? Bordering on mystery?

I’ve written five novels so far, with Treasure Me receiving the most attention. The manuscript did well in an international contest, receiving the kind of review that editors notice. Publisher’s Weekly said, “Birdie Kaminsky, a beautiful blond bombshell of a con artist, has met her match in Hugh Schaeffer, an investigative reporter in this zesty novel rife with witty dialogue and well-drawn characters. Their catty romance and zany interactions filled with witty double entendres are gems.”

It wasn’t enough to ink my name on a contract.

Ten years ago I might’ve thought, “Well, lots of books take time to reach the public.” I might’ve searched for yet another agent (my third). But in late 2010, I noticed something happening in the industry.

Something big.

The Internet sizzled with talk of writers who’d jumped ship from legacy publishing and gone digital. Established novelists were releasing their own e-books and following up with print-on-demand. Other writers, who’d never made it into New York’s hallowed halls, were joining in. If they wanted to combine romance with zombies, or produce experimental fiction, or write a 500-page novel, they were finding a home on Amazon and other outlets. Both groups—established and newbie alike—were using their hard-earned profits to build an ever-expanding readership without the help of a literary agent or a New York editor or a publicity department.

They were flying solo in a literary landscape forever changed.

Will traditional paperback and hardbound books disappear? Not on your life. There will always be readers who cherish the tactile delight of holding a physical book. Will digital publishing harm literature in some unforeseen way? Hell, no. Devices like the Kindle allow readers to sample different genres and a variety of authors’ works quickly and cheaply. On average, one hardbound book costs upwards to $26. For that money, you can download 8 or 9 e-books from some of the finest authors on the planet.

Needless to say, traditional publishers are nervous about so many talented writers cutting them out of the game. They can no longer decide what you’ll read. And they can no longer decide what authors will write. If you’re trying to break in as a debut novelist, you’re told repeatedly “less is more.” You’d better produce a book that doesn’t exceed 350 pages in length. If you can write your masterpiece in 300 pages or less, all the better. Over the years, thousands of superb novels never saw the light of day because they were simply too long—and rare was the editor who’d take the financial risk of bringing a debut, overlong novel to market.

Now you know why Rowling’s books got longer, richer and deeper as she skyrocketed to fame. Once the Potter series was a success, no editor would dare to dictate word length or subject matter. They left her alone. They left her alone to create.

Thanks to digital publishing, the rest of us now do the same. We post e-books in cyberspace, work to build a readership, and follow up with print-on-demand. Already the number of success stories is staggering. But wait: the next ten years will see a flowering of creativity like nothing that has come before.

Publishing houses may pooh-pooh e-books as a fad, or stuff better left in the reject basket. They may suggest that, without the vetting process of hard-nosed agents and experienced editors, the books brought to market will be less than stellar. Don’t you believe it. As they say, cream rises to the top.

How it does is another interesting development.

Book blogs are proliferating like daisies popping up in a springtime meadow. Regardless of your tastes, there’s a blogger in cyberspace talking about the stories you’ll want to read. They encourage you to join in the fun by posting comments and chatting directly with authors. They search for books, new and old, to read and review with the added fun of contests and publishing tidbits and some of the best commentary on literature you’ll find anywhere.

The only experts that matter now run the show: eager, insatiable readers.

The woman who drags her Kindle or a book with her everywhere? She’s the glorious soul who finally realizes that the best book reviewer is, well, an avid reader. Women (and men) who read often and well set up shop in cyberspace. Soon the world’s speed-of-light connectivity will give the best book blogs followers running into the thousands then tens of thousands. And higher. Readers in Chicago, London and Tokyo will log onto a favorite site daily, along with folks in Toronto and Buenos Aires.

Authors worth their mettle will find these blogs and, through them, a readership. The finest books will go global overnight. Works not ready for Prime Time will disappear for lack of review.

Watching all of this unfold, I’m filled with excitement. The digital frontier is fast expanding.  The art of storytelling will never be the same.

About the author: 
Christine owned a small public relations firm in Cleveland, Ohio. Her articles and
press releases have appeared regionally in The Plain Dealer, The Akron Beacon Journal, Cleveland Magazine and other media outlets. Her short story, 
Night Hour, appeared in Working Mother magazine.

Christine closed the firm fifteen years ago after she traveled to the Philippines and 
adopted a sibling group of four children. She has been writing novels fulltime since 2004.

Treasure Me is the first book of the Liberty, Ohio series, available at Amazon:

The second book in the Liberty series,
Second Chance Grill, will be released summer, 2011.

Contact Christine at
and christinenolfi@gmail.com

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

1 Winner of Mental Shrillness, guess the ending contest.

Congrats to Ketch1714 for her awesome guess! You've won a ecopy of Mental Shrillness. I will forward your email address to the author, Todd Russell. Check out her ending to the story: 

"JUMP, DARN IT!" Jake called.
"YOU JUMP!" Ricky replied, giving him a wink.
Jake glanced at the cliff as a knot formed in his throat.
25 feet...
Live to be a winner, or died in the process?
5 feet...
Jake finally let the wheel go, threw the door open, and jumped. He hit the ground rolled and fell over the edge, just catching the ledge. The car flew through the air, fliping onto it's back as it landed on the rocks below. A fire ball shot into the air.
Seconds later, Ricky's car flew over edge just inches from Jake.
"RICKY!" he cried.
A second explosion answered his call.

Here is the original story from May 5th with the ending now added: 

 Ricky and Jake, twin brothers, battled for Dad's attention until graduation night at Peadman's Cliff when they decided to settle it.
     The crowd had gathered from school, alcohol carelessly involved, the torches flaming against the ebony chill. Wendy Simmons stood between the two beater cars, raised a makeshift checkered flag, her sweet fragrance kissing the air.
     Jake raised a thumb to his brother. Ricky showed him his middle finger instead.
     The checkered flag dropped and they both slammed on their respective accelerators. Dirt and gravel spit from tires and the crowd raged, pumping the torches.
     Jake stared at his brother and saw Dad. Jake was the son who never won at anything. Dad loved winners and Ricky fulfilled those desires better and more often than he. Ricky won his first fight when the bully, Billy Watkins, wanted his lunch money. Jake got beat up by Billy three times before finally returning the favor.
     The cars bobbed for position. The cliff a football field's distance away and closing. Ricky smiled with his perfect teeth. Jake returned his crooked grin..
     Ricky was Dad's jock. He could do it all: football, track, baseball, soccer, name it. Jake could do it all too, just not nearly as well. Ricky's wall overflowed with ornate plaques and ocean-colored ribbons and impressive trophies. Jake's wall smelled of honorable mentions.
     Closer to the cliff edge. Night breathed through the inch slit in Jake's window. Jake looked at Ricky's clenched hands on the steering wheel, his determined eyes.
     Dad's eyes. He had Dad's eyes too, but Dad always remarked how the girls loved Ricky's eyes. I HAVE HIS EYES TOO, DAD! Jake complained but it was always after the crowd had gone home. Ricky owned the stage, Jake the backstage pass. Just a roadie in the concert of their disproportionate lives.
     Ricky smiled at Jake with those damned straight teeth! He raised his middle finger to his brother. HE wasn't jumping out, not Ricky The Stud Johnson. No way. He'd go to the edge. Maybe over the edge. No chickening out with his big breasted girlfriend, Wendy Simmons watching.
     Wendy, oh Wendy, Jake's thoughts burned his brain. Wendy was the first girl Jake had loved. Still loved. Why wouldn't she look at him? Why Ricky. Why did Ricky always win all the time? Dad loved winners. "The winners circle, sons. Strive for that winner's circle."
     The edge one hundred feet away. The jagged rocks four hundred feet below mocking the brothers.
     Jake turned, screaming, "JUMP! JUMP!"
     80 feet....closing...quicker, quicker.
Ricky turned, both middle fingers at his brother. "YOU JUMP! NOW! DAD LOVES WINNERS!"
     Jake thought about being swallowed by the rocks and about the time they buried Grandpa and Dad crying. Dad never cried. Jake went frantically for the door handle, pulling it.
     The door latch caught.
     "JUMP! JAKE YOU JUMP NOWWWW!" Ricky's wild eyes. His grin rippling across his face.
     The door finally opened and Jake jumped, hitting the sand and gravel and peeling his skin like a banana. Warm blood oozed from raw, opened wounds.
     Jake heard the sounds of the cars roaring over the edge, hanging in the air and then plummeting to the mechanical ripping and mangling of metal being chewed by rocky teeth. He brushed the dirt from his bleeding face and looked for Ricky. He expected to see anything but the wind lifting the dirt and blowing it across the night. The crowd started screaming.
     An hour later, and they had to use a metal saw on Ricky's door. It seems someone had welded it shut.

Thank you to everyone who entered this contest and also to Todd Russell for sharing this great story with us.


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