J to tha M: What We’re Reading

2013: What We’ve Read and Liked. A lot.

medium_4186292315J:  Our favorite reads of the year. First, I should thank you for getting me to read again

it’s been a fun year

and I’ve been amazed at how much time I actually have to read when I make myself do it

M:  when you look forward to it

I still maintain you can’t write if you don’t read

for a whole myriad of reasons

plus, just the whole experience and worlds reading opens

I love

J:  for me, I didn’t think I could write if I did read. because I wanted all my free time to go toward writing

of course, I still only read just before bed

so more often than not, I pass out before I even open the kindle app

but I’m getting there

M:  I’ve read so many book this year, I’d be scared to keep count

but a few stick in my mind as favorites

J:  I’m guessing a few of those favorites will match mine

M:  Kate SeRine’s Transplanted Tales series, of course

Red, The Better To See You, Along Came a Spider

J:  yep

if I named a number one, that would be it

M:  Yes. Downloading Red was one of the best things I did this past year

and still my best example of how offering free days for your ebook works big time

I love everything about that series and her writing

jeebus, her imagination

J:  the connections she makes

and the leaps that don’t end up being leaps at all

Nate is still my number one hero for the year, but he’s closely followed by Ivan from Delphine Dryden’s first in the Science of Temptation series, The Theory of Attraction

because geek

M:  Kate does great heroes. All three so far are great.

And I did like Ivan, too

but the Transplanted Tales series just has it all, in my opinion. Solid writing, amazing world-building, great characters, hunky heroes, intriguing plots

can’t go wrong

and, I’ve rec’d to a ton of people and haven’t heard that even one didn’t enjoy

my mom actually went and ordered the print copies from her local bookseller to have and hold, she enjoyed so much

J:  well, plus Kate’s super nice

M:  oh, yes. that’s just a bonus

Great series and an author who is so, so nice and genuine

she deserves all the good

J:  I agree

what’s next?

M:  Ben Monopoli, of course

Homo Action Love Story: A Tall Tale was just a huge, rollicking romp

J:  oh, I finally read it!

M:  and?

J:  oh, I loved

silly question

I don’t know why I forgot to mention

I read it a couple months ago while we were kind of on hiatus

M:  I think Boots McHenry gets the award for best character name ever

J:  I have to agree with you there

but if I were to choose my favorite of his three, you know I’d go with The Cranberry Hush

M:  all his books make the list

so many feels, and such amazing diversity in his writing while still maintaining that level of response

J:  I’ve not cried so hard reading a book in ages

M:  to me, that’s the sign of a good writer

J:  also, nice guy

M:  also very nice guy, yes

J:  but seriously. Sobbed.

M:  amazing story

J:  who’s next?

M:  well, I know you didn’t read, and I have some things to say about this one

J:  off you go

M:  Lover At Last by JR Ward

J:  oh yeah

M:  I loved and hated this one – I have such complicated and conflicting feels

I love Qhuinn. Love him. One of my all-time favorite fictional characters

But JR Ward. Argh. The Black Dagger Brotherhood has become so frustrating

I loved this one because Qhuinn finally got his HEA

but, the completely outrageous lack of research and expectation of suspension of disbelief – the plane scene, for example. So outrageously wrong in so many ways.

And…his and Blay’s story had so much potential to be amazing. Super amazing, with all the feels, because he’s such a complicated character that feels so much himself (and did I mention amazing? ‘Cause he is)

I can’t help feeling it missed the mark in living up to all that

J:  sometimes it’s hard to live up to the potential, especially if there’s just SO MUCH potential

M:  well, I know there was a lot of expectation for this particular book

but this series started out with great emotion and feels, but has kind of gone away from that as it continues

I mean, as I’m reading, I could actually note the scenes where the opportunity for something amazing was there, but just wasn’t developed

not just an overall sense of overhyped expectation not met, if that makes sense

J:  it does

I’m sad it didn’t quite hit the mark

but sounds like it still left an impression

I have the first one in the series, Dark Lover, packed in my laptop bag for tomorrow, btw

M:  worth the read

the series and characters are so great and so frustrating at the same time

my mom and I call it the “Yay! Factor”

you know it’s wrong and stupid, but…”Yay!” You’re so caught up, you don’t care.

J:  well, I’ll finally know what all the fuss is about

M:  we could do months worth of chats on both the awesome and the wtf-ery of that series

J:  heh

let me get caught up

I’ll let you know after I read the first

anything else on your list for the year?

M:  I’m really enjoying Kit Rocha’s Beyond series, as far as erotica

Beyond Shame, Beyond Control, Beyond Pain so far

I know you weren’t as enamored, but I’m hooked

And CD Reiss’s Song of Submission series was a good alternative to Fifty, right up until the last part of the serial/series – book 7

I disliked so much, it ruined the whole experience. Big bummer.

J:  oh, I started that one

but didn’t go past the first

M:  no? Didn’t like?

J:  I think maybe the hype for BDSM?

I dunno

because I loved Del Dryden’s stuff

but it wasn’t the same old thing, either

M:  what were your faves?

J:  well, definitely Kate and Ben

and then my little geek love kick brought me to Delphine Dryden’s The Science of Temptation series

which I just adored

but that’s because I do love the betas

M:  I really liked the first one of the series

I haven’t read the rest, but I will

J:  and then I loved Charlotte Stein’s Control and Power Play

again, beta heroes

M:  I don’t think I’ve read those yet

J:  I enjoy her a lot

very deep pov

takes a bit to get used to it

feeling EVERYTHING the heroine feels

but then you’re so deep you can’t get out

M:  I read another of Charlotte Stein’s that was like that

did take a little getting used to, but I enjoyed

the one with them on a boat – Curve Ball

J:  oh, shit. Elizabeth Hunter

how could I forget?

Her vampire series, Elemental Mysteries, was excellent. A Hidden Fire, This Same Earth, The Force of Wind, A Fall of Water

but her new book and series The Irin Chronicles, is just wow

The Scribe

I loved

cannot wait for the next one

M:  I enjoy her stories, too

J:  I liked them enough to buy them for my mom

I don’t usually do that

the only other author I’ve sent her way is you

M:  there is a meandering-ish quality to her stuff that keeps her just on the edge of making my fave of the year list, I have to admit

I can’t quite put my finger on it

J:  have you read The Scribe yet?

it had a slow start, but all those things that made me pause in the vampire series were smoothed out in this one

M:  I did, and I liked

maybe too much time spent in the character’s heads? I’m not sure

J:  perhaps

but then we really know the character, too

M:  definitely a new fave author

J:  something she seems to like to do is make the good guy appear to be the bad guy in the beginning

I think that might be the extent of my faves this year

M:  I do like the good guy/bad guy juxtaposition

a couple new-to-me authors I’m looking forward to reading more of next year

Karen Rose – I read her You Belong to Me, romantic suspense

really liked it

and Rebecca Zanetti.  I had a ton of love for the first in her Sins Brothers series, Forgotten Sins, up until one certain scene that seemed just way over the top for me, and then the story and heroine took a completely different turn. So weird. The first 2/3 I loved a lot. Last 1/3, not so much

but I’m definitely looking forward to reading the next in the series, Sweet Revenge, to see if it is as awesome as the beginning of the first book

J:  I choose stuff based on what’s in front of me at that moment

so I don’t even know what I’m looking forward to

I know there’s more from Kate SeRine coming

and Ben has a novella out that I need to get

M:  the next two in the Transplanted Tales will be out in 2014

J:  I’ll be all over those

M:  Grimm Consequences – more about Nate and Red

and Gideon’s book, Ever After

J:  guh. Gideon.

M:  Wait. Whaaaaat? Ben has a novella out?

the hell? and how did I not know?

J:  erm

I forgot to tell you?

Stag: A Story

M:  well, if that isn’t the perfect brb ending, I don’t know what is.

gonna go order.

brb

Happy Holidays, everyone!!

photo credit: shawncalhoun via photopin cc


J to tha M: The eBook Revolution

What Would You Pay for an eBook?

how much would you pay for ebooks?

adamr for freedigitalphotos.net

M:  I did something I never thought I’d do

J:  oh, do tell

M:  I’ve always thought how ridiculous it is to pay $14.99 for an ebook and how I’ve never ever done it.

I would have laughed if you said I would up until about a few weeks ago, when I pre-ordered the new Black Dagger Brotherhood book–Lover at Last–out at midnight tonight on Kindle

Qhuinn!

I think a whole shit ton of people are waiting for that little story to appear on their e-reader at 12:01AM

so go ahead and make fun of me being stupid excited for my guilty pleasure

J:  and you paid $14.99 for it?

M:  yes I did

and I’m only slightly ashamed.

but I can’t stand it

J:  you know what, though?

we all pay more money for the things we really want

I mean, compare it to a Wal-Mart handbag or a Coach bag

no one gives a girl the side-eye for buying a Coach bag

$.99 for $14.99

if you’re going to love it, what does it matter?

M:  I lurve him. I seriously do. I haven’t been this giddy over a fictional hero since Jamie Fraser.

It would kill me to know the story was out and I didn’t have it in my hot little hand as soon as possible. Especially since I’m certain it’s not going to be for sale anywhere on the island

I will stay up all night and read it

J:  well, the fact of the matter is that some authors are the Coach bags of the publishing world

Coach charges so much for bags because people are going to buy them

some publishers charges so much for ebooks because they know people will effing buy them

people can roll their eyes if they want to, but they have their own “must haves” that they’ll pay for

so if you must have Qhuinn (omg, did I spell that right?), then by all means

and no need to be ashamed

I should probably also mention that I don’t even have an eReader

and when I do read, it’s usually a paper book

but that I have zero qualms about paying for the hardback version of a much-coveted book at the stroke of midnight the day it’s available. I have before, and I will again

 M:  hardback is different, though

there’s some cost involved in producing, shipping, etc. those. Not so much for the e-versions

J:  no, but in the end, it comes down to what you want

M:  I didn’t have an ereader until last Thanksgiving. I got a Kindle Fire, and I love it. I mostly got it so I can read in bed at night without having to turn on a light and disturb hubs when he’s actually home.

As much as I do like reading a book, there’s something just really exciting about pressing a button and instantly having access to a story

especially when he and I have always lived a million miles from nowhere. It’s a planned outing to go to any bookstore

and then, when we moved…oh, boy. All my books. Boxing and then paying per pound to ship them across the country.

Not to mention, I can carry over one thousand books in my purse when I travel. Don’t have to pick and choose and then lug them all over with me.

J:  I’m honestly afraid if I had one, I’d never get anything else done

M:  I think it’s opened up a whole new world

Good one for readers and writers, maybe not so good for publishers, booksellers, libraries. I’m not entirely certain how much it’s affected them.

J:  with the decreased overhead, it seems as though ebooks would be a good thing for publishers

all the same preparation goes in, but fewer materials are needed

of course, they also have to have people on staff who can format for ebooks

probably more staff needed for that than for setting it once and going to print

I don’t yet know how formatting is different for each epub type

can you just set it once and it works for kindle, nook, etc.?

M:  Pretty sure each is a different format

it has affected booksellers, though, as evidenced by Borders and Barnes & Noble, the neighborhood bookstores

it just seems the world is always change, adapt, move forward, or die

I’m kind of getting the same vibe from the Big Six publishers that was hanging around the Big 3 automakers, and look what happened to them

J:  that was a point Nathan Bransford made on his blog recently

that as an agent, it’s his job to sift through what’s on his desk for the books that will be profitable. How many books throughout history were rejected when they might have been classics? World changers?

the ebook and self-pub phenomena (both separate and combined) have taken that power away from publishers and agents and given it to the readers

including those readers who would pay $14.99 for an ebook

sure, there’s the chance you’ll pick up something self-published that lacks in quality

but it’s the same for anything from a big six anymore, too

I do think an established author with a reputation for quality has a better chance of pulling in such prices for an ebook than a debut self-pubber

there is a big difference there

M:  oh, yes, but that’s more established reputation. that can be either self pub or traditional

people are less willing to spend money on anything they aren’t sure about

J:  would you have paid $14.99 for JR Ward if you hadn’t read the rest of the series?

M:  no, but I’d spend $14.99 on a self-pubbed author in the same position

If I’d read their books and fell in love with the story or character–but again, that’s more about experience and reputation, which isn’t exclusive to any publishing format

J:  really, it comes down to an individual’s feelings

and what they want to spend their money on

while one person is astonished at a $14.99 price on an ebook, the next is just excited they can read it at all

M:  I’m a little of both

I’m a serious goner for this boy. I cannot wait for him to get his man

J:  oh!

this is that one

You’ve been excited about this one for a while

M:  Monday night, baby

midnight

J:  I hope it’s everything you hope for and more

M:  my first $14.99 ebook. Likely won’t be my last. I’m hooked on the ereader.

J:  I’m still resisting. I’m afraid I’d disappear into a black hole and you’d never see me again

M:  hey, if it gets you to read, it can’t be a bad thing

as much as I read, if it hasn’t sucked me in…

Speaking of sucking me in…Going to go ogle the cover and pine for a few more hours until it magically shows up on my kindle.

brb

or not :)

How much would you pay for an ebook? Are you excited about JR Ward’s upcoming release? Does Nathan Bransford blow your mind with his wisdom? Let us know!