Reader Question…

question markTina Folker (hey Tina) had a question I couldn’t help with, so we once again take it to the experts. Tina was wondering if there are any authors who ever do signings in Australia, or any author conventions? Also, Tina was hoping to put together a list of some good Australian paranormal/romance authors, if you can think of any.

Can you think of any authors who tour to Australia for signings and the like, and what are your favorite Australian authors?

Will you be checking out The Magisterium?

question markAuthors Holly Black and Cassandra Clare are teaming up for a 5-book series called The Magisterium, which will focus on reluctant but magically gifted Callum Hunt. At first glance, one can’t help but draw comparisons to the other magical boy sent to a magic school. You know the one I mean. So, the question is, will you be giving The Magisterium series a try when the first book, The Iron Trial, is released on September 9th, or is this just too Young Adult?

the iron trial

From NEW YORK TIMES bestselling authors Holly Black and Cassandra Clare comes a riveting new series that defies what you think you know about the world of magic.

From two bestselling superstars, a dazzling and magical middle-grade collaboration centering on the students of the Magisterium, an academy for those with a propensity toward magic. In this first book, a new student comes to the Magisterium against his will — is it because he is destined to be a powerful magician, or is the truth more twisted than that? It’s a journey that will thrill you, surprise you, and make you wonder about the clear-cut distinction usually made between good and evil.

Sometimes I struggle a bit with what actually to include here on the blog. The Adult fiction is easy enough to classify, but the whole Young Adult/New Adult thing can get a bit tricky, and now I wonder what YA is just too young to bother with. Personally, while I haven’t read Harry Potter, I did very much enjoy the Percy Jackson books which are aimed at this same demographic. Will the fact that is it by two very well known authors sway you to try it, or will you be giving it a pass?

The Book Depository…Discount No More

question-markOne of my long winded, probably pointless rants ahead. Be warned.

Way back in probably 2010, I discovered the online book retailer The Book Depository. Not an earth-shattering event for most people, but as one who buys books on a very regular basis, finding a site where there was not only a significant discount but also free shipping was a cause for celebration, especially since I live in Canada. At my usual 7-8 books a week (between my books and those I also buy for my father), the savings was great. In the good old days, the savings was easily $20-25 a week.

Those days are gone.

In 2011, it was announced that Amazon had bought out The Book Depository. I wasn’t happy, but I figured that any changes would be slow in coming. And for the most part, I was right. Pricing stayed low, shipping was fast (and free), and everything seemed to chug along as usual. It was probably around the beginning of 2013 that I started to notice a slow but steady price increase – things went from a standard 25% off, to maybe 20%, to now where it is maybe 10% off, if we are lucky.

For example, take Shelly Laurenston‘s Bite Me. Amazon.ca lists it for $12.24…and the “bargain” Book Depository price is $18.12. Nearly 1/3 more. J.R. Ward‘s The King? Amazon.ca is $16.47. The Book Depository? $27.77…over $10 more. For the once-in-a-while book buyer, it is doable. As a steady book buyer? That hurts. Barnes and Noble does ship to Canada, but with a $3.99 per order and a $2.49 per item charge, it just doesn’t make sense for me, personally. Amazon it is.

This is an older graphic, I know, but I thought it was interesting. It shows the stranglehold Amazon has over not just online book buying, but online shopping in general (click for larger scale)…

amazon's strangleholdHave you found yourself gently herded back to Amazon? Mine was a gradual process, but I can honestly say that I went from buying only a couple of books from Amazon in 2010 to 95% of my purchases being through them today. I do still manage to get my paperbacks from The Book Depository, not because the discount is that great but because the base price seems to be set on the American standard rather than the Canadian, which is quite a bit higher.

For me, the good news is that I had totally forgot about Chapters. I am not sure if they exist outside of Canada, but they have become a viable option for my book buying needs. I had bought from them years ago, before the Book Depository, and when I dusted off their website I discovered that they price themselves the same as Amazon. I have decided to not buy from Amazon wherever possible. Am I boycotting? No. I just would like to have a viable alternative. Now I just have to hope Amazon doesn’t notice and buy them, too.

Where do you buy the bulk of your books? Or at least those of you who still are on the dead tree bandwagon, like me. Have you found another way to get your fix, or does Amazon meet all of your needs?

 

Reader Reaction – Up From the Grave

up from the graveOk, it has been a couple of weeks since the Night Huntress series from Jeaniene Frost wrapped up with the release of Up From the Grave. I personally just finished it last night, since I have a hard time making myself read the last book in a series (like I always say, if I haven’t read the last book, the series isn’t over). While it is always sad to see one wrap up, it is good to go out when the time is right rather than drag things on and produce filler books that cheapen the series as a whole. My question is…

What did you think of the end of Cat and Bones? Were you satisfied with their send off, or did developments leave you thinking there was still more story to tell?

Personally, I enjoyed the book, but it didn’t have a “THE END” feel to me. I was happy with the story, liked the action and seeing almost all of the old gang again, and thought the pacing was great. Maybe I was so amused by Ian that he stole the show for me (as he usually does), or maybe because I was waiting for big deaths or big losses, but it didn’t feel like a goodbye. It did, however, make me more excited than ever for an Ian book. There must be one. There simply must.

I have kept things spoiler free in the post, but feel free to leave spoilers in the comments. What is your take on the end of Night Huntress?

What is Your Most Anticipated New Series For 2014?

Several well-known authors are branching out this year and starting up new series, sometimes while still writing their trademark series, and some after wrapping up their existing work. So, I was wondering…

“What new series are you most looking forward to in the coming year?”

 

 

If you have another choice, just leave your selection in the comments section. Personally, I am beyond excited for the mysterious Ilona Andrews Avon project. The snippets have been beyond great, and they are among the most consistently great authors around.

 

Help Identifiying a Book…

Sue asked me if I recognized a book she is looking for, but unfortunately it didn’t ring a bell for me. Can anyone else help Sue out and tell her which book this is?

I’m hoping you can tell me the author of a series I read a couple years ago. It was about twin sisters separated at birth. Their mother was a witch who made a deal with the devil to give him her daughters so she hid them thru adoption instead. One sister ends up in the hospital ER and meets the estranged husband of her unknown twin. The Grandmother/father is a cross dresser who owns a flower shop. It is very light hearted and the devil keeps trying to seduce the main character to his side but she has fallen in love with her sister’s Ex. Ring any bells??
Thanks for any help, Sue

What do you say, guys? Challenge time.

How was your trip to Cainesville?

omensA couple of months ago, I was debating picking up Kelley Armstrong‘s newest offering, Omens. I thought it sounded interesting, but I wasn’t sure if the paranormal elements would be strong enough to keep me interested. Well, I broke down and bought it, and I am so glad I did.

The first book of the Cainesville series definitely hooked me. The story was well done, the characters so far have been great – not too perfect, but not too flawed, either. The hint of the supernatural was a nice break from my usual reading habits of weres and vamps, and there was just enough foreshadowing of a romance to keep me involved. My only disappointment was that the Canadian cover was different than the US one, and I didn’t like it as much.

I was very pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed Omens, but what did you think? Was there enough paranormal and romance in it for you, or was it too much straight mystery? This was my first book by this author, and I am now eying her young adult series hoping I would enjoy them as much. How do her YA stories stack up?

Cover Lover, Book News…and a Debate

Nothing like combining a bunch of little stuff into one post (might be laziness, just saying). Goodreads and Amazon coughed up a couple of more covers for today, so let’s start with that.

On the YA side, Kiera Cass‘s third book in her The Selection trilogy, called The One, now has a pretty cover to go with the first two. The One will be released on May 6th.

the oneAnd cover number two is from Kerrelyn Sparks. How to Seduce a Vampire (Without Really Trying) is due out on April 29th.

how to seduce a vampireOn the book news front, it looks like Maggie Stiefvater is returning to her Mercy Falls world. I made no secret at the time that I thought the ending of Forever was, uh, distressing for me. Or rather, not an ending at all. I don’t do well with open-endedness, so to not get a final resolution to Sam and Grace’s story was frustrating. Now, Maggie has confirmed that she is writing one more companion book, so here’s hoping everything gets wrapped up this time. Sinner is a stand alone hardcover featuring Cole and Isabel that will be released next July. One source has said “this isn’t so much a re-visitation as it is a reinvention”.

Sinner follows Cole St. Clair, a pivotal character from the #1 New York Times bestselling Shiver Trilogy. Everybody thinks they know Cole’s story. Stardom. Addiction. Downfall. Disappearance. But only a few people know Cole’s darkest secret — his ability to shift into a wolf. One of these people is Isabel. At one point, they may have even loved each other. But that feels like a lifetime ago. Now Cole is back. Back in the spotlight. Back in the danger zone. Back in Isabel’s life. Can this sinner be saved?

According to the author herself, this was not part of the original Mercy Falls plan (I thought that maybe it was, hence the open ended wrap up of the third book).

Author Maggie Stiefvater says, “For me, finishing the Shiver trilogy was a bittersweet moment — I knew that I wouldn’t be returning to Mercy Falls once Sam and Grace’s story was over. But Cole and Isabel still lurked in the back of my mind. Both of them were only half-fixed at the end of the trilogy, and I wanted to know if they could be fixed the rest of the way.”

Will you be checking Sinner out, or is this one a miss for you? I know I will be, since a) I have to know if their is a REAL ending and b) cover OCD won’t let me not get it.

A while back, Jeaniene Frost announced a change in her publishing schedule, saying that she had wrapped up the Cat and Bones series a book earlier than planned. That was a bummer, but it has been a great run for the Night Huntress books, and finishing it when it needs to end rather than dragging things out is the right decision. Now Jeaniene turns her attention to her new venture, the Realmwalker series. For those who don’t remember the details (er, like I didn’t), the new three-book series sounds very interesting…

In Jeaniene Frost’s Realmwalker, a young woman discovers she’s the last member of an ancient line with an unwanted destiny; and that her only ally, a mysterious young man is destined to betray her… and doom the world.

It turns out that the first book will be called The Beautiful Ashes, and it will be released September 2014. But somewhere along the line, I totally missed that it is NA (New Adult). As a reader of both Adult and Young Adult, I don’t have a problem with that at all. Any Frost story is a good thing. But that leads to my conundrum…

How the heck do I classify it?

I have tried to divide the Adult and Young Adult stuff as much as possible for those of you who read only one or the other, but where do you put one that falls in the middle?

I don’t like to mislead the blog readers and place a title like this where it doesn’t belong, but the amount of NA I have come across doesn’t warrant its own section (as yet). Do you think that since Jeaniene has, until this point, been a UF author that I should just let Realmwalker fall under the same flag and leave things as they are, or has the time come for me to split Wicked Scribes into two blogs (one PNR and UF and one YA and NA)? It wouldn’t be hard to actually split them, just a bit time consuming, or do you still like having everything listed together (new release dates, that sort of thing)? I have already decided that if a split is called for, the adult side will stay blue and green, and the young adult will look the same but be red and pink. Planning ahead, y’all.

Hobbies, Obsessions and Time Wasters…

Tonight’s post is a little different. As I was trying to decide what to work on tonight, I found myself getting curious (nosy) about what other hobbies/obsessions you all might have. I mean, the one thing we all share is a love of books and reading, but what else do you enjoy away from the written word?

My other hobby actually pre-dates my love of both reading and blogging, but it is just as involved and time consuming – I make custom DVD and Blu-ray covers. I started years ago mostly because I couldn’t stand the often ugly commercial covers, and I wanted everything to line up on my shelves. I am not at all artistic, but over the years I have slowly gotten a little better, and while I will never be as creative and skilled as I would like, I do manage to have some fun with it. Usually I think that everything I make looks crappy after the fact, but I was actually happy with this one for Snow White and the Hunstman…

attachment4.phpI think this is why bad book cover art irks me so badly. Not that I am that great at it, but at least I try to put some effort into it. There is no excuse for a bad book cover. Ever.

What else do you like to do? Is there anything else that you enjoy as much as a good book?

Why Buy Used Books?

Sarah from over at Thriftbooks sent over an info graphic about the benefits of buying used books. I love looking at the graphics, both for Photoshop technique and because I find you always use something new from them. Personally, I am one of those who is too OCD to go used – I did get the first four Karen Marie Moning Fever books in hardcover off of E-bay, and they were not only a great deal, but also in very good shape. And a couple of them were impossible to find anywhere else. I don’t want to push my luck, though. Click the graphic below for full size…

Why Buy Used Books - TB - graphicAre  you a used book lover? Have you scored any great books at great prices, or are you like me and want a brand new, shiny copy for the shelf? I do admit that it can get expensive, especially since my father is a reader, too (and all his are hardcover). Lucky me, I get to buy his, too.