05-30-16

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They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them. – R. L. Binyan

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Elizabeth Cadell on Kindle

I just found five Elizabeth Cadells on Kindle!

These are delightful, frothy, very English romances usually with a little twist at the end. I’ve read these five books about 30+ years ago and I remember The Fledgling in great detail. No one has ever come close to writing the funny, quirky, witty characters, absurd situations, and sweet, romantic love stories that Cadell produced.

 

Review- Dragon Ruins

Screenshot (7836)Even free was too much to pay for this.

This is one of those “books” that really isn’t. It’s 59 pages to start and those 59 pages proceed to make me happy not to read the rest of this  … whatever.

A strange man walks into an outback rock and gem store and hands our heroine, Karla, a medallion and tells her to go out in the middle of nowhere and find a mysterious chamber. And her father, when she tells him, encourages her.

Um, yeah. Works for me. Not.

So Karla spends a few paragraphs trying to decide if she wants to go and thinking of the loser she will be returning to (maybe) in England and despite having a ticket to leave the next day decides to go looking for whatever trouble might be out in the outback for a single woman following the instructions of a rather creepy stranger.

Doesn’t have the sense God gave a goose.

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Since this isn’t in the thriller or horror genres the creepy guy doesn’t reappear and kidnap her. Instead she finds the hidden chamber containing a sleeping hot guy. Who wakes up when she gets near him. Yup, he’s a dragon only he can’t be a dragon until he regains his strength through the Mesmer bond, this handy dandy plot device that makes it impossible for hot guy and Karla to be apart.

What’s a girl to do? Take him home to daddy and miss her flight to England and the loser. Ooh, face it, Karla, your goose is:

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Except for getting attacked by the mysterious stranger in dragon form there wasn’t a dragon to be seen or read about.

That’s it. That’s what 59 pages contains. Absolutely nothing that makes me at least want to pick up the next “book”. Entirely forgettable.

 

Review- Society of Imaginary Friends

Screenshot (7835)“Belief is a powerful magic.

Valerie Diaz has a power that she can’t contain, and it’s killing her. Bounced between foster homes and the streets, she only has time to concentrate on staying alive. But a visit from the imaginary friend of her childhood opens a world of possibilities, including a new life half a universe away on a planet that is bursting with magic.

The Society of Imaginary Friends follows Valerie on a journey that straddles two worlds. In order to survive, she must travel many light years away to a realm where anything is possible. On the Globe, imaginary friends come to life, the last of the unicorns rules the realm, and magic seeps from the pores of all the Conjurors who live there. But choosing to embrace her potential will set Valerie on a treacherous course – one filled with true love, adventure and perilous danger.”- Amazon description

Doesn’t this sound like fun? Unfortunately what it sounds like and what it is are two very different things. I almost DNF’d it at 35% because it was boring, annoying, and not well thought out. One of the most annoying things in the first third of the book was the treatment of Valerie’s magic. Valerie finds out her imaginary friends that she’s had from childhood are really real and projecting from a planet, called the Globe, hidden in a black hole. They inform her she had strong magical abilities and if she stays on earth she will die because somehow living here stifles magic (for the most part).  But before she leaves she has to go to England and undergo a test of her abilities. Whut?

First she is told she has too much magic to survive on earth then she has to travel from the US to England to take a test to prove she has all this magic she was just told she has? Then she has to go to Egypt to find the last transport from earth to the Globe. Not only didn’t this make a whole lot of sense, it was boring.

Valerie is that most over used type of heroine- the Mary Sue, or in Val’s case more like a Super Sue. Because Val not only is stuffed with all this magic and has these not so imaginary friends and enemies but she is Alone In The World.  Yes, my friends, Val is alone, so alone. She is alone, aloner, alonest. No one, no where, no how, is more alone. On two different planets Val wins all three Olympic medals for being alone.

Except when she isn’t. No, really, it seems she keeps stumbling over another character that is alone for various reasons. This author desperately needs an editor or two because all this aloneness repeated endlessly just makes you want to throw something. Like Valerie. Out into space where she will be alone, so alone, no one will ever be… sorry, it’s hard to shake.

Like I said I almost gave up but I pushed on and it got marginally better. Val arrives at the Globe and meets her imaginary childhood friend, makes more friends, acquires a magical sword in the best sword-in-the-stone manner, and keeps putting herself in dangerous situations because asking for advice and/or help would be the smart thing to do and a Mary Super Sue like Val needs to be smarter than most everyone else but still dumb enough to get tied to the railroad tracks or the magical equivalent.

So Val and her friends stumble around the Globe doing their level best to put themselves in harm’s way and succeeding with tiresome frequency. She just can’t bring herself to wait for other more experienced characters to explore and investigate but that doesn’t matter because Val is a Super Sue and will prevail over all and manifest new powers or magics or whatever because that’s what Sues do.

In the end she triumphs over her not-so-imaginary enemy and does something that hasn’t been done in decades and good triumphs over evil and her magical power is awesome and rare and now she is the superset of Mary Super Sues. Except that evil isn’t destroyed just dented a little because this is a 4 book series.

Imaginary Friends sounded so good and ended up being just a not very good rehash of a Sue we’ve all read before.

Ellora’s Cave Now Threatening RWA With Bogus Defamation Lawsuit(?)

And now for the daily news about our not-so-favorite publisher, Ellora’s Cave brought to you by Nate Hoffelder at The Digital Reader.

3278124117_f146ea9a65_bThe romance publisher Ellora’s Cave has moved on from trying to silence book bloggers with a SLAPP lawsuit; now it is reportedly making threats against the Romance Writers of America.

For more read here.

EC, RWA, and an Absence of Royalties

Kelly Jamieson has posted something interesting about EC on FB. Take a look. Mastrantonio’s claims are even more interesting because in the last several weeks authors have been saying their last check from EC was in either Dec. ’15 or Jan. ’16 for royalties due March ’15. Then there was this last month:

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Makes me wonder how accurate the direct sales book count is. I would never purchase a book direct from EC ever again, not solely because of this nonpayment mess but also because they managed to lose reader’s libraries TWICE.  I lost mine the first time it happened and that coupled with their inexplicable sudden disappearances from the net was enough to convince me they were never safe, professional, or honest.

Last month when Engler/Black launched that little plea in the ss EC lost their security certificate and it took them 3 or 4 days (I believe) to get it back. In the meantime if you tried to access EC’s website you got that warning message page and who would proceed to any site and buy anything from them? And why did it take them so long to get it back?

Engler/Black keeps crying about the number of book sales they are losing because of Amazon, because of authors, bloggers, and competitors “lying” about her  and her company but it took days for EC to get its shit together and recertify their site. So who is really ruining EC?