elf: Red & blue faces (Face Off)
[personal profile] elf
I took a chance on this a while back, and am very glad I did. I think it was on sale at the time; I have trouble believing I'd pay $3 for a book entirely outside of my normal genre choices. (Yeah, it's not much, but there are plenty of $3 books *in* my genre range that I'm not buying yet.)

From the description at Smashwords: Argus Ward is a former U.S. Secret Service agent who runs a protection agency catering to the rich and famous. His best-kept secret--which he shares with lawyers and doctors and even psychiatrists--is his status as a high-functioning paranoid schizophrenic. One day, with little warning, he turns psychotic for the first time in twenty years. He lands in a secure psychiatric facility, charged with the murder of his most famous client, high tech industry billionaire John Helms, the wealthiest man in America.

Also notes: Best Mystery Novel, Red Adept Annual Indie Awards 2010. Which is why I was willing to try it; I'm intrigued by anything focusing on non-neurotypical characters, and if it won an award, the writing must at least be decent.

I should look into more award-winning books, I think. )
elf: Petalwing, singing (Petalwing Singing)
[personal profile] elf
I bought this a few weeks ago, and dragged my feet on reading it, because I knew that (1) I'd love it and (2) then I'd be done, and the author doesn't have any more books for me. (Have read them all. They're all wonderful.)

Description from Smashwords: After escaping murderous bandits, Katherine says, "I jumped from the frying pan to the fire. Soon I’ll be dancing on coals." The thieves were the frying pan. The young Apache who saved her was the fire. The coals? Gaetan. Filled with rage and hate, Gaetan is Katherine's one chance to stay alive. When the struggle to survive forges a bond that turns to love, can he admit it?

Squee inside. )
elf: Emily the Strange: Misery loves company (Misery Loves Company)
[personal profile] elf
Because of the recent YAGay fiasco, I went looking at Smashwords for YA (or close to that) GBLT fic. I did my normal filtering... ignore anything over $6 and anything with cringe-inducing errors in the blurb and anything without a preview.

I found a promising-looking story: Familiar Scars by Christy Leigh Stewart; just under 30k words for $1. I clicked on the listing.

Stark black-and-white drawing of a girl in emotional distress with black-and-white wavy sections dividing the page around her. Title in gothic font. Compelling (or at least interesting) book cover art by Megan Hansen; I'm going to try to remember that name, because I like her art style.

I was disappointed in the text )
alitalf: Skiing in the 3 Valleys, France, 2008 (Default)
[personal profile] alitalf
Author: Mike Higgins
Title: Origami Rose
Genre: Science fiction detective

There are only so many new ideas around at any given time, and the science fiction plot device has been used elsewhere in other ways, but that didn't stop the book from being a page turner.

I read this a while ago, and haven't time for a proper review, but: Origami Rose costs 99 cents here and you can download a pdf sample first. Children are being kidnapped, and apparently killed, and the story opens with an investigator looking at a case file.

The text is pretty clean, though one or two grammatical or punctuation errors hit me in the face. I noticed few typos, the one that stuck in my mind is "Seventh Calvary", maybe because it occurred more than once.

When I read the book the first half was free to download, and the whole book cost $3. I had no hesitation in buying it when I had finished reading the first part. I suggest you look at this one, if you like either science fiction or detective stories.
elf: We have met the enemy and he is us. (Met the enemy)
[personal profile] elf
At some point, hopefully soon, I'll write a squee-filled rec for Sing My Name by Ellen O'Connell, and exhort all my friends who have any hint of interest in historical romance to go read it, and hey look, if you're not sure it's to your tastes, you can download & read the first 50,000 words to decide if it's worth paying $3 for the rest. (It's worth it. I've never read a romance novel with slashy subtext minor characters before, and now I want fanfic for Beau and Roddy.) (I will be asking for this book at Yuletide. Really.) O'Connell has two other books; I've read one and it was great (this is better) and I've now bought the third, which doesn't say "romance" but I've decided I no longer care. She goes on the short list of "just buy it all."

This isn't that squee. This is a raised-eyebrows, look-over-the-glasses, oh-no-he-didn't look at a different ebook: The Berlin Sex Shop Episode, by Mister Average, which I suspect is a pseudonym. I found this one by browsing recent uploads to Smashwords (because that's about the only way to find anything at Smashwords) and I was just... boggled.

He (there's no rule that says "Mister Average" has to be a he, of course, but I'm going with the standard conventions here for pronoun use) has 6 other "ebooks," which average about 4000 words, and each of which are priced at $2.99. That's right; he wants $2.99 for this 4150 word short story, just like O'Connell wants $2.99 for her 135,000-word epic.

What this means for me as a reader )
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