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Monday News: BAM’s POD experiment, fandoms and empathy, Hugo hosting controversy, and 1950′s marriage tips

Monday News: BAM’s POD experiment, fandoms and empathy, Hugo hosting controversy,...

BAM Espresso Pilot A Success, So Far – Books-A-Million has been conducting a 90-day experiment with the Espresso Ebook Machine, a print-on-demand technology installed in stores in Maine (one of its top-earning stores) and Alabama (its flagship location). The company claims that use is still on the increase, and according to the employees who assist customers with the machines, family history and genealogy are among the most popular projects. Apparently a handwritten copy of Alice in Wonderland (in Carroll’s script) was among the public domain works printed. Apparently BAM will keep these two machines installed for a year before expanding, although if they get more publisher involvement, that timeline could be expedited.

Certain titles are available through partnerships with Google, Lightning Source, HarperCollins, and Hachette, while select content comes from publishers like Random House, W.W. Norton, and Simon & Schuster. Gallagher said she talks with publishers “every day” about making more content available on the EBMs. “We do wish we were doing more volume [on the machines] in copyright situations with books that are available through standard publishers,” she said. “But they haven’t gotten on the bandwagon yet, and the lion’s share of the business is really from the self-publishing community.” –Publishers Weekly

On Fandom, Parasocial Relationships, and What We Don’t Know – Although this post by Jennifer Lynn Barnes is commentary on another post — Sarah Rees Brennan’s exploration of the way female fan fiction writers can be perceived when they write original fiction  – it’s a pretty interesting argument about whether participation in fantoms, in particular, may create a false belief that one may be able to “read” people in real life the same way one reads fictional characters and situations. I’m very, very, very, very, very, very, very wary of ‘influence’ arguments, but I do think community norms can influence behavior, so I think it’s important to talk about those norms and how individuals are situated relative to them.

Reading Sarah’s post made me wonder if those of us who engage with fiction frequently and passionately and, yes, through fandom, writing stories and daydreaming about characters and diagnosing their motivations—I wonder if that level of engagement could potentially have very real cognitive effects on us, beyond what has already been studied. On the one hand, that kind of engagement might actually make us better at understanding people. But at the same time, I think it quite possibly increases our perceptions of how good we are at doing that, beyond what is actually possible. Regular engagement with fiction—particularly active engagement through fandom—might fool us into thinking, even more than people who are less engaged with fiction, that we really, truly know what other people are thinking or intending and who they are deep down. –

WorldCon 2014 announces Jonathan Ross to host Hugo Awards, controversy follows, Ross withdraws – In the midst of all of SFF conflict over sexism, diversity, and inclusion, LonCon announced that the Hugo Awards ceremony, which will be held in London at WorldCon 2014, would be hosted by British comedian and talk show host Jonathan Ross. Ross has a reputation for offensive and divisive comedy, even though he has also advocated for greater diversity within the BBC. However, Ross quickly stepped down once the widespread online uproar over his selection began.

For the purposes of hosting the Hugo Awards, I can understand why LonCon decided it’d be a good idea to employ Ross (though it should be noted that he is not being paid). Ross is a huge, bona fide celebrity. It’d raise the profile of the Hugos and Worldcon in the UK more than almost anything else would, and would ensure wider newspaper and television coverage. Ross is certainly one of us, as his personal, extensive collection of vintage toys, games and comics should attest. But he’s also a divisive comedian, one whose humour seems to rely too much on belittling others, often on the grounds of gender or sexuality; almost certainly not from some deep-seated prejudice, but more a lazy reliance on obvious sources of humor. –The Wertzone

7 Tips for Keeping Your Man (from the 1950s) – We all need a good laugh on Monday, right? So here you go. A collection of marriage advice from the mid 20th century (you just can’t make this stuff up) – written by men, natch. Why seven tips? For luck, maybe. Including tip # 4, titled, DON’T BE A SEXUAL VAMPIRE OR A FRIGID FRANNY:

Just as the vampire sucks the blood of its victims in their sleep while they are alive, so does the woman vampire suck the life and exhaust the vitality of her male partner—or “victim.”

It is to be borne in mind that it is particularly older girls—girls between thirty and fifty—who are apt to be unreasonable in their demands when they get married; but no age is exempt; sexual vampires may be found among girls of twenty as well as among women of sixty and over. –Mental Floss

Daily Deals: Post apoc romance, Free SEAL, Erotic Romance, and Indie fave

Daily Deals: Post apoc romance, Free SEAL, Erotic Romance, and Indie...

There are a number of good deals that are Amazon Exclusive. I’m bringing them to your attention because they’re books I’ve enjoyed or I think are a really good deal. All of them are $1.99 except for the Meg Rosoff book which is $2.99. I haven’t read Susan Kearney’s Kiss Me Deadly but I did buy it.

The Pulse: Book 1 in the Pulse Trilogy  by Shoshanna EversThe Pulse: Book 1 in the Pulse Trilogy by Shoshanna Evers. $ 1.99

From the Jacket Copy:

Book One in the heart-pounding Pulse Trilogy—a gripping erotic romance set in post-apocalyptic New York City one year after an electromagnetic pulse destroys America’s power grid. “Intense, exciting, and sizzlingly sexy—a perfect post-apocalyptic romance!” (Heather Thurmeier, bestselling author of Escape to My Arms and Stuck on You)

Emily Rosen lives in a military camp at Grand Central Station, where women sell their bodies to soldiers for extra rations. When she discovers a dark secret—that America is rebuilding outside of New York City, and everything the city’s refugees have been told is a lie—she escapes, the soldiers hot on her heels…

But Christopher Mason, a convict who broke out of prison after the Pulse, finds Emily first. Although he’s survived this long on the streets by looking out only for himself, Emily is beautiful, alluring, and impossible to leave behind.

Now Emily must convince this intimidating, magnetic stranger to be her guide as they journey out of New York and into the unknown. She’ll barter with her body, but sex with Mason can never be currency—it’s pure passion, and everything she desires. Despite the crumbling world around them, can Emily and Mason discover true love blooming in the darkest of places?

Book 2 of the trilogy is available and I’m guessing from the price drop that book 3 will be available soon? Yes, apparently it is available on 3/17/2014. Both Google Play and Amazon are honoring the discount. From the reviews, if you like Evers writing then this will be a good fit for you. Others complained that the worldbuilding was disjointed and confusing.

The Escape is also on sale at Amazon and Google Play for $1.99.

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A SEAL's Surrender (Uniformly Hot!)  by Tawny WeberA SEAL’s Surrender (Uniformly Hot!) by Tawny Weber. $ Free

From the Jacket Copy:

Subject: Lieutenant Commander Cade Sullivan
Status: On leave
Mission: He’s home to take care of some family business.
Obstacle: Eden Gillespie. The girl who always lands in trouble?has landed in his bed!

Lieutenant Commander Cade Sullivan is the job. His commitment to the Navy SEALs is absolute—almost. Worse still, he’s been summoned home, where his family is the town royalty and women vie to be one of Cade’s conquests. One of them in particular?.

Ever since they were kids, Cade has been rescuing Eden Gillespie. Now she’s decided she owes him one heck of a thank-you—one that involves a bed, naked bodies and sweet satisfaction. But when their sexy trysts are discovered, Eden becomes a bit of a town sensation—and not in a good way. Can she convince her SEAL to risk one last rescue operation?

It’s free…

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Beyond Shame (Beyond, Book One)  by Kit RochaBeyond Shame by Kit Rocha. $ .99

From the Jacket Copy:

All Noelle Cunningham has ever wanted is a life beyond–beyond the walls of Eden, where only the righteous are allowed to remain, and beyond her stiflingly restrictive existence as a councilman’s daughter. But only ruins lie outside the City, remnants of a society destroyed by solar storms decades earlier.

The sectors surrounding Eden house the corrupt, the criminal–men like Jasper McCray, bootlegger and cage fighter. Jas clawed his way up from nothing to stand at the right hand of Sector Four’s ruthless leader, and he’ll defend the O’Kane gang with his life. But no fight ever prepared him for the exiled City girl who falls at his feet.

Her innocence is undeniable, but so is their intense sexual attraction, and soon they’re crossing every boundary Noelle barely knew she had. But if she wants to belong to Jas, first she’ll have to open herself to a dangerous world of sex, lust and violence. A world where passion is power, and freedom is found in submission.

This won’t just make my list for one of the best erotic books I’ve read this year, but it’s also one of my favorite overall romance books of 2012 says Mandi from Smexybooks

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Jake Undone (A Gemini Novel)  by Penelope WardJake Undone (A Gemini Novel) by Penelope Ward. $ .99.

From the Jacket Copy:

The USA TODAY Recommended Best-Selling Romance:

Nina Kennedy was alive…but not living…until she met him.

Planes, trains, heights…you name it, Nina was afraid of it and led a sheltered life ruled by irrational fears and phobias. When she moves to Brooklyn for nursing school, that life is turned upside down, as she develops an intense but unwanted attraction to her gorgeous roommate, who’s pierced, tattooed and just happens to be the smartest person she’s ever met.

Behind Jake Green’s rough exterior and devilish smile, lies a heart of gold. He makes it his mission to change Nina’s outlook on life. When he agrees to tutor her, they forge a bet and the stakes are high as Jake forces Nina to face her demons. He just wasn’t expecting to fall hard for her in the process.

What Nina doesn’t realize, is that Jake has been living his own private hell. Once he drops a bombshell, will their love survive it?

Told in two parts from both Nina and Jake’s points of view, Jake Undone is a standalone story and a companion to the novel, Gemini.

I’ve not read Gemini or Jake Undone but I did read Bully and Until You, two books that the author sold to NAL. I thought Until You was a compelling read even though I loathed the protagonist for most of the book. Also, there’s subtle slut shaming in both Bully and Until You (it’s okay for a guy to be a whore but not okay for a girl to sleep around).

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