Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

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REVIEW:  Kamikaze by Moira Rogers

REVIEW: Kamikaze by Moira Rogers

Dear Ms. Rogers,

I saw Kamikaze listed as a free book and an introduction to your new self-published series, Last Call. The cover seemed eye-catching enough and the blurb promised smoking hot action. Sounds good to me. This read did exactly what it promised – it was short and physical. Unfortunately I struggled to connect to either character.

KamikazeThe premise for Kamikaze is a fun one. There is a bar called Last Call, where supernatural women can order a specific drink, and that drink telegraphs to the men in the bar what she is there for. I thought that sounded like a fun set-up, especially for a shorter work, and was intrigued. Zoe Bennett is the heroine of the story, and she is a werewolf who is in heat and needs a man. She doesn’t have one, so she shows up to Last Call and orders a Kamikaze: werewolf in heat, looking for temporary mate.

Connor O’Malley is a werewolf working on the security systems at Last Call. He sees Zoe and steals her away before the other men can stampede in their race to get to her, and convinces her to go upstairs with him. They go upstairs and have lots of sex.

That’s the entire storyline; there are no hidden depths to this story as it’s very short. It’s thirty pages long, and in actuality, this feels like both the story is too long and too short. It’s too short in the way of the characters. I don’t know anything about Connor other than he has an Irish name, is a werewolf, and works security systems. I don’t know anything about Zoe other than she’s looking for a man. Both characters are very vaguely sketched out, leaving me not much to root for. These two feel like strangers to me, and in the hands of an author with stronger characterization skills, it could have come across as part of the plot to see them slowly learn about each other. I just found these two boring.

The story also felt very long because the vast majority of it is sex. And after a few scenes of them having sex, it became dull for me. The sex was well written but lacking spark, and it should have been hotter. Also, other than the mentions of the werewolf nature of the two characters and the fact that Zoe is in heat, there are no supernatural goings-on in the story. I would have liked more, but there was only 30 pages to work with.

It was a free read, and I don’t regret reading it, but I’m going to have to say that your writing just doesn’t work for me. Which is a shame, because I like the concept of the series, and some of the later stories look fun. But after struggling to finish even 30 pages? I’m afraid I’m out. It’s not you, it’s me. This one gets a C .

All best,

January

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Thursday Midday Links: New eReaders to debut from BN and Amazon

Thursday Midday Links: New eReaders to debut from BN and Amazon

There is a lot of news today.  First up Barnes and Noble is set to announce a new ebook reader during BEA which is in a couple of weeks. Amazon is releasing a new ebook reader this fall.  The BN Nook 2, as Mike Cane believes it will be called, is likely to have a Mirasol type screen which is a color eInk screen. I saw a Mirasol screen a couple of years ago and it was beautiful.  The Amazon ebook reader is likely to be a full fledged Android tablet.

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Free ebooks this month:

More here.

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The Other Guy's Bride BrockwayAmazon has launched a new publishing imprint featuring romances called Amazon Montlake.  Connie Brockway is the debut author in that line.  According to Ms. Brockway, this cover is just a placeholder.  One hopes so because otherwise I have my doubts about the success of that line.  More genre specific imprints are coming from Amazon.  We wrote about Amazon as a publisher in 2009:

This was correctly read as Amazon’s foray into the marketplace as a publisher, not just a retailer. While this may have been a surprise to some, it seemed like the natural progression of Bezos’ moves in the last few years.     We actually discussed this just last month wherein I suggested the next logical step for Bezos was to become a publisher.

AAR has an email from Brockway about why she’s made an about face from her recent announcement that she would self publish.  There is no mention of whether she received an advance (and my guess is that she did not) but she will get a book in print and audio as well as on the Kindle platform.  She will also receive editing support.  Again, no details of the terms of the deal are released.

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Revenue reports are coming in from all publishers:

Harlequin:

The company’s total first-quarter revenue increased to $351.4 million from $335 million, and Torstar said sales from Harlequin, which publishes romance novels, more than offset declines in other divisions such as lower print advertising revenues.

Simon & Schuster:

“We got out of the gate faster than usual,” said S&S CEO Carolyn Reidy led by sales of e-books that doubled in the quarter and accounted for 17% of revenue with digital audio adding the other one percent (about $28 million). The steep increase in profits was attributed to lower shipping, production and returns costs as well as the “painful” belt-tightening that S&S has implemented over the last 18 months plus the higher sales, Reidy said.

Hachette (PDF):

However, “EBook sales momentum was considerable” in the first quarter of 2011, “up 88% compared to Q1 2010, accounting for approximately 22% of revenue in the United States.” Brisk sales in the U.S. for reading devices at the end of 2010 are a key factor in the explosive growth of digital reading in the first three months of this year. HBG has had 23 titles on the New York Times eBook bestseller list since the list’s debut on February 13, 2011.

Pearson (parent of Penguin):

Pearson PLC (PSON.LN) said Thursday that revenue rose 9% in the first quarter, bolstered by its extensive education and publishing operations, and reiterated that it expects sales, margin and earnings growth in 2011.

Pearson said the FT Group has made a “good start to the year”, and that Penguin “continues to benefit from consistently strong publishing and a leading position in digital reading, with ebook sales doubling in the first quarter” from a year earlier.

Harper (paid link):
In the US, eBooks comprised 19 percent of sales in the US, and 11 percent of worldwide revenues. The company says “we expect to see those figures continue to grow as more readers enter the market over the next year.
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The rise in digital sales is good because publishers need it.  Borders looks to be dead in the water as the CEO makes a plea for a bailout and retail publishing sales slump to an eight year low.