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


Dear Author

Thursday News: Bionic leg and more vampires; increased ebook market...

“The leg is designed to respond to electrical impulses from muscles in his hamstring. When Vawter thought about climbing the stairs, the motors, belts and chains in his leg synchronized the movements of its ankle and knee.

The computerized prosthetic limb, like something from a sci-fi film, weighs about 10 pounds and holds two motors.”

“Speaking at a press junket for the new movie, Meyer was quoted by The Metro as saying, “I wouldn’t say no absolutely (to more books). I’m not going to do it today, but I don’t know how I’m going to feel in five years.I planned out where it would go for a couple more books… there are other characters who I think would have a lot of voice in those coming stories.””

In the year-to-year comparison, the hardcover and trade paperback segments both lost two percentage points each to e-books, while mass market paperbacks’ share fell from 15% in the second quarter of 2011 to 12% in this year’s second period.

Through the first nine months of 2012, sales were up 3%, to $575, while OIBDA fell to $53 million from $58 million due mainly to costs associated with the Department of Justice e-book price-fixing lawsuit and settlement.

Dear Author

Friday Midday Links: Game of Thrones is for boys; Meyers vampires...

A reader alerted me to a passage in the Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide wherein Stephenie Meyers elaborates on the perfect vampire. A couple of years ago, Alisa Valdez Rodriguez blogged that Meyers’ was racist and gave a point by point summary supporting her claim. I and dozens of other bloggers refuted that claim given Rodriguez’ “facts” were actually wrong. However, I couldn’t help but think of Rodriguez’ claim when I read Meyer’s account of the transformational aspects of human to vampire:


The common factor of beauty among vampires is mostly due to this crystalline skin. The perfect smoothness, gloss, and even color of the skin give the illusion of a flawless face. The skin reacts differently to light, creating an angular effect that heightens the perception of beauty…


Pale vampire skin is a product of vampire venom’s transformative process. The venom leeches all pigment from the skin as it changes the human skin into the more indestructible vampire form. Regardless of original ethnicity, a vampire’s skin will be exceptionally pale. The hue varies slightly, with darker-skinned humans having a barely discernible olive tone to their vampire skin, but the light shade remains the same. All forms of skin pigmentation–freckles, moles, birthmarks, age marks, scars, and tattoos–disappear during the transformation.

BUT! “While all vampires have similarly pale skin, they can have a certain variety of eye colors.”

AND! “Vampires are frozen in the state at which they are transformed.”


Vampires are frozen in the state at which they are transformed. They do not grow older, taller, or wider (just whiter – editorial note by me), or experience any other physical change, including unconsciousness (vampires never sleep). Their fingernails and hair do not grow. Their hair does not change color. (emphasis added by me)

Now, I know you could say that death leeches out color, but death also doesn’t bestow sparkly skin, a thirst for blood, special “gifts”, and immortality. I don’t think Meyers is racist, but this is a sign of not thinking about what you are saying, at the very least because according to Meyers’ account, vampirism really does whitewash everything. At the very least, this is facepalm territory.


In an eyebrow raising review of Game of Thrones, the New York Times describes the HBO adaption of the epic fantasy series by George RR Martin as appealing to those who “are not averse to the Dungeons & Dragons aesthetic.” But that the sexual perversions are tossed in for the girls who have never read Martin:

The imagined historical universe of "Game of Thrones" gives license for unhindered bed-jumping –here sibling intimacy is hardly confined to emotional exchange.

The true perversion, though, is the sense you get that all of this illicitness has been tossed in as a little something for the ladies, out of a justifiable fear, perhaps, that no woman alive would watch otherwise. While I do not doubt that there are women in the world who read books like Mr. Martin’s, I can honestly say that I have never met a single woman who has stood up in indignation at her book club and refused to read the latest from Lorrie Moore unless everyone agreed to "The Hobbit" first. "Game of Thrones" is boy fiction patronizingly turned out to reach the population’s other half.

I haven’t seen the HBO series so I can’t say whether it is patronizing. It might very well be. I can say that the article is patronizing. And wrong. So all you fantasy girl readers are either men. Or you are reading the books for the sex which just goes to prove that men are the superior species because they only read Playboy for the articles. Why are the women so dumb that all they understand is sex?


More wrongness! QuarryGirl blogged yesterday about how VegNews, a vegan food magazine, is using iStockphoto pictures containing MEAT and trying to pass them off as vegan dishes.

We’ve always been fans of VegNews, since back in the mid-2000s when we’d wait with bated breath for the US Mail to deliver our copy. We’d eagerly flip through, reading all about the latest veg stuff, salivating over the amazing pictures, trying out a vegan recipe, and maybe even discovering a restaurant in our home town through one of their reviews.

it’s sad, then, that the pictures we’ve been drooling over for years are actually of MEAT! Veg News has written tens (possibly hundreds) of articles extolling the virtues of a vegan lifestyle, while purchasing rock-bottom priced stock photos of MEAT, EGGS, DAIRY and other completely non-vegan things.

Really, you have to click to look at the pictures. The chutzpah of VegNews is breathtaking.


Kindle DX is on sale for $299. This is about an $80 savings. I’m not sure if that is a sign that the price is coming down permanently or that Amazon is phasing these larger eink devices out.