Tuesday, February 19, 2013

What a POD Peep Reads -- Ecoerotica

Title: Ecoerotica
Author: Selena Kitt
Price: $5.99 (ebook) / $12.25 (paperback)
Publisher: eXcessica
Reviewed by: Emily Veinglory

Selena Kitt clearly knows how to write.  Hot sex, characters, themes, the whole thing.  So I am not sure why I just did not enjoy this collection of erotica short stories.

Part of it might be that the first three stories were basically a combination of a couple having sex, and somebody (or multiple individuals) being killed.  I don't know about the average reader but I don't find horrible, untimely deaths all that sexy.  Also each of these stories ended with a minor essay about  how we are destroying the planet, which is worthy but preachy.  After reading these stories I put the book down and didn't pick it up for, well, about three years.

I picked it up again and found the fourth story to be a variation on the same theme. The fifth was so off the theme it felt like it had been jammed into the collection sideways and clearly did not belong there.  It was sexy as hell and had a nice wistful tone, but I was so emotionally braced for someone to die my main reaction was surprise that nobody did. The final story was wildly quirky and pretty enjoyable, but too little and too late.

Then there is a full 17-pages of back matter made up mainly of blurbs for the the author's other books.  I don't know about you but I think when they entire book only 147 pages long and I paid 12 dollars for it, that's a bit excessive.

 Overall I am convinced this author can write very well indeed, but this was not a work I enjoyed.


Sunday, February 17, 2013

REVIEW: Okatibbee Creek

Title: Okatibbee Creek
Author: Lori Crane
Genre: historical fiction
Price: $2.99 (ebook) / $9.95 (paperback)
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Point of Sale: Amazon
Reviewed by: Chris Gerrib

Okatibbee Creek is billed as the true story of Mary Ann Rodgers.  She was born in the early 1830s in Mississippi, one of a herd of children (I lost count at 10) and lived through the Civil War.  This sounded exciting when it was described to me, but in actual reading not so much. 

The story is told entirely from Mary’s point of view, and she seems to be a very typical, ordinary sort, living the sort of ordinary life that one would expect of somebody in the then near-frontier of Mississippi.  There are typhoid epidemics, kids drowning and dying of whooping cough, and more than a few men killed (off-stage) in the Civil War. 

But I found that the story really didn’t engage me.  There were scenes that stuck with me (Mary, at one point, finds a wife has been laying in a bed with her dead husband for a good day or so) but the story as a whole wasn’t terribly interesting.  I think part of the problem was that Mary didn’t strike me as particularly engaging as a person.  I imagine that I couldn’t have a conversation with her, unless I wanted to talk about who was pregnant this week. 

I also think that the author, Lori Crane, tried to cram too much into the book. Mary Rodgers was a real person, and an ancestor of Ms. Crane’s, so the author tries to cram her entire life into one fairly short book.  Ms. Crane also is guilty of being too realistic.  Real life can be boring at times, and Crane’s desire to tell the unvarnished story is the result.

I’m not rating this book, because I’m not sure that I’m the target audience for it.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Self-Publishing Is No Bed of Roses

Comes news today that, according to M. C. A. Hogarth, Games Workshop, a computer gaming company is trying to trademark the term 'Space Marines.'    The author discovered this when the gaming company contacted Amazon to have her original novel "Spots The Space Marine" blocked from Amazon.  (It's still available at Barnes & Noble and Smashwords).  Now, I am not a lawyer, but as a reader of science fiction I can tell you the term "space marines" has been used liberally in fiction going back to the 1930s.  It certainly doesn't appear to me that Games Workshop has a leg to stand on.

However, they have lawyers and money, and M. C. A. Hogarth has neither.  So, as of this writing, Games Workshop is winning by default.  This points out one of the many problems with self-publishing and, for that matter, micro-presses - lack of resources.  Had Hogarth published with a larger press, Games Workshop and Amazon would both be getting savaged by the large press's lawyers.  Again, not a lawyer, but I suspect that Amazon at least wouldn't have pulled the book.

There are many advantages to self-publishing, but like all things, there are disadvantages as well.