The Magic Number

bookstack In the past, I’ve talked about the plethora of series books out there and how I sometimes wish for standalones, and Leigh blogged about her own series ambivalence. However, instead of answering questions or completely relieving a pet peeve, thinking about interrelated series books begs one big question. What is the magic number for a series? How many books does one need in order to fully develop a series, get closure on the various plotlines and yet not start annoying readers?

Obviously, if it’s not a good, well-written series, one book is probably one too many. Even the good series can go on too long, though. Continue reading

Free and Bargain eBooks – Blessing or Curse?

kindle I have caught a new addiction: I hunt the net for free and bargain eBooks. Thanks to the delightful folks at Mobileread and here at AAR Potpourri Forum, and thanks to special discounts offered by ebookstores like Fictionwise or Kobo, and by publisher sites like Harlequin, Avon or Carina, I pick up loads of books for comparatively little money. Let’s take the last two months: In April, I acquired 66 new eBooks, and altogether I paid $ 70. In May I acquired 171 new eBooks, and I paid $ 210. On average, that’s $ 1.18 per book, and considering I still paid full price for a number of them, you can see how many came completely free. Before I started to gather my numbers, I was going to write that I now bought more books than usual, but paid less for them than I had done with paper books. Faced with the exact numbers now, I must concede that while this is certainly true for April, in May I spent more on books than usual, ending up acquiring far higher numbers than in any other month before.

I made extensive use of Kobo’s delightful € 1 off discount for a lot of books, especially books from Smashwords and Harlequin that were cheap to start with, and with the discount came free, or virtually free. Similarly, in May there were very good discounts and bargain prices offered from Fictionwise and Carina Press. I want to point out that I acquired all of my new books legally, respecting geographical restrictions and never pretending I was from anywhere but Europe. And I want to add that were I a citizen of the United States, I would have had even more books available, and were I prepared to read books on my PC with a Kindle App, even more.
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Books with Buzz: Colleen Gleason Interview and Giveaway (Contest Closed)

vampirevoss

On March 22nd, those of us who’ve missed Colleen Gleason’s historical vampires will have reason to celebrate.  On that date, The Vampire Voss, the first in her new Regency Draculia series, is released.  The next two entries will follow in May and June.

To mark the occasion, we’ve got an interview with the author and five early copies of The Vampire Voss to give away.  To enter for your chance to win, simply comment to this post by 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, March 17th.  A few rules: Due to high postage costs, this contest is open only to readers in the U.S. and Canada. Multiple comments are welcome, but please note that you will be entered only once.  This giveaway is designed to get early copies of books into the hands of readers who otherwise wouldn’t have access, so if you review for another Web site or blog, please don’t enter.  Winners will be notified by email on Friday morning and if no response is received within 24 hours, a new winner will be chosen.

Before we hear from Colleen, a personal note from me: I read a digital ARC of this one without the cover. Lucky me because this one just blows. Voss is a handsome and seductive vampire, not a young Boris Karloff with really bad contact lenses.  I don’t know what the publisher was thinking, but I’m just saying, don’t let the cover scare you.

Now, here’s Colleen:

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Joss Ware/Colleen Gleason Booksigning

IMG_0104My regular, monthly booksigning column won’t appear here for a couple weeks, but I wanted to post now about an interesting booksigning that I went to this past weekend. The signing was for Joss Ware’s latest book, Night Betrayed, the fourth in her post-apocalyptic Envy series.

If you don’t know, Joss Ware is a pseudonym of Colleen Gleason, the author of the popular Gardella vampire series set in Regency England. I’ve read the Gardella series, but had never read any of the Envy series, so decided to check out this event.

The signing was at a bookstore about 25 miles from where I live. With snow predicted throughout the day, I decided to leave extra early to make certain I got there in time. I actually arrived at the bookstore about 30 minutes early, while the bookstore employees were still setting up the area for the event.

Rather than sitting by myself in the book signing area, I picked up the first in the Envy series – Beyond the Night — and settled in at the cafe with a chai tea latte. Before I knew it, I had almost missed the start of the signing; the book grabbed my attention that quickly.

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Books With Buzz – Colleen Gleason on As Shadows Fade

The Rest Falls Away, the first book in Colleen Gleason’s Gardella Vampire Chronicles came out in January 2007. It received generally favorable reviews and more than a few “Buffy of the Regency era” comparisons. As later books in the series arrived, the buzz surrounding it has grown. Now, in March, we will see the release of As Shadows Fade, the final book of The Gardella Vampire Chronicles and a new release that many readers have been anticipating.

Signet Eclipse describes the book as follows:

Directly descended from the very first vampire hunter in the Gardella family, Victoria knows she must continue the lineage so humanity will have protectors against the undead.

While Sebastian Vioget appears to be both the perfect warrior and lover to ensure the Gardella Legacy, Victoria cannot forget Max Pesaro—the former slayer still haunted by the vampire queen Lilith’s obsession with him

But it is Lilith’s obsession that may save all of humanity. Demons, enemies of both mortals and the undead, have found their way to earth. To defeat them, vampires and slayers must fight side by side. But Lilith wants Max in return for her cooperation – a small price for the world, but too high a price for Victoria.

Colleen Gleason graciously sent me an ARC of the book, and my own take is:

Everything I wanted it to be – and then some.

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An Exclusive Sneak Peek from Colleen Gleason

As Shadows Fade, the long-awaited conclusion to Colleen Gleason’s Gardella Vampire Chronicles series will be released on March 3, 2009. To whet our appetites, Colleen Gleason has graciously given All About Romance a brief exclusive sneak peek at the novel. Check it out below the cut!
Also, be sure to read our discussion with the author.

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Acceptable Anachronism

Though I read many different types of romance, historicals remain at the top of my list. At various times, I find myself turning over in my mind a certain question, though. Why is it that I can easily forgive certain anachronisms in a book but cannot move past others? To some extent, a writer with a very good voice draws me into a story so absolutely that I will blow right past such things as title usage errors or flaws in the history. For example, there is a rather glaring historical gaffe found in On the Way to the Wedding that had some readers up in arms soon after the book’s release. However, I found the story so engaging that the anachronistic plot device found near the ending didn’t bother me at all – even though I knew good and well as I read it that it was not historically accurate.

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