Picking Review Books One Book at a Time

July 11th, 2014

stack-of-books2-300x214AAR receives scores of print and digital books a month. In addition, reviewers are constantly buying or borrowing books above and beyond their AAR allotments. How do AAR reviewers choose the books which make it to final review?
Across the board, most AAR reviewers choose first by author, seeking writers they have enjoyed before or who have garnered positive buzz, especially here at AAR or on Goodreads. Many reviewers sneak peeks at excerpts from Amazon, Google Books, or author web sites, to rule out authors whose voice they dislike or who seem utterly unacquainted with the fundamentals of the English language. One exception is Heather, who deliberately eliminates all authors she’s reviewed before. Read the rest of this entry »

Wait. What? They did that where?

July 9th, 2014

We’ve all read them – those books where the sex just doesn’t make sense. Recently, I’ve stumbled across several that made me cringe. Read the rest of this entry »

Speaking of Audiobooks: Downpour – an Alternative to Audible and a FIVE Credit Giveaway!

July 7th, 2014

Downpour lgWhen audio enthusiasts look for downloadable audiobooks, they usually think of Audible first, unaware that there is now another game in town. Downpour.com, Blackstone Audio’s online audiobook retail site, offers not only competitive pricing but all the ease of downloads you’ll find at Audible. Downpour also offers two additional features that have significantly impacted my buying habits – DRM-free buying and lower pricing for purchasing those extra audiobooks beyond your monthly credits.

The DRM-free factor is big. How often have you been frustrated by your inability to loan your eBooks or downloaded audiobooks? That’s DRM at work. Here’s what Craig Black, founder of Blackstone Audio, has to say about DRM: Read the rest of this entry »

The Hachette vs. Amazon Battle: Quality vs. Quantity

July 4th, 2014

book-and-firecrackersIn the battle between Hachette and Amazon, Hachette and those who support it have based their argument upon two simple “facts”. The first is that Amazon is too big. A retailer that large is dangerously close to being a monopoly (or so they say). The second is that Amazon, with their (evil) devotion to pleasing the costumer will destroy the quality of books. Read the rest of this entry »

We’ve Four New Special Title Lists!

July 2nd, 2014

SpecialToday we open up four more Special Title Lists for new submissions. And now that summer’s here, we thought it would be fun to focus on what for many, are guilty pleasure reads. So starting today, we’re looking for submissions to the following four lists: (1) Pirates, Vikings & Sheiks; (2) Royalty in Romance; (3) Fairy Tale Romances; and (4) Perfect First Wives. Read the rest of this entry »

Peddling Visions of Beauty

July 1st, 2014

STnude11382555281.tifThree weeks ago the weather turned, and I opened my closet to find some light summer skirts. No such luck –  I’d put on weight, so the old ones didn’t fit, and the others were too heavy for humid 27 degree weather. So I went shopping. I chose a mall and went with an open mind and larger than usual budget – I’m in my thirties, I want fairly good quality that’s not going to break the bank, and I have a body shape that can be difficult to shop for, vertically challenged and horizontally inconsistent. So yeah, I wasn’t expecting to find $10 skirts.

After three hours I was ready to do my head in. I’d run the gamut from Walmart to the Bay to Banana Republic, but I was a victim of Fashion, which this year seems to be either maxi dresses or skirts that just barely cover the vulva. And when skirts did fit me, in size and style, they were asking for something outrageous. $90 for a flipping polyester skirt, which I damn well know was made in an overcrowded Cambodian factory? No way. So I did what I should have done from the start: I went to a secondhand store and got 4 skirts of different styles for $30.

I went home feeling a curious mixture of fury and elation. $30 including tax, for a variety of work-casual skirts of different cuts and colours? Major back pat. But that I could literally not find anything suiting my age, body type, and budget in a mall of over 100 stores? Enraging. And I am hardly at an extreme. I live above the poverty line. I am able. I am not “plus size”. I am neither young nor old.  All of that should, theoretically, allow me run of the mall. But in fact I was screwed because Fashion allows for all of that except the most important: choice. Read the rest of this entry »

We’ve Got New Additions to our Special Titles List!

June 30th, 2014

Today we’re pleased to announce that six more of the Special Title Lists have been updated: (1) Green Romance; (2) Friendships; (3) Best Enemies; (4) Cross-Dressing & In Disguise; (5) The Limelight; and (6) Two-Hanky Reads. Read the rest of this entry »

Jill Sorenson talks implants, earthquakes, and gives away five copies of Backwoods!

June 27th, 2014

Author Jill Sorenson is known for her heart-pounding romantic suspense. You can read AAR’s review of her latest book, Backwoods, here. I know Jill on Twitter and asked if she’d be interested in answering a few questions. Read the rest of this entry »

Visiting Imaginary Places

June 25th, 2014

imageI remember the first time I read Jane Eyre and entered Rochester’s house, Thornfield Hall. Coming from a middle-class family in Nebraska, the middle of the United States, I was enthralled with walking into the drawing room where Rochester lounged in his overstuffed chair with Pilot at his feet. Read the rest of this entry »

Summer Resolutions

June 23rd, 2014

reading-vintageNew Years Eve is the traditional time for most people to make resolutions; plans they have to improve their lives, old habits they’d like to break, more healthful habits they’d like to adopt. Some people make bucket lists of things they’d like to accomplish or experience over the course of the coming year. This is all well and good, but I’ve never found myself compelled to jump on the New Year resolution bandwagon. Part of this could be my overall feeling that New Years is an overhyped holiday, and after a solid month of holiday merry-making, I really want nothing to do with any of it. Read the rest of this entry »