An Editing Nightmare

Book Marketing for Authors                         by C. A. Price

It is unusual for me to start a review with a quote from the author, but it is appropriate here.

“You want to definitely make sure your book has been edited well and an excellent cover. If not, the reviewer will bash you on it.” Book Marketing for Authors (Kindle Locations 427-428).

Let the bashing begin. As the author noted, reviews should be constructive. The author will have to decide whether this one is.

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Taka, Dalvar, and the Enchanted Forest

Trading with Death is a short story, a time filler for annoying free time; the time created by others who can’t be bothered to be on time. There are lots of things going on in the story that will keep a reader’s mind occupied. Here are some thoughts that occupied mine.

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Books for Free (almost)

A Reading Resource

Library Thing Early Reviewer Program

Library Thing Member Giveaway Program

This is an administrative post which I will recommend my students read about a way to get free books from Library Thing. Readers can join the Library Thing Member Giveaway Program and get free books in return for a review. In the Member Giveaway Program, the authors send you books for free. You can get hardcopy books, but watch out if you live outside the US (as I do). Import taxes on books coming into Indonesia are unbelievably high; it is just not worth it. Books are provided by the author in other formats: eBooks, mobi (Kindle), and audiobooks, to name a few. With this program you are requested to provide a review, but you do not have to. It seems sort of logical to me that if you do not provide reviews, you will not receive further offers.

Another program is the Library Thing Early Reviewer Program. Books are provided by the publisher, not the author. The reader is expected to provide a review. If you accept one of these books and do not provide a review, you will not receive more books from this program, although you might still receive books from the program above.

Each month two lists are published on the Library Thing website. I don’t count, but there are probably at least one hundred books of all genre offered for review. You choose which ones you want to bid on (receive to review). I typically ask for four on Early Reviewer list and ten on the Member Giveaway list. I typically “win” two from the first list and six from the second. Although I read them within the month, there is not a time limit on the second list; for the Early Reviewer Program, it is a couple of months.

Joining the program is free. On your personal library site you can have up to 200 books. If you have more than 200 books (I do) there are additional requirements.

Education Chinese Style

I was prepared to open the book and immediately read about Chinese Education in Singapore. I work at a Chinese university in Indonesia and one of my lecturer colleagues is from Singapore, so I was looking forward to a pleasant read that would further social discussion with my expatriate colleague. This book will do that, but not in the way I expected. It is non-fiction, occasionally dense, and certainly supports my idea of “Read Everything.”

Chinese Education in Singapore                               by Zhang Zhixiong

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A Mystery Threesome

Forest and Roy are just unlucky crooks. They would probably like to have been conmen, but they didn’t have the education for it. Julie Smith takes the reader on a journey through three criminal attempts made by this bumbling duo as a much smarter female fools them every time while making them enjoy it. Roy is a bit resentful, but Forest is in love. With whom? We don’t know as the femme fatale has been known as Heidi, Renne, the Devil’s Spawn, and the Black Plague. Resentful Roy coined the last two names; Forest is so smitten he will accept any name provided by his heart’s desire. Three attempts at crime, three short stories.

Redneck Riviera                                             by Julie Smith

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Who’s Your Daddy? A Medical Mystery

Julia Hamill bought a house contrary to advice, solicited and unsolicited, of others. All she wanted to do was plant a garden. This required some digging, heavy work she was not accustomed to. And now she had found a body. True, the realtor selling her the house had warned her of rumors that she might hear about the history of the house. A ninety-year-old woman, the previous owner, had died in the house and her body hadn’t been discovered for several weeks. Surely this was not her body. So who was buried here?

The Bone Garden                                          by Tess Gerritsen

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Hellish Porn

There is something about a book with a dedication by the author that says “the following people are not allowed to read this.” I believe the named people are members of the author’s family. So right off it is either horribly twisted stuff or just sex. This one is just sex and was provided to me by the Library Thing Early Reviewer Program. I get the book; they get a review. I did ask for a copy of this novel because I enjoyed a different novel by SJ Smith, Peepers. This one is different:

The House of Fox                                          SJ Smith

Frank is jealous of his good buddy Dylan. His BFF has a nickname, Dylan the (euphemism for private investigator) that makes him quite a hit with any and all ladies. So much so that Frank has found a magic cream that will allow him to measure up to his best friend.

Dylan, Frank, Jane and Donna have been drinking. As it gets later, they decide to visit a restored sexual playground newly named The house of Fox. Sort of like the Hotel California; you can enter but you can never leave. That is the bad news. The good news, maybe, is that you can do all kinds of weird sex stuff. At least that is what all the characters in the story say.

While our four characters are exercising out their various weird desires, Donna figures out they are all in hell. Managing Madam Kitty explains it is all a put on for the great voyeur in the sky. The House of Fox is a sort of purgatory but “graduates” do not ascend to a better existence. Their only direction is Hell, a place where they will go should their activities at the House of Fox displease a supreme voyeur.

In fact, I could not find anything in the story outside my experience. This either 1) makes me a pervert according to the characters in the story or 2) leaves me to charge the author with boring rehash of things I consider normal. If I were to choose the second path; I would be impolite. I am very polite. (There is one exception outside my experience. I am physically unable to fire the ping pong balls in the way described. I was the catcher.)

To give you the “flavor” of the book, here is what I consider to be the best line: “They stole my fucking brain. They ate it right in front of me, then shat it back into my head. Now they call me shit for brains and laugh at me.” [Loc 2187-2188]  OK, then.

I liked Peepers. I should have quit while I was ahead (not to be confused with the head that was named Frank).

I was given this book by the Library Thing Early Reviewer Program in exchange for a review.