Books Under $5 - READERS Group discussion

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message 1: by Maria (new)

Maria Schneider (bearmountainbooks) | 187 comments Mod
This is so we can list indie books we're reading or thinking of reading. Discuss them, add them, etc.


message 2: by Maria (last edited Jun 03, 2013 05:12AM) (new)

Maria Schneider (bearmountainbooks) | 187 comments Mod
I just got Rider. It has a unicorn on the front so it better be good! I've read Confessions of a D List Supervillain by the same author and enjoyed it, although this looks completely different. I think Jim writes for both a small press and has self-published some things. Had good luck with his stuff so far. D List was funny and very weird. A comic book in novel form.


message 3: by Maria (last edited Jun 03, 2013 05:13AM) (new)

Maria Schneider (bearmountainbooks) | 187 comments Mod
Confessions of a D-List Supervillain --looks like the title has been fixed!

In other news, Rider has turned out to be young adult. I'd guess it's one of his earlier books as well. I looked and it's put out by Gryphonwood press, which surprised me as I think it could have benefited from another round of editing for small things like missing commas and some tightening. It's got a good plot--enjoying the story/plot.

I also started Crux by Moira Rogers. It's out by a small pub -- Samhain. This is not UF--it turns out it's romance. I read about 30 or 40 percent, but the romance just keeps getting in the way of an otherwise really good story. I like romance with my UF and mysteries, but this is invasive, over-the-top...disagreeable. Or maybe I'm just disagreeable. Anyway, probably a DNF for me.


message 4: by Maria (new)

Maria Schneider (bearmountainbooks) | 187 comments Mod
I'm going to be reading Let's Get Visible: How To Get Noticed And Sell More Books - non-fiction supposedly all kinds of info on how to better sell books and understand Amazon's ranking and "visibility" algorithms.

I HAVE the book, but haven't had time to sit down and read it. Too busy working. And truth to be told, when I'm done working for the day, I'm not anxious to "study" marketing. I'd rather read something fun. But I shouldn't complain. My actual TBR on hand pile is very low at the moment.


message 5: by Maria (new)

Maria Schneider (bearmountainbooks) | 187 comments Mod
I read through Let's Get Visible: How to Get Noticed and Sell more Books. There's nothing really new in here if an author hangs out at Kindleboards writer's group or has a decent author network. For ad ops, he mentions the big three that have worked in the past (and are still working to some extent today), but those stops are well-known and in at least one case, very expensive.

My biggest complaint is the repetition. Good Gads. Each chapter has the "I'm going to tell you this" and then "I'll tell you this other thing later" and then finally tells you a thing or two followed by, "here is what I told you and here is what I'm about to tell you."

If an author is new to selling on Kindle this is a good guide. If you've been around a while there's not much new in here. Some info on how the algorithms work and which lists you need to be on. Of course, there's no guaranteed way to make those lists. There's some nice suggestions, but overall you can get all of this info from experience and talking to a few authors. It's not a bad read, but it's very tedious to get through the repetition to find the meat.

I started Gaspar the Thief by David A. Lindsay. It isn't coming up using the GR link for some reason. I read the first chapter and it's well-edited with decent characters. Pacing is good. You know something bad is going to happen. Still meeting characters and I'm not sure the characters will be strong enough to hold my attention as thieves as characters have to be pretty special to get my vote. :>)


Kathy (Kindle-aholic) (kindleaholic) | 13 comments Mod
I grabbed Inheritance (Heir to the Blood Throne #1) by Tim Marquitz - looks like YA fantasy-ish. I'm also working through an antho Fading Light An Anthology of the Monstrous by Tim Marquitz . It's more horror, though, so I find I can only do so much at a time. Horror isn't really my usual, although I like it from time to time.

Just got Fire & Frost (Iron Seas, #3.4; Code of Shadows, #0.5) by Meljean Brook (I believe the authors self-pubbed this one).


message 7: by April (new)

April (dwndrgn) | 33 comments I'm reading Wool Omnibus which was at first self pubbed in five different pieces I think. A little bit more of the post apocalyptic conspiracy kind of stuff that I usually don't care for but it is oddly compelling, mostly due to great characterization.


Kathy (Kindle-aholic) (kindleaholic) | 13 comments Mod
April wrote: "I'm reading Wool Omnibus which was at first self pubbed in five different pieces I think. A little bit more of the post apocalyptic conspiracy kind of stuff that I usually don't care for but it is..."

I read the first part of that one. Will have to get back into it.


message 9: by Maria (new)

Maria Schneider (bearmountainbooks) | 187 comments Mod
It doesn't sound like my kind of thing...


message 10: by Samhy (new)

Samhy | 5 comments April wrote: "I'm reading Wool Omnibus which was at first self pubbed in five different pieces I think. A little bit more of the post apocalyptic conspiracy kind of stuff that I usually don't care for but it is..."
I read the first one which was free and I was so hooked that I bought the omnibus right away. I'm waiting for the right time to read it, but it will definitely be in 2013.


message 11: by Maria (new)

Maria Schneider (bearmountainbooks) | 187 comments Mod
I think I'm reading Blood, Smoke and Mirrors by Robyn Bachar. I'm not sure about it yet. It's using a magic system that isn't my favorite and the main guy in the story is so unlikeable, I'd like to smack him. I dislike guys who walk back into heroine lives acting sanctimonious.

But, the writing is good and the plot has caught my interest. I wish there were more likeable side characters. Thus far, the main is likeable but I'm not warming up to the sides too quickly.


message 12: by Maria (new)

Maria Schneider (bearmountainbooks) | 187 comments Mod
Blood, Smoke and Mirrors will be a DNF for me. The characters are so...unlikeable. I can't even say cardboard. Downright annoying and unlikeable. Now, keep in mind I am extremely picky and I don't stick with books that don't work for me. This is an okay read with a decent plot at about 35 to 40 percent in. The little details don't work for me, but may work for others. (For example, a friend of hers dies. She's overcome with grief for a few minutes, rallies and then handles it like a business matter. While it affects her appetite at pizza night, she's damned blase about the whole thing.)

If you need a quick read with a good pace and aren't terribly character driven as a reader, this will do.


Kathy (Kindle-aholic) (kindleaholic) | 13 comments Mod
Maria wrote: "Blood, Smoke and Mirrors will be a DNF for me. The characters are so...unlikeable. I can't even say cardboard. Downright annoying and unlikeable. Now, keep in mind I am extremely picky and I don'..."

This one felt like 2 novellas smashed together. The first half I was into, the second I quickly stopped caring. The attitudes of the 2 leads didn't help.


message 14: by Maria (new)

Maria Schneider (bearmountainbooks) | 187 comments Mod
Kindle-aholic wrote: "Maria wrote: "Blood, Smoke and Mirrors will be a DNF for me. The characters are so...unlikeable. I can't even say cardboard. Downright annoying and unlikeable. Now, keep in mind I am extremely pi..."

I was actually on the fence because, yeah, the first half had some good stuff. But I was getting pretty frustrated so I checked the reviews. After reading them my sense was that it was going to get more annoying, not less. I also HATED the fact that the dialogue in several spots had an annoying habit of cutting off the final "g" in all the gerunds: goin' runnin' and then there was "li'l" for little. Okay, okay. I'm not the grammar police and people do talk like that, but a little goes a long way. I get that he's from the south. Use "y'all" and be done with it. Drop the "sugar" and the other proof of "accents."

Hmph.


message 15: by Samhy (last edited Jun 12, 2013 02:22AM) (new)

Samhy | 5 comments I was looking for a change from my "A Song of Ice and Fire" marathon, so I picked up Sensitivity & Strength. It's about bullying but that will be a welcomed change since I expect everyone to keep their head on their shoulders.


message 16: by Maria (new)

Maria Schneider (bearmountainbooks) | 187 comments Mod
Samhy wrote: "I was looking for a change from my "A Song of Ice and Fire" marathon, so I picked up Sensitivity & Strength. It's about bullying but that will be a welcomed change since I expect everyone to keep t..."
HA! I'll hope for the best for all the heads!


message 17: by Scarlett (new)

Scarlett (Msscarlettohara) | 7 comments I was thinking of reading The Onyx Bridge. I saw some good reviews online, and the cover was cool. Anyone heard of it?


message 18: by Maria (new)

Maria Schneider (bearmountainbooks) | 187 comments Mod
Scarlett wrote: "I was thinking of reading The Onyx Bridge. I saw some good reviews online, and the cover was cool. Anyone heard of it?"

Did you already read it? I thought I saw you rated it. The description sounds okay, although there is a typo in the description. I haven't heard of it before.


message 19: by Scarlett (new)

Scarlett (Msscarlettohara) | 7 comments Yeah I accidentally rated it when I was looking, haha but I took it off LOL. I think I might read the kindle version. I haven't come across any "bad" things about it, so that might be a good sign?


message 20: by Maria (new)

Maria Schneider (bearmountainbooks) | 187 comments Mod
Scarlett wrote: "Yeah I accidentally rated it when I was looking, haha but I took it off LOL. I think I might read the kindle version. I haven't come across any "bad" things about it, so that might be a good sign?"
Let us know what you think of it!


message 21: by Scarlett (new)

Scarlett (Msscarlettohara) | 7 comments Any particular recommendations for a person who loves epic fantasy with some romance?


message 22: by Maria (new)

Maria Schneider (bearmountainbooks) | 187 comments Mod
Scarlett wrote: "Any particular recommendations for a person who loves epic fantasy with some romance?"

I really enjoyed Stained Glass Monsters by Andrea Host in that category. The romance is a subplot, not overdone or full of angst. Plotting is excellent.

Couple of other people on here are better read in fantasy and romance; I'm sure they will chime in!


Kathy (Kindle-aholic) (kindleaholic) | 13 comments Mod
Maria wrote: "Scarlett wrote: "Any particular recommendations for a person who loves epic fantasy with some romance?"

I really enjoyed Stained Glass Monsters by Andrea Host in that category. The romance is a s..."


Stained Glass Monsters was awesome. Have you read the Ryria books by Michael Sullivan? Those started as SP I believe and were then picked up by a pub. First book is Theft of Swords. Haven't read them yet, but a friend did and loved them.


message 24: by Scarlett (new)

Scarlett (Msscarlettohara) | 7 comments Kindle-aholic wrote: "Maria wrote: "Scarlett wrote: "Any particular recommendations for a person who loves epic fantasy with some romance?"

I really enjoyed Stained Glass Monsters by Andrea Host in that category. The ..."


Both sound great! I'll check them out. Thanks!!!


message 25: by April (new)

April (dwndrgn) | 33 comments I just finished The Broken Bell by Frank Tuttle which was awesome. It is the third Markhat story I've read and I've loved them all. Sort of a noir detective in a fantasy setting with magic, trolls, ogres and vampires and the inimitable Mama Hog, hexer extraordinaire. Highly recommended.


message 26: by Maria (new)

Maria Schneider (bearmountainbooks) | 187 comments Mod
Broken Bell was definitely one of my favorites. The one right before that was hilarious. Mama Hog is a riot. If memory serves, Tuttle did a short story on his blog with Mama Hog as the main character.


message 27: by April (new)

April (dwndrgn) | 33 comments Which is the one before?

Oh yes the Mama Hog story is great!


message 28: by Maria (new)

Maria Schneider (bearmountainbooks) | 187 comments Mod
The Banshee's Walk You simply must read it. Hilarious! Has at least two of my favorite scenes in it.


message 29: by Scott (new)

Scott Collins | 1 comments I'm currently reading The Sea of Storms. Pretty good so far.


message 30: by Maria (last edited Jun 18, 2013 01:40PM) (new)

Maria Schneider (bearmountainbooks) | 187 comments Mod
Started Rough Magic It's rather ponderous. That is to say the style is kind of dry. The plot is there, but it's one of those styles where I feel like it's struggling to "get out." There's a lot of description going on (I'm at about 10 percent.) We have all the tension we need, but instead of getting on with the story, there are pages and pages of a dinner. Yes. We know that something bad is about to happen and that this dinner is the set up. Yes, I am an impatient reader and if you don't kill someone soon, I am going to set this thing aside. Well, you can go ahead and steal the object or whatever. IT doesn't have to be all action and death.


message 31: by Maria (new)

Maria Schneider (bearmountainbooks) | 187 comments Mod
Read some more of Rough Magic, but it's too scattered. There's too many POV for me (I'm notorious for putting aside books for this reason) and it dragged too early. It's well-edited and for people who love a lot of detail in their fantasy, and a kind of hint-dagger-playfulness about the plot will probably like this book. It has a high-fantasy feel about it--intrigue, dark deals, desperation. The characters I did read are well-drawn and I found myself drawn into their problems (the issue with me is that when the author switches too often and no one character plot advances very quickly, I lose interest). Nice cover and the book has a lot of potential for the right readers.


message 32: by Scarlett (new)

Scarlett (Msscarlettohara) | 7 comments Maria wrote: "Read some more of Rough Magic, but it's too scattered. There's too many POV for me (I'm notorious for putting aside books for this reason) and it dragged too early. It's well-edited and for peopl..."

I agree. Too many POVs is annoying. I feel it's hard to find myself getting emotionally invested in characters when I'm introduced to too many, and nothing substantial happens to them.


message 33: by Scarlett (new)

Scarlett (Msscarlettohara) | 7 comments Soooo, I just finished reading The Onyx Bridge and I really loved it. It took me one or two chapters to REALLY get into it, but after that I couldn't put it down. I agree that super heavy detail and description is not my cup of tea in fantasy (others can disagree, that's cool) but I think this book had just the right balance.

I thought the characters were well developed and there was a lot of action. I was most impressed with the overall plot. It's been awhile since I read anything that seemed really fresh! I liked its originality. Special note: I love me my romance and this book didn't disappoint. The male lead, Jerris, can be added to the list of fictional characters I am in love with haha!


message 34: by Maria (new)

Maria Schneider (bearmountainbooks) | 187 comments Mod
Scarlett wrote: "Maria wrote: "Read some more of Rough Magic, but it's too scattered. There's too many POV for me (I'm notorious for putting aside books for this reason) and it dragged too early. It's well-edited..."

I'm very particular on POV because I'm a character driven reader. I tend to get attached to one or two characters and want to know what is going to happen with them so if I book doesn't get back to them quickly enough I wander off. Perhaps it's unfair, but there you have it.


message 35: by Scarlett (new)

Scarlett (Msscarlettohara) | 7 comments Maria wrote: "Scarlett wrote: "Maria wrote: "Read some more of Rough Magic, but it's too scattered. There's too many POV for me (I'm notorious for putting aside books for this reason) and it dragged too early. ..."

I get that. My threshold is a bit bigger I can usually get attached to like 3 or 4 characters, but it also depends on whether the book is part of a series or not, right? Because if I have more time (more books) to follow, the amount of characters I "care" about will likely grow too.


message 36: by Maria (new)

Maria Schneider (bearmountainbooks) | 187 comments Mod
Scarlett wrote: "Maria wrote: "Scarlett wrote: "Maria wrote: "Read some more of Rough Magic, but it's too scattered. There's too many POV for me (I'm notorious for putting aside books for this reason) and it dragg..."
Depends on how they are introduced. If they are all shoved into the first book, I'm probably going to pass. Or if a second book is about a character I don't like...it's a mine field out there for an author who lands on my desk! :>)


message 37: by Maria (new)

Maria Schneider (bearmountainbooks) | 187 comments Mod
Not entirely indie, since it's a Baen book (the one I read is a reprint. There were a few very minor typos). If this had been released new today, it would be called urban fantasy, but I don't think that genre term was in use when Carousel Tides was originally written. It's a WONDERFUL book. The prose manages to be evocative without being heavy-handed. The characters are quite fun. The beginning is more forlorn and dark (the woman doesn't seem to have a friend to her name) than I usually like, but it's done well.

Highly recommended.


message 38: by Maria (new)

Maria Schneider (bearmountainbooks) | 187 comments Mod
I think I'll give The Whitechapel Gambit a go. It's pretty far outside my usual read and I'm not a big steampunk fan, but it sounds interesting.


message 39: by Maria (last edited Jul 07, 2013 07:34AM) (new)

Maria Schneider (bearmountainbooks) | 187 comments Mod
I started a few this weekend. None have stuck so far, but some interesting possibilities.

Return of the high Fae by Tom Keller. This premise has a lot of promise and I liked the characters a lot. The prose is a bit repetitive and there are run-on sentences. The run on sentences sort of go with the pulp feel and style of the gun-totting PI, but I've been unable to set aside my editing hat and get lost in the story. There aren't so many as to ruin the story, but between that and long lull of making coffee and such, I've set it aside for now. The opening scene was a very nice action scene--this book could be quite good with some chopping to move the plot along.

The Kinshield Legacy - K. C. May -I've been meaning to try this one for a while. Well-edited. High fantasy. Looks like there might be a quest coming. Bit if Arthurian feel (chosen king kind of thing going on). Character hasn't grabbed me yet.

Dirty Blood by Heather Hildenbrand This one has promise, but I admit, I stopped reading when the girl was attacked by a wolf and then when a guy stepped in, there was a pause for a description of his looks/muscles. The prose admitted she must be noticing because she was in shock. All I know is that if a wolf attacked me, I'd have higher priorities than noticing the attributes of any guy. I doubt I would even remember a single face later on. These types of passages are very common and are done all the time, but they completely ruin the tension for me and I have a hard time taking the story very seriously after that. It is well-edited and flows. Pacing is good.

The Taken, Celstial Blues by Vicki Pettersson. This isn't self-pubbed and boy, it started out great. Sadly the main is a reporter and while I normally avoid any mystery that involves reporters (sorry, we all have our dislikes) I gave it a chance. Didn't like the main enough to continue.

There were a few others, but that's enough for now.


message 40: by Maria (new)

Maria Schneider (bearmountainbooks) | 187 comments Mod
Started Crimes Against Magic. Starts off with a death scene and some violence. Then moves to a bit of a James Bond kind of thing (thief, beautiful lady, undercover feel.)

Good pacing, good writing, I'm intrigued.


message 41: by Maria (new)

Maria Schneider (bearmountainbooks) | 187 comments Mod
I'm reading Lady of Devices rec'd by Northern Lin. So far so good. Oh, it's on the light side, but looks like there is going to be some good humor. And I don't really like steampunk but this one has a lot of potential. I mean, come on! It starts with her blowing up her experiment in the lab! A woman after my own heart...


message 42: by April (new)

April (dwndrgn) | 33 comments That sounds good. I've had that one on my list for a while. Keep me posted.


message 43: by Maria (new)

Maria Schneider (bearmountainbooks) | 187 comments Mod
April wrote: "That sounds good. I've had that one on my list for a while. Keep me posted."

I know. I wanted to go right there in the lab and inspect the experiment. It's Victorian though so I'd have to wear a dress and I'm not all that good with dresses unless using them to hide weapons.


message 44: by Maria (new)

Maria Schneider (bearmountainbooks) | 187 comments Mod
So I started A Hidden Fire even though it sounds more PNR than UF. First off, I have to say, the cover gives me the creeps. I mean, seriously. I had to have someone else look at it to even tell me what the hell blob of human flesh I was looking at. Even my subconsciousness hated it. So then...it's a guy's chest. What happened to his arms? And why is his head blotted out? Was the guy ugly? Did have have tats? Couldn't you find a better model? Because that cover gives me the creeps.

That aside, I started reading. I think it has a prologue if I recall the heading. I figured I was reading about the bad guy from the tone. Then I read two chapters. I figured I was still reading about the bad guy(s), all dark and mysterious, mind bending? Or what? I dunno. Couple of library trips and there were a couple of students or librarians in the scene with the mysterious bad guy. I wasn't getting any kind of read on what the hell was going on (plotwise). But by the second trip to the library, I was getting kind of bored. I've done my share of research at libraries and I'd say the description was accurate. As in too accurate. Shoot someone already! Okay, okay. Not all books can be action.

I suppose I can say there is good atmosphere because it's all mysterious, but I stopped to go read the blurb. Oh. I think I'm reading about the good guy. No idea what he is up to. Not sure I care...


message 45: by Maria (new)

Maria Schneider (bearmountainbooks) | 187 comments Mod
It's been all work and no reading for me this past week. Next week looks like more of the same. Bah.


message 46: by April (new)

April (dwndrgn) | 33 comments Picked up The Training of a Marquess because it was free and I needed something to read. It isn't great (some infodumps, the author's favorite research subject shows up too often and at least one glaringly obvious plot device to create conflict) but the characters are good and the underlying story is decent. Of course, I'm still on 43% since my library books came in but thought I'd share in case anyone was interested in this one.


message 47: by Maria (new)

Maria Schneider (bearmountainbooks) | 187 comments Mod
April wrote: "Picked up The Training of a Marquess because it was free and I needed something to read. It isn't great (some infodumps, the author's favorite research subject shows up too often and at least one ..."
Hmm. Hmm.


message 48: by Lorelle (new)

Lorelle (lozza2407) | 25 comments Argh Ive been slack. Ill jump into providing my freebies soon! I just finished Death's Hand (Descent, #1) by S.M. Reine . not too bad - loads of action - very UF - just needed a bit of polishing. Elise is one cold kick butt woman!


message 49: by Lorelle (new)

Lorelle (lozza2407) | 25 comments And atm im reading King Hall by Scarlett Dawn . It started off very YA and schoolie, but a bit of sex talk to hit the NA buttons, but 15% in and it looks like it might have a more UF/Fantasy vibe. Shall see


message 50: by Maria (new)

Maria Schneider (bearmountainbooks) | 187 comments Mod
Lorelle wrote: "Argh Ive been slack. Ill jump into providing my freebies soon! I just finished Death's Hand (Descent, #1) by S.M. Reine. not too bad - loads of action - very UF - just needed a bit of polishing. Elise is..."

I found the blurb on that very interesting. Read your review--too much action??? How can that be??? This might be the book I've been looking for...


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