Monday, 14 October 2013

First Goodreads, Now Amazon and Kobo...What's Next?

So, as I'm sure many of you have heard now, Goodreads has started to take down shelves and reviews that they deem offensive. Or reviews and shelves that have nothing to do with the book and are basically "hate" towards the author. They've started censoring out honest opinions and they've deleted many reviews and shelves that they shouldn't have in my opinion. It's ridiculous.

Now, Kobo and Amazon are removing self-published titles they deem abusive/offensive. A lot of it is erotica.
Well, Kobo has just decided to remove ALL self-published titles at this moment in time. Including books that are published through Smashwords.

I'm pretty sure this an email. I got it from First Class Books FB Page.

Whilst Kobo removing these books doesn't affect me too much it still pisses me off. It pisses me off because if I didn't have this blog and the FB page, then I probably wouldn't have known about it, and I have one title currently published through Smashwords. It doesn't affect my buying of books, but it affects my already published story and I wasn't told about it. Which, you know, all authors should have been at least emailed about it. Even if it was just an impersonal collective email.

Think about how many authors don't know about this? How many readers don't know about this. It pisses me off.

WHSmith ( have completely shut down their website due to this. And if you follow that link it will lead you to the statement they give for temporarily shutting down the website.

I understand how some books are very offensive. Some self-published titles contain...a little too much abuse wise for some people maybe, and maybe some contain...things that some people may not like, but that's why there are warnings.

I don't read beastiality books, I don't like to read books that contain rape (there are some books that will only contain the subject, I don't mind those, but I do not want details, that makes me feel sick), and I will only read abusive books if I know there is some kind of good that comes out of it. Like, a person recovering. Or sometimes I want to read a story that will make me think. But, usually, there are warnings. So, I don't see why all of these books have to be removed. Because a lot of these books that get removed are probably going to be run of the mill BDSM books. Which is both unfair to BDSM readers and those in the BDSM community.

Some of these erotica books that are getting deleted, they open peoples eyes to a whole new world, and then people come along and they're trying to censor us.

Amazon doesn't seem to be removing ALL self published books, but they are removing several that they thing violate a certain code.

This is the best article on the story that I have read. The removed Selena Kitt books that nowhere near violated any of their stupid codes.
I can understand removing a few books maybe. Like, so really, really bad ones. But, really? They're not doing that. They're removing books left and right just because of a title, or a keyword. GAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

The books that glorify rape (not rape play) I can understand. Some of the non-pseudo incest books I can understand. Erotica books with anybody under 18 I can understand. But, otherwise? It's just stupid. Plus, you can find stuff much worse for free on websites anyway. So, it's pointless.

I also love how they only delete self-published author's books. Like, they're not going to remove books like Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma. And they shouldn't (that book is amazing,) but they also shouldn't be removing erotica written by self-published authors.

Well, I'm angry about all this censoring, so sorry if this doesn't make sense, but there are references to help.
This has been a bad month for readers and writers alike.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Cheating at Solitaire by Ally Carter

Title; Cheating at Solitaire
Author; Ally Carter
Source; Amazon, Paid
Format; Paperback
Publisher; Berkley Trade
Publication Date; December 6th 2005
Rating; 5*s
Description; Self-help guru Julia James is so good at being single that she's become famous for it-advising women that they don't need a man to be happy. Then the unthinkable happens. Just when her newest book, 101 Ways to Cheat at Solitaire, is about to hit stores, a trumped-up piece of gossip linking her to a gorgeous actor hits the papers. Their pictures are splashed all over the tabloids, and now Julia's credibility is about to hit rock bottom. But she isn't going down without a fight. Unless, that is, the actor is going down with her.

I first picked up an Ally Carter book late last year. It was the first in the Gallagher Girls series and I was...skeptical. Because she was such a popular author and it was a popular series, that usually doesn't mean good things for me and books. 

Since then? I've read almost every book that Ally Carter has currently published. I'm up to date with the Heist Society books, I've completed the Gallagher Girls series...and now I've read Cheating at Solitaire. 

This book, I don't think I'll ever forget it. Sure, Ally Carter's YA books are fun, and I absolutely love them, but this one hit me on more of an emotional level than any of Ally Carter's other books so far. 

Not just in a make-you-cry way, but also in a life changing way. Those little bits from 101 Ways to Cheat at Solitaire, and just bits from the book in general... They makes me want to change, for me, and to accept things as they are, and to do something. 

There is nothing better in the world than a book that not only makes you cry, but makes a difference to you. Whether it be an inside or a positive outside difference. 

Ally Carter deserves every single 5 star rating I have given to the books that I have read of hers. She deserves the praise she gets for Heist Society and Gallagher girls, and the praise she gets for this book, even though it is lesser known.

To my author side, her writing is an inspiration. To my reader side, her writing is amazing. 

If you have not had the chance to read an Ally Carter book yet, please do. Even the Gallagher Girls series which seems mostly intended for preteens and young teens is good for older readers. 

The main characters in this book were definitely likeable. I can't wait to glimpse into their lives a little more in Learning to Play Gin. They were also believeable. 

I cannot find a flaw within this book. I loved it so much. I loved it so much that anything I could possibly consider a flaw has been overshadowed by all of the good in the book. And here I was thinking I was going to be hit with Reader's Block soon. 

I do not only recommend this book, I recommend all of Ally Carter's books.

It has been about a year since I first picked up one of her books and I definitely plan to read more in the years to come. Even if this is my first review for a book of hers. 

Trust me, you do not want to miss out on Ally Carter's books. 

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Fangasm: Supernatural Fangirls by Katherine Larsen, Lynn S. Zubernis

Warning: This "review" contains gushing. That's right, I'm practically fangirling a book about fandom.

Title; Fangasm: Supernatural Fangirls
Author(s); Katherine Larsen, Lynn S. Zubernis
Source; NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review
Format; eBook
Publisher; University Of Iowa Press
Publication Date; October 1st 2013
Rating; 5+*s
Description; Once upon a time not long ago, two responsible college professors, Lynn the psychologist and Kathy the literary scholar, fell in love with the television show Supernatural and turned their oh-so-practical lives upside down. Plunging headlong into the hidden realms of fandom, they scoured the Internet for pictures of stars Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki and secretly penned racy fan fiction. And then they hit the road—crisscrossing the country, racking up frequent flyer miles with alarming ease, standing in convention lines at 4 A.M.

They had white-knuckled encounters with overly zealous security guards one year and smiling invitations to the Supernatural set the next. Actors stripping in their trailers, fangirls sneaking onto film sets; drunken confessions, squeals of joy, tears of despair; wallets emptied and responsibilities left behind; intrigue and ecstasy and crushing disappointment—it’s all here.

And yet even as they reveled in their fandom, the authors were asking themselves whether it’s okay to be a fan, especially for grown women with careers and kids. “Crazystalkerchicks”—that’s what they heard from Supernatural crew members, security guards, airport immigration officials, even sometimes their fellow fans. But what Kathy and Lynn found was that most fans were very much like themselves: smart, capable women looking for something of their own that engages their brains and their libidos.
Fangasm pulls back the curtain on the secret worlds of fans and famous alike, revealing Supernatural behind the scenes and discovering just how much the cast and crew know about what the fans are up to. Anyone who’s been tempted to throw off the constraints of respectability and indulge a secret passion—or hit the road with a best friend—will want to come along.

Review; I'm just going to dive right in on this one. There is going to be no I liked, I didn't like to break the ice.

I'm just going to go right in and say this: Read this book.

If you are a fan of Supernatural. If you've ever been an emotionally invested fan. If you've ever experienced Fan Shame. If you don't really understand fandom. Read this book.

This book caught my eye a few months ago when I found out that, like 50 Shades of Grey was originally Twilight Fanfiction, there had been a book that was originally Destiel Fanfiction that got published. So, I was looking around to see if I could find any others.

Instead I found Fangasm.

To be honest, with how much I connected with this book, with how much I could relate to the Fan Shame, and being a Lurker and even as being seemed strange by family members because of how invested I can get with a show... I could relate.
That makes this book all the more special.

I mean, I try to think of at least one bad thing and one good thing to mention when I review a book. I try to make it fair. But, I loved this book so much...that I don't think  I CAN say anything bad about it.

I read an eBook version provided by the publisher through NetGalley, but I want a physical copy of this book. I could read this book again. And again.

Fandom, and those safe anon places online, and the sense of a community... I really felt it in this book.
I'm already really invested in Supernatural, and I spend a lot of my time reading fanfiction as well as physical books. So, I already know that feeling. I already know the fears of it too. The fear of not being accepted. Of being ostracised from a place where you are supposed to feel safe, even online.
But this book made me feel all of these things again.

I think that Kathy and Lynn did the right things by writing this book this way, by giving their account of Fandom to help explain what fandom really is. I will definitely be investing in some of their other book (when I can afford to.)

I'm really just gushing about this book rather than reviewing it, but I don't know how to review a book that I fell so in love with. That I related to so well.

The amazingness that is this book cannot be described with words. How accurate everything was... It all just astounds me.

TPTB are assholes though. That is one thing I must say. They really do not understand the fandoms and how much fans promote things by sharing real details and not censored shit. I hope I never have to deal with TPTB. Or at least not the same TPTB that these two had to deal with.

So, now that we've established that this book is yes, yes, EVERYTHING yes! well, I just want to say again that I would 100%, no doubts at all, recommend this book. To everyone. In fact, before I even finished the book I had recommended it to a fellow Supernatural fan.

Okay, so I know this review is kind of...rambly and incoherent, but I must say that the real life interviews and quote really helped make this book too. And the pictures. Also, if your fan lingo isn't all up to date and what not, there's even a glossary.

To sum this whole mess up... I loved this book. Possibly more than any other book or piece of fanfiction I have read this year. And I've read almost 200 works. Also, I'm not a big non fiction reader.

Fandom really needed a book like this. There is no need to be ashamed of being a fan. Ever.

Beth's Acceptance by Tracy Cooper-Posey

Title; Beth's Acceptance
Author; Tracy Cooper-Posey
Series; Destiny's Trinities book one
Source; Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
Format; Mobi, Kindle
Publisher; Tracy Cooper-Posey
Publication Date; September 13th 2013
Rating; 2.5*s
Description; Can she accept the destiny being thrust at her?

For weeks, the darkly sinful Zachariah, her favourite customer at McGinty’s, has been raising NYC student Beth Siegel’s pulse, driving her crazy with need.

Neither can she keep the tall, blue-eyed mysterious Luke who haunts the library stacks at her day job, out of her mind or her sweaty, desperate fantasies.

Fate hands Beth a startling destiny: to bond with both of them—a bond formed via sex. Sex with either one of them would have been fabulous. Together? Irresistible.

But fate is a two-edged sword and the bond comes at a price. Luke and Zack are not what they seem, and the world as Beth knows it not quite the real deal. Can Beth accept the price the bond will ask of her?

Warning: This story features two super hot alpha heroes, multiple sex scenes, including anal sex, MM sexual play, and MMF sex. Do not read this book if frank sexual language and sex scenes offend you.
No non-humans were harmed except for large numbers of Grimoré, who died with satisfactory squeals…

Review; Beth's Acceptance was...okay. I feel that there should have been more of a plot. I get that it was only a novella, but I didn't really get much of a sense of the characters was just sex, sex, sex a lot of the time. It was also unrealistic.

I did enjoy reading this book. That's why it got 2.5*s, rather than just 2 or 1. But, there were so many things in the book that I could not enjoy.

Lack of explanations about the worlds. The sudden appearance of a prophecy. Lack of character development. The wording for some of the sexual scenes. The unrealisticness of the entire book. The worlds. The finding out. The bonding. The fact that it all takes place over, like, three days. Also, I think it could have done with a little more editing. There are a lot of repeat words and such. Or maybe I'm just being a little picky.

There also wasn't that much that I totally loved.

So, I loved that there was a little M/M scene. It wasn't much, but I'm a sucker for M/M scenes.

I liked that it was an easy read.

And anything after that...well, I'm just grasping at straws.

To sum it up? This novella was just not for me. Which sucks, because I hate giving reviews like these, even if I did enjoy the book.

Will I carry on with the series? Probably. It takes a lot for me to give up on a book or series, although I did consider giving up at the halfway point.

I'm really not sure I would recommend this book. I'm sure some of you would love it. I just didn't.
By all means, try it for yourself.