Home RNN Blog Displaying items by tag: blog
Displaying items by tag: blog
Thursday, 21 March 2013 18:01

The Anatomy of a DNF

aftershock 300Reading is a very personal experience, and there are an infinite number of ways that people can react to the same book. When readers have negative reactions to books, we might choose to abandon the book and not finish it (DNF). I admit that it is rare for me to give up on a book. I think in 2012, I DNF’d only 2 books. Admittedly, I’m up to 3 already in 2013, but still it isn’t something I like to do. In cases where I’ve bought a book, I feel compelled to try and finish. I might start reading at lightning speed, hoping to catch the salient highlights or I might make myself keep going in hope that it ends on a more positive note, but sometimes I do have to give up on a book – often to keep my sanity.

 

There are many reasons for a DNF, and they are probably different for every reader. During the fall of 2012, I had to stop reading Suzanne Enoch’s “Rules for a Devilish Duke.” Now, I am a very big fan of Suzanne Enoch and her historicals (“England’s Perfect Hero” is one of my all-time favorite books), but haven’t been as invested in her latest series. However, I wasn’t tempted to put any of them down either. But the hero of “Rules for Devilish Duke” drove me batty from page one. He’s a duke who needs to marry by his thirtieth birthday and have an heir by his thirty first or lose his inheritance.

 

Published in RNN Blog
Sunday, 27 January 2013 15:38

Pick Your Own Adventures: Yea or Nay?

PickYourPleasure-FINAL-final-682x1024I remember reading some of these pick-your-adventure books many years ago. I’m not sure I loved the stories, but I did enjoy the act of choosing what happens next and flipping to the next section. I wouldn’t say that I was enamored of the concept especially as I felt compelled to read every option given by the author in case I made a bad choice. Seriously, I was incapable of reading just one scenario.

 

I was fascinated when I started to see references to this pick-your-own-adventure style of book coming back, in erotic romances most notably. Jayne Rylon recently released one titled “Pick Your Pleasure,” and I could not resist. The story was something that interested me, and I was curious about how this would work on an ereader.

 

Published in RNN Blog
Thursday, 22 November 2012 21:58

Feel Like Cake?

cakeI hope that all who celebrate had a very Happy Thanksgiving!

 

This year, I was responsible for dessert at Thanksgiving dinner. I have no idea how I decided what to bring. I think a vision of cake and chocolate-covered strawberries came to me in a dream, and I went from there. The end result is the picture to the left. As I shared my dessert making experience on Twitter, I got several requests for the recipe. So, here is a description of how I made the cake. I like to wing it when I cook which means that I didn’t follow a recipe.

 

Published in RNN Blog
Monday, 13 February 2012 21:11

Thoughts on e-shorts

With the prevalence of ebooks and self-publishing, book lengths have changed dramatically. The ebook market is flooded with short stories (under 7500 words), novelettes (7500 to 17,500 words), novellas (17,500 to 40,000 words), etc – stories that are shorter than novels (over 40,000 words). It takes a while to get used to checking prices against word counts in order to be sure of exactly what one is buying. I think that I’ve got a handle on this now and very rarely buy a book without be very aware it its length.

 

However, I’m noticing something new-ish (at least to me) in digital publishing: e-shorts that are prequels, bridge stories or introductions to full-length books that are being released in both print and paper. I’ve read three of these e-shorts recently, and I’m having trouble with the concept.

 

Published in RNN Blog
Tuesday, 06 December 2011 20:58

Blog: Review Authenticity, Lora Leigh & Me

Earlier tonight, I posted my review of Lora Leigh’s “Lawe’s Justice,” and an interesting conversation that gave me pause ensued on Twitter – leading me think carefully about review authenticity (a subject near and dear to my heart). The gist of the conversation centered on reviewers that give glowing reviews whether or not they like the book, based upon an author’s popularity. One person seems to believe that this is always the case with review for Lora Leigh’s books.

 

While Lora Leigh is a big name author who sells lots and lots of books, she is also the subject of lots of derision in the online romance community. Years of quality control issues (inconsistent timelines, egregious errors, missing scenes, etc.) and irritation over issues within her long-running Breeds’ series have left many one-time fans quite unhappy. And then, there are many readers who just think her writing is bad.

 

Published in RNN Blog
Sunday, 27 November 2011 21:07

Blog: On Being Uncomfortable in Reading

I was struck by something that appeared recently in a review of Cecilia Grant’s “A Lady Awakened.” Miranda, a reviewer at Joyfully Reviewed, writes “A lot of the story is uncomfortable because of how uncomfortable Martha is regarding sex." For Miranda, her feeling of being uncomfortable makes her reading experience less than positive.

 

I find this striking because while I absolutely agree with Miranda about the character of Martha in “A Lady Awakened,” my thoughts about the book differ significantly. The sex scenes made me uncomfortable because of the heroines attitude and actions. Yet, I felt that the way Grant wrote the heroine pushed me out of my comfort zone and made me really look at and read the story more closely. I spent much more time thinking about Martha and "A Lady Awakened" than I do with most romances. My overall reaction to “A Lady Awakened” was much more positive, and I felt that the author was able to use some of these uncomfortable scenes to push my boundaries. It can be a good thing to be uncomfortable. (I’m deliberately not discussing the book too much because my review won’t be published until much closer to the book’s 12/27/2011 release date).

 

Published in RNN Blog
Sunday, 06 November 2011 20:55

Blog: Jennifer's Weekly Reading Roundup

For the longest time, I’ve been trying to do a write up of all of the books that I read on a monthly basis. However, I end up not writing my reactions down, and then at the end of the month, I can’t remember. It also takes me way too long. So, I’m going to try and do a weekly reading roundup and see how that goes. I’ve seen this work really well on a number of book review blogs – and I’m taking inspiration from them. These are the books that I've read this week (Monday, October 31st through Sunday, November 6th).

 

Published in RNN Blog
Thursday, 03 November 2011 20:09

Lending Comes to the Amazon Kindle

kindleNews of Amazon’s new Kindle lending program was all over the place today. Targeted at those who own a Kindle and have a Prime membership at the online retailer, the program will allow people to borrow one title per month for free. Unfortunately, I was busy for most of the day so I did not have time to check out this new feature until tonight.

 

First, I went to Amazon.com hoping to browse the titles available. While Amazon lists several of the titles, it became apparent pretty quickly that the only way to browse the titles is from the Kindle itself. You must go into the Store and navigate to the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. There are roughly 5,159 titles available, and they are sorted by their bestseller status. It is possible to narrow the titles down by subcategories. I did this and browsed through all of the romance titles (330 titles when I looked).

 

Published in RNN Blog
Monday, 31 October 2011 19:05

Blog: Some Help With Ebook Collections

kindleI am a big fan of Calibre, open-source software for managing e-book collections. Because I have over 2000 ebooks, I can’t imagine being able to keep track of them without using Calibre. While I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this software to anyone needing to manage their collections, it can be complicated to install and use – depending on what plugins people want to use it (ebook conversion, syncing content to devices, etc). Fortunately, there is lots of help online for those interested in downloading, installing and using Calibre (just do a Google Search).

 

Published in RNN Blog
Tuesday, 18 October 2011 20:49

OMG! I Have a Library

library1My book collection drives my husband crazy. For most of our married life (12 ½ years), these books have resided in boxes that get moved from room to room depending on space needs. Since starting Romance Novel News, my book collection has outgrown all of the boxes, and it got to the point where books were starting to take over our living spaces.

 

So, my husband had a brilliant idea when Borders went into liquidation – rather than buy books, why not get discounted shelving units. We purchased 12 3-foot sections that are roughly 7 feet tall. My husband went to one of our local stores right before they closed for good, took the shelves apart and carted them home. He was like a man on a mission, getting them set up in one of our spare bedrooms.

 

Then it was time for me to unpack all of my books and put them on the shelves – which was an absolute blast. I had to stop several times in order to read some of my favorites. It took me about a week to get them all shelved. Of course, then I felt the need to start arranging them.

 

I didn’t get too far arranging them. At this point, I do have the books by my favorite authors all grouped together – or at least most of them. But I have lots more work to do.

 

Published in RNN Blog
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