Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Importance of Release Dates...

So, I got a little heads up from someone about release dates and I thought I'd take a moment to talk about the importance of them. If you'd like to read the article, the link is at the bottom.

For those who don't know books have either a "soft release date" or a "hard release date". The hard release date is pretty simple - the book is released on that day, period. There is no early selling of it. Many big name authors have hard release dates. They're lucky. Most authors, however, don't have the privilege of that hard release date - they're stuck with soft release dates.

Soft release dates are more tricky. Basically, the book has a release date BUT the books are shipped to retailers sometimes weeks in advance, and its up to the retailer's discretion to follow the release date and not sell/distribute the book ahead of time.

You may be asking yourself, what's the importance of the release date? The answer is simple. A book has a release date which is effectively when the publisher begins to record the sales of that book. The first week of release is the MOST important number count. Why? If a book sells well in that first week, then the publisher is more likely to contract with the author to write more books. And if the book doesn't sell well, then the publisher might just look at future books that are contracted and cancel them. It can make or break an author.

Those numbers are, for many of them, their livelihood. It's what allows them to keep writing books in series that we, as readers, love. Can you imagine a series you love being cancelled because it didn't get the numbers in the first week? It happens.

When Borders was around, they were notorious for putting books out before their release date or forgetting to put them out on their release date. There were 6 Borders stores within 30 minutes of my home and believe me, I made myself a pain in their ass about this issue. Most of the employees were unaware the system existed. But once I explained it - most of the employees being avid readers themselves - they actually made an effort not to put books out in advance. (Or maybe they just started doing it because they got tired of me lecturing them - lol).

So, back to why I'm writing this. Apparently, Amazon is ignoring the release date of Seanan McGuire's newest book Discount Armageddon. In retaliation, B&N has also started selling it. This is going to screw up the sales numbers of that book & might screw up her chance to write sequels. And if you've read her Toby Daye books (or Feed & Deadline written under Mira Grant), you know that her losing a contract because Amazon and B&N are being DICKS (and having some sort of uber-cyber-bookseller pissing contest) is NOT FAIR. It's not fair to her and her career. And its not fair to any other author they're doing it to.

I was going to preorder Discount Armageddon next week (along with all the other books on that list), but after receiving this email, I'm going to hold off and order my stack of books on their release date. And I'm encouraging all of you to do the same. In fact, I'm asking you to pass on this information to anyone who reads. We want these authors to have their contracts. We want them to be able to keep writing. We have to do our part to ensure that it happens.

Seanan McGuire 

Go forth and spread the word.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

OMG I Haven't Posted In Days!! New/Upcoming Releases

Books are to blame for it. I've been reading.Voraciously reading. Consuming books like they were candy (which in a way - to me - they are).

But I thought I'd take a moment because there are a boatload BOATLOAD of books coming out (or already out) that I MUST HAVE! (Give me more candy, Mr. Book God!)

Here's a list of the awesomeness that is the time period between Feb. 1 & Mar. 6:

Already out in Feb. (ie. - books that I've already purchased)

A Perfect Blood - Kim Harrison
Fire Works in the Hamptons - Celia Jerome
Shadow Ops - Myke Cole
Unbroken - Rachel Caine (Read it! Awesome!!)
Alpha Instinct - Katie Reus
Almost Everything - Tate Hallaway (Read it! Again, awesome!)
Apocalypse to Go - Katherine Kerr
Blood and Bullets - James Tuck
Switched - Amanda Hocking
Diabolical - Cynthia Leitich Smith
A Little Night Magic - Lucy March
The Wood Queen - Karen Mahoney
Overbite - Meg Cabot
River Marked - Patricia Briggs (Read it! Super awesome!)
Raven Cursed - Faith Hunter (Read it! Yes, awesome again!)
Undone Deeds - Mark del Franco
Wrong Side of Dead - Kelly Meding (Read it! Awesome!! - are you sensing a theme yet?)
Burned - J.F. Lewis
Frozen - Robin Wasserman
Third Grave Dead Ahead - Darynda Jones
Destiny and Deception - Shannon Delany
Sadie Walker is Stranded - Madeleine Roux
A Demon Does it Better - Linda Wisdom
Silver Tongued Devil - Jaye Wells
Raven Calls - C.E. Murphy (Reading it now. So far - Awesome!)

Feb. 28 (ie. - more books that I've already purchased, but have not arrived yet.)

How to Be Death - Amber Benson
Curses! a F**cked Up Fairytale - J.A. Kazimer
A Sliver of Shadow - Alison Pang
Angel's Flight - Nalini Singh
Fated - Benedict Jacka
Torn - Amanda Hocking
Nice Girls Don't Bite Their Neighbors - Molly Harper
Black Howl - Christina Henry
By a Thread - Jennifer Estep
Touchstone - Melanie Rawn

Mar. 6 (ie. - books I will be ordering next week)

Fair Game - Patricia Briggs
Oracle's Moon - Thea Harrison
Discount Armageddon - Seanan McGuire
Doubletake - Rob Thurman
The Drowning Girl - Caitlinn Kiernan
Eventide - Elle Jasper
Darkness Undone - Jessica Slade
Nightborn - Lynn Viehl
Balthazar - Claudia Gray
Soul Bound - Mari Mancusi
The Modern Fae's Guide to Surviving Humanity - anthology

Yeah, yeah, I know. More books than I can possibly read. But I'm invested in these damn series! I have to read them. HAVE TO. I can't NOT read them. I just need more time in the day. Crap.)And I'm sure I've missed more than a few releases on this list...., off to read some more...
Karen ;)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

A shout out to The Bloggess...

I'm a huge fan of the Bloggess. I love her sense of humor. If you've never visited her site, I highly recommend it. I promise you will laugh your ass off. In fact, she's just about the only person who can make me laugh these days. And by laugh, I mean 'bray and snort like a donkey' laugh. Yeah. It's not pretty. But damn, I love her.

The other day she posted the funniest picture of Juanita, a taxidermied weasel in a fifties apron. Juanita has taken on a life of her own because...well...she's stunning. Go read about her at and while you're there, spend some time and read the rest of her posts.

Aaaanyway, Juanita's photo is up for grabs to add your own sayings to it (although I think having her shout Khan is hysterical because I'm a serious Trekkie geek). And I love her cursing the souffle. But when I looked at her, I thought two things. First:

Now, I tried to stick a broom and hat on poor Juanita the Wicked Witch of the West, but I'm hopeless with Corel Draw and Gimp apparently. My attempts were nothing short of ridiculous. So you'll just have to imagine it.

Yes, there's Juanita the hero holding out her arms to save someone.

That's all. Just a little fun on a Thursday night. And now I'm going to bed.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Wrong Side of Dead by Kelly Meding

I'm currently on page 148 (the beginning of chapter 11) of The Wrong Side of Dead by Kelly Meding and I just had to blog about it.

If you've never read her series about Evy Stone, I highly recommend it. I joke about talking to my books, but the truth is I seriously do it. In fact, when a book is as good as this, I curse at them. I freak out when bad things happen & yell at them. I have to put them down because I get so wrapped up in the characters that they get to me emotionally.

Evy, the main character, has been through hell in the last few books. (Last book was a difficult book to read because she suffered so much.) In WSofD, Evy is dealing with the aftermath of that. I feel like crying for her. I'm pissed at Wyatt for being such an ass. I want to kick him in the ... well, never mind. If he truly loved her, he wouldn't put her through this. And Evy - she deserves a break. She deserves peace. I don't know how she keeps going with the weight she carries. It's painful.

That's why I LOVE this book. I started it this morning & I'm probably going to finish it before I go to bed tonight because I can't put it down. Yes, I have had to take emo breaks from it, but I've carried it around with me while I did. (Yes, I know that's weird. lol) That's how much I love this story.

(And I have a massive crush on Phin. Just had to say. He's so beautiful.)
(And Kelly Meding is a story telling genius - just sayin'.)

Just call me a book dork. I can accept that. But go out and invest in this series. You won't be disappointed.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Talking Dogs and Sleep Deprivation...

Let me start out by saying, I can't get my kid to go to bed before 1 AM. My husband is already asleep by that point and the man snored like a freight train on steroids (yes, I think he has sleep apnea but he will not get tested). I sleep in fits and starts based on the volume of snoring (no, there is no spare bedroom or escape from the snoring from hell in my house). AND I set my alarm for 7 AM every day. Lately, I've been shutting it off and sleeping until 8 AM (because I'm damned tired!).


This morning:

Me: *zzzzzz*
Dog: (poke)
Me: Hunh?
Dog: (poke) (sad face)
Me: (rolls over and shuts alarm) Go away.
Dog: (poke)
Me: What do you want?
Dog: (poke) Out! (well, it sounds more like owwww, but its 'out' - trust me)
Me: You need to go out?
Dog: Out! (poke)
Me: Okay, give me a minute. (closes eyes) *zzzzz*
Dog: (poke) Ouuuuut! (poke) (jab)
Me: Okay, okay! I know, you need to go out.
Dog: (jumps on bed) (slobbers me) Ouuuuut! (poke)
Me: Get off me and I'll take you out!
Dog: (more slobbering) Ouuuut! Ouuuut! (runs for door)
Me: (takes dog out, goes back to bed) *zzzzz*
Dog: (poke)
Me: What now?
Dog: (sad face)
Me: I'm not getting up. I took you out already. Leave me alone.
Dog: (poke) Out! Out Ma! (which sounds like owwwww mwaaaaaa)

(God help me, that is how my day started out.) And yes, my dog talks. Seriously.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Things I've Noticed About Urban Fantasy Covers

Okay, I'm trapped in my house and I'm feeling a bit like a caged werewolf. Yeah, not good. So, in a desperate attempt to amuse myself...

Things I've Noticed About Urban Fantasy Covers

1. The heroines like leather - black leather - even when they live in warm areas where leather clothing would make your nether regions chafe from it. They're some seriously tough girls.

2. If they're not dressed in leather, they're wearing outfits that no sane woman would fight in. High heels, dresses with slits up the side or mini skirts and bra tops.

3. When men are on the cover of books, they're often studying their own dick. Why? I don't know. But a vast majority are gazing down at the little guy with a distrusting expression like they're thinking "Hey! Just who are you and what are you up to?"

4. Those same men are often shirtless and have six pack abs that are impossibly perfect.

5. Book titles are almost all one or two words long. Those that are longer are usually part of a series and  have a theme. (ie. the Clint Eastwood movie twists from Kim Harrison)

6. There are a lot of tribal tattoos, chains and studded belts.

7. Black is the most common backdrop color, purple seems to be the second most common color, followed by white.

8. Typefaces are mostly blocky - and if not, they're old world types.

9. The most common weapon seems to be a sword, followed by a knife. Guns are far less common. Unless they're a guy. Or you count teeth as a weapon (which kind of makes sense).

10. Everyone looks like they just got laid & they're mildly pissed about it.


1. Supernatural
2. Grimm
3. The River (very interesting first episode actually made me jump!)
4. The Walking Dead (well, okay, this one starts in a couple of days...)
5. Once Upon A Time
6. Ghost Hunters
7. The Vampire Diaries
8. Lost Girl
9. Gold Rush
10. Storage Wars
11. Being Human (british version - Sorry. It's better than the American version.)
12. Hardcore Pawn
13. Pawn Stars
14. American Pickers
15. Face Off

Where is Haven?? Where is Deadliest Catch?? I want!!!

Finally, a quick update. Aspergers is a bitch sometimes. Kiddo is currently taking time off from college - he may or may not go back next semester. Socialization with peers is such a challenge, and when you're a 17 yr. old who went anything but the ordinary route (and are behind in many ways socially) trying to fit into the college world is difficult at best and impossible at worst. We're in the impossible stage. **sigh**

That's all. This is a really weird post. (The internet is my only connection to the real world right now, which is just plain scary, but explains my ramblings.)