Happy Halloween: L.A. Theatre Works Dracula

For my own personal Halloween Treat, I listened to the L.A. Theatre Works dramatization of the one, the only, the original, prince of the night, Count Dracula.

This L.A. Theatre Works dramatization is a full-cast adaptation of the Bram Stoker classic Victorian horror story, Dracula. It’s absolutely perfect for anyone’s holiday listening pleasure, complete with chills and thrills.

We all know the story, or we think we do. And it doesn’t matter. Hearing the story, with each part portrayed by an excellent actor, as was done in this production, makes the entire story fresh and new. You feel Jonathan Harker’s terror as he watches helplessly when the Count’s boxes of earth are packed and shipped to England. You share in Dr. Seward’s and Lord Godalming’s surprise, disgust and ultimate belief when Dr. Van Helsing proves to them that Lucy Westenra has, in fact, become a vampire. All while hearing only the actors’ voices.

The quest to solve the mystery, destroy Dracula, and save Mina, all while scouring London, and then trekking through half of eastern Europe, is painted through voices that can’t help but etch themselves in your mind.

Bram Stoker’s Dracula is a classic for a reason. Listen to this production and you will have an absolutely marvelous time remembering the reasons why.

A few personal comments about listening to the recording. If you can download this, do it. The download is currently $3.95, that’s 4 bucks. The CD is $17. Talk about a holiday treat for downloading!

Second comment, this initially caught my attention because of the voice actors. David Selby plays Van Helsing, Simon Templeman voices Dracula. I would have bought it for those two names alone. I used to run, not walk, home from school to watch the original Dark Shadows. Climbing into the “Way Back Machine”, David Selby played Quentin Collins, the werewolf member of that rather unusual family. Hearing his voice again brought back a lot of memories.

Returning to the present, I play a lot of role-playing video games, in what I refer to with some irony as my “copious free time”, mostly because said free time doesn’t exist. For the past two years, my video game of choice has been Dragon Age Origins and its sequels and DLCs. In Dragon Age, Simon Templeman is the voice of Loghain Mac Tir, an extremely compelling character who has listened to the darker side of his nature. Actually not unlike Dracula in some ways. Without the blood-drinking. Loghain had a henchman for that.

And in case it wasn’t totally obvious, Escape Rating A+.

Ebook Review Central for Dreamspinner Press September 2011

The second issue of Ebook Review Central covers Dreamspinner Press ebooks for the month of September 2011.

In September, Dreamspinner published 25 ebook titles. Because all Dreamspinner ebooks are available to libraries on OverDrive, and because reviews for Dreamspinner titles are hard to find, all Dreamspinner ebooks are listed whether or not there was also a print book.

The basic information listed is for the ebook format, since this is Ebook Review Central! So there’s title, author, date, publisher, series if applicable, suggested categories from the publisher, price and eISBN. And the-ever popular book cover.

Then there’s the review listings. Who, where, a link and a grade or rating if the reviewer gave a rating or ranking. Not everyone who reviews does.

For a complete review of how Ebook Review Central came about, the not necessarily gory details are here. And if you are interested in the particulars of what might be included in ranking or reviewing, the complete explication of ranking and reviewing is in the first issue, along with the featured titles for Carina Press.  The total list of reviews and titles for Carina is at Ebooks Review Central.

The list of reviews was up-to-date as of 10/29/11. I will be cycling through Carina Press, Dreamspinner Press, Samhain Press, and a “player-to-be-named-later” every four weeks, always looking at one month previous, so there’s a chance for the reviews to be posted. I’m still looking for that fourth publisher or publishers, so I’d appreciate any suggestions. I will add updates to the September list when I come back around to Dreamspinner next month.

As I did last week, I want to highlight the titles that had the most buzz, based on the reviews.

Chasing Seth, by J.R. Loveless garnered the most reviews. Based on what the blogosphere is saying, it is a good story because it succeeds on multiple levels. This is a male/male romance that deals with bigotry between whites and Native Americans, and it’s also a paranormal story dealing with shapeshifters, werewolves specifically, and apparently does an excellent job on that front as well.

Legal Artistry by Andrew Grey is the fifth book in the Bottled Up series. Series books in general tend to be highly anticipated, and either they satisfy pent up demand, or occasionally they disappoint. Legal Artistry seems to be just what fans of this series were waiting for, and the extremely positive reviews reflect that. Several reviewers mention that Grey’s books are the ones that started their enjoyment of the M/M genre. Librarians might consider this when looking for books to purchase.

Angel by Laura Lee certainly got talked about a lot. Angel is Dreamspinner’s first title in their new Itineris Press, where they intend to publish faith-based GLBT literature. The book was discussed in some surprising places, both as a story and for it’s faith-based aspects. Read the reviews and see what you think.

That’s a wrap for this week. See you next week for a look at Samhain’s September titles.


What’s on my (mostly virtual) nightstand 10-30-11

What am I plotting to read this week, and why?

Looking ahead, I have two Carina Press titles from Netgalley with November 7 release dates. Therefore, both Slip Point by Karalynn Lee and The Lady’s Secret by Joanna Chambers will be high on this week’s TBR  list. Slip Point is science fiction romance, and I almost always grab those when I see them. The Lady’s Secret is a historical romance involving a young woman passing as a boy. That just looked like fun.

It’s interesting that in October there weren’t a lot of Carina Press titles that really grabbed my interest. In November, more than half the catalog seriously spoke to me. There’s a comment in there someplace.

Lauri J. Owen, the author of Fallen Embers and Blowing Embers, sent me copies of both her books for review. I promised I’d get them both read before Thanksgiving, which means I need to read Fallen Embers, the first book, this week. They’re set in an alternate feudal Alaska, which is especially fascinating to me, having lived there for three years. I just have a thing for Alaska stories.

It being the day before Halloween, anappropriately scary activity is to sort my Netgalley active review list by publication date. Bell Bridge Books recently put Anthony Francis’ Skin Dancer series up, and I grabbed them because they sounded like an interesting urban fantasy twist (a tattoo artist whose tats come to life) and because they are set in Atlanta, where I currently live. Oh yeah, and the publisher has archived the titles on Netgalley, but they still live on my iPad, at least until 11/26. So Frost Moon and Blood Rock just moved to this week’s rotation.

From last week, I’m in the middle of Cast in Secret by Michelle Sagara and Darker Still by Leanna Renee Hieber. I need to finish Darker Still in time to write the review for a November 1 release. And, I need to finish it tomorrow to have it count as one of my reads for Netgalley month.

The problem is that I want, I desperately want, to read Snuff, Terry Pratchett’s latest Discworld book. My husband has it on his iPad. But then, I have A Study in Sherlock on my iPad. We can work out a trade for a few hours. The much more serious (hah!) problem is that I mostly read late at night, while my husband is sleeping. That’s fine for trading the iPad. Not so good for the sleeping-at least not with Pratchett. It’s really hard to sleep when the person next to you is giggling every other page.

A Study in Sherlock

A Study in Sherlock is a new collection of stories inspired by the Holmes canon. I purchased a copy because it was edited by Laurie R. King (and Leslie S. Klinger). So far, I have not been disappointed by any work touched by Ms. King, and A Study in Sherlock did not break that tradition.

The authors who contributed to this collection are all well-respected mystery writers. I’m familiar with many of them. A few (Margaret Maron, Dana Stabenow and Charles Todd) are favorites. I even met Dana Stabenow when I lived in Anchorage. Alaska is the biggest small town in the world.

As part of their contribution to the anthology, each author told the story of when they were first introduced to Sherlock Holmes. Naturally, I tried to remember when I first met the world’s first “consulting detective”. When I was a child, my mom was a subscriber to Reader’s Digest Condensed Books. So, when I started reading, she got the Best Loved Books for Young Readers set for me. “Great Cases of Sherlock Holmes” is in book 4. That’s one mystery solved!

But the stories in this particular volume, like the proverbial mileage, vary. Some are actual Holmes pastiches. Some use the Canon as inspiration for detectival flights of fancy that barely relate to Holmes. And, some I liked, some, not so much.

My favorite Holmesian pastiche has to be S.J. Rozan’s The Men with the Twisted Lips. It is virtually a prequel to Dr. Watson’s own tale of The Man with the Twisted Lip, except this version of the story is told from the point of view of the opium dealers in the notorious Limehouse district, as they maneuver the observation of Mr. Neville St. Clair in his rented quarters over the Lascar’s opium den by Mrs. St. Clair, all so that Mrs. St. Clair will involve the famous detective Sherlock Holmes. This new point of view dovetails perfectly with the narrative we know. Excellently done!

The Adventure of the Concert Pianist by Margaret Maron is also very interesting. It’s a case that Dr. Watson and Mrs. Hudson solve on their own during the “Great Hiatus” between Reichenbach Falls and The Empty House. In fact, the adventure ends with Mrs. Hudson fainting at the sight of Holmes’ return from the “dead” in 1894.

Of the modern stories, the one that impressed me the most was The Shadow Not Cast by Lionel Chetwynd. Sergeant-Major Robert Jackson uses Holmes’ methods, along with the criteria used by an officer in the field observing an enemy position, in order to find the murderer of a rabbi and a financial reporter. The combination of Holmes’ analytical skills and a trained military observer make for one very astute detective. I’m very disappointed that there are no other stories featuring the Sergeant-Major.

There is a Neil Gaiman story in this collection, titled The Case of Death and Honey. All I can say is that I hope it is true. It would explain why Holmes’ obituary has never appeared in the London Times.

Escape Rating B+: The stories I liked, I really, really liked. The Startling Events in the Electrified City by Thomas Perry, and The Case that Holmes Lost by Charles Todd are two other excellent stories. On the other hand, there were a couple I liked but just couldn’t figure out why they were in this collection, and a few that just didn’t float my boat.

But that’s the lovely thing about collections–finish up a few pages, and there’s another story!


“What was the first book that made me feel like a grown up?” That was the question posted in the comments to my review of The Iron Knight. The same poster also made a comment that I’ll deal with later. But about that question…

The question is posed in an article in the Washington Pastime, and the article asks about the first time the reader felt an adult connection to a book.

People talk about reading big books, or using the adult section of the library for the first time. That wasn’t what came to my mind. I read the Lord of the Rings for the first time at about age 10, as someone else who posted did. I know I did not feel the same connection to the book that I did later–that’s why I kept re-reading it. What point in the 25+ times my perspective switched, I don’t know. Re-reading LOTR is bound up in my memories of growing up. It’s part of me.

The books where I think my perspective shifted are Dorothy Dunnett’s Lymond Chronicles. When I first picked them up, only the first four or five had been published. I remember waiting forever for the last book. There are six in the series; The Game of Kings, Queens’ Play, The Disorderly Knights, Pawn in Frankincense, The Ringed Castle, and finally Checkmate. The chess metaphor in the titles is deliberate, and yes, I kept a print copy when we weeded.

Lymond, whose full name is Francis Crawford, is the second son of the Lady Sybilla Crawford and her late husband, Baron Culter. He also a polyglot scholar, soldier, musician, master of disguises, nobleman—and accused outlaw. The Chronicles are historical fiction at their finest and most densely complex, roaming the mid-1500s from the Scottish Lowlands to the French court to the Ottoman Empire to Russia under Ivan the Terrible.

Lymond is a trickster, a wanderer, and a mercenary. There are also forces that are trying to maneuver him and that he spends his life and considerable gifts trying to outwit.

Ultimately, I found Lymond’s story to be about choice. There are two things that he wants. He wants his birthright–and he wants to be loved. He believes that because of all the things he has done, all the crimes he has committed, he is beyond redemption. And he believes that his chance at love, when it finally came, has come too late for him. When both his desires are finally within his reach, he has to make a choice. What does he choose? Why?

All of Lymond’s reasons for the choice he made were adult reasons. Nothing was simple. Nothing in the entire series was simple. The man he was at the beginning of the first book would have made a different choice than the man at the end. And then there’s Philippa. I think the other reason I marked this book specifically is because Philippa’s journey in the book is the one from girl to woman, and I followed her.

I thought The Iron King was also about choice. Ash chooses to become human. Ariella chooses to give her life for Ash. Not just to give him his chance at happiness, but also to give herself her one chance at an afterlife. Ariella lives on within Ash. In return, she gives him a piece of her Winter power, and possibly, a piece of her fey immortality.

Stories about choice always fascinate me. There’s an old episode of Doctor Who that kept running through my head as I read The Iron Knight. I think it’s applicable, but I’m not quite sure exactly how. It’s from the Peter Davison era, the episode was titled Enlightenment. Enlightenment is supposedly a jewel that is the prize for a space ship race. It’s not. Enlightenment is the choice about what to do with the jewel.  Enlightenment is always about the choice.

And speaking about choices. The poster’s other comment was “eventually you make the change to adult fiction”. To which my reply is balderdash! Or stronger words to the same effect. A good story is a good story is a good story. And good stories are always worth reading.

Tuesday’s Child

“Monday’s child is fair of face, Tuesday’s child is full of grace”, or at least that’s how the rhyme goes.

The book, Tuesday’s Child by Dale Mayer, while not totally full of grace, did tell a compelling story.

Samantha Blair has psychic visions. She sees death. Even more horrific, she sees it from the victim’s point of view, as it is happening. She experiences every stab, every slice, every broken bone. She doesn’t just feel the pain, every cut, bruise and broken bone manifests on her own body, the blood drips from her slashed skin, soaks into her ruined bed. But unlike the victim, Samanatha heals. More or less.

Sam has a gift. Or a curse.

Reporting her knowledge of a woman’s death only brings suspicion on herself. She knows. She’s tried before. But she tries again any. Because this time, she saw something that might be useful. Not just a ski-mask and dead eyes, but a ring. Something that could be identified.

The cop who takes her statement is merely skeptical. Sam knows that later, when the body shows up, he’ll be worse. But the one she practically mows down on her way out the door–he’s different.

Brandt Sutherland is in Portland on the track of a serial killer who has been nicknamed “The Bastard” for very good reasons. Sam’s visions turn out to be the best lead he’s ever had. And Brandt is considerably less skeptical of psychics than the average cop.  His best friend Stefan is one, and has proven himself both to Brandt and to the police on many occasions.

But Brandt is only on “temporary” assignment to Portland, and the regular cops are extremely hostile to Sam, especially as more bodies turn up. When a bad cop from Sam’s past blows into town, and then Sam becomes a media target, the situation heats up out of control. In more ways than one.

Escape Rating B-/C+: There were parts of this story I liked a lot, but there were a couple of things that drove me crazy. Brandt’s mom who runs betting pools at the Senior Center is a hoot! And I really liked Sam. She reminds me of Harper Connelly, the main character in Charlaine Harris’ series that starts with Grave Sight. Harper sees dead people. Or more specifically, Harper finds bodies and sees how they died. It is the same gruesome kind of gift. But without the blood.

I think what bothered me was the blood. Not in the squicked out sense. I’m watching the entire run of Bones right now. Having Sam experience the entire set of wounds makes my logic circuit go haywire. She’s losing too much blood, and she’s suffering too many broken bones to heal. Also she’s getting slashed up too much. Peritonitis should have killed her dozens of times over by now from her stomach and intestines getting cut. This happens to her body, not just the victim. When does she take antibiotics? All that blood loss, she doesn’t ever eat enough, or even get enough time to replenish her system.

I also wanted closure. The suspense part of this story was about Sam’s psychic visions of the serial killer. Why did Sam specifically have visions of this pervert’s crimes and no one else’s? Why did his “work” trigger her visions where no one else’s did? That question was never answered, and I really wanted it to be. We find out about everyone’s connection to the murderer, except Sam’s. We even find out about Soldier’s. Just not Sam’s.

I just want my HEA to be a little tidier, that’s all.

The Iron Knight

More than Team Ash, more than Team Puck, I’m on Team Julie! The conclusion to Julie Kagawa’s Iron Fey series, The Iron Knight, is simply awesome. As in full of awe and wonder and all of the things that we read fantasy in order to find.

The Iron Knight is a blend of old fairy tales and modern myths, and it casts the time-worn tales into new guises. This story is a marvel. And the more I think about it, the more I find.

Julie Kagawa has stated that the story was intended to be a trilogy, and it was supposed to be Meghan’s story: her journey from the half-caste daughter of the Summer King to become the Iron Queen in her own right. But the ending was bittersweet. She comes into her own at the cost of her great love. Ash, the Winter Prince, literally cannot live in the Iron Realm. The defeat of the evil Ferrum comes at a very high price. With great power comes great responsibility–Spiderman’s Uncle Ben strikes again. If Meghan were not willing to pay that price, she wouldn’t be worthy of being the Iron Queen in the first place.

But Ash is not a King. He only wants to be her Knight. And an Unseelie fey capable of truly loving anyone no longer has the emotional defenses capable of surviving in the Winter Courts. But in order to survive in Meghan’s Iron Realm, Ash can no longer be a Winter fey. He must become human. And for that, he needs a soul.

The Iron Knight is the story of Ash’s quest to become human. Like any quest story, Ash takes companions along on his journey. Ash’s crew is more motley, and more legendary, than most. Robin Goodfellow accompanies Ash. Of course he does. Puck loves Meghan as much as Ash does. So much so that he is willing to help his dearest rival achieve his greatest happiness, because it is Meghan’s best chance at joy.

Grimalkin is the guide, well, some of the time. Grimalkin has all the tricksiness of the Cheshire Cat, and all the dignity of Bast. The Big Bad Wolf decides to join them, in the hopes of extending the life of his legend, and consequently, his own life. And, as with Grimalkin, the legend is the modern version, so think of the Wolf as influenced by Bill Willingham’s Fables. Except he’s always in wolf form.

Then there’s the surprise mystery guide. Spoilers after the rating.

Escape Rating A+: Read the book. Read the whole series, because the payoff comes if you’ve read everything. I received The Iron Knight from Netgalley, and I hadn’t read the series. I bought the rest from Amazon, and swallowed in one gulp. Yum.

Ash’s journey is kind of a reverse Orpheus and Eurydice. Everything about the Iron Fey is a very neat meld of traditional fairy tales and modern myth, and this was just beautifully done. Ariella, Ash’s first love, has been waiting for Ash and Puck to make the journey to the End of the World for Ash’s soul. It was necessary for Ash and Puck to be there to help Meghan, and the only way for that to happen was for Ariella to die, and stay dead. Ariella is a seer, and she saw that her death brought about the best of all possible options regarding the incursion of the Iron Fey.

But Ariella still loves Ash, and she wants him to be happy. Just like Puck wants Meghan to be happy.

The Orpheus and Eurydice myth is that Orpheus goes to Hades to bargain for his love’s soul with Hades, God of the Underworld. The deal is that if Orpheus takes the long, dark journey back to the surface, with Eurydice following behind him, and Orpheus trusts that she is behind him without him ever looking back to check, when they reach the surface she will be free.  Orpheus looks back very close to the exit.

But the concept, the idea of traveling down a river (there are 5 rivers in Hades in Greek myth) to the End of the World (Underworld) so that Ariella can give Ash her soul so that he can be reborn, it works.

It all works.

Beauty and the Werewolf

Beauty and the Werewolf is Mercedes Lackey’s latest visit to the Five Hundred Kingdoms. As always, the adventure is well worth the trip.

The Five Hundred Kingdoms is a land where “The Tradition” that invests, or perhaps infests, traditional storytelling has taken on a life of its own, to the point where the tropes actually have the power to force people to conform to those stories.

But sometimes it doesn’t work. Cinderella can only become Cinderella if there is a Prince of the right age to rescue her. Otherwise she’s a drudge forever. In the Five Hundred Kingdoms, those who can see “The Tradition” at work, and outwit it, become either mages or Fairy Godmothers. The first book in the Five Hundred Kingdoms series is The Fairy Godmother, and is well worth reading. Elena is definitely not a traditional fairy godmother!

Beauty and the Werewolf is a trope bender. It starts out as another Cinderella. Bella has two stepsisters, and her stepmother is a little vain and a little foolish. But Bella took her stepsisters under her wing, and Bella manages the household quite successfully. She is not a drudge. She is not abused. She avoided the Cinderella trap.

Bella visits Granny out in the woods, and stays late enough that she has to come home through the woods after dark. Bella’s already had two run ins with Eric, the Gamekeeper, and they’ve both been distasteful. Eric is a nasty piece of work. He victimizes any women he meets, knowing that most women are of a lower station that he is. Bella is a wealthy merchant’s daughter, and he can’t treat her the same. I thought the story was leaning toward Red Riding Hood, with Eric as the Big Bad Wolf. He was just right for it.

Then Bella got bitten by a werewolf on the way home from Granny’s. It turns out the werewolf is actually the local Duke. He’s been suffering under a curse for the past few years, becoming a werewolf every month since he turned 19. He wasn’t bitten. The Godmother can’t figure out who cursed him. But now that he’s bitten Bella, Bella has to stay in his castle with him, until they figure out whether Bella will also become a werewolf. And guess what? Eric is the Duke’s Gamekeeper. And his illegitimate brother. And his only contact with the outside world. And a jerk.

With the help of an enchanted mirror, Bella and the Godmother are able to see what “The Tradition” wants her to do. Most of those stories involved some pretty sad endings for Bella. “The Tradition” doesn’t care about the people, it only cares about fulfilling the story. But while Bella was busy protecting herself from Eric the jerk, she was also helping Duke Sebastian research his curse. Bella and Sebastian spent a lot of time together while Bella learned about magic and Sebastian just got to enjoy having someone else around besides Eric the jerk.

So Bella may have been thoroughly protected from the story of “The Rake’s Reward” but she was not in the least armored against “Beauty and the Beast”.

Escape Rating A: This story rides on whether or not you want to spend time with Bella. I did. Bella is very managing. She manages her family, she manages her time, she manages her life. Getting bitten is probably the best thing that happens to her, and possibly them. She gets a vacation!

I’m serious, in a way. Once she and her father are able to communicate, she is able to enjoy herself. She is also in a position to take a look at her life, and make some real discoveries. Learning about “The Tradition” is a real eye-opener. It’s been trying to manage her exactly the way she’s been managing her family. She doesn’t like it at all.

There is a lovely nod to the Disney movie, without being cloying. There are invisible servants. They don’t talk, but they can move objects, and some the loyal servants who were cursed with Sebastian. Very nicely done.

Ebook Review Central for Carina Press September 2011

This issue of Ebook Review Central is your guide to the Carina Press titles for September 2011.

Carina published 19 titles in September! For each title, I’ve listed the usual basic info, the title, author, if it’s in a series, suggested category listings from the publisher, the retail price and the ISBN so you can buy it from your favorite ebook pusher. Oops, I meant supplier. No, I meant seller. (If ebooks are your drug of choice, you know already what I mean).

There’s a cover picture, only going to show that we do judge books by their covers.

Following the basic info, there’s the all important grid of review links as of yesterday, 10/23/11. The grid includes the name of the reviewer (if the site provided a name), the name of the site, a link to the actual review, and the grade or rating if one was given.

Grades and ratings generally come in two flavors. Some reviewers grade on the letter scale, A through F. A is great, F is awful, just like in school. Some things never change.  Others rate on a numeric scale, usually but not always 1-5 with 5 being fantastic. Those ratings are represented as 3/5 or 4/5, meaning a rating of 3 on a scale of 5 or  4 on a scale of 5. Occasionally, a rating will defy reduction to either a letter or numeric rank. Those will be posted verbatim.

This first time, and in future issues,  I plan to feature two or three books, based on the reviews and ratings of my fellow book bloggers. These are the books most buzzed about from the publisher listed in the past month.

For the Carina September titles these are the books with the most buzz:

Altered Destiny by Shawna Thomas not only received 8 reviews, but those reviews were almost all positive to the max. Also, Romantic Times (otherwise known as RT Book Reviews) doesn’t review a lot of ebooks, so when they do review one, it’s worth sitting up and taking notice. The reviewers describe this as a tempting read for those Urban Fantasy fans out there.



My second pick is Redemption by Eleri Stone.

There are a lot of excellent reviews, one as recent as this weekend, so word is still going around. This looks like a good book for those who like shapeshifter romances, and that’s a pretty big audience!


Last, but certainly not least, a romantic suspense title. Deadly Descent by Kaylea Cross has been reviewed all over the blogosphere so far, everywhere from Dear Author to Smexy Books to the Maldivian Book Reviewer. This romantic suspense title will particularly appeal to those who like to see some military action.



That’s all for this week. Please come back next Monday for the Dreamspinner Press September review roundup.

Introducing Ebook Review Central

So what is “Ebook Review Central“? I’m so glad you asked.

Every Monday, Ebook Review Central will publish a list of all the ebooks published by a particular publisher the previous month, with links to all the published reviews.  Today’s first issue contains all the Carina Press titles for September 2011, along with links to all the reviews as of Sunday, 10/23/11.

In the upcoming weeks I will do the same thing for Dreamspinner Press and Samhain Publishing. I would be interested in hearing from you, the readers, your suggestions for which publisher or publishers to include for week 4. After the 4th week, I’ll cycle around to Carina’s October titles, and back through Dreamspinner and Samhain and “the player to be named later” again.

Why am I doing this? People decide what books to buy based on browsing at a bookstore or recommendations. Ebook-only books can’t be browsed in a bookstore, so we all blog to create more recommendations when we like a book. But each of us blogs about the books we like, and it’s fantastic.

But, when a reader is undecided, where do they go? Amazon or Goodreads, and not all of us post our reviews there. Sometimes none of us. And that debate is for another post someday. Yet an ebook may have tons of reviews.

Also, I’m a librarian by training. Librarians need a place where they can find reviews of ebooks, just like they do print books.  Their budgets are tight. They want to add ebooks from ebook-only publishers, but if they can only buy 3 or 5 Carina Press titles this month and 3 or 5 Dreamspinner titles this month, there is no place to go to find which ones were the best. Ebook Review Central will be that place.

A question that will be asked, because I had to ask myself when I created this, is why the one month delay? Why am I only publishing the September titles now, when it’s already mid-October?

It takes about a month for the blogosphere to generate reviews for all the titles. I wanted to put up last week’s titles this week, but when I started my research, half the titles weren’t reviewed yet.  When I looked at last month’s titles, almost everything had a review someplace. That won’t always be 100% true, but at least it turns out to be a reasonable way to bet.

One other note: Amazon and Goodreads will not be listed as review sources unless that was the only thing I could find.

If you have suggestions, let me know. If you find this useful, definitely let me know. I will update published lists, so if later reviews are published, or if you have a review that should be listed but I missed (Google is good, but it is not perfect), send email to marlene@readingreality.net.