Saturday, March 31, 2012

2012 Girl Power Reading Challenge

Ever get tired of reading about damsels in distress? Wish you could find some stories featuring strong, independent women? Then look no further!

Girl Power Reading Challenge 2012

This challenge is to discover and read books written by or featuring heroines. What constitutes being a heroine? Perhaps it's being able to swashbuckle, cast spells, mix poisons, control minds, joust, spy, or protect just as well as (or better than!) her guy friends. Perhaps it's having a won't-back-down attitude, a penchant for getting into and out of sticky situations, or a desire to change the world. Or perhaps it's simply the courage to tell her story. It's up to you to decide.

The Rules
  • Books must contain a heroine of some sort. Could be the narrator, the main character, the villain, a prominent side character, or the author. I won't be quizzing you on why you picked each and every book. But please, use a little discretion and don't count damsels in distress.
  • Challenge will run January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2012. Participants can join at any time throughout the challenge.
  • Create an intro post, linking back to this post.
  • Sign up with the Mister Linky below with your intro post, not your blog home page.
  • All forms of books are acceptable (audiobooks, eBooks, etc.).
  • Counting books read before joining the challenge (but still in 2012) is allowed.
  • You don't need a blog to participate.
  • Reviews, while always appreciated, are not mandatory.

The Levels
Dame       ~         Read 5 books
Lady Knight ~ Read 10 books
Baroness    ~    Read 15 books
Countess    ~   Read 20 books
Duchess     ~    Read 35 books
Queen      ~       Read 50 books
Empress   ~   Read 50+ books

The Badges

Girl Power Reading Challenge 2012 Girl Power Reading Challenge 2012


Or for those not wolf-ily inclined...
Girl Power Reading Challenge 2012

Some Examples

Authors:Books:
The Sign-Up


I'll be shooting for the Duchess level, myself.
Feel free to leave your own recommendations below
and spread the word!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Read-A-Phrase Challenge 2012

The phrase I've chosen (seen above) is from Tamora Pierce's Squire. It's stated as a memory of Kel from her days as a Page, originally spoken by Numair. Besides being good advice, it sounds pretty witty, doncha think?

And so this year I've made it my goal to read a book beginning with each letter of the phrase. That's 25 books in total:

W
H
E
N

I
N

D ig, The by Audrey Hart
O
U
B orderline by Bonnie Rozanski
T

S ettling by Shelley Workinger
H
O
O
T

T
H
E

W
I
Z
A
R
D
Three down, twenty two to go...

Got any suggestions? Any ideas on a good Z book? Leave a comment below, and wish me luck!


Keep track of my progress here or on my Reading Challenges page.

Amazon Best Books of 2011 Reading Challenge


Basically, Amazon posts a list of the 100 Best Books of the previous year. Whether or not these are in fact the best is up to us to find out.

Since the majority of "Bests" aren't really in my general reading preference... I'll be aiming for the Novice Level of 5 books:

6) Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor ~ Amazon | GoodReads

39) The Magician King by Lev Grossman ~ Amazon | GoodReads

45) Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs ~ Amazon | GoodReads

56) Inheritance by Christopher Paolini ~ Amazon | GoodReads

59) The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater ~ Amazon | GoodReads

100) Delirium by Lauren Oliver ~ Amazon | GoodReads

If I wind up with a time crunch, I'll probably opt out on Inheritance since it'd require reading Eldest and Brisingr as well...

Any others on the list you think I need to check out?
Leave a comment below, and wish me luck!


Keep track of my progress on my Reading Challenges page.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Off the Shelf 2012

First reading challenge for me this year is a re-visit of sorts...

Off The Shelf!
Hosted by Bookish Ardour

That's right, I'm giving this another go. Last year's went pretty horribly, but I'm hoping this year will be better.

I'll be aiming for the Trying level of dusting off 15 books this year. Of course, I own far more than that, so here's the list of all I have to choose from:



Giving me over 150 books to choose from! Yeah, I own waaaaayyyy too many (unread) books.

Three down, twelve to go...

Any ideas where to start? Leave a comment below, and wish me luck!

Keep track of my progress on my Reading Challenges page.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Settling for Settling

SPOILER ALERT
This review is for those who have read or are familiar with the previous book, Solid, or don't mind knowing some spoilers for it. Settling, however, will remain spoiler-free.
SPOILER ALERT

Settling
~Settling~
Solid Trilogy
Book 2
By Shelley Workinger
Amazon
Series Website

At the beginning of the summer, Clio Kaid was one of a hundred teens brought to a secret Army installation. But it was no ordinary camp and they weren’t ordinary kids...

Picking up where “Solid” left off, Clio and her friends realize that they aren’t ready to go home; they’re determined to stay on campus and continue their journey of self-discovery. But someone doesn’t feel the same way and will do anything to drive them away – even kill.

Friendships will be tested, abilities will evolve, and more secrets will come out as the teens race to stop the killer before he sets his sights on one of them...



This sequel was a hard one to process for me. Now, I'm not sure if it was me —if reading this during a moving day and when I was already tired made me extra cranky— or if it was the book itself that let me down. I wanted to love it, I really did, and I apologize in advance for the snark in the following, but... But let me back up and start at the beginning.

I re-read Solid for a couple reasons: firstly, I wanted a recap since it'd been nearly 9 months, and while a page-long summary is provided at the beginning of Settling, that doesn't help me with personalities or the author's style; and secondly, I love revisiting series from the beginning to get an idea of how it works as a whole—how does one story flow into the next, does the mood shift, is it a natural progression, etcetera. So going into Settling I thought I knew what and who I was dealing with.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

When Posting, How Polite is Too Polite?


I was entering a few book giveaways on Goodreads.com the other day (yes, I’m officially hooked on that “giveaway crack”) and whenever I came across a compelling new (to me) YA book, I would click on the author’s website or blog to check it out.

It was a really nice way to get to know more about some fellow YA authors and I ran across one in particular who was a grade-A, hmmm, how should I put this? A grade-A… personality. And I mean that in the epically most awesome way ever.

Seriously; she had attitude to spare and it was such a… revelation. I think she was ranting about some bad review or another and just really going to town; about readers, writers, publishers, the whole ball of wax. It was great to read because I was like, “Wow, she said what she really wanted in a really honest and unvarnished way… and no one’s running her out of town with pitchforks and torches!”

Personally, I try to come off as very polite, non-feather-ruffling and generally a helpful, nurturing kind of guy. Part of that is the teacher in me; I was trained to be politically correct, helpful, nurturing and generally stay in control of my emotions in front of a class full of kids.

Part of that is just me; if you meet me I pretty much am polite, helpful, calm, even-keeled, etc. But it’s not ALL of me. Drive with me for five minutes and you’ll hear enough cussing to get an NC-17 rating. Stick around while I read a bad review and you’ll hear a whole lot more! And I certainly have VERY strong feelings about writing, reading, reviews, bad reviews, publishing, agents, eBooks, print books and more.

I just always figured I should avoid sharing that hardcore, personal or angry or venting or rant-y stuff with my young, impressionable readers. Then I remembered, most YAs don’t exactly flock to my blog! (Come to think of it, most adults don’t either!) And even if they did, wouldn’t they prefer getting the “real” me versus the watered down version?

It’s not that I’m some big, fat phony when I post. I’m always honest, but I’m generally… polite. I don’t swear or foam at the mouth or rant and rave and, well, would it be so terribly bad if I did once in awhile?

So, I dunno, reading that YA author’s blog the other day was a real revelation. It kind of made it “okay” to be me, or at least a little bit more like the real me.

I don’t think I’ll be swearing and ranting and raving like this one author, but she’s far from alone. I know of several YA author blogs where writers, readers, even reviewers are quite frank, fun, wise, sarcastic, sassy and with plenty of… personality.

So what do you think? How polite is too polite? Or should bloggers abide by a certain “code” and keep themselves to themselves? Comment boxes are open; fire away!"

Yours in YA,

Rusty
~~~
My Reply:
I'm in the same boat as you are. I try to be as polite and tactful in my posts (even my negative ones) while still infusing my personality in what I write. Whenever I read over something of mine and go "Ooh, that's a bit harsh," I delete and re-write it in a less-harsh way.

At the same time, I enjoy reading a couple other blogs that don't hold back anything. They think it - they write it. Sometimes I agree with them, and sometimes I can only wince as books I love get flaming tomatoes thrown at them.

I think that by all means, you shouldn't censor your thoughts or emotions. If something pisses you off, and you think it's worth posting about it, go right ahead.

But most importantly, you still need to tailor your posts to the audience you want to attract. Language, content, and subject matter should focus on them. If you want a blog that can be read by teachers, parents, and teens, you're probably going to be a lot tamer than, say, just writing for high-school/college age.

Most importantly, and I think all writers know this (or will eventually), you can't appeal to everyone. You gotta do what you know how to do, and what you like to do. If you prefer your writing to ruffle feathers, and enjoy reading the responses of such, go for it.

Thanks, Rusty!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A Defense of Book Reviews

This is something I posted a little while ago on DeviantArt, and in light of recent developments decided it was something I should share here as well.

If you've never been to DeviantArt, here's a little background info for you. dA is a site whose primary goal is the sharing of art. When you upload a piece (a deviation), whether it be a photograph, drawing, or text piece, you are given a number of categories to list it under. Under the Literature category there are the following choices:



That's 46 different options just for Literature! I use the Literature->Prose->Non-Fiction->Reviews & Guides category for all my book reviews I post there (mirrors of the ones here).

Another thing to note about dA is that it has groups. Groups can be about practically anything. From Dutch Jewelry Artisans to League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Fans to Any And All Poetry, there's pretty much a group for anything. And if there's not, it's super easy to make one. Groups are essentially for connecting members (deviants) with similar interests, collecting and displaying art/literature that appeals to that member pool. Some groups require membership in that group before submitting pieces, others allow any pieces from anyone so long as it fits the theme and abides by the rules.

And thus my story begins.

I've been a member of dA for about 5 years and I've never been much about groups. Sure, I run a LXG fan-group when I have some spare time, but as for my own work, I've never been much for exposing it.

That all changed when I started promoting our Smiling Moon Creations account. I realized if we were ever going to get any customers I'd need to start submitting our work wherever I could. We're in over 300 groups now...

But as for my own StormyWolf account, I still didn't do much in terms of promotion. Sure, I uploaded my reviews and linked them back here, but I don't think I ever got many clicks.

And then I read and reviewed Rusty Fischer's Vamplayers. Not only did I love the book, but I found out that it was being offered for FREE through the end of February. And as a book-blogger, I naturally wanted to spread the word to as many people as possible.

DeviantArt provided the perfect audience to get the word out. Between the vampire groups, the literature groups, and the review groups, I figured I could at least reach a couple interested people. So I joined and submitted my review to probably upwards of 30 groups.

A lot of groups turned it down. No big deal - I half-expected it from them. Keep in mind that a lot of literature groups don't accept non-fiction at all, and I don't have a problem with that. Sometimes groups' rules and guidelines aren't 100% clear, so I take a chance and join & submit my pieces anyway. If they're declined, I shrug it off and go along my merry way.

One rejection, however, rubbed me the wrong way.

I came across this particular group fairly late in the scheme of things. It was a literature-based group, and the group description said it would accept all prose, but not non-fiction, fanfiction or character guides. Okay, not a problem, on to the next group...

But wait! There's a Non-Fiction folder in their gallery. Probably a small change that they forgot to edit into the group description. So I thought I'd give them a try. I joined and submitted my review.

Some time later (the next day? I don't honestly remember) I receive a message in my inbox:
Group Admin: Please,submit works written by you,we do not really accept reviews.
Now, I wasn't completely certain what the message meant. Was I declined because they don't accept reviews? Or did they think that my review was copied from another person/source? I mean, I do link to this blog in each review, so perhaps they thought I was copying off another website?

On the off-chance that it was merely a miscommunication, I wanted to clarify that I had in fact written the review. At the same time I was a little insulted so I replied a bit tersely:
Me: So a non-fiction piece written by me isn't accepted? ...okay then.
Honestly, I didn't expect a reply. Oftentimes group admins are busy enough with reading through subscriptions that they only allow one communication per submission. But to my surprise, I got a response within the hour:
Group Admin: You did a review of a book,every person can do it and give a different aspect of a book and our group is not for promoting books,so,this group is about literature: poems,stories,visual poetry,etc...

Non fiction would be a story from real life,perhaps an anecdote in which you are plasming your own experience about something you lived.
Understandably (to any fellow reviewer) I was more than a little peeved, so I slammed back a reply:
Me: No clue what plasming is, but at least I know your narrow definition of non-fiction now.
No, seriously, wtf is plasming??? Anyway, after that I immediately unregistered from the group.

Well, this weighed on me for a few hours (the reply as a whole, not plasming). I mean, did book reviews really deserve such a brush-off? And what about the group description (or lack thereof)? I run a group and I know that as much as I don't approve of some of the art or lit I receive, I haven't made any guidelines or restrictions to the contrary, so I feel I'm obligated to receive those works. I know others don't share this opinion and use themselves as quality or appropriateness judges (honestly, I wanted to save myself the headache).

In the end, I figured the least I could do was address the rest of the group admins (all 26 of them) with my concerns. I sent the group a private note (only visible to the group admins) with the following:
Me: In response to the decline of my submission to the non-fiction folder...

For the record, yes, everyone can give their own opinion of a book, relating their experiences while reading it. But millions of people can also write about how they experienced 9/11, or what they're thinking about for 15 minutes. If what you're looking for is "Creative Non-Fiction," which is in fact a genre, then state that.

In fact, it would be most helpful to post that somewhere in the group rules, folder description or group description. Because right now, all you have concerning non-fiction is in the group description where it states, "We accept all genres of prose except fanfic, non-fiction, and character profiles." Obviously that's not true since you have a Non-Fiction folder.

In short, please don't insult me. I put just as much effort into what I do as anyone writing those non-fiction pieces that you have accepted in your gallery. And if you're rejecting it because of quality of the piece (which I doubt you've checked), then say that.

~StormyWolf
[followed by a transcript of my conversation above]
I received a reply in my inbox the next morning with (in my opinion) an even more flippant and insulting reply than I'd received previously:
Same Group Admin: Nobody insulted you,I gave you an explanation about why we declined your submission,non-fiction has nothing to do with reviewing books.

As I said,we accept literature,we don't need adding 'special names' to the non fiction in which we display or portray the experiences we have lived and we always check all what is submitted to any category,we decline all those works that simply lack quality as well.

Besides,why complaining if you left the group?
Note: I'm not sure whether the missing words were because of attitude or because English isn't her first language (as indicated on her profile page).
I was absolutely livid.

As much as getting into fights is kind of invigorating, I know that hurting and getting hurt doesn't give nearly as much satisfaction as reaching an agreement. It's not about being proven right (though that does feel great for a while) or wrong, it's about reaching a hard-fought state of common ground.

As such, I usually vent a lot, then delete most of what I write and go with a more tactful approach. I don't know if I achieved that in the following reply or not, but I believe I at least provided in a few important defenses for book reviews... This was my reply:
Me: Non-fiction is any written piece that is not fiction. This includes essays, opinion pieces, memoirs, biographies, historical accounts, etc., etc.. A review would be classified as an essay or an opinion piece. Rather than giving an opinion on religion, politics, or how my breakfast was prepared this morning, I gave my opinion on a book.

In other, yet similar, words, Non-Fiction is the over-arching category of all prose that does not fit under the category of Fiction. You/this group is obviously only accepting a small portion of Non-Fiction, of which the proper title is "Creative Non-Fiction" (Creative nonfiction (also known as literary or narrative nonfiction) is a genre of writing that uses literary styles and techniques to create factually accurate narratives. Creative nonfiction contrasts with other nonfiction, such as technical writing or journalism, which is also rooted in accurate fact, but is not primarily written in service to its craft.)

I'm merely pointing out that as your group lacks any visible definition (wrong or otherwise) of non-fiction, 'mistakes' or 'disagreements' such as mine are likely to happen again. Obviously I can't force you to take my reviews, but I can advise you toward preventing a repeat of this situation. I may not be submitting my work (non-fiction or otherwise) to this group, but that doesn't mean I can't take an interest in what my fellow writers may come across.

(In short, I agree with _________)
[I discovered before I posted the reply that another Group Admin had posted a reply of his own:
Group Admin 2: my personal opinion is that book reviews are, categorically, considered non-fictional prose, as are guides, essays, letters, position statements, etc. if we're going to preclude this specific type of prose, then we need to state that in our group rules.]
And for the record, I wasn't insulted that you declined my review. Your first response made it sound like you didn't think I wrote the piece, so I clarified that I had, it was my work, and it was non-fiction. Then you come back with a slight against book reviews as a whole. The "anyone can do it" line applies to EVERY form of literature, so why are reviews singled out?

Only reason I come up with is because they must inherently lack as much effort as other pieces. This could be the case if a book reviewer merely regurgitated the same drivel time and time again about every single book she read, but that would still come down to a quality issue. Since this was not sited in your reasons for declining, obviously quality was never investigated, such that it was a stigma against the sub-genre (yes, sub-genre of non-fiction) as a whole.

In your eyes, my work is inherently inferior to stream-of-consciousness or I-remember-when pieces. It's of no consequence that I put hours into researching (aka reading the book, possibly looking up additional information) my material. Or that I spend another few hours crafting my review so that it not only conveys my opinions in a tactful manner, even when I'm stating negative opinions, but so it also appeals to and engages my audience in a way that they are then compelled to act.

And this is different than any other piece of "literature" because...? Oh, because I'm recommending the reading of a specific book? I guess it would be more literary if I were telling them to support local animal shelters. Or take a stance on pro-life/pro-choice. Or telling them that poaching or terrorism or slavery or rape is bad. Yes, all those opinions are literary, but my reaction to the violence, desolation, and other horrors in The Hunger Games trilogy isn't because I have "review" in the title.

And I shouldn't be insulted because?
On some level, I'm still angry. It really is hard to separate yourself from a dispute when you've worked your butt off on one side of it for the past 2 years. I took hiatuses because I was overwhelmed by all the work I'd heaped on myself. I stressed myself out to the point where I didn't want to read at all. Was that all for nothing?

Sure, anyone can read a book. They might need a dictionary for some books, or cliff-notes for others, but the act of turning a page and absorbing information from the words on a page (or words being spoken from an audiobook) is accessible to anyone literate.

But a review isn't a simple, "This book was good!" or "I give it 4 out of 5 stars." A review's goal is to speak to its audience, connect with them, take them on a journey, and ultimately convince them to take a chance (or not) on a book.

Some audiences require critical literary analysis - what metaphors are used, how does the juxtaposition between the character and the setting work in this novel, did the author's divorce during the writing of this novel impact the outcome, etc.. Others might just need that star rating.

In my case, I try to appeal to an audience that reads Young Adult literature, so my tone is typically informal, my analysis focuses on the characters and key plot points, and I include what I think to be an appropriate age-range for each book based on language, violence and relationships/sex.

I write because it makes me happy. I'm not paid for it. I typically don't get much response from it. I've written a few fiction pieces, and even contemplated writing a novel once or twice. But writing reviews allows me to combine my two favorite hobbies: reading and writing. I don't know if I'll ever publish something of my own, but in the meantime, I can recommend the fantastic works that are already here. And that's why I review.


~~~

A couple days after I posted the above journal on dA, I got a reply from Group Admin 2 (the nice one):
Group Admin 2: That was about as well put as could be. FYI, I noted the group founder concerning this question of whether we accept this type of prose. I even suggested that we add a gallery just for this type of piece. I really like that you were able to define the group's slant as being towards "creative non-fiction". If nothing else, this exercise will help us better refine our galleries and define our audience. So, you have done us a service. And I would like to thank you.
~~~

And now, here it is almost a month later and I am ecstatic to announce that the group has recently re-named their "Prose - Non-Fiction" folder to "Prose - Creative Non-Fiction" AND added a "Prose - Essays and Reviews" folder to their gallery!

I haven't yet decided if I'll give them another chance, or if I'm going to resign myself to being happy for them and reviewers in general. What do you think?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Obscure Reference? Since When?!

Sunday was my grandfather's 76th birthday (yay!) and in celebration we decided to take him out for lunch. I'd never been to Applebee's, and he was in the mood, so we decided to try it out.

(Note, this is not a rant against Applebee's. It just so happens to be the setting.)

Now, my grandpa is a retired minister, which means (at least) two things: he's extremely outgoing, and he's capable of being very loud. His hearing isn't what it used to be, so he generally enunciates everything very pointedly and projects his voice louder than what it might need to be. Since we were in a noisy restaurant with talking and music going, this trait came in especially handy: we had no trouble hearing or understanding him throughout the meal.

Our server was probably around my age (early twenties), maybe a little younger. I don't know if he was having a bad day or if his personality was generally stiff, but he didn't reciprocate much of the jolliness that my grandpa tried to include him in.

When ordering, my grandpa made a joke that he wanted a candle in his shrimp dish. The server chuckled confusedly and asked what he was talking about. "What do you mean a kindle?" All three of us said simultaneously, "CANDLE," which he still looked awfully confused about. Grandpa finally explained that it was his birthday and he was just joking. "Oh, well, I don't think we have any candles, but save some room for dessert." Oh well, indeed.

Later, after we'd started in on our entrees, he came over to check on us again. And again, Grandpa tried to engage him: "Say, is there any way to get your music in here to play Seventy-Six Trombones?"

Server looks extra confused this time. He glances around the room as he says, "Uh, I'm not sure-"

Grandpa cuts in to explain more of the joke. "It's my 76th birthday, you see, and I thought that song would be fitting," he says with a big grin and a chuckle.

"Actually, I've never heard of it. Is it some sort of classical-"

"IT'S FROM THE MUSIC MAN!" my mom and I practically yell. "You know, the musical?" my mom adds.

"Oh... Nope, I've never heard of that."

If I don't look it on the outside, I definitely feel disgusted on the inside. Grandpa, meanwhile, dismisses the server from our awkward conversation again. "I was just kidding about the music. Thanks for checking in."

Since when is The Music Man
an obscure reference?!?!

And so, to prevent such atrocities from happening in the future, I share with you the following videos. Mind that these are all from the original 1962 movie staring Robert Preston, Shirley Jones, Buddy Hackett and an adorable young Ron Howard. Of course, if any of these great songs interest you, be sure to check out the full movie!


Okay, not from the movie, but all I could find was the finale version
- and who want's to give away the ending?
Ya Got Trouble
Pick-A-Little / Goodnight Ladies
Madame Librarian


That's right, Shipoopi was originally from The Music Man
Thank you Seth MacFarlane

Saturday, March 10, 2012

What I've Been Up To - Smiling Moon Creations

So remember a while back when I wasn't posting anything? Okay, okay, not that long ago, really. But did you ever wonder what I was doing in my spare time instead of reading?


Hello from Smiling Moon Creations! We are a mother and (2) daughter team each with our own unique artistic abilities that we weave together in one-of-a-kind creations. Based off of Lewis Carroll's Cheshire Cat, we're a bit quirky, a little whimsical, and extra crafty.

We operate from a smoke-free household but, as evidenced by our logo, we are cat-lovers and as such we do own two cats who like to watch as we work. Being of the mischievous sort, they do occasionally come in contact with our products. Good thing all our products are easily washable. If special accommodations need to be worked in prior to shipping, do let us know.

We specialize in casual, functional, sturdy, easy-care products. Right now we are focusing on hand-knitted hats & scarves, unique playmat totes, and upcycled / recycled jeans bags. We thank you for your interest, and if you purchase, we hope you enjoy your products as much as we enjoyed making them.
That's our introduction on our Etsy shop. That's right, my mom, sister and I have started a hand-crafting business. Or...more of a hobby with benefits.

My mom is a sewing addict - has been since she was young. Her mother never liked to sew, so on my mom's tenth birthday she received a sewing machine and was sent to the local 4H leader to learn how to sew. She has been experimenting with materials and arguing with her sewing machine ever since.

My sister has been talented with her hands since infancy. Between making clay figurines, crafting cosplay outfits, and her 2D artistic talents, she should be set for life. She started knitting hats at Youth Camp a couple years ago and has since moved on to knitting scarves and is even experimenting with ears! She's the knitting guru at the moment, easily churning out hats at 1-per-hour (so long as the pattern isn't too complex).

And then there's me. I'm not too into handcrafting, but I handle the technical side of things. I pose and photograph all our items, tinker in the photo-editing programs, then upload and describe them on our 3 main venues. I also run our Etsy shop, our DeviantArt account, and our Facebook page.

What kind of products do we make? So glad you asked! Below are pictures and links to our galleries. Etsy links will take you to what we have currently for sale, while DeviantArt and Facebook will showcase some of our commissioned and previously sold items.


Well, I hope you've enjoyed my little show and tell. We've enjoyed making our products and look forward to receiving more commissions and opportunities in the future.

If you're interested in any of the products you've seen, feel free to leave a comment below, or follow the links to our other sites.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Smashwords' E-Book Bonanza!


From Smashwords:
Our annual Read an Ebook Week sale is now underway. The sale ends Saturday. Access over 20,000 free and deep-discounted ebooks. Simply click to http://www.smashwords.com then click to the Read an Ebook promotion catalog. Here’s the direct link: https://www.smashwords.com/books/category/1/newest/1

There are four coupon codes you can use for participating books:

25% off: REW25 – 2,300+ ebooks
50% off: REW50 – 5,700+ ebooks
75% off: REW75 – 900+ ebooks
100% off: RE100 – 2,800+ ebooks

In addition to the limited-time deals above, Smashwords offers over 100,000 original ebooks at everyday low prices. Over 13,000 Smashwords ebooks are regularly priced at FREE. The average price of a Smashwords ebook is under $5.00.

Why are our prices so low? It’s because you’re purchasing direct from the author. When you purchase a Smashwords book, the author earns 85% of the net proceeds from the sale. Thank you for supporting our authors!

Smashwords ebooks are multi-format and DRM-free, so you can read them on virtually an e-reading device, including the Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, Apple iPad/iPhone/Touch, Sony Reader, Kobo Reader, personal computers and most smart phones and tablets.

You can also purchase most Smashwords ebooks at your favorite ebook retailers, including the Apple iBookstore, Barnes and Noble, Sony, Kobo and the Diesel eBook Store. The codes above are only available for books purchased at the Smashwords store. In the future, we hope to expand this annual promotion to our retail partners.
Well, I've already helped myself to a bunch of new books (pictured & linked below), and I'm planning on making another pass through the lists later in the week. So what are you waiting for? Spread the word and get shopping!!!

Death By Chocolate The Socket Greeny Saga Once More, From the Beginning The King's Assssin War Torn Bells & Blades The Sorceress's Orc Cat's Call My Enchanted Life Angel Evolution Song To Wake To The Foundlings Howl How Not To Write A Novel Demon Trackers: The Anointed Banshee's Cry Sleepers Gaia's Secret Demon's Daughter Ether Ember