Books Worth Your Bucks


True bibliophiles seek other bibliophiles. My friends, even those that are not authors, love to read. One series that I shared with my reading buddies was Nevada Barr’s Anna Pigeon series. Being that we all love national parks and a good mystery, they burned through everything she had written in a few weeks. While we were waiting for her next book release one of them commented that it would take a couple months beyond that to get a copy to read at the library because the wait list would be so long. In the course of that conversation I learned they never bought books from their favorite fiction authors. I was stunned. It certainly wasn’t a matter of not being able to afford them.
They were stunned that I did buy books. Sometimes I would read a book from the library and still buy it.  Their reasoning was that books are free at the library so why would you buy them.
My reasoning, if an author is so good that you have read everything she has written and wait eagerly for the next book, you should financially support the work of an author you love.
You don’t have to buy everything they write, but you should buy a book or two as thanks for the entertainment pleasure. One, they need to pay bills and library sales alone are not going to do that. Two, if individual sales aren’t high their books won’t be in the library, and low sales will get them dropped by their publisher. In this tight economy the threshold of sales is much higher than it used to be and the competition from masses of books released every month is fierce. It’s even harder for authors who have given up on the traditional route and become hybrid or independent authors.
So Shannan, Siobhan, and I wanted to help those authors worth spending money on in their quest to find readers who will love them. Each Friday we will share with you a brief summary of a book we each bought and why we felt it was worth the bucks. That way if you’re looking for something to read on the weekend you’ll find it here.
My first suggestion is a military romance, Exposed Desires by Brandi Evans.
Her opening:
It was now or never.
Sophia stared across the smoke-filled club as the man she loved took a long pull of his Heineken. Regret expanded her chest like a lead-balloon, so heavy she could hardly breathe. She’d had over a year to tell him the truth. A fricking year! But somewhere along the way, time had become her enemy.
Evans writes hot, sensuous, erotic romance. I admire that the romance is still first in everything she writes. When the clothes go flying you know it is not just characters in heat, but a couple falling in love driving the action. As an author I admire her skill with metaphor.
If you’re looking for a quick, hot read you’ll love Exposed desires. It’s  quickie length, four chapters and an epilogue. You can grab a copy here.
I’m happy to say my friends saw the sense in my reasoning and started collecting books in a series from their favorite authors. I hope that even if a particular book we share is not your thing, that you will keep checking back as we will cover a spectrum of subjects. We’ll share obscure indie authors and famous ones we love. We’ll cover all the genres of fiction. Happy reading.

Check out Siobhan’s pick for this week.
Check out Shannan’s pick for this week.


Nook’s Not Dead Yet

I’m back at the helm even though officially Nook is still on a summer break. I should have done a post sooner about our break. I just did not have the energy. I think I’m stronger now and it is easier to talk about some things. I’ve gone from two steps back for each step forward, to maintaining and running in place.  For those who don’t know I lost my husband a few months ago to an NSAID induced stomach bleed. He had refused narcotic medication to deal with his pain from an accident several years ago and took what he thought to be a safer over alternative. I can’t unsee those last few hours of me trying to keep him alive until help arrived, and of the rescue squad trying to bring him back to life. It  takes all my energy to reach a point each day where I can pause the mental equivalent of a full color video stuck on replay, so that I can get small things done.  The result being that I have been in now-you-see-her-now-you-don’t mode. Mostly you don’t.
I was not the only one that real life got too real for. One member was downsized out of her job.  Some had personal health crises, a couple more who are caregivers for elderly family members saw them through traumatic hospitalizations and are now helping them recover strength at home. One had a child undergo surgery to save a kidney. So the Nook has been empty and events were put on hold for the summer to give us all a chance to catch our breath.
All of this has set the stage for a situation the Nook gang has asked me to speak to. This is as much a talk to encourage them as it is to explain what is happening. While we were busy elsewhere, there has been an ongoing replication of the events we have come up with as unique ways to engage authors and readers: Our write-ins, The Everything Writing Chat, Author Balls, Flash Fiction Workshops and so on. All of those events replicated in a sort of Nook Nock-off appearing on some commercial grids. I’m not sure if there are still 3 or it is just the one being moved around. The event descriptions are worded so closely to ours that people think I have handed off the torch. Some thought the Nook members left the grid because I abandoned it and were holding their events elsewhere. Some just thought we put a clone of ourselves on other grids and were expanding.
The Nook members were all frustrated because we saw it happening but none of us was able to deal with it. In the past weeks, especially the past week, we’ve all been asked what was up by different people and the team said it was time to speak up. So here I am.
There is no copyright on events or ideas. Yes, anyone can create a perfect clone of our grid and we can’t stop it. I think it’s a waste of good energy to pay it any attention, but to clarify for those who were fooled or wondering:
1) I did not pass the torch.
2) We did not invite anyone to replicate our events for us elsewhere.
3) Nook is not dead. We’re not finished. We do not quit.
4) We hold Nook events at Nook and nowhere else. If we want to expand, we’ll add another server.
That said, I want to say to the Nook team. No one can replicate you, what you are about, who you are as a community, or your driving goal to have a hand and a voice in shaping the future of fiction. You have poured years of your lives into this goal and we are not done yet. No one can duplicate that.  When someone makes a Nook knockoff, that’s just them wanting to be the star of your party. The passion you pour into everything you do will always outshine that.
So we’re going to take a few more weeks to get ourselves together. All Nook events will resume at their regularly scheduled times in September.
We do, however, have one new feature launching outworld. Every Friday, starting this Friday, we will each blog about a book we bought that we think is worth the bucks. There will be a strong focus on indie authors, but it will not be limited to them. It will be limited to books we spend money on. Watch for us here and on social media. I will link to all the others participating when I make my post.

Edit: Forgot to say, Siobhan Muir made the lovely book graphic.