Sunday, July 10, 2011

Self Published Books...Lovely Surpises

Back in May I went on a little shopping spree at B&N's Nook Dept.   I bought a few newer releases like Debbie Macomber's 1022 Evergreen Place and the book my sister convinced me to give another try, Diana Gabaldon's Outlander.  (I know, I know....I am the only woman on the planet who never got hooked on Jamie Fraser and Claire Randall.)
Anyway, I also visited the under $5.00 section and purchased several self-published tales that were either $.99 or free.  I have finally gotten to 2 of those stories and I am delighted to report they were really well done.  I don't mean to suggest because a book is self published it is less than a mass production house book.  but I was expecting the cheaper novels in this section to be cheap because they didn't sell well or not great.  "So why buy any?" you ask.  Well because I was on a budgeted spree and I was curious.  I am an aspiring writer myself and have wondered whether self-publishing is the way to go.  I am still not sure on that point but I am sure that I will read more self-published work in the future.  

The two books that have me singing a happy tune are "The Mating" by Nicky Charles and "To Kill a Warlock" by H.P. Mallory.  Both novels were paranormals.  One was a serious romance and the other a tongue in cheek girl detective/whodunit.

"The Mating" by Nicky Charles takes an old theme of arranged marriage and puts a 21st century werewolf spin on it.  Elise comes home from a run in the woods with her would be boyfriend to find out she is to be mated that day to a new alpha of the neighboring pack.  Even though she is upset and unhappy over being manipulated by her father into marrying a complete stranger she goes through with it because she would rather marry a stranger than be a lone wolf.  What happens after this is a really touching love story.  Elise is thrust into a well established community that is still grieving over the loss of the past alpha.  To complicate matters it seems someone is trying to sabotage the pack to either sell some land to an oil company or give up their territory altogether.  Kane, the new alpha and husband seems like a good guy with a lot on his plate with blind spots about the people close to him.  As the couple grow closer together the troubles of the pack get bigger. 
This is a long story but it read really fast and my attention was held.  There are parts that I thought got a little wordy and some connections didn't get made for me but I have experienced that in books I have paid top dollar for.  Ms. Charles has  two follow-ups to the "The Mating".  I downloaded "The Keeping" during the shopping spree.  "The Finding" is not on B&N yet but can be gotten at for free.  Isn't FREE a lovely word!

"To Kill a Warlock" by H.P. Mallory is a complete departure from "The Mating".  It is a short, delightful read featuring a Fairy Regulator, aka cop named Dulcie and her team of sidekicks in the completely fictional place called "Splendor."   This tongue and cheek suspense story revolves around a series of very gross killings by a very gross creature.  Dulcie catches the case and then is kicked off the case for her own protection.  She is surrounded by a slew of gorgeous good and bad guys and until the end you aren't sure which one is which.  When she isn't catching bad guys she is writing romance novels featuring some of the hunks she works with.  This was totally worth the $.99 I kicked in for it.  I would read more of her work and be willing to pay at least a few more dollars for future installments of the Dulcie's adventures.

So my friends, checkout the Under $5.00 section at B&N.  There are some real gems in there.  One caveat:  Make sure you checkout all the info on a book.  I have felt totally ripped off when I bought a Nora Roberts novel that was actually a re-release of a short story.  As always, be a smart shopper.
I also found to be an awesome resource for inexpensive and free novels to feed my book beast.  For those who don't have to own their books, checkout your local library's ebook collection.  Mine has really become a treasure trove of great reading.

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