Harlequin Pulling a Big One

This is almost too much to believe, but Harlequin has a new "imprint" out there. So why the quotes around the word "imprint" (there I go again!)? There's a good reason, a very good reason...


According to Fangs, Fur, & Fey, the new imprint, Harlequin Horizons, is pure and simple vanity publishing. Period. Don't get sucked in, because you'll be paying for it. Literally. With plenty of your hard-earned dough.

If you want to get away from the major and smaller commercial publishers, you'd be better off going with Lulu. At least there, they won't be gauging you to print your novel (although self-publishing fiction is almost always not a good idea).

Not only is there the up-front costs of getting your book "published" (in reality: printed), you'll pay for editing, you'll have to do all the marketing, yadda, yadda, yadda.

If all you want is to hold a nice book in your hands for you and maybe a few of your friends to read, by all means, go to Lulu or Cafe Press or some other printer. But if you want to be commercially published - that is, published so that plenty of other people plunk down their money - get an agent interested, who will then pursue the publishing contract for you. Or go directly to those (few) legitimate publishers who have national distribution and cross your fingers.

Again, don't get sucked in! Let's hope that Harlequin decides to rethink this!

Go to the Fangs, Fur, & Fey article for more info.

Love and kisses,

~Nancy Beck


Book, Book, Who's Got the Book - Part 2

As promised, more book reviews, with the continuation of the Mistborn series, Well of Ascension and Hero of Ages.


Tor Fantasy, 816 pages

Tor Fantasy, 784 pages

Yup, two for one. ;-) Make sure you read Mistborn before starting in on Well and then Hero; it will make a lot more sense that way.

Well continues where Mistborn left off, although it's about a year later.

My Impressions of Both Books

In Well, Elend Venture is in charge of Luthadel, although his father is coming at him, wanting to take Luthadel for himself. That's not the only problem; the ancient evil called The Deepness is rising again, something that the previous occupant of the throne managed to keep at bay. Vin and Elend are that their wit's end trying to figure out how to defeat The Deepness. Then Vin comes upon something that she thinks points to defeating it - but is she right?

Exciting ending to the 2nd book, where it looks like The Deepness is about to end...but then it isn't, in a nice twist ending. **SPOILER ALERT** Elend almost dies, too, and is given some interesting new powers within the room where the Well is located.

Which brings us to Hero.

Elend and Vin are married now, and they must defeat that which Vin unwittingly released at the end of Well, that which is called Ruin. With his new powers, Elend can now do just about everything Vin can do, but is it too little, too late? After all, the Inquisitors are now going about the land, killing people wantonly. Of course, with black ash falling so hard now - snuffing out much of the population - people will either die by suffocation or at the hands of an Inquisitor. Not much of a choice.

Another twist ending to this one, and a bittersweet one. Sazed, the Terrisman (and my fave character), finds out a lot of things at the end of the book; I was so happy for him! There's also an interesting ending to the Kandra (including the one who betrayed Vin); I really got into the whole thing about how they can dissolve themselves then reanimate themselves...you'll have to read it to understand what I'm talking about.

Both are excellent reads, but make sure you read the first book in the Mistborn series before you attempt these two! You won't be sorry.

Love and kisses,

~Nancy Beck


Lots More Reviews to Come

Since I've been officially fired by the company, I truly have more time to read (I can get books for free off Paperbackswap if I can't find one at the bookstore or online).

I'm going to register at a couple of different agencies to see if they can find me something (even though I've been sending resumes off for quite a while now).

Next up will be the rest of the Mistborn series, two books in the Temeraire series (Naomi Novik), and the 2nd book in the Crosspointe series (Diana Pharoah Francis). Speaking of Ms. Francis, I'll have to look, but her PR person or someone sent me a copy of the first book in the her urban fantasy series - talk about totally out of the blue, Batman! :-) I'm looking forward to reading that very soon.

Onward and forward!!!!!!!! :-)

Love and kisses,

~Nancy Beck

Book, Book, Who's Got the Book? - Part 1

While I've been a slug sitting at home, I've had a chance to read some good fantasy fiction. Believe it or not, I've read most of these since the end of June since I have too much time on my hands.

The rest of my time...I'm rewriting and rewriting, lol.

Here then are brief reviews of some of the books I've read. To be continued in Part 2 (and there probably will be a Part 3).


Tor Fantasy, 656 pages

Any praise or hype you've heard about this book is legit: I could hardly wait to get through it! It's pretty dark, especially as we come in on the story when the city of Elantris has already withered and died. Prince Raoden of Arelon, a city which sits right next to the decayed Elantris, comes down with a dread disease that has afflicated certain people of Arelon. Although the Prince's father hides the fact by officially pronouncing him dead, he's anything but; instead, he's sent off to Elantris to die along with all the other poor souls who've been likewise afflicted. (Think of zombies, the walking dead, etc., and you'll have an idea of the disease.)

The King hasn't had to deal with the Prince's betrothed, who has decided to come to Arelon anyway, despite not being married to him in body; however, she signed a contract, and she is legally his widow.

So, do the two meet up? Or are we to tune in to see what Sarene, Raoden's widow, can uncover about the King, about Elantris, about certain factions within and without Arelon?

My Take On It

The characters felt real to me. I cared what happened to Raoden and what happened to Sarene. There is a villian to the story, but Mr. Sanderson wrote something within the character that makes him somewhat sympathetic; he's even somewhat heroic near the end of the story. This might be a dark-ish story, but it's also about surviving and trying to do the right thing in the face of darkness and evil.

You won't want to put it down until the very end, and you might actually feel a little sorry, or at least have some pity, for the villain at the end.

DAW Trade, 672 pages

FYI, the version I picked up is different in the number of pages; it's actually a bit longer than the version noted above. No idea why, but thought I'd throw this out there.

I read this before I started Elantris. Although this is what I think most writing teachers would call a frame story (Kvothe, the main character, recounts what has happened to him - and it's quite a lot! - to a scribe in the inn Kvothe is now running).

My Take On It

This starts out slow, but after the first chapter or so, I got into it. Mr. Rothfuss has drawn an interesting character in Kvothe, in that he's worth listening to; he's had quite an eventful life, to this point (including getting involved with strange creatures, having to deal with bullies, and falling in love, although his love interest keeps flitting in and out of his life).

I actually started to cry when Kvothe told of a somewhat old man who helped the street urchins of a particular town; he especially helped those who physically could not do much, and as such, slipped through the cracks and onto the hard streets, left to die, no doubt. I also shed some tears later on, after he'd grown up a bit and went his own way, where he felt very much alone. I can't tell you how often I've felt like that, especially lately, with all the personal stuff bogging me (and my husband) down.

There's some violence in this, but nothing near what's in the latest Tarantino offering, or any Tarantino offering, for that matter. ;-)

I read this before reading Elantris. Definitely worth reading, although, as is typical for fantasy, it's in three installments, so you have to wait until the 2nd one (Day 2) comes out.

Tor Fantasy, 672 pages

I loved Elantris so much, I went out and got this book; I hesitated on buying the 2nd and 3rd books, because I've been burned before.

The characters, which are different from those in Elantris, are what make this book, and the entire series, such a great read. (What else is new, right? :-)) There's a Prologue, and although I know some do not read Prologues, make sure you read this one, as it sets up what happens after. It doesn't seem so at the time you're reading it, but trust me, you'll have "Aha!" moments later on...

This mostly in Vin's POV, a poor teenage girl who makes a living on the streets of the capital, Luthadel. Most of the world is ruled by a tyrant who just seems to kill people at will. There's a method to his horrible madness, which only becomes clear in Book 2.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. Vin has some sort of power in which she can soothe people, so even when the head of the particular band of thieves she's fallen in with screws up with those in power, she can soothe away any unpleasantness. Except that she does it inside a building where those inside notice such things. She gets away with it, for the time being, helped out by Kelsier and his group, a group that intends to shake the very foundations of the world by eventually killing the tyrant (the Lord Ruler).

My Take On It

There's magic up the ying-yang in this one, with people swallowing all sorts of stuff that helps them bound around (literally). It gets tedious from time to time in these sections when Vin comes into her own, but I understood it was necessary, else, why bother having it in the story? :-) The character of Vin is intriguing, as are all the characters, major and minor, in this book. What I also liked about Mr. Sanderson's words is how he describes things; he goes into just the right amount of detail before outstaying his welcome (or throwing in every last little twitch or pulls on a braid).

Naturally, I bought both of the next books in the series, confident I wouldn't be bored or pissed off midway through the 2nd one.

Love and kisses,

~Nancy Beck