Excerpts – April 2009

April 28, 2009

Here’s a few more excerpts from recent and upcoming books that I’ve added to the excerpts page in recent weeks.


Read Seaborn for Free

March 15, 2009

Chris Howard has made his first book, Seaborn, available for free in PDF and HTML format. He’s requesting that anyone who would like to pay something for the electronic copy donate through a link on his website to either the Monterey Bay Aquarium or to the Woods Hole Oceanagraphic Institute.

Visit Chris Howard’s website and download Seaborn.

I haven’t read it yet so I can’t tell you much about the story, but it’s next on my to-read list and I hope to have a review up in the next week or so.

edit: Now there are also ePub, MOBI, and LRF formats available, which is great because I was having trouble converting the original HTML file.

excerpts page

January 13, 2009

I’ve added a page where I’ll be listing excerpts from urban fantasy novels. The top section has excerpts from recent and upcoming books, and the bottom one links to excerpts from the first book in a series for those who are interested in checking out an author they haven’t tried yet.

I’ll still be posting a monthly update of excerpts from recent and upcoming books, but I also thought it might be convenient to have a list available in one place. This is just a starting place, I’ll be adding new books and authors when I can. But it’s taking longer than I thought to put together the list, and several writers I’ve searched for don’t seem have any excerpts available.

Get a gift receipt.

January 9, 2009

Hey, did you know that both Borders and Barnes & Noble now require receipts for all returns, including gift exchanges? I didn’t, until my husband tried to exchange a duplicate Christmas gift this week.

This change has apparently been in effect for months, which in itself was kind of a shock. I have the customer cards for both stores. I get weekly email newsletters from each, and occasional snail-mail ads. Even though I’ve cut down a bit on purchases, it’s a rare week where I don’t buy a book or two, and half of the Christmas presents I bought this year were books. My point is that I’m a pretty regular customer at both stores, but I still hadn’t heard. I didn’t get an email notifying me of this fairly major change, even though something like that is of a lot more interest than the usual promotional stuff they send out. No clerk ever mentioned it, and you’d think that they would have been pushing gift receipts for presents (and explaining the need for them) pretty heavily during the holidays.

What seemed like the entire staff of our Barnes & Noble had a little huddle and decided to allow us to make the exchange that one time. That was really nice of them, especially because I suspect they’ve been getting a lot of grief over this change in the last couple of weeks. I worked retail for long enough that I understand some of the considerations that went into this decision. But I also understand that the average customer doesn’t care about those when they end up stuck with an extra copy of a book.

The harsher return policy may not really make much difference when I’m buying a book for myself, but it makes me a lot less likely to get books as gifts for others. Choosing a book for a friend can already be tricky. But now if you get something that just isn’t right for them, you’ll have to hope that they don’t lose that little slip or that they can make it to the store before the gift receipt expires. And now if I’m given a receipt-less copy of something I already have, then hey, too bad?

I guess I’ve always taken the ease of book exchanges for granted. But considering that many of us are being more careful about how we spend our discretionary money these days, and that buying online already seems to offer price and selection advantages, is it really the best idea to introduce less customer-friendly policies?

Just make sure you get gift receipts from now on, and spread the word to anyone likely to be buying you a book.

Excerpts – January 2009

January 4, 2009

Some excerpts from recent releases and upcoming books:

  • Evil Ways (excerpt), by Justin Gustanis
    The second Quincey Morris book is out already.
  • At Grave’s End (excerpt), by Jeaniene Frost
    The “read chapter one” link will show the excerpt in a little popup.
  • Bone Crossed (excerpt), by Patricia Briggs
    Here’s the first chapter of the fourth Mercy Thompson, it’ll be out in hardcover in February.

New Author Challenge

December 11, 2008

I signed up for the New Author Challenge over at Literary Escapism today. I’m challenging myself to read 20 new-to-me authors next year. Honestly, I’ll probably end up trying more new authors than that in 2009, but for the challenge I’ll only be counting books that I can review here. Can I really try 20 new urban fantasy authors next year? I’m not entirely sure, but I thought it would be fun to try.