Not a lot of people know this (until now at least) but if I was asked what my reading guilty pleasure was I would have to say it’s classic romance. There are times when all I want to do is curl up with a good old love story, especially one with a cowboy or two. I blame it on the summer I spent as a teenager devouring the box of Lucy Walker books my mom had saved from her teenage years. I was therefore very interested when I received an email from Kate at Transworld about Loveswept.
Transworld Publishers are relaunching romance imprint Loveswept today as an eBook only line. It’s a collaboration with Ballantine Bantam Dell in the USA and will be publishing titles by established authors as well as new voices.
Back in the 1980s and 1990s Loveswept was the imprint that gave many authors their break including Janet Evanovich, Tami Hoag and Iris Johansen. I wonder which of the new voices that are published by the new imprint will go on to have such successful careers?
The line is launching with eight titles, with further titles planned for Autumn 2011. On the website at the moment there is a preview of “Tall, Dark and Lonesome” – I’ve had a little look and it sounds like my kind of read. I think I’ll be reading at least that one, and probably a couple more from this first batch of books.
Last Friday saw the final chapters of the first four Fiction Express books going live. It also saw the first chapter of their new book being published – Rémy Brunel and the Ocean of Light by Sharon Gosling.
No-one performs on the circus trapeze like sixteen-year-old Rémy Brunel. But when the circus closes for the night, Rémy leads another life, as a cat burglar and jewel thief. Forced by the evil circus owner Gustave to attempt the theft of one of the world’s most valuable diamonds, Rémy thinks it will be just another heist, but when she meets determined young detective Thaddeus Rec, her life changes forever. Will Thaddeus manage to rescue the jewel from Rémy’s nimble fingers? Or is it really Rémy that he needs to save?
The first chapter introduces Rémy and the circus that she is part of. I found that within the first couple of paragraphs I could picture the scene really well, the author writes in a wonderfully descriptive manner. There is an incident which introduces a mystery man, I found him intriguing and was glad to discover that we get to know him later in the chapter as Thaddeus, a detective with an interest in new-fangled gadgets and technology. Rémy is a jewel thief as well as being a circus star, we discover that she is being sent to steal the Darya-ye Noor, a large and beautiful diamond that came from the same mine as the Koh-i-Noor. The set up for the book is very exciting, we have Rémy trying to steal the diamond and Thaddeus trying to protect it, I’m sure their paths are going to cross and there will be plenty of action to come.
The chapter is live now on the website and the vote for this first chapter is open until 25th July so there’s plenty of time to get over there and start reading and voting!
I’ve been getting some intriguing post over the last few weeks. First came these:
Three samplers containing the first 40 pages of S J Watson‘s debut novel Before I Go To Sleep. They were tantalising enough but then today this arrived:
The two keys look like they might work on a padlock maybe… but where is the padlock? If I wasn’t intrigued about the book before I certainly am now!
On Friday something really exciting is happening in the book world, a new venture called Fiction Express is launching. It sounds like a great idea – aimed at tweens and teens (though I’m sure there will be many adult fans) the project is serialising books by four different authors.
Each Friday a new chapter for each book will be available to download, the fun part comes from how these chapters are written. Once the chapters go live readers have until the following Monday morning to vote for what they think should happen next, the author will then write the new chapter based on what wins the vote. This means that the readers of the books really do have a say in what happens to the characters – who wouldn’t love that opportunity?!
The four books being serialised are:
- Diary of a Mall Girl by Luisa Plaja (Split by a Kiss and Extreme Kissing)
- The Soterion Mission by Stewart Ross (Timewarp Trials and What if the Bomb Goes Off?)
- Soul Shadows by Alex Woolf (The Chronosphere)
- The Last Symbol by Rebecca Morton
This Friday, 6th May, the website will go live and the first chapter of each book will be available to download for free. The rest of the chapters, will cost from as little as 59p (it works on a credits system – the more credits you buy the cheaper they are). I’ve been lucky enough to get a sneaky look at the four opening chapters, I will be reviewing Diary of a Mall Girl and Soul Shadows here tomorrow and then The Soterion Mission and The Last Symbol on Thursday.
Over Christmas I read an intriguing post at Me And My Big Mouth about a publishing company that gives away its books for free and decided I had to check it out.
American based Concord Free Press currently publishes two books a year. There are a number of book stores in America that give these books away but if you can’t get to one you can request a book via the website and they’ll then post it out to you. There are only two provisos to this, they ask that in return for receiving the book you make a voluntary donation to a charity or a person locally in need, and that once you’ve finished the book you pass it on to someone else.
I loved the sound of this, and so I requested a copy of their current book Rut by Scott Phillips. Within a couple of weeks of me requesting it the book arrived and it’s at the top of my to read pile so I’ll be reviewing it later this week.
There aren’t many days that go by where I don’t find myself wishing I had an iPad. The hefty price tag leaves me doing precisely that however, I’m not sure I could have justified the luxury purchase when I was working and now I’m a student again I certainly can’t. If I did have one I’m sure I would be purchasing this.
Harper Collins have released an enhanced ebook version of J R R Tolkien’s “Letters From Father Christmas”. The book is a collection of the letters that Tolkien used to write each Christmas and post to his children, from Father Christmas. This ebook contains high res images of the original letters and the illustrations that accompanied them, some of the letters have not previously been published. The wonderful Derek Jacobi lends his voice to the project, providing an audio recording of every letter. I think it looks lovely, and I’m going to try and track down a paper copy of the original book – it sounds right up my street!
An extended sample is available for download here.
After seeing the #1b1t tag on Twitter for a couple of weeks I finally decided over the weekend to google it and find out what it was all about (the fact that Neil Gaiman kept tweeting about it made me think it was something I might find interesting) and was really glad I did.
There have been a number of One City One Books over recent years, a communal reading program where a city chooses a book and everyone reads it at the same time. The city holds relevant events during the time that the book is being read e.g. discussion groups, author visits. It sounds like a great idea, but I’ve never been aware of it happening in the UK.
#1b1t is the tag for One Book One Twitter. The principal is the same as the city based scheme, it’s just been extended to Twitter to make it worldwide. The book has been selected via online polls, it is Neil Gaiman’s “American Gods”. It all kicks off on 5th May, I’m not sure though what the weekly page count target is going to be. I have my copy of the book ready and waiting, I’m looking forward to reading another Neil Gaiman book (I’ve loved all of the ones I’ve read so far) and seeing how this scheme actually pans out.