Free eBooks Available for Read an eBook Week

Just letting you know that Kayelle Press is happy to participate in Read an eBook Week. They feel it’s important to promote any kind of reading as it really can set the imagination free, if you let it.

Unshackle your mind by downloading their free ebooks during the promotion — 4 March 2012 (starts at one minute past midnight) to 10 March 2012 (ends at 11.59pm, USA Pacific time).

The Land of Miu — always free!
The King’s Riddle — free for one week only!
Hope Anthology — free for one week only!

Get them for FREE from Kayelle Press’ Smashwords page during the promotional period mentioned above only.

Also, I am offering the Speculative Realms Anthology for free as well. Head over to the Speculative Realms’ Smashwords Page to download the free ebook.

Reminder: Don’t forget to use the coupon code, which will only appear on the individual pages for the books during the promotion period, when completing the checkout process.

Book Review: The Herb of Grace

The Herb of Grace (The Chain of Charms, #3)

The Herb of Grace by Kate Forsyth

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is book 3 of the series.

Luka and Emilia, two gypsy 13 year-olds, are on the run from Cromwell’s roundheads and trying to get help for the rest of their family who face the gallows. They are seeking the third charm from the Wood tribe.

This book was filled with adventure and excitement. Something interesting was happening all the time. And now another story is being entwined into the plot (or should I say it is becoming more visible) and that is quickening the pace and making the plot more thrilling.

I really enjoyed the historic background and how the kids have gotten mixed up with a Royalist plot as well. There’s secret rooms, crazy witches, highwaymen and much more to read about in this continuing story.

Certainly worth a read.

Book Review: The Silver Horse

The Silver Horse (The Chain of Charms, #2)

The Silver Horse by Kate Forsyth

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

This is the second book in the series.

Emilia and Luka are on the run from a thief-taker, Coldham. They must retrieve six charms from their gypsy kin as Emilia (and her grandmother, who told her about the Chain of Charms) believe in their magical powers, which will surely save their imprisoned family from the gallows. Luka, on the other hand, isn’t convinced so he’s trying to come up with an alternate method of saving the family. They are only thirteen and the burden is huge.

They have the gypsy crown charm (book 1) and now Emilia must race to win the silver horse charm, but at great cost to her.

This series is definitely written for younger readers. The books include snippets of information on the 1600s in England, which is quite interesting. This is another exciting book filled with adventure. This one delves into emotional issues too. Worth reading.

Book Review: The Gypsy Crown

The Gypsy Crown (The Chain of Charms, #1)

The Gypsy Crown by Kate Forsyth

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

This is the first book in a series of six.

It is the story of two gypsy families meeting to come to a marriage agreement for two of their teenagers. After the deal is made, one family heads off to a nearby town to sing and dance to help raise the dowry and are charged with a number of things including murder! All except two youngsters are imprisoned (two cousins who are 13 year olds and manage to escape). Their names are Luka and Emilia. It’s up to these two to find help and free the rest of the family before they are sent to the gallows.

An enjoyable book for younger readers, with a bit of historical value as well. There’s plenty of action and adventure. The reader will learn about life in the 1600s too. It’s a well written first book in the series. I’ll be reading the rest of the series.

Released: A King’s Riddle

I’m extremely proud to announce that The King’s Riddle, book 2 of The Land of Miu series, was officially released on 25 January 2012.

The book takes the reader back to Manu and is told from Siptah’s point of view, the princess’s guard-in-training. The young Miuans have gotten themselves into trouble (again) and need the two human girls to return to Miu and help them solve an ancient puzzle.

The book is available in paperback and various digital formats. And, until the end of February 2012, Goodreads members can elect to be in the running to win a free copy of the paperback. There are three copies to be won and this offer is available to anyone living in Australia, England, United States and Canada.

Why don’t you click on the “Enter to Win” button below … right now! 😀

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The King's Riddle by Karen Lee Field

The King’s Riddle

by Karen Lee Field

Giveaway ends February 29, 2012.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

eBook Review: Kid Combat – A Lost Secret

The Adventures of Kid Combat Volume One: A Secret Lost

The Adventures of Kid Combat Volume One: A Secret Lost by Christopher Helwink

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a book for middle graders, or as we say in Australia “primary schoolers”, which covers the ages of 9 to 12 year olds.

It’s a sort of cross between Get Smart or Inspector Gadget verses Superheros, although none of the characters have super strength or can fly. The reason I’ve made that connection is because the kids are a bit inventive and use different gadgets and they wear a uniform or costume when assuming their “other” identities.

This is another classic case of the cover stopping me in my tracks and yelling at me “read me”. So I did. The first two books in the series are available for free from the iTunes bookstore.

The story itself is about a group of intelligent kids who decide to stand up (secretly) against the tyrant of their town, Jones. The old man owns half the town and plans to own the other half too. He’s corrupt and the once lovely little town is changing … for the worst. Kid Combat (that’s the main character’s nickname) and his friends want to expose him and save the town from further evil and corruption.

I liked the fact that there was no foul language in the book as I believe that’s how it should be in books for younger readers. I liked the actual storyline and the characters – simple but adequate. However, there were several times when parts (either sentences or paragraphs) were repetitive, which was a bit annoying or distracting. And there were a few little inconsistencies or flaws, which I could see but a younger reader may accept without question. Overall, however, I feel the target audience (9 to 12 year olds) will enjoy the book as it will ignite their imaginations.

Paperbacks v Digital Books

There was a time in the not so distant past when I clearly remember believing paperbacks would always be my preferred reading source. I love books. I love reading. It’s the one thing I do constantly in my life and have done since I was a very young child. Books are important to me.

I love the feel of them. I love the smell of them. I love seeing them lined up in a book case, showing their vivid colours and inviting me to jump into their secret worlds. These things cannot be said about digital books.

I love walking into someone else’s home and viewing their books of choice scattered around the place. It hints at the type of person they are, the imagination they might have. It’s possible to spy reference books which tells you of that person’s interests too. And in moments of quiet, they allow you to point to a book and ask them about it … which may well lead to a very interesting conversation. Again, these things cannot be said about digital books.

I love walking into a book shop and browsing the shelves of unknown authors, never before seen covers. Picking them up and flipping them over to read the (hopefully) catchy blurb on the back. Will it intrigue me enough to want to read it? Or does it sound boring or too serious for me, which will make me put it back on the shelf? At the risk of repeating myself, this cannot be said about digital books.

Yet, with all this said and done, I can’t help but prefer to read books in digital format these days. In 2011 most of the books I read were digital. 2012 has only just started, but my reading list comprises of digital books only so far. I have a beautiful wooden bookcase in my bedroom, filled with wonderful books. I want to read them all. They deserve my time, but I feel pulled to my reading device.

It’s a small object really. Most people would lift an eye brow and scoff at reading on it. They mumble things like “small screen” and “eye strain” but I always assure them that the size of the screen is not noticed and I’ve never had eye strain whilst using it.

Perhaps it’s my personal circumstances that make reading this way more attractive. Our lounge room has no lighting except for a single lamp. Reading in the evening is difficult due to shadows across the pages. To avoid the shadow I must sit in an uncomfortable position. I’ve tried using a book lamp but it was more trouble than it was worth, to say the least. However, when I use my reading device I can sit anywhere I want, however I want because the backlight on the screen is just right (for me) for reading.

If I can’t sleep, I can sit in bed and read in comfort. If I want to sit in the garden, I can. I can read on the train, and can swap and change between books if I want to. I can take a selection of books with me on vacation or to work or to the hospital. There’s no weight, no storage problems. If there’s a power source, I can plug in and read. If not, the battery lasts for an entire week if all I’m doing is reading on the device.

I have purchased ebooks from online bookshops, but there is no personality and no feeling of belonging. Shopping in the virtual world is not as good as shopping in the physical world. I still want to browse books, pick them up and flick through the pages, read the blurb and make a decision. But I think when the decision is made I’d like to be able to go up to the counter and say I want the digital version.

Bookshops need to get with the times, and I believe this is starting to happen, but it’s not something I’ve seen for myself. Bookshops draw booklovers to them, so why not entice the booklover to walk out of the shop with a book in hand (be that paperback or digital). Instead of denying the existence of an ever changing world, merge with it and grow.

People will continue to buy printed books, but more and more people are swapping to digital reading. Once, I would have vocalised loudly about the need for paperbacks, but now I find myself vocalising more loudly about reading itself, not the format it’s done in.

eBook Review: The Librarian (Book 1: Little Boy Lost)

The Librarian (Book One: Little Boy Lost)

The Librarian by Eric Hobbs

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

The story is about two friends who go on a class excursion to an old library. The library has been put on the demolition list and is due to be bulldozed to make room for a shopping centre. Whilst at the library strange things start to happen, which include characters from Peter Pan and the Wizard of Oz.

The book is for younger readers, but there is some swearing and minor violence in it.

I enjoyed the story, it was interesting. The main characters were likable. The young protagonist was a pain, but I felt sorry for him in some ways too. I liked the concept of the library and what happened within its walls. And I enjoyed the way the author put today’s kids into classic stories. I would have loved something like that to happen to me when I was a kid so I believe (for that reason) this will entice younger readers to the series.

I had two problems with the book: 1) I didn’t ‘feel’ the excitement the kids should have felt when they found themselves in Oz and that made the place feel unreal and wrong, and 2) I hate cliff hangers!

Having said that, I would read book 2 to find out what happens next.